Archive | September 2011

Swamp Thing or Carp Fly?

Here’s a glimpse of a new fly I’m tinkering with. Swamp thing or carp fly? It’s a carp fly for some fairly aggressive carp I’ve been after and the water’s really off-color. I’m going for mouth feel. If you were a carp, would you eat it?

It’s inspired by the leggy Gotchas I tied early this summer for an Andros bonefishing trip. So why wouldn’t it work for Colorado bonefish?

Running 101: The Ultimate Beginner Running Plan

Recently, a few friends have asked me how they should start a running program. I originally posted a beginners running plan on about five years ago, but thought this would be a good opportunity to dig it up and dust it off. So, friends, this is for you.

Running is one of the best ways to get and stay in shape. All you need is a pair of running shoes and a little stretch of road or trail. And, being such a portable sport, you can enjoy it anywhere. Some of the benefits of running include: weight loss, increased muscle tone, increased self-esteem, a great way to meet chicks/dudes, increased energy levels, decrease in cholesterol, and a boost to your immune system just to name a few.

10 Weeks to Glory

I have given this plan to over a dozen people in the past few years, and most of these people are still running on a daily basis. One friend has lost over 35 pounds while another has gone on to run marathons. However, you don’t have to be totally obsessed to benefit from this program … just thirty minutes a day will do it!

OK, before you get started, there are a few prerequisites. First, you need to be able to walk non-stop for thirty minutes comfortably. If you can do this, read on. If not, come back in a few weeks to read further. Second, go to a running store and get properly fit for running shoes. DO NOT go to a discount or department store! You will get what you pay for … blisters. And remember if your feet aren’t happy, you will quit this program and go directly to McDonalds … and the rest of that story isn’t very pretty. Once you have your new shoes, you are ready to start running. Don’t worry; we are going to take it easy. Here is the plan:

Week Event Repeat
1 Walk 9 minutes, Run 1 minute 3x
2 Walk 8 minutes, Run 2 minutes 3x
3 Walk 7 minutes, Run 3 minutes 3x
4 Walk 6 minutes, Run 4 minutes 3x
5 Walk 5 minutes, Run 5 minutes 3x
6 Walk 4 minutes, Run 6 minutes 3x
7 Walk 3 minutes, Run 7 minutes 3x
8 Walk 2 minutes, Run 8 minutes 3x
9 Walk 1 minute, Run 9 minutes 3x
10 Run 30 minutes 1x

That’s it! Looks pretty simple, and it is. But be true to yourself and don’t cheat! You should repeat this workout 5 times per week. Take two days off for rest, but preferably no two consecutive days. Pick the two days of the week when you need the most rest or your schedule is the busiest. Follow each workout with a short stretching session and proper intake of fluids. If you are having difficulty with a particular week, do not advance the next week. Repeat the week until you feel comfortable to move on. Also, one final note on pace: you should not go out and run as fast as possible. You should be able to hold a conversation while running (in other words: not gasping for breath).

After you have successfully completed this program, I strongly suggest for you enter a race. I know, I know, you don’t want to be competitive. You say you are just doing this for exercise. Consider running a race anyways. The atmosphere is very motivational and it allows you to accurately gauge your progress. There is just something exciting about running with a large group of people (not to mention the new running friends you will meet). If you are trying to choose a distance, I would recommend a 5k. 5k is just over three miles, which is coincidentally about the same distance you ran on week 10 of the Program.

Have fun and be safe.

Escape from Hollywood

Running is probably definitely the greatest sport in the world. OK, I said it. Even if you don’t agree, you would have to agree it is certainly one of the most portable sports. All one needs is a pair of shoes (also optional for some) and a good attitude.

Well, last week I had to take a business trip to Hollywood, CA. I know some people would dig a trip to Hollywood, but unfortunately I’m not one of them.

I was in a bad mood when I got there, and I wasn’t really impressed with the scene when I got there. Here’s a mental image of Hollywood for those who haven’t had the privilege. As I look down the “Walk of Fame” on Hollywood Ave, I see block after block of tacky t-shirt shops book-ended by over-priced chain restaurants with (at best) mediocre food. The dirty busted-up sidewalks are crowded with throngs of disillusioned tourists who actually believe they might see a real Hollywood star. Little do they know the movie stars found Hollywood too depressing and moved away decades ago to other trendy L.A. neighborhoods.

The only stars I found on the “Walk of Fame,” besides those embedded in the sidewalk, were the sad folks dressed as movie stars trying to get tourists to pay for a picture. I met a sixty year old platinum-white Marilyn Monroe who was trying desperately get a broken fan to blow her dress. Behind her was an overweight Spiderman digging through a trash can for his next meal. OK, now I’m thoroughly depressed.  Other characters I saw included a six-foot tall Yoda, Samuel Jackson’s character in Pulp Fiction, no less than three Jack Sparrows from Pirates of the Caribbean, oh, and a black Charlie Chan. Half a block away, Spongebob Squarepants was getting the shit kicked out of him by two women (seriously, follow the link and watch the video).

Feeling like I’d seen way more than I really wanted, I headed back to the hotel to find escape in a pair of running shoes I wisely packed in my carry-on suitcase. I laced up my shoes and headed out the door to salvage the rest of the day.

Within minutes I was passing the Hollywood Bowl, the largest natural amphitheater in the United States where the musical acts from the Beatles to Billie Holiday have performed. Moments later I took a left up Mulholland Drive, a street rich in popular culture and also where many of the “rich and famous” live.  My pace and mood was starting to pick up. After a steep climb, I took a break at an overlook that provided great views of downtown L.A. and the Hollywood sign.

Above: Hollywood Bowl in foreground and downtown Los Angeles in the background.

Above: Griffith Park and Hollywood sign (way in the distance).

Continuing further up Mulholland Drive, my pace picked up again. It’s amazing what a short run will do to fix a rotten attitude. After a diversion through another mountain park along the road, I realized I needed to get back to the hotel. Satisfied, I turned around and retraced my steps back to the hotel.

Back at the hotel, only thirty minutes late for the cocktail schmooze-fest, I notice my reflection in a window while I’m waiting for the elevator. I’m wearing a huge smile. Man, I love running.

Paradise Found

Paradise Found, acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 48″, 2011

Paradise Found, detail

Paradise Found, detail

Paradise Found, detail

I Guess It’s Called Brownlining for a Good Reason

You know you’re an urban fly fisher when a sign like this doesn’t slow you down. Actually, if I had seen the sign before I was walking back to the car, I probably would have gone upstream of the sewage treatment plant.

So, if I come down with a nasty case of E. coli in the next few weeks, you can be sure where I got it.

The fish didn’t seem to care.

Colorado Coldwater Gamefish

Here are a few pencil sketches I made of various Colorado coldwater gamefish – Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Colorado River Cutthroat, Greenback Cutthroat, Brook Trout, and Mountain Whitefish.

Originally, I wanted some art for my living room, but I was too cheap to buy it. I hadn’t drawn anything in years (like 20), and I didn’t really know if I could pull it off. Who would have known that it would rekindle my interest in drawing and painting.

Brown Trout, Salmo trutta, pencil, 2009

Rainbow Trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, pencil, 2009

Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, Oncorhynchus clarki pleuriticus, pencil, 2009

Greenback Cutthroat Trout, Oncorhynchus clarki stomias, pencil, 2009

Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, pencil, 2009

Mountain Whitefish, Prosopium williamsoni, pencil, 2009

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