My Take On The Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent

My Take On The Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent

Last weekend I had the chance to try out an interesting new tent. If you know anything about them though, the word tent doesn’t really describe it at all. I tried out the Tentsile Stingray Tree Tent. It’s a pretty awesome setup, that seems to be a cross between a hammock and a tent. First, let me tell you a little about my experience with it, then I’ll highlight some of the great features, and a few things that took some getting used to.

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Fly Tying Tools Of The Trade

Fly Tying Tools Of The Trade

If you’re anything like me, walking into the local fly shop and throwing down $3.00 for a fly is just painful. I remember purchasing a big hopper in Eastern Idaho for a specific stretch of water. Given the cost, I “wisely” opted to buy only one. Three casts later, a large brown took it off the surface as soon as the bug hit. After what seemed like a few seconds he broke me off, and my hopper was never seen again, at least, not by me. It is experiences like this that have led me to tie my own flies, as well as times I’ve fished waters with zero luck, only to notice the hatches and make mental notes. After some time at the vise and a little creativity, I’ve come back with my own fly and left with success. But, if your Grandpa didn’t teach you to tie and you’re new to the sport, where should you start? Below are a few of the essential tools of the fly tying trade. All recommendations are items that I personally own and tie flies with.

Learn to tie flies that you can fish on
Warm water species are fun to chase on flies you’ve designed. A bluegill hits a top water hopper of my own creation.

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The Road Less Travelled

The Road Less Travelled

To state the obvious: there are many ways to get to Yellowstone National Park. It is a huge tract of land (over 3,472 square miles) lying at an odd-shaped joining of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. Most guide books recommend that if you have time, and trust me, you will want to set aside a bit of time, then plan to spend a few days in the different parts of the park with accommodation nearby. This will cut down on travel time and allow you to immerse yourself in the experience a whole lot more.

After much research, our plans took us from LAX through Denver and on to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This has to be one of the most breathtaking airports in the world, with a backdrop of the Grand Tetons and the Snake River only a short hike away. Touching down we knew our adventure had begun.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming. One of the most spectacular airports in the States.

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Lighten Up: How Downsizing Your Fly Fishing Gear Can Extend Your Opportunities

Lighten Up: How Downsizing Your Fly Fishing Gear Can Extend Your Opportunities

I stand knee-deep in moderate current, eyeing the grassy bank across and slightly downstream from me. I’ve walked to the end of my street to access a shallow, rocky reach of the river that runs through my backyard.

I strip some line and make a false cast; strip some more and make another. I surprise myself when the size 12 foam spider I tied 30 minutes before lands softly in an eddy. I am delighted when it disappears in a boil of water.

I slow the line with my rod hand and begin retrieving with my stripping hand. My rod bends nearly double as the fish at the end of my line makes a run for a submerged tree branch.

I’m grinning like a kid on Christmas morning by now. I’ll admit, I may even have let out a little “whoop!”

I bring the fish to hand and crouch to admire the brightly-colored 8 inches of fury that I have captured.

It was the beginning. Continue reading “Lighten Up: How Downsizing Your Fly Fishing Gear Can Extend Your Opportunities”

5 Ways to Stay Warm While Winter Hammock Camping

As warm temperatures fade like the autumn leaves, so do thoughts of your next hammock camping trip. But while saying goodbye to summer is inevitable, saying goodbye to hammock camping isn’t. Say hello to winter hammock camping.

After all, camping in colder temperatures does have its advantages. You’ll encounter fewer people, making your excursion more peaceful, and you won’t have to worry about snakes or bears. Additionally, you’ll see nature in its winter coat, which is quite beautiful, while hanging in a hammock.

So here are 5 ways to stay warm while winter hammock camping, or anytime you want to stay snug as a bug sleeping in a hammock.

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ENO House Fly Rain Tarp shown with ENO Blaze Underquilt

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That First Fly Rod & A Boy’s Journey To Fly Fishing

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The catch! What a beauty!

Getting your first fly rod is an intensely personal moment. Mine was a one-piece fiberglass model handmade with care and patience by my grandfather.

It was a beautiful thing – a tawny blank of indeterminate weight with black wraps or maybe brown and a wooden handle. Matched to a 7 weight floating line, it seemed to do a great job of casting. I was just getting into fly fishing and was being Continue reading “That First Fly Rod & A Boy’s Journey To Fly Fishing”

Walton’s Thumb, The Ultimate Fisherman’s Multi Tool

Walton’s Thumb Fisherman’s Multi-Tool was first made in the early ‘70s by the Hank Roberts Company of Boulder, CO. It was sold across the country at fine tackle shops such as Abercrombie & Fitch and showcased in magazines such as Field & Stream and Popular Mechanics. Hank Roberts sold his company in the early ‘80s and by the late ‘80s production of the Walton’s Thumb sadly came to an end.

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Fortunately the tools were so well made they remained in use and could be found on occasion at yard sales and the like. The guys at the Creek Company, who are avid Continue reading “Walton’s Thumb, The Ultimate Fisherman’s Multi Tool”