Fly Fish Nevada Premiers on YouTube

After some fits and starts, I’ve finally premiered my first video on my YouTube channel.  It’s a short video about my afternoon in the East Walker detailed in this post.  As I’ve said before, this is a lot of work and more difficult than it looks.  I could have chosen to just do a simple gear review or something but I chose a more complex subject with a lot of editing, music, etc.  I probably won’t be doing these kind of videos often.  It’s hard to fish and film at the same time.

I will, however be doing some gear reviews, educational stuff and a few rants from time to time on my channel.  I intend for the YouTube channel to be a companion to the blog.  For instance, when I review something, say my “tactical” fishing bag, I’ll do a write up for the blog and a companion video.  Each will stand alone but act together too.  Some things are easier to write about and others easier to talk about on video.

Anyway, hope you enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel.  Thanks!

Vacation and Some New Stuff

I’m off on a short vacation.  Going to Jamaica for some sun, sand, rum and meat patties.  Mmm.  I’ve been working on some new stuff for the blog, namely a YouTube channel and videos instead of just words.  I’ve always provided picture heavy posts but in the future, many posts will include videos.  From artsy stuff taken on fishing trips to gear reviews of stuff I use to some how-to and educational videos.  I’ve already shot a few but I wasn’t happy with them.

Let me tell you, shooting video is tough.  I’m sure once the workflow is ironed out it gets easier but at first it’s a chore, not to mention how hard it is to talk to yourself out in the middle of nowhere without feeling like an idiot.  In fact, I had a family walk by and catch me as I was speaking to my camera.  That was unnerving.  I’m sure after a while you just stop worrying about it.  I hope so anyway.

By the way, the East Walker is probably fishable now.  The flows are still low but the evenings have been cool, below freezing in fact.  The water should be cool and have a higher level of oxygen so fishing won’t be so stressful for the fish.  I plan to find out once I get back…theoretically.  I’m having trouble finding the time lately.  I’ve got a lot of writing deadlines, self-imposed deadlines, but deadlines nevertheless.  Not to mention football and school stuff.  I’ll get out there, eventually :roll:

A Little Housekeeping Post

Since I posted it earlier this year, I wanted to take the opportunity to say I’ve abandoned my 2013 Top Ten Quest.  Quite a few of the locations were near Yosemite and the Rim Fire is still burning and likely to be until it rains or snows.  Smoke is a concern and Highway 120 is closed 35 miles from the junction with 395.  I can get to the places, but whose to say what I’ll find once I’m there.  Could be clear, could be blanketed with smoke.  I’m going to be looking north for opportunities this fall and taking advantage of locations in the Bridgeport/Mammoth area when and things clear up consistently.

In the meantime, I’m preparing some posts for the fall and winter, mainly concerning my survival kit, my new tactical fishing bag, and stuff like that.  I’m traveling for high school football this week, but next week I’m going to get out there and ply the waters of somewhere free of smoke.  Hopefully the weather cools a bit soon and I can fish the East Walker.  Still too low and the air temps too high to fish without harming the trout.

2013 Top Ten List

Blue Lake

My obligitory shot of the pass up behind Blue Lake.

I used to do this every year and every year I failed to fish all the waters on my Top Ten list.  It’s not really a top ten list but more a the ten places I’d like to fish.  The reasons always vary.  For some I’ve never been but want to go.  Others are old favorites I haven’t visited in a while.  Whatever the reason, I’m compelled to fish these waters and they go on the list.  I haven’t done this in a few years, but I decided to go ahead and make up a list this year.  Motivation to get out there and inspiration when I’m not sure where to go.  Note that many waters I will probably fish anyway, say the East Walker, are not on the list.  Those are givens.  Here it is in alphabetical order:

  • Cooney and Frog Lakes – A short day hike that will test my back.  These are above Virginia and Blue Lakes which I fish often.
  • Crowley Lake – Never really fished this lake but plan to this year.  Probably in the fall when the temps cool down.
  • Dana Fork of the Tuolumne – Just inside the Tioga Pass entrance, my kind of water.  Meadow stream with dumb but pretty fish. Continue reading

Is it Fishing Season?

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Well, I guess it is here and there.  Have I been, no.  I have reasons.  I was doing physical therapy until a few weeks ago but that’s done.  I haven’t mentioned it on here, but my wife is suffering from complications from her gall bladder removal almost a year ago.  I think we have it nailed down and are headed to UC Davis to hopefully get her fixed.  It’s not life threatening, just painful.  It’s been a rough year.  My back problems and near miss with the surgeon, her complications, not to mention the bills from all that.  Whew!

In any case, life goes on.  If this little procedure works for Jen, things should settle down on that front.  As for me, my back isn’t 100%.  Probably never will be.  the physical therapy helped but a two mile walk will do me in.  Standing in a stream for more than half an hour will too.  But I’ve learned it’s probably not going to get worse if I watch it and if I work on my core strength and managed to lose a few pounds it might get a little better.  I’ve also learned to manage it.

IMG_4306_640x480I don’t walk two miles.  I walk half a mile and rest, another half mile, etc.  I don’t stand to long in one spot and if I have to, I take breaks.  I’ve discovered it’s the constant walking or standing that bothers me.  If I move around, sit, bend, stand, walk, it doesn’t bother me so much.  I’m not causing the same irritation to the nerve over a long period.  I might irritate the nerve, but not in the same way.  I’ve also taken up biking and I can exercise with little or, more often, no pain.

If we can get the Mrs. patched up, were both going to lose some weight.  I lost ten pounds over the winter and kept it off.  I’m hoping to do some exploring and hiking, yes even with my back, along with hitting some stillwater spots I’ve never been.  For now it’s spring time in Nevada.  70 degrees one day, snowing the next and usually windy.  The point?  There’s no point.  I’m just rambling.  If all goes well, this time next week I’ll be planning trips.  Some with the wife, some to go fishing and some just to get out of the house.  If not…well, we won’t go there.

Housekeeping and an Update on my Back

Sitting at the computer passing time and trying to avoid Superbowl pre-game droning, I decided to finally make this announcement.  From this point forward, all blogging will be done here on Fly Fish Nevada.  If I publish a book, it will be here.  If I feel like musing on retirement, it will be here.  If I want to complain about the government, here it will go – I am retired after all ;)  I’m running out of things to say on my other blogs so in addition to fishing trips posts, of which I hope to have many more of this year, you will get some other stuff from time to time.  It’s my blog and I’ll do what I want with it. :)

So, on the back, I’ve graduated from the water therapy to land therapy.  The water therapy was pretty easy.  It’s meant for people with injuries or post surgery.  I was neither and so it wasn’t too tough. However, it helped a lot and my back pain is manageable.  Land therapy is harder but that’s good.  I’m riding my bike when the weather permits and walking too.  Between the exercises, my bike and walking, I’ve lost a little weight and my core, whatever that is, is stronger.  Good news all around.  So glad I didn’t have surgery!

Fishing season around these parts starts soon.  Next Saturday, Feb 9, is the opening of Hinkson Slough.  I’ll miss the opener due to the boys last basketball games of the year, but that’s not a bad thing.  The opener is often crowded and cold.  Afterwards, however, it gets less crowded and more comfortable and the fishing is usually better.  Look for reports starting soon along with all kinds of other wisdom  on my part.  And don’t forget to comment.  Comments keep things fresh and give me ideas.  Blogging is not a spectator sport.

Oh yeah, go Niners!!!

Surgery Here I Come!

The good old days will hopefully come again.

I finally saw a surgeon today, well a surgeon’s assistant anyway.  We reviewed my MRI and took some x-rays.  I took a while to get in to see them but it’s a well respected orthopedic practice and I think it was worth it.  Obviously, the cortisone shot didn’t work.  It felt better for a couple of days, but then went back to the same old pain.  Problem is, a herniated disk isn’t my only problem.

The x-rays clearly showed I have one vertebra, L-4 I think, that is slipping off the one underneath it when I bend forward.  It is offset considerable even when I stand.  That explains the popping in my back.  The assistant wasn’t sure what the surgeon would recommend, but felt fusing those vertebra is likely in addition to shaving the herniated disk.  We’ll see when the surgeon takes a look and make a recommendation.

So, what does that mean?  Well what was a fairly straight forward operation with minimal recovery is now a major surgery that will require 6 weeks of recovery and physical therapy.  I want the damn thing fixed, so either way I’m ready to go under the knife.

Mine is blue!

On the upside, I finally sold my Skykomish Sunrise pontoon and picked up Northfork Outdoors Outlaw Escape.  I couldn’t use the pontoon because I don’t have a truck to carry it around in.  I sold that in June.  The Escape deflates and inflates quickly and with out a frame it’s light and easy to store.  Good because with my back, I probably shouldn’t be moving a 60 lbs pontoon around and the Escape will fit in my Jeep.

I’ve been meaning to try it out, but within days of it arriving I got a bad head cold.  Typical plague the kids bring home every september after they are exposed to all manner of exotic illnesses when school start.  I was planning to hit Heenan today, but I forgot my appointment.  I’m planning next week and if the weather goes south, unlikely, I’ll probably hit Virginia Lakes earlier in the week.

So, I have to go under the knife, but I hope this gets me up and fishing again.  Other stuff too.  Hiking, walking, whatever, pain-free.  I’ve almost forgot what that is like.  The East Walker is calling but i just can’t do it.  Next spring, however, I should be good to go.

My Cortisone Shot and Maybe a Shot at NO SURGERY!

My S-1 vertebra in the center, the needle at the bottom and the contrast dye is the black cloud up top. That’s 2-3 ml of dye and he injected 17 ml of cortisone. That white line in the middle is just interference. Click to see larger.

I got my cortisone shot this morning.  It was relatively painless and the doctor felt pretty good he got the entire disk and nerve marinating in the anti-inflammatory.  He told me that there is an 80-85 percent success rate with the injections and I can have up to three per year as necessary.  My goal isn’t zero pain.  My goal is the ability to get out and about without excruciating pain shooting down my leg.  Some pain is tolerable and cortisone shots and a little pain is preferable to spinal surgery.

So, now I wait and hope the injection does it’s job.  I’m hopeful but prepared for the worst.  Today, I’m a little sore and tired from not sleeping well last night.  Nerves!  Now that I’ve done it, it was no big deal.  I wore my street clothes even though it was performed in the surgical center.  My doctor, Dr. Shapiro, was a good guy and used x-rays to get the cortisone right were I needed it and I even got a souvenir picture.  I should have brought a Sharpie and had him sign it.

Back Solutions, I Hope!

If I’m lucky, the stars will align and I’ll be back on the water soon.

I had an MRI done on my back a couple of weeks back and I’ve seen my doctor since.  I have a bulging disc between my L5 and S1 vertebrae.  That bulge is touching the never that runs down my leg causing me considerable pain when I stand or walk for long.  Wonderful!  Now I have a diagnosis.

So, my path has been set.  I will be getting a cortisone shot next week, the 26th of July to be exact.  The doc and I are hoping it causes just enough swelling to go away to allow the pissed off nerve to settle down and the offending disc to retreat ever so slightly.  A single millimeter will do me wonders, according to the doctor.  Otherwise, it’s off to the surgeon I go.

That’s the update.  My big test will begin the 30th, a trip to Monterey with the family.  I have been dreading it, hoping the aquarium has a lot of places to sit.  Maybe, if the shot works, I won’t need to sit.  Anyway, here’s hoping the injection works some magic and I can put this behind me.  Until then, check out some of my previous posts.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope my next post is a good one.

Back Update

I’ve been to my doctor and we went with the anti-inflammatory/physical therapy strategy.  I’ve been on Naproxen for almost a month and going to physical therapy.  I’ve got a bunch of stretches and exercises and I’ve been doing them religiously.  I also got a lift for my left foot.  My hips are wonky and my right legs is about half an inch longer than the left as a result.  It has helped a lot.  I seem to be able to stand for longer periods and the pain is less when I go walking.  I expect to be doing this for a while longer since I am seeing some improvement.

However, standing is still painful after a while and some days its still as bad as it was prior.  I’m kind of waiting for the lakes to open up so I can go float tubing.  I can sit all day long with no pain.  I’m also probably going to Disneyland with the family in June.  That will be the big test.  With another 6 weeks of therapy, I’m hoping my pain is manageable.  If not, who knows?  Good news is this year the snow pack is pretty light, but most of the lakes were full from last years heavy snow pack.  High elevation lakes should be opening up early this year.

Stand by!

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