Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Farthest From Home

Tonight's home and office is a cabin in Forks, Washington. If you don't know Forks, maybe peek at Google Maps. It's the farthest we will get from home and fairly close to as far as you can get from Georgia in the Lower 48. Some of Washington's Pacific Coast is even farther north, but I think it's fair to say that we've traveled to the far corner of the country and that we've seen a pretty good slice of the landscape.
Tomorrow we'll point the car south completing our tour of the Olympic Peninsula and then continuing through Mount Hood Country in Oregon and then on into California, where we'll eventually turn left and begin moving west once again. 
So far we've traveled 3,780 miles!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Asher's Diligence

If you've been tracking the Rebel Trout Trek at all, I hope you've kept and eye on Asher's blog. He has posted photos and some kind of account every day since we left town one week ago, so that's a great place to learn where we've been and what we have seen.

I know all daddy crows think there little crows are the blackest, but I have to tell you that I've been hugely impressed by Asher's seriousness about his commitment to maintain his blog on this trip. He considers it his job, and works at in in the car and in the evening when we have access, and sticks with it till something is posted every night. He's likewise taken seriously his role in helping me get good photos every day we've been out and is joining in the task of finding and telling stories in every way he possibly can.

Though days are very long and we're having to spend less time in places than we like, Asher and I are having an extraordinary time working our way through the West. We've already caught a lot of fish and learned so much about ever changing landscapes as you cross the country. Friday, which we spent in Yellowstone National Park, was truly an amazing day with all the wildlife we saw between fishing stops. Asher had never seen a bison before we got to the park. Now he has seen hundreds. In the same day we also got looks at many elk, a mama black bear with two cubs, an antelope and a couple of mule deer bucks. Not to be forgotten we caught a bunch wild brook trout from a beautiful little creek. 

Today, we caught fat rainbow and brown trout from Montana's Madison River. Tomorrow we drive west again to Olympic National Park, where we'll spend three days exploring rainforests, tidal waters, mountain streams and even the Pacific Ocean. I'm reporting daily on and here as often as I can get in an update, but don't forget to check out Asher's posts!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Rebel Trout Trek Update

For starters, I should remind all that the BEST place to follow the Rebel Trout Trek is at I'm filing a blog post there every evening that tells what I believe to have been the day's main story line. I'll do my best to share posts here, and I've put some photos on facebook and Instagram. However, between driving and fishing, we've been going dark to dark, and the Rebel posts and pictures get first priority at night. I have had more I have wanted to share, so maybe I'll slip in some backtrack posts at some point!

That said, I did want to share a few things. Most significantly, with 2,000 miles logged, I finally got to go fishing today. Actually Asher and I fished most of the day, hitting three different areas (and catching fish from all three), and the brown trout were quite cooperative, despite high flows. The water was too push for the Crickhopper bite that I'd hoped to enjoy, but I still expect to find that on down the road.

The only diversion we took from fishing today was at mid-day, when we had lunch at the No. 10 Saloon in Historic Deadwood and watched Wild Bill Hickok get shot. The hardest thing for Asher and me so far has been wishing we had more time to do everything. I'm a big fan of Deadwood and fishing in the Black Hills, but tomorrow, we'll it'll already be time to leave the Black Hills behind and continuing along our loop.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Halfway Across

Asher and I are settled in for a few hours sleep in Kansas. Soon we'll continue the drive to Cabela's and then to Deadwood, where we'll begin our western loop and I'll finally get to fish.

We began this morning  (well, technically yesterday morning) in Arkansas and Asher gave Dry Run Creek a second shot. He caught them quite well in a short stop, and caught his biggest trout ever. After that we visited Rebel Lure Company, which was cool for both of us. Otherwise we've just been driving.  Long drive across the country!

Visit and hit journal for much more complete reports about the Rebel Trout Trek.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Digging My Duffels

As Asher and I were packing the car for our cross-country trek, I was reminded how much I like my XXL Cabela's Ripcord Duffels. I use one for all but my shortest trips, but Asher and I each packed one for this trip. I like these duffels because they hold an enormous amount of clothes and other gear, but unlike other bags I have owned, they have virtually weight of their own, and because they are fully flexible, they really don't take up any more space than whatever gear I tote on any given space. That's extra important for this trip because 3 1/2 weeks of travel and fishing calls for a lot of stuff and because we are traveling in my Ford Fiesta, which though roomy for its size is not exactly a giant car.

I've also owned one of these duffels for three years, and I've never gotten a tear in either or had any problem with zippers, despite extensive use.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Final Preparation: Rebel Trout Trek

It's getting real now. I started this morning getting four new tires for the Fiesta, making certain it was fully travel ready, and have spent most of today packing, taking care of things around home, charging batteries, clearing SD cards, and doing other things to prepare for travel.

I can't believe six months have passed since the crazy idea about a cross-country, father/son trout trek started spinning in my head. Now it's truly upon me. The car is partly packed, and we plan to pull out of the driveway in less than 30 hours. Soon Asher and I will be driving toward Arkansas. By this time on Monday, he'll be wrapping up his first-ever afternoon at Dry Run Creek.

Dry Run crowds concern me a bit. Nathaniel and I were always able to visit during spring or fall, when school was in session, and I saw on Facebook tonight that a giant brown caught recently at Dry Run earned national acclaim. It's not a big creek, so having more than a few angles there could really limit opportunities. We'll  take what we get, though, and I'm excited for Asher just to see the stream and it's offerings.

Tomorrow we'll ready Asher a Dry Run box with all single-hook, barbless lures, and will finish packing the car. I'll also wrap up whatever work still needs to be done. Then hopefully we'll get to sleep at a pretty good hour. And speaking of sleep, I'd better go find some of that now!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Southbound Today - Sniffing Out the Coolest New Stuff

Mistaken Identity color patterns, new from Bandit

Friends think I'm a little wacky (or maybe more than a little) when I head north during the winter to fish through little holes in the ice. Pointing the car toward Florida in the middle of July somehow seems even worse, but that's exactly what I'm doing today. I'll spend the better part of today driving toward Orlando for ICAST, which is the industry trade show where tackle manufacturers from across the industry reveal all their new stuff for the following product year to retailers and wholesalers and to the media.

If you've paid attention to fishing website or follow fishing companies or pros on social media, you've undoubtedly gotten peeks at some of the new stuff, like Bandit's expansion of the hugely popular "Mistake" color pattern, which, despite many stories that bounce among bass fishermen, was never a mistake. The original Mistake color scheme was actually was the idea of a retailer and a special order. It drew immediate interest and was quickly expanded and has long been on the most popular colors of Bandit crankbaits, so Bandit has decided to build on concept with three new color schemes of the same sort.

Watch on this page and especially on my Facebook fishing page and other social media outlets for updates. I'll share live photos and reports as I see stuff that strikes me as extra cool.

Most of this week will be spent within the walls of a giant convention center, walking the show floor to look at stuff and talk with folks. Beyond seeing new products, it's my best single opportunity to reconnect with folks from so many companies to stay on top of things they've been doing and to talk about stories I might be working on now or in the future. Tomorrow, I'll actually be outside, though -- even fishing for a few hours.

ICAST has added an outdoors element as a kick-off. It begins with an informal bass tournament, which I'll be fishing with Dan Dannenmueller and Michael Range from Garmin. Dan is a tournament crappie angler, and I won't deny that my main interest is seeing what is new from Garmin and getting material from Dan for future crappie stories. That said, I have a couple of bass rods packed, and you can trust that I'm not going to ride around Lake Toho all morning and not make a few casts!

After the tournament, I'll get to check out some of the new stuff in more of a real setting at a new event called "ICAST on the Water." The actual ICAST show doesn't open until Wednesday, but Tuesday includes a couple of preview events. ICAST on the Water, held on the banks of Lake Toho (same site as the tournament blast off and weigh-in) will provide an opportunity for buyers and media to actually see baits swim, cast rods and reels and otherwise check out new stuff in a much more real fashion. It's a new event, so I don't know exactly what the structure will look like. Then, on Tuesday night, the New Product Showcase on the main show floor will be open for a few hours for a media and buyer preview.

Come Wednesday, it's onto the main show, and that will be going on for the next three days. Stay tuned!