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January 2012 - October 2012
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Justin Witt's Patagonia Journal



right click, Zoom to enlarge

right click, Zoom to enlarge











Wednesday, July 11, 2013
Is This Fly Tying, or More to the Point, Is This Fly Fishing?


Monday, July 8, 2013
Monday Movie - Truth


Monday, May 20, 2013
Monday Movie - A Grizzly Ate My GoPro


Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Gone But Not Forgotten

Angelina Jolie says she underwent a preventive double mastectomy earlier this year after learning she carries a gene that increases her risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

In a New York Times op-ed published late Monday, the 37-year-old Academy Award winner writes that after genetic testing she learned she carries the "faulty" BRCA1 gene. 

The risk of developing cancer due to the gene varies, but Jolie says doctors estimated she had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. 

Jolie — whose mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand, died from cancer — says she decided to have the preventive mastectomy to be "proactive" for the sake of her six children with her partner, Brad Pitt.

"My mother fought cancer for almost a decade and died at 56," Jolie writes. "She held out long enough to meet the first of her grandchildren and to hold them in her arms. But my other children will never have the chance to know her and experience how loving and gracious she was."

She then describes the major surgery two weeks later where breast tissue was removed, saying it felt "like a scene out of a science-fiction film," then writes that nine weeks later she had a third surgery to reconstruct the breasts and receive implants."

Jolie said she has kept the process private so far, but wrote about with hopes of helping other women.


Monday, May 13, 2013
Monday Movie - Getting Spooled


Friday, May 10, 2013
The Facts Of Lake Ice Out

In the late fall, the lake loses heat to the atmosphere, and then on a day or night when the wind is not blowing, ice forms. The ice gets thicker as long as the lake can continue to lose heat.

In most Januaries and Februaries, snow both reflects sunlight and insulates the lake. With a thick snow layer, the lake neither gains nor loses heat. The bottom sediment is actually heating the lake water slightly over the winter, from stored summer heat.

Around March, as the air warms and the sun gets more intense, the snow melts, allowing light to penetrate the ice. Because the ice acts like the glass in a greenhouse, the water beneath it begins to warm, and the ice begins to melt FROM THE BOTTOM. The ice over shallow waters will therefore melt before that over deeper waters.

When the ice thickness erodes to between 4 and 12 inches, it transforms into long vertical crystals called "candles." These conduct light even better, so the ice starts to look black, because it is not reflecting much sunlight.

Warming continues because the light energy is being transferred to the water below the ice. Meltwater fills in between the crystals, which begin breaking apart. The surface appears grayish as the ice reflects a bit more light than before.

  Ice Out

The wind comes up, and breaks the surface apart. The candles will often be blown to one side of the lake, making a tinkling sound as they knock against one another, and piling up on the shore.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Mark Your Calendar - Ellijay Garden Club Plant Sale

Over 1,500 plants grown in local gardens will be on sale at the annual Garden Club of Ellijay Plant Sale. This is the

Come early or you may miss out.


  Plant Sale

Monday, April 29, 2013
Monday Movie - Louisiana's Heather LaCroix, Cleaning & Cooking Bream


Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Still Winter in the Boundary Waters

Long afternoon shadows fall across Ely, Minnesota's Shagawa Lake. With the entire winter's worth of ice and snow still intact, the record late ice-out of May 6th (set in 1996) may be in jeopardy.

I wonder if I can dog-sled-train my dogs in 4 weeks.


Monday, April 22, 2013
Help Save Georgia's Hemlocks

Thanks to volunteers like Susan McConnell, Donna Shearer, Chris Curtin (with Jazz) and Kathleen Tokuda, the hemlocks of Gilmer County's Cartecay Tract WMA are being saved from the Woolly Adelgid. If you would like to volunteer, click shoot me an email.
  Cartecay Gals

Friday, April 12, 2013
Catching Some Post-Storm Sleep

Ever-vigilant, Simba and Greta were able to get some much-needed sleep after the storms passed through the mountains.

Both have been through a lot lately (Simba was shot in the head and Greta was blinded), but they are doing well and are the best Goldens on earth - in my opinion at least.

  Simba and Greta

Thursday, April 4, 2013
Drone-Proof Wear for Gilmer Countians

Pending the outcome of the County Commissioners' vote on allowing drone testing in Gilmer County, Adam Harvey's Stealth Wear may become a best-seller in these parts.

The metallic surface of the fabric interferes with the heat signature of the wearer thereby becoming invisible to the watchful eye of the drones.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A Great Letter About a Great Product!

Dear Patagonia,

Turns out the Patagonia SST jackets float pretty good. About 12 years ago I was in the Kitlope Valley, 800,000 acres of wild coastal temperate rainforest Yvon and Patagonia helped save. But that’s another story.  I was the only one there, in my 20 foot jetboat. It was late afternoon and town was 100 miles away through some of the wildest parts of BC’s fiords. I remember thinking I had to really boogie if I was gonna get home that night. I’d had this jacket for years. The zipper had given up, so I had put some brass snap closures on it. I must have laid the SST on the engine cover, but I remember hammering the throttle down and wanting to get on my way. I was 20 miles down the channel when I realized the jacket had blown off the boat. I kept going. I was not happy …

 A year later I was on the dock in the Kitamaat Village, home to the Haisla, who were the First Nation that stood up to the forest industry and saved the Kitlope. I was getting a boat ready to head out onto the coast again, when I noticed a young Haisla man coming down the dock with his uncle, Cecil Paul, the Haisla elder who has become one of the most articulate defenders of BC’s coast over the years, and a dear friend. This strapping young man had on a very faded and funky looking SST, with brass snaps!

I asked him, “That’s a nice old Patagonia, where did you get it?” He replied that he had found it that spring at Oolichan camp on the Kemano River. It was lying in the eel grass in the Estuary. He cleaned it up, and he loved it. I replied, “I love it too, it’s my jacket!” I explained how I had lost it the previous year. I was somewhat amazed it had floated 30 miles down the fiord, and ended up in Kemano on the beach. He looked absolutely crestfallen.



SST Jacket

But I had a solution. I was wearing a brand new Zip T, and I offered him a trade: the new Zip T in a great color, for the SST. We switched. Cecil was grinning, his nephew was happy, and I now owned a very unique and seriously bleached out SST!

I still have it, and wear it. It isn’t as waterproof as it once was, and if it’s seriously raining hard, I wear a new SST. As for the fish in the photo, it’s a wild Skeena steelhead, and how YC and Patagonia helped save them is yet another story. But it’s about 25 lbs, and the biggest steelhead I have ever caught. This SST has serious juju!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Minnesota Humor - You May Be From Ely If ...

You don't consider it really cold until it's double digits below zero, and the first of the double digits is higher than 1.

You know the difference between a maul, an axe, and a hatchet - and you're used all three.

You can't fit your truck in the garage because the four-wheeler, the dirt bike, the snowmobiles and the trailer to haul them are already in there.

You put a shovel and extra sleeping bag in your car at the end of September.

You eat dinner at noon, and you call the main course a hot dish.

You know that Shagawa is prounced SHAG-wuh; Kawishiwi is Kuh-WISH-wee; potica is poe-TEE-tzuh, and pasty is PASS-tee and it isn't something worn by a female entertainer.

You know that a ranger is somebody who grew up on the Iron Range.

You know how to polka.

You know what anoraks, mukluks, and pulks are, and you own a few.

You think Maki is a common last name.

You know that a Swedish pimple isn't an ethnically-linked skin disorder.

Your second home is a fish house.

The presence of a bear in your backyard doesn't unnerve you as long as your trash is locked in the garage.

You see a deer trotting down your driveway and your first thought is "buck or doe?!"

You aren't surprised by snow in May.



You know the size of a cord of wood and how long it will heat your house.

You plan your winter travel around the amount of slush on the lakes.

Your dress clothes are your clean Carhartts.

You know that avoiding heavy traffic simply means avoiding Sheridan Street.

You know plenty of senior citizens who speak Slovenian or Finnish, and you know all the swear words.

You think winter is more fun than summer because there are no bugs.

You consider a dogsled or snowmobile a practical way to get around.

You think a real man is judged by the number of points on the buck he shot last fall.

You hope the ice melts off the lakes in time for fishing opener - or in my case, the first week in June.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Alaska Humor

The day after his wife disappeared In a kayaking accident, an Anchorage man answered his door to find two grim faced Alaska State Troopers. "We're sorry Mr. Wilkens, but we have some information about your wife," said one of the troopers.

"Tell me! Did you find her?" Wilkens asked.

The troopers looked at each other. One said, "We have some bad news, some good news, and some really great news. Which would you like to hear first?"

Fearing the worst, the ashen Mr. Wilkens said, "Give me the bad News first."

The trooper said, "I'm sorry to tell you, sir, but this morning we found your wife's body in Kachemak Bay."

"Oh my God!," said Wilkens. Swallowing hard, he asked, "What's the good news?"

The trooper continued, "When we pulled her up, she had 12 twenty-pound King crabs and 6 good-sized Dungeness crabs clinging to her, and we feel you are entitled to a share in the catch."

King Crab

Stunned, Mr. Wilkens demanded, "If that's the good news, then what's the great news?"

The trooper smiled and said, "We're gonna pull her up again tomorrow."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Choice - 2016

  Chair Water  

Monday, February 4, 2013
A Little Love for Ol' Buddy Gary Merriman

Sport Fishing magazine just printed an interview with the Fish Hawk's Gary Merriman about his 1984, 1,649-pound Pacific blue marlin and the infamous Tarpon Toad - no mention of the Anytime Anywhere. Check it out here for page 1 and here for page 2.

Gary Merriman

  Gary Merriman

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Looks Like a Good One From Geofish

GEOFISH Trailer from MOTIV FISHING on Vimeo

Monday, January 28, 2013
Monday Movie - Hank Announces the F3T Fly Fishing Film Tour


Thursday, January 17, 2013
Rainy Thursday NIght Movie - Just Another Day on Mammoth

Grey McCalla and his two buds shot this video in Mammoth, CA and will soon be heading to Switzerland to compete in the European Open. All three are ranked in the world's top 50 snowboarders.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Rainy Tuesday NIght Movie - Just Another Day in Patagonia

It's not too late to book a fly fishing, eco-tourism or birdwatching trip to Argentina. Check out our website or shoot me an email for more information. You deserve a trip to Patagonia.

Monday, December 31, 2012
Monday Movie - A Few of the Martins I Don't Have


Thursday, December 20, 2012
At The Last Moment, The Real Story Is Revealed


Tuesday, December 18, 2012
"Low and Clear" Makes PASTE's Top 20 Documentaries of 2012

LOW & CLEAR Official Trailer from Finback Films on Vimeo

Friday, November 30, 2012
Be On the Outlook

Apparently some folks around these parts find it sporting to drive around in the cover of darkness shooting at anything that moves.

Wednesday morning around 5 am, my ol' boy Simba took a shotgun blast to the head and neck. Really sporting - taking a shot at a 14 year old dog.

If you are the POS coward that did this, stop by sometime. Simba and I are for sure ol' dogs, but we may still have some bite left in us. Come on by, and together we'll find out just how much.


Friday, November 30, 2012
Friday's Film - Mel Kreiger's Patagonia, 40 Years of Flyfishing Argentina


Thursday, November 29, 2012
ObamaCare and Aspirin

It's been announced that beginning January 1, 2013, all retail purchases of aspirin (generic and branded) will be taxed with a 76% surcharge.

The only explanation found in the 2,400 pages of the ObamaCare law is that aspirin are white and they work.


Sunday, November 25, 2012
Glorious Fall Afternoon at Gibbs Gardens

Gibbs Gardens

Monday, November 19, 2012
Monday Movie - Fishing a Sculpin Hatch


Thursday, November 15, 2012
Save Georgia's Hemlocks Is Cox Conserves Hero Winner

Thanks to your votes, Save Georgia's Hemlocks' Donna Shearer has been named this year's Cox Conserves Hero.

Along with the honor, SGH also receives $10,000 from Cox Enterprises and the Trust for Public Lands.

With this award, SGH will be able to continue our good work of saving even more of Georgia's endangered hemlocks from the threat of the woolly adelegid.

Thanks again for your votes and support.

  Donna Shearer

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Visions of Carroll Thrift


Monday, November 12, 2012
Monday Movie - Best Friends


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