Friday, December 6, 2013

Atlanta Orvis Shop

I have gotten back into fly fishing and tying so while on a recent trip to Atlanta I high-tailed it over to the local Orvis shop on Peachtree to pick up some necessaries.

My first metro Orvis visit.

Like most Orvis shops, their tying section left much to be desired but had some of the zonker-style things that I was looking for. Also like most Orvis shops they had all of the periphery gear, garb and lifestyle "stuff" attributable to those who fish. (I would love their Mission style fly tying bench.)

That being said the guy in the fly tying department was very helpful. Just the kind of person that I like to talk to behind the fly counter; not too over-the-top with the bro attitude, and not super secretive about what works locally. He was a well traveled fly fisherman who could bend your ear for hours will well crafted stories about "a perfect night," "matching a hatch," and how "that fly will catch fish any day." He was also familiar with northern Michigan waters and had nothing but good things to say about them... but then again, who wouldn't?

So kudos Atlanta Orvis shop. If I ever have to be in Atlanta again I will surely be stopping in.

Shameless GoPro selfie. 


Remembering a Hot Summer Afternoon

I've lived in Ann Arbor for just over three years. In that time I have made numerous trips to the closest section of the Huron River to to try my hand at catching whatever would bite. I was never impressed with the mutants that I was pulling out; rock bass with white eyes, all-black bluegills, and other varying offerings that I refer to only as "panfish." Due to the many dams on the Huron I regarded it as a few long, slow-moving, oligotrophic lakes strung together that could only support halfbreeds and muttfish.

But this summer I found out that people catch some sizable carp on the Huron. The sub/ counterculture of carp fishermen deserves a post of its own. Pictures of people landing 10 lbs + carp not far from where I live got me super stoked. I picked up appropriate tackle, but the season's best time coincided with my last set of law school finals. Needless to say, my dreams of horsing in copper-colored softmouths yielded to the necessity of my school duties.

Fast forward a few weeks: I'm done with law school for good (graduation in a week and a half). Now, barring preparation for the Bar Exam (honestly, not a pun) my free time is truly free time. Today I put some of my free time to good use: I gave the Huron another shot.

I'm very glad that I made a serious effort to find a fishable portion of the Huron. It will give me one more resource to call on when I need a reprieve. We caught many Bluegill, a few smallmouths and quite a few decent-size rock bass. There were no trophy fish willing to suck up our flies but they were out there, in the water... and that will keep me coming back.

You get that Chernobyl Hopper little man!

Carp carp everywhere and me with my little 6 wt. Next time.

Hunter with his prize of the day.


Beavers Make a Dam Mess

A few weeks ago while on an overnight hike my brother and I stopped to admire the handiwork of some furry little engineers.

While we were initially amazed at the pond that the beavers had created we were more than a little bummed when we discovered that their calculations were just a little off in determining how much area they would flood with their project.

The next section of the North Country Trail was flooded as a result of their dam. What a mess. In order to keep our shoes dry for the rest of hte hike we had to "ford the river" barefooted. 

After drying our feet we stopped to check out the area below the dam that continued to flow. To our surprise there were fish making their way up to spawn. 

Once their business is done the fish expire and give themselves over to help sustain other creatures of the forest. It is such a beautiful little drama.

More on the remainder of our hike later.


Saturday, May 4, 2013

We must go West.

While on my way out west I flew over the Rockies. It was the first time that I have ever been out that way. I felt very small and insignificant. I think that in the near future I need to go see them in person.

I want to stand at the base of a real mountain and look up.

Freshly brined dirt roads

Got back from California and decided to go out for a nice 27 miler on the local dirt roads.

Met with Hunter on Friday and headed out. In spite of a nasty headwind that seemed to synch up with each of our turns it was a great way to jump back onto the fitness wagon.

Thanks Hunter for the companionship and the Washtenaw county road commission for brining the roads. Nice and smooth, just like I like it.



Last week we went to anaheim. While there we went to the aquarium of the Pacifica in the to long beach where we were shark and ray petters.

It was awesome.


Almost three months have come and gone

I am nearing the end of law school and it only makes sense that things will be getting a little crazy for me. That being said; I still try to take some time for me every once in a while. Case in point, last week I was given the opportunity to take a trip out to California. Thanks to Chelsea's mom, Jessica for the trip, it was much needed.

It was beautiful, warm and oddly enough, anaheim smells beautiful.

My final semester begins Monday morning for me. But it's not just a normal semester, it will be the first semester where I have a real job, with a real paycheck. I am pretty stoked. All in all things seem to be moving right along. I will be graduating in September, taking the Michigan bar exam in February and working full time in the interim.

My gosh, things are a true whirlwind right now; I have one semester to go, ...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Human Hot Pocket

I have been slacking in the reading department. But my increased gym time is allowing me time to catch up a bit.

While reading the Survival Edition of Backpacker I came across one of my greatest fears; the possibility of becoming a human hot pocket. For years I have thanked the powers that be every time I wake up in the morning in my sleeping bag intact.

I am talking about a situation like this: you are sleeping in the deepest slumber, fresh air is filling your lungs, the stress of the workweek drifts out your tent vents in a gentle night breeze. All of the sudden you snap out of your dreamworld to a musky smell and some grunting. This is a situation that I call the human hot pocket because that is essentially what become to a hungry bear looking to fix his midnight case of the munchies.

According to Backpacker, in the event that this happens to you you should thrash around to alert your camping partners and start fighting back... good luck.

Make sure your smelly stuff is in proper storage containers, watch for scat and if you are really afraid, put some raw meat in your friend's tent just in case... unless it's my tent.


(This is not a bear, but it has the potential to be equally terrifying)

Poor little guy

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Off-season reading

Make sure that you are all taking time to bone up on and hone in your skills in order to stay safe during the warmer months.

I personally prefer mushroom and other wild edibles books.

In my eyes, the next best thing to actually being outside and enjoying nature is kicking back and reading a good book. I am currently in the middle of the Nick Adams Stories by Hemingway; great stories that are largely based in northern Michigan.

What are you reading?


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Winter Commute

Monday brought a few new inches of snow. Luckily for me, I had to go out and about on my bike. I am currently running some skinny tires but that did not stop me from having fun. In fact it lead to a couple of loose corners which I rather enjoy.

Work with what you have right?


EMS Ice Climbing guide.

Thank you EMS for this handy guide.

Hopefully someday I will get to try some ice climbing and this guide will be of some use. Until then.


Baiku 1

The sound of dirt roads
Farmer's fields line the roadway
Morning done just right

Well, there you have it baiku number 1. Baiku you say? What is that? Well, I'll tell you, it's a bike-themed haiku. 5-7-5. Hopefully I can come up with more as things roll on. Sometimes rolling around on two wheels can make you feel brilliant.


Thursday, January 24, 2013


I have posted this little guy before, but today he is a bit more symbolic than before. Progress, no matter how slow, is progress. 

Keep moving my friends.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is this really January in Michigan?

Bare fields all around.

This downtube should have ice caked on it, not sticky mud...

Why am I able to cruise down these backroads without spinning out and sliding all over the place...

Something was way wrong in these pictures. January in Michigan, come on Mitten, hit me with some snow.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ending 2012

Twenty-twelve was pretty jam-packed, so much so that this blog was mildly neglected. I was constantly running and trying to get as much out of each day as possible.

I built up a new mountain bike and a new commuter/ dirt road warrior, started brewing beer, survived another year of law school and built a rockwall.

Unfortunately, I did not get very many hikes in. Aside from the trip to Kentucky I think that I got 9 or 10 real hikes in. With that in mind I was determined to finish 2012 strong. That meant a trip to Old Baldy. 

In the spring I am going to bring my tripod out here to get a crisp shot of the dunes leading up to Elberta because none of my shots turned out satisfactorily.

Even though the picture quality is not perfect, the subject matter is second to none.

Osprey Daylite: C's new quick pack. Hopefully she gets to use it more in 2013!

As for goals in the new year, mine is very simple: More Everything, and make the most of everything.

Today: workout, juice, mountain bike, read for school... nap?