The Geared Chronicles day 2


I think a lot of Marc Crapo.  Besides the kick ass beard he sports, and the righteous ’tude the man vibes wherever he is,  the guy leads one heckuva fly fishing life. It not glamorous in the sense of glitz and creature comforts, nah,  Its more of a utilitarian pared back foray into a lifestyle that is dictated by his passion for fly fishing, and being in the outdoors. then there’s fact that he uses terms like “dude”, “tasty”, and “scandalous”. I concur! In fact, so much so that this post is a play on the title of  Marc’s killer video series “The Beard Chronicles”.  Tasty, scandalous, and totally killer in its own right, check ‘em out if you get an itch for some great footage and a look into what most of us only dream of, a life based on passion and love.

So with that in mind and with some prodding from a friend of mind, I’ll devote this post to gear, stuff I have and why, and gear I want and dream of. I love fly fishing. Nah, that ain’t right, Obsessed? in truth, not even close! It is who I am! Sure I’m a Christian man, a grateful friend of Bill W’s as well as a  loving husband and adoring dog owner, but DUDE! I just dig the heck out of fly fishing and even more so the tying of those flies. Its dang near just about all I think about. It could be the obsessive compulsive in me that manifested its ugliness by excessive drink many years ago, or maybe its just that I was blessed with finding a hobby that is equal parts passion, art, beauty, and craft, with a spice of ingenuity, utilitarian practicality, and thrift thrown in to make it interesting. Fly fishing it self is an art held in awe and mystery by the general public. A hobby taken up by bored old farts and vagabond biology majors. Ne’er do wells one and all! Well I’m neither, I just love catchin’ trout, so much so that I aim to do it on a level as close ot the fishes as possible. Not quite on their level but pretty close to it. I’m no Halfordian dry fly purist like my friend Mike, nor am a streamer chuckin’ madman like “the Beard” . I fall somewhere in between. I’m utilitarian in my approach. In other words I fish with the technique and flies that work at the moment. I’m as comfortable throwing streamers as I am chuckin’ a nymph rig, swinging soft hackles , or delicately casting a dry fly on the Ranch in mid summer. That’s why I carry what I carry. The gear I use is there because it works for me. In the week ahead I’ll be discussing what I use and why. From clothing and accessories to the very fly on the tip of my line. My passion and obsessed mind demand that it all serve one purpose, let me enjoy my surroundings and help me catch fish.  Lets make something clear this isn’t going to be some patronizing gear review based on a donation, I’m not getting paid or given swag to check out and write about. If I like it and wear it, it’s due to me buying it or having someone give it to me as a gift.

DAY 2:

Lets start with a base layer and we’ll work our way up and out, fair enough? In summer this just doesn’t matter.  I ain’t in the mood to debate tighty whiteys versus boxers or silk vs cotton, and stop undressing me with your eyes it ain’t a purdy sight!  Fall, Winter, early Spring in Eastern Idaho is a completely different matter, It can literally mean life and death. Lets face it, East Idaho is one cold place come winter. I start with a good solid pair of breathable long johns. I love my Under armour lvl. 2 bottoms. and a nice tight fitting short sleeved silk or synthetic top. Short sleeved you ask? OH YAH!  When I go fishing I tend to get everything from the elbow down wet even if I don’t want it, so I go with a base layer that at best only rides down to my elbows, yah, I’ve cut the sleeves of a couple of shirts to just below the elbow.  Over my bottoms I wear a pair of fleece bottoms as they form the perfect insulation barrier in concert with my long johns. I tried in the past to go with thermals and jeans and I was miserable. Without the insulation  properties of the fleece between my thermals and pantd my legs just plain froze!  Thats why I like to wear a  pair of khaki pants of thinner fabric like Dickies. they form the perfect balance of insulation and flexibility without compromising my range of motion. A decent web belt finishes off the bottom level and holds the upper layers in place. For my upper torso levels I like to go with 4 or 5 layers at the most.  and that includes the jacket. First is the half sleeve thermal. Over that I use a heavyweight cotton long sleeve with cuffs  T-shirt, together they give me breath-ability yet the cotton t-shirt still holds in my body heat. Next comes a pull over or zip up fleece top with a high snug fluffy collar or thin hood. From there I could go straight to a wading/rain jacket unless its really really cold then its a good old hoody, Why? They just work and work well.  I cannot stress enough a good quality wading/ rain jacket. They are worth their weight in gold! OK, lets top it off with a good solid beanie and some gloves.I personally wear a pair of Kast fishing gloves and one of their knit beanies. You know why? I’d like to say that the owner of the company gave them to me and leave it at that but the truth is the gloves are amazing, and the hat looks good and works great too.  The gloves are just awesome, there’s grip in the fingers and palm, a sturdy, thick wrist strap and a soft fleece liner that keep you hands dry and warm! Yes dry, the gloves are waterproof and with the cuff velcro-ed tight they don’t let water in at all. The hat? Its got fleece lined strip about 3 inches from the lip and the thick knotted grey yarn holds the heat in perfectly. Well that’s all for clothing in the winter, tomorrow I’ll talk waders boots and rain jackets in depth. come on back now ya’hear?

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