Tag Archives: Trout Unlimited

SURVEYING THE LANDSCAPE: A REVIEW (OR SIXTEEN)

I’ve never been one to follow the herd. As my dad says of my path from there to here: you’ve always done things 30-degrees left or right of center, son. But a run this morning through the last couple days of RSS feeds from blogs I try to keep up with reminded me that I’ve got some big-time thanks I need to give — for the intangible and unconditional friendships, love and support of people in my life and also for the tangible things that traveled with me into the wilderness at various points, or got me to consider heading to the wilderness in the first place.

Just so you know, that’s as schmaltzy as I’m going to get in this post, so you’re all off the hook for having to wade through deep sentimentality. Besides, I’m indebted to so many fantastic people from here to [insert place] and everywhere in-between, it’s futile to call everyone out in any other way than en mass. Needless to say, it’s a fortunate man who can look at any horizon with the confidence that an open door and open arms will greet him and his family. Eventually I’ll be making good on those offers.

But, right now I want to take this time to share that list of tangibles that I mentioned. Because, when it comes to the things that have served me well or have offered much needed inspiration, I think it’s important to give credit where credit is due. Mind you, a list like this is a first for me and this blog. In the over four years I’ve authored fishingpoet, reviews have been sparse at best. I’m just not a review-writer at heart, but I’m going to make an exception here. OK, the disclaimer: Some items were given/awarded to me. Most I bought on my own. No one has paid for space here. Anyhow, here’s where the rubber met the road.

GEAR
Redington Sonic-Pro wading pants– Sonic Pro wading pants at work in Alaska - photo by Earl Harper
I received these a couple weeks before I flew to Alaska as part of my atta-boy for being selected (along with Chad Schmukler of Hatch Magazine) for the Trout Unlimited Blogger Tour trip to the Tongass National Forest. I’ve rolled the tops of my chest waders down for years, regardless of weather or whether I was standing in drift boats, traipsing around gravel bars, stalking small mountain streams or hiking game trails en route to water. I’m just more comfortable without the full-on height and shoulder straps. The Sonic-Pro wading pants are made of a durable but light-weight material that’s quiet and comfortable when hiking in hot weather and, when layered appropriately, has kept me more than warm in cold tailwaters and freezing temps. They’ve got heavy-duty zippers for the side pockets (which are not water-tight, so put your phone or point-and-shoot in your pack above the water-line), a hold-fast velcro belt system and simple elastic suspenders if you’re inclined to use them. I’ve been told that I wade a bit deeper than most guys when conditions dictate, but I’ve found that, generally, I can wade 90% of the water I need to in these (albeit sometimes while holding my breath and waist line). They’ve seen Alaska, Montana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and some trib fishing in upstate NY. I love these things.

Fishpond Westwater large zippered duffel– Fishpond Westwater Duffel - kitchen sink not included, but it'll fit too
This was another atta-boy from the Blogger Tour selection, and a fantastic addition to my travel arsenal. I’m pretty sure I found a new definition for “bottomless” when it comes to duffel bags. Being prior service Army, I was used to strategically packing my entire life in a standard issue OD green stand-up military duffel. I’ve had a couple soft-sided travel bags since then, but they’ve only had the typical handle straps to carry them with–which makes it a pain in the ass to carry if it’s loaded for bear and I’m also carrying any other smaller bags/packs with me. The first thing that I liked about the Westwater bag is that it not only has the handle straps, but it has heavy-duty backpack straps, just like my old Army duffel. Throw all that weight on my back and both hands (and shoulders to a point) are left free to carry other gear, or get into pockets for cash, phone or ID. As for what it holds…I packed 7 days-worth of clothes (base-layers to outer-wear) to accommodate warm, cold and rainy SE Alaska weather, two sets of waders, wading boots, a pair of sneakers and boots, waterproof camera bag, hats, gloves, a bottle of Buffalo Trace and full-size bottle of Advil Liqui-gels. When I thought there wasn’t enough room, I unlatched the buckles on each end of the bag, zipped the bag 3/4 of the way, stood it up and dropped it a few times on its end, compressing the contents enough to fit the rest of the gear (including the bottle). Re-clasp the buckles to further compress the whole deal and I was ready to jet.

FLY ROD
Thomas & Thomas ESP 7’6″ 4-piece 5wt– Thomas & Thomas ESP - the 5wt redefined
I have to admit, I’m biased when it comes to fly rods. And extremely spoiled. Until recently, I was the guy behind the blog and social media for Thomas & Thomas. As such, I was able to get my hands on any and every rod that was born of handcrafted goodness from the shop in Greenfield, MA. Glass, grass or graphite. Single or two-handed. Tom Dorsey (one of the two original Thomases), Trevor Bross and Troy Jacques afforded me a lifetime’s-worth of fly rod knowledge over the two and a half years of working with them. Of all the rods though, it was that medium action small stream ESP that fit like it was made for me, and at “22 broken-down, it travels like a champ. I fished it initially on the Owyhee in SE Oregon for tailwater browns and landed more fish 20” or better on that rod (with 18 – 24-sized flies) during that one trip than I have in my entire life. From a distance and control standpoint, there was no part of the river I couldn’t reach on a dime – although longer casts across varying currents were tough to mend well with the shorter length. Regardless, if I asked, it answered. And then some.

BOOKS
The Blitz–
I bought this book when it first came out back in 2011, before I fished with Pete McDonald (author of the blog Fishing Jones) for pike on a shit-cold April weekend. Authored by Pete with photography by Tosh Brown, it is a permanent fixture on my coffee table. My kids thumb through it. Friends who visit thumb through it. I thumb through it. Every last one of us exhaling man-oh-man at various points in the respite. If you haven’t, get the book. You’ll win friends and influence people–and likely start combing the interwebs for two-day coastal forecasts, fly reels with drags that don’t suck and how-to videos for tying clousers.

View from Coal Creek– Three great reads Erin Block is one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read–and a seriously devoted back country trout and flats carp fly angler. I had the good fortune to meet her (and a passel of other blog writers and industry folks) in Denver last January at the Fly Fishing Show. Her book is a chronicling of a months-long story started on her blog, Mysteries Internal–that being her experience with building her first bamboo fly rod from scratch. It is meditative, at times humorous, and as well-crafted, beautiful and purposeful as the rod that she ultimately finishes–and fishes. Well worth a place on your bookshelf or reading list, between Coal Creek’s covers you’ll find one of the finest voices in contemporary outdoor literature.

50 Best tailwaters to fly fish–
I am just starting to crack the spine on this tome from Terry and Wendy Gunn, but what I’ve read so far is about as comprehensive as is gets when it comes to intel about some of the country’s top tailwater fisheries. Broken down by region, and introduced by Lefty Kreh, the book includes species, regulations, tackle, lodging, local fly shops, emergency support services, topo maps and fantastic personal write-ups by local guides, anglers and others experts that call these rivers home–from the Arkansas to the Yampa and everywhere in-between. You can check out their promo video for it too.

FILMS
Long Shot–
Erin Block leading-in with a fantastic narrativeThis is the latest short from the talented duo of Ivan Orsic and Russ Schnitzer, otherwise known as The Fly Collective. Very well shot and edited, featuring Erin Block (see above) and Jay Zimmerman (professional fly tier, wood splitter and obsessively dedicated carp and trout fly angler – OK, scratch trout), the film opens with Erin reading a piece she wrote about the parallels between fly fishing for carp and our sometimes unfounded or irrational hope and belief in the impossible becoming possible–the long shot. Between the images and listening to the words and story throughout, it made me realize that I need to find my way back to writing more. Absolutely worth a 9 and a half minute break to watch.

Into the Mind–
Two words for the ski film from Sherpas Cinema: Holy. Shit.

I want to ski this face

My friend Denver Miller (co-shooter for the latest Confluence production – Waypoints – which is coming up on the list next, in case you were wondering), turned me onto this film while we were out in Montana a few weeks back. As he put it: I don’t know if they were eating mushrooms when they put this thing together, but the edit and cinematography is crazy good. Turns out to be accurate and very well put. The music is fantastic, the places these cats hike and heli into are ridiculous, and the whole shootin’match re-lit the fire in me to finish Deliberate Life.

Waypoints–
Waypoints. Unbelievable places, story and imagesI flew to Bozeman earlier in November to catch the “hometown” premier of Waypoints with my friend Denver Miller who co-shot the film with Chris Patterson (Jim Klug’s partner in Confluence Films). Aside from my own biased “hometown” connection, I wished the film could’ve gone on another hour. Venezuela, Alaska, Patagonian Chile, St. Brandon’s Atoll, India…each 15 – 18-minute segment could’ve been it’s own gorgeous feature. Add to that a fantastic narrative that speaks to “the important milestones and significant stopping places that collectively shape our journey through life.” The experiences and waypoints that define who we are. Beautifully done and well worth getting your own copy if you haven’t seen it.

1800 South–Ready to get out after it
A close friend watched this and said: This is totally you. I want it to be me too. If you have ever heard your soul call for to head out into this world on an adventure–this film will likely have you staring out the window plotting which horizon to run for. The film follows Jeff Johnson (photographer and writer) as he re-traces the 6-month trip that Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins took to Patagonia in 1968. Its story is timeless, honest and makes you think about just how much we take our planet – and our time on this planet – for granted.

CLOTHING/FOOTWEAR
Skinny Water Culture–SWC mojo - photo by Eric Estrada
I’ve got two shirts from the SWC boys that have made their way into the laundry pile more than pretty much any other shirts I wear. The long-sleeve SWC circle logo micro and the Flying Silver t-shirt. I get more double-takes from those old enough to know Led Zeppelin when I pimp the Flying Silver shirt. And the circle logo micro was the mojo that helped me land my first tailing red in Islamorada. Believe it.

 

Hell Razor jacket–The Kast Hell Razor. My go-to.
Colby and the guys at Kast Gear are making some fantastic cold-weather gear. They’re definitely doing it right, and bringing some good-looking stuff to market too. I got a hold of my Hell Razor jacket two years ago and wear it religiously–solo as a jacket and also layered under a shell like their Storm Castle Jacket (which I also wear a hell of a lot). Warm, well-built and worth a Christmas-list nod.

GUIDES/DESTINATIONS
Mark Heironymous, Bear Creek Outfitters – Juneau, AK–
I had the good fortune of spending an inordinate amount of time with this cat on the Blogger Tour trip this past July. Imagine John Madden as a kick ass fly-in salmon/steelhead guide and conservationist. BOOM! This guy has forgotten more about fly fishing in the PacNW and Alaska than I’ll likely learn in my life. A more passionate and intelligent advocate for the fisheries he calls home, you will not meet.

Eric Estrada – Miami, FL–
Not to be confused with the CHiPs co-star of the same name, fish with this kid and you better be as ready to pull a Mission Impossible into a private tennis club for peacocks as you would poling backcountry flats for tarpon, reds and bones or running, running, running for his own mangrove hide-outs for snook and reds. My first red on the fly came from his bow (see pic above). So did a whole lot of shit for busting a rod on a trout-set. He’s also a talented artist who’s coming out with his own clothing line.

Brett Seng – Bozeman, MT–
I just met and fished with Brett for the first time two weeks ago and I’m already recommending him to guys I know here in NY. One of the guide/anglers in the Chile segment of Waypoints, his energy, personality and his uncanny knowledge of the water he makes his living on is fantastic. Not only that, but we caught actively rising Gallatin River rainbows on dries in November out of his boat. That shit just does not happen. He’s also a stellar photographer that chases assignments all over the world (next up 37 days in NZ).

Last, but certainly not least, I want to say thanks to you all. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by for a break in your day and read the words I manage to put down here. Your support means a lot.

Enjoy the holidays.

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DEAR ALASKA

(fp note: since this piece was published as my submission to the TU Blogger Tour competition, I was selected by a panel of magazine editors, writers and other industry folks as one of the two writers that will fly to the Tongass this July and experience it firsthand.)

Dear Alaska—

I’m writing to you because I’m at a crossroads…and quite honestly, it’s about damn time we met.

You intrigue me, Alaska. You have for a long time. As a kid you were stories of sled dogs and Native people, hunting and fishing and smoked meat, caribou and salmon and grizzlies, rivers and mountains and daylight at night. You were adventure and frontier mythology. Life and existence and culture as pure and honest and close to the bone as the tendons and muscles under my own skin. I loved you for that—all of it—and held hope that there would come a time when I was able to place my feet on your soil and add my own weight to the heartbeat of your landscape and story.

Today as I write this, I read about the struggle you bear, as I’ve read for years now, and my hope to see you is even more intense. There is no way to feign awareness. Your story echoes from dirt road to marble hall. The burden of special interest and ruthless speculation carried on the backs of your precious and pristine resources, and my hope to join you is even more intense. You rise immense and proud and rugged and brawling, while the shortsighted reach into your heart and take and take and take shovelfuls in their never-full gluttony, and my hope to protect you is even more intense. Your people stand together. Your cultures stand together. Your mountains and rivers and forests and wildlife fight on, only knowing existence and survival in a smaller and smaller universe. And my hope to stand and fight with you is even more intense.

I read about the Tongass and her 17 million acres of spruce and hemlock and cedar and thousands of miles of pristine rivers and streams and breathtaking runs of salmon and trout. Your gem. A gracious open hand, sustaining her people and the world that extends from her feet. I’ve huddled and discussed over beers with others who have witnessed her beauty first-hand—like Beat poets wrestling with the philosophy of words and immortality—the immense value of her resources and her conservation. The importance of the Tongass 77 and The Last Salmon Forest and Southeast Alaska raising their voice in one unified and vital cultural song. I’m thankful that history has given us the wisdom to protect what we have in her instead of waking to suddenly find that we need to claw and fight to restore a fraction of what we’ve lost.

Alaska, I am at a point in my life where fighting for what’s important is not simply a good idea, it’s a necessity. Surveying the landscape of the next 40 years of my life, I have finally made that decision. My kids are old enough now that they have their own dreams and understanding of who you are. They talk about your landscape and your wildlife. They talk about going there to fly fish and explore with me, and my heart soars. They’re learning—and value you—because you are in our everyday conversations about the importance of respect and passion and care for the natural world we’re blessed to occupy. I think about the idealistic perspective I held at their age. At the end of the day, I know that my actions will speak louder and influence them more than any amount of talking I do. That is the point I guess, isn’t it. Our actions do matter.

It’s time we met, Alaska. I hope to see you soon.

Respectfully—
Matt Smythe

 

This is my submission to the Trout Unlimited 2013 Blogger Tour, sponsored by FishpondTenkara USA and RIO, and hosted by the Outdoor Blogger Network.

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Filed under Fatherhood and venison jerkey, In the woods, On the water

OUR THOUSAND MILES

I was elected and served a two-year term on the Canandaigua City Council back in 2009. My decision to run was based on my need to not only give back to the community I grew up in, but to help effect positive decisions when it came to the economic and environmental health of our lake-side community. I learned a great deal about the business of running a city in that time. Not the least of which was the fact that, at the local level, the hands of leadership are largely tied or are left holding the bag for a whole lot of unfunded State mandates and non-negotiable contractual obligations — all of which put an enormous strain on budgets for programs, services, capital improvements and economic development. Municipalities are expected to do a whole lot more with a whole lot less — people, money and resources.

When it comes to environmental issues or issues of conservation, cities are approaching new development,  infrastructure improvement and city-wide programs (i.e. recycling, composting and pesticide use) responsibly, and with as much of an eye to the bigger picture as possible: new parking lots are required to have rain gardens to help filter run-off; new residential, commercial or mixed-use developments must meet or exceed minimum green-space requirements; the establishment of, and adherence to, a strict turf and pest management program on all City-owned property; a separate recycling pickup from the curb-side trash collection. The list goes on.

Nobody likes tax increases, but for every project, program, service or ordinance that we have, a whole lot of others are put off — even when the need is dire — because there’s simply no way to afford them…and there’s just no meat left on the proverbial bones of the budget that we control (short of raising taxes). Things like replacing outdated storm sewers, crumbling bridges and roads, maintaining riparian zones along roads outside of the city and repairing heavily eroded sections of streams feeding our lake stay on the to-do-sometime list. Again, the list goes on.

Which brings me to my reason for writing this…

I recently had the good fortune of participating in a “Brown Bag Lunch Presentation” with a small, but esteemed group of fly fishing bloggers – hosted by Chris Hunt, National Communications Director at Trout Unlimited — the first in a series of phone discussions that will revolve primarily around conservation issues and efforts, but will most likely extend into other industry-related issues as well.

The inaugural presentation belonged to Dave Perkins, Vice chairman at Orvis, and Elizabeth Maclin, TU’s vice president for eastern conservation. The topic: the Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles Campaign.

If you are unfamiliar with the campaign, as I was, the goal is to reconnect 1,000 miles of fishable streams by repairing, replacing or removing poorly constructed culverts that impede the path of water and spawning fish. Ultimately, addressing these culverts will not only result in better flow from these important tributaries of larger rivers, which improves water quality, habitat the overall health of fish populations — they’ll help effect a positive environmental change in the larger watersheds themselves. Our watersheds. Projects are underway in Kinne Brook (MA), the upper Connecticut River (NH), the Shenandoah valley (VA), Big Slough Creek (WI), the Deschutes River (OR), the Bear River (WY), among many others.

In order to help ensure the success of the program, Orvis has generously committed to match donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $90,000. Give $100 and you’re actually giving twice that much. That’s huge.

It’s programs like this and many others that need our support — where private businesses and citizens (or public/private partnerships) are picking up the torch and getting things done. As high as we think taxes are, and as far as we think they should go and what they should be spent on, the uncomfortable reality is that there’s less and less control of that at the local level (and they could go much higher). I’m not saying that we shouldn’t continue to hold our elected officials and City Managers accountable for fighting tirelessly on our behalf, being fiscally responsible and seeing the long-term — I am saying that the more we’re able to take an active role in conserving or improving our immediate environment and resources, the more we hold ourselves accountable for fighting on the behalf of our environment, the better.

Please click the Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles link in the sidebar to the right for more information or to make a donation.

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Filed under Fatherhood and venison jerkey, Poetry

BALANCE

Cam Smythe was many years and many miles from his small-town childhood in the woods and water of Upstate NY. The quick smile, quiet confidence and thoughtful, inquisitive nature he had as a kid translated into a personality that put everyone around him at ease as an adult. Cam’s earliest memories were of fishing with his dad for early-summer bass from a canoe, calling geese from ground blinds tucked in late-season corn-stubble and toting a backpack full of Bowhunter, Field & Stream, Trout and Fly Rod & Reel to school for grade-school show-and-tell. They had stayed as sharp in his head as the first girl he kissed and the smell of the lilacs in her parent’s backyard. He had a mind that valued those details. They all mattered, even the fleeting ones.

His dad, a freelance writer and life-long outdoorsman, had always stressed the importance of good stewardship when it came to the land they hunted and the water they fished. Nature knows how to take care of itself, son. It has a way of finding its own balance. But when humans push the resource too hard – when they don’t respect the value of what they have – then nature needs good people to stand up for it.

Eventually, Cam’s fly fishing interests expanded to pretty much any species that swam in any of the lakes, ponds, rivers and streams that were within biking-distance of his parent’s house. With this new territory also came the realization of just how poorly people treated the water he was fishing. Trash. Worn, muddy trails and trampled brush. Fuel rainbows on the water’s surface. With each passing season, Cam internalized the value of his dad’s words more and more.

**

Four or five generations back, Cam had a great-grandmother who was full-blood Blackfoot Indian. His dad had told him how she lived up near Winnipeg after marrying a French Canadian, but that the Blackfoot Confederacy spanned from Alberta all the way south to the Yellowstone River. It was this land that the Blackfoot, Shoshone and other Native tribes ceded to the U.S. government with the understanding that they would retain hunting rights, which were eventually stripped away as well. In a way, this was Cam’s first introduction to the meaning of invasive species.

His dad’s gaze once fell on the Tetons, the Park’s southern sentinels, while on a trip west, driving north from Idaho Falls to fly fish the Henry’s Fork. He could feel Yellowstone’s pull in his soul, but never made it into the Park, even after being that close. Never got to see the immense expanses of open valleys and timbered slopes. Herds of elk, pronghorn and bison in their purposeful roaming. Never got to hold a native westslope cutthroat, perfect bronze-orange and flexing in his hand after falling for a hopper pattern. And with rainbows and lake trout steadily decimating cutthroat populations in the Yellowstone watershed since their introduction, it was likely that his father’s missed opportunity would be the fate of all anglers in due time. This weighed heavily on Cam.

Yellowstone was a place of myth and giant-ness to him. Even after 12 years of calling Ashton, Idaho home as a backcountry fishing and hunting guide, the Park was still almost unfathomable. It represented the original perfection of his country, its open spaces and wildlife, and the value of conserving those resources. It was where his quiet heroes, Native Americans and men like Jim Bridger, lived their simple, rugged and deliberate lives. Where the world existed in its gracious and unforgiving balance, and humankind fit where it was able. And where Trout Unlimited, the Yellowstone Park Foundation, Outdoor Blogger Network and others – his quiet heroes of today – work to raise awareness and restore some of that balance.

Cam had moved west for many reasons. From a very young age, he knew he’d head for big sky and big country to live his life according to his passion for hunting and fishing. Cam also knew that it was his responsibility to be one of the people that stand up for the environment and the wildlife, as his dad had said. He understood better than most the effect of invasive species and how they push native species into smaller and smaller areas until the natives and their resources simply disappear. While the genetics of his Native American roots had thinned through the generations, their spirit and the west were still very much in his blood. He was there to make a difference.

There was one other important reason at play though. Standing on the shore of Yellowstone Lake with his dad, looking out over the expanse of glass reflecting first light, he knew that it was going to be a perfect day for cutthroat on the fly. The first time since Cam had moved west that they were actually getting to fish for them in Yellowstone together. Cam watched his dad adjust his well-worn Simms ball-cap and smile over his last sip of coffee. Actually, it was already a perfect day.

This is my submission for the Trout UnlimitedSimmsYellowstone Park Foundation and Outdoor Blogger Network – Blogger Tour 2012 contest.

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Filed under Fatherhood and venison jerkey, On the water

WEEKEND SORTIES

The school bus comes every weekday morning at twelve after eight. It stops out front of the house, pausing traffic in both directions for about sixty seconds before roaring off with the kids and their perpetual bed-head.

Between this daily morning routine, our debilitating spring weather and the fact that I’ve actually had work on my desk since I changed my professional status to “Freelance Writer,” all the time I anticipated being able to enjoy in the woods or on the water has been held to short Saturday/Sunday strikes. While these outings are still better than a sharp stick in the eye, when school lets out this June, the kid’s excitement about summer vacation will pale in comparison to my Alice Cooper-driven cries of seasonal freedom and warm-weather anarchy.

In the mean-time, taking advantage of what time I’m offered, I managed two sorties this past weekend–fishing for browns Saturday afternoon and hunting turkey Sunday morning.

In the process of developing a member-getting and involvement-motivating campaign for a local chapter of Trout Unlimited, Grant, Dean and I were on a mission to fish dries for native browns in a permission only stretch on the Oatka so Grant could get some more quality images. We had been out a few weeks earlier on a different stretch for the same purpose in significantly colder weather, but with far better water levels. On this particular afternoon however, the river wasn’t blown out, but the chocolate milk running high between the banks had the fish waiting for a far more favorable stream report. We should be so smart.

In the end, the sun did come out just long enough for Grant to get some solid shots of Dean and I doing our damnedest to rouse browns from their cover. I did get a second chance to give flight to my new Flytooth Razorstrike fly line*, which lit out over the water like silk-slick poetry, turning over a weighted #6 olive-and-black wooly bugger, and a couple split-shot to boot, as if it had only a #16 Hendrickson in tow. And we did get to sit on the bank awhile without a single obligation weighing on our time, except the welcome invitation to a tuna-noodle casserole dinner from Dean’s wife.

By four fifty-five the next morning I was set up in a Primos Predator pop-up blind with two turkey decoys in the field out front, a Thermos full of coffee, a couple breakfast bars and a pheasant squawking to three other roosters from the dark about 40 yards away. A steady, light rain took up with the northwest wind around 6 and I sat, dry and smoking my pipe, while the strutting-tom decoy waggled and turned slowly on its stake.

By 7 I managed to get a few gobbles from adjacent fields in response to my calls, but their commitments stayed distant. Over the next hour the pheasant, a rooster and hen pair, picked their way across the field, continuing their call/response with the other three pairs; a drake and mallard cut across the front of the blind on a silent, hard-line approach to light on the dead-still pond behind me; a pair of geese honked their way from the sky to touch-down in the next field out from mine; and a pretty doe appeared from the thick brush and browsed her way to within 30 yards of the blind. She spotted the decoys, stomped and flagged a few times, took a couple casual bounds and wandered off.

As I made my way back to the truck in the rain with my backpack, decoy bag, shotgun and the bag-packed pop-up blind, I could feel the last two days in my back and shoulders–and I was thankful for it.

Mission accomplished.

* I’ll be writing a more extensive review of the Razorstrike fly line once I get to actually tie into some fish. Any fish.

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Filed under In the woods, On the water, Reviews