Saturday, January 19, 2013

No place for children - Intl. Sportsmans Expo

It's really a shame. The International Sportsmans Expo really has a lot going for it. It's obviously successful based on the crowds it attracts. It has programs that are important for kids like the Free Stone Aquatics' fish tank aquarium of big native trout, the casting contests, and the raptor display by the CO Division of Wildlife. But then it gets dicey for the young kids with the racks of animal skins, the endless displays of African safari promoters with full size photos of great white hunters posing with their big dead elephants and lions (show special $8,400 female lion), and endless loop high definition video displays of coyote, antelope, elk kills from the view point of the scope with crosshairs. 

But the most insulting, insensitive, and in-your-face public displays were three booths displaying AR-15s, the weapon used recently for mass killings in Aurora, Newtown, and Portland. 
One in particular, staffed by a chip-on-his-shoulder tough guy with a Russian accent, was selling (?) these semi-automatic rifles with night vision scopes.  
  I asked him, "What can you hunt with that?"
"Vild piks," he sneared. "It comes vit night wizzon scope."
"I guess pigs give off a lot of heat," I said trying to be friendly.
"Da," he said. "Every body gifs off 'eat," as he used his hands to trace the outline of his own body. His meaning was shudderingly clear to me.
  Only these three dealers chose to put this particular gun in our face and I'm sure that every one of the Denver citizens that saw it thought first of the Aurora tragedy, and second of how out of place they looked at a "sportsmans" show. 
   I was going to give one of my free tickets to my neighbor to bring his 3 year old for the youth displays, dog training, and fly casting. I'm glad I didn't.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Deckers in the Winter

Winter on the South Platte below Cheesman Canyon.

     I've now listened to Clint Packo, Freestone Outfitters, twice within a couple months on the topic of cold weather fishing. He wants us to fish small and slow. Randall and Terry are joining me on Thursday to try out his techniques. 
     Freestone Outfitters stream report for the recent cold weather excursions has mention miracle midges every time. So I tied up seven. Carefully strung them on my threader. And now there are six. Size 22 flies have the ability to come to life like pinocchio when ever they detect that they are free. To keep one from springing to life after it is tied, I thread it onto a piece of 3x as show above. But to get it onto a tippet on the stream it just does not work to put them in a plastic fly shop cup. The fly shop's love these cups for small flies. A size 22 midge can escape from this box before you are out the door. So my method is to carefully slide them off the 3x and onto my work surface very very slowly. Then, one at a time I carefully thread them on to my CF Design threader. The threader fits in a foam cutout in the CF fly box. Once out on the stream, I can open the fly box without dumping the the contents into the ice water, and the larger threader is easier to manipulate with cold hands than trying to extract a single size 22 fly from  a foam pad next two a dozen identical flies. The downside is that it is very easy to drop the whole threader into the ice water. That happened once, on the South Platte, in winter, fishing with Terry. Certainly it won't happen again.
     But somehow before I had them all strung, one red one managed to escape. I know it will reappear in a painful place. They always do.