When long work weeks seem to be never-ending, I couldn't pass on this quick 48 hour trip to the Northern Oregon Coast in search of steelhead, solitude, and to catch up with a good friend. Chris Hodgman and I met up with master spey guide Scott O'Donnell of Fly Water Travel, who gave access to remote waters where steelhead were eager to chase a swung fly. With a short window of opportunity, we intentionally set our expectations low only to find exactly what we were searching for.
Approx. 5'8"x 19 1/2" x 2 3/4", result is a good board in various conditions, fast, excellent drive, and good release. At first, the board had too much drive in my opinion with the given fin set up although once downsizing the upper front fins to "standard" thruster sides, the board worked really well for me. At first glance, the bottom appears to have some slight vee or flat entry, transitioning to concave around front foot, and going to slight spiral vee in the tail. It was inspiring to discuss general board design with Ryan and hear about his admiration for this specific design, crediting master shaper Neal Purchase Jr.
NPJ is fun to watch. With alternative board design and a unique approach to surfing, it's easy to understand why so many are interested in his talent both in and out of the water. I first heard of NPJ due to the popularity of his "quartet," which apparently is "a good in all conditions quad fin board that is built for speed, control in all turning maneuvers, and tube riding."
Short clips from recent trip to Southern Oregon in search of steelhead and solitude.
I was fortunate to spend the last few days in Oregon chasing steelhead with my good friend Chris Hodgman and expert guides Jon Hazlett and Steve Eadie. Our equipment (rods) included; Sage One Rod 8 weight, Sage TCX 7 weight, and the Sage VT2 7 weight. "Learning to Spey" is not easy which I discovered immediately. In order to learn the basics and execute a decent cast, I was forced to throw out all my prior knowledge derived from single handed casting techniques. If you're considering "venturing" out into the world of Spey Casting for the first time, I strongly recommend hiring a guide who has much experience with this technical style of fly fishing. Once a few decent casts are made, I guarantee you'll understand why so many fisherman have never gone back to a single hand rod...swinging flies for the "grab" is addicting!
Check out the short film below and make sure to watch expert guide Jon Hazlett in action (black and white film below).
Ashland Fly Shop Guide - Jon Hazlett
Ashland Fly Shop http://www.ashlandflyshop.com/blog/category/jon-hazletts-take/
photo journal 10.2014
Recent clip featuring a 5'8" anderson physh from my perspective using a gopro "mouth-mount." Did i look a bit ridiculous out there?...yes, but it sure was a good time. Anderson's twin fin is a great "all-around" fish that is fast, loose, and forgiving on the rails. Enjoy the short clip...
Ryan is a true master at his craft and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his insight regarding board design and his unique approach to the process. A few words from Mr. Lovelace...
"New 7'10" thing...basically a flipped backwards v.bowls pulled in...racy point wave mid length egg-glider thing." - Ryan Lovelace
It's complete! Here's the short film of our adventure to the eastern sierras this past winter. A two day adventure full of many great moments captured in this short film by Jesse Natale (JNorth Productions). We really enjoyed our new gear from Patagonia which tested well against weather conditions.
We headed down to the backside of Rincon to fly fish for Corbina. Within the first 10 minutes we saw a pair of cruisers, then another and another. After about 30 minutes I got a 21" "bean" to turn on my surfin' merkin. The fish took the fly and RAN!! Such an exciting way to fish, to be able to see the fish suck in your fly and then bolt..nothing like it. About one second later I look down the beach to see Danny's rod bent in half. Same thing. Except his was a 24" bean. Fun stuff. - Nick
I spent the last few days in Bozeman Montana in search of brown trout. Weather conditions were unforgiving which is the norm this time of year in Montana. Snow, rain, and high winds made fishing challenging but there were some calm moments where all elements came together and hard work paid off. To fully appreciate those magic moments you must also experience the moments of complete disappointment. My guide services were provided by Montana Troutfitters (Josh) and The River's Edge (Nathan). Both great guides who inspired my passion for fly fishing. In terms of gear, my river salt jacket from Patagonia proved to be a great top layer, proving warmth during the cold winds and kept me dry during snow flurries and rain.
About Fly Fishing Collaborative
"We exist to use our passion for fly fishing for a good and just cause. According to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), human trafficking is the world’s largest enterprise after drugs and weapons. Over 2 million children are affected annually. Studies show that children caught in sex trafficking are victimized by 100–1500 perpetrators each year. We formed the FFC so that we can use our tools in fly fishing to give children the protection and healing they need. By partnering with professional fly fishing outfitters and guides around the world, we have the incredible opportunity to join the fight for freedom and recovery for these precious children."
"The Fly Fishing Collaborative is offering professionally guided fly fishing trips and selling custom-made leather fly wallets. The money raised will be given to orphanages and caregivers around the world. This will go towards creating sustainable livelihoods and economic support to rescue and prevent more children from being sold into the sex slave industry."
"Every $10,000 we raise will provide a totally sustainable tilapia farm that will be built for an orphanage in order to provide them with food, income, water, and fresh produce. Additionally, this will empower their leaders to care for more children that would otherwise be sold into slavery."
Love this board. Not at first but by the 5th session it felt good! It's a great balance of a traditional log and modern noserider. It definitely has a sweet spot that allows fun trimming through faster sections.
9'4" - 23 - 3, nose 18.5, tail 16.25
photo erik fawcett
shop icons of surf, Ken http://www.iconsofsurf.com
Nick Alker spent a few days chasing healthy rainbow trout on the Lower Sac River.
I recently picked up fcd's huevo ranchero board and have been enjoying it ever since. A versatile board with the option of riding as a standard tri-fin, 2+1, or single fin. I would definitely recommend this board to those who are looking to consolidate a few boards down to one or simply have fun on a board that is both retro and progressive. Another plus with this board is the ability to catch waves with ease...minimal rocker and good width under your chest.
Photos by Morgan Maassen
Photos by Morgan Maassen
Photo by JP Garcia
ryan is a true master at his craft. ryan takes his unique approach to shaping boards particularly designs that excel in point break surf. the boards are aesthetically beautiful and really fun to ride. his boards seem to be contagious as you'll probably notice at least 10 of them on any given session in the cove. i personally like the board, especially the way it promotes a more smooth style of surfing. his popular v bowls shape is a versatile board that is a lot of fun...during one recent evening session, i borrowed one for a few and could not stop smiling. ryan was eager to let me try it but also eager to get it back.
Coming Soon...short clip of my v bowls board review in action.