Sage MOD

I was grateful to work with a fantastic team to make this project a reality. Many thanks to Bryan Gregson, Bobby Foster and Drew Stoecklein for logging crazy hours through all kinds of weather and bringing the vision to life. 

I'm not a huge fan of product videos, so I really wanted to disguise this one as great story telling. When I asked Jerry about the rod, he started talking about why he loves designing trout rods and his time guiding on the Henry's Fork. The line we'd take was pretty obvious. 

So many product vids lose you right out of the gate if you're not in the market for whatever it is they're selling, but I feel as though there's something here for everyone. If you're just getting into fishing, you learn a lot about technique and some very storied water. If you know about Sage, maybe you learn about how our chief rod designer got his start. If you know you want the latest rod, but just need a reason to buy it, that's there too. And, if all you're looking for is some fish porn, we've got you covered. 

Whiskey and Water

A guest post for the Patagonia Flyfish Blog

Winter had taken hold. The temps were firmly entrenched in the single digits and I didn’t check the weather anymore; I just stopped on the bridge to watch the dark blue water sneaking past the ice, a fugitive from the floes. When the mercury bottomed out at -30, the river smoked its way up the valley like a prescribed burn. I ordered a case of rye whiskey from the liquor store in town and didn’t stop on the bridge again until March.
When the ice began to melt, I watched. When the runoff came, I waited. When the water cleared, I went. This would be the season.
I fished every day–screwed up a lot–but rapidly learned to tie solid knots, figured out what bugs to use and developed a personal code of ethics on the river.  I remember the first time I forgot to press a barb. I remember the first fish that went belly up. I remember every mistake I made and every so-called victory. But every day, I went. I fished. I learned.
One night, curiosity led me to an access on my way home from work. I’d had a long day. I didn’t know the holes here. I caught a tree on every cast. But the river just went about it’s business. Efficient. Secretive. Selfish. Despite my efforts to work this stretch as I would the section that flows near my house, I caught nothing.
Part of me wished I’d just gone home, that I hadn’t wasted my time where I didn’t know the water, but I kept at it - working the bottom of a hole below a large tree. Finally, a strike. I set the hook and that fish bent my rod end to end as it took off into the middle of the river. I struggled to stay with him, but lost my footing and the tension on my line. A flash of belly and he was gone. My white whale.
I made a few dejected casts before moving upriver. I caught small fish here and there, but my heart wasn’t in it. The river would keep her secrets. I decided to head out with time for one last try at the hole by the tree.
I tentatively tossed my line into the gathering dusk. Even if I didn’t catch him, I knew he was in there and maybe that was enough.
As the river pushed against my legs, my indicator dipped and I felt the tug. The set was instinctive. I stripped and my rod tip curved - we moved together this time. I kept tension downstream toward the shallows until I could grab the line.
This part I knew. With one hand on the leader, I tucked my rod under my elbow and brought the fish to the surface. I removed the hook easily and kept my fingers light under his belly as he regained strength. To my surprise - and, by the look on his face, his as well - my white whale turned out to be a whitefish. But that was fine.
He finned in my hand for a moment, translucent and nearly invisible in the water, then slowly swam back into the current. I made my way to the car, sat on the tailgate to break down my rod and fished a warm can of beer from my backpack.
It was a nice change from whiskey.

#BuiltfortheMission

A fun project I helped put together for Mystery Ranch backpacks while I was working as their Brand Manager. The Built for the Mission campaign embodies the innovation of our years of building specialty packs for the military, and how that development has informed all of our consumer products, from hunting and fire to backpacking and skiing. 

BUILT FOR THE MISSION Mystery Ranch is committed to making the finest load-bearing equipment in the world. We build for a different kind of customer. We build for the folks who inspire us. We build for men and women with a job to do. We build with the best materials available and the most durable construction methods that exist so that you know our gear will support your mission whether it’s on the front line, the fire line, the cleanest line or the steepest line. We don’t cut corners. Every pack that we build is designed with you in mind – from function and fit to design and comfort. When every item that goes in your pack is a necessity, we want you to be efficient, effective and, most important, safe. We want to be sure that you can get it done, whatever your mission may be. Mystery Ranch. Built for the Mission.