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

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.

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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

Home Office Fever

I was feeling a little shut in, a little restless.  So I took a drive to Yerington to gas up the Jeep (worth the 20 minute trip to save over a buck a gallon plus I got lunch at Maverick ;))  Anyhow, on the way back I took a detour and drove up to the old mining settlement and current ghost town of Pine Grove.  It’s not Bodie but it’s still pretty cool.  Anyway, enjoy the pictures.  No commentary today.

Update:  What I’ve labeled a headframe is in fact a stamp mill.  It was used to pound material rather than crush it.  The camshaft up top is what drives the shafts that pounded ore.  Those are missing, probably easy to cart off and so stolen long ago.

Headframe

An old headframe. The shaft is caved in but it’s in great shape.

Continue reading

Summer Kind of Sucks!

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Dumping Rain in Pickel Meadows, sunny down by the junction.

I’ve been cooped up in the house for a while, avoiding the outdoors because of the crowds, the heat, the fires and the thunderstorms.  If it’s not one of those, its another and most of time its more than one.  This year has been especially bad for fires and thunderstorms.  The Sierras, or large swaths of them, anyway, have been socked in with smoke from the various fires all summer.  Thunderstorms seem to be the norm this year.

Jeep Surreal

Da Jeep!

As if to hammer that point home, yesterday, the 21st of August, was one of the worst days for thunderstorms all summer and today, the 22nd (my birthday by the way), the skies of Reno, Carson City and Minden/Gardnerville are thick with smoke and falling ash Continue reading

Test Run Squared

A little fall on Desert Creek with a little HDR processing via Photoshop

As midsummer like conditions hit the sierras due to the less than normal snow pack, I decided to go out and test a couple of things.  One test went well, the other not so well.  Lets get the bad news out of the way.  I went up Desert Creek to do a little fishing and some photo/videography.  My back did not hold up well to the rigors of wading among the slippery river rocks.  I was able to fish for about 20 minutes after playing with my video camera for about 20 before that.  I’m afraid I’m going to be relegated to drive to lakes that I can float tube.  Beats the alternative I suppose.

I was in serious pain and at one point was ready to give up on physical therapy and just start down the road to surgery.  However, my wife just had surgery, had her gall bladder taken out, so were already up to our eyeballs in medical bills.  I’d probably rather schedule surgery, assuming that’s what I need, for the winter when I’m cooped up in the house anyway.  I see the doctor on July 3rd.  Until then, I’ll just muddle through.

What did work out is taking photos and video.  I used my Kodak PlaySport to take some video under water.  I passed the hatchery truck on the way up, so there were some fish in the stream to make famous.  Unfortunately, they don’t hold still for the camera.  You can see them darting about.  Still, it’s a cool little video and my first one cut on Adobe Premiere Pro.  Steep learning curve, but tons of features.

A deer carcass I found in the stream. Kind of a cool shot with the water smoothed like that and the same HDR processing.

I also played with taking pictures of the water and trying to get that smooth effect you see so often.  I also found a deer carcass in the stream and took some photos that I combined into a high dynamic range photo.  Neat effect.  I was going to shoot some time lapse, but my back hurt too bad.  Some other time.  I’m actually trying to hone my skills and make some films.  I want fishing and water to be a big part of those.  I’m saving up for some gear to help out and trying to learn Premiere and After Effects.

So, no fish today.  I saw plenty, but I doubt the fish dumped into the stream less than an hour before I arrived were in any mood to grab my fly.  The creek was at midsummer flows and there is zero snow up that way.  Fishing season is here!  Now I just gotta dig the float tubes out and get my gear all cleaned up and sorted out.  At least the picture taking gives me something to do when the fishing hurt too much.

Ruby Lake NWR Produces State Record Rainbow

Mike Mott and his 16 lb, 8 oz record trout.

On February 18th, Mike Mott, from Elko, caught the new Nevada state record rainbow trout while fly fishing in the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  The Ruby Lake NWR also kicked out the state record tiger trout in 1998 and has produced at least 7 trout over 10 lbs in the last couple of years.

Read all about it over at the Elko Daily Free Press.  Congrats to Mike!

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