Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sugarloaf Mountain and some big news



Last weekend I found myself in Marquette; a delightful town on the southern shore of Lake Superior. 

I had the morning off so I took to the Subaru to roam about the area. I haven't been to the area in 12 or 13 years. While the town had changed a considerable amount, the natural surroundings remained exactly as I remembered them: beautiful, raw, and clean. 


Hogback Mountain sits in the distance just waiting to be explored and I can't wait. I figure that is a nice way of telling you all that I am moving to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It's not everyday that a dream job comes up in the perfect location but I guess it did for me. I cannot wait to be able work with a great group of people during the weekdays and then spend the whole weekend communing with nature and enjoying life finally. 

Outdoor Research's latest catalog had a section on living a Complete Life that talked about being able to spin your adventures alongside your everyday happenings. That advertisement really stuck with me, and that's how I am going to start living. 

Here's to our move up north and a new chapter in our lives. 

-J

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pot roast in stout with herb dumplings

Although it is unseasonably warm in Michigan at the moment it was a blustery weekend around here. Dare I say I thought the gales of November had come early. 

Spurred on by the dropping Mercury I prepared a hearty one pot Irish supper. 


It wasn't the healthiest choice but sometimeseals like this soothe the soul. 

I cannot claim the base recipe but I definitely made this my own. The recipe suggested Guiness as the base for the stew/gravy, but I'm not a fan of the "legendary" Irish stout. I opted for a much richer, full-flavored milkshake stout from Rochester Mills Brewery. The beer complemented the carrots and infused both the meat and dumplings with an umami quality that is near impossible to describe.

Needless to say, that page in the recipe book is now dogeared for a snowy winter Sunday. I can almost see the flakes falling  while the pot gurgles and the house fills with the thick aroma. 

-J


Dryfly Art

I've never ever considered myself to have any artistic talent. Most of my "drawings" feature stick figures. I do enjoy art. One of my favorite art forms is block printing. My favorite block prints come from Greg Jaris at Trick Dog in Elberta, MI, and Bad Axe designs. 

After wrapping up a tie session the other night I looked up at a Jaris print that I picked up last summer. It's a flamboyant trout-like fish flailing in the air. Knowing that Chelsea had some printing materials in her art pile for www.thebiglake.etsy.com I asked her for them. 

With speedball carver in hand I sat down and created the first of hopefully many stamps that represent the things that I do. It's far from being a piece of art, but I think it's very cool in a raw way. That's what I appreciate about block printing; it can be extremely detailed and clean or a little more emotive and raw. Tell me what you think:


It's the silhouette of a wingless Adams fly, or as I call them: gnats. 

More will follow. I just need to get outside and get some inspiration. 

Big news coming down the pipeline soon. Don't want to say anything until we are 100% ready. 

- J





Friday, October 17, 2014

Revival

To anyone who should stumble upon this:

I have neglected this blog because I have been very busy. Work has come before fun and honestly when I have time for fun I rarely have time to blog about it. It's time for this to change. I miss interacting with the types of people who choose to follow blogs; they're good people. Those who take time to read blogs are not as fickle as Facebook users; they play an active role in the blogosphere and largely shape that landscape with their comments. 



No more radio silence on my end. As part my personal resolutions following my birthday I am going to post more frequently, daily perhaps. 



Expect more content. Hold me accountable. 

J. 

ps the direction of the blog is changing for the better. 


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Demo Days at Schultz

I biked into Ypsi to check out Demo Days at Schultz Outfitters on Saturday. I had the chance to meet Cam Mortenson of The Fiberglass Manifesto . He put on a great presentation about glass rods. I am definitely in the market for a new piece of glass now. Very amped up after seeing his presentation.

After meeting Cam I went to the Temple Fork Outfitters tent to catch up with Ray Schmidt who is now at TFO rep. Ray rigged up a TFO Pro Series II and sent me out to toss some glo yarn around in the grass. The Pro Series II had been on my radar for a while. I was looking for a medium-fast 5 wt fly rod with enough backbone to launch big dries as well as medium streamers, but enough finesse to lay small dries with precision.

I think I found just what I was looking for in the Pro II. I played with it for 10 or 15 minutes before heading back into the shop to snag one at the KILLER DEMO PRICE!

The entire bike ride back to the apartment I was like a kid on Christmas morning dreaming of chucking fur and feathers with my new toy. I showed Chelsea (she was stoked as all get out because this means she gets my St. Croix) and headed to one of my favorite spots. After not being able to get any interest from dries or topwater of any sort I switched to a clouser bunny streamer and hooked up on the second cast.


My new toy did great job bringing this guy in. He was no monster, about 13 inches, but he still put a decent bend in the rod. I have no doubt that the 5wt Pro II could take a much larger fish. I can't wait. Rod profile/overview coming soon.



If you have some time to kill today Schultz' Demo Days are still going on. They have a great line up of presenters and gear reps too. Check them out... and bring your wallet.

-J

Huron River Bass Fishing



I brought my kayaks down to Ann Arbor a few weeks ago. Living as close to the river as we do we should have brought them down years ago.



Going out for a paddle is a great way to unwind after a day at work. It's tranquil, smooth, and  The boats also allow me to fish in new places that were unreachable by foot, BONUS!

The closest part of the "river" is a long oligotrophic lake that happens to have a vestigial vein of the Huron River running through it. It is totally choked with plant life and nearly unfishable with anything other than topwater flies right now. That being said, smallmouth and largemouth will rise to take a frog pattern all afternoon.

FISH ON. Captured from my deck-mounted GoPro.

I hope to do some recon on other parts of the river soon. Pics to come.

-J

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Spring Bass in Southeast Michigan

Spring fishing is turning up to 11 on the Huron. I have been doing well with clouser minnows, woolly buggers, and leaches.







I hear that the hatch may be on. Time to bring out the big bugs.

-j