fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)


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what we saw the week before this Wednesday (2011-08-10)

  • Bummer…wish I got the World Fishing Network so I could watch the #Orvis Guide to #FlyFishing show… http://ow.ly/5ZcGO http://ow.ly/5ZcHG#
  • #Fishing report from the good ol’ days used to illustrate “…decisions made then, and the present we have inherited.” http://ow.ly/5Zc9P #
  • Got good local trout water? An article on closest to me: http://ow.ly/5Z95Y Challenging #flyfishing venue that might improve in 10-15 years. #
  • Redington first #flyfishing manufacturer at Outdoor Retailer show. Good for industry outreach, but will it crowd waters? http://ow.ly/5XN6S #
  • Is a man thing – or just me – to enjoy the smell of vulcanized rubber in the Costco tire shop? #


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what we see… (03/09/2011)

  • Something worth celebrating…the one-year anniversary of year-round artificial lures and barbless regulations on Putah Creek, and its connection to Creedence Clearwater Revival: http://bit.ly/ez1NRw (And cool video on PutahCreekTrout.org: http://bit.ly/dRP1pE
  • The Naturalist’s Angle comes up with a must-have (and very cool) fly if you’re chasing salamander-eating fish: http://bit.ly/g2RPHa
  • An obsession with a certain facial feature at Singlebarbed and Trout Underground?: http://bit.ly/hkvmvz; http://bit.ly/eJFEvM; http://bit.ly/eNc1En
  • Not just because I’d love to say my car employs torque vectoring, but because it offers all-wheel drive for those Forest Service roads, a long hatch that’ll fit assembled fly rods, the speed that’ll allow more time on the water, and, most importantly, because it didn’t make the Unaccomplished Angler’s list of Top Six Stupidest Fly Fishing Cars: http://aol.it/i8RlQ6


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darn practicality strikes again

I fancy myself a bit of a car guy, if not in the mechanics of it all, at least in the knowledge of the many models I’ll never be able to afford…

And those who know me will be familiar with my pathological incessant need to research the heck out of anything.

It’ll be another forty to fifty thousand miles, four years and a few handfuls of Benjamins before the time comes to consider another vehicle, but hopes were high since visiting the auto show Thanksgiving week that perhaps an all-purpose solution was on the horizon.

I’ve been following the development of the Mini Countryman, an Oompa Loompa-sized amalgam of the Mini concept (small and space efficient) and a compact SUV. Something that wouldn’t break the bank on my 54-mile commute (EPA MPG estimate of 24/30 to 27/35) but with enough clearance to reach lesser-fished stretches of water in the Sierra Nevadas.

It’s not that I’ve been shy about pushing my Honda Accord down Forest Service roads. One of those roads, not to far from the cabin, eventually transported me and son Christopher to some great fishing along the Stanislaus River. But during that drive and others, I gained more gray hairs than I care to recount and lost a day or two off the back end of my life negotiating some of the less-improved sections in the dark.

The Countryman seemed to offer the best compromise. Kitted properly, it’d be awesome.

Mini Countryman

2011 Mini Countryman: Could be cool, but would I not worry?

Alas, despite being run by a German company known for mechanical brilliance (BMW) the reliability of the Mini brand is decidedly lacking. Something that is a concern for one who’s driven Honda’s for many years and rarely paid for anything but regular maintenance. As an aging guy coming into the prime of his buying power life, something sporty can be very attractive and almost overwhelm thoughts of practicality and dependability. Nonetheless, I scratched the Mini.

I’m also old enough to appreciate those manly utilitarian vehicles of the past. Air conditioning only if you’re lucky, am radio and tasteless graphics standard, and a suspension designed to protect the vehicle, not the passengers. Great for dirt roads. Not so good for my commute.

CJ-5 Ad

When men were men...and wore shirts unbuttoned to their navels...

I’m comforted by the knowledge that a few more new car/SUV designs will emerge in the coming years; perhaps a small SUV with a Prius-like drivetrain. (Don’t laugh, a lot of torque with those electric motors.)

But thinking about it, what I need:

  • a car that can move down the highway at speed,
  • adapt to a change in terrain when needed,
  • possibly cross those wide and/or deep ditches found on USFS roads,
  • bushwhack though unimproved sections of those roads,
  • possibly with night vision capabilities,
  • and some way of summoning help if needed.
Mach 5

Yup, just might be it.


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the best lesson

While I’ll be attending my son’s graduation ceremony in a few hours, in my mind Christopher has already gone through a “graduation” of sorts. Over the past few years he’s taken many small steps, and some big steps, towards gradually becoming a young man anyone might be proud to know.

It’s not been an easy path. But that’s a story for him to tell.

What truly matters is that he’s been considering and examining the next steps in his life, long before his ceremonial graduation on the Sacramento campus of Universal Technical Institute. The ability to look ahead — and appropriately move forward — seems too often shoved aside by young people’s thoughts dwelling on life’s unfairness, a sense of entitlement, laziness, or any combination of these and other excuses factors. This ability to forge ahead is an essential life skill, one of the most important talents one can hope to have in his or her arsenal and one equally applicable to a person’s professional and personal lives. As a parent, it’s a skill that I’ve always hoped would come easily and early to all of my kids.

An education of sorts, for me, coincided with Christopher’s growth during these years. It’s easy, common and sometimes important for a parent to judge a child’s behavior by their own standards. It can be just as valuable, albeit difficult, to consider how a child is viewed by the outside world. Once parents do, they can find pride in knowing that an employer calls upon their son or daughter to fill in when other employees don’t show up. There’s pride in knowing that a son gets up, works a four- or five-hour shift, then drives the 63 miles to campus for a day’s worth of learning, all on his own. Not to mention that he’s one of the top five students in his current course.

In a few hours we will set aside some time to appreciate Christopher’s accomplishments. Greater than those accomplishments, however, will be the (hopefully always) present ability and the wherewithal to move forward, reaching for that better future.  Without looking forward, into many possible futures, it’s likely that my son wouldn’t graduating today.

Good job, and congratulations, Christopher.


Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-raising, they are unemployed.” ~ Erma Bombeck


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zero-to-fishing-spot fast

Now the boy racer in me can plan on dream of racing between fly fishing venues and bring some buddies along. I’d translate the ability of the luggage compartment to accommodate three golf bags to mean four sets of waders, wading boots, vests, and at least eight rods.

The wing will double nicely as a picnic table for streamside lunches.

Read more at the New York Times Wheels Blog and AutoBlog.


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Ford joins pursuit of police market

With the demise of the modified civilian car models thrust — with tweaks — into police duty, we might just see an all-new aftermarket arise in previously abused used cop cars. Lines are forming now.

In this space we’ve mentioned the purpose-built and unique Carbon E7, with its 250 hp diesel power plant, and 28-30 mpg.

Last month General Motors announced its intention to bring a new Caprice to market, tapping the Australian-built Holden Statesman sedan platform, which ironically is already sold under the Caprice nameplate in the Middle East.

Now Ford’s jumped into the game, announcing without specifics, plans to develop an all-new Police Interceptor, perhaps based on the rear-drive Australian-market Ford Falcon.

Maybe soon the Blue Brothers can ride again, this time in a 300+ hp, 6.0-liter V-8 powered sedan with “…cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. … What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile, or what?”

Ford Falcon

Australian Ford Falcon - The Next American Police Interceptor?