Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DIY Gear- Hat Hook Holder

Something happened to me last weekend that I am still not over, I lost one of my really good flies. In the weed or on a sunken log I would not be as heartbroken, but this was different.  It was on my hat. My place of honor as you may.  A plethora of well loved flies that have seen many hours of battle and have done their tours in the rivers and streams of the west. They now rest upon my hat to proudly display their devotion to their trade. There are also a few that "hitch-hike" as it were while they dry or await to be placed back within their box.  That is where my Fly was last seen and now he is on the side of the road somewhere, hopefully he has been picked up by another angler who can appreciate him.  But this got me thinking today as I was on my way to work, I needed to make a way to place flies on my hat and easily remove them as needed or not. So here is one variation of what I came up with.

So what you need:
-Hat- Here is my F3T Hat from this years showing, good hat to show.
-Velcro strips or patches- I like the patches ***Note the self-adhesive kind it can gums up the thread and needle so be careful.
-Needle and thread (Red because its cool)- I pick this one up at Target for $2.50

Line it up
 Pretty self explanatory, put to where you want it to go. Watch out that you do not place it over a seam or a thick part of the hat. It is not an easy task to sow through it.

There you have it, start at the corner and work you way around.  Add a few extra stitches at the corners so that you do not break them after repetitive use. Another thing that you can do is use the other adhesive side and mount a thin piece of craft foam from your local craft store. This will allow you to take the flies off and add a new set of flies for easy access.  Just a fun little tool that will keep your flies with you and not on the side of a stream or road.


The Bearded Boar
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flies of a Different Color

Most of the time flies are bright or colorful, they have nice structure and look appealing to the eye. I love tying Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Soft Hackles, BWO, Hoppers, Lefty's Deceiver and really endless amounts variations of each.  But, recently I have been toying around with other flies, ugly ones to be exact. Flies that curdle your stomach, make you want to hide your children, and bring the dog in. I am speaking of the Carp Fly.
  I have a long standing belief that carp flies should be ugly, simple, but hideous.  So I went about tying some new patterns last week and here are a few that I came up with.


The Bearded Boar

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Moving on up....

So if there has been a strange silence coming from my direction the past two weeks it is because I was moving my family.  Well the move is pretty much behind us and things are starting to settle down now,  we are now trying to find our rhythm again and find some sort of normality.  We will see how that goes.  Good news is that we are closer to the things we love to do, hunting, fishing, horses, and miles and miles of hiking.  I am looking forward to the change in pace with my life, slowing down will be real nice with out a doubt. Sunday we took the family on a hike on the back side of Bear Valley Springs and we had a great time, we needed to start the week off right.  Stay tuned all and I'll talk to you all soon.

The Bearded Boar
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Trout Power- Come One, Come ALL

I wanted to direct all you fly bums over to a really cool project that you all should check out, Trout Power.  It is brought to you by Jordan Ross of JP Ross Fly Rods and the good people along the West Canada River in New York State. It is a really great project and a great opportunity for us all to help out or local community as well.  Give the site a once over and if you have the time and ability enter into the Tourney or just donate to the cause.

  If you can't make the it and are not able to donate, try and at least stop by the local stores and support local small businesses. Stop by for a sweet bite at Sweetie Pies or skip Motel 6 and go to Sugar Bush B&B for a good night sleep.

  I am trying to make it out there to the West Canada for the tourney and I hope you will too. This is more than just a lip ripping session, it is about the community and bringing anglers and small towns together.  So have at it all.

Later the BB.
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Yes sir, my local bow shop, Archery Sports USA, has been save on the brink of extension.  From the depths of despair and destruction they have been pulled out of the muck and mire to be place on a street corner with a new location and new vigor. Out of no where a local propertry owner and businessman came in and wanted to help run the buisness and expand the shop.  So not only is the shop staying open, they are growing! It is American Capitalism at its finest.  With him injecting some money into the shop it helps them stay open and even expand to have 15 indoor shooting lanes.  Not a bad deal!
  And the best part about it is, the owner of the shop asked me if I would think about guiding for his Outfitting business in Montana a few months a year for Elk, Deer, Bear and Antelope.  Umm....let me think about it.  Sure if I have to spend some time there and hang out with guys who love to hunt. So all around a good time if you ask me, I keep my local shop, they expand and I might be headed to Montana to guide and hunt. Not bad.

Man I love the free market and entrepreneurship, it made and still makes America great.

Later All,

The Bearded Board

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rain, Mud, Waterfowl and the Occasional Seal

  I really got into Duck hunting this year, and not just a little.  It filled the place of my bowfishing obsession this winter when all my fish faced friends were hiding in their deep pools.  Once I found out it was legit to hunt a little stretch of river along the Pacific Coast Highway, I was all for getting my Browning out and really putting it to the local duck population. It has been an up and down season with all the rain or lack there of here in California, my first Pin Tail and the constant battle with all the yahoos who think when you hunt you need to leave your brain at home.  I pressed on and here are the highlights and low lights to my season.

The Good
 By far the best part of my season was taking my son on his first hunt "Pass'n it on". To this day it still puts a big smile on my face every time I think about that day.  That Gadwall became his triumph, his duck, his special day with dad.  Nothing my son has done has made me prouder to be apart of his first day in the mud and water.

  I also was able to meet a lot of good people out on the public land, one guy hooked me up with my new Chocolate Lab Boone. Another gave me the recommendation I needed to join a hunting club here in California called Wilderness Unlimited. It truly was a good season and I am looking forward to next years as well.

The Bad
 So that was the best of days, but I also had a few moments where I wanted to reach out and stick a decoy where the sun don't shine on a few fellas.  First was a group of "intelligent gentleman", and I use that term loosely, who decided they were going to go hunting in blue jeans and white t-shirts.  I really wouldn't care if that was all, but they also decided to drive their truck around looking for ducks instead of sitting in a blind or jump shooting them on foot.  It's bad enough when a person walks by you while your are in a blind, but a metalic blue Ford 250? Really? Next was the yahoo shooting divers while they were sitting on the water about 40 yards from us, not sure if he likes divers or just likes looking like a tool.  Jury is still out on that one.

And the Ugly
  Okay maybe not the Ugly, but at least the strange.  I was talking to a friend who was in our normal blind and he could not believe what he was seeing, a seal swam past him as he and his son. That would be unheard of for most, but understandable given the fact that the area where I hunt is at the far end of an estuary. So though highly unlikely to see marine life in there, not improbable.  I have heard from another guy that said he caught a shark and a Ray in the same area to.  So go figure.

   It was a good year for sure, not major complaints to speak of. Just a good reminder that I need to teach my kiddo's the proper way act in the field.  I am glad that I spent the time over the water and under the wings, but I am looking forward to being able to sit on private land with like minded individual who respect you and water that the are shooting over.  Still have three more weeks of late season goose hunting so we will see if I can get out and put the hurt on some Whites, but to be honest I am a little worn out from a long season.  Plus we are in the height for pig season.

Peace be the Journey,

The Bearded Boar
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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BowAmerica- Zen and the Art of Bowfishing

Here is an article I wrote for BowAmerica's February Issue on Bowfishing.  Enjoy.

I read a book a long time ago called Zen and the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel, who was a German philosopher who taught in Japan in the 1930s. In his book he describes that in archery hitting the target is secondary to the focus and awareness the archer brings to the task. It is not about the target, but about everything that builds to that point where you release the arrow and accomplish your target.  First, I am not a Zen Buddhist nor do I pretend that I am a master at archery.  I do recognize though there is a valuble lesson to be learned from Herrigel’s book, especially when it comes to Bow Fishing for carp, Gar, Gators or whatever your taste of fish is. 
  I’ll admit that I have had days where nothing goes right and I could not hit the ground with my arrow if I dropped it.  If you want a painful laugh watch my video Day of 20 Misses and you will see my worst day ever behind a bow.  That is a day that I will never forget to say the least.  It was also the day where I remembered Heir Herrigel’s book and some of the things that he said.  I had let the fish become the goal for me instead of the bow, the water and the art of bow fishing.  I had been clouding my head with the need to rack up the fish counts and film big fish getting drug on shore and for what? Was it because someone on Youtube I watched or something a guy on a forum said that carnage is the true sign of a Bowman? Was pride creeping in and blood lust taking over?  Not sure to be honest, but one thing I do know is I missed a ton that day and I had to shame myself by posting it.

  Bowfishing to me truly is about the skill, timing and understanding your target.  Stripping down all of the unfiltered muck that clouds what we are and do helps us to realize that we are perusing an animal that lives in another world and his whole being is trying to evade us.  Really that is Bow Hunting at its core, hunter looking to our smart prey that is trying to survive at all costs.  They say that a trout has an IQ of 2 and that a carp has an IQ of 4, they are not dumb as far as fish go for sure.  I think that you need to be able to realize that we are not out to fill a bucket or barrel. But rather we are out to fulfill something greater, to make us better archers and people.  Patience, thought, and the understanding that we are there to enjoy the day or night and let the Art of Bowfishing take over.   For me I know when I am in that spot when I am not thinking.  I turn off everything else in my mind and I am simply focusing on releasing the arrow.  It is a wonderful place to be for sure.

  I’ll be honest, duck season is almost over, deer and bear season is long gone so my attention is now devoted to fish (and pigs but that is another post).  I am really excited to start walking the banks and drifting the rivers and lakes in search of carp.  Anytime I can get ready to go hunting by putting on a pair of sandals and a short sleeve shirt I am really excited about.  So as the silt starts to clear up from the lakes and the rivers are starting to flow again I am looking to my Matthews MQ1 and my homemade PVC bow to shape me into being a better archer.  I am sure I will miss and miss and then miss again, but I know that if I walk with one or two fish in a session it has been a good day.  Though if I come back with 20, I will not be complaining either.

Peace be the Journey,
The Bearded Boar
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nature Boy Designs- I got a package!!!

So good times in So. Cal today, well other than the rain, it is a good day.  I got a package fooNot just any package I got a package from Nature Boy Designs of Northern CA packed with goodies.
To be exact, a Size Matters Shirt, two 550 Wader Lanyards and a Bombproof Rod Tube.  Happy days are here again!  I'm headed up to film in a few weeks so I guess you can say I know what I will be taking with me.  Good stuff and give Nature Boy Designs a "Like" to be in the know.

The Bearded Boar
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

2012 Hit List

I know that the deer season is barely over in some places, but I am moving to a new area and I am seeing a lot of promising signs of possible Mulies for my hit list.  So here is some horns for you all to stare at.

Always fun to spot n stalk with just a camera, gives me hope that I'll be dropping my two deer with ease next season.


The Bearded Boar
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