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.
Continue reading

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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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Owyhee River October 2013

The Owyhee River

The Owyhee River

Aimee and I recently took a trip from Colorado out to Oregon. The trip was for her to drum up more publicity for her recently released book Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country. For more information on the book and pictures of her book signings check out her website at The trip was a whirlwind of travel, but lucky for us we were able to stop for a day of fishing on the Owyhee River in Oregon on our way home.
I have fished the Owyhee several times and fishing it in October is always interesting. The browns are paired up and spawning hard, so sight fishing feeding fish and solo fish is the name of the game. This year was especially interesting as the flows were down to the winter level or 25 cfs. Since the Owyhee normally runs around 200 cfs it is a big change to have the flows be that low. The riffles were tiny and filled with spawning fish. As a result we were pretty much only able to fish the slow pools.
Normally the Owyhee has so many bugs that you are astounded that the fish ever pick out your imitation. I have never seen as many naturals on the water as I have here, but this trip was different; there was a slow, ponderous midge hatch and that was about it. We caught a few on dry flies, but most of the action was sub surface, they were eating the heck out of the zebra midge. The problem is that the water is flowing so slow in the pools that a fish can eat and spit your midge without ever moving your indicator or dry fly. We had our best luck dropping a midge about 12 inches below a size 18 dry fly and watching for the fish’s mouth to open. When you see the mouth open, set the hook!

It was a short trip, but fun. And really nice to get at least a little relaxation after 11 days on the road.

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Coolest Guy At The Boat Ramp

Wow! Had to watch this a few times!

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River Brew Review: Upslope Brewing Company Craft Lager

River Brew Review: Uplsope Brewing Company Craft Lager
Upslope Brewing Company

Aimee ripping kokanee while I enjoy a Craft Lager

Aimee ripping kokanee while I enjoy a Craft Lager

Several weeks ago Aimee and I were heading out to the Gunnison River to hammer some kokanee salmon, an activity which can definitely leave you parched. As we were leaving town I decided that I needed something special to help quench my thirst while I watched her hook fish after fish. I don’t normally splurge for fancy lagers; I’m pretty darn cheap and have been drinking PBR for a good long while, so it was a bit of a surprise when I found myself walking out of the liquor store with a six pack of Upslope Brewing Company’s Craft Lager.

Aimee with a kokanee salmon

Aimee with a kokanee salmon

I’m glad I strayed from my PBR standard. Not only is the Craft Lager a very high quality, delicious, drinkable beer it also is part of the 1% for Rivers Campaign. As per the Upslope website “One percent of revenues from the sales of Upslope Craft Lager will be donated to Colorado Trout Unlimited in order to protect watersheds statewide. Protecting snowmelt at its source is not only good for trout; it’s also good for Colorado beer.” I couldn’t agree more, there isn’t anything better than downing a couple of crisp Colorado beers in order to help support local efforts to protect our rivers.

Upslope Brewing Company Craft Lager

Upslope Brewing Company Craft Lager

Upslope can

Appearance: a nice yellow/gold color with medium sized white head and lots of bubbles. Minimal lacing as the head slowly diminished.

Smell: Pleasant lager smell more sweet than yeasty.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth and light, slightly watery feeling. Easy drinking, very sessionable.

Overall: It’s a lager. Doesn’t do anything amazingly well but it’s a nice change from your normal domestic, especially since they are giving back to our local rivers.

3 out of a Six Pack ©

3 out of a Six Pack ©

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Bull Trout
Tasty-Takes has been neglected as of late. The Eaton Brothers have been split up, both have moved, both are married and one has even changed jobs; as a result posting on Tasty-Takes has fallen by the wayside.

Now we are both settled and Tasty-Takes is BACK!
P1040431 We are also very excited to have added another member to our staff, starting this winter we’ll have weekly blog posts, how-to’s and gear reviews provided by Aimee Eaton. Aimee is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Trail Runner, The New York Times and The Fly-Fish Journal. Check out her blog. Lucky for all of us here at Tasty-Takes Aimee has decided to give up writing professionally and has dedicated her life to fishing. (Well not really, but she is excited enough about fishing that she is willing to help us out on a regular basis.)
The flavor of Tasty-Takes is going to change slightly; instead of entertaining daily fishing related posts we will have only a few posts a week and most will be beer reviews, gear reviews, how-to’s, fly tying patterns and videos, fishing tips, possibly an occasional trip report and anything else that we think you might find interesting.

If anyone has suggestions for content, beers to review, or any other ideas that would make Tasty-Takes great please email me at

Tight Lines,
Mike, Chris and Aimee

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Huge Sturgeon

Here is a video of a huge white sturgeon that was caught up in Canada on the Fraser River. Click here for more on the story.

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