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Saturday, March 26, 2011
Feliz Cumpleaños

Happy Birthday to my friend, colleague and the fellow who does his best to keep me young.

Happy 33rd Justin Witt.

At right is a photo from a couple of weeks ago - Justin wading across the Corcovado River just above Llao Llao in anticipation of the afternoon bite.
Every day I get to spend with Justin is special - this one was no exception

  Justin Witt

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Back From the Pits of Hell

After 9+ days, I'm finally stone-free (knock on calcium oxalate). As a tribute to the demon stone, here is David Milch's take on ureterolithiasis. If you are offended by Milch's honest portrayal of western language, you might want to avoid this.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Fair Warning to Facebook Lovers


Saturday, February 12, 2011
So, You Think You're A Writer!

This is the best shot that you'll ever get to show your stuff and land a great job at the same time. Gray's Sporting Journal editor, Jim Babb, has decided to retire as angling columnist of the magazine after 16 years to pursue more book writing (he'll remain the editor of Gray's). That means a rare opportunity for someone to write a regular column for one of outdoor journalism's brightest showcases.
Jim described what he needs in order to make a decision about the new hire: "Basically, everyone gets the same treatment: I want to see two sample Gray's columns, as polished as the writer can make them: one on fly fishing, one on whatever; they have to run between 1450 and 1485 words, and must be emailed to me not later than June 1, 2011. How soon they come doesn't matter - I won't be making a decision until after I've read them all - but crowding the last week might matter."
The new writer's first column will run in the March/April 2012 fly-fishing special, and there will be seven columns a year. Send your work to Jim Babb at

Friday, February 11, 2011
Be Careful With Your Compliments!

She: (in front of mirror) I look ugly and fat today. I really need a compliment.

He: Well, you have perfect eye sight.

  Bad Day

Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Kidney Stones Are A ...

Pain in the Gut

Sunday, February 6, 2011
Fly Shops - Be On the Lookout

Angling Trade has asked to notify all fly shops to be on the lookout for a group of well-orchestrated thieves.

So far they have made off with several thousand dollars in merchandise. The group is stealing high end product. Among the shops hit thus far: Laughing Grizzly, Angler’s All, Charlie’s Fly Box, Trout’s Fly Shop, Orvis Cherry Creek, and Rocky Mountain Anglers. Thefts occurred February 2-3.

Suspects are two couples, Middle Eastern or Latin in appearance, well groomed and dressed fashionably. One couple distracts the store staff while the other steals merchandise. Suspects have called ahead and verified that you are indeed a specialty fly shop. Cell phone area codes that have been used are (402) and (815).

The gang is driving a maroon van with Illinois plates.

Saturday, January 29, 2011
We Should All Be So Fortunate

Join me in wishing my mother-in-law, Jean Waddy a happy 94th birthday.
Just think all that Jean has experienced since 1917! On her birthday, President Woodrow Wilson called for the end of the search for Pancho Villa. Affairs were heating up in Europe and Wilson declared war on Germany marking the US's entry into WWI. Ernest Borgnine, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Desi Arnaz, Harry Caray, Ella Fitzgerald, IM Pei, Raymond Burr, John F. Kennedy, Dean Martin, Lash La Rue (my childhood hero), Leno Horne, Phyllis Diller, Don Herbert, Mel Ferrer, Isabel Sanford, Ferdinand Marcos, June Allyson, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Joan Fontaine, Indira Gandhi and John Lee Hooker share her birth year.

  Jean Waddey

Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Charlie Louvin Losses Battle with Pancreatic Cancer

Charlie Louvin, born Charles Ezra Loudermilk, half of the hit-making singing duo Louvin Brothers, died Wednesday at his home in Wartrace, Tennessee. He was 83.
Charlie and his brother, Ira, killed in a 1975 auto accident, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.

Charlie Louvin

At right, Charlie and Emmy Lou Harris perform his 1975 hit.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Come On Down

There's more to do in Patagonia than just fly fishing.

If you feel like taking a jump - drop me a line.

Saturday, January 22, 2011
Beauty is ...

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A little interactive exercise for you weekend revellers. Slide the beer bottle to the right.

Monday, January 17, 2011
Best of 2010 - Gluttonny-wise

At my age and living in the mountains of north Georgia, I don't have many opportunities for gluttony. So one of my daily guilty pleasures is checking out Jennifer Zyman's The Blissful Glutton.

The January 13th entry is her Bliss List for 2010. Check it out. Warning, it can be dangerous if done on an empty stomach.
  The Blissful Glutton
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Just Damn!

Royal Marshall, 43, collapsed at his Atlanta home this morning and was pronounced dead at Grady Hospital. For the past 15 years, Royal was the engineer and side-kick of the best radio talk show host in the country, Neal Boortz.
Royal is survived by his wife, Annette and daughters, Ava, 2, and Amira, 4.

At right, Royal, Belinda Skelton, producer of the Neal Boortz Show, and Neal.

The Fulton County ME has determined that Royal's death was caused by a heart attack resulting from hypertensive cardiovascular disease. Services will be at Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur on Saturday at 11 am.

  Royal Marshall
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Another Winter Day in Ellijay

After two days of continual road clearing, this morning I found that an additional 1/2" of overnight snow and ice had blanketed the roads here at Blackberry Mountain. A couple of passes with the bobcat removed much of the ice. But with the low temperatures, it looks like the mountain roads in and around Ellijay will be icy for a few more days.

At 2 pm, 21 degrees, still snowing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Mass Animal Deaths Are Worldwide

Recent mass animal deaths are being reported from throughtout the world.

Click on the map for exact locations and details.

  Mass Animal Deaths

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Life of the Mayfly


Monday, January 3, 2011
What's Going On in Arkansas?

Arkansas's Game & Fish is no doubt puzzled by last week's two mysterious wildlife events.

An estimated 100,000 drum were washed ashore a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near the Ozark Dam. A pollutant would have effected other species as well, so investigators think a disease may be the cause. Arkansas Game & Fish has not closed the area and is encouraging fishing.

Thousands of red-winged blackbirds fell from the sky over a half-square mile area near Beebe. While no definitive cause has not been determined, one Arkansas Game & Fish ornithologist says the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail or startled by fireworks.

Red-winged Blackbird

  Arkansas Map
Arkansas also has one of the highest UFO-sighting rates in the US - just saying.

Thursday, December 30, 2010
Momma Took My Kodachrome Away

After 75 years, the darkroom door has closed for good on Kodachrome, the legendary color slide film that was the mainstay of many 35mm SLR photographers in the 60s and 70s - not to mention, the chosen format for endless hours of vacation slideshows. This afternoon, the last processing lab in the world stopped accepting rolls to be developed.

Back in June 2009, Kodak announced that it was halting production of the slide and super 8mm movie film famous for its vivid colors. Dwayne's Photo in Parsons, Kansas was the final shop to sell and process the film, which at its demise accounted for less than 1% of Kodak's film sales.

Kodachrome distinguished itself from other color transparency films because of the complex (and expensive) developing processing, which, combined with the shift to digital, helped write its obituary.

  Nice YouTube video by Carol Culver

Sunday, December 26, 2010
White Christmas - Day Two

With reports from friends throughout Gilmer County about 8-12 hour power outages, we're lucky to have had only one that lasted no more than 3 hours. Most of the primary and some of the secondary county roads are clear. It's still snowing off and on, and 26 degrees.

Spring Lake Dr Spring Lake Drive - not much traffic today.

  Deslaurier Cabin
The Deslauriers, my next door neighbor's home under a blanket of snow.

Saturday, December 25, 2010
White Christmas In Ellijay

Four inches of heavy, wet snow are blanketing Blackberry Mountain this afternoon. The backyard pond is frozen, and the temperature should drop into the low 20s tonight. We're just staying warm and waiting for the inevitable power outage.

Ellijay Square
The Ellijay Round-About on Christmas Day

  Blackberry Mountain

Friday, December 24, 2010
The Least Politically Correct Christmas Image I Can Find

Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
A Little Fish Porn From Rio Pico, Argentina

Check out Justin Witt's December 20th blog post for the story behind these photos.

We still have a few open dates for 2011. Send me an email and we'll get you onto some of these trout.



Thursday, December 16, 2010
The Best Invocation I've Heard

Saturday, December 11, 2010
Abel Reel Owner Found Hanged

Mark Madoff, who with his brother Anthony, own Abel Reels and NYC's Urban Angler, was found hanged this morning. Perhaps not so coincidentally, today is the second anniversary of his father Bernie's arrest for his notorious ponzi scheme.
Mark was found by his father-in-law hanging from his Labradoodle's leash attached to an overhead pipe in his Manhattan SoHo apartment. He had emailed his wife, in Florida with their 4 year old, to have someone check on their two year old. The child was found asleep and unharmed.
Mark's wife had petitioned the court to have her and her sons' last names changed. Also, Mark, the head trader for the Madoff firm, was sued this week by court-appointed trustees in an attempt to recover assets for the victims swindled by his father - assets which may have been used to invest in Abel and Urban Angler.



Friday, December 10, 2010
Attention Writer Friends - Watch Out for Burning Ears

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010
This Time Baja

When I was at the Denver fly fishing trade show, I learned from Brian Jill that he and Chris Owens, Angler Exploration Group Media founders, have teamed with Thad Robison and Jay Johnson for a new fly fishing adventure series called GEOFISH. Their first adventure involves an 8,000 mile overland trek across Mexico in a diesel truck converted to run on vegetable oil.
When you're not following this blog, or Justin Witt's Patagonia journal, click over to the Motiv Fishing Journal and check out their adventure.
You'll also see why I never design webpages in reverse type - oh, my achin' eyes!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
°s In Ellijay - How About Some Red Truck Video of Warmer Days?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Spencer Thrift Does Jimmy Fallon's Late Night

Last Monday, Spencer Thrift was selected to compete in NBC's Late Night Karate Kick Rotating Pinata Competition. I know, how did you miss it? Check out the two links (sorry about the commercials - NBC has to pay their piper) and watch Spencer kick-ass.
When not making national TV appearances Spencer attends Florida's Winter Park High - and competes on the track team.
By the way, Spencer donated his winnings to City Harvest - just in time for Thanksgiving.
I'm proud of you Spencer.

Spencer Thrift


Monday, November 29, 2010
Vicariousness Sucks, But Fishing Is Always Better Than Working

In addition to this and a bunch of other websites, I maintain the Just Another Day in Patagonia site. For the months that I'm not in Argentina it allows me and its readers to follow the day to day life of Justin Witt.
Once in a while I'm still able to get out on the water up here in the mountains of north Georgia. Last week Scott McBride and I hit the Toccoa tailwater for the first time in several months. The trout are there!
So this is how it is, Justin's out landing huge brook trout enjoying the Argentine spring time, and I'm here tolerating the autumn rain and cold fishing for somewhat smaller prey.
If you'd like to join Justin and/or me for some fishing in Patagonia or north Georgia, all you got to do is click.

Justin Witt

  Toccoa Rainbow

Saturday, November 27, 2010
Thanksgiving Get-Together


Last Saturday, the 20th, it was back to Crawford's Crossing for the annual Thanksgiving cookout. Much food, many friends and great weather - for the first time.

At right, Carolyn Sewell, Bessie Stephenson and Joanne Waddey - unbundled and smiling.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Canoe Launch Lunch

Scott McBride, Joanne and I hosted a lunch at Crawford's Crossing to thank the volunteers and vendors who made the Coosawattee River Canoe Launch a reality.
Jesslyn Shields of the Georgia River Network (whose grant helped to fund the project) was able to make the drive to Ellijay from Athens to enjoy the vittles and some puppy kisses from Bella Adams-McBride.

Jesslyn Shields

  Launch Lunch

Friday, November 12, 2010
Jurassic Trout

Justin Witt and Zach Otte have just returned from a few days at Argentina's Estancia Laguna Verde on Lago Strobel, also known as Jurassic Lake. If you'd like to read about this recent experience and Justin's day to day life in Patagonia, check out his blog - Just Another Day in Patagonia - original name, huh?

If you would like to experience this incredible place and the opportunity to fish for these incredible trout, we still have a few open dates in 2011 for Jurassic Lake.

Email me today for details.



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Monday, November 9, 2010
Olympian John Belushi May Have Had It Right

For 8 weeks, nutrition professor, Mark Haub's diet consisted of Hostess and Little Debbie cakes, Doritos, sugary cereals and Oreos - eating every three hours as opposed to three meals daily.
He lost 27 pounds, reduced his body mass index from 28.8 to 24.9 and improved his cholesterol by 20%.
The key - he reduced his daily calorie intake from 2600 toi 1800 - indicating that it's not what you eat, it's how much.

Mark Haub


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Saturday, November 6, 2010
Jurassic Lake - Hype or Truth?

Could all of the marketing hype about Argentina's Jurassic Lake (Lago Strobel) be on the up and up?

Judge for yourself - this photo was taken today.

That's what I call a double!

  Jurassic Lake

Saturday, November 6, 2010
Patagonia Unlimited Team Takes Second Place

With a morning that began with a bit more than a dusting of snow, temperatures below freezing and a nasty wind, the 2010 Gold Rush Cup Fly Fishing Challenge - Qualifier Divsion caught off to a slow, cold start.

But with absolutely no assistance from me, the Patagonia Unlimited team, Steven and Ben of the Etowah Anglers took second place. First place winners, Team Hooch, will join the pro teams in tomorrow's competition.

Come out to Frog Hollow on the Chestatee River Sunday between 7:30am and 5:30pm and participate in this annual fundraiser event for Dahlonega's Gold Rush Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

Attendance and parking is open to the public and free, lots of related activities and great food and drink for nominal prices.

Click here for directions. Come see us.

  Etowah Anglers

Thursday, November 4, 2010
Please Share This With Any Young Drivers In Your Life

Judge Kimberly M. Esmond Adams ordered 24-year old Aimee Michael to serve 36 years of the 50-year sentence in prison, and the remainder on probation. Michael is also permanently banned from ever obtaining a driver’s license in Georgia.
Michael was convicted by a jury on Monday of causing the crash that sent a Mercedes into oncoming traffic, head-on into a Volkswagen Beetle. An entire family was killed in the Mercedes, and a young girl was killed in the Volkswagen.
After the accident, Aimee Michael fled the scene and hid her vehicle in the garage of her Walden Park home in South Fulton County. In the days that followed, Aimee Michael and her mother Sheila Michael conspired to have the damaged vehicle repaired to conceal evidence of the crash. Despite repeated public pleas for the hit and run driver to come forward, Aimee Michael failed to do so. She was arrested two weeks after the crash on April 23, 2009 after neighbors reported seeing the suspected gold BMW involved in the crash outside of the Michael’s family home.
On Oct. 15, Sheila Michael pled guilty to helping cover up her daughter’s part in the accident. Adams sentenced her to the maximum of eight years for failing to turn her in to the police for the crime, stating, "As a mother, Mrs. Michael, you are required to do the right thing. When she needed you to be her mother, you failed her."


Aimee Michael

The wreck led police on a 10-day search. Police were able to find the gold BMW after receiving tips from neighbors in the Michaels’ neighborhood. They also found a “marijuana cigar” in the ashtray, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, but that fact was not revealed to jurors, as there was no evidence linking it to Michael at the time of the crash, since she fled the scene. When police found the car in the driveway of the Michaels' home, the body had been repaired and it smelled of fresh paint.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Some Dog

Carolyn Sewell sent me this video with the caption, "We all need a dog like this." My response was - I have a wife that does all of those things.

Which poses the question, "am I getting brave or just more stupid in my old age?"


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Tuesday, October 25, 2010
Kudzu Bugs Invade North Georgia

In October 2009, masses of the insect Megacopita cribraria, commonly known as the kudzu bug, bean plataspid, lablab bug or glolular stink bug, were discovered in nine northeast Georgia counties (blue counties on map). By last month the insect was confirmed in more than 60 north and central Georgia counties (light blue counties on map). Before discovery in Georgia, M. cribraria was not known to occur in the Western Hemisphere.

Stink bugs


Stink bug

To gain relief from invading insects landing on homes, an
exterior wall application of an insecticide spray, labeled for
nuisance insect control outdoors, may be needed. Unfortunately,
re-application(s) may be necessary because kudzu and other
surrounding vegetation often remain as a source of re-infestation.

If the insects should invade your home they should not be crushed, as this may stain indoor surfaces and result in an ammonia-like odor that is difficult to eliminate.


Monday, October 24, 2010
Skydive the Farm
While Jerry Stephenson stepped in a hole and shattered his leg (see entry below), Erin Trin Witt jumped from a plane and came home with this video.
I'm seriously considering a trip to Skydive the Farm for my own jump.

Erin Witt

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Monday, October 24, 2010
Nebraska Train Wreck

I just received the following message from fellow Ol'Fart and OFWLC charter member Jerry Stepenson -

First day walking out to hunt...beautiful weather; looked like lots of birds around; stepped into a badger hole; lost my balance and fell. The train wreck followed:

Shattered tibia, broken fibia and twisted out foot. Surgery to place pins and a bolt. No weight for 6-8 weeks said the surgeon, but I will see a local ortho here in Decatur on Tuesday...currently just a half cast.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Back to Burton
John Simank joined me on another outing to Lake Burton. The fall color was approaching it's peak - still no moving browns.
Lake Burton
  Lake Burton

Sunday, October 17, 2010
You Know Who You Are

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From Moldy Chum

Sunday, October 17, 2010
For the Intellectuals Who Care About Such Things

A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle.

For example: if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth, a spear lodged in his chest and a burning torch up his ass.

Good to know.

Saturday, October 16, 2010
End of Times?

It's either another sign of the end of times or the second coming of A River Runs Through It. While camping in Yosemite, Oprah and her not-so-secret lover Gayle King spent part of their girls-only vacation fly fishing.
It appears that both were outfitted in full Simms attire including what they referred to as their "wading jeans". Hopefully, the folks at Simms will realize the marketing potential this provides - "stretched to the limits and still not leaking - Simms Goretex waders".
I'm betting those seams will have to be resealed.

Oprah and Gayle


Thursday, October 14, 2010
Basil Marceaux - Tennessee's Next Governor

From time to time I worry that the state of my youth might not have the necessary leadership to see it through these hard times. Thanks to Basil Marceaux, I'm not longer concerned. Even though Basil lost the Republican Primary to my former West Knoxville neighbor, Bill Haslam, I understand there is a strong write-in campaign for Basil, and he will no doubt win the November race to Nashville.
Go Basil!


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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Worldwide Exposure

When Oakley Eyeware was contacted by the Chilean private health insurer (ACHS), it donated 35 pairs of their $120 Radar sunglasses for the miners to wear to the surface after their 69 days underground.

Marketing researchers estimate that the exposure of their product and brand on worldwide TV is equivalent to $41 million in advertisig time.

Kudos to Chile and Oakley.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Low and Clear
Another trailer of a film from the Drake Film Festival - this one won the Film of the Year award.  

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lake Burton Browns

I was back on Lake Burton today - this time with Scott McBride. And yes, we did find those giant brown trout moving into their spawning areas.
It's a little known fact and unique to Lake Burton, that as they move up the lake, the browns go through a body modification of sorts and look suprisingly like small perch.

And NO, I did not make the carton (or as Joanne refers to it, the documentary) on Tuesday's post.

Lake Burton
  Lake Burton

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Who Hid the Camera in My House?

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Big Browns

Jerry Stephenson (right) and I spent Sunday on Lake Burton in preparation for the fall brown trout spawn and migration. Lake Burton, near Clayton, Georgia is a beautiful, 2,775 acre mountain lake and home to numerous fish species and the tony set.

Lake Burton
  Lake Burton

Saturday, October 2, 2010

She's no Susan Boyle - but I think she's talented - in a German sort of way.  

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Friday, October 1, 2010

RT Henson Open House - First of Two Weekends

It's another RT Henson Live Tour this and next weekend. Click on the announcement for details. This is a great way to spend part of your weekend - you won't be disappointed!   RT Henson
Friday, September 24, 2010

How Warm's the Water Mama?

Short answer - 73 degrees.
With the draw-down of Lake Blue Ridge for TVA's dam repairs on-going, the water temperatures of the Toccoa tailwater are nearing that of the average daily air temperature.
Scott McBride and floated the Curtis Switch area with only sunfish to show for our efforts.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Just Love Them Dogs
The kids, that's Christy and Aaron, posted this video on Facebook this morning.
I love it.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

She Made It!

Collin Chambers has made it to Mt Katahdin, the terminus of her hike of the Appalachina Trail.
It has been a true delight to vicariously join her in the seven-month, 2,180 miles through The Wanderings of an Avid Hiker.
Congratulations Collin!

  Collin on Katahdin

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Film Festival Winner

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In addition to meeting a lot of great folks and catching up with some old friends, the highpoint of last week's IFTD show was The Drake Film Festival. Winner of this year's best fly fishing film is Tapam - A Flyfishing Journey, Jan Bach Kristensen and Daniel Goz's film about fly fishing for river tarpon from float tubes. Right click above and select Play to begin video.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Walking Away

The rumors of my demise are premature.
Yes, Justin Witt and I were involved in an auto accident leaving the International Fly Tackle Dealers Trade Show in Denver on Saturday, but we are home safely. Our fishing hats are off to the Denver police, fire and rescue folks for their professionalism, courtesy and the ride to lodging near the airport. It's said that any accident you walk away from is a good one, and considering that a split second one way or the other could have produced drastically different results, I'm grateful.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Question for Norm Essner and The Other Attorneys Out There

What happens when a legendary fly fisherman, fly tier and shop owner retires, sells the business branded with his name, decides a while later that retirement's not for him and opens a new business a block away from the original also branded with his name?
Well, in the case of Jackson Hole's Jack Dennis, he's being sued. The Jackson Hole News and Guide reports that Jack Dennis Sports who bought the original business from Jack is suing Jack for what they claim is his "illegally capitilizing on his own name".
Jack's attorneys will be filing a countersuit this week.
Ought to make for interesting discussions at this weeks' International Fly Tackle Dealer Trade Show in Denver. If you're there, look for us behind the Patagonia Unlimited table in the cheap seats by the casting pool.

  Jack Dennis

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chris,Earl; Earl, Chris

Chris Tighlman, proprietor of Surf Blue Ridge Stand Up Paddling on Main Street in Blue Ridge, GA, couldn't resist the east coast big wave action provided by hurricane Earl. Chris headed to some of his favorite haunts of years gone by for a few days of serious surfing.

If you're in the north Georgia mountains this weekend, stop by Chris's SUP shop and check out the water sport that's sweeping the country. Rumor is he's also got a lot of items on sale.

  Chris Tighlman
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Jack Wheeler

After years of increasingly bad health, Jack Wheeler passed away this morning. Jack was an integral part of life in Gilmer County and a vital, irreplacible part of life in Blackberry Mountain.

Over the years, I've come to rely on Jack's good humor, wisdom, pragmitism and leadership as an omnipresent part of my daily life. I will miss him.

Godspeed buddy.

  Jack Wheeler

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Idea of Good Return Policy

Red Truck Fly Rods has a sensible approach to rod warranties and return policies. They are so confident in their moderately priced line of rods, if you a buy a rod and it does not become your favorite, send it back.
Enjoy their video from the Eastern Sierras.

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