Tales of mountain excursions and craft beer

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Fish On!

Its been a busy summer, but I’ve still managed to get out on the water. I’ve explored some new spots, while visiting the usuals with some new and old partners.

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My brother came out earlier this summer to visit CU and learned how to fly fish. We took him up to the mountain to chase some cutties on his first backpacking trip. We found some…

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A few weeks later, my wife and I’s parents came out a for a weekend in Salida. Here’s my dad with his first fish on a fly rod.

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While the ladies went shopping, the guys went on a guided trip with ArkAnglers.

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After learning the basics, fish were caught.

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Persistence always pays off!

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What a fish to end the day with!

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Surprise Powder Day Version 2.0

Check out this extended edit that Alex put together. More powder, more face shots, and more of Buster!

 

I’ll admit it. I’ve finally caved in and have seen the light. These new GoPro’s are pretty awesome. The video quality that comes out of these tiny cameras is amazing, and yet they’re very simple to use! I’m definitely looking forward to getting some fish/biking shots with it in the summer.

Suprise Powder Day

Much to our surprise, twelve inches of new snow fell overnight in the Indian Peak. It was a pretty awesome day out, definitely one of my best this season. Here’s a great video Alex put together, hope you enjoy!

Fly Tying

This period of high avalanche danger is just making me want to fish. So lately, I’ve been spending a few nights a week tying up some stuff for the summer. I’ve been tying my go-to #18-22 nymphs to stock up my box, while tying some occasional dries to work on some technique.

Rubber Leg Stonefly

Copper John

Fly Box

Happy New Year!

After spending Christmas with Becca’s family, we headed up to Jackson, WY to visit our friend Aaron and ring in the New Year. It was a great way to end the year and 2014 should be even better!

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The Return of Winter

“Beeeep…Beeep..Beep.”

“Good to Go!”, your friend says as he checks your avalanche beacon. A high-five sends you down the trail on your first tour of the season.

Swish. Swish. Swish. The familiar sound of touring skins gliding on the snow once again graces your ears. A slight breeze blows down the new snow from the treetops. It’s good to be out again!

Ten minutes after leaving, your hip flexors start screaming at you. Your feet throb with each step as they reacquaint themselves with your ski boots. You’re sweating like a pig, and it’s 15 degrees outside. You’ve finally realized that you’re out of shape. Because instead of running up and down mountains, you drank beer and went fishing. Dry-heaves fill the gaps between conversation. You’ve made this approach many times, but the first day is always the roughest. Regardless, you smile because you get to go skiing again.

Shit. You left your lunch on the kitchen counter. A friend offers you half of their sandwich, along with some trail mix that has likely been in their pack since the Spring. It’s beginning to look like you’re buying beers at the end of the day. Oh well.

The winds at the top are bone-chilling. You get ready as fast as you can, bobbling your gear as you transition and looking like a total rookie. Descent plans are discussed and a lineup has been made. You’re nervous about making that first turn, do you even remember how to ride? That time comes and you disappear into the white room…

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At the bottom, your friends grins are as big as your own. Until the moment you realize you left your pant vents open and snow made it’s way in…now they’re grinning even more.  Everyone transitions to uphill mode without even asking, “Wanna do another lap?”.

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Back at the local brewery, everyone celebrates another opening day with a round of beers. The excitement of another season is evident as plans are already being made for next weekend, and beyond. It’s good to be back on snow, sharing the skin track with your best friends and making memories with every turn. Winter has returned!

Men Are Equal Before Fish

“I have met fish in many aspects. As Secretary of Commerce I dealt with their economic aspects. If anyone wants to know the need, the method or the urgency of conservation, I refer him to my reports of that time. They indicate the importance of fish in relation to food and employment, including the hotels, auto camps, and tackle makers.

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But my emotional interest in fish, man and boy over seventy years, has been other aspects of this industry-which are also important.

The human animal originally came from out-of-doors. When spring begins to move in his bones, he just must get out again. Moreover, as civilization, cement pavements, office buildings, radios have overwhelmed us, the need for regeneration has increased, and the impulses are even stronger.

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When all the routines and details and the human bores get on our nerves, we just yearn to go away from here to somewhere else. To go fishing is a sound, a valid, and an accepted reason for an escape. It requires no explanation.

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Nor is it the fish we get that counts. We could buy them in the market for mere silver at one percent of the cost.

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It is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of the sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week.

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And it is discipline in the equality of men-for all men are equal before fish. And the contemplation of the water, the forest, and mountains soothes our troubles, shames our wickedness, and inspires us to esteem our fellowmen-especially other fishermen.

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And the aspects of this sport have progressed with the march of civilization. Not only in improved tackle, but from spitting on the bait for magic and incantations, we have moved forward to cosmetics for artificial flies and wonders in special clothes and bags with pigeonholes for everything, including the mosquito repellents. We no longer call it a “pole,” for it is a “rod”; and we no longer say that a fish “bites,” he now “strikes.”

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Nor is fishing a rich man’s regeneration. That boy with the worm and a grin is always a reminder that men are equal before fish.

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Moreover, while we are steadily organizing increased production of leisure time, the production of what to do with it still lags greatly. And the more leisure, the more crime. We have great machinery for joy, some of it destructive, some of it synthetic, much of it mass production. We go to chain theaters and movies. We watch somebody else knock a ball over the fence or kick it over the goal post.

I do that and I believe in it. But these forms of organized joy are sadly lacking in the beatitudes which surround the fish. We gain none of the lift of soul coming from a return to the solemnity, the calm, and the inspiration of primitive nature. Furthermore, no one commits crime while fishing.” - Hebert Hoover, September 1951

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