Thank You For Reading My Blog

This blog is about my life as a fly fisherman, guide, and fly fishing instructor in and around Northern Virginia and Washington D.C.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cellular Respiration & Fly Fishing


 Note: if the image does not have my name on it, it is not mine.

Audio

cell resp
 






Link: Law of Conservation of Mass
Link: Animated Cellular Respiration

Reactants:
  • Glucose (the food you eat for energy for a long day of fishing)
    • 6 carbons
    • 12 hydrogens
    • 6 oxygens
  • Oxygen (the air you breathe)
    • 6 carbons
    • 12 oxygens
Products:
  • Carbon dioxide (what you exhale)
    • 6 carbons
    • 12 oxygens
  • Water
    • 12 hydrogens
    • 6 oxygens
    • + Energy
    • + Heat
snowhite diagram

snowhite diagram


cell resp

cell resp

stonewall jacksons jacket


Monday, November 29, 2010

Pissed off On Monday Rant


 I had a lot of stuff planned today. Get to the gym for the first time in a month (surgery and travel have kept me out), run errands (the wife needed crumbled Gorgonzola), clean my office, write and record a podcast, etc.

So my Verizon Wireless LG Ally broke for the 2nd time last week. The phone was purchased in June of this year. I have it to run my small business when I am away from the house. I check weather so I don't get zapped by lightening, I check tides so we know when to fish, I check e-mail and voice mail, and answer calls.

Emotion Eric conveys my emotions for me:


However, the crappy phone keeps breaking. The sound turns off. i can't hear people on the other end of the phone unless it is on speaker. The first time they told me it was the microphone and they sent me a replacement. While that new phone was in the air the original miraculously started working again. I sent the replacement back.

Last week the same thing happens. I go to the Verizon store in C'bus Ohio and they put me on the phone with customerless support. The guy's first solution is to turn off my phone and restart. As if I had not tried that. Then the guy on the phone has me take out the battery. I did that already and if it had worked I would not have been there. Then he has me press a bunch of buttons and that wipes my phone clean. All apps are gone. All bookmarked web pages are gone. All contacts are gone. Its as if I get a new phone. And then he calls it and guess what, the phone is still broke.

So they tell me to expect a replacement again in Fed Ex form.


I set out to run my errands today. Do you know how friggin hard it is to find a fireplace bellows? I ask you where to buy one because I can't find one. Sure the hearth store sells them but they are woven with Dodo leather and Yettie hairs and cost a few hundred bucks. Does no one around here other than me require forced oxygen into their fireplace coals? I stopped at 4-5 stores today. Sure there are some online but this is a product I'd like to see first hand.

So I get home from my errands (yes, I got the Gorg). As soon as I take off my jacket there is a knock on the door. Fed Ex guy.


I unpack my new phone. Set it up, and reinstall all of the apps. I spend a good 25 min installing my business e-mail accounts and social networking apps. I get my first call (Frankie) and guess what, the piece of crap does not have any sound.

I call Verizon and my options are A. get a 3rd phone in the Fed Ex or B. buy a whole new phone and be stuck with the replacement they sent me. I could sell it online. Sure, now that it has been touched the depreciation sets in and its not worth as much.

I go to the store and they tell me the same spiel. Why don't they have trained employees who can troubleshoot a product? They all sit there behind their kiosks with their cell phones and play games rather than actually help me. What a load of crap. I commend the guy who threw a brick threw their window (I found lots of broken glass around the store, apparently their cleaners are just as inept). That guy was probably just as pissed but acted on it physically rather than taking to the internets. I'd rant more about that experience but there is a Capitals game on that I want to watch while THW is at the gym. The are sending me a 3rd model.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Zebra Mussels | Pre-Fly Fishing Community History

 I am pretty sure you could not avoid mention of Zebra Mussels in any current fly fishing periodical. You probably can't avoid a sign about them at your local boat ramp or the boat ramp you pass on your next fly fishing trip. You probably have seen a sign about them in the angler parking lot. On a side note, the above and below images are not mine.


But where did all of this start out? (btw, I'm typing this instead of Hawaii part 4 because I forgot all of my Hawaii notes in  Ohio.) What is the Zebra Mussel and where did it come from?










Why is it such a common hot topic along with the other introduced organism, the Didymo which is always followed by the term 'rock snot?'

I stumbled upon a whole lot of information about the Zebra Mussel last night while trying to finish my Out of Eden, On Odyssey on Ecological Invasion.










There are two ways I can convey to you the history of this organism being introduced into the United States via ballast water and how we as anglers are possible vectors in its transmission from one body to another.

I could read to you the article in a podcast or I can send  you to the chapter via Google Books. This will have to suffice until I can obtain a .PDF version of the book, post it here, and cite it to avoid being sued and having all of my fly fishing vectors taken away from me.

In this chapter you will find the life history of the creature, its amazing ability to withstand adverse conditions, how, where, and when it has been introduced to a variety of waters (some of which may be your home water), and its ability to reproduce and create blankets of shells that can weigh in the tons and tons of tons, coat various objects-including their own species.

You will gain a whole new perspective that you won't get from boat dock and parking lots sings.



You will learn a whole lot more than your favorite fly fishing magazine has published. I know, I read a lot of them and see a lot of warning signs at lakes and rivers.

It was not until reading this chapter last night that I got the whole picture about Zebra Mussels. Take a read and learn something new.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Paris (Ooh La La)

Hawaii Part 3 | Food & Fish (but not fish as food)

Sunrise. Its hot out. No wind. We eat ABC leftovers and head out to Waikiki beach. We don't have our luggage so I'm still wearing Patagonia silk weight, camo pants, and thankfully Chaco flips. THW is stuck with flips, a wool sweater, and Capri pants. Sucks to be THW. We walk the beach and along the hotels which are adjacent to the water. Lots of people about. I am still new to the public beach thing. I grew up spending my free time on a private beach near Palm Beach. I had the whole place to myself, from sand to coral reef. Crowds on beaches are strange to me. Surfers, body boarders, boogie boarders, sun bathers, bums, locals, tourists, etc. 

We pass a child learning guitar, people jumping off sea walls, and what ever else you can imagine on a public beach in paradise. I break out the switch rod at the sea wall and start throwing a shad dart sized Clouser and get a lizard fish. We even see a dog on a boogie board.
People start their 'psst, hey, over here' lines as they see me with a fly rod. The locals tell me to fish over here, fish over there, the bones are 10lb here, and 12lb there. Gots to get up early in morning down by the hotels on the sand for them, throw bread for them in the park, fish down there. etc. 
 
Everyone up and down the beach has a different theory on where, when, and how to catch bonefish or oio. I feel like Rachael Ray in the $40 a day show where every local gives her a tidbit of info on where to eat. 
 THW wants to chill on the beach so she gets a towel at the ABC and I wander off down toward Diamond Head. We pass the park where the bones will come up to eat bread. No fishing here of course. Not even allowed to have fishing equipment in the park.

We pass through the park and I drop off THW. I meet a Kiwi who tells me small red flies for bones. I wander down the road and find a side alley to the beach. I see some locals surfing and wander around the sea walls. The walls have rails so you don't fall in. Great spot to look for fish.
 The reef fish include trigger fish, box fish, angel fish, moorish idols, pipe fish, and lots of needle fish. I pass a smart pigeon (lots of pigeons here, no seagulls) drinking from a water fountain.



THW calls me on the cell and (I hope my bottles of fat tire outside are cold by now. I saw snow earlier) I find her and we head up Waikiki to the International Market for some food. I spot a pair of Hibiscus board shorts and have to get them. Its time to get out of my camo pants.

We settle into some Viethamese food and meal. This is our first real food if you want since the fried grease in Wisconsin.
I get the stir fried beef on noodles. I toss on some rooster sauce and inhale it.
We wander the streets of Waikiki looking for a bathing suit for THW just to wear for the day. No luck. We stop at ABC for some beer and head to the hotel for a respite.

Not long after its time for dinner. We head to the Ala Moana Center and the Japanese department store, Shirokaya. The 3rd floor is a Bento Box food court.

We were the only non Japanese in there and it was great. I filled my arms with some goodies. Everything reminded me of home just a bit. We do live in Annandale, Va.
Vegetable fried rice, garlic chicken, sliced beef with sauce, and something else. As it was the end of the day they were marking down everything.
Each bento box was around $2-$3 after mark down. 

We wandered around and got some seaweed salad, sampled some ice cream and some gelatenous goo that was putrid, and then settled down to eat. 

The total was less than $25 for two of us. We had enough for leftovers if you don't mind eating garlic fried chicken at sunrise.

I picked up a 6 of some Kiwi beer and had one as the sun dipped down the horizon. We were on the 24th floor and had a great view.

Hawaii Part 2 | Getting There & Getting There & Getting There

Nothing out of the ordinary with the 10 mile trip to National Airport. We hear about some winter weather in the  midwest but don't pay attention. We were enjoying no traffic on 395. That is what the locals call it. Screening was a breeze at 0630 on a Saturday and before long we were on our way to the gate. I was stopped by a young lady who noticed my rod tube on the day pack. We briefly discussed fly reels. I told her the best bang for her buck would be the Orvis Mid-Arbor reel. Solid tool. I promptly filled up my Nalgene at the Ronald's Place soda fountain with water. As we waited at the gate I cold not help but stare at this mom near us. She was feeding her kids in an almost avian way. Except she was not regurgitating the food into their gullets. This mom was putting Ronald's Place egg mcmuffins down their mouths in a fashion I could only compare to one putting nickles in a parking meeter for a day long event. Where did these toddlers put all that crap? The next thing I noticed was THW reading The Onion news paper with a full 'spread' of boobs. (btw, drinking warm Stella is not pleasant. I should have planned better last night and put some in the fridge from the THW's parent's basement.)

So we are on the flight and I'm reading up on Zach Matthew's article on drift boats. I have to give Zach some props for having a full page like spread of the Alumaweld drift boat heading down some choppy rapids. Thats my boat y'all! Soon we here the pilot announce there is snows in the Minnieapple-less. We circle for about an hour or two and I'm getting restless. I have not eaten yet cept for some peanuts on the flight and my ration of Ronald's water. We need fuel and head to Wisconsin. We all de-board and I head straight to the bar. I took advice from good friend Mike Sarnofsky. He educated me about the wonders of an airport Long Island Iced Tea. Now my recipe calls for 1oz of whisky-rum-tequila-gin-tripple sec-vodka-sour mix-coke over ice. The lady used top shelf of almost all of those and it was in one of those Bennigans size pint glasses. I charged my ipod battery while I drank that and ate a huge club sandwich that looked to have been battered in lard and cooked on a grill made of butter. The plane was fueled and we were shortly off to Minnesota. Wait for it.....Ok we land in Mn and the Ipod is dying. I watched one movie and caught up with 30 rock since National and this thing won't last me across the Pacific :(  .

I friggin sprint with my bags from one side of the terminal to the other. Our plane to Oahu had already taken off and there was one more flight out west for the entire day. We had to get on that flight. I ran down that flat escalator thing, past people, through groups, dodging human flotsam and jetsom. I get to the gate and they are boarding. I get in line and gulp for air like a beached fish. The lady's at the desk are totally flustered with everyone trying to get on the flight. At least I am in line and THW arrives with her luggage. We switch spots and I go to charge the Ipods. THW is up to the front with 6 people already getting on. I get up there to meet her and help out and thats when the shits hits the fans. Guess who shows up out of nowwhere? Meter mouth feeding mom. This lady starts the bitching rants of all bitching rants. I sat back to enjoy. She goes off on how she, her peckerless husband (though he must have provided some seed to the equation) and her 3 kids just arrived and how I cut them off. In fact I was there before them as I saw them all arrive on a glamorized golf cart while I was charging the Ipods. She goes off on how she HAS to get on this flight. That she MUST be on the flight with her 3 kids and her peen. That she has been waiting for ever and I cut in line in front of everyone. She is spitting and I think I see some Ronalds baccon land on the kiosk. By now everyone in line is looking at this lady spewing fire from her mouth and smoke from ears. The ticket lady says that she is having computer trouble and helping everyone and to be patient. Then the lady looses it and the profanity starts to come out. We get an 'fuck this' and a 'fuck that' and some 'bullshit' thrown in. By now we all realize she is not going anywhere with that mouth and she is shit out of luck. She thinks she still has a chance, gets on her blackberry, bitches out her eunuch or eunich (sp?) husband. The desk lady says there are two more seats and has computer issues so writes down our seat numbers with no boarding pass and shovels us on the flight. Nice. We are off to .................San Francisco. But first we have to wait for the 40+ planes ahead of us to take off and be de-iced. And for us to be de-iced too.

We land in San Fran at sunset and its a great flight in. We all have to get off the plane so they can switch crews. Why we have to get off I don't know. We all deplane and I start charging electronics again. THW is in line to get out boarding passes since we don't have one from the flight there. After 30+ minutes and everyone back on the plane they still don't have passes for us. We are the last ones there. Computers are down and they say fuck it and just tell us to get on the plane and sit where its open. I end up next to a lady who was like a Muppet and THW on the other side. We land in Oahu with no luggage at 9:30pm and head to the hotel.

We drop our bags (that means no clothes for me, a day pack full of flies, reels, a rod, hemostats, and camera gear) and go grab food at the ABC

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Hawaii Part 1 | Preparation

I'm not sure where my fascination with Hawaii started. It may have been after watching the National Geographic Video: Hawaii: Strangers in Paradise. It may have been reading James Mischner's Hawaii. However I think it was watching Magnum P.I. and scenes from movies like Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark. I had always thought my dad had taken a series of phenomenal photographs of erupting volcanoes when he and mom visited Oahu and Kauai in the early 70s'.  I later find out he purchased the slides in a gift shop.

I was fascinated by the tropical plants, colorful shirts, and breathtaking scenery (its hard to use that word after watching Seinfeld's Hamptons weekend episode). I watched the T.V. show 'The Byrds of Paradise', another show set in Hawaii. The show also starred a young Seth Greene who I went to camp with as a kid. He had always been the obnoxious redhead in real life and thus was not acting in the all time great 'Can't Buy Me Love.' Seth bragged about how he was the fastest waiter at camp but kept his acting career rather hush hush (he was in Spielberg's Amazing Stories if you remember. But I digress.

My friend David (who I knew as Lucas from kindergarten) spent his summers in Hawaii with his grandparents. He and I had devised a plan to go out and volunteer with the park service to hunt feral pigs and goats during high school summer vacation. We never got around to do it.

I wrote a paper in college titled 'Don't Hawaii The Galapagos' based on my recent visit to the Galapagos Archipelago where I visited night clubs and grocery stores in what I thought would be a pristine set of islands. But no, they were being developed with soccer stadiums and bars like Hawaii. At this point I never thought I would actually get to visit Hawaii. In fact, I watched re-runs of Magnum P.I. every day after English class freshman year, the class for which I wrote the above mentioned paper.

I then got into what are commonly called 'Hawaiian Shirts,' purchasing all that I could afford from the local thrift store in downtown Fredericksburg, Va. I had only one rule with my shirts, they had to be made in Hawaii.

College continued and I learned more about the biodiversity of the world and things that could be applied to Hawaii and its unique ecosystem. As previously mentioned in the Martha's Vineyard post, I learned about the theory of Island Bio-geography.

A friend from college (Brian) was dating a school teacher that lived in Hawaii. She would scour thrift shops and send me Hawaiian shirts every few months. My roommates joined in and soon we were known for our festive garb at parties. We often referred to the Simpsons episode:
Homer: Marge, the boy was wearing a hawaiian shirt.
Marge: So?
Homer: There's only two kind of guys who wear those shirts: gay guys and
       big, fat party animals.  [sad] And Bart doesn't look like a big,
       fat party animal to me...
Marge: So, if you wore a Hawaiian shirt, it wouldn't be gay?
Homer: Right.  Thank you.
-- "Homer's Phobia"

Graduation was approaching and I was looking for jobs. I applied for positions with a variety of Federal offices to work as a biologist and study the effects of introduced flora and fauna in Hawaii. Like all other Federal jobs that I have applied for in the past 11 years, I never heard back.

I began working in fly shops after college read up on fly fishing in Hawaii. I learned of bonefish and species of jack that could be caught on the flats.

It wasn't until 2002 that actually going to Hawaii became a possibility. THW and I discussed where to go on our honeymoon and I insisted on Hawaii. June 2003 found me on a plane headed west, 4 fly rods in my bags, and a few boxes of saltwater patterns. I had corresponded with a fellow Restonite who lived and worked in Oahu. He worked at Nervous Waters Fly Fishing and helped me plan my trip. I fished all around the island and only landed a trevally and lizard fish. I got to see a bonefish that was gutted on the beach by a new friend. I vowed to return one day with nickel sized pink crabs like those found in the fish's gut. I returned to the mainland with my first pair of flip flops since childhood and a whole lot of what I now refer to as Aloha shirts.

In 2004 I began my teaching career. I spent the next four school years incorporating the National Geographic show into my curriculum. I watched the prime time soap North Shore as it had some scenes from Hawaii and could not let the fact that Lost was filmed in the Archipelago aid in suspending a bit of vicarious tourism through watching the show.

Throw Alan Burdick's interview on NPR as one of the most fascinating things I've ever heard of Guam and Hawaii. 

I have spend the past 7.5 years referring people to Nervous Waters on fishing websites and message boards. Telling them to use pink, nickel sized crabs for bones. I didn't think I was going to ever get back to Hawaii.

THW tells me in the spring of this year that she has a conference in Hawaii. I had hoped to tag along. It was not until I left my job at Booz Allen that I knew I could go. No more having to ask permission to take leave, no more bull crap protocol e-mails in the process. You could not simply ask for leave, you had to almost earn it via the wording in the text of your e-mail to at a minimum of four other people.

I just got off the phone with Nervous Waters and plan to stop by in a few days. From their site, it looks like they have a variety of tying materials. THWpodcasts (this counts as a work trip!) That is if I'm not too full of Saimin and believe me, I will be eating a lot of Saimi!

So I am  my own boss now and can plan my clients around fishing trips. The trip is just a few days away and here is what I have prepared:



       
   

 
              

 
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