Another day trip to the mountains finds a great stream with eager brookies with some TU pals. Fishing a special stream in Washington National Forest, we re-aquainted ourselves with these little fish for the first time in 2013. There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to trout fishing, I can’t won’t and don’t stop.
The Outdoor Blogger Network has always been striving to connect people, share stories, and occasionally provide opportunity to try out new outdoor gear. A few weeks ago, another chance at sampling some new products came by as Avex donated some of their Autoseal Waterbottles and coffee mugs.
The Brazos Autoseal Waterbottle was what I found at my door step. The bottle is quite awesome. I’ve used it out fishing once and on the treadmill many times. I find the bottle easy to use, easy to clean, and not nearly as clumsy as my other “standard” water bottles. There are no lids or wide mouths or straws to mess with when you want a drink. You just press a button, and go to town. Now I figure you can look at this a two ways. 1. What’s the big deal. A bottle is a bottle. As long as it hold water, I’m good. Response: I agree. I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. I need something that functions reliably and won’t break. That was my view on bottles until I got my hands on this one. The ease of use with this bottle is amazing. Not having to twist off a top, and balance a full bottle so as not to spill on your lap or face is surprisingly a nice feature. Also, My big nose isn’t hitting the rim of a wide mouth bottle that I usually drink form. 2. I like bottles that don’t spill and are easy to use. Response: This is one of those bottles. (from the Avex site)
One-handed, BPA-free plastic water bottle automatically seals between sips.
This BPA-free plastic water bottle has no cap to remove, no spout to open – making it perfect for one-handed use during activities.
This water bottle features patented AUTOSEAL® spill-proof & leak-proof technology – simply press the button to sip and release to automatically seal. The AUTOSEAL®lid automatically seals between drinks to eliminate spills and leaks.
Easy transport with a convenient clip-on handle that attaches togym bags, backpacks and gear.
Easily track water intake with volume markings on the bottle.
Spout shield covers and protects the spout from dirt and germs.
No plastic odors or taste with FDA-approved, BPA-free Tritan™ materials.
Water bottle is top-rack dishwasher-safe.
25 oz. capacity.
They even have a handy “how to video.” Enjoy the extreme music and fancy graphics.
So, in conclusion. If you are happy with your water bottle and it is working fine, I’d say stick with it. In order to decrease excessive consumption, there is little sense buying something new when what you’ve got is working. And if a bottle hold water without leaking, it is working. If you are in the market for a new water bottle and want to try something innovative, Avex Autoseal is a great option. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
My views are my own. I get to keep the bottle, but I don’t know anyone at Avex, so I don’t really feel pressured to give a biased review. I try to be honest. However, since I like the product, I may be biased (but at least I’m being honest about that). Whatever you use, Avex, Nalgene, or old crinkly Avian water bottle, just drink water. It’s good for you.
James Prosek’s “Ocean Fishes: Paintings of Saltwater Fish” found its way into my stocking this Christmas and have loved paging through it. Here is a great video with a behind-the-scenes look at Mr. Prosek’s book.
Vampires are still relevant, right? Edward Cullen and stuff? Great.
For this Friday night, I want to share with you another set of songs I truly enjoy. Vampire Weekend is who? Let’s ask Wikipedia….. Wikipedia? Yes, David. Who is Vampire Weekend? “Vampire Weekend is an Americanindie rock band from New York City, that formed in 2006 and signed to XL Recordings. The band has four members: Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Tomson, and Chris Baio. The band released its first album Vampire Weekend in 2008, which produced the singles “Mansard Roof“, “A-Punk“, “Oxford Comma” and “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa“. The band’s most recent album, Contra, was released in 2010.” Wow. That was easy. Now we are all up to speed. When it comes to which album is better, I’ve heard great arguments for each. However, I think whichever one you hear first is the one you’ll end up liking the most. This is also the case with the movies “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.” It just so happens I saw Lock Stock first and listened to Contra first, so these are the ones I like more. “Horchata”
Remember when I told you I was going to start painting my way (slowly) through James Prosek’s book “Trout: An Illustrated History?” Well, I didn’t forget. I had an idea I wanted to paint a picture of a brown trout like the one my dad caught last spring in the Driftless Area of Minnesota and give it to him as a Christmas present. As such, I couldn’t exactly be sharing that on the blog as he might have caught a glimpse of his, soon to be, gift.
Below, you’ll see a few more pages from the book. I’m experimenting with different techniques and am struggling to control the colors. Most of the fish in Prosek’s book, I’ve never seen in my life. I search for pictures on the internet, but still, I find, I am limited by the colors I can mix (often far from what I want) and by my inexperience. There are something like 70 fish in that book, though, so, hopefully, by the end of my first time through, I’ll be getting the hang of it. That should be in about 2016.
The second fish in the book: Greenland Char
So you can see, that Greenland Char was just too blue. Well, at least too bue relative to his painting. For all I know, I got it spot on.
This was the first attempt at a brown.
I messed up trying to bleed some colors with a watery brush and felt I couldn’t give this one to dad, so the next morning, I woke up and tried again.
The second attempt.
I was thought this looked “cleaner” than the first. But still, I wasn’t completely happy with the colors. It is so hard to get paint to behave.
The Blueback Trout. Tonight’s painting.
I am pretty happy with this one. I used some “dry strokes” (I don’t know the term for that) and it gave me some more control over the lighter red belly. It also makes the acrylic look more like colored pencil. I also decided to just be okay with the fact that I really don’t know what the trout looks like in my hands. I cut myself some slack and am okay with the fact that the colors may not be very true to the fish. Anyway, that is the update. Now you are caught up to speed. It may be a bit before I paint again, but when I do, I’ll let you know. Happy Wednesday. Now go to bed.
Deep in my chest a thirst grows for more days spent fly fishing. I crave the streams and rivers home to the trout I love. I long for snowy banks with kinetic waters keeping ice at bay. Small tumbling brooks with pockets to be picked along the Eastern Mountain Range. Hot Southern days on shady streams of the South. Luscious limestone beds home to fat, rusting Driftless trout. Wind swept, grassy plains where hoppers fall and beatis dance. Rocky Mountain territory above and below the tree line where great writers hone their craft. And all the waters I’ve read about feeling jealous of their bounty. I long to be close to all the trout across this great country.
I worked the week of Christmas, but Sara and I managed to sneak a quick trip to the Midwest to see family to say good bye to 2012 and usher in the New Year. It was a wonderfully relaxing time with good food, family, and refreshingly cold weather. I must be wired a little funny, because when I woke up on on January 1st to see the temperature at -15 degrees Fahrenheit, I just smiled and got outside as quick as I could. Something about that cold, brisk air is just so vitalizing (that’s assuming your dressed properly, of course).
It was a wonderful trip for many reasons. Here, let me show you.
Negative degrees. Awesome.
The cold shore.
Expanding ice. Cracks that reach across the lake.
Taking a couple kids fishing.
Skated across most of the lake. Great ice.
Skating and fishing on lakes is something that is definitely not in Norfolk, Virginia.
Grain Belt: Nordeast. A tasty local brew.
Sky lanterns on New Years.
Another tasty Minnesota treat.
A great man.
Painted a brown trout for my dad.
Remnants of the Pike spear fisherman.
Lots of family.
2012 was great, so bring it on, 2013. We are ready for you.