Saturday, January 31, 2009

French Flies - FTOD

Words (at least none in English I can think of) can not express how great of a fly tyer this Frenchman is. I can not understand a word that is on his site, but he has some amazing tutorials that just prove pictures are worth millions of words - no matter what language you speak!

Flip through Jean-Paul Dessaigne's site and take a look - the pictures are breath taking and the tutorials are priceless.

Matuka's - FOTD

I have always liked the way Matuka's look, and this guy does a great job tying some up in a variety of colors.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jan's Emerger - FOTD

Another FOTD - Jan's Emerger - I really like this pattern because it is a hybrid emerger/sunken midge/trico all in one. The foam on top really makes this thing float and the white feathers on top allow you to see the fly really well. Looks like this fly will really work.

Although this is tied on a Kamasan hook - it looks like you could substitute any scud hook as a replacement.

Ultra Prince Nymphs - FOTD

Ok, I know I have done a bunch of FTOD today, but trying to catch up on some of my favorite (pretty) patterns.

This is a nice looking Ultra Prince Nymph by Platte River Fly Shop.

This is a simple fly, but is absolutely beautiful.

Nymph FOTD

These guys are awesome too:

Not too difficult, and not super sexy, but I like the gloss finish on them.

One good looking Scud! FOTD

I like scuds/czech nymphs - I think they mimic most of the bugs in the rivers I fish - they are everywhere when you turn over rocks, pull up some weeds, or kick the dirt around.

This scud is one of the nicest I have seen - of course I can't tie these as good, but there is step by step tutorial on that link.

This is my FOTD.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ammonite Nymphs FOTD

Just a nice looking fly and my FOTD.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Clownshoes! FOTD

Great article out there today from Singlebarbed about Clownshoes - yeah, that's right, Clownshoes.

These flies are pretty damn sexy, and look like a good tie. I'll have to dream up something like these.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lightbulb Speakers

Check these out - these are cool as hell!

These speakers inside a lightbulb use bluetooth technology (that you can add to an iPod or other portable audio devise) to beam your music around your house wirelessly. This seems like a practical idea that someone should have thought of LONG before this!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh, and I forgot to mention....

it was at least 72* today, and it was awesome. I woke up this morning, took Avi to daycare (brought Cabo along as well), stopped by my buddies carwash for gas and chatted with him, then took Jen and Zach to breakfast and Home Depot. We hung out around the house for a bit while Jen showered, then I worked on the camper and my fly tying displays until 6pm. Did dinner, watched some CSI and Gary Unmarried on the TiVo and now am headed to bed to read some more of Outliers by Malcom Gladwell.

I can't remember the last time I had a fulfilling, stress-free day, but today was certainly one of them. Just two days left of work until the weekend! Oh yeah, and snow on Friday! Oh well, back to the grind.

Camper Mods - Part 1

I took the day off and started on my camper mods. I thought I had plenty of time today, but things took longer than expected, not to mention work just wouldn't leave me alone - so I had some distractions.

I set the camper up in the drive way and just went nuts taking things apart. This is what the camper looked like to start (this is the view from the door looking in):

The top picture shows looking left - that is the sink flipped upside down with the blanket in the bottom, and the middle picture is the view directly in front of the door showing the ice box and storage cabinets. The bottom picture is looking immediately left at the bench seating closest to the door and the drop down table.

The sink isn't of much use, even when we are hooked up to water at a campground we hardly use it. I don't want to total get rid of the sink - I just need to be more creative. The ice box is useless with a vertical door - we just throw stuff in there and never use it. The bench seating holds a lot of storage, but the 4 foot long plywood covers over the benches are hard to maneuver with one hand and in such a tight space. I had some better ideas for that space - but I needed to roll up my sleeves and see what I can change/add/delete.

As you can see above, I started taking everything apart - first removing the icebox from the front, and removed the flip over countertop/sink. I also removed the bench plywood and cut them in half. I yanked the sink drain out of the cabinet as well.

See the top photo above: I cut the plywood bench covers in half, drilled a finger hole to open them, then added two hinges each so you can pop them up - and only half as wide - so much easier. As you can see from the bench, the left side has a porto-potty, that makes late night potty breaks a lot easier - just pop that side up and have a seat - extra storage for hoses, water jugs and toilet paper as well.

See the bottom photo above: I put the ice box horizontal, making it like a cooler with the top flush with the cabinet - so it isn't in the way when the beds slide in. I had to move a wall slightly and add some wood for support along the edges of the icebox. I also had to add some support to the bottom, since the icebox didn't touch the floor and would be heavier with food inside that the edge pieces could handle. This made a nice little storage area about 7.5 inches high and 22 inches wide.

Well, now that I had the icebox moved, I had to cover it all with the panelling so it would blend in. As you can see from the bottom pic (above) the storage space under the cooler is pretty large.

Well, that was all for the day - I only hit Home Depot once in the morning and bought the hinges. I have plenty more to work on it next time, including:

Add a mini-table going across the benchs (instead of the huge table - which usually ends up outside).
Add carpet tiles.
Add radio.
Add a battery.
Add hooks on doors for tools.
Mount carbon monoxide sensor.
Add rink holders.
Add paper towel holder.
Add PVC pipe on outside for storage.

As you can see I got a good start, but have my work cut out for me!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 - South Platte River @ Deckers

Sunday, Jan 18, 2009 - South Platte River @ Deckers
Beautiful day - highs in the 50's, sunny, flows 124 cfs and clear water

Fishing with TSyl and WillHoltus from the board. Got down there around 10am, left around 2pm. I'd post pics, but again, I forgot my camera.

Not much to report - we didn't catch or see a fish the entire time we were there. Tried fishing the Rock Garden stretch and the big bend above Trumbull. Nothing. It was painful, because it was such a beautiful day. It was busier than most summer weekends - great weather and the week after the Fly Fishing shows probably was the culprit.

It was a good day to get out with friends and fish.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Camper Modifications

A couple of people have asked why I haven't been fishing lately, and if I plan to even go fishing thsi winter. I have never been a huge fan of winter fishing, especially since most of the days I do end up going tend to be windy, below freezing and snowing - just seems like my luck. SO this year I have decided to tie flies, sell/make some fly tying displays, and work on my camper and add some modifications.

I have a 2002 Jayco 8 ft pop-up tent trailer. Nothing fancy, actaully it is quite boring - no battery, no furnace and no fridge - stripped down.

I haven't done a whole lot to it, cut a hole in the floor for a vent, and bought a bunch of trinkets for it - like a heater, new faucet, replaced the lock and a few other nice to haves. Having camped in the thing for 3 summers now, I know what I have and what is missing. This year I hope to add a bunch of upgrades to make the camper more usable. I have a buddy at work that is anxious to help out and he is very handy.

These are some of the mods I want to do (I will post before and after pics as I do each mod):

Add a cooler/counter space/detachable sink
The current swing sink folds up and over so the beds can fold in over the top of them. The "icebox" is vertical so you can't put ice and anything in there - so you have to carry a cooler with you anyways. Adding a removable cooler into the cabinet will be more practical and we will actually use it. The sink can be yanked out and made portable - the faucet can be less rigid. The current icebox has a drain at the bottom that I could use to drain the cooler/sink.

PVC tubes for storage
Easy thing to do - buy some 4" pvc, add a permanent cap on one end, add a removeable cap on the other. Mount the pvc along the bottom of the camper - you can shove the outside carpet, extension cords, etc in there rather than taking up valuable space inside.

Roof racks
I'd like to add roof racks to carry gear and a kayak/caneo - seems like a lot of space on top that is unused.

Carpet tiles
Carpet tiles are cheap and easy to clean, and the lenolium floor is getting old.

Paper towel holder
Need to add a built in paper towel holder - these things seem to fall all over.

Drink holders
You can't have enough - and in the new counter space where the sink was I will add cup holders in various places.

This is a big one - my buddy has some ideas, but I would like to add an in wall unit that runs on propane.

Make table across bench seats
The table in the middle needs to go - not enough room in the camper to move around in there and have a full sized table. I'll cut two pies of plywood and lay them across the opening - this way you can stack them up and lay them across and only take up half the space. Easy fix.

Cut bench covers in half, and add hinges so easier access
The storage under the couches is covered by a solid plywood sheet - I'll cut them in half so you don't have to pick up the entire piece of wood, and add hinges so you can just pull up.

Add battery/battery charger
This will be a huge thing because of the investment in battery, charger, wiring, solar panel??, etc. But it needs to be done - and Mark is pretty good at these kinds of things. I'll have to mount the battery box to the hitch as well.

Cut grill mount to make less heavy and shorter
I made it wayyy to long - cut it down for easier storage and less weight.

Fix grill support bar
The support bar is lame at best - needs to be fixed.

Jug for gray water
Sounds dumb, but I need to store my grey water better - I saw a mod that has a cool

Mount battery op Radio where fire extinguisher was
I have a spot where the fire extinguisher holder broke - perfect spot to add a battery operated (or wired) radio or CD player. I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of that sooner.

Trash holder
No place to store trash - I just need to add some kind of trash recepticle that I can add a plastic bag to when we camp.

Add hooks to hang utensils from grill
Just simple stuff to make things more accessible.

Clasps on door to hold tools
Sounds dumb, but the crank for the top is always under a pile of stuff - I can easily add a latch to the door so it is always in the same place and easily accessible.

Add a level for horizontal stableness
I already have one for vertical stablizing - but not one for horizontal - which I have found is pretty important too.

Let me know if you guys think of anything else I need! I'm excited to spend some time on this project - I need a new project!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Approaching a milestone!

What milestone? 100,000 miles on the Rodeo.

Yes, this is the first car I have kept longer than 2.5 years. This is my 5th car - 1994 Chevy Cavalier, 1996 Chevy Cavalier, 1999 Dodge Avenger, 2000 Ford Explorer and 2002 Isuzu Rodeo.

I have never had a car over 75,000 miles, so I am in uncharted territory. I hate being outside the warranty (well, WAY outside the warranty), but I really trust this truck (knock on wood because I probably just jinxed myself!). It takes a beating and keeps on moving. It isn't anything fancy, but has held up well and runs great.

She's a fine old girl!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Catch Magazine - Issue #3

Available now - check it out - click on the photo.