Well, here we sit in the days after Christmas and New Years. This is a funny time of year as we aren't quite through the Holiday Season yet, but it is close. What waits for us next are the long Winter months of January, February and March. With the weather we have been having I don't know if we can say these will be "Winter" months this year or not, I mean 75 degrees on Christmas day! What is that about? I am curious to see if this weather will set us up for a great Winter Trout season or if it will present a unique set of challenges. Eiher way you can bet I will be out there trying to match wits with as many wild Trout as I can.
Our kids are older now, Santa Clause doesn't hold the same allure as he used to and that makes for a quite Christmas morning. We did the customary "opening of the presents" which at this point consists of basically gift cards to places we like to shop. After that we sat down to our traditional breakfast of Sausage Gravy and biscuits. You Yankees might not know about this, but the guys from the south will. Hillbilly soul food is some of the best cooking you will ever eat, if you have never had a traditional southern style breakfast (I am not from the south, but my wife's family is and to quote my father "she sure can grease a pan") you are missing out on something good. Later in the day we all met at my brothers house (the spin Fisherman) for a nice spread of food and family fun. It is nice to have both of my parents and brothers and all of my nieces and nephews in the same place. All of our kids are getting older, starting lives of their own and we just don't get together as much as we used to.
As much as I like good food and family I do enjoy my fishing gear and it didn't take long for me to start trolling the internet looking for the prefect piece of gear to spend the gift cards that were burning a hole in my pocket. I actually had a plan of the gear I wanted to buy.
Chest Pack vs Sling Pack;
As many of you may know I have been fishing a chest pack (for Trout) for the past 3 seasons. The Umpqua Overlook 500 has served me well and I really didn't need to change. With sling packs being all the rage I wanted to give one a try.
After spending too much time and thought on the subject I finally decided on the Simms Waypoints Sling Pack. As mentioned I really didn't "need" a new pack, but I have been looking at slings for a while now and this was a great time to pull the trigger. The 2 major benefits of a sling as I see it are it will ride higher up on your back so your stuff wont get wet which can happen with a hip or fanny pack and a sling pack will leave your chest area free and clear of any obstructions that might get in the way of proper casting. This is especially true if you are Spey casting with one of the new ultra light 2 handed rods, something I plan to do this spring.
I must say after looking at all of the packs out there in detail this one fit my needs the best. It was the the size I was looking for and you just can't go wrong with anything from Simms. Another big reason I purchased the Waypoints pack is the option to buy direct from Simms. Many people don't realize you no longer need to go into an authorized Simms dealer to purchase their products. Simms started direct sales a few years ago and purchasing couldn't be easier. No longer do you need to drive (sometimes great distance) to your shop only to find they don't have the color or size of item you are looking for. Gone are the days of conforming to shop hours, inaccurate opening times or "gone fishing" signs on the door. You can browse Simms entire inventory and pay the same price for the item you are looking for right from the comfort of your own home. Better yet it comes right to your front door a few days later. What could be easier?
My gear has been transferred from my old Umpqua pack to my new Simms pack and I must say I do like the layout. I have not fished out of it yet, but I am sure I will be happy with it. Other presents include a pair of Simms nippers and a new line for my Tight Line Nymphing rig...
I went old school on the reel on the left with the Cortland 444 classic double taper line. It has been a while since I have fished a Cortland line, I am excited to get out there and try it out.
I would be remiss if I didnt mention my favorite present of all. You may remember in my last blog post I was giving my mother a hard time about not making my favorite Christmas cookies for the past 3 years. Well Christmas morning she showed up with this...
Thanks mom, you are the best! I hope you all have had an enjoyable Christmas holiday and I hope Santa brought you all of the things you were looking for. Winter Trout fishing is one of my favorite times of year. As we sit here with crappy weather and chocolate milk rivers take this time to fill your boxes, maintain your gear and get ready for a few months of 6X tippet and size 22 midge patterns. till next time...