Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Madness We Call Summer

It is crazy how quickly an hour, day, or week can be filled up with things to do.  When summer rolls into the drive she brings with her a lifetimes worth of things to do.  Well, forget that because this is Idaho.  When you only get three solid months of "perfect weather," it becomes a mad dash to fit in all the work and recreating the warm weather facilitates.  Between work, family, church, school, gardening, and trying to get things together to apply to P.A. schools, I'm finding it hard to think straight.  Fortunately there has been time to get out here and there despite all the things I should be doing.  Here are some small reports of recent outings.

Ririe Reservoir (Blacktail side)

There were some reports of perch being caught off of the docks on both ends of Ririe Reservoir, so we rounded up our little family and headed up for an evening.  The wind was blowing a bit, but it was warm enough until the sun dropped out of sight.  Since our target was perch, directly below the docks, all we took were a few ice fishing rods and holders.  No perch were managed, but three trout and one sucker graced our evening.  Isaac was all smiles with his first fish.  It is the most excited I have seen him get over catching a fish.

Isaac was happy to show off his quarry.  It was great to see how happy he was to catch it.

Bita was keeping the chair from blowing away.  Okay, so the wind wasn't that bad, but we did have to keep an eye on the bags for the folding chairs.

This poor little guy was in the road on the way home.  I tagged him before I realized it was in fact a snake.

Bear River

It had been quite some time since Jared and I could get out on the water together.  What a great guy.  His wife is not too far from bringing their third into this world, which gave us all the more reason to enjoy this trip, knowing that he probably won't be getting out much in the next little while.

When trying to decide where to go and what to chase we settled on carp.  The Bear River is a fantastic carp fishery.  It doesn't often boast sizable fish, but the fishing is almost all visual/sight, and the carp are aggressive and willing most days.  A 5 weight will do.  There are also some decent sized trout hiding amidst the lava shoots, along with the occasional bass.

This trout started rising consistently about 15 feet out.  Not wanting to switch up to a dry fly I threw out the black leech pattern I had been using on the carp.  With the rod tip up I swung the fly just under the surface and seconds later connected to this scrappy guy who put up a surprising fight.

One thing I love about the guys I frequently fish with is their sense of humor.  We all laugh together, crack horribly punny jokes, and try to keep things relatively clean.  As Jared and I were packing up to head to another spot a ways down river we spotted this "mermaid rock" and couldn't resist.  Jared makes a pretty good merman wouldn't you say?  

All in all if you enjoy sight fishing for carp, and don't care too much about catching a behemoth, you can't go wrong with the Bear.  Hotspotting you say? ... Oh no, please don't go catch them, there won't be any more left... ha ha, good luck there.

Warm River

The weather was nearly irresistible last week.  Once again we wrangled up the kiddos, threw them in the car, and piled on the camping gear.  Man it is crazy how much stuff you have to take once you have kids, and all to sleep one night in a tent outside.  It was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat despite the packhorse feeling that accompanies a parent of three kids.

Can you tell whose line belongs to whose pole?

We love Warm River. It has a bunch of grass, is a relatively shallow river filled with a bunch of planters, has very well maintained facilities, and is just down the road from Mesa Falls.  Plainly put, it's family friendly.

Will was admiring the pretty coloring on this little brownie.

Will reels and Isaac nets.

We got there pretty late so after setting up the tent and starting a fire there was hardly light to do anything else.  William insisted on fishing just a bit so I hurriedly rigged up his rod and we managed one fish before it was pitch black out.  He seemed sated so we walked back to the fire, roasted up hot dogs, made smores, and hit the sack.  The next day we did quite a bit of fishing, mostly on dry flies, and then floated the river before heading home.

Isaac did an excellent job of netting the fish, and seemed to prefer that job.  Elijah enjoyed the ride, and Will casted away with his own rod.

A surprise wild brown.

Will heading over to the river for some solo fishing  first thing in the morning.  

Nunya River

Last Saturday Shane and I wanted to get out and float the Nunya.  The flows were still up a bit with runoff, but the water was clear and we were itching to fish it.  We dropped off my car for the shuttle and headed up river.  After filling up the raft, rigging and wadering up we hit the water.  The water level changed the game a bit.  The fish were holding deep.  Fast water, streamers, and deep holding fish make for a tricky combo.  We managed a few along the way, but decided it fishes better when just a bit lower.  The Magic Dragon shouldered most of the load.

We happened upon some hatch that we had difficulty identifying.  It wasn't anything big, and there were hardly any caddis around, but toward the evening there were multiple 20"+ fish rising.  Whatever they were taking it certainly was small.  We landed a handful of smaller fish, but couldn't manage any of the larger.  I had a couple on, but lost them both to bent hooks.  It was a sobering reminder as to why I prefer fighting a streamer-caught fish.  Not to mention my dry fly skills are rusty!

A pretty one Shane tricked with his little olive caddis.
We pulled off the river after dark.  Shane and I then did a bit of night fishing/exploring a bit further north.  Not much to show for it other than a couple chunky 10" browns.  Night fishing certainly has it's own personality. The next day I walked around like a zombie.  Night fishing (depending on how late) often produces a kind of coma/daze the following day.

As crazy as the summer juggling act is, between all the people and things that need attention, it's overall an enjoyable madness.  We are pretty blessed that often one of the big trials we face is the loss of recreation time.  I'll take the madness of summer over a sedentary or idle lifestyle any day.

Side Note:

It looks like another job is getting added into the mix in the coming weeks.  I'm trying to get a foot into the "medical experience" door and becoming a Psych Tech will hopefully do that. We'll see how it affects this already crazy summer.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gear Review: Core Concepts outdoor apparel

I'm no metrosexual by any means.  I still wear some of the shirts I once sported in highschool, many of which were purchased from thrift stores.  Don't hate on the hand-me-down lifestyle.  It's smart living.  Though function and comfort usually outweigh style in my book, a guy can certainly enjoy hearing his wife say, "man you look hot in that."  I'm pretty sure mine is obligated to say things like that, but if an article of clothing gets my wife's approval, it must be good.  If there's one thing I have learned from marriage, it's to trust an honest woman's opinion.  I was sold pretty quick on the quality of these threads, and the endorsement by the Mrs. sealed the deal.

I may not be an expert on clothing, but quality is hard to miss in most things.  You can tell when someone took their time while designing and producing a product. Its use has a kind of transparency.  The product doesn't get in the way of the experience.  It lasts longer.  This is because the product was designed for the experience, with the user in mind.

Core Concepts is an outdoor apparel company that hails from Boise, Idaho.  They are a homegrown company that keeps things down to earth with quality and style.  And just like potatoes, this stuff is made in Idaho.  Not too many modern companies can sport the "Made In The USA" tag.  They build clothing to last and be comfortable.  Their styles are simple, yet classy.  It's not the flashy "look at me" kind of clothing.  Instead it is the "I look good and I feel good in my own skin" kind of apparel.  Just reading the clothing tags, you can tell these folks enjoy life and have a healthy sense of humor too.  Core Concepts started things up back in 2007 and they say it best themselves.

"Loving the outdoors doesn't mean you have to sport the "Hey ladies, which way to basecamp?" look everyday."
-Core Concepts "Our Culture"

This review is about the Core Concepts' Whisky River Hybrid Shirt and Cowboy Pow Jacket.  

Looks Good:  The first thing we noticed when we pulled the shirt and jacket out of their packaging was that they both look pretty slick.  I have always been a fan of the cowboy style shirt, with the snap buttons.  Nothing makes you feel more manly than ripping your shirt off superman style just before you hop in the shower (If it's your first time and you want to try this, the effect is much better in front of the bathroom mirror, followed by face grimacing bicep flexes).

I'm not the best model when it comes to looks, but hopefully the pictures will give you some idea of the Core Concepts style.  When I wear the shirt around town, it often elicits compliments from friends.

Cowboy Pow making friends with a steelhead.
Comfortable:  Both the shirt and jacket are comfortable, not too tight or too loose.  They fit great and were spot on with the online store's sizing chart.  The jacket has become my go-to jacket.  

Cowboy Pow underneath for warmth during the early fall.
Built Well:  The Cowboy Pow Jacket is a lined fleece-like jacket with ventilation material under the arms, adjustable waist, two side zipper pockets, and is made of a stretchy material.  The adjustable waist is a nice feature and allows you to snug it up, preventing any unwelcome breeze.  There's no noticeably shoddy seams, no snaggy fabric liner, and the stretchy material adds to the comfort.

Cowboy Pow chasing some carp.
The Whiskey River Hybrid Shirt is one tough shirt.  It is made with their two-layer bonded fabric design.  This means that the outside is made of nylon, while the inside is polyester.  It's a water and wind resistant fabric.  I haven't paid much attention to the wind resistance, but it does resist water and dries out quickly once wet.  It's a bit heavier/stiffer fabric and most guys would probably prefer it for cooler weather.  It has two hidden chest pockets, which is a great addition, especially when you're wearing waders.

The Whiskey River resists water and dries out pretty quick.
The Cowboy Pow is great for cool weather by itself, and is perfect to wear under a wading jacket or winter coat if needed.  It will be along on most night fishing adventures this summer.

Sporting the combo for an in-between-class outing.
Rocking the Cowboy Pow under the wading jacket.

The Sum Up:  It's hard to review a shirt and jacket aside from what has been said.  What is easy, is to see the value in small businesses like Core Concepts.  They cannot afford poor quality.  They are closer to most of their customers without an ocean separating the goods from the people.  So if you have not heard of these guys, go check them out.  They put out their outdoor wear and apparel on a seasonal basis.  I wouldn't hesitate in recommending their products to my closest friends.

Check them out on Instagram (@coreconcepts) and on their Facebook page

The Whiskey River Hybrid Shirt retails for $89.00

The Cowboy Pow Jacket retails for $169.00


The reviews at Living Fly Legacy are my honest opinion. Often when offered to give a review, if the assessment of the product is more negative than positive, it is not published and the review is kept private between the provider of the product and myself. Living Fly Legacy is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review. My independent status may change in the future, but as of the date of this publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.