Last spring I got my first introduction to a salmonfly hatch (yes, I’ve been under a rock) where I actually had a rod in my hand. The first time I that I saw them was as a kid on a camping trip on the Metolious river in Oregon. I was an avid fisherman, a young worm dunker who was still several years away from his first fly rod. A few years ago my youngest son and I were screening a local river bottom one day and up came a few golden stones along with a neanderthal looking (by comparison) giant, Pteronarcys . It was a huge lumbering aquatic beast compared to the fast moving golden stones which we likened to cheetahs in comparison. We checked them out on the web. Those sometimes nit pickin’, fussy trout turned into aggressive savages when presented with a salmon fly adult (real or fake).
Unfortunately, things didn’t time out for me till last year and it was impressive. I didn’t get a lot of time in with them but enough to know that when it’s on this year, I’ll be calling in sick (someone will be playing hooky too probably). It’s not just the zeal and reckless abandon that fish go after these things, it’s the sheer numbers and size of the host for this fish protein orgy that is amazing. The only thing that kinda sucks is that the water is blasting but nothing is totally perfect- I’ll take gorging, aggressive fish eating giant fakes off the top in fast water anytime.
Led Lenser F1 Force Series Flashlight
I got a review sample of this little flashlight and was pleasantly surprised as I was expecting (in spite of it’s price tag) to be underwhelmed by it’s- littleness? Anyway, I checked out the video for the F1 Led Lenser and was pretty much thinking- yeah, right. So I totally poo-pooed the thing till I actually got it outside at night. The video didn’t lie, this thing is really powerful. It destroys any of the many headlamps I have (with 2AA or AAA’s) and is better than my regular flashlights that use 2 or 3 C sized batteries- and the F1 is powered by a single Cr123. Electricity goes out? This little flashlight will light up the entire room, not just a little corner of it. Don’t like the neighbors cat, hit him in the lights with this thing and he’ll be having pupil spasms for the rest of the night. From the house to the man cave is about 75ft and it lights it up like a flood lamp and the beam is wide enough to see everything around very clearly- no guess work on the path out- it’s lit up too. The only thing that was a little tricky was figuring out the double click to turn it to the lower power setting.
Quick specs- 2hr burn time @ 400 lumens, waterproof to 2.5 meters, 100 meters @ full power, 2.43 oz., 3.6 in. long. Battery included (whoa!). Feels like it’s made out of aluminum or similar, the only plastic is the lens. So, a total thumbs up on LED Lenser F1 Waterproof Flashlight (Amazon $58) even if it’s retail is a pricey $80.00. Comes with an unconditional 5 year warranty.
One thing that would have been really cool on this flashlight would have been to make the pocket/visor clip going in the opposite direction so you could attach it to your hat. Other than that this little flashlight is a rocket.
Update 3/21 The clip actually does reverse out so it will fit on my hat brim. (did I hear someone say, “read the instructions, dummy”?) Good tight fit too. Perfect! Beats wearing a headlamp actually.
Speaking of, Led Lenser also makes headlamps. Check out this monster, the H14R rechargeable headlamp. Yeah, predator fishing at night. 220 lumens! Careful, you might incinerate your streamers with it.
I also got a couple review pair of sunglasses from Fisherman Eyewear late last fall. I believe they are the Islander model. Anyway, I’m pretty fanatical about my shades especially since I started having eye issues over the last couple years. The lens in the two models that I got were the standard amber/brown that most makers use these days and gray. The amber were much better than the gray. For me the best thing about these sunglasses besides the price ($20) were the fit. I’m not a total fathead (although some might argue the point), my head seems to fit a medium size for most frames. The amber lens does a pretty good job of polarizing although it gets some weird color shifts in certain lighting conditions. For standard sunny conditions they do a decent job but when you get in extremely bright situations- sunlit snow, bright water reflections- they aren’t dark enough in my opinion. As for the gray lenses, I honestly didn’t like them at all. They seemed hazy to start with, the clarity pretty much sucked so I ditched them right off.
I will say that if I were going to buy shades from Fisherman Eyewear I’d buy the Guidelines. I had a pair of them, my first bi-focal sunglasses and they performed well for the price ($89). Fisherman Eyewear also have clip-ons for less than perfect near vision.
I’m currently waiting for a new set of sunglasses (Wiley X frames w/Driverwear transitions) that I ordered through my ophthalmologist. Even with insurance they were spendy (about the price of a pretty decent 4 weight) but when it comes to your eyes, spend the money- you don’t get another pair.