Lifted!

And the she is looking all Jeep-ish amongst the rocks of western Nevada

And there she is looking all Jeep-ish amongst the rocks of western Nevada…actually this is like three miles from my house.

Did you come here to see posts about fishing?  Well, you’re going to be disappointed.  June was a bit hectic.  We took the boys to Disneyland to celebrate Henry’s graduation from high school earlier this month.  Then when we got home I caught a cold, probably from from snot-nosed kid at the parks.  Once I recovered we prepped and planted our veggie garden.  Then, over the past weekend the boys and I installed a lift on the Jeep.  So, I can’t really be accused of being lazy but I haven’t been fishing.

But I wanted to post about the lift and what else I modified during the process.  Since this is my fishing blog, I won’t get too technical.  First off, I installed a Teraflex 2.5 inch spring lift which includes new coil springs that not only lift the Jeep an average of almost three inches (advertised lift height often accounts for common accessories like heavy bumper and winches) but I gained more in the front effectively leveling the Jeep. Continue reading

Bluestone Mine and Ludwig

At the Bluestone mine.  We didn't find the Jeep there, we brought it with us.

At the Bluestone mine. We didn’t find the Jeep there, we brought it with us.

There is a disturbing lack of water and trout going on around here.  WTF?  Well, I got a new Jeep and I’m having fun with it.  Besides, it’s not like I’m going fishing on Memorial Day weekend.  I tried that last year and it didn’t work out so well.  When you find rednecks (and I use that term affectionately, of course) floating down your favorite riffle in hot pink and lime green inflatables, it’s time to go do something else.

Looking over Mason Valley.

Looking over Mason Valley.

So I did and I didn’t go all that far.  I didn’t have to.  Actually, I was surprised how easy these places that I didn’t know existed until recently, though they aren’t more than 15 mile from my house, were to get to.  The big wide open isn’t so wide open and it’s bigger than you think.  It can hide all kinds of treasures in more or less plain sight. Continue reading

Mason Valley to Smith Valley – The Hard Way

Front axle disconnected, rear axle locked, we were ready for anything.

Front axle disconnected, rear axle locked, we were ready for anything.

A free Saturday!  One boy is in Wells, Nevada, playing baseball and then other in Fernley at a track meet.  I know what your thinking.  How did that Fly Fish Nevada guy spawn a kid that can run track?  I didn’t…and no, neither did the UPS man…the boy throws shot put and discus.  It was windy and cool and there was no way we were going to either of those events.  So, Jen and I took a little drive to Yerington for lunch at Maverick (hey, we’re easy to please) and then some off-road adventure…or what passes for adventure when your pushing 50 :D Continue reading

Bundy Stand Off and Beyond

I’m getting political.  This is my blog so I get to write about whatever I want :P  Anyway, I’ve got to comment on the Bundy Ranch standoff, I mean it was in Nevada after all.  But that’s not all I want to say.  Look, Bundy is wrong.  We are a country of laws, even if you don’t like those laws.  He has lost in court and should pull his cattle off of Federal land and pay his grazing fees.  End of story.

However, there’s always an however, he might be right on the larger issue.  What gives the Feds the authority to push citizens around like they do?  Can they just bully people around in the name of some supposedly threatened species (and for the record, the desert tortoises are like rats in Washington D.C., they are everywhere).  I submit they can but they shouldn’t.  We have this thing called the Constitution and I’m having a hard time finding the part where the Federal Government gets to take stuff from citizens without due process and compensation.  In other words, they just can’t declare land off limits arbitrarily and force ranchers, for instance, out of business without paying them…but they do it all the time.

But beyond that, where do they get off sending a virtual army (and what else would you call agents of the BLM dressed in fatigues and body armor carrying automatic rifles?) to confront citizens over cattle and grazing fees. Continue reading

A New Jeep!

The way my Jeep looks now, more or less.

The way my Jeep looks now, more or less.

Things have been kind of up in the air here for a bit.  We took our annual trip to Jamaica in mid-March and I’ve been struggling to figure out what to do with my Jeep.  I had planned on a bit of a restoration project but as the cost mounted I wondered what the end game was.  I planned on buying a new Jeep in a couple of years and I’d never see the money I put into the current Jeep TJ when I sold it.  The improvements were for me but the enjoyment would be short.  So, I began looking at buying a new Jeep now instead.

IMG_3178

And the new beast the way I picked her up from the dealer. She won’t stay stock for long.

I finally decided it was the better option.  I could use the money I’d planned to use to build my current Jeep for a down payment along with the proceeds from selling it.  I devoured everything I could about the new JK Wranglers (Jeeps have two letter names that designate each model, i.e. CJ, YJ, TJ, etc., and then new ones are JK) and finally settled on a modestly outfitted Rubicon Unlimited, the four door model.  The dealer found one on another dealers lot that matched my criteria and I picked it up on March 29, 2014. Continue reading

2014 Top Ten List

OK, it’s time for my top ten list.  The top ten places I want to go fishing this year.  These are places I love to go or new places I’ve yet to try.  This year, I’m going to try to get away for an overnight trip or two but where will be determined later.  We’ll see if I can’t check off the entire top ten this year, something I didn’t come close to last year.  I only hope we get some snow and another big fire doesn’t keep me indoors for weeks on end or the fishing season might be pretty dismal.

So, here is the list:

  1. Twenty Lakes Basin – A chain of lakes near Yosemite and behind Saddlebag Lake.  I’ve wanted to go here for years and never did it.  You take a ferry across the lake which is sort of cool in itself.
  2. Cooney and Frog Lakes – This is another place I’ve wanted to get to but never have.  Last year it was thwarted in part due to the Yosemite fire.  These are up beyond Virginia Lakes and might become an overnight trip.
  3. Highland Lakes – These are drive to lakes off of Highway 4.  These can be windy so I’ll need to set out early.  Again, I might camp there (need to look into that possibility) and I’ll definitely bring the tube.
  4. The Owens Gorge – I’m probably stupid for attempting this with my back but what the hell.  You only live once.  This is the rugged, rattlesnake and trout filled canyon below Crowley but it’s small creek fishing at it’s best.
  5. Upper Owens River – I want to hit this either this spring or next fall during the spawn.  It’s a spring creek that takes a lot of patience and stealth.  I might get skunked hard but it will be fun.
  6. Milton Reservoir – Northwest of Truckee, this is a wild trout lake.  I’ve been here many years ago.  It’s small and scenic and being it’s about 2.5 hours from home, this might be a nice spot to spend a night it the wilderness.
  7. Mokelumne River, North Fork – Another water up Highway 4, the river is a small meadow stream here.  A short hike will take you into the wilderness and a Jeep trail will take you up Deer Creek.
  8. Yuba River, North Fork – This is a roadside water but in some beautiful country with a lot of other waters to hit if the Yuba is slow.  Again, over three hours from home so a possible overnight trip.
  9. Toiyabe Range – I gotta have one in Nevada, right?  No specific location.  Maybe Big Creek, Reese River, Peavine Creek, Kingston Creek or Groves Lake, all places from my childhood.
  10. Warmwater Fishing – I haven’t fished for bass and bluegill for years.  I’m not sure where but I’ll do a little research and figure it out.  I’ve got a few spots I’ve fished but I’d like to try something new.

So, that’s it, 2014′s Top Ten.  A list will appear over to the left and I’ll add links to the reports as I check these off.  Hopefully, by the time fishing season rolls around, I’ll have shaken this damned plague the boys brought home.  I’m so over coughing and feeling worn out.  I really do hate winter!

Survival Stove Shootout

Survival Stove Kit

This is my survival stove kit an below is the shootout that helped determine that.

When building a survival bag, bug out bag, get home bag, whatever you want to call it, a way to heat water is essential.  Heating water not only makes eating light and compact freeze-dried foods possible, as well as making treats like coffee, tea and cider, it’s a good way to disinfect water.  As long as it’s relatively clean, boiling will kill just about everything that might live in that water and make you sick, toxins and pollutants not withstanding.

But what’s the best way to boil water?  Fire is the best way but what’s the best way to carry around fire with you?  Some form of tinder (I used Vaseline-soaked cotton balls) and an ignition source (I use Bic lighters, storm-proof matches and a BlastMatch) is how you make fire.   But you can’t always build a fire and it’s not the most efficient or subtle way to heat water.  Zombies can smell the smoke and see the light for miles :D

So you need some way to boil water quickly and easily and luckily there are many options out there.  Backpackers are way ahead of the rest of us in this department.  They have all manner of small, light and efficient stoves.  From complete cook systems to tiny alcohol stoves and from high-tech gadgets like the Jet Boil system to old-fashioned wood stoves.  I’ve selected three relatively inexpensive options that use three different types of fuel.  Each stove is small, lightweight and offer relatively easy to find fuel. Continue reading

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