• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Friday, December 29, 2017

    Bring It On

    A Bit Of Fluff
    need water not depth
    .. We keep getting good depth of snowfall  --  BUT, the snow moisture content is not what we would like.
    .. Snowballs and snow persons are not possible with the snow as dry as it is. Depth looks good on charts for the neighborhood but the snow moisture content is down around our neighborhood hills.
    .. We've been sitting at just above 90% so far this season. Today's figures might make it to 100%. The fluff is fun but we'd like some more moisture in the snow.
    .. Part of the problem is that the 'Gulf Of Alaska Low' has weakened and slipped south. This allows the spill of Arctic air in the mid continent to spread out and inhibit our desired pattern.
    .. In the most wonderful snow years the low hangs in the gulf and send pulses toward us every three to four days.
    .. These strong pulses keep the cold right along the east side of the continental divide. This is a blessed snow pattern for us.
    .. When the low weakens and slips south the Arctic air jumps the Continental Divide at the border with Canada. This weakens the flow and saps our moisture. Better snow water content is present further north than we would like to see.
    .. The sledheads, on the other hand, love the powder in the high country. Great fun for some - we'll wait and see what the Spring conditions bring us.
    .. Well, it's time to sweep the snow off the porch. We don't mind not using the shovel every now and again.

    Wednesday, December 27, 2017

    Monday, December 25, 2017


    A Really Cool Gift
    just another memory
    .. Hebgen reservoir, finally, will be solid. The dry and fluffy snow will blow. The ice rink will be glazed. It's looking like the old days. There's a winter wonderland outside our window.
    .. Our recent local temperatures are between 10°F and 25°F colder than the North Pole. [Check temperatures at the North Pole HERE.]
    .. Visitors are in stark wonderment. Skiers have frosty nostrils. The cops are doing paperwork. Urine freezes in mid air. The aroma of burning pine and pine tar fills the air.
    .. It is a very white and very cold Christmas. Pub crawlers are running. All is well with the universe.

    Sunday, December 24, 2017

    Strange Bedfellows

    Fish Much ?
    leaders for ukuleles ?
    .. There does exist a small subset of fly fishers that not only tie their own flies but also their own leaders. Formulae are legion and occasionally guarded as well as Area 51.
    .. Some fly fishers even use braided horse hair. It can be obtained from the neighborhood nag or, bought by the bunch as violin bow bundles.
    .. There are even a very few folks that incorporate dental floss in their  arsenal to fool and capture those pea brained denizens of the deep.
    .. Most fly fishers, (affluent bunch that they are,) buy leaders and tippet supplies in little packages at the local feather merchant's store.
    .. This provides an excuse to visit the highly knowledgeable and sage counter help and, avoid the myriad chores around the house and garage. A worthy excuse for sure.
    GOT SPOOL  ??
    .. The stuff of leaders is now, and almost always has been, great fodder for the pub or, club or, lodge or, dusty aisles. This is a great field for all manner of discourse and,  most certainly marketing hype.
    .. Topics like diameter, strength, stretch, hardness, stiffness, brand, etc., are full of good fun and sadly lacking, (mostly,) in facts. Must be the temper of the times.
    .. Some cagey folks have bothered to explore the various parameters of strength and diameter and material and such. [LINK-1]. If you are interested in the details check it out.
    .. Some other folks have explored the specifics of the conversation about the manufacturing process = nylon, monofilament, cat gut, fluorocarbon, thermoplastic and such, [LINK-2]. Another excellent read for those so inclined.
    .. For us the minutiae surrounding all these bits of arcane knowledge is, in fact, useful.
    .. As it comes to pass, both the stuff used for fishing line and, ukulele strings and, classical guitar strings is exactly the same in many instances. And, (no big surprise here,) is made by only a very few manufacturers, (but that is another story.)
    ..  With not too much specialized information it is possible to use our hoard of spooled and crinkled stuff for both fishing and stringing. Who knew it? In fact many ukulele and guitar players have known it for some time.
    .. Chet Atkins occasionally used fishing line for his guitars.
    .. Classical guitar maestro Andres Segovia started using fishing line from the DuPont company for some of his strings and encouraged guitar builders to pursue this new material.
    .. The result was the development of a much more reliable and trouble free E, B and G strings for the concert classical guitar.
    .. For those of you out there that play the ukulele, (or classical guitar,) there are a few very handy references for the use of the correct leader material for strings on your box of air, [LINK-3, LINK-4 , LINK-5].
    .. Like anything, best is usually better. In both fishing and stringed instruments trial and error is a pretty standard approach. Depending on your arsenal of attack some bits and pieces work better than others.
    .. Fiberglass, bamboo, graphite, boron, casting style, visibility, weight of fly, and many other factors come into play when selecting the stringy parts of the rig.
    .. The same holds true for a ukulele: type of wood, sound and tone, construction details, size, strum style, scale length, and so on. {It is even propitious to use discarded instrument strings as part of our fishing ensemble.}
    .. However, in both realms there are just a few brands that stand out.
    ..  DuPont invented nylon in 1939 and fisher folks figured it out very quickly, (stockings were shredded after WWII for fishing line and for flies.) Maxima is about as old as DuPont and started it's production of fishing lines in 1950. Seaguar is a fairly recent entrant into the line business; started in 1966 and has risen to the top with it's innovations in  Fluorocarbon and braided lines. There are a few others  --  of course!
    .. Many "House Brands" contract with these companies for their own products. Ask the counter help at your favorite feather merchant if you are buying string over the counter. Right now, (subject to change at any moment,) Seaguar seems in the ascendancy in both the fishing world and the ukulele world.
    ..  We don't see many lazy gatherings streamside these days. Hardly time for a song or two and certainly not with a guitar.
    .. In other parts of this nation and, the world at large, fishing can be found that is a bit more genteel and relaxed. Harmonicas, ukuleles, and even kazoos, can be found.
    .. Serious fishing around here, (with very few exceptions,) demands immersion and it approaches a true vocation. Nothing wrong there -- strokes and folks.
    .. Time for a snack and a nap. Then time to restring a couple of instruments before going to a neighborhood gathering.
    .. There will be food, fishing talk, hunting talk, children, and some singing. There are fiddles, guitars, ukuleles, and even an Irish harp. It happens around this time of year  --  every year.
    “Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
    That I shall say good night till it be morrow.” 
    . . . the Bard

    Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.
    Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/william_shakespeare_155061

    Saturday, December 16, 2017

    Preview Of Coming Attraction ?

    Package Deal ??
    not a common carrier ?
    .. Let the lawsuits begin. Who is your ISP? Is it affiliated with a telecom giant? Is it vertically integrated like the monopolies of old?
    .. Will your online content be easily accessible in near real time? Will you be able to get to your favorite websites within seconds, minutes, hours, days?
    .. Would you pay for access to the drivel written on this blog? We sure wouldn't !!
    .. Click on over to the MONTANA COWGIRL note for a portent of the possible future.
    .. Perhaps the "CHINA/RUSSIA MODEL" is the wave of the future. Certainly our current administration thinks it is.

    Thursday, December 14, 2017

    The Good Stuff

    Red Tape Reduction
    baby and the bath ?
    Take 12 minutes and see it all.

    Tuesday, December 12, 2017

    An Arcane Pause

    Bamboo Or Spruce ?
    strokes and folks
    .. A not so quiet renaissance is sweeping the world. It is similar to the resurgence of bamboo that one sees in rods of fly fishers.
    .. It is every bit as organic, cultural, and as arcane as it is in the fly fishing world. It's the world of classical guitars and ukuleles.
    .. Down through the millennia a box with a string has revealed itself in cultures around the world.
    .. We call those boxes musical instruments. The boxes and strings have evolved into a seemingly endless array of shapes and sizes.
    .. The guitar, (as we know it,) is a fairly recent iteration of this genera. The ukulele is even more recent.
    .. Both are members of the "lute family." and are becoming fixtures in cultures both east and west.
    .. Sometime in the 15th or 16th century the modern form of the guitar became recognizable. By 1792 the six string version that we know was pretty well standardized.
    .. The ukulele can trace it's origin to small Portuguese instruments, (machete de braga,) that were introduced to Hawaii early in the 19th century. By mid century the form that we know today had become recognizable.
    .. Over the last 200 years guitars have become the universally recognized accompaniment to vocal music in world cultures: electric, electric acoustical, acoustical, folk, classical, flamenco, etc.
    .. During the last 70 years, (or so,) with increasing regularity, The guitar has become a fixture in the home and on the trail. During the last 20 years the ukulele has been making rapid progress as the instrument of choice for campfire accompaniment.
    .. With the explosion of Asian labor and the abilities of exceptional craftspeople, both of these instruments are now being produced in huge quantities. Prices are lower than any in memory.
    .. The quality of the instruments ranges from pure shit to the best ever made. Experimentation with new materials, (woods and synthetics, ) and construction techniques, (i.e. double tops and carbon fibers,) has brought a revolution in the familiar instruments.
    .. The electric guitar from the 50's and 60's has become an expensive collectors item. Depending on provenance an electric guitar can go for over two million dollars at auction, (LINK.)
    .. The earliest classical guitars may go for three times the price of the electric models. But, price is a digression for the specialist.
    .. Today there are guitars and ukuleles being made throughout the world that are the sound and construction equivalent of anything made previously. The best guitars now come from California, Spain, Germany, China, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, and - all points in between. The best ukuleles come from China, California, Germany and Hawaii, (among other places.)
    .. Some are made in garages in Oregon. Some are made in small shops in Spain. Some are made in factories in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Some are made in forest retreats in Japan. They can be made anywhere there is a dedicated craftsman. There are even two in West Yellowstone, Montana.
    .. Modern commerce and international cooperation have made available woods that have hitherto been unknown or unavailable to the luthiers of the world. There are even large companies that specialize in the woods for the ukulele and guitar.
    .. The appeal of both the guitar and the ukulele for solo pleasure, performance, and voice accompaniment is portability.
    .. Today kids, children, old codgers, teenagers, millennials, men, women, and others are flocking to ukuleles like never before.
    .. Blogs are erupting across the web in languages never before encountered. YouTube is rife with reviews, songs, instruction, performances, and the miscellaneous stuff that is attracted to that platform.
    .. Specialty shops that sell only ukuleles now are more popular than guitar specialty shops.
    .. School music programs can afford ukuleles for all students not just a few band instruments for the band classes.
    .. The autoharp is out. Boring and irrelevant 'music appreciation' is long gone. Ukulele participation is in. In the last 10 years the classroom ukulele has become a true phenomenon. AND, it persists outside the classroom.
    .. Kids can carry their ukes and jam at any time and anywhere. Even the waterproof plastic ukuleles sound good, stay in tune and can go to the beach, river, lake, or ski slope, (REALLY ?).
    .. From obscure and humble beginnings in 1967, (LINK,) to today the 50 year explosion has produced a multi-generational conversation that brings together folks in a unique and productive way. Try it - you'll like it.
    .. 'The movement,' if it can be called that, is as simple or complex as you choose it to be.
    .. The expense can vary from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. The songs can be as simple as "Mary had A Little Lamb," to as difficult as  "Bohemian Rhapsody."
     Bohemian Rhapsody by Jake

    .. We enjoy listening to both the guitar and the ukulele. We play both very badly.
    .. But - in the winter these chunks of wood are almost as fulfilling as the bits of bamboo that we torture in the warmer months. A box full of air should be explored by everyone at least once in their life.
    .. It's about to become a melting day - again. There is petrol in the horse and Notellum Backwater has not frozen yet. False dawn just broke and the neighbors have let their dogs out to fertilize the snow. All is right with the universe.
    .. For those interested there are some unique video bits below the wallpaper.


    Monday, December 11, 2017

    Sense Of Humor - Ho, Ho, Ho !

    A Ten Year Joke
    just ignore it
    .. The joke is on us. The U.S. Treasury Department, ("with dozens of staff working on it,") have produced a report about the Current Tax Reform Plan.
    .. So then, here are the main points:
    .. #1, By itself it won't pay for itself  =  1.5 Trillion additional debt, more or less,
    .. #2, Tax cuts for wealthy paid for by increases, (over time,) in middle class tax rates and reduction of expenditures for social programs for the less fortunate,
    .. #3, It all fits on one page.
    .. So now we are taking money from food-stamp beneficiaries, and giving it to millionaires. We are also adding debt to our progeny.
    .. We are again, asked to believe that the regressive tax breaks will supercharge the economy.
    .. We are also, asked to believe that policymakers will also agree to pass: (A) - Trump’s non-existent infrastructure plan, (B) - Trump’s non-existent welfare reform plan, and wait for (C) - Trump’s regulatory reform plan to work wonders. We'll not live that long.
    .. Don't pay attention to this - OR - read the one page official report  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>    HERE.

    Tuesday, December 05, 2017

    My, Oh My !

    It's Bigger Than Fish
    click on over

    .. It's disguised as sane local control and just a political decision. Ha!
    .. Under local control it has been overgrazed and mutilated. Prehistoric treasures have been destroyed. Ancient artifacts have been plundered and sold for profit. That's local control in the state of Utah.
    .. For it's entire existence Patagonia has been the champion of conservation and stewardship of our environmental and cultural resources, (including the values that give us the freedom to enjoy our outdoor recreational opportunities.)
    .. The pseudo Montanan, Zinke, has performed his lap dog function and done his master's bidding. Watch for more to come.
    .. This action by the trump nation flies in the face of opposition by more than 2 million public comments. It defiles the sacred traditions of Native Americans. It aims to curry favor with the retro minds of Utards.
    .. Click on over to the Fact and Action page at Patagonia for a bit of insight that the American voters have foisted on their neighbors. Be sure to read the whole page. Think deeply about this action and it's portent for things to come in the next 7 years.