You need to look closely to see the entire fish....it's like one of those books from when I was a kid where you stared at it and saw a ship and I never could see the ship. I assure you, this was an amazing fish. It is so cool to see how camouflaged they are against the bottom in the photo. Megan got this fish to eat with a twenty-five foot cast off the front of the boat and the take was outstanding. We were in the Florida Keys for nine days and spent four of them on a flats skiff with Chris Wells of Tailing Charters. Chris is a fantastic teacher and has helped us both grow our saltwater skills tremendously. This was Megan's first tarpon on the fly and it made the whole four days if you ask me. I was lucky enough to get my third tarpon on the last day of the trip.
My wife and I got out on a local stream about 30 minutes from our house on a clear spring evening recently. There was enough of a wind to keep the fish from actively rising but the cover provided by some overhanging rocks made for a perfect hiding place for some nice browns. We ended up pulling streams for a couple hours and having a picnic along the stream afterward. Being outside does so much to empty my mind and always offers up new inspiration.
Forequarter is our favorite restaurant in Madison. They have successfully combined great food with very good service without all the attitude you seem to find in many new eateries.
William Hayes is a Vermont printmaker who works in linocut. His images below show just how much can be done with the medium. Generally 6 or 7 color reduction pieces, his night scenes are stunning. Click through the thumbnails below.
The post office just released a series of stamps with the artwork of Martin Ramirez which prompted me to spend a little time looking into his bio and artwork. I enjoy his use of line and find it interesting how much visual interest he was able to create with pencils and crayons.
Read more about Martin Ramirez in the NY Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/26/arts/design/26rami.html?ref=museumofamericanfolkart
If you have never looked at a Gheenoe, you are missing out on a great boat. Made of fiberglass and packed with enough insulation to make them super stable, they can get into some pretty skinny water. You can customize these boats with poling towers, duck blinds, live-wells, bow hunting platforms or disco balls...you name it.
Below is a picture of my friend Matt after a morning duck hunt just north of Madison. He's sitting on my Gheenoe 15' 6 Classic which I outfitted with an old 18 horse Evinrude I bought when I was a kid. The boat is actually rated for a 25 h.p. and we get moving pretty fast with the 18. In the Fall I run a collapsable duck blind on the bow and then remove it in the Spring for fly fishing. We catch everything from panfish to muskies out of this little boat and I can tow it behind my Jetta which makes us environmentally friendly and cost conscious.
I keep a couple YETI Tundra 35's in the boat which act as seats, casting decks, cold storage and even keep our breakfast hot during duck season. Strap a sea-deck on them and you've got a poling platform in the summer.
You're not going to fit the whole family in one of these boats, but if you are looking for a stable, shallow drafting boat for 1 or 2 people, this might be it.
Anyone else feel like this is actually a need? I have my dad's thirty year old Filson duffle and I still use it all the time. Filson knows how to make something durable and they've been doing it a long time. The timepiece is manufactured by Shinola in Detroit and the band is all Filson leather goods. The fact that it is American made is pretty cool and the story behind Shinola watches is an inspiring one. Now I just need to sell a few more prints....
The Driftless Angler is our home shop here in Wisconsin. When you finally make it up here to go fly fishing this is the place to stop. www.driftlessangler.com
Do not make the mistake of missing the Driftless Cafe while in town. www.driftlesscafe.com
The Viking is a great spot to stop for a beer as well.