Wednesday, January 23, 2013

20 Questions: Dave Hosler

Dave Hosler
Dave Hosler is a fly tying innovator. Take one look at his site, Pile Cast Fly Fishing, and you'll see that the creativity behind the flies at the vise likely gets its genesis from Dave's unpredictable personality--the dude has an eclectic taste when it comes to music, his photography is unique ... oh, and he's a bass angler.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I love me some bass, too. But Dave's got bass on the brain. His flies are clearly meant to incite ... to irk. Bass are easily excited, and Dave's flies seem to do the trick well enough.

I also think Dave's compensating--his job title is "systems administrator." For what little excitement that title inspires (and I'm just guessing--it could be the best job out there, save for the wardrobe manager at the Ba-da-bing!), it would seem Dave does his best to make up for it at the vise. He's an artist, really. A fly tying visionary.

Get to know Dave a bit, and if you ever need a killer smallie fly, you know where to go. On with the questions.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekend 10: Trips of a Lifetime

I'm headed to the International Sportsmen's Expo in Denver over the weekend, both to catch up with some folks for work, and to take in the show, which always inspires in me the desire to visit far-flung places where big fish lurk, awaiting a fly. Outfitters and guides from the world over convene every January in Denver, offering trips to places most of us only get to dream about... places like Bolivia to chase golden dorado, or Nunavit to cast to massive Arctic char. Africa and tigerfish. Bonefish on some newly discovered South Pacific pelagic paradise.

Honestly, is there only one "trip of a lifetime?" I hope not... I hope there's more adventure ahead of me than there is behind me. Time will tell.
So, in that vein, I thought I'd ask EMBT readers about their own dream adventures... their own fishy journeys to far-off piscatorial wonderlands. Here are their favorite fishy escapes--whether they've actually pulled the trigger on them, or not:

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Weekend 10: Things to do when it snows sideways and your nostrils freeze shut

It's been a bit chilly here in eastern Idaho, and the week ahead looks downright dismal, with lows really low and highs ... really low, too. One look out the window reveals horizontal snow, pushed by a north wind that cuts right to the bone.

To put it succinctly, "It ain't fishing weather." Or to put it like I've been putting a lot of things lately, "I'm too old for this shit."

A few years ago on a spring steelhead trip to Stanley, I remember the dashboard thermometer on my truck reading a crisp 11 degrees. Later that morning, I hooked one of only two steelhead I managed to hook on the entire three-day trip.

'I'm damn near at the phase in my life where all fishing should be "sock-free" and anything frozen better have rum and an umbrella in it.'

Then I promptly lost the fish because my reel had frozen solid--I'll never forget the "ping" of my tight leader snapping back into my face while the massive buck took my fly and retreated to a lie beneath a snow shelf. That's when I realized that, as hardy as I was as a younger man, the farther north of 40 I get, the less I want to climb into layers of fleece and Gortex and go chase fish. I'm damn near at the phase in my life where all fishing should be "sock-free" and anything frozen better have rum and an umbrella in it.

Honestly, had I not driven four hours to Stanley, I probably wouldn't have bothered with fishing that particular day--I would have curled up in the cabin and watched reruns of "The Unit."

So, as it snows sideways here on the upper reaches of the Snake River Plain, I thought I'd offer up some weekend possibilities that don't involved shaking ice loose from the guides of your 5-weight, or plucking frozen snot from under your nose.

Here goes:

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Deliberate Life

"A Deliberate Life" (Trailer) - Official Selection, IF4 2013 from IF4 on Vimeo.

As a fly fisher, I'm inspired by wild country and hidden waters. I'm turned on by lonely places where footprints in the gravel aren't shaped like wading boots, but by the creatures that live in these quiet, backcountry retreats.

It's rare that people inspire me.

But when they do, it's an acute inspiration ... the head-over-heels variety that floods my being with energy and moves me.

I'm inspired by the people who put together the new film, "A Deliberate Life." It's simply beautiful, and I think it touched me because the people it features are real people who have turned to fly fishing for many of the same reasons I did all those years ago. It's a film about passion... about love and devotion and faith. But first, it's a film about people who lean on fly fishing for their own salvation, and then find it in the waters they visit and the fish the love.

The film debuts tonight in Denver at the Fly Fishing Show (6:30 p.m. at the Denver Merchandise Mart). If you're anywhere close, this is a film you need to see. You'll leave the theater drunk on imagery, energized by what fly fishing can do for the soul and inspired ... by people.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

20 Questions: Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan
I love Rachel Morgan's passion--for fly fishing and for the rest of what she does, too. She's one of those rare people who smiles first and asks questions later.

I had the privilege of meeting Rachel last fall when I went to Boise to attend a meeting of the Boise Women Fly Fishers club. My friend Rebecca Garlock was invited to speak to the club about her trip this past summer to Yellowstone, and she called me in for backup (as if she needed any). Rachel met us at the door and immediately made us feel at home in a room full of strange women (hold the applause, please). 

After the meeting, we met for a drink and I got to know Rachel a bit better, and over the last few months, we've stayed in touch because she's part of a group of women who have launched a new website, Fly Fishing Ventures, for women who fly fish. It's over these last few months that I've come to realize just how passionate Rachel is about fly fishing, and it's something I can really appreciate.

Like all of us at one time or another, she's in the midst of some significant changes in her life, and she told me as I prepped this piece for posting that fly fishing might have been her salvation. As she dealt with some really heavy personal stuff, she turned to fly fishing to salve her spent emotions and her frustrations.

"It's like I owe it my life," she told me.

Many of us who fly fish can be somewhat flip about the craft and what it means to us, even if it truly is the fabric that keeps our being together. But Rachel's comments aren't flip--she means it. She fishes. It's who she is. 

Enjoy getting to know her... on with the questions: