Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Well, I spent yesterday on the stream and in the rain. It started out as a nice day- good temperatures, overcast skies, and quiet. I managed to do quite well, by catching some nice rainbows. As far as I know, I only shared the stream with one other person, whom I ran into and chatted with. I learned a valuable lesson yesterday about rain jackets. I have a very nice Stearns "rain coat", but after about eight hours it reached its limit, and by the end of the day the only dry part of me was under my waders. Think about this when purchasing a jacket for hiking or fishing, what looks good and works from the house to the car may not be so good for long term use. Needless to say, I will be looking around for a new fishing jacket. Do you think they will let you return something if you've had it on in the shower? jk.
See you on the trail
Friday, October 23, 2009
With the fall backpacking season in full swing, I have been seeing a lot of large packs out there. One of the first things people assume when they see my pack is that I am sacrificing comfort somewhere. I have had the chance to show my camp setup to a few of these people and the most common response is, "man I need to lighten my pack load". The best way I have found, to lighten your pack, is to make a gear list. List every little thing in your pack, and next to it list the weight (be as close as possible). Once you have made the list, look at the heaviest items, and find a way to either lighten it, replace it, or eliminate the need for it. I have made a list of what kind of weights to be looking for with the major pieces of gear.
Pack - under or around 3 pounds. There are several packs in the 50 to 65 litre size in this range.
Solo Tent or Shelter - around 2 pounds. Of course, more money = less weight, but I know of a tent that is 2 lbs 9 ounces for $80.00
Sleeping bag - 2+ pounds. Down can be much lighter, but even a good synthetic bag can be in this range.
Cook set - -1 pound. OK-OK, I'm way under that weight, but my setup is custom. A pocket rocket and a snow peak mug or GSI soloist pot are great and you can buy them anywhere.
Water treatment - This depends on your method but most filters are in the 1 pound range
Clothing - this is the one killer of hikers. I carry one pair of shorts or zip-off pants, 2 or 3 pairs of socks and underwear, two shirts (one for hiking, one for camp and sleeping). In really cold weather I may pack a light fleece, but a rain jacket is a great warming layer because it holds in a lot of heat.
I hope this helps those of you who are in the "I need to lighten up" mode. If anyone has questions, feel free to post a comment. The important thing to remember is that ultralight may not be for everyone, but I'm sure anybody would appreciate shaving a pound or two.
See you on the trail,
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I took Christi's brother Josh trout fishing for the first time yesterday. The weather was perfect, temperatures in the low 60's, overcast skies, and the water was in the mid to low 50's, a little cool for wet wading but we toughed it out. I had no idea that he had never fished for trout until we were almost to the river. (needless to say the pressure was on). Once on the water, I tried a few different flies and techniques, and soon landed a nice brown trout. I explained what color lure the fish were likely to hit, and where each species was holding in the pool. Taking my advice, Josh soon landed his first trout ever (another healthy brown). Josh's second fish was a net worthy rainbow, that ended up being the biggest fish of the day. We where soon pulling in fish quite regularly, and I'm happy to say, not only did Josh catch his first trout yesterday, but he ended up catching all three species. I found that changing flies (sunken drys and nymphs all in light colors) every few fish was the trick, and by the end of the day, I had landed several rainbows and brookies. With the combination of good fishing and beautiful scenery, I'm pretty sure that Josh is hooked on trout fishing! I for myself cant wait to get back up on the stream.
See you on the trail,
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Well, Fall is finally here and temperatures have started to show it. The other day, it was 31 degrees on top of Mt. Mitchell. With the recent rain and the low temperatures, the trout streams have cooled off a bit, and with today being the start of delayed harvest, the fishing should be very good. I keep day dreaming of a dry fly floating through the current as a light fog rises off the water and seeing that small ripple from a trout rising to my fly.
Fall is also one of my favorite times of the year to hike. There is nothing like waking up and smelling the cool, crisp autumn air and hiking along a high ridge or up to a summit bald to see the collage of fall colors, which is, for lack of a better term, breathtaking.
This time of year temperatures can vary widely with the daily highs and lows being very far apart. When venturing into the back country, pack some warmer items, but be sure to layer clothing so that you can strip down during the warmer part of the day.
Maybe I'll see you out there and we can discuss the hot fly of the day or what trails have the best views. If we see no one then no worries we just picked a good stream or the right trail
See you on the trail,