Craft Beer 100 shot fly tying challenge

The guys over a Vagabond Fly filmed a tying session where each tier took 100 shots of craft beer. This is only a trailer, but the final product should be interesting. I’m not sure I’d still be at the table after 100 shots of craft beer, I’d probably be under the table, making calls on the big white phone, or laying in the bushes! Love to see the last fly that each of them tied!

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Date Night and an Announcement

It’s been quiet here on the the Tasty Takes front. Part of that was due to a long winter, part due to recent high water, and part to a new development on the life front: Mike and I welcomed George Emmons Eaton on May 10. Despite all this, we’re still fishing, Aimee is still writing, and Mike and Chris are still drinking beer.

So excited to catch the trouts!

So excited to catch the trouts!

Adding George into the mix has changed our fishing habits a bit, though we did take him out on his one week birthday and have continued to do so at least once a week every week since. He does great in the pack and just a few days ago he spent six hours on the water with us. That being said it can be tricky to really get after it, and make sure George has everything he needs/isn’t exposed to the sun/getting eaten by mosquitoes/hungry/wet/etc.
Mike, Aimee, George and Grandpa!

Mike, Aimee, George and Grandpa!

When our friend Mandy offered to watch George for a few hours so we could have a date night, we threw the rods and waders in the car and hightailed it for nearby waters.
Date night trout!

Date night trout!

Turns out date night in our household equals Sessions Lager, chubby chernobyls, size 12 hares ears and a handful of trout a piece.

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River Brew Review: TommyKnocker Brewery Maple Nut Brown

Just found this beer review from mid-winter that never got posted – Enjoy!

Out of nowhere I ended up with all of New Year’s Eve Day off. What’s a fishing bum to do with a random day off in the middle of winter? Ski, tie flies and drink beer of course!

Shredding the backcountry. Photo: Fred Sproat

Shredding the backcountry. Photo: Fred Sproat

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River Brew Review: Bristol Brewing Company Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale

Leopard Bow
Today Aimee and I had our first 70+ degree day on the river. It was amazing. If you haven’t spent a winter high in the mountains you may not appreciate just how incredible flip-flops are, or t-shirts. It was the first time that either of us had sported a t-shirt outside since sometime late October or early November. Heck yes.

Mike BowIt also helped that the fishing was stellar. We happened to run into our friend T-Bone, his fiancee Erica and their two dogs Echo and Koda, which was amazing since they had spent the last day and half figuring out what the fish were eating! They were about done by the time Aimee and I got there, but Erica graciously allowed us to steal her future husband for a couple of hours. T-Bone then proceeded to tell us where the fish were, what they were eating and how to catch them. We definitely owe that guy a beer!

Aimee Bow
This time of year they are eating stoneflies and eggs and we caught plenty of fish on both. We even picked up a couple on streamers – pretty much it was one of those days when if you got you fly close enough they would probably eat it, regardless of what pattern you are throwing.

After a great day it was time to relax with a beer or cocktail. For Aimee that meant a bubble water mixed with cranberry juice, for me it was a Laughing Lab Scottish-Style Ale by Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs. I like Scottish Ales in general and Laughing Lab is right up my alley, not bitter at all, not too sweet and pretty darn drinkable for a darker ale.

Laughing LabAppearance: A really nice caramel color with a medium very foamy head. Pretty good retention with nice lacing as you drink.

Smell: Sweet, malty and a little toffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Really nice and smooth, malty with a hint of caramel. Not too heavy, medium bodied and drinkable for a Scottish style ale.

Overall: Hearty enough for a winter beer, but light enough for a hot summer day. I like it.

5 out of a Six Pack Scale ©

5 out of a Six Pack Scale ©

ABV: 5.0%
IBU: 19
Brewed in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Visit their website at

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Video: The River Keeper by Matt Dunkinson

Matt Dunkinson just sent over the link to his new video.

The River Keeper from Matt Dunkinson Photography on Vimeo.

Aimee hates pike, but I just love ‘em! They are built to do one thing only – KILL! Matt has done it again, incredible cinematography and awesome fishing.

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Gear Review: Patagonia Aluminum Bar Boot

Aluminum Bar Rock Grip Wading Boots Many states are outlawing felt soles in an attempt to try to limit the spread of invasive species. As more and more states go felt free, more and more people are having to switch boots and there is an increasing demand for a non-felt alternative that provides traction equal to, or better than, felt. That non-felt alternative has finally arrived in the Aluminum Bar Wading Boot. Continue reading

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River Brew Review: Ska Brewing Steel Toe Stout

Aimee CB
It’s almost Christmas, it’s cold and it’s been snowing so, no, we didn’t fish today, we got up in the backcountry. The weather was breezy with scattered clouds, but the skiing was pure awesomeness. Below is a pic of Aimee shredding the pow. Not bad, not bad at all.

Aimee Slasher
After the ski we headed back to the house, I had some chores to do and the Patriots were on the radio, it was time to try a new beer. I had been feeling like a stout and had picked up Ska Brewing’s Steel Toe Stout: Working class Milk Stout earlier in the week and it was time to crack one open.

Steel Toe LabelSka Brewing is located in Durango, Colorado and they offer a full range of delicious beers. While perusing their website for history on the beer I found the following quote and had to include it!

It’s as though a cow stared into the face of God and as God told it the meaning of life we grabbed its udders and squeezed out a bucket.

Hilarious! And I have to agree, if you like Milk Stouts this beer is definitely for you.
Steel toe stout

Appearance: Very dark, almost black. Little to no head.

Smell: Starts with sweet chocolate, has a bit of coffee as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Malty and chocolaty, with a bit of a sweet coffee aftertaste. Smooth and slick, minimal carbonation.

Overall: I like it. I like milk stouts in general and this one is definitely tasty. The sweetness would keep me from drinking more than a couple at a time, but for a special winter treat it’s hard to beat.

4 out of a Six Pack Scale©

4 out of a Six Pack Scale©

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 16
SRM: 41
Brewed in Durango, Colorado.
Visit their website at

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North of Wild Trailer or That One Time I Went to Labrador

Back in June our friend Eliot from Greasy Beaks Fly Fishing left me a voice mail. It was pretty straightforward. “Hey, I think you should call this guy, his number is 555-555-5555. There might be a chance for you to go to Labrador to fish for trophy brook trout. I promise it’s on the up and up.” No other real details, just a name, a phone number and the hint of an epic. That was it.

Two months later I was tucked into the back of a seat of a de Havilland Beaver float plane with the writer John Gierach and Gray Ghost Production’s Carter Davidson. We were headed for interior Labrador and two weeks of nearly non-stop fish stalking. Above is the trailer for the video, North of Wild, that was born from the trip. The full film will premier in the 2014 Fly Fishing Film Tour. Full trip report to come soon.

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River Brew Review: Full Sail Session Fest Premium Red Lager

Session Fest LabelAnyone who likes easy drinking delicious beer has probably heard of Full Sail’s Session Lager and Session Black Lager; recently I was perusing my local liquor store and noticed a new Session offering from Full Sail – Session Fest.
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Gear Review: Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boot

During my life as a fly fisherman wading boots have always been a trial. Whether this is due to the fact that I am incredibly cheap and wouldn’t ever pony up for the expensive boots, or because I am incredibly hard on footwear I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is that for the first time ever I am replacing the laces on a pair of wading boots before I am replacing the boots. I know, crazy right?

Need some new laces on these bad larrys!

Need some new laces on these bad larrys!

The Patagonia Rock Grip Wading Boots with the rubber sole are easily the most durable wading boots I have ever owned. They have lasted me either 2 or 3 years at this point (I’ve had them so long I can’t even remember when I got them!) which equates to 200+ days on the water. These boots excel on all river bank surfaces, they give you great grip on mud, grass, snow and ice. Rock Grip Boots I typically walk a lot when I fish, I generally move fairly quickly and cover a lot of water, this means that I am constantly walking on the bank and this is where the Rock Grip Boots really excel. They are sturdy and comfortable and give you awesome traction on the surfaces that typically make unwary fisherman eat crap. While your buddies are picking up six inches of snow on the bottoms of their boots, or are slipping down that grassy bank again you are walking in serious comfort.

Rock Grip StudIn the river I would say the rubber sole has 10-15% less grip than a felt sole, but to be perfectly honest I have been wading just on rubber soles for so long that I don’t notice the difference anymore. If you have trouble wading with rubber soles Patagonia does include screw in cleats with the boots. Aimee recently took a 2 week trip up to Labrador with Grey Ghost Productions and used the boots with cleats and had fantastic traction. The cleats are easy to insert and remove, but we would recommend using a socket set, not a screwdriver.

If you need any additional convincing you can take the fact that Patagonia has been through a few versions of their lightweight wading boots in the last several years, but the Rock Grip Wading boot has stayed the same. If you are looking for more grip with the same great, durable, comfortable boot you can also check out the Aluminum Bar Rock Grip Wading boot, Chris bought a pair of these so we will try to have a review for your soon!

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