Monday, June 20, 2011

Fathers Day Weekend

Semi Seal Leech
 This was the weekend for fathers, so I spent some father time. Started Saturday morning with a quick and uneventful (ie no fish on the line) fly toss at the Salt River with some friends. Followed that up with a tour of sports retail stores to see if I needed anything. Cabela's, Bass Pro Shop's and Sportsman's Warehouse were all busy, but they still managed to get a few bucks out of me. Picked up some new Rio sinking fly line for my fathers day fishing trip coming up, look for a review. Then I purchased this cool blood red semi seal and tied some of my favorite flies for this weeks fishing trip. On a more somber note, the forests in our state continue to burn. I got word this morning of a new fire, the Willow fire that started north of Bear Canyon Lake, this could jeopardize the Mogollon Rim section of Arizona's fisheries. If you have extra rain send it our way.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Getting Older

I had a chance to break out and ride the mountain bike again. After the last ride in the desert I felt older and slower, neither of which is a good thing.  So as I planned my ride I knew I had to push myself a lot more.  I set my goals on riding the larger loop (not sure the name of it) that includes one real large hill climb.  I figured this should really be a test of will power and conditioning.  I left the parking lot and started the gradual climb up the trail.  The start was later than I had hoped and the desert sun was already in full force.  Thirty minutes after starting out I arrived at the base of the aforementioned hill and still felt pretty good about the ride.  It was further out there than I remembered it being and also bigger and steeper.

The Climb
I rested at the bottom for a few minutes and then decided to turn around, ride back down, and finish with the short loop from the week before.  I now knew the top part of the trail for the down hill and there are some great sections of single track.  Upon reaching them I decided to forgo the use of my brakes and get some good speed going.  The first stretch was a dream of fast corners, wind in the face, extra adrenaline and the memories of times gone past.  Further down as I approached a corner with some good speed I could not stick the bike where I wanted too.  This resulted in near disaster in the desert, something I don't need again, involving heavy breaking, swerving, and mild cursing.

 I thought to myself "I can't be getting this old and tired that steering through these corners is such a chore".  Working my way back to the parking lot proved different, each corner I had to take a little slower, every obstacle more tentative.  My age was really showing now, 10 years ago this would have been nothing for me to peddle through.  Today, it became a display of how not to ride the desert.

Eventually I hit the parking lot threw my bike in the car and headed home.  Starting up the trail I had high expectations that were realized on the start of the decent, but as I got lower down the reality of the aging process took hold.  I felt as if I had taken a big step backwards and needed to go ride some dirt roads to get back with it.  Arriving home and feeling down I took the bike out of the car and placed it in the garage.  As I cleaned out the rest of the gear I thought how did all these rocks get in the back of the car.  Upon closer inspection it was actually chunks of rubber.  I imediatly went to the bike to inspect it and to my shock most of the knobbies on the tires were now missing; quite a few removed down to the core wraps.

They weren't like this when I prepeared to leave the night before.  Then it became clear I didn't get any older at all, it was the tires that got older.  Needless to say riding is now on hold till I can throw a new set of knobbies on the bike.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Working On My Casting

Spent memorial day morning at the Salt river with my fly rod in hand.  I saw this video series on MidCurrent, "The Five Essentials of Casting" and I thought this would be a good opportunity to work on my casting.

The Salt river is only a 20 minute drive from my house so with easy access I spend time here quite often.  The fishing there is always a challenge, and at this time of year the summer tubers make it worse.  It does have what I needed to work on my casting though, current and wind.  I made it there before sunrise and the crowds; Bulldog Canyon is always a beautiful place in the early morning.

I spent about an hour on the river and was able to throw some pretty loops.  As always the time spent outdoors was both relaxing and enjoyable.  Unfortunately the fish never showed up to play.  I am looking forward to the next fishing trip to implement some improved casting knowledge I have gained.