This morning I stepped into my manly-man-of-action fuzzy slippers, and got stung by a bee.

On my foot.

Bees hiding in my slippers? Really?

I told the L&T this was scientifically valid proof that my feet smell like honey, but in keeping with the TU’s PG-13 rating, I’m not going to print her reply.

Instead, I’m going to clean a little house, shoveling a few links your way before they overrun my desk, especially as I’m packing goodies for my Weekend Brookie Trip.

Jamming a few flies and some tippet in the new backpack is easy; deciding which rod to fish is the tough bit. The 8.5′ 4wt Diamondglass? The 8′ 4wt Superfine? The 8′ 5wt Phillipson bamboo fly rod?

Phillipson bamboo fly rod

The weight of fly rod selection weighs on heavy on any angler...

Sometimes life just feels so heavy, you know?

Starting Another Rod Test

I recently dug out the wallet to finance a new fly rod, though (remain calm), it’s a relatively cheap one — an 8′ 5wt fiberglass rod from South Fork Rods (built by Margot and Dave Redington, whose last name might sound familiar).

Naturally, I don’t need another 8′ 5wt (I’ve got several brilliant 8′ 5wt rods already), but the 8′ 5wt is my fly rod equivalent of Chili Verde; a baseline food that I use to compare new Mexican restaurants with those I already know.

Thus if a new Chile Verde (or 8′ 5wt fly rod) is brilliant, it’s possibly (likely even) that the rest of the menu (or fly rods in the line) are also brilliant.

(While the rest of you are out fishing, I’m creating ISO 9000-level processes for making the world a better place.)

First glance? It’s nicely made but looks a little clunky, and like so many rod builders these days, the grip doesn’t exactly overwhelm. For an 8′ glass rod it’s surprisingly strong (it says “5wt” on the website but “5/6wt” on the rod), which is either a useful thing or an odd performance characteristic for a rod you’d say was probably going to be fished at close range.

More as I fish it.

Russell Chatham Goes Broke in Montana

I read this article on the SF Gate site about Russell Chatham abandoning Montana after overinvesting in real estate, losing his shirt, and deciding he couldn’t take a 40th Montana winter.

He’s back in San Francisco and painting to pay the bills (at least his paintings still fetch big dollars), and the whole thing feels timely now because I also recently took delivery of a couple books from his just-revived Clark City Press publishing imprint.

I bought a copy of Silent Seasons and The River We Bring With Us, but — embarrassingly — forgot to also order a copy of Chatham’s seminal essay work about fly fishing the west coast in the 60s and 70s (The Angler’s Coast).

I plan to rectify that in the near future, but in the meantime, I believe his publishing house is run by his daughter, and if you ever wanted to own any of the classics in their backlist (or their new titles), then hurry on over.