March 31, 2013

The Spectacle of the Annual Trout Opener

I don't go to the opening day of trout season for the "stellar" fishing.


No, I go for the tradition and spectacle, which includes...

A lot of cars trucks & SUVs...


Random dudes to the left...


random dudes to the right.


random dudes over here...


random dudes over there...


random dudes everywhere...


It wasn't quite the shoulder to shoulder combat fishing that it has been in years past, but there was still quite a lot to see, mainly from folks that clearly only fish on this occasion each year.  What you get is a mixed bag full of anglers wading through prime holding water, numerous bird's nests consuming reels due to being spooled with mono that hasn't been changed in a decade, a sporting goods store worth of lures caught in overhead tree branches, and of course every color of Powerbait and species of worm/grub under the sun.  

But whatever, my brothers of the creek paid for their license fair and square, so they have just as much right to be there as I do...  I'm no snob, however I find myself easily entertained.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't fish...but no fly rod, no Tenkara wand.  Instead, I came bearing some serious hardware.

Pflueger bitches!

Caught one shy of my limit tossing spinners...


...and escaped about an hour later to the sanctuary of the golden arches.


Tradition laced with spectacle capped off with Canadian bacon, egg, and melty orange cheese.  
Yet another Southeastern Pennsylvania opening day in the books.

I'm really gonna miss it next year.


March 30, 2013

A Bout With Mother Nature

Mother Nature can be temperamental.

Attendance at my company this week was a little lean.  With extended Easter weekends in play I thought it might be a good opportunity to take a personal day myself, and maybe unwind a little bit by getting a line wet.

When I left my house, it was a beautiful late March day.  55 degrees, blue skies, and the sun peeking through the puffy white clouds just enough to make it feel even warmer.  By the time I got to the water, someone pulled the plug.  Gray clouds had corrupted the sky and a bone-chilling wind began its assault.

Mother Nature can be cruel.

The fishing?  After about five or ten minutes of fishing I caught this little one on a Killer Kebari.  I rarely fish Killer Bugs (or their variants), but I was in the mood to try something different...at least until I lost it on a submerged branch.


As the weather continued to deteriorate, so did the fishing.  Cast.  Drift.  Twitch.  Cast again.   This continued for two unfruitful hours.  Teased by a couple swipes and flashes at my offerings, my net remained empty.  The wind was blowing harder now making it difficult to cast.  I started to feel a chill I couldn't shake.

Mother Nature can be flat out mean.

At that point, I was done.  I collapsed my tenkara rod and started back toward the car.  My fingers were numb, expecting better conditions, my jacket was too light for the temps, and I just wasn't much in the mood anymore.

As I passed the covered bridge near the parking area something told me to drop in and at least fish one more section before I bailed.  Five minutes later my masochism was rewarded as my line went taut and this inhaled the Kiwi's Royal Sakasa Kebari tied to the end.


Mother Nature and I left on speaking terms.


March 27, 2013

Wednesday Nibbles: The Return Edition

So I figured if JT...(no not THAT JT) can resurrect Monday Morning Coffee, I can certainly bring back Wednesday Nibbles, at least for a week...  New to Wednesday Nibbles?  It was a weekly post I used to write that sort of had fishing news in it, but more so just stupid stuff...well stuff that was more stupid than my normal posts...

Did you happen to catch the three-headed monster of a collaboration between Vedavoo, Recycled Waders, and artist Jeff Currier?  Yeah, they're making some packs that will be auctioned off in April with the proceeds going to a slew of charities.  You can win one too if you promote it through social media...details HERE.

Pure sexy

While the charity angle is pretty rad, the concept of a pack with both Vedavoo & Recycled Waders DNA is a total wet dream for a man-bag whore like me...you know...wet...because fish...umm swim in water...and all that stuff...

omg oh my god fall out chair of omg oh my god fall out chair of
OMG, OMG, OMG, GOOGLE READER IS GOING AWAY...
HOLY CARP WHAT AM I GOING TO DO...OMF'NG!!!!

This is actually pretty cool, and perhaps ironic at the same time.  Tenkara USA recently announced the hiring of a new product design guru named Luke Uyeda.  According to their blog post Luke views this as an opportunity to, "bring the process of design thinking into the fly fishing industry; new perspective and innovations through qualitative research, insight analysis, ideation, and form/function development."

Tenkara Luke

Sweet, sounds good to me...and I'm interested to see where Luke's influence might take future TUSA offerings.  Oh yeah, the irony?  Check out the first example of one of Luke's design concepts on his personal portfolio site.

Speaking of new product design, forget Apple, forget Samsung, the interactive urinal is where it's at...


Can't make this up....game examples HERE.  Damn I'm gonna miss Pennsylvania...really need to get to an Iron Pigs game before I head South...

Any finally with an unfortunate segue of pee, what's the reason why I really brought back the Nibbles?  Because my Mom's birthday was Monday...and she told me she missed them. So she gets the blog love this week.  Happy birthday Mom.  You're awesome & I love you.

My mom, my cousin, and somebody with rad hair and a tasteful tie.
Photo circa 1993ish

March 23, 2013

Gear Review: Fuse Plus You Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone 4/4S Case

Jacksonville...Nashville...Charlotte...Jacksonville...

Somewhere in the air...

That's been my travel schedule the past four weeks.  In and out of airplanes, hotels, and rental cars, and keeping in touch with my job & family using what else...my cell phone.

Knowing this little run of the southern gauntlet was coming up, I held off on writing up this particular gear review until now.  See, cell phones receive quite a bit of abuse during travel...tossed in bins to go through airport security, not-so-securely rested in cup holders to play the role of GPS, and simply just dropped, jostled, and all that kind of horseplay from overuse...

And I'm gonna come clean right away.  I'm an Android guy.  I hate my work-issued iPhone and need a reason to use it...but in the scheme of product testing, the above seemed like a fair stress test to me...


THE GOODS:
The folks at Fuse Plus You sent me THIS, their Rugged iPhone 4/4S Case in Orange & Mossy Oak.  They actually have a whole line of Mossy Oak licensed cell phone cases, but this one made the most sense...because I am...so...rugged...


The case is actually two parts.  The first is a silicone skin that you slide your phone into.  This gives you a bit of grip, as well as some protection by some big squishy bumps of silicone covering the four corners.  Once that's on you slide the orange & camo hard shell on top of the silicone skin, and you're in business.  The hard shell keeps everything in place, and as previously mentioned the silicone adds protection where needed.

PROTECTION FACTOR:
So I have had two other cases for my iPhone to date.  The first is a work-issued Otter Box.  The second is a cheap Han Solo in Carbonite case I bought on Amazon.

The Otter Box is bullet-proof.  It also weighs 30 pounds and feels like a brick in your hands as a trade-off for all of that protection...but you can literally throw it across the room when you get home from work and not worry about the phone breaking (your lamp is a different story).  I hate this case.

Han Solo was just for cosmetics & fun.  Jabba's dead, so I'm not getting the bounty.  It also provides zero protection whatsoever.

In comparison, I'd say the Fuse Plus You case probably falls in the middle.  The silicone "nubs" on the 4 corners give just enough cushion and shock absorption where I felt comfortable enough being a little rough with my iPhone.  It took the roughhousing just fine, and the phone still works.  That said, unlike the Otter Box, there is no clear overlay for the glass face of your iPhone.  It's left exposed.  Just making that known.  It's also not waterproof like some other cases on the market.

USABILITY:
The Fuse Plus You case does not hamper your usability whatsoever.  All of the buttons and ports (like for headphones or power cord) are easily accessible.  The case also doesn't add too much bulk where it's uncomfortable to put it in one of the front pockets of your jeans.  It does add a little weight, but I actually welcomed that, as the iPhone was always too light for my Android loving tastes.  Just enough "heft" to make it feel good in hand, but not uncomfortably large or heavy.

COOL FACTOR:
Let's not kid ourselves, while most cell phone cases are in some part purchased for protection, they are largely just about cool factor, and making your phone stand out in a crowd.  Almost immediately, it was clear that people noticed the orange "wings" of this case.  I was sitting in more than one business meeting with my phone resting out on the table where people noticed and asked about the blaze orange on my phone in a complimentary way.  Camo side down, it just looks like a black case with orange sides.


That said, when I picked it up and showed off the Mossy Oak back, reactions were mixed.  But not everyone in Corporate America is into camo, hooks, & bullets.  I get it...but I am, and I think it's cool, and so did the other half that share similar outdoor interests.  Maybe not as cool as Han Solo, but still cool.


CONCLUSION:
So what do you get in this cell phone case?  You get some added protection, a little bit of welcomed bulk, and some camo and orange flair that will at minimum get people's attention.

What won't you get?  Bulletproof protection, waterproofness (is that a word?), and Han Solo.

Would I recommend it?  Based on my experiences with other cases, yes, for the minimally invasive additional protection alone.  For what it's worth, other bloggers have also reviewed Fuse Plus You Mossy Oak phone cases in a positive (but far less entertaining) fashion too, examples of which are HERE and HERE.

If you want to give a Fuse Plus You Mossy Oak cell phone case a try (they carry more than just cases for iPhones), check out their store HERE.  Actually, they were generous enough to offer a code for 10% off for readers of this post, you just need to use the code troutrageous at checkout, so that should help too.

DISCLAIMER:
The Fuse Plus You Mossy Oak Rugged iPhone 4/4S Case tested in this product review was provided to me at no cost, but carries a retail price of $34.99. I currently hold no association whatsoever with Fuse Plus You or Paul, the gentleman who contacted me for the review, but you know...life is short and works in mysterious ways...10 years from now I may own Fuse Plus You and Paul may work directly for me, serving only the finest meats and cheeses upon command.  

As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll probably not write a post and tell the manufacturer my opinion of their hot mess directly outside of this blog. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time writing a post doing so?


March 17, 2013

Exercise in Video Making Futility: Valley Creek Tenkara

While I embed videos here all the freakin' time, it's rare that I post a fishing video of my own...or at least a video that I took more than 30 seconds to edit.

Why?  Well, first, I mostly fish alone and I don't have the patience to set up the camera to get all cinematogramatic...second, editing video sucks...and three,  I'm not Yukon Goes Fishing.

That said, during my fishing trip on March 10th, I stuck my point & shoot camera on a Gorillapod and crammed the legs down the front of my waders (sexy) to create this hot mess of out of focus shakiness.  

Enjoy...at least until YouTube pulls it down because I used an Earth, Wind, & Fire song for the soundtrack...


Or Vimeo...if you prefer...

March 10, 2013

7 Years Old, I Can't Believe It!

Yesterday was Lilly's 7th birthday (party).  Her actual birthday was last Monday, but we waited until this weekend to have the annual bash.

Still being super into dogs, we had a "pup" cake party for Lilly.  The main activity was a cake icing demonstration from Confetti Mountain Tookies & Cakes, and time for the kids to decorate (and eat) their own cupcakes.  Lilly's cake (of course) was dog themed, and my uber-crafty wife made dog aprons for everyone to wear and take home.

Here are a few pictures from the party:


My wife also set up a "photo booth" complete with a ton of props and accessories.  The kids loved playing dress up and goofing around in front of the camera almost as much as the cupcakes.  Maybe it was just the sugar...but I don't think so...

Lilly hamming it up...there's a bunch more pics of her & other little kids acting goofy,
but parents get picky about putting up pics of their kids on the internet.

Oh, the adults has a little fun too...


Happy 7th birthday Lilly.
Daddy loves you.


March 8, 2013

Please Pass The Sunscreen

Sorry for being so quiet lately.  But I've been a little busy at work.  Nashville was the diversion this week.  Oh, and the Florida thing is official.


KC & I visited Jacksonville this past weekend and left with new digs.  ETA June-ish.  Suddenly, this is really real.  Looks like I need an 8-weight.

Three car and multi-kayak garage is my favorite feature.  Who needs grass?

Oh, and we made sure there are ample visiting anglers guest quarters...you know, for folks that want to come visit...just saying...