Thursday, February 23, 2012

Apocalyptic Fishing II

Alert!  303 days remain until the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st.  Yes, some experts do believe it's actually December 23rd, in which case we still have a very comfortable 305 days left.

It is now time for the second installment of Apocalypse Gear - the feature that helps you, the angler, prepare for zombies.  Today's episode is a double feature, and starts out with rod selection.

You'll want to travel light with the undead roaming freely around your favorite waters, so it may make sense to select just one fly rod that can do it all.  My pick is the aptly named Sage One, in a 796-4.  This stick will handle everything - trout, steelhead, muskie, bass, salmon - and it won't shun light saltwater duty either.  As an added bonus, the rod tube is solid enough to use as a bludgeon and will never give your position away with unwanted reflections due to the matte black coating.

Extrema Ratio 58 HRC Golem

It's a good idea, even pre-doomsday, to have access to a few handy pieces of cutlery when in the outdoors.  As survival knives go, I haven't found anything better than the Extrema Ratio Golem for taking into the back country.  The blade is 58 HRC stainless cobalt steel, an alloy that is often used for cutting other steel.  It stands up very well to chopping and prying, where knives that focus strictly on sharp edges often fall short.  The Golem has a tanto point, and the blade is partially serrated making tasks like rope cutting a snap.  It also offers a robust dorsal saw that, while definitely requiring some effort, cuts very well.  Even the lanyard loop is a solid piece of hardware than can be used for striking, glass breaking, etc.

Parry...Parry...Thrust...Cast  - Good!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Apocalyptic Fishing

As Fly to Water has alertly reported in several recent posts, the Mayan calendar ends this year.  The most likely cause of this situation is that the company building the calendar misrepresented it's financial statements, resulting in dramatic stock price deterioration and subsequent layoffs.  All of the Mayan executives, or chiefs, retired to the Caymans.  Calendar-building laborers were then faced with a large spike in temple foreclosures and ultimately relocated, leaving all the post-2012 work unfinished.

Alternatively, some kind of zombie apocalypse is going to take place this December.  The dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together...MASS HYSTERIA.

While the media has buried its teeth in this topic like a gila monster on ankle flesh, the most important consideration has been totally ignored: How are we going to fly fish when the end of days arrives?

As a public service, I hereby offer up a series of posts containing gear ideas and recommendations for apocalyptic fishing.

Apocalyptic Fishing - 5.56 Nato Edition

First and foremost - at the moment of truth you don't want the heartbreak of reaching for your ammo and pulling out your flies instead.  My world's first concept combines a waterproof fly box with 5.56 Nato assault rifle ammunition.  One swift grab into the sling pack, and you've got access to Copper Johns and copper-jacketed .223 hardball.

Get some!

Sunday, February 5, 2012


If you are a dog owner you know that one of the 3 perils of the uplands is the North American Porcupine, or Rodent Of Unusual Spikiness.


Having a pup get a face full of quill pig is no fun, as I can personally attest.  Yesterday I was out in the field without dogs, looking for raptors with JayMorr.  When you don't have to worry about your pointers, these can be fascinating creatures to watch.

Sticky Situation

Ambling about in the unconcerned manner of an animal coated in acupuncture needles, Porky is easy to approach.  While the concept that quills can be launched is a myth, porcupines still have a chip on their shoulders because they place 3rd on the list of large rodents behind the capybara and beaver.  No one likes to be number three.  Use a little caution - as they will swat you with their tails if given the opportunity.

As wildlife goes, the quill pig is a relatively easy subject to photograph once located.  The main consideration is not to be lazy and fire away from a standing position (which creates an awkward, downward-looking perspective).  Go ahead and get dirty.  Sitting, laying on your side propped up with an elbow, or going prone are all options that will put you at eye level with the subject for a more engaging image.

Porcupine Portrait

It's hard to believe it's February out there with highs in the 45° F range, no snow at mid-elevations, and copious sunshine while it should be the dead of Winter.  I for one am not complaining.