December 27, 2007

Trail Riding

I was able to get out for half of a day yesterday to do some trail riding in Otter Tail County. The weather was perfect for rding, with temps in the low to mid 20's, almost no wind, and partly cloudy/sunny. Unlike the Twin Cities, we only got a couple of inches of fresh powder the past week,however, the trails where I was riding were still in great shape. I only managed to meet four others riders out there, over three hours. It was nice to practically have the trails to myself. The section I was riding in was hilly, and several areas had mini-switchbacks to ascend them. There were quite a few twisties and curves in this wooded area, opening up to a few areas of prairie where you could open it up bit. This section of trail was somewhat technical and definitely required a little more skilled control over your sled, but the ride was rewarded with several incredibly scenic vistas. I only put on 40 miles yesterday, but under the conditions, they were well earned.
My legs are a little stiff from yesterday's ride, but it will be good conditioning for longer rides over the next few months. We have been blessed with good snows so far this year, enabling an early start to the season. Here's to a happy new year and good riding!

December 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's just over a week early for my Birthday, but here's what I ended up doing today:
I purchased a Redington RS4 10' 8 weight fly rod. I also purchased a Scientific Angler Mastery Series Steelhead taper fly line and a Lamson Velocity Hard Alox fly reel.
I looked at the new hybrid switch rods and their utility, and my needs. The switch rods would fit my application, but I would need an entirely new reel and line system, and the switch rods are somewhat more expensive than a single handed rod. Yes, I know I bought a complete new set-up, but I can interchange the new line and the reel with my existing fly rods (hard to do with Spey fly lines). The tradeoff for the switch rod was opting for the 10' rod for better roll casting and line mending. There's no reason that I can't still use two handed casting techniques on the new rod.
Basically I got a brand new steelhead setup that I will be using for buffalo, redhorse and carp. But I now have the option of using the rod for steelies too. I was trying to keep my whole setup under $600. I found a sweet Scott ARC 1008/4 steelhead rod for $369, unfortunately this put me well over budget. I suppose I could have skipped out on the reel for now, but that Lamson should handle the beating my other reels recieve on the rocks.
I'll be getting some gift certifcates to Bentleys for xmas, so I'll probably pickup some tungsten sink tips for the line, to add some versatility. Maybe there's hope to make me a steelheader one of these days :P