29 January, 2010
28 January, 2010
Checked the thermometer yesterday morning before heading to work and it's 10 F. But I was toasty despite having to be outside to and from meetings a chunk of the day.
Jacket is really light, but warm, and with reinforced shoulders and outer sleeves, seems like it will be pretty durable. The coolest part is the stuff stack. It will stuff into a fairly compact bag that makes it easy to take along for times when you might need it, but aren't sure. Took it out on Manistee river last weekend, but didn't end up wearing it as temps were mild.
I looked at a number of jackets before settling on this one. Seems like a good balance of price, features and durability. Mine's orange and black, so it even has a little style (as much style as you can have while looking like the Michelin man...). One key difference in down was the loft. Cheaper jackets felt thin. And with down, thin is bad as it's all about that trapped insulating air.
If you want to stay warm in the cold, I highly recommend checking one out!
27 January, 2010
It started with Tommy Lynch's presentation during the Hawkins Outfitters "Jump Start" school last Spring (highly recommended, btw). Tommy was showing us how to strip streamers on sinking lines. As he was demo'ing in the Manistee river, he got not one, but TWO strikes! Hmmm -- this technique may work. Then a couple of weeks back I saw Tommy's presentation at Colton Bay Outfitters. Big fish after big fish, all caught on stripped streamers on the PM. Yet more evidence.
Sure enough, it seems many of the serious guides advocate some type of sub-surface presentation. Jerry Darkes was hot on sink tips for warm-water species. Jon Ray extolled their virtues for swung flies to steelhead. And more. OK, it's time.
So now I've got a 300 grain Rio DC line on my Orvis Rocky Mt. Turbine IV reel. Should be perfect with one of my 8 weights. for chasing big trout on rivers and swinging to steelhead. Also picked up a 200 grain Rio DC line for use on my Ross CLA III reel on my 6 weight Scott A2 that should be good for smallmouth on the Huron, or chasing trout on UP lakes. Found a great casting video via the Hawkins web site.
Looking forward to learning how to add this strategy to my bag of tricks. As I mature in my fishing, I'm finding that I'm really mostly interested in fly fishing tactics. This means gaining skill with a wide range of techniques to match the water and species (and my mood, I suppose).
Tight lines -- this should be fun!
25 January, 2010
My highlight for the day was a 9-10# fish -- in fact my biggest steel of the past year or so. Had a solid hookset, but then there was that funny Winter steel "stall" where you think they popped off. But then it was game on! I love fighting steelhead. Even the little skipper I got later in the day was a fun little fight.
Great day on the river - many thanks to Jon for his skill and patience. If you want to have a fun experience, I highly recommend a day on the Manistee with Jonny!
21 January, 2010
I like my KelTec, but it's not the hallmark of precision, nor accuracy. And shooting more than 1-2 clips is painful (small, light gun with large round...) so I don't get to practice with it as much as I should.
Gotta' go check one of these beasts out!
20 January, 2010
For non-gun folks (if you're even still reading this post) the .380 is the same diameter as a 9mm, just shorter. Because of this, it carries about 25% less gunpowder and thus achieves lower velocities. In a smaller round like .380 and 9mm, 25% is significant.
One of the key tenets I was taught by multiple instructors during my concealed classes was to always carry the largest round you're comfortable shooting regularly. We were taught that if the worst possible scenario were to happen and we were forced to use our firearm, it needs to get the job done.
For me, the the standard 9mm Luger is that round. Reasonable firepower. Practical to carry (especially in the compact form of my KelTec P11). Certainly there are those who feel the 9 is underpowered -- cool, that's what .40 S&W or .45 ACP are for. If you feel you need that stopping power, then you're willing to deal with the extra weight and bulk of those firearms.
To be honest, I seldom carry. But when I do, I want to have confidence I'd have the firepower to back up a worst-case situation if I found myself in one.
18 January, 2010
15 January, 2010
14 January, 2010
12 January, 2010
The stretching seem to really benefit me, although it quantifies just how much I need to work on my flexibility. Although at only my second class, I had noticed some improvement.
One thing that appeals to me is the order and respect of the class. When the instructor tells us that "five minutes early to class is on-time" I know I'm in the right place. Definitely appeals to my need for promptness. What was amazing were the number of people who rolled in late, despite knowing that. And, not just five minutes late -- one woman was 45 minutes after the start time!
I also like the notion of getting in touch with your motions. As a lifelong participant in balance and motion-based sports, I was amazed how quickly I was able to pick up on things like foot positioning and weight distribution. A lifetime of skiing, surfing, skateboarding, biking, and other sports means I usually know what my feet are doing. They're the connection to almost all of these pursuits.
Looking forward to my flexibility improving, but really enjoying the process.
11 January, 2010
Alternately, if weather's right, maybe I'll try chasing chrome on the Lower Huron. I hear there are some good spots around Rockwood. And it's only a 45 minute drive from home.
08 January, 2010
It's the snow that gave Utah the tagline, "Greatest Snow on Earth" and it's just about my favorite thing. This was our first real significant snow of the year in SE Michigan (while everyone else has been getting dumped on, it seems) so I was doubly happy to see.
Now I just have to get some time to go play in it!
06 January, 2010
Then, later in the day, I was riding up the ski lift with a guy who was bemoaning finding time for all his activities -- skiing, sailing, mountain biking -- a problem I share. At the time I thought that some people are just naturally more active than others. I certainly seem to fall into that category as I don't sit well and seem to always have trouble finding time to fish, ski, hunt, cycle, shoot, or whatever...
But then I got to thinking: What if there's a gene for activity? Somehow it wouldn't surprise me. So, do active parents have active children? My sister's a hardcore cyclist both on-road and off. And in-his mid-60's my Dad's still out fishing, working out, and keeping very active. Perhaps there's something to this genetic notion. At any rate, it's interesting food for observation.
05 January, 2010
Last night I attended my first class through the local Y. Now, I get it.
While it was all rather new and foreign to me, I very quickly understood how this will benefit me. In even the most basic poses, I could feel my own lack of flexibility. Fortunately, what I lacked in flexibility I did make up for in other areas like balance.
The instructor was great - she balanced newbies and more seasoned practitioners alike. I felt welcome and able to ask questions. She corrected me on a few things, but not so that I'd feel singled-out. Afterward we chatted for a bit (her day job is in marketing/advertising, too) and she commented that I'd had a solid first outing and would be very surprised by how quickly flexibility would come.
But the best part was afterward. I felt totally loose and relaxed. Already looking forward to next week's class! If you're active and have considered yoga, I must say I'm glad I gave it a go!
04 January, 2010
The Black Diamond Mercury mittens are designed to keep hands comfortable while climbing mountains and backcountry skiing in temperatures as low as -20°F.
Warm & Well-Design
Pros: Warm, Great Design
Best Uses: Skiing, Backcountry
Describe Yourself: Advanced
Gear Usage: Winter Sports, Cold Weather Living
Just purchased these as a solution for super-cold days skiing. Tested them this weekend on 5 degree day with 15-20 mph winds. Wow, very warm and highly windproof!
Seem to be very well-built for durability. Like the separate trigger finger for improved grip dexterity.
My first Black Diamond product and very satisfied.
But, over the holidays, I added a new weapon to the cold weather arsenal - mittens! For some reason, I've always resisted them. Maybe I thought the loss of dexterity would be too much, or that someone I was a wuss for wearing them.
New Black Diamond Mercury mittens rock -- super warm, comfy, and functional. Trigger finger is separated to enable some grip and dexterity. My hands were actually a bit too warm initially, but as day wore on they were great. Biggest pleasant surprise was how much easier mittens are to take off and put on. No finger fumbling. Quick and easy. And wrist leash meant when they were off, no worries about dropping them.
Happy New Year to all!