Sunday, June 26, 2011

Hat cam a work in progress

For our summer ski trip Saturday, I wanted to rig up my Flip video camera as a hat cam to get some action footage. First, I rigged it up over the bill of my cap, using a headband to secure it. The Flip didn't fall out when I tested it on a run, but the only footage I got was of clouds and sky. The camera was just mounted too high on the hat to shoot the snow.
Next, I put the hat on backwards and again used the headband to hold the camera.
That tactic didn't work for long. Without the cap's bill to support the camera, the Flip slipped out on my first turn and landed in the snow.
As a result, the video du jour is your standard fare, albeit a cinematic tour de force.
But I'll keep trying to perfect the hat cam. Maybe some duct tape?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flyfishing for carp caught on video

Kudos to that soul skier from Montana, the Tarantino of his generation.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Shredding the backcounty, Colorado style

We hit the south summit of Diamond Peak in Colorado's Never Summer Mountains on Sunday, June 12. Originally, Jan and I planned to ski the Monkey Bowl, but couldn't find the trailhead.
We found some good snow, steep pitches and tough climbing.
The day started out sunny and warm, and T shirts were in order. Then the clouds rolled in and it cooled down significantly.
At the end of the day on the way down to the parking lot, we even got snowed on a bit.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shredding the backcountry

My old friend Jan, that Soul Skier from Montana, traveled south this weekend for some extreme backcountry ski action. His timing couldn't have been better. Highway 130 over the Snowy Range finally opened Friday afternoon, just in time for a Saturday mountaineering trip up Medicine Bow Peak.
We experienced good spring snow conditions, marred only by the unexpected appearance of some snowmobilers, who befouled the air and the solitude.
Undaunted by the interruption, we managed to put together two sick telemark runs, and found some previously unskied (by us, anyway) lines.
To paraphrase the late Randy "Macho Man" Savage, we felt the madness.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Carp diem: Seize the carp day

If you've followed the Hullabaloo for long, you know I like to flyfish for carp. Fifteen to 20-pound Hoover-mouths on the long pole are about as close to saltwater flyfishing as I'm likely to get.
I even bought a saltwater rod with a fighting butt a few years ago as my go-to carp rod.
But the most important part of carp-flyfishing gear, I've learned, is your backing. Be sure to have enough of it and be sure it's not tangled.
Today, I learned that lesson the hard way. A big carp was on a long run, steadily peeling 7-weight line off my reel. Finally, he reached the backing and the screech of my reel went silent - my backing was tangled.
I waded deeper into the lake hoping to turn the bruiser, but he must have sensed a weakness and made another big run. My line went slack and I reeled in a flyless leader.
So tonight, one of my chores is to fix my backing problem.
For next time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Warm water, wet wading

I checked out a small lake in Colorado today that was reputed to contain a variety of warmwater species. It was 88 summerlike degrees, so I eschewed the waders and went wet - shorts and wading shoes.
Casting a small stimulator, it didn't take long to hook up with a bluegill. I don't remember the last time I caught one of these sporty little guys, but it had been a while. Too long, really.
They pounced on the stimmie when it was floating, and hammered it when I stripped it subsurface. In the shallow water, I'd sometimes see a wake coming from 20-30 feet away as the bluegill streaked toward the fly.
After moving to the south end of the lake, green sunfish got into the game. These beautiful panfish are the memories of my youth, fishing off my grandparents' dock.
Considering it was snowing in Wyoming just two weekends ago, the warm water was just what the doctor ordered. The 'gills and sunnies were a welcome bonus.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ranch dogs keeping wolves at bay

We were wondering where the ranch dogs went. Several years have passed since Sam and I last saw the two big, white dogs at a Colorado lake we sometimes fish. They always seemed old, so we suspected the ranch dogs might have passed on to whatever heaven it is that dogs deserve.
The ranch dogs are legendary creatures to us. They first achieved that status thanks to a drunken loudmouth who told a nervous couple at the lower lake that the approaching ranch dogs were nothing to worry about, and they "keep the wolves away."
Apparently, the ranch dogs do a helluva job since there hadn't been any wolves seen in Colorado for over 100 years.
The dogs live at a ranch in a creek bottom between two popular fishing lakes. They like to visit the lakes occasionally to beg for handouts and snacks. Presumably, they also are patrolling for wolves.
There's a second story in their legend. I was fishing at the upper lake one day when the ranch dogs showed up. A woman with a foo-foo poodle was afraid to let her precious out of the SUV with the wolf-killers lingering outside her car door, waiting for a piece of sandwich or some Tostitos.
She finally drove off angrily, flipped me the bird, and cursed at me to keep my damn dogs on a leash.
I tried in vain to explain they weren't my dogs, but she would hear none of it.
I was glad to see the ranch dogs today, as well-fed and unkempt as ever. They are part of the total experience when fishing these two lakes. In a way, they seem partly like my dogs.
And, come to think of it, I had no problem with wolves today.