This weekend marks Michael Williams fifth year organizing The Pop Up Flea in New York City. As folks flock to the city from as far away as Europe to see the latest fashion trends of American iconic clothiers; Filson is proud to join the mix. Should you be lucky enough to be in the area, we invite you to swing by our booth to see both legendary and new Filson items. The shop is setup at 443 W. 18th Street (near 10th Ave.). As always, the weekend will be filled with exciting events and welcoming faces from your favorite companies. See you there! For more info, visit http://www.acontinuouslean.com.
Archive for November, 2012
Growing up in a family of hunters & fishermen has lead Kristen Monroe of OutdoorNews.com to have passion for the outdoors. When she was young she loved waking up at the crack of dawn to go fishing with her older brother and dad. Although she was only allowed to fish for bluegills as a young girl she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to cast for her first bass. Now she and her husband are looking forward to taking their own children fishing and sharing passion for the outdoors with them.
Standing at the edge of a stream on a sunny fall day is breathtaking in Wisconsin. Early October salmon begin staging in the Sheboygan Harbor and the spawning run begins up the river. Mike Wehmeier from Wolf Pack Adventures led our group of anglers to a long stretch of river that was loaded with gigantic spawning salmon. What an ironic sight, watching the lifeless zombie salmon at the end of their life cycle and observing the females spread their eggs. After a Chinook spawns, it usually dies within two weeks. I stepped into the river to test my waders and felt the pressure from the water surround my leg. Oh good, no leaks just a brisk chill from the river. Wading in the stream is fun to begin with. Just add a fly rod to the mix on a beautiful fall day and another awesome outdoor memory is created.
I persistently dangled my line in the same spot over an hour trying to gain interest from an energetic king salmon. There lay a group of seven salmon, surly one of them would bite. To fight a healthy thirty pound king salmon with a fly rod would certainly be exciting. Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of a brown or a steelhead making its way up the river. I switched between pink spawn sacks and assorted flies putting forth my best effort to entice them. I tried everything, landing the fly so it had enough time to sink into the strike zone and drift down stream perfectly in front of their eyes. I began roll casting like a mad woman trying to engage one of the spunky silver fish to bite while evading the zombie fish. It’s illegal to catch one by a snag and defiantly not something to be proud of.
Since the fish have low appetites this time of year getting the salmon to strike is not easy. The key to success- agitate them. Sight fishing for kings is as frustrating as it is fun. It’s maddening because they are right there, practically close enough to grab. Yet, most would not respond to my taunts. Finally, after many casts over a two day stretch I fought a king right into the Frabill net. It’s important to let monster fish run when they need to. I made the mistake of reeling to fast the day before and saw my line snap. Yes, I was the one who told the story of the thirty pound fish that got away around the dinner table. Lesson learned; always let a big fish run when it wants to, no matter how anxious you are.
Visit www.wolfpackadventures.com for fishing and hunting adventures in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
As a talented photographer from New York City, Mikael Kennedy, is always on the go, escaping from the city to calmer ground with his Filson tote and camera. This time Mikael takes you along on the journey of his Filson gear and behind the lens of his camera.
Brian McGeehan leads annual hosted trips to Patagonia and is the owner and outfitter of Montana Angler Fly Fishing in Bozeman, MT. He has been guiding fly fishing trips in Montana and Colorado for 18 seasons. Montana Angler offers trips to both Chile and Argentina and works with a variety of lodges in South America.
When you have a conversation with an avid angler that has travelled the globe in search of wild trout a few locations quickly surface: Montana, Alaska, Kamchatka, New Zealand and Patagonia. Each destination has its own allure and I have had the good fortune of visiting all of them and make my home in Montana as a fly fishing guide and outfitter. Of the locations listed above Montana has some of the most diverse fishing conditions on the planet with a density of big float rivers, technical spring creeks, tailwaters, trophy stillwaters and productive small streams that is hard to match. Montana is also relatively easy to get to for North American Anglers so we also see our fair share of visiting fisherman on public waters. Of the international destinations that I have visited, Patagonia is the region that offers the unique blend of different waters similar to the Northern Rockies with far fewer anglers. On my trips to Argentina and Chile I often feel that I am stepping back in time and experiencing what Montana was like 50 or 75 years ago. My favorite region to target on trips to Patagonia is the central region which receives less fishing pressure than the more famous northern area where fly fishing in Argentina was first developed.
Where is Patagonia?
Patagonia simply refers to the Southern Andes and overlaps both Chile and Western Argentina. We can loosely break up Patagonia into three distinct sections: North, Central and South. Northern Patagonia is home to the most famous South American trout rivers including the Chimehuin, Collan Cura, Alumine, Malleo, Limay and Traful. In the North the vast majority of the fishing is on private estancias. Some of the rivers can also be accessed by bridges on float trips. This region of Patagonia sees more anglers than any other but is still magnificent with some of the world’s classic trout rivers. Southern Patagonia is most famous for its sea run brown trout in Tierra del Fuego and the Santa Cruz province. Rivers like the Rio Grande must be fished by booking a week at one of the lodges on the estancias that have access to the legendary fishery where the average trout weighs twelve pounds. Fishing in the South generally means that you will be fishing a single river on the entire trip in very windy conditions for some of the biggest brown trout in the world. The topic of this post is Central Patagonia which provides a great variety of classic trout fishing. This is my personal favorite portion of Patagonia to fish because of the variety that it offers and the lack of pressure.
One of the reasons that Central Patagonia receives less anglers than in the North is because it is a bit harder to get to. Most anglers fishing in the North fly into Bariloche which receives about 8 flights a day from Buenos Aires. The fishing in the central part of Patagonia is anywhere from 3-8 hours from Bariloche by vehicle so it is best to fly into Esquel which only receives one flight a day on just 4 days of the week. If you are targeting the Argentine side of Patagonia and the Futaleufu region of Chile you fly into Buenos Aires. Generally you leave the US on an evening flight and arrive the next morning. Because the airport for domestic flights to Esquel is on the other side of Buenos Aires it is best to spend one night in the capital city and then leave for Esquel the next day. There are a few good outfitters and lodges within an hour and a half of Esquel as well as some independent guides.
Lodges, Independent Guides and DIY
I have had some friends visit Argentina and do all of their fishing on their own and they had a great trip with mixed success on the fishing side of the equation. While there are some fisheries that you can access from bridges a lot of the best fishing is on private estancias or big rivers that are floated. If you are up for an adventure and don’t mind burning some days on wild goose chases that don’t pan out then this can be a fun option since Patagonia is easy to travel around with a rental car and relatively safe. There are also independent guides based in Esquel that can take you onto some of the public waters and National Park waters if they have the correct permits. On the Chilean side lodges are the main option and DIY is very difficult. Lodges on both sides of the border are a great option since most have access to private estancias that they lease and have permission on but of course they are the most expensive option. In general on my trips I am hosting a group of anglers and we always stay at lodges.
The Rivers and Lakes
The landscape varies dramatically in Central Patagonia depending on how close to the Pacific Ocean you are. In general on the Chilean side it is very wet with rugged fjiords and resembles coastal Washington in climate. The rivers on the Chilean side get big fast due to the amount of moisture in the region. In Chile it takes much more effort to travel from one river system to the next because of the rugged topography so you will generally focus on just a handful of river systems when fishing out of the few lodges in Central Patagonia on the Chilean side. On the Argentine side the landscape varies from timbered Montana like scenery to very dry scenery like that near central Wyoming. Travelling from river to river in Argentina is much easier since the topography is more open east of the Andes. The fisheries offer incredible variety ranging from huge rivers like the Futeleufu/Yelcho system in Chile to small and intimate spring creeks in Argentina. My favorite aspect of a Central Patagonia trip is that you can see a wide variety of rivers, streams and lakes and often fish a different river, stream or lake each day. I also enjoy the option of combining both Chile and Argentina on the same trip. The Futaleufu River system is just inside of the Chilean border and one of our favorite partners is the Futa Lodge which is run by my friend Brian McKnight. Futa is easily accessed from Esquel, Argentina and it is really nice to spend a few days in Chile fishing the Futaleufu River, the Yelcho and Lago Yelcho and then head back into Argentina for the great diversity that is offered there. The perk of fishing on the Chilean side is that there is so little pressure even on the big rivers. The advantage on the Argentine side is that it is much easier to go from river to river and see a wide diversity. If you are fishing the smaller estancia waters in Argentina you can also expect very limited pressure.
On Patagonia trips I rarely find the need to nymph fish since the dry fly and streamer fishing is so good. Much of the fishing is sight casting to rainbows in the 19-20” range. Some of the browns go much larger and they often succumb to streamer fishing. There are some lakes in both Chile and Argentina that hold some massive fish that easily go over ten pounds such as those in the Rio Pico region of Argentina or Lago Yelcho in Chile.
We use the same equipment in Patagonia that we use in Montana. I normally bring a 5,6 and 7 weight rod with me along with floating lines. On my seven weight I also have a 200 grain sink tip for streamer fishing on the bigger rivers like the Futaleufu. Leaders in the 7.5-9’ range are perfect and you never need to fish anything lighter than 4x even in clear waters and often 1x and 0x is preferred for streamer fishing to hang onto large fish. Fly patterns depend on the fishery, but a good selection of beetles, attractor foam dry flies and some smaller dries like adams in 16s and 20s should be good along with a lot of big streamers in blacks, whites and olive seems to do the trick.
When to go
The seasons in South America are opposite of those in North America so the Patagonian spring starts in October which is the equivalent of April and April is similar to October north of the equator. January, February and March are peak months for travelling anglers. Although rivers can get high in the early season from melting snows, they often remain clear due to the many lake systems that filter out the sediment. The fishing can be great at any point in the season but if you are going to some waters that see more pressure than others that are public it is nice to go earlier in the summer like December or January before the fish see more flies. Many of the fisheries see very little pressure so they can fish great all summer and into the fall. I have been in both January and March and had great fishing.
Filson’s own, Jack Duggan, gives a first-hand account of the 2012 Duck Season Opener.
Every year around spring time I get the itch, the excitement of knowing that Duck Season is getting closer and closer. Throughout the summer and fall anticipation of the upcoming season begins to consume my thoughts; day dreaming of the 4 am wake-up, layering up in my gear, and setting out for the breezy wetlands of the Pacific Northwest. I go through the mental checklist of what gear I have, what gear I need, what spots we will hunt, and I meticulously study the latest copies of Ducks Unlimited. All of this preparation leads up to opening weekend, and the day which so many people like myself long for.
I have vivid memories of being a young boy, sitting with my dad in the cattails of the Columbia Basin, watching our chocolate lab retrieve Mallards in the frigid waters of Eastern Washington. Like many future duck hunters my dad bought me a Red Rider BB Gun to carry with me to the blind. I remember sitting in the blind next to my dad, holding my BB Gun, while he held his Ithaca and reached for his duck call’s that are strung with silver bands. The experience was wonderful and I recall the desire and excitement to one day sit side by side with my dad hunting as an equal.
The 2012 Duck Season opener was October 13th, and, once again I am happy to say that I hunted with my dad, along with my best buddy and our Chocolate Lab Annie. This year we set up on a plot of private land located on the Columbia River. The weather called for blue sunny skies, 15 mph wind gusts and 65 degrees. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Although I was hopeful, I didn’t want to make any predictions. After arriving at the blind, my buddy and I waded out into the crystal clear water and began to set our decoys, the jerk line, and spinners. My dad positioned the boat around the corner, set up our stools and hunkered down with Annie. With 40 deeks set and the jerk line rigged-up we waited for the birds to start bombing in on us, or so we hoped.
Within 15 minutes we had all taken multiple pass shots which shook the cobwebs off and helped us get back into the swing of things. By 10 am we had multiple groups of Mallards, Pintails and Redheads committed and dropping into our spread. Annie made many impressive retrieves and she refused to take her big brown eyes off of the sky. Opening morning turned out to be a great success resulting in my leather strap to be strung full of birds.
The next morning my buddy and I set out for a new spot to hunt along a smaller river. We arrived late, around 9 am, due to a disappointing attempt at the Steelhead opener. Shaking off the funk of coming up dry for Steelhead, we set our deeks and huddled into the cat tails without stools or a dog. It was much warmer than it had been the day before so we decided to lose some of our outer layers; we made sure to wear our face masks to block the shining sun. Almost immediately the birds started pouring in. From left, right, up high, fast and low the ducks were everywhere. With cupped wings soaring in, mallards made passes around our back sides and long lean pintails screamed by directly in front of us. Geese honked their way in from miles out and landed right in our spread. Before we knew it, we had our limits.
The opening weekend of the 2012-2013 Duck Season was a great one. By far, the highlight of my opening weekend was a triple that I bagged on that second morning – three ducks with three shots in succession. I waded out deep into the water to retrieve the birds. I picked up one, a Pintail, and then the second, a Drake Mallard. But the best part of this year’s opening hunt came when I had finally trudged out to the last bird, a big Pintail, and pulled it from the water. I held the bird up and saw that it was a banded duck, a perfect ending to my 2012 Duck opener.
Peter Patenaude, a registered Maine guide, has been a Filson advocate for over six years. His blog Boot & Canoe, focuses on traditional skills and Maine’s outdoor heritage. Peter shares six tips to a successful partridge hunt.
It is partridge hunting season here in Maine– Ruffed Grouse for the rest of you. I look forward to October all year, not just for the attractive hunting scenery, but because it has always been my opinion that a better tasting white meat does not exist. This woods chicken can be enjoyed sliced, breaded and fried in a cast iron, or slow cooked in a batch of baked beans to name a few of my favorites.
I cannot think of a more fair way to harvest an animal than in the thick woods of Maine. It is exciting to hear the thunder sound of the bird’s wings as it busts out from under you, but equally disappointing when you attempt to raise your gun and are held down by all of the branches.
Because of the bird’s nature to fly and run, it can be easy to become turned around. Here are a few things that I try to have on me every time I go in after a partridge:
1. Bubble compass- I pin it onto my suspenders so it is always on me, and can be easily accessed before walking into the woods for a back bearing.
2. Whistle- It does not take up any room in my pocket, and is much louder than my voice.
3. Lighter- What would you pay for a 99 cent lighter if you were lost and needed one?
4. Knife- It is a great all-purpose tool in the woods.
5. Extra shells- They are great to have if you spot more birds, or if necessary, they can be used for signaling if you are in distress.
6. Eye protection- Admittedly, this is something that I do not do, but realize I should; the most common serious injury in the woods is a stick in the eye.
Good luck to everyone this season!
Our annual limited-edition Cowichan sweaters have arrived at Filson HQ, hand-knit and ready to ship. The Cowichan line is extraordinary for both its history and the supreme quality. Since sheep were introduced in the 1890’s to the Cowichan Valley of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the people of the land have been knitting. The storied articles of clothing use only naturally colored yarns and are thick and hand-spun. The final product is a luxurious and heavy garment.
For 2012, the men’s sweater is designed with the noble moose in mind. This creature dates back to the story-telling of Native American tribes on distant hunts. The Cowichan sweater is a special edition of 200, each uniquely labeled. Water-resistant and strong, the wool’s natural lanolin will provide plenty of warmth. A knit scarf and cap will top off your seasonal wardrobe.
The women’s line is modeled after the legendary fox, with design on the front and rear. A two-way zipper on the Cowichan sweater adds comfort to a contoured fit. With a shawl neck, impressive knitting, and the sort of comfort-factor you haven’t felt in years – you will soon have a new favorite that only gets better with use. To extend the lineup are a knit cap with ear flaps and braided ties as well as a gift-able scarf that will last a lifetime.
No matter the outdoor pursuits and passions, colder days are on the horizon and proper attire is key to finding comfort. Thoroughly enjoying quality time outside is important and managing body warmth is a crucial element. As body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, being able to add or remove layers permits true comfort. Below is a combination of Filson favorites to keep warm with on a variety of outings.
Alaskan Long John Midweight Top – The finely knit warm wool fibers are second to none and will act as a final defense from the blistering cold. Unparalleled comfort and long enough to tuck into your pants.
Alaskan Guide Shirt – The fit and softness of the 7 oz. cotton on the Alaskan Guide Shirt will be an ideal mid-layer. Should your need to peel off your jacket, the wind-resistance of our best seller will protect you.
Double Mackinaw Cap – The majority of heat loss comes from an uncovered head. Outdoorsmen have trusted our rugged wool hat with sheepskin ear flaps for years.
Oil Finish Trucker Jacket – A recent Levi’s collaboration results in this one-of-a-kind tin cloth jacket. All of the traits you’ve come to love about our signature tin cloth is now in the style of Levi’s classic Trucker Jacket. Available in black or tan.
We’ve come a long way since 1897 when C.C. Filson met the rugged clothing needs of loggers and gold miners. OK, now fast forward to 2012, where is the need now? What is the cry from the wilderness? Who are the new prospectors and sportsmen?
First, let’s make a list of what C.C. Filson’s dream has delivered over the years:
1. Meshing with the great outdoors
2. Helping us enjoy the company of others outdoors in comfort and style
3. Helping us pursue and enjoy nature’s beauty
4. Always being dressed with function and style in mind
When you tic off the numbers above, you just might find yourself outside, grilling a steak, sipping a cold beverage with your friends…that’s an idea! A whole line of Filson Bar-B-Que equipment. Sure, now our Yukon Gold might come in the form of potato salad, and out lumberjacking might consist of putting another log on the smoker, but one can imagine oneself pitted (pun intended) against a roaring fire, inclement weather, and a huge hunk of meat while in the company of friends, smoking, deep frying, grilling, whatever. Man (or woman) against nature. It still works!
Now page through a Filson catalog or scroll through the
website. How many things could morph from the duck blind to the fire pit? How many items could enhance the grilling experience? Tin cloth, feather cloth, it all works.
OK, maybe not a photo op of a roasting whole pig with a Filson bumper in its mouth on the catalog cover. I don’t want old C.C. spinning in his grave. I only want to remind you that the only think you can do wrong with your Filson gear is leaving it hanging in the closet.