Friday, September 14, 2012

The Weekend 10: News, Views and ... other stuff

OK... so, uh, summer's over. I can always tell summer's over when I don't have a plane ticket with my name on it, and I can really devote a couple of weeks to that Weight Watchers Online thing I keep vowing to do. Trouble is, when I travel, losing weight is never really top-of-mind, know what I mean? It's beer and fish. And fried stuff. But when I stepped on the scale Tuesday morning, I, uh, decided it was time to start "losing like a man." Four days, six pounds (I know, girls... men are assholes!).

It's also been a while since I recognized what a weekend actually is, and now, staring at a Saturday, I figured I'd go ahead and crank out ... drumroll please... a Weekend 10. No theme in particular... just a mishmash of things you can mull over as we head into a glorious September weekend. Here goes:

Getty Images
10) Peyton Manning. I emerged from the womb bleeding orange and blue, so the last 14 years have been pretty tough on me and my fellow Bronco fans. And, while I recognize that one game does not a season make, I'm pretty damned excited about the prospects for the Denver Broncos this year. I talked with my buddy Tom Reed today, and we both admitted that we've spent time at the doctor's office this week for certain unavoidable medical conditions that, thanks to Sunday night's game against the Steelers, have lasted more than four hours. Go Broncos.

The Arctic
9) The Arctic Circle. I had the chance last week to be a part of a conservation tour of the Dalton Highway--perhaps better known as the Haul Road that's often featured in the kitschy cable show, "Ice Road Truckers." It was my first sojourn above the Arctic Circle, and while the fishing was predictably slow (that seems to follow me where ever I go--have you noticed?), the sheer austerity of the landscape was absolutely amazing. Starting in a vibrant, gold birch forest riddled with black spruce (it's full-on fall in Interior Alaska right now), I drove north across the Yukon River and in just a few miles, watched as the landscape morphed into something out of Steven King's "The Mist." It was surreal... beautiful and stark. If you ever get the chance, do it.

8) Good news out the fly fishing industry this week. The American Fly Fishing Trade Industry is officially joining forces with the American Sportfishing Association for its annual International Fly Tackle Dealer show. Next year, the IFTD will be held in conjuction with the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show (ICAST) July 10-12 in Las Vegas. As AFFTA's new president, Ben Bulis said today, "This is a tremendous opportunity for the fly fishing industry and AFFTA's board of directors encourages all AFFTA members to take advantage of this opportunity to explore a new and innovative option to grow and improve our collective business interests." Or, in other words, "This is where you need to reach dealers, because there won't be a better opportunity."

7) Here's some more good news--if this doesn't get Congress off its ass and suddenly interested in the conservation of fish and game habitat on behalf of sportsmen, nothing will: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a report that showed an increase in participation in outdoor fish and wildlife related recreation, to the tune of $145 billion. According to the report, about a third of the U.S. population hunts or fishes (or both). Now, as enlightened anglers and hunters, it falls to us to do some educating, both in our own circles, and in Congress, where sportsmen are largely taken for granted. First, we need to help our fellow sportsmen make the connection between successful fishing and hunting and good, intact, healthy habitat. Second, we need to let Congress know we're paying attention--and, frankly, we need to let our presidential candidates know that we're in the game, and that we won't be fooled by lip service any longer. Time to get on the stick.

6) I have an inappropriate man-crush on Hank Patterson. Just a declaration. Don't read too much into it. Stay tuned... I smell a 20 Questions with Hank in the very near future. In the meantime, I'm off to catch some native rainbrowns. Twelve-inchers, no less.

5) My friends at the Fly Fishing Film Tour announced this week that they concluded the year's tour schedule by breaking the 40,000 mark for the first time. I'm a big fan of the film tour, and I'm so happy for Chris Keig and Doug Powell, the tour's organizers. Congrats, boys.

4) I attended the annual conference of the Outdoor Writers Association of America at Chena Hot Springs last week, and got the chance to reconnect with some great friends and meet some new ones. OWAA is a great organization, and, just this past year, they've opened membership up to bloggers and other digital media communicators. If you blog about the outdoors, consider becoming a member of OWAA... you'll get real-life press card and you'll earn some legitimacy. After a few years of blogging, I've come to realize that the only folks who don't consider bloggers to be credible members of the media ... are bloggers. Let's fix that.

3) Being home. I've been lucky enough to venture to some far-flung places this year (Australia, The Bahamas, Alaska), but when I pulled into the driveway earlier this week, it was nice to know that I would be home for a spell. Fall in the Rockies is not to be missed, and I don't intend to miss it.

2) Catching up. Last week, I got the chance to fish with an old friend in Alaska. John Nichols and his family moved away from Idaho about five years ago to Alaska, and I got the chance to spend a few quality hours with John, his son Ted, and a canoe on the Delta Clearwater River. Good times.

Coolest fish ever?

1) And finally ... is there a cooler fish than an Arctic grayling? I vote ... no. Happy Weekend.


  1. Grayling are truly an awesome fish. I have been lucky to catch 3 in the high mountain lakes around me. Love that fin!

    Oh and Go Donkeys! Not sure how, but I grew up a Broncos fan... I think because I disliked the Browns and got to watch the fumble and the drive happen to the team I dislike the most!

  2. If you want some drive-to Grayling, here's a recommendation based on personal experience. The Dempster Highway, goes north from Dawson on the Yukon River in the Yukon Territory. About 75 miles or so, you come to the Blackstone, in a valley. Big Grayling. You can go further north to the Peel, and catch char as well late summer. I have an old blog entry about it from years ago.
    Again, nice posts.

    1. Share that link for the blog entry, would you? That sounds like an awesome adventure... especially the part about adding char to the menu...

  3. Here's the first of three entries. It was 1973, eons ago.