Needle(s) found in the haystack

Several months ago I posted a blog titled, Help Me Find This Rod. Given how infrequently I’ve posted on my blog in recent years and how few actually read the Weekly Drivel, doing so was akin to being down by a goal and launching a full court Hail Mary shot at the final bell of US Masters championship round. But it was a last ditch effort and I had nothing to lose. I was fully prepared for disappointment and 5 months passed with no leads (not surprising). During that time I also posted my quest on Fiberglass Fly Rodders, hoping that at least one of the members there might have some valuable insight. Crickets.

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The last Reel Good beer

Today marks the official first day of Summer and it was a year ago (nearly to the date) that Marck introduced me to a new beer, Reel Good Summer Ale, produced by 10 Barrel Brewing of Bend, Oregon. Its target consumer is/was clearly the fly angling crowd and the appropriately-branded brew undoubtedly picked up many a new customer thanks to the joint labeling that features the Simms logo and mention of supporting Trout Unlimited on the packaging. Certainly the eye candy aspects of the beer caught my attention, but looks can be deceiving. However, after one taste, I was hooked (sorry, pun intended). Suffice it to say Reel Good became my preferred beer during the summer of 2021, unseating a long-standing, time-tested, mass-produced, once-local favorite.

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Ode to the Cat Lady of the Ho Hum

For many years the Firehole Rangers have been making the annual pilgrimage to our namesake river in Yellowstone National Park. Depending on the individual Ranger the exact number of years varies considerably but the current core lineup has been consistently deployed since 2010. Our ringleader, Marck, began fishing the Firehole shortly after the park was established in 1872 (or it may have been a few years after that, say ~1994). His wingman, Goose, began joining Marck shortly thereafter. Nash began making sporadic appearances a couple of years prior to 2006, the year that I was drafted into the Ranger Contingent. Jimmy was added to the roster in 2010 and Morris was a Rookie Ranger in 2012. This assembly of six has been almost 100% consistent ever since.

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Decorative fish, or a flop?

Mrs. UA and I recently moved, and in our new home the office of the Unaccomplished Angler is on the first floor, immediately off the entry, on display for all who enter via the front door. Because of this prominent location, I’ve been instructed to keep my workplace clutter to a minimum and refrain from working in my skivvies. The adjustment has been challenging but I’m slowly learning to keep clutter to a minimum.

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Help me find this rod

(EDIT: since I published this entry I stumbled upon an online auction site (not EBay) that had a very similar rod listed. Instead of a pack rod it was a two piece rod (model 8220), but everything else about it rang very familiar, down to the color of the blank and wraps as well as the style of grip. Unfortunately this auction had ended recently (the rod sold for a paltry $50!). Photos from that auction are posted at the end of this entry for reference.)

Been a while it has since last I scribed an entry. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or so it goes. Or, maybe not. For anyone who still reads this blog, I’d like to request your help in locating a specific fly rod, my first fly rod. It was gifted to me in about 1974 or 1975 by the friend of my dad, who was a gonzo fly fisherman. His wife worked at Eddie Bauer back when Eddie Bauer actually produced outdoor gear such as camping and backpacking equipment as well as fly fishing gear. The rods that he gifted my brother and I were Eddie Bauer branded, though obviously made by another rod manufacturer. Maybe Orvis?

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Following the cold trail of the JanSport D-series packs.

My somewhat odd fascination with the JanSport D3 backpack was explained in an earlier post: Ode to the JanSport D3 backpack. What follows here is a very general roadmap of the D3’s history, and that of its sibling packs, the D2 and D5. I have tried to piece together an approximate timeline to satisfy my own curiosity and this information will be of absolutely zero interest to those who continue to follow this blog, hoping to read about fly fishing. I’m merely putting this information out there for the rare person who, like me, may find it somewhat interesting or even useful.

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Catching up, and a few fish

As 2020 enters its final month (good riddance, you piece of dog turd year), I give pause to think back on the strangeness of the past several months, hoping to remember some good things that occurred since the COVIDS swept the globe. I didn’t have to think too hard to realize that despite the weirdness of it all, I can’t complain about the fishing during 2020. I no longer fish with great frequency, but I do rather enjoy a high quality of time when on the water when I do fish. And this is despite that most of the guys I fish with are unsavory lowbrow types who lack social refinement and would say the same about me.

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Finding our groove on the Middle Fork Salmon

I recently returned from one of those trips that changes a person. I’m not just talking about the week’s worth of facial scruff and weather-tanned hide. Nor am I referring to the body musk that would cause rival bull elk to lose their minds, stomping and snorting and pissing all over everything. I’m also not referring to the 5 pounds I gained due to the amazing food. No, while this trip certainly afforded all those things, it stirred something deep inside me: the romantic desire to disappear off-grid and live as a hermit in the beautiful wilds of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho. At least until the first snow fell and my food supply ran out, then I’d undoubtedly reach for my Garmin InReach and send an SOS message to Mrs. UA.

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Ode to the JanSport D3 backpack

Disclaimer: this blog entry has nothing to do with fly fishing and will be long and boring if you came here for something related to fly fishing.

Let me state for the record that I am not a backpacker. Or at least I haven’t been for many decades. I do a bit of day hiking, but I haven’t done an overnight trip since I was a junior in high school. That final trip in 1980 was to Lake Serene in the central Cascades of Washington, with my elder brother, Hal (not his real name, sort of). It was during our spring break in April and it was a good bit early in the year for what we set out to do. In our eagerness to partake of a little backpacking we jumped the gun by at least a month, or more, to be overnighting at this elevation.

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