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Michael Gracie

Scott T3h Two-Handed Fly Rods, in pictures

Introduced to them nearly eighteen months ago, I now find myself using Scott T3h two-handed fly rods almost exclusively – not to discount the groundbreaking, magnificent Scott Radian, but on my last fishing excursion I packed nothing but. I’m still learning how to employ the rods properly, but expect competency to be achieved long before I become food for worms. In the meantime I’m having mucho fun with them.

Scott T3h Fly Rods

The Quiver

Despite my present gross ineptitude point on the learning curve with these works of art, James Snyder of Hoodlum Photography asked to grab some pictures of the rods. I agreed to providing the product – he acquiesced there would be no action shots involved (he’d previously captured some already). Hence, said photos turned out very nice.

You can find the gallery here.

MG signing off (no need to ask why I own a fourteen foot nine weight, because I’m not talking…yet)

Website. Food. Fight. Photo.

Sometime between thinking about how our newfound friends could kick our asses, and eating double-thick-cut bacon we’d marinated in molasses, we launched a gosh-darn website.

Hoodlum Photography is now alive and kickin’, right in your jaw if you are not lookin’. It’ all about mixed martial arts photography, if your brain ain’t a-cookin’.

We chowed down during the construction phase.

Bacon

MG signing off (to build another server, and get back to that wretched ab-wheel)

Doing the Hoodlum (Photography) Hustle

James Snyder a.k.a. Suburban Carp Pimp is a dynamic human being. While his fly-fishing exploits (and various other adventures) are no longer portrayed to the world via the now defunct Primal Fly blog, there are good reasons. Foremost, he just couldn’t hang with yours truly without high holing every fishery we shared now has a wife and two excellent young boys, and matured in-kind. Further, while he enjoys hearty cuisine and is a well-organized party feast planner and host, he leaned too heavily on others to choose the vintages, properly season the fare, and conjure up the sauces. All while inquiring as to who might be willing to change some diapers.

Add to that, he likes to snap photos. Lots of photos. He has interviewed numerous physicians about the possibility of having a Nikon D300 surgically grafted to his hands.

Hoodlum Photography

Lighting test subject

For Mr. Snyder, taking up photography was like taking up Formula One racing; spend like there is no tomorrow hoping to find the edge, and then move exceedingly fast. He had his camera(s) in tow during a past angling outing, but the casual observer could tell the environment just didn’t suit him. And the space is extraordinarily crowded, to the chagrin of every person with the power to distribute industry “pro forms”. Wedding photography perhaps? The Snyders eloped.

“How about still lifes, like of food and drink. I like food and drink,” quizzed James.

“Not playing prep chef Snyder. And your boxed wine ain’t winning any medals,” I retorted.

(more…)

Bent Rod

I hope Snyder keeps up with his new found camera fetish. That way I get the whole river to myself.

MG signing off (to round the next bend)

Bigfoot sighted trampling trout on Clear Creek

For the first time in history Bigfoot has been captured in a photo while playing the hunter/gatherer role. He’s caught here in this exclusive image trampling fish in Clear Creek:

Bigfoot

Click the photo to enlarge

This intrepid wildlife photographer observed the beast pointing out his quarry with a Sage ZXL 386-4/Click III combo, and then pummeling them into submission with what appeared to be a size 22 Korkers boot #16 Parachute Adams. It was a life changing event, observing such behavior. Not lost either – how fashionable Bigfoot looks when geared up for his fishing adventures.

Meanwhile, requests for reuse of this amazing photo by National Geographic and the Discovery Network have been pouring in all morning.

MG signing off (because being in the right place at the right time is all that matters)

Sea trout, the other brown meat

Low and behold, I’m spending my winter/spring transition in the salt. Captain James “Grand Poobah” Snyder (a.k.a. Commander-In-Chief, Primal Fly South), is my host. Before we begin I’ll note for the record that the ambiance down here is first-class through and through (or maybe GP and his sidekick Sissy “The Brains AND the Beauty” Sessanna are just happy I do my own dishes). Either way, it’s nothing but a steaming pile of tasty Sunshine State goodness. And the weather ain’t too shabby either.

The first week was filled with nothing but work, and despite a holiday shortened week Friday was welcomed with open arms. Then this morning we embarked on a critical first mission: find out if all the fish in Tampa Bay were killed by last month’s cold snap. We are now happy to report they were not. While we didn’t spot any “spots” all day, we did have a couple hour period around the tide change where we chalked up some serious sea trout counts. Adding to the fun – the boats around us weren’t even snagging debris, and at least one of our crew (cough cough) was throwing flies to boot.

Yes, the previously mentioned devout fly tosser is yours truly. Even sadder than it seems, Captain Snyder (a.a.k.a. Trout Lichtenstein) has gone from slaying the freshwater derivative of Salmo trutta morpha trutta with a fine 4-weight and size 20 Jujubaetis to slinging jig-headed plastic with something called a “spinning rod.” I watched this wretched device in action with my own two eyes – while it can be used to catch fish I find the methodology uncivilized…actually borderline criminal. The fish I caught were generally smaller, and I did mar up Captain “Should I Stop For Some Live Shrimp Before We Hit The Ramp” Snyder’s boat deck with my dry-rotted wading booties. Nevertheless, my heart remains pure.

Tune in next week, where we debate whether the stuff Captain James “My Boat Is Pink…How Bout That Bitches” Snyder coats on his plastics before each and every cast is called Lunker Lotion, Bottled Bait Breath, or just plain ol’ cheating.

MG signing off (to keep casting flies, like a good boy should)

Turning brownliners into Blue

Tyler Kendrick producing on a Gracie rigDodging turds in water you must first check with a geiger counter is more than any fly fisher should be forced to endure. Let’s face the facts – urban water is putrid, ugly stuff, and a fly fisher cannot reconnect with Mother Nature when they are deciphering graffiti and snagging submerged retreads. As a man oft described as caring and selfless, undeniably altruistic, I’ve taken it upon myself to try and rehabilitate a few of these brownlining folks.

Places and People

Last Saturday I again marched to the Blue River, described by some of the Orvis Cherry Creek folks as my home water. Precede that categorization with spring and you’ve got yourself a deal – I adore the Blue this time of the year, and will generally fish it hard right through caddis semester. I had Primal Fly mastermind James Snyder in tow once again, along with his colleague David Luna and bunny tying extraordinaire Tyler Kendrick.

Tough Love

I’d like to say we slayed trouts with reckless abandon, but around here we’re also trying to quash the general consensus that all fishermen are liars. A grand total sixteen fish were netted amongst us, a tally made all the more dismal considering we spent nine hours trying. Worse…two rods, a Loop Multi and a Scott A2, were broken (one through carelessness and one through Murphy’s Law), and one fine Rio Gold fly line was frazzled (although me thinks that was a manufacturer’s defect). A dozen plus flies were lost.

Beauty near day's endThe fishing results themselves were somewhat expected. I’d missed out on a Friday invitation, and the report back was a handful each. Those doing the reporting were more skilled than I, so the assumption was things were slowing down a bit. Nevertheless, what can go wrong will go wrong, and that includes having not a cloud in the sky.

On a positive note, what fish we did catch were gorgeous. Rosy cheeks and fat bellies. Like repetitive visits from Santa Claus, in May. And after breaking his rod early on and enduring an additional (undesirable) slog to the vehicle and back, Mr. Kendrick was able to put it behind him and pick up the fish of the day, a 22/23-ish rainbow in a difficult spot (and with the author’s rig…damn I’m a nice guy, eh?).

Intensive, long-term counseling should steer these dirty water thugs towards the road to recovery. I may not be the most qualified man for the job, but heck…someone’s gotta do it!

A ‘Try Not To Smile Too Much’ Moment in Brownlining

Dirty Duner

Snyder wannabe
Wipe that hobo-dodging smirk off your face

Taken on a Barr’s Emerger. And lived to tell about it.

The horror.