What is a Kype? A kype is a hook that forms on the lower jaw of a male trout, salmon or steelhead, during spawning periods. This is their badge of power and dominance, that is unique to only these species—a sign of a warrior. From this mark of strength comes the title of our magazine, KYPE.
VOLUME 7 ISSUE 2, 2016
Kype Magazine Boise, Idaho firstname.lastname@example.org
www.KypeMagazine.com Kype Staff Publisher: Aileen Lane Cover Design: George Douglas Editor: Peggy Bodde Columnist: Marty Heil Columnist: Graham M Moran
Publisher’s Cast: (A.Lane)...........................................................4 Todd Inman - The Artistry of Rod Building (A.Lane)........................6 Tenkara Wanderings: Tenkara Mentoring (G.Moran)....................12 Adaptation (C.Schatte)..............................................................15 Southern Scribbles: Why Fly? (M.Heil).........................................16
COPYRIGHT Kype Magazine © 2016 MKFlies LLC All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication m a y b e c o p i e d o r r e p r o d u c e d i n a n y w a y w i t h o u t the written permission from publisher.
Kype Review: Badger Tenkara’s Wisco Rod..................................20 The Truth About False Albacore (S.Murphy)................................22 Cartoon: Secret Spot (J. Hawkins)..............................................28 Tenkara Big Fish! (D.Beaudieu)..................................................30 Suphur Time! (S.Stankus)..........................................................34 in the Kindred of Rascals (L.Booth / P.Briggs).............................36 39 Pounds of Teeth in a Donut Part I (L.Booth)...........................38
This summer has been dedicated to exploring small rivers, creeks and steams near home. In this photo I caught my friend Josh throwing an OGF yellow Mayfly to some rising Rainbows on Quartzville Creek. This small, intimate water is a perfect setting for tenkara rods, small dries and a good camera. ~ Kyle Burright
Publisher’s Cast You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. ~George Burns by Aileen Lane
Photo by Grant Taylor
Bio: Publisher of Kype Magazine Fly Tyer & Owner of MKFlies Co-owner The Old Guys Flies Pro Staff Tier for Deer Creek UK Type of Fishing: Fly Fishing Location: Boise, Idaho Websites: KypeMagazine.com MKFlies.com theoldguysflies.com Contact Info: email@example.com
recently had a “milestone” birthday and was not quite sure what to do about it. My family could not be around and I wasn’t so sure I was ready for this particular one. When one does not know what to do, one must go to the river. I invited a handful of my closest fly fishing friends to join me for a weekend on the river where we would be away from civilization, have no access to the internet or phone, and hope to find a nice spot to pitch a tent. We witnessed an incredible swarm of mosquitos up in the sky where bats and owls swooped in to eat; a lightening show from across the canyons; and a tremendous windstorm that blew smoke our way making us think that we were getting caught in a wildfire (thank goodness we were not!). Oh, and did I mention all the beautiful, brown trout feeding on top? Three wonderful days spent on the river with good friends, sharing flies and laughter. This was one of the best ways to celebrate my birthday — even if I wasn’t quite ready for it. KYPE
Todd Inman The Artistry of Net Building By Aileen Laneby
here are so much art when it comes to fly fishing —from custom tied flies, rod building, hand-tied leaders and last but not least, hand-crafted landing nets. I have had the pleasure to fish with Rogue Landing Nets, by Todd Inman. I call it my “fish frame”. I have such tremendous respect for the craftmanship of net building and the pleasure to interview Mr. Inman for this article and net review. Todd Inman: I have been a woodworker since a pretty young age and landed my first paying job at fourteen when I built a dog house for a friend of my Mother’s. The dog wouldn't go in it. When I got out of high school, I started working in a small production craft shop that made cutting boards, wooden spice jars and racks, cribbage boards, and quite a few other items. I did that for a little over a year, and when the owner sold the business, I decided to part ways and signed up for the Army. I did four years in the Army as a steel structure specialist. When I was about to get out of the service, my sister had moved to Santa Barbara California. She told me there was a lot of work out there in construction, so I went to California instead of going back to my home state of New York. I worked for her soon-to-be husband building houses and doing remodeling for a couple years and then decided to start my own business. I did remodeling, window and door replacements, and fine interior finish. After my son was born, my now ex-wife and I decided to move to Oregon in 1998 to get out of the hustle and bustle of Southern California. I worked for a prominent custom home builder in Grants Pass for a little over a year before I went out on my own as a licensed finish carpenter. I started my cabinet shop in 2004, and it’s been my primary business since. I do high-end custom cabinetry and furniture. I got into net building as a means to keep busy when the economy went south in 2008. My cabinet business went dry for about six months, so I started playing around with ideas of things I could make and sell. I made
a few wooden long bows, but after evaluating the market, I decided there were already enough bow makers. I made and sold a few turkey calls, but I soon came to the same realization with them. Then one day I was surfing the web and saw a site about how to build wooden landing nets. A light went off, as I have been fly fishing and tying flies off and on since I was twelve years old. After reading the techniques a few times, I built a steam set up out of an old stainless steel camp shower and some PVC tube reinforced with wood. I built two nets to get a feel for the process but never totally finished those two. Once I knew I could build the nets, I made a couple more and posted a few pictures on Facebook—and immediately got requests for them from Facebook friends. I had found a niche that I felt very good about. After five years of building nets part time, I’ve sent them to four different countries, and all over the U.S. I am proud to say that my nets are used by some of the finest cane rod builders in the world, a handful of professional guides, and many other fly fisher men and women across the world. A few customers have bought multiple nets both for themselves and as gifts for friends and relatives. The entire experience has been unbelievable as far as the interactions I have had with awesome people in the fly fishing industry. My technique has stayed pretty much the same from the beginning, but like anything the more you do it—the easier it gets. I’ve learned little tricks and methods to make the process easier. I like to make at least seven to ten of a particular size at a time to do it more like a production run. But everyone has different woods, they’re all glued up differently. I want every net I make to be one of a kind. I now have built a larger steam box, so I can steam a dozen or so hoops at the same time. My net hoops are a minimum of five laminations. Rogue Wood Works nets are built to be here long after I have left this earth. As far as inspiration, I let the wood inspire me. As I'm shaping, I get a feel for how the net will look, though the moment of truth happens with the final sanding and when the first coat of oil is applied. That is when the true beauty of the wood presents itself. And that is when the true satisfaction comes. The next and biggest thrill for me is when the customer gets the net and responds back to me via Facebook or email about how the net exceeded expectations and how good it felt in hand. And—I absolutely love when customers share photos of fish they have landed with my nets. As amazing as this journey is for me, my most touching moment as a wood worker was to get a large cutting board back from my mother’s house after she passed away in 2010. I had built it
for her in 1980 when I was eighteen-years old working my first woodworking job in Ithaca, New York at a production craft shop, called Knock on Wood. Now, at this phase of my journey, it's once again time for a change. I plan on closing my cabinet business in a year or two at the most. And then—building nets and other fishing-related items full time. I have a full product line that I'm working on when I can find time. I also want to start building fly rods. Then I can offer my customers a custom fly rod, with matching net, magnetic net release, rod tube, fly box, and a wall rack to display them. There will also be a line of different fly tying stations, material trays, and other items for the fly tyer. Rogue Wood Works will always be a one-man shop. But my life partner, Michele, will soon be helping me with finishing, attaching bags, and packaging products for shipment. Added inspiration is that we will soon be living off grid on a wild and scenic section of a pristine river here in Southern Oregon, where our goal will be producing the finest one-of-a-kind nets and all the accessories to accompany them. Oh—and spending as much time fishing, tying flies, and enjoying nature as we can! My nets will always be one of a kind. And my other products, will be done in small production runs. Kype: Thank you, Todd for sharing your story with us! For more information, check out Rogue Wood Works webpage at: http://www.roguelandingnets.com/ I had the pleasure to fish with Todd Inman’s beautiful, hand-crafted net many times on my favorite river. I needed a net that was portable enough to carry, yet big enough to easily land bigger browns where I usually fish. Rogue Wood Landing Nets are not only functional and beautiful, they are made very well to last a life time. You can see the artistry and craftmanship that goes into building these nets —all the different woods blended together to make such a beautiful “frame” for my fish. KYPE
Tenkara Mentoring Tenkara Wanderings bBy Graham M. Moran
W Kype Columist: “Tenkara Wanderings” "Graham Moran is the president and CEO of TenkaraGrasshopper Media, LLC. He also has the responsibilities as the head blogger and administrator of TenkaraGrasshopper.com . If you can't find him at home, he is likely on the stream as a Tenkara USA Certified Guide. If he is not guiding or blogging, he is commonly spending as much time with his wife and children as possible."
ith the simplicity of tenkara, virtually anyone can become a fly fisher. Age and physical ability or disability have little to do with learning tenkara. Teaching tenkara does not require a teaching degree or a license to be a good guide. Introducing the amazing experience of tenkara to people who have never tried fly fishing opens many doors above and beyond catching fish. Over the past couple of years, I have been given the opportunity to share my love of tenkara with many different people over a range of circumstances. I have shared tenkara with stroke survivors so they could get their smiles back. Strokes take a part of the body and, in some cases, the mind. In one particular case, a stroke impaired the right side of the body and speech. Tenkara opened a door for this individual by allowing him to return to one of his passions in life. They say “the tug is the drug” and in this case, the tug has succeeded. I have had the opportunity to share tenkara with many veterans of military campaigns abroad. Many of these vets suffer from varying degrees of PTSD or physical disabilities that have closed doors— emotionally and physically. Yet tenkara has brought them a semblance of peace that they get while on the water, calmly presenting a kebari to the denizens of the piscatorial world. Thru tenkara I have made friends that will last a lifetime. I also get to watch the joy of a clean mind settle on these friends while we are together fishing. By far, kids are my favorite group of people to share tenkara with. Teaching an ancient form of fly fishing to kids is about more than the tug of a fish. Tenkara offers lessons in history, geography, languages, environmental sciences, environmental stewardship, and social interaction. These lessons are not just theoretical concepts to be learned and then forgotten. These lessons become a part of the kids who come
to tenkara and into the wider world of fly fishing. My two-year-old son has held a tenkara rod and is slowly learning to cast. At two years of age, coordination is still a bit weak, but it gets better each day. For me as a tenkara guide and a dad, I am stoked to have a son who gets excited when he holds a tenkara rod. An experience that truly warmed my heart as a tenkara guide and environmental steward was a series of lessons I taught to a local young lady who is fascinated with tenkara. At the age of nine, she found tenkara shortly before Christmas and was gifted with a Tenkara USA Rhodo as her first tenkara rod. This young lady wanted to learn as much about tenkara as she possibly could. She read a number of tenkara specific books and visited a decent range of tenkara web sites. Having done all of this reading, she asked her parents for a guided tenkara trip for her tenth birthday. Apparently, she had been reading www.TenkaraGrasshopper.com and passed my information on to her parents in hopes that we could book a trip. Happily, I made sure that a trip was in the plans for her. Being a resident of Denver myself, I was able to show this young lady and her father some waters close to home so that they could explore on their own. Because of the closeness of the water and the variety of water available I was able to share many insights into the practice of tenkara with her and her father. She did catch a couple of fish and was so excited that she wanted to continue fishing even after we ran out of time. The depth of her knowledge was staggering, and I have to admit the range of questions she asked was a bit intimidating. The questions she asked were very specific to tenkara and also covered some western fly fishing as well. She asked about everything from the history of tenkara to the whys of the sakasa kebari. And best of all were the questions of â€œwhy not?!â€? The tenkara cast is supremely easy to learn with the challenge of ultimate mastery. Because of the ease of this cast, the young lady locked down her technique with minimal difficulty. With a consistent cast dialed in, we spent some time casting to likely water and learning to read the water in hopes of finding a few fish. With flows steadily rising throughout the morning, she stuck to her guns and vowed that 13
she was going to catch a fish. Because of the flows, it appeared that the fish were put down a bit, yet she continued to persevere and vowed she was going to trick a fish into eating her kebari. As the morning progressed, we both found a way to teach and learn at the same time. With the waters rising, it was time to move to stiller waters and attempt to get into some pan fish. Even though tenkara was not created for still waters, it is a great way to learn to cast a rod and also to land a fish. Apparently, she was holding her mouth just right or she had been listening to what I told her, as she did get into a few fish. With a couple of fish to hand, I overheard one of the more amazing quotes from her, “Daddy, this was the best birthday present ever!!!” With that comment, I knew that a fledgling tenkara angler was being welcomed into the tenkara fold. Two weeks later, we were fishing in Breckenridge, CO stalking trout on the Blue River. Alas, the flows were fluctuating due to the runoff season, and with some exploring and learning—her dad got into a nice little brownie. I wasn’t surprised when afterwards, this young lady told me that when she got home she was going to go to the pond near her Grandma’s, catch a bunch of fish, and teach her sister how to fish with a tenkara rod as well. KYPE
Adaptation by Chris Schatte
I am 57 years young again and short can go to long but married to my high school sweetheart for 36 years but we have known each other for 40. Kids are now gone, and we decided to pickup the things we let go when raising our family. Self employed for 25 years, 4 kids with college degrees, all with family,and 9 grandchildren. Yes we started early... Started tying flies four years ago to match what I see on my river.. And the person who inspired me in fly tying is Mr. Odimir Gaspar.
s a relative newcomer to fly fishing, I continue to be amazed at the diversification in a sport that I once gave up years ago and now find myself wanting to do again. I’ve spent the past twenty-five years starting and running our family business and raising our kids with my wonderful wife. So now, years later, I’m catching up… I jumped in with the style of fly fishing that everyone in America is talking about: tenkara. Love the feel of the rod. Full flex with a fixed line and a nymph that you tie yourself. Though tenkara interests me, I’ve never been able to buy into the one-fly approach. It seems this approach could lead to a great deal of frustration. Yes, it works in some situations, but not across any expanse of river life ecology My home river in southeastern Oklahoma requires fishermen to adapt. It’s a tail water with an ecology of uneven flows that never really allow bug life to develop to maturity, so smallish flies fare the best. Further, since it’s high pressure water, most of the fishing happens in the film or sub-surface. You can cast 18-22 dries all you want, but they’ll only work occasionally. If you change that to a size 12 standard kebari, for 9 months of the year all you’ll get is plenty of time to look at other anglers when you’re not catching any fish and they are. So, I’ve adapted tenkara to the river. If you compare a 6.4 tenkara to a 4wt glass rod, both are somewhat the same. No hi-vis line or strike indicator unless you want to spook the fish. There are at least a dozen fly fishermen and ladies doing just that and slaying only the water with slaps of fly line and strike indicators. Stealth and time instead of instant gratification. My last trip, I fished with a really great retired angler who fishes only bamboo rods. Very nice man. If you’ve been fly fishing for anytime at all and really love what you do, then you’ll notice what others have as equipment. I saw right away that he was using a bamboo rod. We started talking and fished together later in the day. He caught. I caught—each using our rod of choice. Best fishing experience that I have had, and I’m looking forward to much more! KYPE 15
Why Fly? by Marty Heil
In the late 70s, I was seven or eight and got a Cortland fly fishing kit and a vise for Christmas. I had started a campaign with Dad that we should become fly fishermen. Ever the good sport, he obliged right down to not calling my pitch about how tying our own flies would save us lots of money for the BS it was.
In the intervening years, I’ve been and done many things. Marine, college student, assistant, executive, husband, divorcee, laborer, unemployed, consultant: the list is long and varied, and the path convoluted and at times—difficult. I’ve had failures, heartbreaks, and losses we won’t dwell on and successes we won’t crow about. The constant factor in getting past all the hardships and celebrating all the successes is the fly. Tying, casting, fishing, and putzing about with tackle are all things that have literally saved my life, as well as enhanced it in ways I’ve not the eloquence to describe. If you’ll forgive the descent into rank sentimental existential gobbledygook, I’ll try to put into words why this passion we share is so full of healing power and perhaps suggest an appeal or two whose sparkle you’ve yet to enjoy. I’ve got a work phone and emails, a personal phone and emails, and a big TV. I’m a bachelor and responsible for no one. I’m reading three books, there are six books I’ve ordered that I want to read, I’m distracted by twitter, Facebook, Instagram, meetings, travel, a career path that needs to be charted, numbers to hit, conference calls, negotiations, a jeep in need of an oil change, not enough time, bills, weddings, first communions, a vacation coming up, work piling up while I’m on vacation, bar mitzvahs, barbeques ……and on and on…..To quote the great Zen philosopher Charlie Brown “AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” Living in the age of distraction, we can lose sight of the moment and forget how to focus on the now. The
I’ve been tying and fishing since the late 70’s. Blessed to travel and fish all over but my heart lies with the small wild fish of the southern Appalachians. I fish waters big and small every chance I get from coast to coast and across oceans, but my soul sings best in those small wild waters I grew up on. I fish mostly for Salmonids but hit warm water now and then as well. Specks (Brookies) are my true love. I’m a bamboo and dry fly guy mostly but my purist rants are made with my tongue firmly in cheek. I make my home near Nashville, Tennessee (no, I don’t sing or play guitar.) Marty.firstname.lastname@example.org
Buddhists call this mindfulness. For me, the place it’s easiest to be mindful, aware, and focused are either a stream or at the beach. In the last five or so years, I’ve actively worked to translate this peace, mindfulness, and awareness into other facets of my life with varying degrees of success. A perfect moment of satisfaction and true awareness is often hard to experience in the business world, but thanks to the fly, I find these moments more and more often in my personal life. Nothing in the physical poetry of fly casting responds to hurry, strength, worry, or preoccupation. There’s a purity and meditative quality to casting that requires you to relax, slow down, be gentle and concentrate. All the noise of the world fades to silence in the fluid unfolding of a properly cast loop. The four-count rhythm, if you focus and feel, will come to mirror your heart’s beat and the fairy wand in your hand will magically wave away the fog and noise of life faster than anything I know. The trout care not if you’re rich or poor or why you left your last job. The only questions they ask must be met with calm, quiet, focus, gentleness, and patience. To really fish, you must put your mind in a different gear and your spirit in a place of peace. On those days when your troubles and heart weigh more than you can carry, the water offers a solace found in few other places. The sounds and sights that haunt your nightmares waking and sleeping are no match for light bouncing off the water and its music echoing off the rocks. Perched like a heron working a rising fish, I can feel no pain, no worry, no sadness, no guilt…. nothing but anticipation fills my soul and there is room for naught else. The diamond scattered droplets shaken in the sunlight form a leaping fish and the sound of a singing reel hold magical powers to make time stand still. A truly perfect moment. The physical discipline of yoga puts many in a mindful place: carefully wading, casting, dancing gently and quietly amongst the musical water and rocks does exactly that for me. Tying your own flies is an abominable way to save money but a great way to save your heart and soul. To sit at the vise with feathers and thread crafting a fly is to lash a dream to a hook. It’s impossible to not think of the fish that will rise as you carefully work. As with casting, nothing at the vise responds to hurry, force, and worry. No matter how Type A, powerful, warrior strong, or successful you are—only gentleness, patience, and focus will help you craft a fly. Yoga, Zen, and meditation all require you to clear your mind and participate actively: tying is no different, but has the added innate opti-
mism of painting a picture in your mind’s eye of the fish to come. Counselors and others in the business of healing bruised and battered minds and souls will tell you that there is enormous healing power in creativity. I can’t paint, my writing is mediocre at best, my singing has been labeled cruel and unusual punishment under the Geneva Conventions, I dance happily but only a charitable soul would call it anything beyond spastic and arrhythmic…I can however, craft a pretty passable fly that pleases both my eye and a fair number of fish. Almost every day, I spend at least a few minutes at the vise tying. Active optimism is good for your soul and those around me find the relaxed, fly-tying Marty far more palatable than the hard-edged business self I show at the office. Mindfully stopping everything to focus for a few moments on doing one physical thing as perfectly as I can reminds me that more of those focused moments are needed in every aspect of my life. I fish a great deal with old bamboo rods, old reels, and newer bamboo rods made by friends. When I clean an old reel I wonder about the hands that held and fished it before. I don’t know the hands that crafted my favorite tailwater Granger rod in the late 40s. I do know those are hands I’d like to shake, and that someday when I’m no longer around—if I’m granted a chance to look down and see my old reel singing on the river again—I’ll certainly smile. I lost a great friend and mentor, Leo, earlier this year. Every time I grasp the carefully crafted cork on a truly artful rod he built, I grasp a dear friend’s hand and get at least metaphysically a chance to fish with him again. Knowing that a craftsman’s hands traveled miles and miles over the strips of bamboo gives a spirit and warmth to my experience that more modern materials do not. There is warmth and affection for my tackle and randomly collected fishing junk that gives me a great deal of pleasure. Again, it’s impossible to do a bit of tackle maintenance without thinking and feeling optimism and anticipation. A trout steam is a beautiful and healing place in and of itself. I’m a moderately religious and deeply spiritual man, though I don’t grace a pew as often as I should. I can hear the word from the pulpit or read it for myself, but I only truly hear and understand it immersed in either the wood or stream. Flowing water, if you’ll let it, can carry away your worries in ways that nothing else I’ve found can. In this modern, fast paced, high tech life—it’s easy to pass by flowers and dappled sunlight in all manner of places. In some truly wild, deeply green places, it’s easy to believe one of Tolkien’s elves might meet you just around that next rock. Modern man has, in many ways, lost his sense of wonder to science. Watch a cloud of hatching mayflies dancing on the breeze in the evening sunlight and you’ll find yourself believing fairies are real. Do yourself a favor and look down and
around while you’re astream: you’ll find all manner of beautiful things mucking about in the shrubbery. Wildflowers, mushrooms, fossils, sprites, Nereids, and certainly at least one of my muses live there. I’ve yet to meet anyone whose life couldn’t stand a little more beauty in it. I’ve also found that awareness of those small, truly beautiful things astream better helps me to see, appreciate, and work for them in the rest of my life. I can’t help but believe that wonder and appreciation of the beautiful things and people you pass in the stream of life leads you to see more—not because they suddenly appear, but rather they’re all around you unnoticed until you become mindful and aware. If you’re aware and paying attention, you’re far more likely to take care of the things that are important to you in your personal life. You can’t be truly successful in most professions by keeping a 40-hour week, but you can, through mindfulness, value and pay attention to your personal life and those in it so that work doesn’t consume all…. a lesson learned late is better than one never learned at all and the fly is why I know now. I’ll end with a brief fish story (if anyone is still with me). I’ve not been yet blessed with the chance to be a dad, and memories of the time and patience my dad spent with me on the water fill me with great joy. I love seeing kids astream. I was standing waist deep in the local tail water not too long ago, and after some time—I realized that the kayak slowly approaching held a dad and a really little guy (3 or 4ish). Dad was paddling and balancing, while keeping his hand over his son’s to help with casting. When they were not too far away, a really nice rainbow took my hopper and proceeded to jump and run wildly. As I snapped a picture and released the fish I heard that incredibly loud child’s whisper echo, “Daddy maybe we should ask him. He knows how.” I looked up and waved, only to hear the little guy offer “We ain’t caught a damn thing!” His dad’s response, “Don’t say that word! Your momma will kill me,” nearly made me fall in. Chuckling, I waved them over and gave them a few flies and a couple of pointers. I learned it was their second time out. If a little guy screaming, “We got one daddy!!! We got one!!” and wriggling to the point of near capsize doesn’t make you smile, nothing will. The memory of that little guy standing up in his Sponge Bob life vest to wave and say “thank you” just before they went around the bend makes me smile every time I pause. We live in a fast paced, hard edged, competitive world, and kindness does as much for you as it does for those you practice it upon—maybe more. Tie a few extra of your favorite flies, and make it a point to give some away! Your life will be enhanced by passion and having at least one thing you deeply, truly love to spend time doing. For me that passion has held more healing and learning about myself, life, what’s important, and how to truly live well. I’d also, in a simpler vein, humbly submit that if it still makes you grin like the same idiot at forty-six as it did when you were twelve, you might be onto something. I’m better at my personal life and being kind and mindful of those around me thanks to the lessons of the fly. I wish you all tight lines and some unexpected beauty. ~m KYPE 19
Badger Tenkara Wisco Rod
bBy Tenkara Panel
argeting big fish on big waters? Need the ultimate big-fish rod with the power to throw a long line with some weight?
Look no further than the Badger Tenkara Company Wisco rod. At a length of 13’ 6” and a total weight of just 5 ounces, this is a great, big-water rod with solid casting action and a smooth presentation found in only a few tenkara rods currently on the market. With a section ratio of 7:3, the users in the testing group describe this rod as having a silky casting action with a positive but gentle stop. A rod of this size and backbone is extremely well suited for handling larger fish such as carp and the random scrappy river pike. The testers were pleasantly surprised at how the rod handled a lunker carp or two. Those with smaller hands may find this robust rod, with an equally robust handle, difficult to hold at first, but with a bit of experimentation—anyone can utilize it. Like all tenkara rods, this one is designed to collapse into its handle at which point it resembles just that: a handle. But once extended to its full length, the rod becomes a lethal casting weapon. The only limit to the casting range is your own confidence level. But know that with this rod, you have the possibility of casting up to forty-foot lines with ease. The testers all agreed that this rod will allow them to catch larger fish on the river and in the streams that range from behemoth trout to lunker bucket mouths as well as pike on our local reservoirs. It’s not just the rod that’s outstanding; it’s the extremely affordable price of $140.00 that includes a printed soft case and a rugged travel tube. For this price it might be worth buying two in case your western fly fishing buddy wants to try one and refuses to give it back. Get the Badger Tenkara Wisco, and start slaying those river pigs!!! KYPE
The Truth About False Albacore by Sean Murphyby
T “Sean Juan” Murphy, the former editor of Hatches Magazine and the creator of the original Flyosophy blog, which gives an unapologetic peek into his mind and soul as a flyfisher and human being. His sense of humor and joy in fishing and tying make him a popular instructor and presenter. Sean loves all types of flyfishing, and he particularly enjoys fishing new waters and the challenges they can bring. Sean lives on Cape Cod with his wife and baby girl.
he false albacore is a special fish—a fish that excels at one thing: speed. Their skin feels like polished glass, and their only “imperfections” are the two pockets into which it can tuck its pectoral fins for perfect hydrodynamics. False albacore lack a swim bladder, and due to the high oxygen requirements of its hyper-charged muscles, they can never stop swimming. Albie fishing is special as well. In many ways, albie are the perfect target for fly fishermen. They feed on small bait that is best imitated and presented with flies. They are not boat shy, so long casts are not required, though they help. They often feed near the surface and can be targeted with intermediate or even floating lines. Though they are an incredibly fast fish, they aren’t particularly strong, so they can be brought to hand in a prompt manner. They are also very straightforward and honest; it’s rare to find albies doing anything other than feeding, but whether or not they’ll take your fly is another story! The albie’s environment, however, can be incredibly complex. The ocean is an amazing place, and the amount of information necessary to do it any justice simply cannot fit into an article of this scope. The key thing point about the “structure” in albie fishing is that the structure is constantly changing. Wind, current, and bait combine to create ideal fishing situations at one stage of the tide and dead water the next. While a trout may find a nice pocket behind a boulder in a stream and be there for days, if not generations, an albie must constantly move from place to place to find the same key elements that predatory fish need to survive. Finding fish is easily 93.7% of the challenge in fly fishing; this article will cover the remaining 6.3%—what the angler needs to do to have a successful trip once the fish are found. If your goal is to catch a false albacore, hire a good captain, or better yet—make some good friends who own boats and know the area. Albies can be taken from shore and can be targeted from kayaks. This is a great challenge that requires a lot of local knowledge and time on the water to create
some luck. Of course, if you have that much time on the water you’re already lucky! Nearly every albie I have ever caught was on a boat captained by my friend Mark Dysinger of Flyosophycharters. I firmly believe that every albacore I will ever catch will be with the same captain. I trust him to find the fish, get the boat into the right position, deal with the nonsense (one of the symptoms of albie fever is the temporary loss of common sense), and most importantly—to know when enough is enough and seek out other fishing opportunities. It’s the curse of albie fishing that causes so many boaters to feel the need to run-and-gun from spot to spot. I’ve found the greatest success making long drifts through productive areas. It may make sense for spin fishermen, but in fly fishing— a boat that cuts its engine will still coast ahead for several yards then spin as the current takes control. Given the tasks of ensuring the line is free of tangles, not underfoot; then making a false cast or two all while the boat is moving up and down in the waves; rotating into the current and rocking—that’s just a whole lot to keep in mind as you make a cast. A controlled drift allows you to scan the area, being mindful of where you can and cannot place a fly and using your experience and concrete things like rod holders and other anglers in the boat. Anytime the albies show themselves, you’ll be able to take advantage of the moment. Casting can be a challenge, especially if it’s a windy day or if the albies are feeding by a rip, not to mention the whole blitz feel is guaranteed to get you fired up. Control is key. You need to reach the fish, but you also need to establish and maintain two-point line control the second your fly lands, because a second is all an albie needs to nab it. Albies eat small baitfish: bay anchovies, butterfish, sand eels, and silversides to name a few, all of which are easy to represent and cast. What’s a lot less easy is finding the right fly for the right tide. Classic patterns like surf candies, clousers, deceivers, mushmouths, and bonito bunnies are all great patterns. Pictured are a few new winners: a simple zonker, a Steve Farrah blend minnow, and my newest favorite—a variant of the Cheech’s Low Fat Minnow—a pattern originally tied to represent juvenile bluegill but one that with a few tweaks can easily become an anchovy or butterfish. Size will depend on the bait in your area, generally 6-2. Anything that looks like a small fish can work but often what makes a fly “better” is the depth at which it fishes. Sometimes you simply need a weighted fly. As with most other fishing situations, the big choice is whether to match the hatch or use an attractor pattern. When the fish are aggressive, I find it’s best to use a fly that’s brightly colored and significantly larger than the bait fish. With so much bait in the water, a perfect representation has a low probability of being noticed. When the albies are feeding more methodically, you should try to match the hatch in both color and size. Finally, when all else fails, use blue. Albies have monochromatic vision and see the blue spectrum best—sometimes that makes all the difference.
Though fly choice can be extremely important, presentation is king; presentation is always king. When the albies are busting on the surface to a chorus of screaming gulls as other anglers frantically zip through the rips to see who can run over the most fish, it’s easy to let adrenaline get the better of you and instinctively cast at splashes. You will be better served, as you pull the line from your reel to make your first cast, to take a moment and picture what is happening beyond what you are seeing at the surface. The small baitfish albies hunt will ball up when pressured by predators. It’s an evolutionary trait that makes me question evolution: the bay anchovy should have evolved with the ability to carry around a bit of seaweed (no fly ever gets taken with the smallest sliver of seaweed on it). It’s the “better you than me” survival strategy; no single baitfish can survive outside the bait ball, so naturally that’s where your fly needs to be. A common mistake of fishermen is to think of the bait ball as merely a circle on the surface, rather than a sphere which may be many yards deep. Sometimes the albies will attack the bait ball at the top, feeding on the bait that spills out of the sphere as it is forced against the surface. Given the false albacore’s evolutionary advantage: the ability to change depths more quickly than other fish, they will very often attack the bait from beneath. The surface activity is more of a follow-through, an echo of deeper action. With this in mind, if you focus primarily or exclusively at what is happening on the surface, you will miss a lot of opportunities. There are two distinct behaviors I’ve observed which determine the best presentation to start with. The first is whether the fish are streaking through the waves, their rounded backs more bulging than breaking the surface. If I see sickle tails, the fish racing by the boat at a constant depth, or birds struggling to keep up with activity that is moving in a relatively straight path; then the initial strategy is simple: get the fly in front of the fish. Don’t cast at a splash; that’s the place the fish just left. Make your best guess as to where the albie are headed and lead them. The goal is to have the fish swim into the fly, not land the fly on the fish. The casts are straight-line casts, exactly the type every stream-based trout fisherman avoids. Slack is a killer. Fishing from a boat drifting at one rate, while a rip pulls the fly at another rate, (not to mention the near constant autumn wind), can create a line management challenge. Albies do everything fast: they hit fast, they react fast, and they spit flies out fast. Having constant contact with your fly is a must, and the two-hand retrieve (though awkward if you have never used it) gives you this control. There is no danger of moving the fly too fast. If an albie wants something, it’s his, but that doesn’t mean you have to strip it quickly. Vary the retrieve until you find what works. The two-hand retrieve is more a tool which prevents slack and ensures that no matter when the albie hits, I’ll have the control I need to 24
execute a strip-strike. For this fast-paced style of fishing, the very best line is a floater. The floater can be easily picked up and delivered where the angler needs it without having to be stripped in all the way or worked to the surface with roll casts. The pace of this style of fishing means that any difference in fly depth between a floater and an intermediate is minimal. Think of it as sacrificing versatility for speed. Now, if I knew I could only have one rod rigged up, it would definitely be with an intermediate. However, if the boat has easy rod storage and you can have multiple setups—and you just know that you are going to want to cover every splash— make it easy on yourself and use the floater. Though albies have a reputation for being extremely picky, I doubt this is true. As anyone who grew up in a big family can attest, you have to eat what you can when you can as quickly as you can. In a large school, there is a lot of competition. Given the metabolism of these sprinters, albies can’t afford to miss too many opportunities. I firmly believe that much of their legendary pickiness has more to do with anglers simply failing to match their presentations to the second behavior. A fly at the surface, even one surrounded by splashes, isn’t going to be taken if the fish are feeding far beneath it. The second activity is an up and down pattern. The albies attack the bait from beneath and, since they only have the one gear, they bust the surface after their attack. You will see the albies splashing with their triangular mouths or small whacks that shoot a lot of water skyward. If you’re lucky, the albies may come completely out of the water. Be mindful that from a distance this behavior appears similar to what small bluefish do, though the albies are often spread over a larger area and the action is quicker but less constant. The albies aren’t attacking the bait ball; they are actually feeding on the stunned and injured baitfish that get separated from the group. As fishermen, we may often consider ourselves hunters; however, in this drama our flies must star in the role of victims. If cheesy 80s horror has taught us nothing else, the best victims separate from the group and wander about aimlessly. Silhouetted against the sky, any lone baitfish will be easy to spot and eat, and so that’s exactly where your fly needs to be. It may seem counterproductive in the frenzy of activity to fish a fly so slowly, but if the quick bite at the surface isn’t working (when it is—you’ll know) don’t get frustrated: give low and slow a try. For this presentation, I get much better results with flies tied from soft natural materials: saddle hackle, zonker strips, and marabou, or flies that are mostly flash material like Captain Ray’s angel hair fly. Also in this situation I prefer a fast sinking line. Once you’re comfortable casting a heavy line, which 25
can be tricky, you’ll appreciate how it cuts through the wind. It’s easier to maintain contact with the fly, and you’ll learn just how slowly a fast sinker actually sinks, especially in a rip. My favorite technique is to cast “upstream,” maintaining contact as the fly sinks and the boat drifts, then slowly twitching it back once the boat is parallel to the fly. This requires steel discipline. Your buddy, heck even the birds, seem to be pointing out surface activity in nearly every direction, and you may start to feel that working a fly this slowly is causing you to miss shots at fish. It’s not. Making the same ineffective presentation time and time again is the surest way to miss shots at hooking up. We don’t catch albies as completely as they catch us. The first time an albie takes your fly may change your life. Ask any victim of “albie fever” if he has ever strip-set himself awake from a dream, and you’ll know his answer before he gives it. But before you too can strip-set yourself awake, you’ll have to learn the technique. In a perfect world, with your rod tip low and no slack between you and the fish, you simply pull back hard with the rod and the line making a triangle on either side of your body. This is not trout fishing. Lifting the rod works fine for delicate hooks with points like needles. A needle can poke; this is more like stabbing with a knife. The thicker hooks and tougher mouths of most saltwater species, and especially false albacore, need this firm powerful hook set. Don’t take my word for it; test it yourself. Hold the end of your leader and have a friend “hook” you first with the rod then with the line. The difference in power might surprise you. The second technique you’ll need to learn is how to clear line. The best way is to flex your wrist, which will jam the fighting butt of your rod against your forearm. As the loose coils of line spring from the deck, you don’t want to risk them catching on anything. When I was a rookie to both albie fishing and fishing from a boat, I hooked up—and the fish immediately took off. I was admiring the fish’s speed, my own awesomeness for hooking it, and in the process—I was trying to slow the fish rather than just get it on the reel. As the last loop of line left the deck and shot up between my legs (because I’d been standing on it), my reel screamed—it wasn’t alone—I was palming the reel with something other than my palm and no longer felt awesome. So, clearing the line: kind of important. Once the albie is on the reel, enjoy. The false albacore’s first run is something unmatched in fly fishing. Your fly line effortlessly disappears followed by yards and yards of backing. The drag should be set fairly tight; make the fish earn every yard. If you suddenly feel the line go limp, reel as fast as you can. There is a good chance the fish is still on but may be charging back towards the boat. Now you and your hopefully large arbor reel are in a race to get back in control before the slack gives the fish a chance to escape. Once that initial burst is over, you have a good chance of getting the fish to the boat relatively quickly. Fighting aggressively and using the rod to execute quick changes of direction will disorient the 26
albie, and it should never get the chance to recover enough for a second surge. All fish are different of course, and if hooked in a rip, even a smallish albie will feel like a monster. Still, you want to do your best to land the fish quickly. A prolonged fight may be fun for us, but albies—like their bigger cousins— can build up enough heat in their muscles to literally cook them. An albie played to hand is not likely to recover. For this reason, I recommend using a 9 or even 10wt rod. The heavier rod will make casting in the wind easier and will provide you the leverage to get the fish in quickly while losing none of the thrill of the strike and their initial run. When using a rod like a shock absorber, it’s amazing how much pressure you can put on a fish; I use a ten-pound fluorocarbon leader nearly exclusively and have never broken off an albie; the vast majority of the fish I fail to land were lost to slack. Finally, albies come perfectly designed for their special victory celebration. After a few photos, the best way to release them is to spike them face first back into the ocean. Why else would they be shaped like footballs? The water will rush over their gills giving them a quick burst of oxygen so they can head right back into the fray. The angler doesn’t get released so easily. After a few blistering runs that test your drag and raise your heart rate, odds are you’ll come down with a terminal case of albie fever. There’s no cure, but I’m pretty sure you’ll love the prescription: fish, fish as much as you can. If you are looking to pursue false albacore in the waters off Connecticut or Rhode Island, I highly recommend Captain Mark Dysinger and Captain Ray Stachelek. Captain Mark guides out of Connecticut, and you can reach him at email@example.com or visit his site www.flyosophycharters.com. Captain Ray is from Rhode Island, and you’ll find him at www.castaflycharters.com. Flyosophycharters.com firstname.lastname@example.org KYPE
The OGF: Old Guys Flies Hi-Vis Special Blend & Big Eye Flies tied in the USA
Tenkara for Big Fish! By Daniele Beaulieu
Montreal, Quebec, Canada I started fly fishing western style in 2000. In 2014 as started fishing exclusively Tenkara after I saw that style of fishing in a fly fishing show in Quebec, Canada. I bought myself 3 rods and from them never stopped. I started my little business selling Tenkara rods and accessories called Tenkara Canada.net Avid of Tenkara, I do a lot of fishing in rivers all across New England, USA I do some conference, seminar, happening and fly fishing shows in the province of Quebec, Canada to let people learn more about Tenkara fly-fishing.
enkara was originally made to fish small stream trout in Japan, and its popularity has not changed its purpose or design. Fishing small streams for small trout is my favorite type of fishing, but in my second year of fishing exclusively tenkara for small trout, I decided to try to catch some big ones.Who thought it possible to capture big fish with a telescopic rod and…NO REEL! My tenkara experience started in spring 2014. The previous year, I purchased some keiryu rods from Japan, but because I do not read or speak Japanese and had no knowledge of keiryu and seiryu rods, it was hard to communicate with the distributor. So, I bought what I thought were keiryu rods for big fish, but in fact I was buying some seiryu rods that are made for small fish ranging from 2-8 inches long. Off I went to fish for steelhead without anticipating any problems. I arrived at the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY—super excited. I threw my fly in the water and waited. Made a couple of casts with a streamer on the swing, and then it happened: what I came for...the HIT! My rod was pointed at the fish, western style, and the worst thing happened as I fought the fish. I lost my lillian (the red cord at the end of the rod), so I lost the fish, the line and the lillian. I didn’t want to repeat this scenario, so I took my western rod, which I’d brought as a backup, and fished with it for the rest of the trip. I came back disappointed; my tenkara adventure hadn’t turned out as I’d imagined. Later on, a client of mine told me he wanted to buy a keiryu rod, so I sold him one. A few hours later, the phone rang. It was my client telling me that the rod I’d sold him was in fact a seiryu rod not a keiryu rod.... what!?! So I immediately wrote to my distributor and explained what happened. He responded that I had indeed bought seiryu not keiryu rods. HA! So I placed another order with him to get the keiryu rods and then decided to try the tenkara experience again: this time for some big fish. After receiving the correct rods, I fished for landlocked salmon on the Saranac River in Plattsburgh, NY. I was with a friend and when I hooked a
salmon on the line, I screamed like crazy, “What do I do?!” He responded that I was supposed to be the tenkara expert. The landlocked salmon was putting up a strong fight, and after a few minutes, I asked my friend to help me net the big fish because it was, after all, my first tenkara conquest. He obliged me and landed the salmon in the net with a big smile. I was on my own with landing the next one, which I managed to do by beaching him close to the shore. I landed quite a few last autumn, so now I know what to do when a big salmon hits the keiryu rod! I wanted to experiment with the keiryu rod fishing smallmouth or largemouth bass in a float tube, so I took my camper and went out to a small lake near the village of Paul Smiths in the state of NY. I put on a black woolly bugger and let it drop a bit by counting for twenty seconds to achieve the correct depth, and then the sensation of a big bite came up the rod and hit my arm, and I knew I had a big one at the end of my line. I kept the float tube moving to keep a steady tension on the line so I wouldn’t lose him and starting looking for a place to beach that monster. He made a couple of jumps out of the water and what a show! The fight continued as we neared the shore. I went on to fish for big brown and returned to the Salmon River to fish the steelhead once again. Now that I have more experience, I no longer have to beach the fish.
Tenkara: How to Catch a Big Fish
• • • • • • • • •
You need a good quality rod that can take the bite! I prefer the Nissin Prosquare 8:2, Nissin Zerosum and Nissin Pocket Mini V3. For the line, I recommend 15' of 30 lb backing with about 7' of 10lb tippet. If you’re not confident in the quality of your rod, do not put this on. If you fish usually with #3.5 line, your rod should be fine. Start with a smaller tippet and go up once you know how much the rod can take. Better safe than sorry! As with western style, put all the line in the water unless when dry fly fishing. Don’t point the tip of the rod in front of you with streamers on the swing as we do in western style. if a big fish takes your fly, you stand a good chance of losing your lillian. When you hook a big fish, always fight the fish with your rod at an angle. You have to let the rod do its job, which means when you hook into a fish, just hold onto the rod; you don’t need a big reaction or a hard strike. Follow the fish with the rod to maintain tension. Let the fish go by lowering and raising your rod a couple of times. Do not play the fish too long if you are going to catch and release. Use any fly you like: streamers, woolly buggers, dry, wet.... You will lose a few big fish at the beginning because you’ll be testing the power of your rod and the size of your tippet.
Have fun! KYPE “TMNT”
Sulphur Time! By Shawn Stankus
he eastern hatches can be very frustrating at times due to the fact that sometimes they start late, and other times they come off too early. Then there are the Sulphur or PMD hatches, and they are heavy and reliable year after year. Started fly tying and fishing when he was 11. Riding along with his grandfather as they chased the stocking truck from stream to stream solidified his passion for fly fishing. He guided during college and now fishes all year long on the classic trout streams of central Pennsylvania.
It was late May this year, on one of my favorite rivers, and the weather was perfect. My cousin and I were tight line nymphing with great success all morning. I was pretty content with the bite, which I knew had to do with the cloudy day that was blessed upon us. The fishing was easy and the trout were really nice sized, but it wasn’t the nymph fishing we were after this day; it was the Sulphur hatch that would explode later this evening. We fished all day until around 4:00 p.m. then sat down along the river to get a quick lunch in before the evening hatch. By this point, I was very happy with the day’s catch and could have went home with a smile on my face. As we finished up lunch, we headed for a long, flat pool to spend the evening in. By the time we arrived, a half-dozen trout had already taken up feeding positions on the few Sulphurs that were slowly starting to make their way to the surface. As we waded up through the deep pool, we started hooking fish on size 16 parachute and comparadun patterns. The fish were very picky this night, and it wasn’t easy to fool them into taking, but we managed a few nice trout to the net. As the sky fell darker, more and more Sulphur duns emerged and soon, it was time for the mating ritual of these mayflies to take place, and it did in fine style. There were thousands of Sulphur spinners at the heads of the riffles dancing in their mating ritual. Then all at once they hit the water. The pool in front of us had thousands of Sulphur spinners floating down past with at least thirty trout sipping this endless food supply. We hooked a few fish each, but it was a tough night due to the very finicky trout and the thousands of naturals on the water. It can be a tough night when you have to compete with that many naturals. The trout rose into the darkness until we packed up and started the long walk back.
All in all, it was a great day on the water, and to see such a heavy hatch made it all the better. I know that I can always count on the Sulphur hatch in my area year after year. It usually starts the second to third week of May and lasts until around the second week of June. Some rivers produce Sulphurs all summer long, but most end their cycle mid-June. It will bring 20 inch plus fish to the surface to feed, and that is why it can be such an amazing sight to see. I feel It is one of the best hatches on the eastern side of the U.S. because it is heavy, lasts about four weeks, and is very reliable every evening. The Sulphur is also one of the biggest pollution-tolerant mayflies, so it is found on 90 percent of the trout streams on the east coast. So the next time you are on one of your favorite streams in mid-May, make sure you stick around until after dark, because you could be in for a very exciting night. ~tight lines KYPE
Part I: The Brakeurator
39 Pounds of Teeth in a Donut The Brakeurator and the Kawishiwi Ralph by By Les Booth IT'S A GO!
Creative Information Architect. Forty plus years graphic design, photographer, writer. Thirty-five plus years in technology. BSc AgSystems Management, Purdue University. Outdoor communicator. Lifelong outdoorsman. If it's about Story, I'm game. Native Hoosier. But home to all open, healthy water and elevations over 2000 feet.
Peter Brigg Bio: Four decades as author, fly-fisherman, photographer, explorer amid the KwaZulu Natal Drakensberg mountain region of South Africa. Publisher of the outstanding blog: Call of the Stream (callofthestream.wordpress.com) and author of the acclaimed book, Call of the Stream - noting the many fine waters of South Africa’s Drakensberg Mountain region. And a soon-tobe-released, South African Flies: An Anthology of Milestone Patterns. Check them out.
WCAW. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness —referred to simply as, The Boundary Waters, had become my preferred midwest wilderness home. The Boundary Waters is a magical place. The largest tract of land —1,090,000 acres, in the lower 48 states, where a person can feel wild vastness, sense the difficulty and wonder of those who blazed the early country-settling path across land and water, while invading, inhabiting and settling the great North American continent three centuries past. I would set foot in the country of wild waters. It was a dream as a young boy reading stories of early northern trekkers, trappers, and pioneers of the north woods. The idea that I would actually travel along those amazing trails was not distant, but inevitable. I realized my dream in the summer of 1965, at a six-week summer camp on the shores of Pelican Lake, Orr, Minnesota. After going on a trip into the hallowed ground of The Boundary Waters, I was hooked for life. Since the magic summer of '65, I have returned, regularly, for my infusion of water and wild. This is a tale, from my list of journeys. Draped across the eastern tip of Minnesota, known as the ‘Arrowhead’, the Boundary Waters expand eastward— an amazing water and tree infused wildness. One of but a handful of such wild segments of the former sea-to-sea wilderness left in our country this side of the Rockies and in the Lower 48 states —The Boundary Waters, is a dream destination. Lakes and rivers run on, in a constant of timelessness, as much as time itself. They all seem to come and go without beginning or end. A fantastic systemic of water connected worlds. You know you enter and leave finite boundaries. Yet, you also feel as if it’s but one movement, endlessly connected.
Despite this backdrop, the fishing in the Boundary Waters vacillates by the season and the year. In the areas of higher travel, the waters have taken a serious beating by canoe livery trips, commercial guiding and personal fishing ventures. In the years before the concept/practice of Catch & Release, the alternative practice —Catch & Grease — had been well executed. I am not opposed to eating a few fish caught while enjoying a canoe or hiking adventure. Not at all. A resource is most appreciated when there are tangible rewards and what could be more tangible than a hearty campfire cooked meal? But over the years, with the steady increase of fishing pressure many fish populations have been pushed beyond rebound limits leaving certain fish species —large fish in particular— to suffer. Most have suffered the loss of their former luster. The perceived endlessness of the water flow, gives rise to the perceived potential for fish-in-numbers. However, as in most perceptions, the reality is quite a different matter. The BWCAW offers smallmouth bass, lake trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, bluegill, some largemouth, the bruisers of the league, muskellunge (musky) and northern pike, and walleye; the food fish of the north. All —CAN BE— found in appealing numbers. It helps to know just where those numbers can be found. On this backdrop, in March of 1991, I organized a trip to the Boundary Waters. Not my regular self-reenergizing mantra, but a “Friends Trip”. Most of the friends were greenhorn-new to the likes of the Boundary Waters. We had a simple agenda: spend a week canoeing and fishing and having as much fun as possible. My agreement to be camp foreman and fishing guide was the first mistake. My second, overselling, like a fool, the notion fishing would be fantastic. Leaving a bit of wiggle room, I emphasized, '...provided you do just as I show you.' Given the wellknown fickleness of the area, I was already on thin ice. 39
The drive to Ely usually requires a steady 11 to 12 hour run. It can take upwards of 14 hours, depending on how many coffee —and other— obligatory stops are needed. This one was right in the middle with a good cushion of time. Our first destination was Camp SEP where I was first introduced to the BWCAW, courtesy of my son. The trip lifted off to a sleep-deprived-adrenalin-rush, valiant effort, dedicated to making all preparations point toward as good an experience as is humanly possible. Sometimes we try too hard. Perkins Cake & Steak, Madison, Wisconsin beckoned us in around 9AM. A short stop for a breakfast. More coffee, morning pastry, the obligatory ‘traveler’s pause’ … and we were back… 'On the road again'. The terrain between Madison and Wisconsin Dells transitions from rolling pasture and cropland; nicely laced with mixed hardwood — and the occasional evergreen; to swamp and almost predominately evergreen forest, composed of pine, fir, hemlock trees, with a touch of birch and alder for dressing. To those uninitiated to the starkness of northland topography, the change in scenery is starkly interesting... and a bit weird. "Uh, Mr. B.... (that's me —long story short—I taught kids outdoor nature skills and it was my Guide Name. It sort ‘a stuck)... does all the Boundary Waters look like this?"asked 12 year old Carmen, looking out on a very desolate looking hemlock stand in brackish water going on for miles along the Interstate. "Well Carmen, it can. Where you see concrete road and grassy median, that's a river in the Boundary Waters. Where you see a parking lot, town or house, that's a lake, rice-paddy or pond. If it's not a rock, tree, bird, privy or US Forestry sign, it's water. There's a lot of water in the Boundary Waters.” I replied. "Will we have to fight off bears in the Boundary Waters?" asked Carmen, his big eyes widening. "Naaah. Not likely. At least as long as Uncle Jon is in camp. He smells too bad and snores too loud for any bear to even dare come close to camp. In fact, the bears will probably feel sorry for the rest of US! That is, unless Uncle Jon falls in the water or sleeps on his face. Then he'd be a worthless deterrent and we'd better watch out!! If that happens, we just need to run faster than Jon." I chuckled. Jon grimaced. Carmen laughed. Now —THAT! —was the reaction I was hoping for. The van hurtled down the Interstate filled with enthusiastic participants and gear jostling wall-towindow swept with tales of catching big fish, avoiding bears, eating meals cooked over open flame and how to avoid being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Most of which was utter conjecture and —on my part — inserts of phantasmagoria for the sheer pleasure of seeing eye-balls pop. The newbies were in the majority, fair-game and oh, so gullible. E.C. Mike and the Brakeurator
Two things I had not prepared my charges for: car trouble and Mike at the Eau Claire, Wisconsin Ford dealership. I considered frigid Minnesota temps, known to be on the frosty side of an iceberg, even in July, would be the cause of mutiny and my undoing. As long it didn’t snow, I figured I'd be safe. 40
But, it would not be cold related issues to bring me to the point of my first test of Leadership. Nope. It would be a brake-fluid reservoir. And a cheery little imp, with a real knack-for-the-obvious, that could face-palm even Yogi Berra whom we affectionately identify as, ‘E. C. Mike'. This slide into the Twilight Zone begins with a rapid-injection of fear, as we hurdled toward a stop sign at the end of an Interstate-90 off-ramp. While I stepped on the brake, with full expectation of a slowdown-to-stop, my foot pushed the pedal, instantly, to the floorboard. We REALLY needed to stop. My first reaction was an audible expression of fear, "Shit!" Followed by the Other-3 adults in the vehicle, "What???" I repeated the notice, with an added emphasis, for clarity, "OH SHIT!" With the tailgate of an 18-wheeler growing-larger-by-the-second, this exit was blooming into a trip-destruction-calamity. I hit the brakes again! And again – and again! Pumping for all it was worth, hanging onto the steering wheel, ready to push the van into the side of the trailer rather than rear-end it. Suddenly, we all heard —and felt! —the salvation sensation of sliding tires on a very dry and friction-stopping, concrete roadway. OH! What a beautiful sound! Only inches to spare from the tailgate and a big collision insurance claim, we all paused, let out a collective sigh, and sucked air… HARD! "WOW! What in the world...” gasped Tony, riding shotgun, enjoying a very front row seat to a near Casey Jones event. Quickly followed by other offered invectives of fear-fueled-relief. Jon just said, "Check the brakes, NOW!" I pulled onto the shoulder. Released the hood latch and set the emergency brake. I nearly opened the door into a passing vehicle, but was narrowly spared that trauma! “Hells-Bells! What next.” I gasped. I collected my wits and checked the rearview mirror. I found it clear, stepped out and walked to the front of the van. Raising and securing the hood, I took a deep breath, collected my thoughts and began looking for answers. The search began with the almost empty brake fluid reservoir. An obvious and expected revelation, but not the answer to the question, ’Why?' “OK. Everyone we have to do a quick check of the brake lines. Stan, take Carmen over that grassy patch” I said pointing to the ditch. “Tony take the front of the van and Jon, you take the back. Please, keep someone from hitting us!” Ed and I began a thorough search of the brake lines. After about 10 minutes it became obvious, there were no apparent leaks so we went back to the reservoir. After another 5 minutes, we still found no indication of a leak. There was only a small amount of fluid outside of the reservoir but not enough to even suggest a leak. We were stumped. Tony, from the front of the car, said, "There's a gas station down there. I’ll go down and buy some brake fluid. OK?"
"Yeah, good idea. Get four containers to start." Tony headed for the station while Jon remained guarding the back of the van. Meanwhile, Ed and I retraced the lines and looked all around the engine compartment. But again, nothing. "What do you think Ed?" "Well.." said Ed in his wry, dry, phlegmatic way, "... it appears the angels took too much." We both nearly hit the ground doubled over! Our laughter caught Stan by surprise. "Hey guys, what's so funny?” We told him, but he didn't get the pun even after we explained it. Jon shook his head. I looked at Ed and said, "Guess it's an age appropriate joke." We enjoyed another good laugh. Tony was back by then with the fluid. Ed, Stan and I bled the lines and refilled the reservoir. We had brakes and were, just-like-Serve Pro®. We made our pit-stop then back-on-the-road again, '.. like it never even happened.®’ The conversation now flowed to the question of, ‘WHAT could possibly have caused the loss of brake fluid, with no evidence of a leak?’ Most had little-to-no automotive mechanic experience, but they offered some interesting off-the-wall commentary. Miles passed in lively discussion and much needed laughs. Amid the levity I realized I'd blown it. I realized I had just received my first lesson in Leadership —we survived, but I was not off to a good start. Rule #1 of Successful Leadership, “Don’t let’em see you sweat!” It’s most unfortunate that, in those days, automotive technology had provided no indicators, meter gauges or idiot-lights (as we so affectionately called them) to monitor brake pressure and/or brake fluid levels. The only indication of something wrong would be when the brakes decide to, 'Let you down, when you needed them most!' I developed a rather constant, ‘tapping the brakes’, an action that garnered a couple of nasty horn-blows and accompanying looks that could have – had it been possible – turned me to stone! At Tomah we dropped I-90, and headed north on I-94. I pulled off at the first I-94 exit with more than a bit of trepidation. In quasi-expectation of another brakeless-event, I took the exit at a much slower speed. I stepped on the brakes: they worked! I pulled into a small parking lot to check the reservoir. It wasn’t empty, but it wasn’t full either. Not enough to cause a catastrophic failure like our last near collision. None-the-less, the reservoir was showing an obvious loss of fluid so Ed and I again looked for leaks. After 35 ground crawling minutes, we came up dirty but clueless. No idea as to where the missing fluid was going. I topped the reservoir and we headed to Eau Claire as our next destination. At Eau Claire we’d leave the Interstate’s wide, 4-lanes of faster travel, for the 4-lanes of slower, more controlled travel of Wisconsin Highway 53, heading for Spooner, Wisconsin. Just north of Spooner, yet in the early 1990’s, Highway 53 necked down to two traffic-choked lanes. Poorly suited to accommodating the fleet of hitch-point and 5th-wheel towed camping trailers, traveling in a near bumper-tobumper congestion. Most times this was an infuriating —and always exhausting — 40 mph, until reaching Superior, Wisconsin, 72 -agonizing- miles later, gauntlet. The seasonal caravan-of-congestion heading to lands North! 42
Knowing the likelihood of numerous ‘brake stomps’ on Highway 53, I decided to take the precaution of stopping. Eau Claire was the last good opportunity, preferably at a Ford dealership, to have the brake system checked. I wasn’t pleased with an added expense, but was less comfortable with any sort of, collision-option-alternative. I exited. There was an audible sigh of relief from the rest of the traveling crew. I had not told them I was stopping. Rule #2 of Successful Leadership: “Communicate well and do it often.”
A few blocks and four queries of, ‘Say, do you know where the Ford Dealership is located?’ to which I could only reply, “No, not yet. But if needed, we can stop and ask.” before the big, Ford-Lincoln dealership sign loomed on the right. I signaled and pulled in. I must say, there’s nothing like the comfort felt, upon arriving at a spot-of-repair amid an ongoing, on-the-road-spat of car trouble. Save maybe, a much needed rest stop. That is, until you find the facility, CLOSED. A foreboding thought. I pulled into a Customer Service slot just next to the Service Entrance. The garage bay door to the right was wide open. I walked to the Entrance door, reached for the handle and heard it. “What can we help you with?” came a question in an obvious EauClaireish accent. I looked up to see a neatly dressed fellow of not more than 45, sporting a big smile, wild yellow tie, gusseting a dark blue Ford uniform shirt, sporting the name: Eric. “Matter of fact, Eric, I hope so.” I responded warmly. “Uh, you from around here? I don’t recognize you. Have we met? Do we know each other?”, Eric-the-Ford-man suddenly responding, wildly on the defense, as he backed through the open garage door. Obviously, he was shaken a bit. “Whoa, there! Local-Ford-man! I don’t know you. Not from here. Your name is on your shirt.” I shot back, pointing to my left, shirt pocket. “OH! Yeah! Hah.. Just messing with you.” he said, with a less-than-convincing bit of facial contortions, then offered, “How can we help you?” You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach —the one that tells you in a small, but emphatic voice —screaming at the top of its volume: “RUUUUUUUUN!” Yeah. That one. Well, I ignored it. “Sure hope so, Eric. I’m having some trouble with my brakes. I need y’all to take a look at them. We looked it over from stem-to-stern, and I can’t find any leaks. Yet, we’re dumping a pint of brake fluid every couple of hundred miles.” I said hoping for the warm-fuzzy feeling of, ‘Help is on the way!’ He stared at me. I ignored the scream again. 43
Eric, still looking a might shell-shocked, turned and went toward the back of the garage at a trot, trailing off with, “Ahhh! I’ll be right back. I’m going to find Mike.” OK, I thought. Maybe we're getting somewhere. We’re gonna get this problem fixed. I ignored it… again. “Was it me, or was that just REALLY odd?” said Tony grinning. “Nope. Not you. It WAS... really odd.” I replied. We all looked at each other and wondered, ‘What next?’ We didn’t have to wait long. “Drive your van over to Bay #3 and pull on in.” came the voice of Eric, as he and another man — assuming this was Mike —walked toward us. I slid in behind the wheel, fired up the Aerostar, pulled over and began to enter Bay #3. The other guy, in a blue Ford garage mechanic’s uniform, who I assumed was Mike, motioned for me to stop with only half the van inside the garage. “That’s far’ nuff. Shut it off, sir. Thank you. Now step away from the vehicle.” the garage guy barked with a wild gesturing wave to the side. I looked at Jon, Ed and Tony and they just shrugged, in near perfect synch. Stan and Carmen were talking and not even in the ballpark. I did as asked and started to close the door… “Sir?” Returned the voice. “Release the hood latch, then be clear of the vehicle.” I wasn’t sure if the uniform I was clearly seeing as a Ford garage uniform, nearly anywhere else, was in fact, for Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a Police uniform. I was thinking, ‘What next? – Up against the car and spread ‘em!’ Instead I simply saw — and heard — the man in the garage mechanic uniform, with the name ‘Mike’ embroidered, now clearly visible, over the left pocket, say, as he lifted the hood and secured the bar. “Yep. That’s a carburetor.” That scream went off again. I heard it loud and clear. But, this time there was another voice saying, ‘There’s a ride here. Take it. See where it goes.’ I was in a quandary. On one hand I just wanted to get the brakes fixed and be on our way. But on the other hand, I sensed something really odd —in a strange, interesting way— was taking place. We were on an adventure and here was an unexpected side-channel. That nagging little voice giggled, ‘Take it!’ So, I did. Yeah, sometimes you should ignore that nagging little voice. Ed had not said much up to this point. That’s his style. He mostly just watched and thought. But even Ed was roused to speak at this latest pronouncement. “Uh, excuse me, Mike?” at which Ed politely reached out and nudged the Ford garage man on the shoulder. Mike jumped like a shot rabbit! He hit his head on the hood, nearly dislodging the retention bar. Sending off a string of profanity, followed by a pronouncement, which I do believe, woke the sleeping44
dead-of-Eau Claire, that very moment. “What? You touched me! Why did you touch me? I don’t know you! No one touches me! Why DID you touch me? I AM... THE mechanic! You can’t touch THE mechanic. Eric —he touched the mechanic … ” the now-gone-lunatic-Ford-garage-mechanic, formerly known as Mike, began railing like an AK-47 in the hands of 5-year old. Oh my! Had I only been videotaping this, we would have become millionaires! The chain reaction of looks and vocals that came like a cascade of dominos, around the garage, would only be believed – and then questioned – even if seen in real life. Jon and Tony, at the moment of eruption, were just to Mike’s left side. Carmen and Stan were by the van’s sliding door, trying to gain entrance without Mike-the-Garage-Cop stopping them. Ed and I were in the middle of the impending psycho-storm-eruption, like a couple of seagulls in the middle of a hurricane. The chaos around us was pretty interesting. But sooner or later, a piece of debris was gonna smack us! “Mike! MIKE! MIKE!!!” shouted Eric. In a louder and louder, but hopeless effort to quiet Mike down. Finally Eric just screamed, “MIKE — SHUT THE HELL UP!” At which, Mike immediately ceased. Standing amid the decelerating chaos with a look of ‘What …?’ all over his face. I looked at Tony and Jon. Their look was priceless. For once, in a decades long friendship, they were utterly speechless. Stan and Carmen were inside the van, huddling for safety. Ed and I looked at each other. Ed said, “Hmm. A might touchy, ain’t he?” We lost it! So did Jon and Tony. It was a good 5 minutes before any of us could talk. Eric and Mike just stared at us like -WE!- were the psychos. I don’t know. Maybe we were. But Oh! this was rich and we’d only begun. When composure was restored, tears patted from the eyes, and voices back to function, I said, “Pardon me Mike, what was it your saying, about a carburetor?” At which the four of us just took off again in fits of laughter. Mike and Eric did NOT see the humor. Somewhere inside the inner belt of 5 minutes, Eric spoke up. “Gentlemen, really…” a serious question of indignance in his throat. “Gather yourselves.” Gasping for breath, I finally got out again, barely, the question, “Mike, what were you saying about, carburetor?” Then in a voice, as if none of the previous 10 minutes had ever occurred, Mike perked, “Yes, indeed. You most definitely have a fine carburetor on your van engine. I notice such things. It’s how I am”, he noted with an air of personal pride. And with an equally authoritative squeal, Mike informed us of the problem we were having with the… ‘Brakeurator’. I thought Tony’s eyes would pop. Jon just cleared his throat. Jon had no clue just how deep into the swamp Mike was running, but even he knew, Mike was going deep. Mike began, with his right hand firmly gripping his lapel; classic 19th Century orator style; before a circle of learned scholars. His left hand, waving in the air as if leading his symphony of elocution. “The carburetor is a most ingenious device. It is used to provide the fuel to power your vehicle, by mixing petroleum related products, with air, in precise quantity, for delivery through the manifold into the awaiting combustion chambers, occupied by way of valves, spark-plugs and pistons. The resulting explosions thrust the firing piston down and giving rise and alternating exhaust and intake – again via the valves – causing a rotating motion of the crankshaft. The crankshaft is attached to a flywheel. Delivering rotational 45
speed, through the transmission, to the drive shaft, on to the driving wheels; front or rear; thus propelling the vehicle forward. Or backward, depending on the chosen transmission gearing.”, He finally took a breath... briefly. Interesting I thought. He’d done quite a good job of summarizing the basics of the gas-powered engine. Not bad. A bit stiff, but not bad… as Mike revved up again… “Now here we have a late model Ford vehicle of a van configuration. It is clear that the carburetor has evolved to become something more. It now bears the resemblance of the malevolent condition, known as the — Brakeurator. In which the carburetor begins to consume the brake fluid and other potential fuel sources, in an attempt to increase fuel mileage.” he spouted. ‘What on earth is the boy smoking?’ was my first reaction. Then I thought, he’s got to be pulling our collective leg. Tony nudged me, “He joking, right?” “You got me bud. I only hope so. Otherwise, we’re blowin’ this popsicle-stand before he gets to castration as the solution.” I winked. Tony’s eyes got big! “You think?” he asked with noted concern. “Well, you never know. We are ‘in country’ on this one.” I explored. Jon, hearing this exchange, nearly hit the floor. As he began to double-over, he mouthed, “Oh my. You’re impossible!!!” I winked. Then mouthed, “Too good to pass on!” Mike continued … “Due to the severity of this mechanical dilemma we have no choice but to insist this auto be impounded, until it can be properly, and thoroughly, repaired.” he paused. “Do you have any questions?” Mike asked with a very academic eyebrow in my direction. “Yes, just one” I replied. “Could you show me the carburetor, Mike?” “Most certainly sir.” as he set to removing the air filter unit. Nut, washer, air-filter cover were removed. Air filter was extracted. Bottom of the filter holding unit detached and removed. Then a pause. A bit of a gasp. More pause. Then Mike began. “Well, it seems —” he began. I was ready for him to choke on the revelation I already knew was coming, but instead – he headed off for the icy-depths of Pluto in the next breath. “We – well YOU all – have a much bigger problem than I had earlier estimated. Your carburetor has fully evolved into a Brakeurator! This is serious. It will require an entire engine replacement.” he said, turning toward us, with a frightful air of maniacal egotism, awaiting our – obviously deep thanks – for saving our vehicle; if not our lives. What he got was, no doubt, the largest collective stare of dumbfounderment he’d had in some time, maybe ever. It all depends on how often he delivers this brand of BS to out-of-town, hapless travelers. Mike and Eric returned our stare. Obviously confused by our lack of a collective applause and asking if we could watch the exorcism. “Mike,” I began, “... let me see if I understand you correctly. You're saying, the carburetor, on my 1988 Ford Aerostar Van, setting atop a Vulcan OHV V6 3.0 liter, 160 horsepower engine, has ‘evolved’ into something that is totally -and sinister sounding- different from anything I have ever heard of in the history of automotive mechanics?” “Yes sir. And I am not surprised you are unaware of this phenomena. We see them up here, pretty often, in the wilds of northern Wisconsin. Something to do with the combination of water and iron ore, I believe. But it -IS- a documented fact.” he whipped off with such a sound of authority – that, for a 46
moment – he almost had me agreeing. “That’s the biggest line of…” Tony was beginning to say, before I stopped him with a shoulder nudge. To which he gave me a very angry -and evil- Jersey-devil eyeball glare! “What my friend was readying to say” looking sideways at Tony, mouthing, “Be quiet!”, “… is, what you have revealed, is the biggest line of amazing information we have ever heard. We are still in shock. May we have a moment to confer?” I requested. “Certainly” responded Mike, “I understand this is a lot to process. But you must be quick. We need to take immediate action, or there will be no saving the vehicle. And as you can well imagine, that would be a very costly move.” He posited with the suave and clinical bedside manner of Dr. Kildare. I turned to the stares and dropped jaws before me and mouthed, “Quiet! Let’s talk. OUTSIDE.” I pointed the troop outside the garage. I then whispered in hushed tones, “Not a word!” Then in a huddle and under hushed tones, we planned. “OK. First off, y’all are not imagining the weirdness. This guy is Looney-Tunes; possibly the entire dealership.” The group was nodding and in low-tones offering their own varied description of events and persons involved. “Stan, do you think you can reassemble the air cleaner, quickly?” I asked. “Sure. No problem.” he replied. “OK, here’s the plan. I’ll pull the two Psychos off to the side, away from the car, in a feint discussion of what to do next. Jon, you and Tony stand between me and the Psychos. Blocking the view of Stan’s actions as much as possible. Carmen, go around the car, get in the van, scoot to the far side and stay there” I directed. “OK, Carmen?” He nodded affirmative. “Jon, when Stan is done and y’all are ready, clear your throat. That’ll be the sign we need to move.” He nodded in agreement. “Alright then. Let’s blow this psycho-popsicle stand… Now!” I said turning toward the Psycho Twins. “Mike. Eric. May I have a word with you – over there – out of earshot of the others? Don’t want to disturb them.” I said, in quasi-hushed tones. “Oh sure,” said the PsychoTwins in tandem, as I directed them some 40 feet away, deeper into the garage. I began engaging the PsychoTwins at distance, Jon and Tony took up position and Stan set to reassembly, while Carmen, got into position. I could see Mike and Eric at times glancing nervously toward the van. But I would raise a point of emphasis and draw them back in. Stan surprised us all with his deft coolness under fire. He had that unit back together in under a minute! As Stan slowly lowered the hood, Jon gave the all clear signal. I then wrapped up my conversation with the PsychoTwins with the following: “Well, thank you guys. For a most entertaining and illuminating view into the life and looneytimes of Eau Claire. However, as much as we would love to stick around, to see, just what other bullhockey you two can come up with, we have to run. We're due in the Boundary Waters in two days. No time to dally.” I said as I backed my way toward the, now open, van door. Mike began to step forward with a look of serious confusion, “But, you don’t understand. Your vehicle is a running death trap. If you leave now, you all will die in a fiery crash.” He implored. “Well —” I started, “— that may be so Mike. But I CAN assure you both, of a couple of things I DO KNOW.” “First off. Your story about the Brakeurator? Now -THAT- has to be the weirdest line of BS, I 47
have ever heard. How stupid do you think I am? First off, there isn't and never was, a carburetor in this vehicle. It has FUEL INJECTION. All models of the Ford Aerostar are fuel-injected. And as to your ludicrous story of ‘evolution’ among mechanical devices. WOW! Now, that qualifies for serious mental derangement. Secondly, if either of you take another step closer, I WILL touch you both and you won’t be waking up for a while. So, stay put.” I said, closing the door. The PsychoTwins were left standing there – with a look of defeated bewilderment all over their mugs. We didn’t bother to wave. We just beat-the-roadway out of Eau Claire. And we didn’t look back; talk; blink; or breathe … much … for the next 35 miles. But we did look out the back window and rear-view mirror a couple of thousand times. Orr, Minnesota. The sign loomed bright on the outskirts of town, as the hi-beams hit it. It looked really good. The long tedious drive up Highway 53 had been just that, long and tedious. But the benefit of all that traffic, was an odd welcome comfort against what we feared could be some sort of retaliatory strike by the PsychoTwins of Eau Claire. Odd, isn’t it, how strange bedfellows are forced into a state of solidarity, amid the sheets of fear. We drove through the post-sundown-rolled-up-streets of Orr and onto our destination at Camp SEP. Pulling up to the Chalet, our accommodations, we were greeted with the lights on and the familiar, friendly face of my son. The weary travelers had landed. WOW! It had been a long … long, day. After a round of howdies and more than a few, hearty belts of laughter over the telling of our Eau Claire adventure, we enjoyed a nice re-heated supper— some good brew —a bit more conversation. Then it was off to bed. We had a half-day of travel on to Ely and a whole week of fishing, camping and making new adventures, ahead. What lay 'Out There', we didn’t know. But we were sure we were ready for it. One thing was for sure, I added another Rule of Successful Leadership to the list. Rule #3 of Being a Successful Leader: “Be decisive”. Sometimes you really need to listen to the small inner voice. But, for the sake of your sanity, ignore the echoes inside. No matter how enticing! To be continued....
"Resurrection Of Black...of the best releases to come out in 2015.” - Rocking Charts “Resurrection of Black...of the best releases to come out in 2015”- Rocking Charts “this album is something that everybody who listens to Progressive Rock on ANY scale “this album is something thatlisten everybody who down.” listens to- Prog Progressive Rock on ANY scale should listen should to, hands Sphere Magazine to, hands down.” - Prog Sphere Magazine
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“intelligent prog with an itching sense of melody.” - The Moshville Times “…intelligent prog with an itching sense of melody.“ - The Moshville Times “...Laire is an apt craftsman and he knows how to make a song...” - Progarchy “…Laire is an apt craftsman and he knows how to make a song…” - Progarchy
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Resurrection of Black Lanes Laire - vocals, guitars, keyboards, bass pedals Matt Bissonette - bass Gregg Bissonette - drums Jeana Olivia - harmony vocals