New Posts

Please check out all my new posts…which are hidden under separate pages and therefore don’t show up here. 


Mardi Gras

La Buche de Noel


House Wine

Hungarian Partridge with Gin & Juniper Berries

Pheasant Confit

Four-legged Friends
Gary Ruppel
Rim Chung

Friends from the Sporting Road

Jim Fergus

By |September 22nd, 2011|Cuisine, Dog Training, Fishing, Fly Tying, Recipes, Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Posts

Colorado Trout Flies (Book Review ***** 5/5)

2008, Streamside Press, Lyons, Colorado.

These are the stories of 34 fly tyers in over 300 pages, perhaps the greatest in the world, including legendary anglers, professional tyers, fly-fishing guides, and writers.  The book focuses on the featured tyers, but it also details, with recipes and color photos, 68 of their favorite fly patterns. Colorado Trout Flies presents a unique and invaluable reference from veteran fly-fishing guide, Todd Hosman who lives near Longmont, Colorado. He is also the author of Fly Fishing Rocky Mountain National Park and Fly Fishing Colorado’s Front Range.

A.K. Best comments on the Colorado Trout Flies  by saying, “Todd Hosman has written a fly tying book like no other. I know some of you may find that hard to believe, but it’s true. Colorado Trout Flies reads like a who’s who of noted Colorado fly tyers and some of the patterns they are known for. But more important, the book contains a short biographical sketch of each tyer that gives the reader some insight on what drove them to create flies that have become local and national standards. Colorado Trout Flies is destined to become a classic not only because of the reasons mentioned above, but also because the fly patterns will fool trout anyplace.”

John Gierach says, “One of my favorite things about this book is that I’m in it, even though I don’t tie professionally and never invented a fly pattern. All I’ve ever done is tinker with flies as I tied them for my own use, now and then coming up with minor changes that either made an existing pattern slightly better or at least didn’t do any real harm. At least at the amateur level, fly tying is like folk music: The songs may be the same, but […]

By |September 21st, 2011|Colorado, Fishing, Fly Tying|Comments Off on Colorado Trout Flies (Book Review ***** 5/5)

The Ultimate Field Picnic

I was sent a copy of this article on the ultimate picnic party wagon, which is a proper English wooden trailer converted for tailgating for polo matches.   Polo Magazine- Party Wagon Article. I then discovered Christy’s auction of Patricia Kluge’s estate in Virginia, and found that after the Kluge divorce, John Kluge remarried and built another house nearby.  This incredible picnic hamper is the piece de resistance  of the auction.  click article from the New York Times which appeared in December 2005.

Apparently in the 1980’s by the Kluges commissioned the London firm of Asprey, jewellers and silversmith to the British Royal Family, to fashion this picnic hamper containing a full service for sixteen. The wicker trailer holds some 15 wicker cases, each fitted with brass handles and leather straps, with battery-powered hot and cold boxes and a water pump, cases for Bernardaud Limoges china, Baccarat crystal, Asprey silver cutlery, a staghorn bar service, two folding mahogany tables and 16 chairs, complete with the “K” monogram.  The set was estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 and sold for some $144,000.

Although  wicker carryalls have been used since the 1700s, the picnic basket was born in 1901, when British luxury-goods retailers like Asprey started stocking hampers filled with tableware for motorists to enjoy on country drives.  See more at and

By |September 13th, 2011|Cuisine, Fishing, Foxhunting, Picnic, polo, Uncategorized, Wingshooting|Comments Off on The Ultimate Field Picnic

Fantasy Fly Mouse Pattern

Don Ordes of Fantasy Flies in Wyoming ties these super realistic mouse patterns.  It’s one of my favorite conversations starters.  Watching him tie one makes you appreciate the collector’s price tag these flies fetch.

By |August 2nd, 2011|Fishing|Comments Off on Fantasy Fly Mouse Pattern

Active Nymphing (book review 2/5**)

Rick Osthoff, Stackpole Books, 2006

In this comprehensive book on nymph fishing, the author challenges the long-held notion that nymphing involves little more than dead drifting with the current. Osthoff advocates an active strategy of moving the nymph, applying effective casting and creative presentation techniques this book exhausts the techniques of nymphing.

However, it fails to consider the previous works on the subject of active nymphing, such as those by Sawyer, Kite and others.  It is good general overview of all of the methods of fishing below the surface with files.  It probably is well received for trout fisherman in the Midwest, but for our selective trout on mostly tailwaters in the Rocky Mountain streams, I felt that the information to be of limited practical application and failed to even catch the depth of what was already written by Sawyer and Kite, among others.

By |July 3rd, 2011|Book Reviews, Fishing|Comments Off on Active Nymphing (book review 2/5**)

At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman (book review 5/5*****)

John Gierach, Simon & Schuster, NY 2003

This book is classic Gierach and good reading.  It features his BFF, Mike Clark, who is a self-taught bamboo rod maker, now living in Lyons, Colorado, near Gierach, who meets Walt Carpenter, who worked for two of the greats in bamboo, Leonard and Payne, and then built his own rods using the old F.E. Thomas Milling machine.  He mentions his favorite light bamboo rods: a 7’9” Legacy by John Bradford, a 7’9” by Mike Clark, and an old 7 ½-foot F.E. Thomas Special, circa 1940—all two-piece 5 weights, which is not what I would consider light, but he is a dyed in wool dry fly fisher with larger favorite flies than mine. 

And there are stories about his other buddy, A.K. Best, who talks about his mentoring under Koke Winter.  And an old guy, who said to Gierach, “Boy, I’ve forgotten more about fishing than you’ll ever know.”  Or the retort that “Fly-fishing can be upscale and exotic if you want it to be and can afford that, but at base it’s homegrown, backyard stuff:  something people used to do when the chores were done; a way of goofing off that was barely justified by a couple of fresh fish for supper.”

There is more than great characters and quotes, such as discussion of Muriel Foster’s Fishing Diary and videos on fly fishing which “seems a little like movie sex: fun to watch, but a long way from the real thing” wand which can amount to “information without proper instruction.”  I like the comment of the fly shop customer who asks how long to get really good at this and Gierach responds, “Ten years, if you fish three or four times a week.” 

We […]

By |June 14th, 2011|Book Reviews, Fishing|Comments Off on At the Grave of the Unknown Fisherman (book review 5/5*****)

Ultraweight Rods Remain My Childhood Fantasies

My childhood fantasies still haunt me.  Nearly every day in the winter, we would walk down to the neighborhood pond and play hockey until we were called in for dinner or until darkness made it no longer able for us to play.  We do the same thing now with polo.  And, in the summer, we fished the same pond from dawn to dusk for bass.  And, I still do now with fly rods for trout, as much as possible with work and other hobbies, so sometimes I am left with fantasizing about them all.  

In my childhood, my buddy and I fished, nearly exclusively, with the Diawa Minicast rod and reel.  And, now, I do the same with light weight fly rods, from 0-weight to 3-weight rods for trout.  Sure we had other fishing rods, and do now as well, but these were our favorites, and still are.  The fish felt bigger and we lost fewer of them.  The Diawa Minicast it advertised that, “you’ll always have a high-quality ultralight set-up that’s ready to catch fish wherever you are… which matches an ultralight reel featuring an aluminum alloy body and nose cone, smooth disc drag and easy push button … with compartments which fit inside your suitcase or under car seat.”

I guess I still haven’t grown up, as I still fancy ultralight rods and flies.  In 1982, Howard Steere designed the Orvis Superfine 2-weight, then the Orvis Superfine 1-weight, which truly transported fly fishing into the world of ultralight. Shortly thereafter, Jerry Siem moved from Winston to Sage evolved ultralight fishing by designing the first of three revolutionary families of truly unrivaled ultralight fly rods. First was the Sage TXL 0-weight. 

This was followed in of 1997, with the whole family of Sage SPL ultralights, which were revolutionizing in featuring the latest newest materials with strength […]

By |June 10th, 2011|Fishing|Comments Off on Ultraweight Rods Remain My Childhood Fantasies

The Fishing Lady on the Sporting Road

We went fishing this holiday weekend at one of favorite spots which shall remain undisclosed and we met “The Fishing Lady,” the self-dubbed moniker of a semi-retired teacher from Miami who escapes life for the summer living out of a camper trailer, fishing the Western states.  She’s found the Sporting Road in her later years in life, as remembrances of her childhood vacations out West,.  She was keen to giver her Size 26 Adams a rest and learn Rim Chung’s nymphing technique since meeting Rim and his disciples.  She just may have had a conversion from all that is Catholic to the Zen way of  fly fishing.  Time will tell if she enjoys it as much as she claimed, as this is a non-proselytizing religion and a nymphing method that takes the better part of a lifetime to truly perfect.  Tight lines, Marcia.

By |May 30th, 2011|Fishing|Comments Off on The Fishing Lady on the Sporting Road

Fool’s Paradise (book review, rated 2/5 **)

By John Gierach, Simon & Schuster, 2008

I confess I am not really a John Gierach fan, yet I have met him a few times and have read all of his books.  I even had an a date one time to fish with Gierach and A.K. Best, but then our calendars didn’t align at the last minute, due a book tour.  I haven’t attempted to reschedule yet, but should, but maybe he wouldn’t if he read this review.   This one was just typical Gierach for me, a bit bland, although I did like the chapters entitled “Nebraska” and “Umpqua.”  And, I made a few notes from the “Rods” chapter, as I enjoyed the comments on so-called production bamboo rods that  were once bargains and his forte, and have now become very collectible, such as Heddon, Granger and Phillipson.  He writes there are a few bargains left, such as, “I can tell you from experience that, for instance, a model 208 Payne and a 9050 Wright & McGill Grangers—both versatile 9-foot, 5/6-weights—are virtually identical except for the huge discrepancy in price.”  Gierach writes, “Most date that resurgence to the publication of A Master’s Guide to Building a Bamboo Fly Rod…” which was co-written by fellow Fario Club member, Hoagy Carmichael in 1977,

I began to wonder if he broke up his bro-mance with A.K. Best and Mike Clark, but then A.K. appeared in a chapter or two, but Mike Clark and his rods were absent.  Mike was also absent in the 2011 book.  His rods weren’t my favorite either, although he had two very special rods at his shop over the years that were to my unique liking […]

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Fishing|Comments Off on Fool’s Paradise (book review, rated 2/5 **)

No Shortage of Good Days (book review, rated 3/5 ***)

By John Gierach, Simon & Schuster, 2011

I confess I am not really a John Gierach fan, yet I have read all of his books.  I enjoy his style of writing well enough, I just can’t get into all of his stories.  I guess that is his strategy, it’s like Reader’s Digest for bathroom reading for all those who fish, you aren’t supposed to read it cover to cover and there is always something for everyone.  But, I enjoyed this book more than most of his others and a few of the chapters were very good, including, “Third-Rate Trout Streams,”“Deckers,” and “Cheating.”  I laughed out loud upon reading the comment from a guide at a private stretch with well-stocked fat fish who told him something to the effect that, “Catching fish here is like getting laid in a whore-house.”  I have had the same feeling which is why I stick to wild, public waters.

By |May 30th, 2011|Book Reviews, Fishing|Comments Off on No Shortage of Good Days (book review, rated 3/5 ***)