Monday, April 06, 2015

The Winston-Salem Fly Fishing Show 2015

Evenin' Folks,

  I know I'm about a month and a half late, but I wanted to make sure and tell you guys about my trip to The Fly Fishing Show in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  It got off to a pretty rocky start, which, unfortunately, put a damper on the whole weekend, but I got to meet some cool people and sit in on some awesome lectures.
   In spite of some cooler temperatures being forecast, I opted to take the tent and camp at a nice little campground called Midway about 25 minutes outside of Winston-Salem.  It gave me the opportunity to put some cold weather camping techniques that I've wanted to try to the test.  A few sock-covered Nalgene bottles full of boiled water tucked into the sleeping bag a few minutes before bedtime makes a world of difference!  I stayed comfortably warm, even when waking up to 12° F and ice in my mustache!!
  The Winston-Salem show was a Friday and Saturday event.  I got up the first morning and stopped at a McDonald's on the way in to grab a hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich.  Unfortunately, I didn't get much further that morning.  As I was leaving the restaurant, a driver in the oncoming lane to my left fell asleep, drifted into my lane and took the front end off of my little Escape.  I spent the next 4 hours in the McDonald's parking lot calling insurance and car rental companies trying to get the ball rolling and trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get home!  I want to take a moment to say a huge and very well deserved THANK YOU to Mike from Mike's Wrecker Service in Mocksville.  If any of you reading this are ever in need of a tow truck in that area, give Mike a call.  He helped me out a lot, did a great job towing my car and really gave me some great advice on the whole process.  
It was a good little car.
  I'm very thankful that I wasn't injured at all in the wreck, but it certainly made me think hard about attending the second day of the show or just driving home.  Well, I guess I'm a glutton for punishment, because I stayed two more sub-freezing nights in the tent so I could get my fly fishing gear fix.  To say that I wasn't in the best frame of mind for attending a show is a bit of an understatement.  As a result, I'm afraid I didn't take as many photos as I wish I had.  
   The thing I enjoyed most about the Winston-Salem Fly Fishing Show was the number and variety of presentations and lectures offered.  From fly fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the Bahamas to Alaska, and those are just a few of the presentations I attended.

 One of the most fascinating was a presentation from a gentleman named Ozzie Ozefovich on The Underwater World of Trout.  Ozzie has combined his lifelong love of trout with his lifelong love of the video camera and through his camera's lens he sheds light on the secret world of his favorite fish.  Not only does he study and explain the habits of the fish themselves, but Ozzie also runs tests to determine how the water currents change through the water column and how different structures affect the stream flow.  Ozzie had compiled his research and footage onto 4 dvds that are available for purchase through his website.  I plan to order them, so look for a review here later in the year!
Cecilia "Pudge" Kleinkauf
  A highlight of the show for me was meeting and speaking with Cecilia "Pudge" Kleinkauf, the director and guide of Women's Flyfishing Alaska.  She's such a wealth of information and experience and her passion for the sport is contagious.  Pudge has authored several books and many articles on flyfishing in Alaska, she has hosted a podcast and been interviewed by the Ask About Flyfishing podcast.  I got to speak with Pudge while she was working her table on Tier's Row, she told me she's a regular at The Fly Fishing Shows.  I feel very fortunate that I got to meet and speak with her and I hope I get the opportunity again some day.
  Even though things got off to a rough start for me with this trip, I thoroughly enjoyed attending The Winston-Salem Fly Fishing Show.  If there's a show in your neck of the woods you really ought to check it out.  The lectures, the exhibitors, and the fly shops that are represented really make for a great show.  I'm going to try to attend again next year, but I might have to get a hotel and I won't be going to McDonald's for coffee!!!
  I hope you're all doing well,
     Tight Lines,

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fly Fishing Film Tour Atlanta 2015

Evenin' Folks,
  First off, I'd like to apologize for the unplanned hiatus.  I've had a helluva couple months here lately,  after my trip to North Carolina, but I'm back now and I've got lots of posts in the works!                                                                     The guys at F3T sent me a media pack and tickets to attend their film showing down at the Buckhead Theatre.  After watching the preview DVD (and enjoying all the beer they sent!) I was really excited to attend the show.  The show has a long list of sponsors and the presenters do some pretty awesome giveaways during the intermission.  They even truck in beer from Oskar Blues Brewery, so, naturally, I got myself a Dale's Pale Ale to enjoy during the show.
  I've got to say, I was really quite shocked to be one of the first people in attendance.  I like to get to shows like this early, to ensure I get a good seat, but it seemed like the theater didn't really fill up until after the show started.  There were several empty seats around me until well after the films started.  Perhaps because it was a Wednesday night in Buckhead and the after work traffic was awful as usual.  The other thing that surprised me was the lack of energy in the audience.  I mean, come on Atlanta, we can do better!  The response from the audience just seemed lackluster at best and I felt that the F3T guys deserved better than that.  I hope the Cartersville audience in April is a lot more lively!!!
  Now, as for the films, they were really amazing!  Each film gave a look into some facet of fly fishing around the world.  All of the short films shown this year were exciting or thought provoking to watch and absolutely worth checking out.  The three that I seemed to enjoy the most were 90 Miles, a film that discussed the relationship between the US and Cuba and moving forward in cooperation for fishing and conservation; Yow: Icelandic for Yes, was a stunning film that introduces a pioneer of surfing in Iceland spending time both surfing and fly fishing in some incredibly scenic places.  Iceland was on my travel wish list before, but I think it moved up a couple notches after seeing the film!  And Mongolia, this film was an introduction for me for fly fishing in Mongolia for the world's largest trout species, the Taiman, and the innovators and guides who are trying to save the Taiman by attracting fishing tourism dollars to their corner of the world.  
  If you've got a Fly Fishing Film Tour coming to your neck of the woods, I definitely recommend you check it out.  It makes for a great evening out with awesome giveaways and good beer!  If you can't make it to one of the shows, check out the F3T website.  They've got trailers for all of the year's films on the site.
  I hope you're all doing well, and now that winter is over in most of the country, you're getting out and catching some fish.
   Tight lines!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Winter Camping Checklist

Evenin' Folks,
  For the first time in a while I didn't do any fishing this weekend (haven't been doing much catching lately, anyway!).  Instead, I've been working on getting organized and getting my lists made for my trip to North Carolina this coming weekend.  I'm going to be attending The Fly Fishing Show in Winston-Salem and I'm very excited!  I'll have a full post up after the show with tons of pictures and my experiences at the show.  Make sure you're following me on Facebook and Instagram because I'll be live posting photos there all weekend.
  There was a special rate offered at the local hotels for show attendees, but a hotel room is way outside my budget.  I've never been a big fan of sleeping in a bed slept in by a few hundred strangers before me either! So, I'm camping!  I'm packing up the tent, sleeping bag and chuck box and enjoying a weekend of sleeping in the great outdoors.  I've found a nice little campground about 25 minutes from the convention center and, fingers crossed, the weather should be fairly cooperative for the weekend, according to current outlooks.  Being that this is the beginning of February, North Carolina does get pretty cold.  The night of my arrival the meteorologists are predicting snow flurries and weekend lows in the low 20s.  Since I'm car camping, I don't have much concern for the weight of my gear, but I want to make sure that I am well prepared for whatever the weather might throw at me.  In doing my research, Googling "camping checklist" seems to assume warm weather camping and searching "winter camping" assumes back country snowshoeing or cross country skiing trips.  None of the lists I found seem to be tailored to winter camping in the southeastern US where it could rain, it could snow or it could be 70 degrees all in the same weekend!  So, I've put together my own list and I thought I would share it here with you.

Tent stakes
Floor pad
Kitchen shelter
Door mat
Wisk broom
Tent light
Cell phone charger
Extension cord
Power strip
Cold Sleeping
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Sleeping bag liner
Extra quilts/blankets
Specialty Clothing
Long johns
Heavy socks
Knit cap
Henley shirt
Gloves knit & leather
Rain gear
Plastic utensils
Plastic cooking utensils (spatula, spoon, tongs)
Matches/lighter (plus extra)
Plastic cup/mug
Paper plates/bowls
Paper towel
Plastic pot scraper
Scrub pad
Dish detergent
Dish cloth
Wash basin
Kitchen knife
Cutting board
Hot dog forks
Small trash bags (used grocery bags)
Nalgene style water bottles
Aluminum foil
French press
Can/bottle opener
Kitchen towel/pot holder
Measuring cup/spoons
Zip top bags
Cooking oil/spray
Spare mantles
Spare Batteries
Multi tool
Duct tape
Fire starter (homemade or store bought)
Firewood (extra)
Folding table
Camp chair
Fire poker
Soap w/box or zip top bag
Wash cloth
Shower shoes
Eyeglass repair kit
Contact case
Contact solution
First aid kit
Lip balm
Personal medications
Laundry bag
Throat lozenges
Antacid tablets

  My Winter Camping Checklist isn't a whole lot different from my regular checklist, except that I've added a few "extra" and "spare" designations that may not be as important in warmer conditions, and the "Specialty Clothing" and "Cold Sleeping" categories have been added.  I've left out categories for clothing and food because those are very individualized for each person and each trip.  I'm going to keep this as a "live list", as my camping experience grows and different pieces of kit are tested and tried, things will be added and deleted.  I'll also continue with the Seasonal and Specialty categories to tailor each list to each individual trip.  I'll keep the list updated on the blog, so make sure you keep checking back and let me know if you think I need to add anything, I'm always open to suggestions!
  I hope you're all doing well.
     Happy Camping!

Monday, January 19, 2015

We Have A Winner!!!

Thanks to everyone who followed, liked and shared!  This giveaway was a lot of fun for me!  Thanks so much for all the support!  Instagram follower @dcasto128 is the lucky winner of all these goodies!  Just shoot an email with your mailing info to and I'll send it right out to you!
Huge thanks to Tacky Fly Box, ARC Fishing and Fly Box Outfitters for donating to the giveaway!!  And thanks, too, to all the vendors I was able to get the decals from!! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Umpqua Feather Merchants

Huge thanks to the folks at Umpqua Feather Merchants for the pile of gear to test and review!
Evenin' Folks,
  If you follow me on social media then you've already seen these pictures, but I wanted to make sure and get them posted up here for those that don't.  Back at IFTD I had the pleasure of meeting the folks from Umpqua Feather Merchants and I had the opportunity to check out the soon-to-be-released gear they had in the works.  Fast forward a few months and I had a nice, big box waiting on the front porch full of a few pieces of that new gear that impressed me so much!  Keep an eye here on over the next few months as I do my First Cast review and follow ups.  I've already mounted the Tailgater on a storage container and filled a few of the pockets and I can tell already that it's going to become a vital piece of kit for me!
  I hope you're all doing well and staying warm this winter!

The Tailgater locked and loaded!  There are still a lot of empty pockets to fill!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Giveaway 2015!!!


The Suburban Angler Giveaway 2015!!! This giveaway has been in the works for several months, and it's finally a go!  This is just a small way for me to say thanks for all the support in 2014 and a little bribe to get you to stick with me for all the good things to come in 2015! Thanks and good luck!!!
  There are multiple ways to win:
Since you're here, subscribe to the blog!  All subscribers get their name entered in the contest, just make sure to comment on this post so I have some way to contact you if you win!

  If you're on Instagram:
FOLLOW @TheSuburbanAngler, find the photo above and give it a LIKE, then make sure you SHARE it with the tags
@TheSuburbanAngler and #TSAgiveaway2015

  If you prefer FaceBook:
LIKE The Suburban Angler, find the photo above and give it a LIKE, then make sure you SHARE it with the tags
@TheSuburbanAngler and #TSAgiveaway2015

The contest will run until midnight eastern time on 01/18/15 and the winner will be chosen by random number generator and announced on 01/19/15 by midnight.  This is your chance to win an awesome Tacky Fly Box and logo buff, an ARC Fishing can koozie, plus a pile of manufacturer and fly shop stickers (for your cooler, back window or Trapper Keeper!) that I've collected since IFTD and anything else that I find between now and the end of the contest. 

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!!!!

Happy New Year!!! 2014 was a great year for The Suburban Angler and 2015 will be even better!! We've got some big plans in the works, starting with our first giveaway, so stay tuned! Thanks for all the support in 2014 and here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!! 
   Thanks again,