You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Random’ category.

THIS SITE HAS MOVED TO AZWANDERINGS.COM

YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON NEW CONTENT.

PLEASE CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARKS AND RSS FEEDS.

SEE YOU ON THE NEW SITE.

Arizona Wanderings

Arizona Wanderings

AZWANDERINGS.COM

New and Improved

On the brink of the New Year, my mind wanders over the past 80 or so posts and I ask the inevitable question of what am I doing and where is this blog going. I have had numerous encouragements and proposals on what to do with my little world that I have created for myself and my valued readers. As my thoughts began to build into dreams of grandeur, I want to be careful and stay away from the pretentious mindset that my words are gold and everyone is hanging on my every post. At the same time, my number of readers is graciously growing and I wish to provide them with needed content and services.

With that stated, I have updated my site and domain name. All new content can be found on AZWanderings.com. Several plans are in the works and over the next weeks and months, regular readers will begin seeing some more changes to the site and additions to the content. The new site’s layout was constructed by my brother (JSumnerdesigns.com) who worked tirelessly to get things ship shape.  A new review page has been added that will slowly and honestly chronicle some of my favorite pieces of equipment that see regular use. I have also had several requests from readers to purchase a few of the flies that I tie which I take as a huge honor. Always content to tie for myself and friends, I relish the opportunity to offer one or two patterns for sale in the near future in order to gauge interest.

In conclusion, the support and kindness of my readers is invaluable to me. The whole idea of Arizona Wanderings was nothing more than a simple family communication device that has grown and become an exciting project for me that never strays far from my thoughts. I do not consider myself an expert or an authority, but instead a simple man who wishes to enjoy the outdoors and participate in the outdoor community.

Thank you as always and see you on the new site,

Ben

While I wait for the waters up north to calm down and return to a fishable state, I thought I would brag a little on how kind Christmas was to me. So in order to hold myself over until the next time I hit the water or the cactus strewn hillsides, here is a brief look at the quality items Santa brought me. I have had my eye on a new BBS reel from Orvis to upgrade my old reel that was broken and line that had large chunks taken out of it. The sweetest wife in the world found it easy to shop for me this Christmas.

Much needed upgrade for the 3 weight

As an avid reader, my Amazon wish list grows almost every time I am on the computer. This selection shows a heavy influence of John Gierach but also a Walt Prothero wild card showed up (arguably one of my favorite authors).

Updating the Library

My sister-in-law went above and beyond to make the perfect gift for a helpless fly fisherman and reader. This bookmark will definitely be utilized in my marathon of reading ahead.

Homemade "Adams" bookmark

With all of the traveling that my wife and I do back to New York, fly tying get-to-gethers, or a couple day trip up north, having my fly tying gear with me can be really convenient. I had eyeballed this Fishpond bag for quite a while but had never made mention of it to anyone. My in-laws really went above and beyond with this gift.

Fishpond fly tying travel kit

I have had an old foam target that when my wife said “I do” made the trip to our new backyard. It has raised some eyebrows, and the new puppy has really taken a liking to it. In the end it is still usable but life expectancy is not much longer. This new target will hopefully keep me in shape for the javelina season coming up.

My new lawn ornament

Another quality gift from the in-laws to keep my hands warm during our bone-chilling Arizona winters (but seriously it does get cold here.).

Winter Gloves

I do not know what my brother was trying to say, but it might be that my hunting game could use a little work. If you have not had the opportunity to play the Wii and especially the Wii hunting game, it will change your life.

Staying in shape during the off season...

My mom handed down one of my father’s old tie clips. I wear a tie maybe a half dozen times a year, but this clip will be worn at each of those occasions. This truly is a special gift that I will cherish and hopefully someday pass on to one of my boys.

Sentimental value

After this post, I think I will go do some damage at Cabelas. My wife thinks it is a real shame that the blasted store is so close…

One can never go wrong with...

 

The Box

 

October 24th will mark the one year anniversary of this blog. I started this site out as a means of communication with my family and as an alternative to some other social networking sites. Over the past year, it has grown and I have gained some faithful readers and friends through this site. I decided in honor of the “one year” mark I would like to do something, however small it may be, to give back to those who faithfully check in every week to see where I have been wandering. I tied up several of my favorite flies which always produce for me here in Arizona and will work just about anywhere trout are present. These flies will be enclosed in a Flambeau fly box that is fresh off the store shelf. It is not much, but I hope someone can use the flies and have the same luck I have had.

A few simple rules.

1. Leave a comment in the comment section. Let me know what you think of the blog and anything else you might like to see posted. Comment on your favorite flies, where you have been fishing, or anything fishing related.

2. Leave your name or some identifying information.

3. October 24th,I will use http://www.random.org/ and have a number generated and a winner will be declared.

4. Once a winner is selected I will get the box and flies mailed out to you ASAP.

5. I will only mail to the U.S.

 

The Flies

 

The flies included in this box are the flies that brought many a fish to hand during the summer and will continue to do the same throughout the fall. As I have repeatedly stated, I am not a master fly tier but have put large amounts of love into these flies. I have included:

– Simi-Seal Buggers

– Hopper Juan Variants

– Sparkle Parachutes

– Mini Hoppers

Each of these flies has a short bio in the My Fly Box link at the header of this page.

Thank you very much to everyone who makes it a habit to stop by and leave kind comments on a regular basis. There is always an open seat in my truck if you make it out to Arizona and want to fish some small streams. Good luck to everyone and tight lines.

Ben

Bacon wrapped quail with a garlic clove tucked in the breast...Nothing else to say but delicious...

After the Titanic-themed morning on Thursday, our original Captain Jeremy felt bad about putting us on a sinking ship and took us out for an evening of bait-fishing. Each evening before a charter, the captain of the boat speeds out in the dark to fish for scad mackerel or ‘opelu as the Hawaiians call it. This 6-10 inch fish serves as the perfect bait for mahi, ono, ahi, and just about any other big fish cruising around the fishing buoys. Fishing for the ‘opelu was interesting and once you got the technique down it was pretty easy. We put out into the main channel and jigged for the mackerel with miniature glowing hooks. Since ‘opelu have such soft mouths, setting the hook has to be done gently and playing the fish to the boat is important so that you do not rip a hook right out of their jaws. Between six of us, the live tank was filled with 30 fish in under an hour with a good time had by all.

On Saturday morning, we stood red-eyed and ready on the deck of the floating Kai Akua and rumbled out of the harbor for a two hour ride to our fishing spot. The sky was getting light as we pulled up to our intended destination and lines were immediately put into the water. The first reel started to sing and I had a fish on. Adrenaline coursed through my whole body as a worked the fish closer to the boat until finally the ahi was gaffed and pulled into the boat.

The boat saw two other bites and two other “small ‘kine” yellowfin pulled in but nothing else. We cruised through one section of water that appeared promising that was teaming with dolphins, a good sign of other fish, but had no other bites for the day. We headed back in to the harbor where we took some pictures and then filleted our catch of the day and realized we were the only boat to catch anything that day. For the next day until we left I enjoyed fresh delicious ahi which was the perfect meal to end our stay on Maui. Overall we had a wonderful time and would highly recommend this trip to anyone who would be on that side of Maui for any length of time. Captain Jeremy Webb of the Kai Akua is a standup gentleman who runs a great ship.


After tying the knot with my beautiful wife, we scuttled off to Maui for our honeymoon with couples massages and walks on the beach in our thoughts. Since this is more an fishing/hunting chronicle, I will skip to the romantic part where my gorgeous bride proves herself to be a class-A girl. As we roamed the streets and shops of Lahaina town on West Maui we found ourself walking by the marina where many different canopies are set up displaying boating packages to do anything from scuba and snorkeling to sunset dinner and even… fishing.  I tell the truth when I say that this was her idea, and as we walked amongst the different fishing vessels and talked to a few different captains, we settled on the Kai Akua, captained by Jeremy Webb. Jeremy did not have anything on the day we wished but pointed us to one of his associates who would be able to take us out on our desired schedule. All was set and we went to bed early to meet our captain at 2:45 am to catch the morning bite on the backside of Lanai.

2:45 came early but found us loading food and beverages on the boat ready for a big day ahead. Our new captain explained the game plan for the day and had just finished explaining where the life jackets were when he fired up the engines and slowly moved the boat out of the slip and towards the exit of the harbor. Never having been on a boat this big, I really did not know what to think, but I did notice that we seemed to be tipping or listing. Our deckhand opened up hatches to the engine to find excessive amounts of water gushing into our hull. We were about a hundred yards from the slip and made a dash to get back before the boat literally sunk. Everyone on board had to stand in the exact center of the boat so that it would remain afloat and once we were close enough to the dock, the girls were put on dry land and everyone else started bailing. Long story short, we bailed for over an hour waiting for someone with a pump to show up. When no one did, we abandoned ship and sat and watched the seawater pour over the sides and push the boat to the bottom of the harbor. Sandwiches and drinks floated in the oil stained marina as our bait fish swam around the deck of the boat. No one was going fishing today.


Now you may be thinking to yourself that if one was lucky enough to sink in the harbor and not in the open ocean, they should call it even and not tempt the ocean again. Not us. We took the approach of “get back on the horse that bucked you.” We had planned on going fishing, and we were going to go fishing.

P.S. We were truly lucky to be in the harbor when the ship started taking on water. I cannot imagine being in open water at 3 or 4 in the morning bobbing around in the pitch black with live and dead bait floating next to me. Later evidence showed that the exhaust had somehow blown a hole and was sucking in water faster than we were actually bailing. The ship was pumped and brought to the surface by the end of the day but the company and captain have some decisions to make about whether to repair the boat or scrap it. Scary situation, but a real gem of a memory.

I am surfacing to update anyone who reads this rambling dialogue on some major occurrences in my life. This past weekend I made my best friend, Michelle, my wife. The wedding was perfect with friends and family gathering together to help us celebrate one of the happiest days of our lives. The weather cooperated and all of our ducks fell in a row to make for a spectacular and unforgettable day. Our photographer Daniel Kim was amazing and sent us a few pictures as a taste for what is to come.

As if being married to the most beautiful girl in the world was not enough, my luck kept rolling when I won a Connecticut Valley Arms Muzzleloader off a great website that I have been following, Whitetail Woods. Rick Kratzke generously set up this fantastic giveaway and randomly pulled my name. This is a real dream come true as I have always wanted to invest in a muzzleloader setup, but have been hesitant for lack of funds. This giveaway makes that possible and I truly am thankful to Rick.

With the week I am having and the luck that is befalling me, I may just play the lotto and see what happens. God is good and I see it when I look at my beautiful bride and look forward to the many years to come.