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.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

GEAR REVIEW - ONTARIO RAT 1


The Ontario RAT 1 is easily one of the best value blades I have found. When it comes to features this knife compromises in the right places and still offers a blade with great quality.

Length:
  • Overall: 8.62"
  • Blade: 3.6"
  • Closed: 5"
Weight:
  • 5.037 oz

After two years of testing it's still one of my favorite knives to carry every day. Coming in at under $30 you wont feel guilty putting it through the gauntlet. Although this blade may not offer premium materials you will find in knives ten times the price, it does offer features you usually can't find at this price point. The quality of materials and craftsmanship at this price are pretty unbelievable. This is one blade I can highly recommend if you are looking for a great value that will stand up to hard use.


Pro
  • Price
  • Looks awesome
  • AUS 8 Stainless steel strong and holds a decent edge
  • Great blade shape
  • Stainless steel liners
  • 4 way adjustable clip
  • Dual thumb studs
  • Comfortable ergo grip
  • Lanyard hole

Con
  • AUS 8 Steel can rust
  • Zytel nylon scales are a little slick
  • Liner lock
  • Blade finish chips easily
  • Made in Taiwan

Sunday, November 4, 2012

MADNESS

I finally got the time this weekend to put up a video that I have been wanting to upload for over a month. In September my brother and dad made some time to getaway for the weekend to go fishing together. It's something I wish we could do more often and I'm always grateful when we can. Thank you to Ron and Catherine for your hospitality and to our wives for letting us have some unsupervised play time!

Monday, October 15, 2012

HOMEMADE ULTRA-LIGHT BACKPACKING STOVE




I came up with this project last year when I was helping a boy scout leader plan an inexpensive gift for his troop. This design is a perfect light weight solution for short backpacking trips for the minimalist. I love this kit because everything you need is self contained and it's very sturdy. With a little tweaking you will be able to balance the efficiency and power to out preform many high end stoves. The instructions below shows you how to make a stove that can boil a cup of water in 3 minutes with half an ounce of fuel. I believe this could be further improved with a little tweaking of the ports and a windscreen which would make a great light weight addition.
 

SUPPLIES


 THE BUILD
Measure a length of hardware mesh to fit inside the large tin.
Cut the wire with the prongs extending past the length needed. This will allow you to bend the sharp points inward locking the circle and keeping the edges more smooth so that you don't get cut when handling the mesh.


Punch eight holes along the top rim of the small tin lid and 4-7 holes around the inside ridge of the lid. I actually angled mine inward to concentrate the jets to the center. 



The version pictured burned 50 minutes, but does not show the additional inner holes that I recommend for most cooking applications. Experiment with an unsealed tin and adding holes in various locations on the burner. You will see how even small modifications affect boiling time and fuel consumption. Try to find the right balance between power and burn time for your purposes and how much fuel you plan on taking.

To create the fuel port on the stove you will use a drill to make a pilot hole for a small rivet . Make sure the lid will close when the rivet is seated flush with the top. Its important to get your burner holes set before this step because it will be difficult to hammer once the rivet is inserted. After the pilot hole is drilled insert a rivet and crimp it down. This took a little practice for my first few. Mainly because the aluminum rivets are cheap and easy to mess up. Once you can thread the screw in and it fits correctly we can seal the tin.



Mix both parts of JB weld together per the instructions. Use a paper plate and plastic knife. Everything it touches will be ruined. Apply the compound to any gaps around the outside of the rivet on the underside of the lid. Be careful not to get any on the screw or fuel port hole. Next apply it around the inside lip of the lid. Seal it thoroughly or fuel will leak out as it begins to boil. The stove will be ready for use in 15 hours once the compound has cured.

When you test your stove BE CAREFUL! It will be very hot and may ruin or melt whatever you place it on. Take proper safety precautions as you would with any open flame. Also, be careful with the alcohol. It will strip the lacquer right off of your table. I guess I should also mention... NEVER EVER DRINK THE DENATURED ALCOHOL it is toxic. There, you've been warned!

FIRE IT UP
Set the burner on the large lid. This will serve as your priming pan. Fill the port hole of the stove with fuel. Save a small amount of fuel to prime the stove. Place the fuel port screw back and set the hardware cloth inside the large lid. This ring will serve as your pot stand.

When you are ready to light the stove pour a small amount of fuel on the large lid to prime the burner. You don't want to waste fuel, so it will take a little practice to find the right amount to get the fuel inside the stove boiling.

Once you put the priming fuel on the lid place the pot filled with water on the stand and light the stove. You will want to be prepared because the alcohol evaporates very quickly.

If you have any questions or improvements leave a comment on our Facebook page. We would love to see your version and hear how it worked.



Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bait to The Plate - Two Recipes for Wild Boar part 2

If hunting or cooking isn't your thing but you enjoy the eating part you can skip this read and make your reservations at Bonell's Fine Texas Cuisine.

I enjoy both so I will share a recipe from one of my favorite local chefs.  This recipe can be found in Chef Bonell's book Fine Texas Cuisine. Check out his bookstore for this and other delicious recipes from Venison Carpaccio to Margarita Cheesecake.

Rack of Wild Boar with Pomegranate Rum Sauce

Sauce
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon canola oil
4 table spoons fum
8-10 pomegranate seeds
1/2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons veal demiglace
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon butter

Wild Boar
1 frenched wild boar rack
1 tablespoon Bonnell's Southwestern Seasoning (below)

Pomegranate Rum Sauce
In a medium saucepan, saute the shallot and garlic in canola oil for 1 minute. Add the rum and allow to flame off: then add all remaining ingredients, except the butter, and simmer together until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the butter ans swirl until the butter is melted and incorporated into the velvety rich sauce.

For an added degree of flare, add 1 tablespoon of 151 proof rum add the last second to the pomegranate sauce while in the pan. Flame and pour over the chops. Be careful doing this step, as serving flaming dishes can be quite dangerous. Never pour alcohol directly from a bottle into a hot pan. Pour from a glass instead.

Rack of Wild Boar
Rob the rack of wild boar thoroughly on all sides with the seasoning and allow to marinate for one hour. Roast the boar in a 375-degree F convection oven until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting. Slice the boar rack into individual chops and pour the sauce over just before serving.  
Serves 2

Bonnell's Southwestern Seasoning
5 tablespoons iodized salt
2 tablespoon granulated garlic
2 tablespoons fine black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
3/4 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon dry mustard powder

Mix in a bowl and store in an airtight container.
This seasoning goes great with steaks as well.

Let us know what you think and Like us on Facebook or subscribe to our Youtube for more updates.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bait to The Plate - Two Recipes for Wild Boar part 1

For the first recipe you will be fermenting deer corn to make sour corn. The amount of ingredients varies based on the amount of bait you need and the number of days you plan on hunting. It's not an exact science and you cant mess it up as long as you follow these simple guidelines. If you have fresh signs of wild hogs on your land this concoction will bring them in.

This Wild Boar was taken in West Texas and weighed in at 380lbs after he was field dressed. That's a lot of bacon!
Fermentation is the process of turning sugar (found in grains and fruit) into alcohol. In the most simple explanation is that living yeast eat sugar, breathes oxygen, and excrete alcohol and C02. Think about that next time you have a beer!

You will need:
  • A large bucket or cooler
  • Deer corn
  • Water
  • Yeast Packets
  • Sugar
Put your container in the place you want to store it. Once you fill it up you aren't going to be able to move it easily.  Choose a place cool and dry that animals will not get into it. The garage is usually a good spot. You don't want the mixture to get extremely cold because the yeast will be less active and fermentation will take longer.

Fill the containers with corn leaving room for it to expand as it absorbs the water. Pour sugar into the container next. Think cups not teaspoons, remember this is what will be converted to alcohol. The amount will vary depending on the size of your container. You really cant mess it up because this isn't for drinking, it's the smell that will attract the hogs. I estimate about 3-4 cups for a 5 gallon bucket.

Next add a few packets of bread yeast. Some hunters also add fruit or jello packets. If this sounds good to you put them in now. Fruit also has sugar in it and natural yeast.

Next cover the ingredients with water. Don't forget the corn will expand and you also want to leave a little room so it doesn't spill over. It will bubble when the yeast become active because they are releasing the C02. It may also be worth mentioning that you do not want to use a sealed container for this reason. Now you can cover it with a towel or lid and let it sit. At this point you don't want to disturb your mix. Just let it sit. It will start to bubble in 24 hours in most cases sometimes a little longer in cooler weather. Your sour corn will be useable in just a few days. A week is a good amount of time for a batch.

When you are selecting a spot to bait. Go somewhere with fresh signs of hogs. They move in and out of areas and can travel miles. You may have seen them a few weeks ago, but they could be in another county this week.

When you find your spot remember wind direction for your blind and also safety. You never know how many may come in and you don't want to meet the business end of Hogzilla! When we bait an area we sling it into the trees to get the smell wafting over the ranch and then dig a hole or place it into a feeding device so that they don't gobble it all too fast. Some hunters will also mix kerosene with the corn to keep raccoons out of the corn. They claim the hogs don't mind and that it deters other pest. I haven't tried this because we've never had a problem with them.

Stay tuned for the next post which will be Chef Bonnell's recipe for rack of wild boar with pomegranate rum sauce!

If you have any questions feel free to leave us a comment or message and don't forget to Like us on Facebook.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Broken Bow Trout Fishing in August



As promised here is a short video to give you a taste from our trip to Broken Bow in August.


If you missed it, here is the fishing report from that weekend.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wall of Shame

By popular request by the fellow Redditors at /r/flyfishing/

I'll keep it updated ongoing (hopefully infrequently)...

Caught on a size 20 Zebra midge

When I text this to my brother he said "That's the biggest fishing pole I've ever seen." What a guy!                                    

Caught on a size 12 Stimulator
 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Product Review - TEVA CHERRY BOMB KAYAK BOOT




The Teva Cherry Bomb is a high top water boot constructed of 4mm neoprene and SSR rubber soles. After wearing them two seasons and putting them through the gauntlet I'm ready to share my review.

I originally bought these boots for kayak fishing.  Over the last two years I've also tested them snorkeling in the ocean, hiking lava fields in Maui, and walking miles of free stone river beds fly fishing from Tennessee to Texas.

I was attracted to these boots because of the aggressive looking soles, cool style and digi-camo accents. They looked like they would protect my feet and hold tight to slick rocks. The high top neoprene keeps your feet warm in cool water and keeps gravel out. The straps make a comfortable fit and the sealed seams increase the durability at heavy wear points.

I was incredibly surprised that these boots didn't get totally destroyed on the lava in Maui, but they held up quite well. There were a few small pieces of the sole chewed up, but we're talking RAZOR sharp MAGMA! I was quite impressed at how well they protected my feet.

Walking on an aqueduct over a high river gorge in Maui.
As a kayaking boot the only major criticism I have is the lack of drainage. Since I live in the south, it was only a matter of time before I decided to take these guys wet wading. The first time I wore them fishing I noticed two issues. Although the boots protected my feet well, the traction was not up to par on the slick river rocks. Also, while fly fishing from a boulder the line got caught on the straps several times making casting a pain.


At the beginning of my last fishing trip I noticed that one of the rubber seams that connects the sole to the boot was beginning to crack at a flex point which was a little disappointing. I was happy with the use I got out of them considering the abuse I put them through. It wasn't until I got home that I saw the entire sole on the right boot must have completely come off the foot pad during my last day of wading. You can see in the picture below that there is a hard plastic insert that protects the sole, so I never felt a thing!

The final blow out... it was a good death!
 
I would recommend these boots for kayaking, wet wading on sandy and muddy bottoms, or protecting your feet at the beach or water park.

I would not recommend the Cherry Bombs for fly fishing and wet wading on slippery river rocks due to lack of traction, drainage and straps that snag.  

Pro:
  • Toe and heel protection
  • Fit/Comfort
  • Warmth in cold water
  • Snug fit keeps gravel out
Con:
  • Lack of traction on slick rocks
  • Poor water drainage
  • Straps can catch and snag
Over all I would rate these boots a 7 and would buy them again if they were on sale.

If you have a recommendation for my next pair of boots or a piece of gear that you want reviewed leave a comment below or on our Facebook Page





Monday, September 3, 2012

LMF Fishing Report 8-25

With the impending rain lurking in the forecast I decided to take my chances and head up to the Lower Mountain Fork for a day of fishing. Luck was on our side because the clouds (and probably the last weekend before school starting) really held back most of the crowds.

The wife slept in and took the kiddo to the pool in the morning while I started the day at Cold Hole and worked over to Evening Hole. My overwhelming excitement caused me to overlook the fact that the days are starting to get shorter. I woke up WAY too early. I did however catch the Hook and Hunt Show on the radio, and I can now tell you I wont lose any sleep if I miss it next time.

On my second cast into the pool and I got a hit on a BH Prince Nymph with a Red Hot Midge dropper. I was so surprised I set too hard and he was off. Now wide awake!

The morning was pitch black but I continued to fish.There was still 40 minutes until first light, so I honed my Jedi nymphing skills. I was more concerned with getting a hook in the eye than missing a strike, but I decided to forgo the sunglasses as not to be mistaken for Stevie Wonder Fly Fisher Extraordinaire.

Action was pretty steady all morning and I was relieved at how few people were on the water. I hooked a nice brown in a deep pool. He put up a good fight and I got him all the way to the bank and he broke off as I leaned over to net him. Later, I wasted some time trying to catch one of the 4 albinos cruising the first few pools to no avail. Around 10 am the fishing slowed down (or maybe it was just me) but the crowds were picking up. Several people around were having no luck at all and leaving as soon as they came. Most spooking everything in sight then moving to the next area. After a German guy and his buddy crossed right through the riffle and nearly stepped on the 20" fish I was casting to I decided to head back for some Pizza at Greatful Head. On the way back I ran into a guy with his boys that was landing a fat 18" rainbow on a crank bait. He was pretty excited and I was glad to see someone else having a good day on the water too.


After the pizza I was recharged and had a good idea of an area the wife and my son could relax and play nearby while I fished some more, so we headed back to the park. Many of the frustrated fisherman were packing up as we arrived. My buddy from earlier was back in his spot and hooked up on another decent rainbow. I could hear him tell his son he was going to break off in the current, so I offered to net it for him. He was happy we landed the fish and I was relieved he had filed down the barbs on that crank bait. It was good to see a dad spending time on the river with his boys teaching them to follow the rules and still doing better than those that chose not to.

I caught a few more small ones and had a great time with the family. I saw several fish actively feeding. One was sipping off the top like clockwork, but I could't see what it was taking out of the foam. There wasn't a hatch going on and he wasn't taking my offerings, so I gave up on him and headed home vowing to be better prepared with my arsenal next time! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A First Timer's Guide to The Lower Mountain Fork River


A First Timer's Guide to The Lower Mountain Fork River


The most difficult part about fishing a new river is preparing for the unknown.  This guide will help you plan a successful trip to one of the best trout fisheries in the south. Hiring a guide can quickly get you up to speed when fishing a new area. If you are like me, the best part of the adventure is exploring new territory on your own.

The Lower Mountain Fork offers 12 miles of designated trout fishing from the Broken Bow Reservoir Spillway downstream to the U.S. Hwy 70 bridge.  It offers a variety of types of water from small fast creeks to big open water with deep pools. No matter what your skill level or style of fishing you will find something that works for you.

When I began researching the Lower Mountain Fork, accurate information was hard to come by. Most of the maps and regulations had changed. In fact, it was near impossible to find current well marked maps. Many helpful forums exist with post recommending flies to bring and holes to try, but if you don’t have someone to show you the way, you'll waste a lot of valuable fishing time. If you bookmark this article on your smartphone you will have all the resources you need for a great day on the river right at your fingertips.

WHEN TO GO
Fishing is good year round, but park attendance is highest from late spring until school starts again. This popular river can get busy on the weekends, but if you plan your trip during off peak times you will have access to more areas to fish. Knowing where to start your morning will help you secure a great spot before the crowds arrive.

Trout are stocked year round, but planning your trip close to a stocking date may increase your odds. The trout stocking schedule is updated as needed.

Check the Power Generation Schedule Website before you plan which section of the river you will fish and make sure you call the automated generation hotline for the most current information before you set out (866-494-1993). If they are generating electric, the stretch below the powerhouse will be unfishable and you will want to get a spot above it before the park gets crowded. Generally speaking, this area is a great place for a first timer to start. When you're ready to try a more technical zone you can venture below the state park dam and if your lucky it will be less crowded.

GEAR
Knowing what gear to pack will help you travel light and still be prepared for any situation. I recommend a 9 ½’ 4 or 5 weight rod. A 7 ½ ft leader with 5x tippet will work well for most situations. You can get away with only taking floating line. If you have a shorter rod, you may want to bring it to fish Spillway Creek. Casting room is a little tighter in this area. The rocks are slick so bring a good pair of boots and maybe even a wading staff if you plan on going to zone 2.
  
Beavers Bend Fly Shop is located inside the park, so stop in Eddie will be happy to help you with a selection of flies. Some of their website's information is a little outdated but the forum has a wealth of good information on the river and flies. You can also check this hatch chart so you can tie a few flies before you leave. Keep in mind these are stocked trout and are usually not as selective as older more adapt fish on the river. If one thing doesn’t seem to be working for you try something else. Hint: small nymphs and crayfish imitations are good year round.

FEES AND REGULATIONS
Daily park entrance is free, but a resident or nonresident fishing license is required to fish. The annual license is the best value if you plan on two or more trips a year. The annual license expires the last day of the calendar year.  You can purchase a license online or once you get to town. I got mine at the Broken Bow Wal-Mart. They are open 24 hours and someone was able to process mine at midnight!

This map is the best I found for publicly known fishing hole locations and other park areas and landmarks of interest. I recommend you print a copy for your trip. When you see the park maps you'll thank me later! Also, familiarize yourself with the fishing zone map so you understand which special regulations apply to you.This information can be found inside the park and on the Oklahoma Wildlife Department Regulations Website. (see trout and trout area regulations) 

LODGING  
Accommodations can be found both inside and outside the park. Camping and cabin facilities are available within the State Park and below the Re-regulation Dam. For information call the park at (580) 494-6300. If you want to stay in a cabin make sure to plan ahead.

OTHER INFO
Check out the current fishing report posted by Rob Woodruff. Rob is a full-time Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide with over 30 years experience. He has a degree in Entomology and teaches seminars on a variety of other fly fishing and fly tying subjects. I feel like I should mention I'm in no way affiliated with him, but if you would like more information on his services check his guide webpage for more information. If you've had a good experience with another guide or have a tip for our readers please share a comment below. Take a moment to like our Facebook page for future updates and reports. You can also subscribe to our Youtube page for more fly fishing videos.

Good luck and tight lines!