Maiden Voyage of Water Master Grizzly Interrupted by Heart Attack

Here’s a Dacey Reservoir rainbow trout that I was trying to bring to net on a previous trip in April 2014.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know that I’ve been ignored by NFO Scadden regarding a warranty repair to my Outlaw Escape.  After conducting a little research I contacted Richard Stuber at Big Sky Inflatables to discuss their Water Master Grizzly, and how it compared to what I saw as deficiencies in the NFO Escape.  I first became aware of the Water Master in 2005 or 2006 while watching the Trout Bum Diaries vol.1 that featured these fishing rafts.  Richard said the Water Master would not only provide me with a more reliable boat that will last the next 20-plus years, but that it would hold and row much better in the wind than the Outlaw Escape.  The larger tubes and their 360 degree contact with the water cause the boat to sit much higher on the water while maintaining a large footprint.  Big Sky offered a “real” lifetime warranty on the raft.  I couldn’t resist; I always wanted to be a Trout Bum anyway.

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North Fork Outdoors: Finally Responds to Warranty Claims

UPDATE #2:  Finally had a desire to take two frameless water crafts on an upcoming trip (Water Master Grizzly replaced the Escape as my fishing craft of choice), so I inflated the Escape to test repair effort no. 2… leaks were present in all the same spots.  Utterly disappointed. 

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Evolution of a Fly Fisherman in the Mojave Desert

My good friend Bill fighting a Lahontan cutthroat on Martis Creek inlet. Note the trout porpoising under the leverage of Bill’s fly rod.

In prior blogs I’ve written about the allure fly angling has had on me since my early youth. It is rooted in New Hampshire. My earliest memories are of our home on Benton Road in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Benton is a rural-like road, and Hooksett is just north of Manchester. Our backyard was the New England woods all the way to the Merrimack River. The Merrimack is a large, powerful river, and its upper reaches still support Atlantic salmon as part of the Merrimack River’s Anadromous Fish Restoration Program. There is a small brook, Benton Brook, that is north of our old house towards the Londonderry Turnpike. The brook drains into the Merrimack, and on the way it skirts along the backside of commercial property on the west side of the Turnpike. One of those properties has a little man-made reservoir that contained stocked rainbow trout back in the early 1960s. As the crow flies, the Merrimack was less than a half-mile from our house, and the meandering course of the little brook was about a mile long from where it passed under Benton Road. Also behind our house, in the thick of the Merrimack Valley woodlands, were other shallow ponds and swamps. I recall skating on Maureen’s Pond on double-rail skates in the winter, and that was without adult supervision. As a child I never realized how close we lived to the mighty river; the thick woods made it seem so far away and mysterious.  Images of my brothers Neal and Bruce emerging from the woods with water moccasin snakes, cottontail rabbits, grey squirrels, and even a porcupine are still vivid in my memory.  At the edge of our property, abutting the woods, my father had a dog kennel.  Dad raised Weimaraners, training them for bird hunting.  We had a chicken coop where we harvested fresh eggs, and a garden that grew fresh melons and vegetables.  I recall the wonderful cucumber sandwiches mom would slice up, as well as the trouble I got into from secretly dipping wild rhubarb in the sugar bowl, the pink stain being the convicting evidence.  I may be suffering from selective memory or romanticism, but I think that was a wonderful way to start a life, and I’m thankful for those beginnings. 

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New Watercraft – Wayne Kirch

Adams McGill bay area, looking southwest

BEFORE READING THIS BLOG, READ THIS ONE: North Fork Outdoors: Not Responsive to Warranty Claims

If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you know I prefer to use a Fish Cat float tube to navigate and fish stillwater lakes and reservoirs. As much as it makes stillwater fishing fun, I always had a couple complaints about the Fish Cat. My most significant complaint about that style watercraft is that your lower legs are always under water which is uncomfortable after six hours fishing in the late fall or early spring. My second complaint, although less serious, is that kick-paddling is too difficult against winds in excess of fifteen miles per hour.

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Beginners Gear-Guide to Fly Fishing

21 inch rainbow caught on 8-foot, 5-weight fly rod I built in 1981

“John in LV” recently posted a comment regarding fly fishing gear for someone who wants to get started, or even get back into, fly fishing for trout (bass, too, readily take flies as I previously wrote about on Haymeadow and Cold Springs reservoirs). Other readers appear to have posted comments on other blogs that seemed to skirt around their interest in learning to fly fish. So I decided that I would give it a try. Although I have my specific preferences and prejudices, I’ve done my best to describe what I think would be a good outfit for a beginning fly fisherman.

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A New Fly Rod on Cold Creek

The Cold Creek Pond, March 28, 2009.

This past January, in protest of the winter and my new interim job, I built a new six foot fly rod. It was my first rod building project in about twenty-five years. I so enjoy fishing my old six-footer that I built in the early 1980s, but it is a slow action fiberglass blank and I wanted to replace it with a new, faster action graphite rod. I was hoping I could extend my casting range another five or ten feet with a graphite rod blank.

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