As a youngster we all learn to fish and as we grow older, the "why" might change. For some, it's a means of sustenance, others it's cherished time spent with family and friends, a way to disconnect (or reconnect), or even a therapeutic endeavor. I find it to be all that and more. I find my passion on the water. As an avid fly angler, it has always been about more than fishing. It is about challenging yourself to slow down, soak in a moment, listen to your surroundings, and breath easy. It is you versus nature, and there will never be a true victor, as the lessons never end. I have spent countless days exploring the Pacific Northwest's greatest offerings, often finding myself camped in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest highway; and yet, the journey is still just beginning. I have had a lot of help along the way, from casting lessons, borrowed equipment, FREE river reports, shuttle services, the list goes on; and the fly fishing community has never failed to amaze me. From the cohesive and inclusive attitude of anglers, to the conservation efforts championed by some of the industry's most visionary leaders, to those that keep the history alive through custom rod building, there is not level here that isn't a part of the sum. I am very fortunate to live where I do, when I do, and have a career that allows me to pursue my passion nearly every weekend (and some weekdays, got to love that PTO).
Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle - 32 fl. oz.
What more can I add that you don't already know....
Chances are, if you have dabbled even just a pinky toe in eliminating single use plastics from your life, you know of or own a Nalgene. Or for some of us you have 5-8 of them at any given time. 22 years ago I was lucky enough to be introduced to Nalgene at a very young age as my step-father gifted me a hand me down wide mouth bottle cause I liked the look of it (little did I know at age 11). I eventually weaned two of the originals models in the original blue color scheme from him, which are still in rotation today! Ever since then, I have bought (and lost) a number of these (in different configurations). I will spell out this review as it applies to all their bottles, they rock! They are simple, reliable, durable, and easy to use and clean! They are not to be used with hot liquids of course (non-insulated), but pretty much any cool beverage. I have dropped Nuun tabs, Emergencee, Alka-Seltzer, you name it, in these and after a thorough washing (wide mouth does great in the dishwasher) they do not retain any scents. I have noticed if I leave one sitting around for a while it will develop a smell of mildew of sorts, but if you're in a pinch as I have been, I have stomached the smell to consume the still-potable water. But nothing a quick wash hasn't fixed. They are notoriously durable, especially for their weight; but I have broken/cracked a few. I simply sent Nalgene a photo of the damage and voila, a week later a new bottle arrived and I recycled the old one. I keep a full one just about everywhere- my car, office, bedroom, etc. They now come in fun colors, oftentimes with custom brands or logos, and the lids can be replaced. Get yourself one and throw some kick a** stickers on it!
Mountain Hardwear Compressor Pant - Men's
The bomber pants!!
I actually received these gently loved... and since I have been sporting them they have been showered with love! I cannot say enough good things about them. They are my go to after fishing pant sitting around the camp. Please be aware.. although the knees and seat are reinforced they are not water proof, nor even resistant and small embers will immediately burn holes in them. But they aren’t made for rain or for work, and when used for warmth they can’t be beat. The full zip sides make entry and exit a breeze and quick while leaving your boots on. The fit allows for a solid layer underneath, and allows you to dump heat by simply pulling the hip zips down a few inches. They also aren’t so baggy that couldn’t fit a nice abrasion resistant rain pant over them. The bottom hems have a Velcro strap to lock in warmth as well and ensure the zipper doesn’t creep up. Draw string waist allows you to dial in the fit. And there is even a front zip to relive yourself. Comfy and toasty! Highly recommend
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 90L
The Bomber Duffel
There are some pieces of gear I find a necessity, and a duffel bag seems like a no brainer right? This is certainly one of those pieces, it’s truly become invaluable. Think what you will about Patagonia’s price point on certain things, I rarely pay full price for any of their items (not excluding this one) but they are always better than outstanding and worth every penny. Keep an eye out for past season deals! This bag has traveled the West Coast with me for three years. Cars, airplanes, and even a few ferries. Camp site to camp site, it has done and hauled it all. It’s burly as heck, very water resistant (no where near submersible), and full of useful pockets inside and out. The materials are tough and thick, but do not have structure like a suitcase, so consider your packing strategy accordingly. Also note, it’s not meant to lock with the standardized TSA locks, but the zipper’s retention has not failed me yet. The 90L size is cavernous, it will swallow anything and everything you throw at it. It has lash points on all four corners to strap down, although I personally have been hesitant to haul it outside a vehicle as all my valuables and gear I need are contained. There is two inner mesh pockets on the underside of the U-Shaped lid (props for thoughtful zipper direction!) and one outside horizontal zippered drop pocket. There is no singular shoulder strap so I purchased a universal one from REI (smaller versions DO have one). I used it once and ditched it for the built in backpack straps. I found these totally comfy for short hauls and steady on the back when my hands were also full. Simply stated, it’s a thoughtful ergonomic design from Patagonia given this bags load potential; and one shoulder strap could be awfully uncomfortable. Also has a grab handle on top and on either end to give it a toss to your buddy loadin’ up. Love this bag, would recommend and repurchase again and again.