Tuesday, November 30, 2010

huge in europe

Yep you read that right. Me and the Hoff go ahead and click that link, you know you want to- gives you a taste of what I'm willing to go thru to put up Qwal-i-Tee entertainment for all yuse ;-].

Miggity cool myspace stuff!

the Definitive work on trout and salmonids, en francois
Ahem, sorry bout that.

Not content with my unbridled success here in the America's, I've now set my sights across The Pond. To wit, the Essence that is my Awesomeness is quickly spreading across Europe, as we speak. ;-]

The epicenter of my diabolical plan: Normandy, France....hmmmmm..

The instrument of my total and utter domination? Le grand livre de la Truite et des salmonides.

But of course, you say!

I'm published- booya!
Yep, that's my Rio Grande Cutthroat trout, lower left, page 112. Placed into the definitive treatise on trout and salmonids, written en Francois by one Mssr Christophe Matho of Normandy, France.

credit, where credit is due

Seriously now:  I was contacted by Mssr Matho some 2 years ago, requesting assistance in providing a photo or two to support his work on trout and salmonids, seen here.  Yeah, a bit bizarre, I know!  Happy to oblige a fellow friend of fishes, I sent out three Mssr Matho was interested in, mostly figuring that'd be the last I heard of the project.

That is, until a few weeks ago, when I received a request for a mailing address that I may receive my copy of the completed treatise.  What the what?!  I know!...was thinking I was about to fall into a scam myself.

The Great Book of Trout and Salmonidae arrived yesterday, and I'm still giddy about the whole affair.

Anyone out there read French? Not so much?  Well, I guess I can give it a go ;-]

150 years ago, this trout occupied all the cool waters of the watershed of the Rio Grande river systems including Chama, Jemez and Rio San Jose. We do find it more now than a hundred heads of the basin (huh, must be getting rusty...) which corresponds to less than 10% of its ancestral range. Its colors range from yellowish green to gray and the top of its sides is dotted with black spots, with a respectable size in the tail. She wears beautiful colors during spawning. The orange vermilion of her belly between the green flanks enable it to compete with some exotic fish.

Adult, it measures 30cm. The Rio Grande cutthroat is the official fish of the State of New Mexico.

This cutthroat trout prefer clear streams and lakes. Populations inhabit river rapids and enjoy the fresh water flowing on a stones in the riverbed. Lake populations enjoy the cold, deep water lakes.

Spawning generally occurs between mid-May and mid-June.

Males are sexually mature at age 2 years, females at age 3 years. This trout lives an average of five years. It feeds mainly on aquatic insects or terrestrial insects that fall into the water. Only large trout prey on other fish.

The Rio Grande Cutthroat trout can hybridize with rainbow trout, which contributes to the weakening of pure populations of Rio Grande Cutthroat. It also suffers between competition with brown trout abundant in the Rio Grande Basin. 

The below specimen was captured in the wild by the renowned angler photographer extraordinaire, Mssr Royal Wulff, and remains amongst the finest examples of fly fishing photography ever to grace a page, New World or Old. Mssr Wulff authors the Peabody-award winning blog of Dry Flies and Fat Tires, currently residing at the top of my bookmarks listing- give him a read!  You will find the Essence of Mssr Wulff's Awesomeness currently touring throughout Europe.

Oh allright, I may have made that last paragraph up.

Still, cool beans, no?
look for it in fine bookstores throughout Europe.  And soon throughout The World.  Bwaaaa ha hahahaha!

My Rio Grande Cutthroat set that started it all:

Saturday, November 27, 2010

small wheels big heart

nuf said.


 Broken Arrow Trail

chicken point

Guarantee you he was the only 8yr old on a bike up there this month.  Broken Arrow trail is no place for amateurs- in my eyes, the boy is a real pro.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Mrs Wulff making tracks down a slickrock slough, cathedral rock formation looming above.

water in the desert

oak creek @ buddah beach templeton trail

cathredral rock

Cathedral rock formation on Templeton Trail.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

the eagle has landed

 view from basecamp- stellar

forecast calls for...

'nuf said

Roadtrip baby!  Ooh-Rah!

In the Most Audacious Stratagem executed to date to have that cake pumpkin pie and eat it too, Team Roughrider is heading down the highway for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Where to?  I'll give you three guesses. ;-]

from AP wire reports:
Opting to forgo the frenetic airports, the awkward security measures (turn your head and cough if you please, eww) and the general mayhem that is flying for the holidays, Team Roughrider instead initiated Operation Red Rock, the logistics  and planning of which were meticulously honed in secret these many months.  
thank you, no
Operation Simulation, file photo
Quoting Operational Commander Wulff:
I am pleased, nay proud!, to announce to you my countrymen, that today, in the predawn hours, the Team, your Team, loaded bikes, gear, and yes, the entire Thanksgiving turkey dinner (complete with trimmings + pie) into son of Big Red, heading, at this very minute, west by southwest.  

Destination: Freedom!

Our Operational Schedule (skej-ool, -ool, -oo-uhl; Brit. shed-yool) has our Team inserted precisely at 1300hours, leaving this Operational Commander enough contingency time to execute the drop and still be wheels up on a local red rock trail before six bells. Godspeed countrymen, and may dog bless America! 
pilot & co-pilot chillaxing in their ready room
Stay tuned to this station for more information as it becomes available.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Oh yeah, forgot to tell you guys~ 

If you're like me, you've long appreciated the atmosphere found in NM's favorite watering hole, the Sportsman's Inn on the San Juan.   Guides, sports, anglers, more than a few celebrities, all have kicked back their chairs between bites of a ginormous green chile cheeseburger, drafts of their favorite brews, and recounted the day's exploits.  

Records of those exploits are to be found in the hundreds thousands of greenbacks plastered on the walls, inscribed with anglers' names and particulars of fish caught.  You might remember the boy and I finally added our own contribution last spring, schweet.

So when the sun finally set on our last trip up that way, we gladly headed down river to enjoy some refueling and retelling.  So imagine our surprise upon entry, and the Sportsman's seemed curiously empty, devoid of life.

The boy snapped to it first- hey where're all the dollar bills?  Where's our dollar bill?!

Waitress soon relayed the sad, sad tale: removed, one and all...

....by order of the State Fire Marshal.  

Oh the Humanity!

Whatdahay man, have you no sense of history, of decency sir?!

SFM not a fly angler, it would appear.

Mike and Will, upper left, spring 2010.  One of about 5,000 round the bar.
Sanitized, Fall 2010, courtesy of the State Fire Marshal.  Sniff.

a trail too far

Pushed up Otero Canyon this weekend, a good bit further than I have before.  

It was such a fine afternoon, I just let the trail pull me along... 

and got a little lost for my trouble, whoops.

 Daylight fading fast, I ended up bailing on my planned route- thank the dirt gods I brought the gps.

otero sunset

 Looking back onit, it would appear I bit off a 4 hour ride with 3 hours of daylight to burn.
otero moonrise
A bridge trail too far you might say.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


We here at Dry Flies and Fat Tires are proud to announce our content will now also be affiliated with the fine network of fellow bloggers at the Outdoor Blogger Network.  Click on over to see what the buzz is all about!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

running down the man

part one lives here

The boy's grin says it all: Let's go get another one Dad.  Which we do, sure enuf. 

With the sun now settling down below the sandstone rim, we work up to the Shangri-La Pool.  One of my favorites, always good for a fish or three.  Introduced my own father to its riches, likewise my brother,  father-in-law and my boy too.  I set the lad up in the premier spot, right where the shallow riffle tails off into a fertile knee-deep run.  I move up to the riffle head, and promptly hook, play, land a 17incher on my own.  

A bit later, with the light, and our day, fading fast, I ask if he wants me to work over that pool of his, see if we can pluck one more fish from the deep before calling it a day.   Thanks Dad~

I'm just about ready to give it up, we're already talking about heading out, when that indicator sinks a bit and I come up tight to yet another Santa Fe-Northern Express.  I quickly hand over the rod, and coach the boy thru the first three surging runs- first down stream, back upstream, then straight at us.   Quick as a wink, we're both facing the setting sun as the fish heads back towards Kiddie Pool and freedom, the line steadily peeling off like they do in those saltwater shows.  Dam, he's cooking!

Out thru the narrows and around the island, he's leaving us way behind.  I take the rod, and running-down-the-man style, bust it up to catch up with our disappearing quarry.

Ten minutes into the fight, and we're finally getting her head up- a gorgeous hen!  My first attempt at netting her, and I can't get her into the net, she spans the opening, won't fit, flops back out. Gonna need a bigger boat net!

Momentary panic as I imagine she's off, but a second scoop has her.

Stem to stern, all (near) 23inches of her.  Holy smokes!  

Been said before, a perfect ending to a perfect day.  

That's the Juan for you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

fins and grins on the juan

Well this is one blog post that should be an easy one to write.  What a trip!

Had the boy out chasing fins on the San Juan this weekend.  We opted first to fish that stretch of water up from the pumphouse parking lot- the Lower Flats.  Fly shop relayed how the BWO's were kicking off reliably in the lower reaches, I figured I knew all the right honey holes to ferret-out some fish for the lad.

BWO spinner, #24

We weren't fishing but an hour before the hatch started to kick off.  I could hardly keep pace changing our rig first from nymphs, to emergers, then finally full-on dries before we began to really get some action.  The BWO thorax dunn #24 we eventually settled on seemed to finally turn the tide in our favor-  we landed 4, missed just as many before we put the pod down.

Our SOP had me pitching in, minding the drift and the take, handing the rod over for the lad to wrestle the fish to the beach.  Worked out well enuf, but looking back on it, I wished I had just gone ahead and rigged two rods to give the boy some casting and drift management between fish.  Thinking he could use the practice...

Which I promptly remedied when we moved up river.
smorgasbord: #24 BWO dun.  Note the brown larva worm at left, like #48!
Late afternoon found us prospecting that chain of pools centered around the Kiddie Pool.  Kiddie Pool itself was locked up tight by a grim-faced trio of 30-something 'kiddies', each showing noticeable signs of strain, wear as they (vainly) endeavored to hook just one of the noses snarking repeatedly within two-rods' distance all around them.   Veritable Faustian Feast spread out all around you, and yet not a spoon nor fork to be had.  Been there, done that, boyos!

Huh, guess we'll try across town, buddy.

We begin to wade across the main current to some of our favorite spots, marveling at the clarity of the water, the multitude of fish darting out from underfoot.  The boy stops short midstream, able to contain his excitement no longer-  Cmon Dad let's try for those guys right there. Nodding ahead his eyes remain locked onto a pod of rather large noses blissfully sipping tiny midge adults from a quicksilver surface.   With not another angler for 40 yards, schweet.

like he owns the place
Allright, I get him set up, within range of the closest risers, and turn back to assemble my own rod and rig.  Can't hardly make progress, what with the failing light, my failing nearsightedness (cripes, when did that happen?!), and the boy's distracting casts.....sailing out in near-perfect roll-casted loops. What the what?!

Whoa, dude, that's some nice casting!  You been practicing out on the lawn?

He just laughs and shrugs, as if he's been casting like that his whole life, silly Dad.  I have to stop a moment and marvel a bit as yet another loop sails on by, gracefully unfolding at the head of the pool, just the slightest dimple as first indicator then flies settle onto the glassy surface.  Holy cow, that's my boy getting it done!  I finally tear myself away, attempting to focus on the futility of stabbing 6x tippet thru a #26 midge larva eye. 

Can't though, 'cause the boy's hollering over- Hey Dad I got one!  Sure enuf, a freight train whooshes on by, the trailing line ripping thru the water.  Holy smokes! And just like that the fish is off on down to hell and gone, leaving a father breathless and the son laughing in the joy of the moment.   Woooo he was huge, didja see that!  You bet I did!

Now I finally get rigged up, and we tag-team a few fish, 'bows  mostly, with a solitary brown mixed in for good measure.

After a bit, the boy begins to get discouraged as it's Dad hooking all the fish, he might as well be throwing meatballs for all the good its doing him.  In his frustration, he manages to cast over and snag my line, I reel us both in to untangle, or I should say UNTANGLE.  He's got the makings of a first-rate birds' nest spouting a coupla midge patterns, #24.  And lost his split shot.  And his indicator has slipped down to within 6" of the lead fly.   Sigh.

Hey buddy, I don't think you've been checking your rig well enuf...

He just smiles all innocently, as if nature's wonders never cease, the rascal. 

I cut away his nest, get him squared-away, decide to take this opportunity to switch my own #26 thread midge back up to something a lil beefier.  Say like a #24 cream larva, oh yeah, that's the ticket allright.

No sooner do I clip-off than my sixth fish-sense causes me to track a disturbance in the Force.  I look to the pod I was just harassing and out of a big boil emerges a bow wave and trailing wake as another freight train bullrushes between us.  For his part, my lil poacher is trying to make sense of it all, facing upstream still, while his adversary is already behind us high-tailing it on downstream.  With a snap, first rod, then boy whip around and now that reel is just singing, line peeling off like a sewing machine.  Eyeballing the rod surging in his death grip I start to coach out some fatherly advice-  keep that rod tip up, let him run, yada yada, but just don't grabthereellikethatandpop! he's gone.  JeezLouise nice fish little man!

The boy's grin says it all: Let's go get another one Dad. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

area 51: mrp bashguard

MRP Party Crasher Lite

Been casting about for a bashguard for the Yeti, getting kinda tired of having the back of my calf snakebit like every other ride.  Starting to look like a tattoo parlor back there!

Settled on the MRP Party Crasher Lite- light as the name says, crafted of polycarbonate that won't get bent out of shape like metal.  Got it in white to best disguise all the scratching sure to come.  Luv the gangsta graphics, cause that's just how I roll LOL.

Installation was a snap, just use a 5mm allen to take off the big ring, slide it off over the crank, pedal.  The party crasher slides back on the same way.

On the trail, no more worries as I bottom out on a step up, no more battle scars to the Achilles heel.  Noice!

Monday, November 8, 2010

lazy weekend

Team Roughrider hung around town this weekend, mostly in celebration of our first truly schedule-free weekend in the last two months.

For our part, the boy and I spent some time reconnecting with ABQ Foothills North.   Bluebird day, ton of fellow bikers out there, everyone making good use of the weather while it lasts.

We have a favorite loop he's coined Never Ending Story, based on the venerable 365, plus the upper and lower sections of Snake- you local guys know the one. 

I was pleased to note he's able to navigate most all of it without prompting from me.

Making sure we hit the sweet spots twice-  it's his home trail allright!
North Foothills Trails, shred

Saturday, November 6, 2010

it's morning in america again

SW Sunrise - Zion NP Background, originally uploaded by NikonKnight.

Michigan Wolverines return to bowl eligibility after wandering nearly three years lost in a winless bowl-less desert.  A wild, triple OT shootout, 9 lead changes, 2 UM QB's, final 67-65, holy smokes!

Finding my food tastes better, air seems fresher, even the water tastes all the sweeter.  Wait, I did clean my camelbak yesterday...nah that can't be it! :-]

Friday, November 5, 2010

friday night lights

#1 v #2 shootout tonight- tied at 35 at the half, #2 takes the lead for good on 2point conversion with 19 seconds left to play.  56-55 final, what a game!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


New Mexico's favorite fly fishing watering hole getting some good press:  Sportsman's Inn, Navajo Dam

Selected one of the Top 25 fishing bars by Outdoor Life.  Well deserved my friends!

HT: Trout Underground
With soccer season wrapping up this past weekend, our Saturdays have finally cleared to make way for an annual fall trip (or two!) up to the Juan.  Green chile cheeseburgers and root beers at the Sportsman's always play a pivotal role for any trip to the Juan.  The boy can't wait!