Thursday, October 25, 2012


Through my recent travels, I have often found myself wondering what has happened to the simple pleasantries of a good hand shake, the idea of looking someone in the eye when you speak with them and the concept of eating a meal without being buried in a phone or computer.

I am most disheartened by the disappearance of the handshake. Don't get me wrong, the handshake is still widely in use however, what passes for a handshake is what concerns me most. My wife looked at me, with that odd look only a wife can give, a couple years back when I started to show my boys how to shake hands. I continue to reinforce this concept to them every chance I get. This greeting should be firm yet not overbearing, it's not a contest of strength. However, I believe a proper grip can tell you a lot about a person and, conversely, a soft shake reveals the same. During this exchange, eye contact is necessary. Look the person in the eye, don't be distracted or let your gaze flounder. I am so tired of soft, weak handshakes with people whose hands tell me they have never done their own yard work. I have much more respect for a calloused hand.

Again, show some respect to others when they are speaking to you and look at them. All to often, I have sat in meetings and been speaking to a particular person only to have them bury their head in their IPad, charts, graphs or notebook. Hey, I'm over here...you may be much better at multi-tasking however, I took them time to prepare, you should take the time to look at me while we meet and, at least, let me think you are listening.

When I travel, I am a creature of habit. I stay at the same hotels, drive the same routes and usually order room service for breakfast and dinner. Recently, I have taken to going out, alone, for these meals and I am amazed at how many solo diners are buried in a computer of spend the entire length of a meal talking on the phone. What's happened to being able to sit down for dinner and savor a nice glass of Cabernet at the end of a long day? Aside from the fact that I think it's just downright rude to be on the phone in a restaurant, don't you want to enjoy that meal? Are you really able to taste what you are consuming or are you simply eating out of pure necessity?

As a society, we owe much to progress however, I put the cell phone, smart phone, IPhone or tablet into a different category. There are some real benefits to these devices however, the drawbacks outweigh the good. Is conversation becoming a lost art? Handwriting? Love letters? Birthday cards? The list is really endless when you begin to think of all that is changing as a result of "progress".

What else will be gained or lost as we continue to move forward?

Friday, October 19, 2012

In the downpour.

For the longest time, to me, a beautiful day was sunny skies and moderate temperatures. While I enjoy the colder months, at the end of the day, I could really do without them and I would rather live out my days in fall like weather.

Recently, I have been reconsidering what really constitutes a beautiful day. Today allowed me to look at beauty in an entirely different light or, in this case, fog. Due to events beyond my control, work, kids, travel, work, more work - see the pattern?? - I have not been on the water much in the last 3 weeks. Waking this morning to a steady downpour, I decided this would be the morning to get on the board for October. Throwing on my Simms G3 jacket, I grabbed two rigs and headed out the door. While I prefer fishing in the basking warmth of sunshine, I have to say I cannot recall a day that I have enjoyed more than today. Fishing was consistent, not great but steady. The rainfall varied from a gentle mist to all out downpours. There was something eerily calming about the rain coming down around me and the beads of water that dropped from the brow of my ball cap.

It was nice to see the water levels creeping back up to more respectable levels and I began nymphing a run that was again flowing well. This run produced Rainbows that keyed in on the large bottom bouncing green caddis anchor that was rolling deep.

After nymphing for a bit, I decided to chuck some streamers for a bit. I was successful in drawing some fish out to play but not as fortunate to actually hook one. At any rate, it's good to know where the fish are holding. However, I believe that my streamer techniques need some work. I wandered a few hundred yards around the bend to another run I had not fished before today. A couple drifts and a brown found its way to the net.

This is where things began to get a little interesting. This run continued to give up some cookie cutter browns and I continued to take what was offered. Three steps upriver, that's all it took and I was into a brown of epic proportions. This fish put a bend in my rod like no other fish I have ever been into on the Farmington or elsewhere for that matter. Let's just say I proceeded to handle this fish like Tony Romo handles the football when the game is on the line...I lost it.

Rather than try to horse this fish in and get him over my net, I let him make a couple runs and tried to finesse this guy to the side of the river. I managed to bring him about 5ft from me and got a glimpse of the leviathan that I was certain was going to gracing the blog. The only thing I managed to snap was the knot in my anchor as he was now gone. I'm not really one to cry or curse over a lost fish however, I made an exception in this case...no curses just some out loud ranting about my poor attempt to land this one. I gathered myself, wiped the tears, I mean raindrops, from my eyes and moved a few yards further upstream. Here I was able to witness another brown, 18"+ that completely breached the water 4 times. Knowing that my efforts would be futile, I enjoyed the show rather than cast to this jumper.

Today was also the first day that I was able to give me Simms G3 jacket a real workout. I'm not partial to any particular brand, I like what I like and I like items that are well made. I looked like a Simms mannequin today...G3 jacket, waders and Rivertek boots, all of which I would strongly recommend to anyone looking for quality. The boots are about to hit their 1 year anniversary and they have been fantastic. I have fished full days, bush-whacking from spot to spot, and never felt worn out or tired. The boa lacing system is, in my opinion, the best thing since slice bread. Easy to tighten and even easier to get out of at the end of the day.

River-tek, check em out
The G3 jacket provided comfort from the rain and I was able to carry 2 fly boxes, a camera and some other assorted tools very easily. The fit is just right and I especially like the velcro cuffs as they kept the rain and water out.
G3 - stood up to some solid downpours
I purchased a second pair of Simms waders for my birthday this summer and recently sent my original pair back to Bozeman for some repairs. A truly seamless and simple process from mailing to estimate to return. All by email and in a timely fashion, what more can you ask for. This was my second experience with Simms customer service and I was, once again, very satisfied. It's nice to be able to support an American made product and company who seems to have their act together.

Looks like some sunshine and moderate temps early next week...get out here and fish!