Saturday, September 29, 2012
Today we have a guest post from my buddy Loran Kerrigan from Peak7 Adventures, regarding her experiences with the Redington Sonic Pro Waders, made specifically for women.
Loran and her husband Ryan run Peak7, a fantastic organization that give disadvantaged youth a chance to experience the great outdoors through rafting, camping, climbing and more. Hopefully in the future we can get them to expand their offerings to fly fishing!
You could say I come from a fishing family.
Being from Cincinnati, OH my dad grew us up going to the Boundary Water Wilderness Canoe Area
(BWWCA) in Minnesota and Canada. I learned what portage was and how to fish and camp up there.
My brother who is ten years older spent his college summers and furthermore into graduate school as a professional fly fishing guide on the Flathead River through Spotted Bear Ranch.
I would visit him several times and he taught me how to fly fish. Of course, at first he took us to the holes where trout would jump at anything, so I was hooked on the fly from then on. We'd stalk fish from boulders above and land them. It was awesome.
There was only and has only been one problem, my gear! I have always borrowed my brother's and dad's gear, which is never cut right for women and generally makes a long day on the water much longer.
The fishing world has taken notice to what ladies need as I now have my own pair of female specific waders, the Redington Women Sonic Pros
They are so cute, with double zippers and the teal Redington logo on the front pocket. Despite the cute and creative girlie accents, the waders are very comfortable and technical. The hip belt is easy to maneuver, although. I wish you could pull the slack tight against the belt without having a slack loop, but I just tucked the strap into the belt loop, so it was smooth, without a big webbing loop when tightened.
The neoprene feet socks may not feel form fitting, but when you put your boots on,they fit perfectly inside the boot and are very comfortable. I have worn my waders now in the Spokane, Provo and Clearwater and love the waders so much.
But, I think after getting suited up and getting in the car at Clearwater, I realized that I should probably have the size M/L, which means medium/long. I don't have as much flex in the knee
and leg area to bend down. They're fine, but when I get my next pair, I'll get the M/L, as I am 5'9
The fabric of the wader is not Gore-Tex, but one that is very similar and just as good. I have been wading to a deep as the bottom of my breast pockets and evenhad my phone in the pocket for pictures and they're completely dry and safe. The straps and suspenders detach along with a front zipper, making accessibility and adjusting super easy and comfortable.
Needless to say, I really do love my Sonic Pro Women's Waders! I'll never ever go back to borrowing men's waders, it's not worth it now that I know the feeling of being comfy and cute on the water!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
You have to see it. You have to put your boots in it. You have to interact with the people.
The Skeena River system is an enchanting place. It's a place that gets in your soul.
The week long trip to BC to fish the legendary rivers and stream of the Skeena River system was a week to remember, but not for just catching fish. No, it was the impact on the three guys that shared a truck, tent and raft for 9 days.
22 hours of travel and we arrived, fishing tributaries like the Bulkley and the Morice. The rivers up there are made for Steelhead and Salmon and it's amazing to see a intact river system without dams and with the habitat needed for continued and sustained runs.
The floats we made were different every day, from the broad runs on the Bulkley, the S curves of the Morice and the intimate low water conditions we found on the Kispiox. Plain and simple, after the first day where we felt like kings on the end of the day was very tough. High sun and low water doesn't always equal paydirt.
I will always remember walking around a bend on the first morning with the fog lifting on the river to see my father and buddy Taylor in sync with their D loops ready to spring forward into action.
The fish or I should say, several fish, that I will remember are the ones that gave the tip off that they were there with slight pulls and big tugs but never came connected.
Those are the ones that will bring me back another time to soak up the greatness of the region.
Next up....a profile on an organization of Hooligans that are kicking the shite out of major oil consortiums in their effort to protect the Skeena's Sacred Headwaters.
Don't miss it.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Ohhh, it's so big!
That's what she said...bammmmm!
In the small town of Houston, BC is the world's biggest fly rod. I find this ironic because there's nothing in this town that is set up to accommodate fishermen or women. Like the world's largest rubber band ball, it's one of those things you have to pull over and take a picture of, and seriously it's massive
Word is on the street is that Airflo is working on a skagit head to fit this guy. On second thought, not so much.
One more night in BC and then back to the states, Ammmmmurica Baby. We took a royal beatdown in the northland but rest assured, we will be back in due time. It's too special a place, once experienced you have to return.
More stories to follow. Some good, some bad, but all in all a hell of a trip.
Monday, September 17, 2012
The confirmation of why we drove 20 hours to get here was loud and clear as Taylor's Hardy Reel sang it's sweet song. The fish blew up his muddler and cartwheeled down the river at a breakneck speed.
The best part was hearing Taylor hoot and holler each time the fish cleared the water's surface only to smack down with a loud whack on the drink.
"Hooo Leee Shhhhhhhit"
That phrase does a fantastic job at describing day 1 of our BC steelhead adventure.
More to come!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
On our northward quest for Steelhead, we were treated to some awesome Canadian hospitality.
Our friends had dinner waiting for us, and beer on ice. So damn amazing after 14 hours in the car, it was like a gift from above
We were about to break out the whiskey we brought and our hosts said, "save that, lets get a bottle delivered"
"Yeah, we can have booze delivered. You should try Wisers."
Um, what? Did you say what I think you just said?
Blank stares from us back to our hosts.
So there was where we discovered that at least in this BC town, bottle delivery up to 12 Midnight was an option.
Oh Lordy, the possibilities!
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
The truth of the day....
Fly fishing is a very small community.
Get to know a few of the people around the fly fishing community and you end up playing the six degrees of separation....but usually it doesnt last that long before you find mutual friends.
The Vanilla Gorilla from Evolution Anglers is a good buddy of mine who guides out of the Stonefly Inn in Twin Bridges, Montana
On the other hand, I have a great client who lives in Seattle and is an ardent fly fisherman. Eric's one of the guys in the advertising industry that I have tried to model myself after. He's a hell of a dood.
I get a call from Eric a couple days ago, and the message was something like this
"Hey headed to Montana to fish with a big group of buddies in our annual fishing tournament"
Damn, sounds like a good time
Yesterday, the Vanilla Gorilla calls to tell me he's fishing in some tournament around Missoula as a break from his normal guide schedule.
Well I be damned....the same tournament.
The fly fishing community is small, but I like it that way.
Monday, September 10, 2012
How far are you willing to go.....to answer the bell coming from Steelhead Valhalla?
For us, the answer lies in 868 miles and over 17 hours of travel time.
Saturday begins our journey.
Looking at the pile of gear that the 3 of us are assembling probably rivals the tonnage of most travelers that undertook the Oregon Trail.
457 flies, 12 spey rods and a couple of single handers for skating, all associative camping gear, clothing, so on and so forth
Excitement mixed with a tinge of nervousness. A delicious cocktail.
So as the head hits the pillow, there are 5 more days between us and a lot of pavement.
That's OK, a magnet with fins will be pulling us northward.
Friday, September 7, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Eyewear....damn critical in this funny little fly flinging game we play.
A few months back I was given the opportunity to field test the new line of shades from REVO
The Headway model is new to their lineup and I have to say, they're pretty damn amazing. I'm fanatical about my glasses, and with a massive noggin to fit, finding the right ones for me is a tall order
They're the best shades I've ever had, hands down.
Why do I like them? Well here's 10 reasons why they earn the Chucking Line and Chasing Tail Royal Stamp of Approval.
1. Glass Lenses--Heavy without being heavy....a vast difference from the plastic lenses of my old models
2. They fit my huge face. As said above, it can be an issue
3. Ever lost your sunblockers to the depths of a lake or into the river. Check this VIDEO out, as REVO has developed a system to make that a non issue from here on out. Bonus!
4. They meet the bosses approval for non fishing, aka everyday life use. Not going to lie, she said they make me look hot. Wait....maybe I made that second part up, but wifey approval is always a must
5. Mega Polarization. Really, this should be the #1 reason in this list and I cant underscore how impressed I was with how well they cut down the glare on the water. Fish beware, I can see you better now.
6. I run a lot, and nothing's worse than shades bopping up all around on your face forcing you to just give up and take them off. These guys dont do that. These Headways give you a snug fit and the tight springs in the earpieces lock you into place.
7. They have a pretty bomber warranty. I am sure I will have to put this into place sometime and it is comforting, at least in what they say on their web site, that warranty work wont be an issue
8. The frames are made from either re-used material or partially derived from castor bean seeds, a kick arse sustainable resource
9. My son approves, he's always trying to steal them from me.
10. Big time field of vision.
All kidding aside, these are a really great example of Revo Sunglasses marrying technology with fit and function.
As in any review, I always look to see what I would change if I was the product designer. This is a very nitpicky deal, but with the straps that tether to the glasses have a buoy on them.....it's rather large. It must have to do with the weight of the glasses (a good thing) and the need to have an appropriate amount high density foam to keep the glasses from submerging. In any event, I would do everything to reduce the size of the buoy
But really, that isnt a deal breaker at all.
Interested in learning more, hit them up on FB and or visit their WEB SITE to check out their entire lineup.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The blog Dawn Patrol reminded me of one of a post I threw up at random a few months back and I thunk to myself..."self...it's time to reprise that role"
And I agreed with myself.
Thus, a new series is now born.
The Tuesday Truths. Here's your first entry in the series.
9 out of 10 fish hate hooks in their mouths. The 10th is a hatchery steelhead with a death wish, and in that case, you're just doing him/her a favor.
Have some other truths rolling around in your dome, send an email to
jmills81 at hotmail dot com and we'll post em up here every Tuesday.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Looking at this picture, it brings a sense of deja vu.
I promise you if you were to look back at the photo's from my childhood, you'd find a picture of me watching intently as my father clean our day's catch.
The same spot on the dock at the family cabin.
The same knife.
The same fish.
It all starts early. The observation leads to a monkey see, monkey do mentality in the boy.
Hopefully these impressions last a lifetime.