Wednesday, May 22, 2013

REVIEW - North Face Foundation 4 and 6


The Foundation tent merges thoughtful design and quality materials we have come to expect from The North Face. This family style tent offers a multitude of set up options with the casual camper in mind.

Dual doors and adjustable rain fly will keep your party dry and gives you quick access where you need it. Built in storage make it convenient to stow your phone wallet and keys so you can  forget about them until its time to head back to the rat race. The North face also offers a gear loft for extra storage and custom footprint to protect the underside from moisture and abrasions.





Pros:
  •  We love that it can be set up with one person in a matter of minutes.  Lightweight bungee poles and tent clips make pitching this tent a snap.




  • The adjustable rain fly can be staked down when rain is coming down in sheets. It allows you to create a vestibule to cover your pet carrier or muddy boots. 
  • Two Doors.. its more fun than one. 
  • Multiple mesh pockets. Everyone has a space to store their valuables. When you can see your gear its easy to find in a flash. 
  • A large transparent mesh skylight provides excellent visibility and ventilation.
 
Cons:

  • Lack of large windows on such a casual camping tent make you feel like something is missing... (the view.)
  • After less than 10 camp outs the seam tape on the floors is becoming detached. 

This is one of my favorite weekend adventure tents. I even take it when I go fishing alone. Its easy to set up and so spacious I can set up a hammock and chair inside with room to spare. I would recommend anyone looking for a quality weekend camping tent to consider the Foundation series by The North Face.  
     


Features:

  • Large, family camping-style tent with room for six and a partial fly.
  • Aluminum alloy poles
  • Fusion pitch combines pole sleeves and clips
  • Taped nylon floor
  • Partial fly with color-coded attachment
  • Internal prayer-bound floor seams increase user space with clean angles
  • Dual doors
  • High-low venting with mesh screens and zip closure
  • Stuff sack included

Foundation 6 Specifications:
  • Style: AT1P Capacity: 6  
  • Avg Weight: [Trail] 14 lbs 11 oz (6.67 kg); [Total] 16 lbs 10 oz (7.53 kg)  
  • Fly: 75 denier, 185T polyester taffeta coated with 1200 mm PU Floor: 70 denier, 190T nylon taffeta coated with 2000 mm PU  
  • Vestibule Area: 14 ft2 (1.3 m2)  
  • Poles: [Number] 4; [Diameter] 14.5 mm, 12.0 mm  
  • Fabric: [Canopy] 70 denier, 190T nylon taffeta Area: 79 ft2 (7.3 m2)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

5/18-19 STREAM SIDE REPORT


I started the day about 7am at Evening Hole. As I walked down to the water I startled two does out for a morning drink. The river was loaded with nice size fish. A few seemed to be feeding on emergers. Action didnt start building up until later in the morning. There were less fisherman than I expected, but it was still pretty busy on the river. Everyone was respectful of space but every hole had someone in it.


There are hoppers on the banks now and Baetis hatching through out the day with light Sulphurs  in the mix. Although I had no luck with RS2s or BOW dries for some reason It might have been because there were so many naturals on the water when I tried it out. Also beware snakes are out in force. I saw a few dead ones on the road and one in the river. I didn't get close enough to ID it. Leave them alone and they will leave you alone!


After lots of trial and error and maybe the passage of time helped too, the fish started biting. I had lots of looks and passes on a San Juan variation, but finally hooked up. It was clear that I was getting close to but they just werent into it. I switched to high sticking the normal nymphs and dropped midges, but still no luck with typical go-to flies. I switched to a Caddis pupa I came up with after reading about the green rock worm pattern on here a while ago. The trout loved it. I hooked up on the first cast three times in a row. I still hadn't seen anyone else catch one around me so I gracefully moved on to take my new trick to the deeper holes on the Spillway.


Unfortunately I couldn't pick up any bites with the Greenie. Maybe I still wasn't getting it deep enough, I'm not sure. I was too distracted by several small rainbows taking something off of the film on top. I tied on a size 18 Elk Hair Caddis and floated into the pool where they were rising. I've never seen a fish stare at a fly for so long. It was amazing. Every one of them would slowly rise to it look at it and lower. I was starting to get a complex about my tying skills, but instead of tying something new on I decided to move to faster water where they would have to make a snap judgement. The strategy paid off. I caught several more on dries until the late afternoon.


More families and fisherman were coming up the trails, so I decided to eat an early dinner and fish later while everyone else was eating. I ended the day with the river to myself. I caught several nice sized rainbows but no browns in 14 hours.


The next morning I decided to sleep in a little longer since the previous morning was not particularly productive. I packed up camp and headed down and fished two more hours. I went back to evening hole again and thought I would try the green rock worm followed by a cream midge, but I wasn't even getting looks at it. After about a half hour the older gentleman next to me caught one and then another. I took a cue from watching him and happily switched to dry flies despite only seeing a few fish rising out of my reach. I caught two more nice rainbows on a size 18 Adams and broke one off trying to keep him out of a log jam. I decided to end on a high note and go grab breakfast for the long trip back.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

VENISON CHILI


 

A few years ago my Grandpa mailed me this chili recipe from Field and Stream. It looked pretty interesting so I thought I would give it a try. So far I have made it twice and I love the complexity of the flavors. As all good cooks do, I have my own modifications. If you are looking for something new to warm you up this winter try this one out.

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs venison
1/4 lb bacon, diced
2 medium yellow onions, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
2 oz canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce , seeded and chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp molasses
1 pint Guinness or other stout beer
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 c whole plum tomatoes , or 1 whole can
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 cans black beans

Recipe Directions for Field and Stream Editor's Venison Chili

  1. In large pan, saute venison until just cooked. Drain and set aside. Cook in batches if necessary to keep from crowding in the pan.
  2. In a large pot with a heavy bottom, saute bacon over medium heat until it's brown and has given up its fat. Remove and set aside.
  3. Saute onions and peppers in the bacon fat, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and vinegar and cook for two minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cook, stirring often, for about three minutes. Add venison and bacon. Stir well and cook for one minute.
  4. Add honey, molasses, beer, wine and tomatoes. Mix well, bring to a boil, adjust heat to low.
  5. Cook at a slow simmer, uncovered, for about an hour and stir frequently. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more chili powder or chipotle chillies if you want more heat.
  6. Add beans and cook for another hour, continuing to stir. The chili is done when it's thick enough to your liking.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Makes 12 servings - and don't forget the cornbread!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

EAGLE CLAW SWITCH ROD BUILD
























MATERIALS:
Eagle Claw Fly Rod
Spey Rod Butt
Arrow Shaft
Two 5 Minute Epoxys
Masking Tape
Gloves and Drop Cloth (optional but helpful)

TOOLS:
Vise
Pliars
Drill
Dremmel with Cut-Off Disc or Hacksaw

One thing I should have mentioned in the video. Be careful if you use a Dremmel tool to cut the hardware it will heat up fast! Be careful and have fun.If you have any questions contact us on Facebook or leave a comment below.
Special thanks to This River is Wild for the idea.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

SIMMS RIVERTEK BOA REVIEW

You may have noticed in the last post there was a hint of some of the new gear I've been testing out this winter. I am excited to share how impressed I was with the Simms RiverTek BOA wading boots.


 If you recall I utterly destroyed my old wet wading boots and was in dire need of a replacement before the cold season.  I was originally looking at getting the Simms Guide boot because of how durable and rugged it looked. After I researched a few options I stopped in at Tailwaters (and I'm sure glad I did). The guys there were a lot of help. Once I felt how heavy the Guide boot was compared to the RiverTek, I knew it was a boot I could wear for days. It was so light! I was a little concerned about the BOA lace system because honestly... it looks like a gimmick; which is why I didn't give them much of a second look the first time. After he explained the lifetime warranty, I decided to give them a try. After a week on the water here is my initial assessment:
  • The light-weight boots were comfortable all week during 9 hour days on my feet
  • The synthetic materials help them dry fast. 
  • The neoprene liners inside make them ideal to also wear as a summer boot summer with a light wading sock. 
  • The BOA laces make them easy to take off and adjust quickly.
  • Lastly, the Rubber Vibram soles are awesome. I was climbing over slick rocks and walking on logs all day. They hold tight. They are easy to clean so you don't transport invasive species like Didymo. They are compatible with the carbide StreamTread studs and cleats. As long as the majority of your fishing isn't done out of a boat. I would recommend using them, they worked great! Its a small investment that can save you a dangerous slip that could end up spilling your gear into the drink or worse yet spending the rest of your R&R in a hospital bed.

The only negative so far is the one reservation I had from the beginning. I like how low profile the lace system is, but if you have a breakdown on the river that warranty isn't going to save your fishing day. You can order a spare replacement kit and its fairly inexpensive, or pack some paracord in case you get in a pinch. So far I haven't had to do this, but in my opinion this seems to be the weakest link. Only time will tell. You can be sure I'll update this as I spend more time using them.

So far I love these boots. If you're looking for a new pair check out your local shop and try these on before you make up your mind. You might be just as surprised as I was.