Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Off Season Thoughts


As the nation is getting hammered with record low temps, ice, and snow, it's easy to decide NOT to go fishing on your day off. Hell, I awoke to frozen water pipes at my house this morning--can't imagine how my rod guides would fare on a half-frozen river.

So, what does the fly angler turn his/her attention to in the "off season"? There are a handful of activities to keep us occupied during these frigid months.

Obviously, tying, tying, and more tying. It's a pleasant surprise to open a restocked fly box in March. Experimenting with new patterns and cranking out the old ones is one way to escape redundancy and make your time away from the water productive. Check out our website for materials, tools, and instructional books & DVDs.

Destination trips are a possibility...for some. Expenses are certainly an issue, especially for your "trout bum" types. I'm yearning dearly for a Belize, Christmas Island, or even a Keys trip right about now. Especially after my aforementioned water pipe issue this morning. There are definitely ways to make these trips work, you just have to be savvy about balancing your time and money. I've been exploring different options for a trip, and it looks like a good way to save a dime is to utilize those travel websites for cheaper airfare--and also explore different places to stay as an alternative to booking rooms at lodges or expensive hotels. http://www.vrbo.com/ is good resource for that. For a trip a little closer to home, you may want to check out FRA's San Juan River trip scheduled for late February www.frontrangeanglers.com/catalog/san-jaun-river-trip .

The "off season" activity that I've found myself engaging in the most is drinking. Not excessively--at least for the most part. I'm lucky to live in a place where craft beer, great whiskey, and surprisingly good wine flow like trout streams. As a proponent of supporting local businesses, here is quick list of Colorado favorites that keep us sane when we're not able to fish. In my eyes, drinking is the next best thing! Hey, don't judge...

http://www.odellbrewing.com/ -- O'Dell Brewery out of Fort Collins...you gotta try their Bourbon Barrel Stout. 5 Barrel Pale Ale is my go-to Pale--so good.

http://www.boulderbeer.com/ -- A hometown favorite here in Boulder...hence the name. Boulder Beer is locally famous for their Hazed and Infused! Mmmmm.

http://www.stranahans.com/ -- Amazing whiskey straight outta Denver! This top-shelf elixir is bound to keep you warm at the fly tying table. Cool fact about Stranahan's: You can volunteer to bottle for a day at their distillery. Your pay? A bottle of whiskey that you bottled. Sweet!

http://www.balistrerivineyards.com/ -- Sure, it's a little chilly to sit outside at Balistreri's patio and enjoy a bottle of Colorado Little Feet Merlot (grapes are actually stomped by kids at the Festival Italiano!), but picking up a bottle to enjoy with medium rare NY Strip makes sense to me!

http://www.mountainsunpub.com/ -- As you may have heard, Front Range Anglers moved locations about a month ago. We absolutely love our new home, but one aspect of the move that is hitting employees pretty hard is the fact that we are no longer next door to Southern Sun Pub & Brewery. If you're in the area of South Broadway in Boulder, be sure to stop by for one of their daily specials and a pint of delicious craft beer. My favorite? It's a toss-up between the Colorado Kind Ale and the Old School Porter. Same brews reside at their sister locations, Mountain Sun in Boulder and Vine Street Pub in Denver.

Well, FRA helps you out with your fly tying needs and your destination trip needs. Maybe we need to start hosting brewery, distillery, and winery tours! Then we'd have your "off season" completely covered! Hmmmmm...something to think about...


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