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Michael Gracie

Why You Shouldn’t Fly Fish For Tuna

Besides the fact they are hell on gear and possibly nearing endangerment …

On a lighter note, “Wahlbergs” were a persistent feature of the last trip, but you had to be there to understand.

MG signing off (seeing lions – and tigers and bears – but fearing only the tuna)

Runoff Blues

Literally.

colorado snowpack

Filling up Lake(s) Powell and Mead until further notice.

MG signing off (praying for rain and then casting to tadpoles)

Destination charges not included

When engaged in fly-fishing travel off the beaten path, it is important to follow a rigorously tested set of guidelines, thereby ensuring a prosperous expedition. Thankfully, yours truly is a bonafide hack certified beta tester for adventure travel policies and procedures, and since I got stiffed on my retainer didn’t request compensation for the latest excursion, I am going to outline a few of the more important points fearing no copyright, trademark or other infringement …

  1. When your mothership runs a hundred-fifty nautical miles of ten-foot seas on one screw, the outfitter may proffer a liter of tequila as compensation for the suffering [of those who didn’t discover the magic of Sea-Bands when they were six years old]. When this happens, be sure to consume the entire bottle within a few short hours, then strategically place the empty bottle in a plainly visible location. This sends a clear message: you are tougher than nails and cannot be beat want more tequila. Lots more. An alternative approach is to get yourself some Sea-Bands, sell them to another in the group that is seasick, and then you will have money to buy more tequila for yourself.
  2. tequila bottle

    Message in a bottle

  3. If you are sharing an island with roughly 1010,000 … 10,000,000 migratory fowl that squawk in unison all hours of the day and night, carry earplugs (which just so happen to be equally effective on the wood-cutting noise that emanates from sleeping anglers). Further, if you are hunkering down in a partially blown out storm shelter, be sure to note the vertical height of crumbling plaster on the interior walls a.k.a. the flood line. If said measure exceeds two feet, as it did in this test case, sleep on an air mattress; if a hurricane sweeps through you can float to safety. Lastly, do not under any circumstances leave whatever windows that remain in this habitat open – at least half of those previously mentioned birds will swoop through and subsequently crash into a wall at breakneck speed. They usually recover, but it is nevertheless not a pretty sight to watch.
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Fly-Fishing DirtBag(s)

non·de·script
/ˌnändəˈskript/

adjective
1. lacking distinctive or interesting features or characteristics.
“he carries nondescript bags while traveling in third-world countries so as to attract minimal attention”

synonyms: undistinguished, unremarkable, unexceptional, featureless, characterless, faceless, unmemorable, lackluster;

antonyms: flashy, brand-conscious, compensating for something, the sucker P.T. Barnum was talking about.

dirtbags

Hidden within are enough Scott fly rods, Abel reels, and Airflo lines – critical implements exceptionally engineered – to complete the task at hand. Not forgotten: the Frodo Baggins apparel and medical supplies (including antibiotics and a suture kit – nice having friends in surgical professions). Also, flies … fancy too. Plus the ones yours truly tied.

MG signing off (because only poor workmen blame their tools – the rest pin failure on their nasty hangovers)

Hallowed Waters of Mystery, Intrigue, and Bad Oarsmanship

This.

  • Three #14 Parachute Adams, two #16 LaFontaine Sparkle Caddis Pupa, and one #14 Tan Elk Hair Caddis fooling two dozen brown trouts – about $5
  • Five hours of road time and the number of a reliable shuttle service now permanently ensconced in the Rolodex – roughly $120
  • Yours truly getting the boat wedged in a rock wall, culminating in no grand tragedy other than a horrified look on his face …

eddy

Priceless.

MG signing off (because you knew the punch line already)

Saltwater Flats Flies

Pile of. Flats.

Saltwater Flies

Desk. Pack next.

MG signing off (because composition.)

Alex Landeen Does Blog

Master photographer of all things with a trigger just got a new pair of shoes …

alex landeen

When you lose roughly a squillion pounds while on a subsistence diet [of rainbow trout and rice] it’s hard to call yourself a “Fat Guy” anymore. So Alex Landeen got himself a new blog too.

MG signing off (because the jury’s still out on the suit thing)

Line winding station

When it absolute, positively has to be there overnight (and/or rigged with your own two hands) …

fly line winding station

The stainless container was a five buck setback; pens are readily available via any manner of office visit.

MG signing off (because overnight is still a month away)

Largesse

lar·gesse
lärˈZHes,-ˈjes
noun
1. generosity in bestowing money or gifts upon others.

largesse

“Largesse”

On that particular day the human on the poling platform did bestow enormous gifts upon the passengers of his vessel. It was the pre-digital age, making the memory all the more special.

Other titles contemplated for this ole timey photograph included …

  • “A 12-weight Blew Up”
  • “Keep At It While We Eat Lunch”
  • “Handsome Devil Used To Have Hair”

MG signing off (to reminisce another day)

Gear Review: Smith Optics Elite Tactical Sunglasses

gear bagSitting at a lunch meeting, my colleague squints and rubs their eyes.

“Peeps bugging you?” I ask.

“Yea, it’s these damn sunglasses. Every time I drive for more than a few hours with them on my eyes get really tired.”

“Hmm … are they polarized?”

“Yep.”

As a fisherman, I’d come to wearing polarized sunglasses almost exclusively. Every place, every day, and experienced the same, worn, tired eyes after prolonged face time. But I was loathe to seek an alternative, likely requiring I give up the matte-finish, full-coverage frames I’d grown accustomed to.

Smith Elite Tactical Sunglasses

Full frame AND maximum impact resistance

Aww, scratch all that bullshit above. After the jump comes the real reason I switched to these sunglasses (spoiler: it ain’t because I got a “hookup”) …

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