Month: June 2012

Somethin’s fishy in AdPharmville

I was staring blankly at the TV the other night when something caught my attention: a commercial. Specifically, a commercial for Symbicort. Symbicort is a drug.  No, not a drug for erectile dysfunction (I had to defuse that before the peanut gallery chimed in). Here, according to Wikipedia, is the definition of the drug:

Budesonide/formoterol is a combination formulation containing budesonide and formoterol used in the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the EU. It is marketed by AstraZeneca under the trade name Symbicort.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at the ad in question, which is posted on a site called

(I’ll pause while you watch the video, HERE)

Now that you’ve seen the commercial, I’m sure you noticed that something’s amiss. Let’s examine more closely, shall we?


Exhibit A (insert added to show closeup of fly fishing hat)

1. (Exhibit A) The main character is clearly a fly fisherman, as evidenced by his vest and lucky fishing hat which is covered with fishing flies. Nothing wrong with that.

Exhibit B

2. (Exhibit B) To further convince the viewer that the main character is clearly a fly fisherman, we even see a couple rods with fly reels mounted. We know without a shadow of doubt that those are fly reels, spooled with yellow fly line. However, something’s not quite right here, but the commercial moved too quickly for me to put my finger on it right away.

Exhibit C

3. (Exhibit C) A close-up of a fly reel eased my trepidation momentarily. I did wonder why the reel was spinning so fast when the rods weren’t even strung up yet, but I chalked it up to dynamic cinematic effect. I was willing to overlook that creative liberty, but from here on out things began to go awry rather quickly. Look at the grip on the green rod in this screen capture. Where is the telltale foreward grip of the fly rod that you know? But that’s only a problem I noticed with the one rod….

Exhibit D.1

Exhibit D.2

4. (Exhibits D.1 and D.2) Just as I suspected earlier on (Exhibit B), the other rod looked a bit out of place. Like the green rod in Exhibit C, this rod is also missing the telltale, long fore-grip of a fly rod. But check out the lower grip section on this rod: that’s more than a fighting butt on a typical fly fishing rod. Hell, it’s more than the underhand grip on any Spey rod I’ve ever seen!  Could it be…perhaps, a saltwater big game rod?  I’ve used salmon rods like that. Seems a bit overkill for the skinny stream we see in the background of Exhibit D.2. At this point I’m also noting that the vest he’s wearing is not a fly fishing vest–it’s more like something one would purchase for an overland safari. This isn’t going so well for Symbicort…

Exhibit E

5. (Exhibit E) And what of that first line guide you see there on the rod? Does that look like a standard stripping guide to you? Hardly. In fact, it looks like definitely the bottom guide on a gear rod…and yet there’s evidence of the fly line, so once again I began to doubt myself…

I began to think that maybe it’s some sort of specialized fly rod, the likes of which I’ve simply never seen. After all, I am no expert nor do I claim on any given day to be one.  I mean, who is the Unaccomplished Angler to assume a position of authority anyway, right?

But then came the final straw…

Exhibit F.1

Exhibit F.2

6. (Exhibits F.1 and F.2) They’re using bobbers.  No, not nymphing with Thingamabobbers, but lobbing actual bobbers as would one lob a bobber with a spin casting setup. Only they’re using fly reels and fly line. And at least one salmon gear rod.

Exhibit G

Thankfully they released the fish, assuming it was a wild trout (Exhibit G). And you have to respect the wholesome background message in commercial: getting out for some quality time with the family, passing down traditions from one generation to the next, and seeing the thrill in a youngster when they catch their first fish. That’s all good and righteous stuff.

I don’t mean to poke fun at the product, which undoubtedly helps many fly fishermen like the one in the commercial enjoy time with their families. But I would like to go on record as suggesting that the agency, who produced the ad, hire a consultant the next time they want to shoot a fly fishing-themed commercial. I am an expert and I’m available for a very reasonable fee. And clearly I have time available.

You may contact me at: unaccomplishedangler (at) gmail (dot) com.

Things change, fast

The Yellowstone Park Foundation recently posted this message on their Facebook page:

It seems like just yesterday the whole park was blanketed in snow, but now fire danger has been labeled HIGH due to warm temps, low humidity, and high winds. Please take all measures to prevent fires!

While perhaps not yesterday, it was less than a month ago that the Firehole Rangers were on our annual pilgrimage to the park, and as you know from a post-trip post, conditions were very different for us than they apparently are now. Let’s hope that things cool off a bit and the fire danger lessens. The park doesn’t need another fire.

Because I’m hundreds of miles away, there’s little I can do to prevent fires in Yellowstone. However, I feel compelled to do what I can, so I am officially sending cold, wet thoughts that way. Maybe these photos, which I have not previously posted, will help cool things off a bit.

Rookie Ranger checks in at the Ho Hum. Gag Reflex? Check.

After a breakfast of champions, we would enter the park.

Recently parolled from Alcatraz, Goosemeister is ready to fish.

Firehole Rangers, ready to ride.

Snowshoes would have come in handy.

The Goose ponders another bad knot.

31 degrees. A lovely Spring morning on the Firehole.

The Goose with a very nice Firehole Brown.

Closeup of Goosemeister’s hawg brown.

The snow took a break, just in time for our lunch break.

After lunch it got downright pleasant.

But then it would rain. Hard.

The next day was even colder, and windy. Goose and Jimmy prepare to “spoon” during a horizontal snow storm.

So–Yellowstone, if you’re listening–let this serve as a reminder of your recent past. Don’t get all hot and bothered so soon. Cool off. Remember what you were like less than a month ago. Chill.


(P.S.- there’s something wrong with WordPress right now. Photo captions are not displaying correctly so please accept my apology until I am able to remedy the issue)

Costa Double Haul sunglasses: a review

I can hear the voices now, ringing out in contempt:

“What?  Another sunglasses review? Didn’t you just do one?”

“Unaccomplished Angler has sold out to the MAN!”

“UA is on the corporate dole. Occupy UA!”

Tough crowd, but let me explain. Yes—I did in fact review a pair of Revo sunglasses not too long ago: HERE. I admit, it’s a little awkward to review another similar product, but the way I see it everyone is a winner: I get a complimentary product in exchange for a review, and my readers get an unbiased review to help them make sound decisions when considering a pair of sunglasses. Translation: I get some sweet sunglasses and you get nothing.


The Costa Double Haul glasses come with the  580 lenses, which Costa describes as “Beyond Polarization”. I’m not sure that you can actually go beyond polarization, but the point is well-taken. These lenses are high-quality, 100% polarized, and provide 100% UV protection. According to the marketing folks at Costa, what sets their product apart is “the clarity found in our lenses, they simply outperform the competition. Put on a pair of Costa 580G (LightWAVE Glass) or 580P (Coated Polycarbonate) lenses and you’re looking through patented technologies and the highest quality materials around that create the clearest sunglass lenses on the planet.” Of course, you can’t trust everything you read so the best thing is to see for yourself.

When shopping for sunglasses in the past, I have always required that I be able to try them on for fit. That wasn’t possible, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When asked some specific questions by the folks at Costa I replied that I have a regulation sized head, prefer a full-coverage frame, and mainly fish rivers under all light conditions. Based on my answers I was sent the Double Hauls with the 580G lenses in “Copper”. I will say that these lenses are very lightweight, such that I had to tap the lens with my tooth to make sure they were in fact glass. The telltale sound confirmed it.

The Double Hauls are intended with fly fishing in mind, as evidenced by the name. Even if you can’t execute a good double haul, you know what it is, right? I’m ashamed to admit that I have not had the opportunity to go fishing since receiving the Costas, but I have given them the extended comfort test and they have passed with flying colors (for me, comfort is paramount when it comes to sunglasses). There’s rubberized, non-slip padding where one’s nose and ears contact the frames: comfortable without creating pressure points after hours of wear. And due to the light weight of the glasses, I can honestly say that I’ve forgotten I was wearing them. That’s a good thing until you tip your head back to administer some Visine Anti-Allergy drops. It is the allergy season, afterall.

The frames are large and wrap nicely to keep unwanted light and glare out of the eyes. The full coverage will also come in handy when protecting the eyes from poorly cast flies (either your own or your buddy’s). The Copper lens is easy on the eyes during most light conditions. Certainly come dusk they will be a bit dark, but then again nothing but a clear lens is of much use at that time of the evening. Until I get to go fishing in a week, I’ve been wearing them as my daily sunglasses and the lens is excellent for all terrestrial activity. I believe my vision may be better with the Costas simply because my eyes are more relaxed during high glare situations, such as looking at a white garage door in full sun.

With and without the Copper lens


The glasses come with a semi-rigid case but no other accessories. Costa does make “leashes” which you can probably acquire without much trouble. I got mine at the Fly Fishing Film Tour, which Costa sponsors.

The Costa Double Hauls get my nod of approval. The frames are comfortable, the lenses very good and appropriate for my use, even if just for daily wear between fishing opportunities. Costa is a Florida-based company, although the glasses are made in Taiwan. That’s not a deal breaker unless you refuse to buy anything not made in the USA. The quality appears top notch, which you should expect when the glasses come with a $249 price tag.




There are elk on the moon


According to Jimmy and other conspiracy theorists, the whole landing on the moon thing was unreal, as in it didn’t happen: NASA staged the whole thing. Personally I don’t buy into that outrageous allegation. Why would anyone not trust the government? Ridiculous.

Now before you go on accusing me of being a lemming and having blind faith in our leaders, rest assured I do have my doubts. For example I do not subscribe to the assertion that there is a man in the moon, or that the moon is made of Swiss cheese.

Not real.

Not real.

But I do believe that astronauts are not the only humans to have walked on the moon.


I’m on the fence about whether or not a cow really jumped over the moon, but I am dead certain that a cow elk walked on the moon. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

For real.

If an elk did it, certainly mankind did too. Sorry, Jimmy, I think you’re full of hot air.

Up the Firehole: Through the eyes of a Rookie Ranger

One thing nice about having a Rookie join the ranks of the Firehole Rangers this year was that we had us a submissive member along to do our bidding. Not only did he provide the plush mini van in which we traveled comfortably (and in shame) through Washington, Idaho and Montana, but once we reached our destination we had someone naive to check us in to the Ho Hum. Those of us who know from experience the risk associated with stepping foot inside the motel office always resist having to do so–a task administered only after drawing straws. But having a new guy along gave us veteran Rangers a much-deserved reprieve from the cat-fest. It seemed appropriately ironic that the Rookie, whose name may or may not be Morris, was ordered to stand in the face of the olfactoral assault, something he did bravely and without throwing up in his mouth. He also fetched us beers on demand, strung up our rods, bought our meals, and cleaned our gear at the end of each day. Well, 1 out of 4 ain’t bad.

Another benefit of having a Firehole first-timer along for the journey was the reminder of what it’s like to experience this amazing place for the first time. After several years of making the trip I find myself, while still in awe, more focused on the fishing than the bison, the thermal activity, the scenery. Those fixtures are always impressive, but after you’ve been there and done that a few times, it becomes somewhat commonplace. It shouldn’t be that way.

From behind the lens of his pink camera (to match his pink, v-neck Firehole Ranger Rookie t-shirt), Morris captured the magic of fishing this special place. Almost as if from a child’s innocent perspective, I give you the wonderment of the Yellowstone (thanks for the photos, Rookie).

Ho Hum Sweet Home, for a few days.

Day one brings a dusting of Montana powder.

The Goosemaster trudges past the crowds toward vacant water and gullible fish.

Late Spring in Yellowstone, Midway Geyser Basin.

Alas, the mighty Firehole. Let the lines become wet!

The weather would get worse before it got better.

The fishing could not have been any better: The Goosemaster and Marck doubled up.

Marck with the first of 273 fish for the day.

Blah, blah, blah. Whatever, Marck.

The weather broke just in time for lunch.

After which we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon of plentiful catching.

Everyone caught many fish, though some are by nature less accomplished.

Oh look, a hole in the ground filled with water. Wonder if it's hot?

Wait, Marck, this thing's going to erupt in just a second. Don't move.

Streamside attraction.


And then it would rain hard, and BWO's would hatch. Many fish eating real bugs, not ours.


That night, back at the Ho Hum...

Gooseman pontificates on one of many subjects before we head out for pizza and more beer.

Day two: There are many large animals in Yellowstone.

On this second day there was less snow, more cold. Biscuit Basin, YNP.

Catching was slower than the day before, depending on who you asked.

Jimmy didn't much complain.

The UA would complain, but still managed a fish.

Between naps, The Goosemaster got in on some action.

Marck only caught 167 fish on day two. Ha! Take THAT!

Lunch, under blue skies.

Thus concludes day two on the Firehole.


Thanks, Rookie Ranger, for the reminder of what it’s all about. See you next year, if I’m invited back.