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Author: Subject: THE CALICO SYNDICATE - Into The Mystic
suppafly
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[*] posted on 25/9/12 at 10:23 Reply With Quote
THE CALICO SYNDICATE - Into The Mystic



I once read “Adventure is not outside man; it is within” and this past weekend I think the entire Calico Crew experienced just that, each in our own way. As the grand finale to an incredible summer of chasing calico bass with our fly rods, we decided that this three day trip would be about exploring new waters, doing things outside of what we “normally” do, and enjoying fishing for what it truly is….the thrill of the hunt in the company of good friends.

This entire summer we’ve been trying to get to some outer Channel Islands but the weather has just not cooperated. In our crew, Bill, Dave, and Vaughn all run their own boats and the last thing any of us wanted to do was hazard any of them, so we held off on exploring unfamiliar waters because of the weather. However, that being said, we decided that the window of opportunity would soon pass and we needed to man up and take one on the chin if necessary, and just GO in order to scratch that itch of desire to find bigger fish. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so we went.

I think we all left the dock, in the ominous grey light, with the wonderment and excitement of little kids as we motored into the unknown….at least “the unknown” for us. What we found, I think none of us expected…mystical waters, beautiful islands, bigger fish, and the realization of our own selves through the challenge of acting outside of what is familiar to better the “status quo”.

As far as fishing is concerned, we didn’t catch huge numbers, but what we did catch was a lot larger than the averages we are normally used to. Many fish over 4 lbs were boated, a 6+ pound fish by Bill, along with the first 8 pound calico most of us have ever seen taken with the fly. It wasn’t the banner “every cast” day we have had in the past, but there were high fives going around the boats for nearly every fish that came over the rail. I can’t explain how beautiful it was fishing in these new waters, the pictures surely don’t do it justice, and you won’t believe it until you see if for yourself….and I hope all of you do someday.

The stars truly aligned for me this weekend because I had the unique opportunity of being on a boat with not one seasoned guide, but two! In some karmic, weird ass second of pure luck, I was the only one fishing, Vaughn at the helm, Bill just standing next to me, and then it happened. I don’t know if it was because I used every bit of my 1 pc. 11 wt. rod to lift that fish, or because I had both Bill and Vaughn coaching me through this rolling catastrophe… it might have been the Seaguar Tatsu, or maybe because it was just my time to ride, but I boated the fish of a lifetime. After I stopped shaking from the adrenaline rush, I didn’t need to fish anymore that day, I was all good.

On the ride back to Isthmus I think I slipped into somewhat of a semi-sleep mode and just reflected on that big ass fish. As the ride went on I thought less of the fish and more about how comical that must have looked, me fighting that fish, and everyone else just freaking out. I wish I could replay a video of those few seconds in my life. However, in retrospect, I know in my heart, for the rest of my life, I will always remember that it was an incredible adventure of pursing my passion WITH my friends, Adam, Bill, Dave, Tod and Vaughn, regardless of catching fish or not.

It has always been the moments in my life that I was the most scared of doing something, but pushed myself to do it on principal, that has been the most memorable, as well as life altering. For us to grow as humans, for fly fishing to grow as an industry, we must all dig deep in our hearts to explore what we do not know, and what we have not tried…this I know for sure. Sorry for being long winded, but in closing, I will leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes that sums up my trip, along with one thing I took away from this weekend:

(1) “Courage is being afraid, but saddling up anyway” - John Wayne
(2) Skinny T can STILL drink more beer than you!

Tight Loops & Tight Lines – Keith M.



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TCS_Sept21 (1) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (2) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (5) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (6) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (17) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (18) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (19) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (20) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (21) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (22) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (23) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (24) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (25) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (26) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (27) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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TCS_Sept21 (28) by CalicoSyndicate, on Flickr

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bmatthews
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[*] posted on 25/9/12 at 11:55 Reply With Quote


Soooooo Cool!!!

Great shots!




Bass thumb is all part of Calico fishing!

Capt. Bill
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ondafly
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[*] posted on 25/9/12 at 16:53 Reply With Quote


congratulations boys on a fine adventure, you guys rocked it!
fantastic pics and camaraderie...that's what it is all about...
-Q

sorry about the crazy mass posting, my computer freaked out! :)
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nmkrbk
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[*] posted on 25/9/12 at 18:08 Reply With Quote


I agree with Al Q. Just not with the same repititive frequency :)
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ShaneChung
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[*] posted on 25/9/12 at 18:35 Reply With Quote


Quote:
Originally posted by nmkrbk
I agree with Al Q. Just not with the same repititive frequency :)


I agree with Randy. Maybe Al needs to take care of his itchy fingers when posting;)

Shane
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Steve_P
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[*] posted on 25/9/12 at 20:15 Reply With Quote


Jealous...
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RichardCullip
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[*] posted on 25/9/12 at 20:22 Reply With Quote


What a great trip!



Life is good. Eternal life is better!

Richard
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khanley
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[*] posted on 26/9/12 at 06:58 Reply With Quote


Standing "O" for The Crew! Outstanding post Keith.

These pics are just begging for a soundtrack!!!!

Cheers, Ken




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okiplug
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[*] posted on 26/9/12 at 06:59 Reply With Quote


Wow, great trip guys! Congrats to all on the big fish. SBI?
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suppafly
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[*] posted on 26/9/12 at 10:49 Reply With Quote


Ken, thanks for the kind words. I was listening to "Lowrider" by War when I was uploading those photos, and if you throw it on and look at the pictures again, it might make more sense....food for thought?! I would love to chat sometime and share some stories!

Aloha,
Keith M.
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fliflicker
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[*] posted on 26/9/12 at 11:56 Reply With Quote


SWEET!
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khanley
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[*] posted on 26/9/12 at 12:44 Reply With Quote


Say hey Keith.....

I'll be speaking at Adam, Todd, and Dave's club in mid-November. Let's get together then? I'm sure the boyz know which night it is (a Tuesday or Wednesday I believe).

"Lowrider" is a classic. I can see how it would work.

Cheers, Ken




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Emerger
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[*] posted on 28/9/12 at 09:57 Reply With Quote


Very nice. Pics are great! Keep em' coming.
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SCAndy
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[*] posted on 28/9/12 at 10:12 Reply With Quote


Ya REALLY nice photogs. Especially like the fisheye one with the flyline perspective into the cobalt.....
already getting homesick for my boat.
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suppafly
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[*] posted on 28/9/12 at 14:41 Reply With Quote


I would like to thank everyone for the overwhelmingly positive responses to not only this post, but to all of the Calico Crew’s posts this summer. I received dozens of e-mails and phone calls this week and it seems that everyone wants to know what fly I caught that 8 lb. calico bass with…..Dave Valadez’s DV Radioactive Thunderbird. If you’ve never seen the fly, then here it is in living color…and “color” it has! Again, thanks for all the wonderful e-mails and comments, I trust you know that they are much appreciated.

Tight Loops & Tight Lines – Keith M.

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[*] posted on 28/9/12 at 17:58 Reply With Quote


Thanks, I needed that. Great storybook.

JoeA.




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