GOOD EATS – Smoked Center Cut Beef Back Ribs

It seems that thick beef short ribs are wildly en vogue for those with smokers and in this ‘Good Eats’ post, I’d like to make the case for the less often talked about, center cut beef back ribs, as I find them to be so excellent tasting and they can be quite a bit cheaper, especially when buying several racks to feed family and friends.

Years ago, I was in our local Publix grocery store and found center cut beef back ribs packaged in large individual racks.  They were on sale, and depending on their weight, were priced at $6.00 to $8.00 a rack.  I was unfamiliar with smoking beef ribs but thought that they would be worth a try. 

From that first time until now, I keep this recipe as simple as possible as beef ribs have a lot of flavor all on their own.  The real trick is

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NORTH FORK COMPOSITES – The Iconoglass Sale Just Got Better

A post on North Fork Composites and their Iconoglass series of fiberglass blanks has been in the hopper for awhile now and a recent price slash on their blanks moved it up to the top to be published today.

I guess I’ve held off on talking about the Iconoglass blanks since I don’t have any experience with them yet but early reports from builders and anglers that I follow online and social media have given these blanks very high marks.  The full rate price isn’t too bad for a “Made in USA” blank but the sale price (on top of an already promotional price) running right now should be too good to pass up.  

A couple of months ago, I had a great conversation with North Fork Composites CEO Alex Maslov, and he brings an impressive business background that is not often seen within the fly fishing
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GOOD EATS – Souffléed Apple Pancake

With fall comes “apple season” and if you’re looking for something tasty, try your hand at making a Souffléed Apple Pancake for breakfast.  It’ll likely be a big hit with the entire family.

This is also a good time to break out your favorite cast iron pan (the Smithey No. 10 is perfect for this) and we’ve started baking ours in the Traeger Pro 575 with great results.

The choice of what type of apple can vary to your own liking.  We tend to use hard fleshed and tart apples with Pink Ladies as our preference and in this case, Jonagold.

Thin Apple Slices to Cover Pan Bottom
6 Tablespoons of Butter
3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
Several Pinches Apple Pie Spice
1 Cup of Pureed Apples
4 Eggs Separated from Yokes
1 1/4 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup Milk
2/3 Cup
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THE ROAD TO 300K – From the Shop to the Blue Ridge Parkway

It’s never good when you pull text message from your wife while you’re on the pointy end of a skiff in Florida asking, “Who do I need to call to tow the Element?”.  Dammit.    

I had sensed this coming for awhile.  When shifting out of third gear every now and then, it just didn’t feel right.  There was a hard to describe thud feel and I figured that the transmission was showing it’s age as we neared 300,000 miles.  It finally died and now wouldn’t come out of second gear. 

A tow truck ride and mechanic diagnosis later, we needed to decide what to do next.  The transmission was gone.  We were looking at $2,500 for a new transmission, $1,700 for a used transmission, or maybe it was time to let it go.

Walk away from our Element that was at the doorstep of 300,000 miles?  We just … Read the rest

HANK’S FISH ART – Your Word for the Day is… Micropterus

One definite change that has happened in my own fly fishing over the past few years, is that I’d rather look for native bass than try to find a trout where they might not even supposed to be.  There is just something about these localized bass and panfish species and the places they call home.

There’s a growing awareness and interest in these “Native Sons” and it’s been neat to see other anglers and in this case, an artist, highlight these very special and lesser known fishes.

Hank Hershey of Hank’s Fish Art has taken a deep dive into ‘Micropterus‘ and is working his way through the lineup with a series of bass portraits which are a lot of fun and highlight their subtle and not so differences of war paint and fin flare.


Hank wrote…  “I’ve recently launched a series of Micropterus illustrations Read the rest

10 FOR SUMMER – The Warmwater Edition

Well, there’s nothing like sliding into this gear review right as summer is quickly flipping the switch to fall.  I never want to push time as I do enjoy our South Carolina summers even though they are hot as Hell with humidity that does not end.

Our summer has been uncertain, just like everyone else’s, as 2020 keeps throwing curve balls but we’ve spent quite a bit of time outdoors and on the water.  We even made a few (careful with precautions) road trips happen which we needed.

This is a little embarrassing but this gear review is late enough in the summer season that there are a couple of items (one from Filson and then another from Rep Your Water) that are no longer available.  We’re going to push on through and this is a good reminder that I need to be a little more timely on these seasonal

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YDCCF – Belizean Flyfishing Guides Support Fund

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has hit so many in so many different ways.  Travel, especially to international destinations, continues to be shut down and even when it opens there may be many who will hesitate to travel anywhere anytime soon.

Yellow Dog Community & Conservation Foundation has kicked off a fundraiser with the help of AFFTA and a growing list of industry partners to support Belizean guides who have likely not worked and may be slow to return to work when the country reopens in October.

I have a real soft spot for Belize.  It’s where my journey (which I am still on) to catch a permit began and in a half dozen trips to Dangriga, Hopkins, and Placencia, there are people, places, foods and Belikins, and of course memories of the flats that fuel a constant need to return.

We’ll get past this damn virus, but

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THE ROAD TO 300K – Into the Driver’s Seat

In 2004, we bought our Honda Element and I guess it wasn’t too much later that we found out that Melissa was pregnant with our first child.  Fast forward to the next summer and Hadley was born.  We brought her home from the hospital in the Element and I still remember being so suddenly freaked out by every driver on road now that I had this seemingly fragile infant buckled in the backseat in her car seat.

That infant turned into a child who’s turned into a teenager and like every parent you’ll talk to, life has seemingly moved in fast forward.  We now have a fifteen-year-old…with her driver’s permit. 

Hadley’s actually been driving for a couple of years now around the backroads and trails of my wife’s family property where we live.  She’s always been careful and understood from our first lessons the responsibility of what driving is.


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GOOD EATS – Maple Soy (Alaskan Wild-Caught) Salmon

I kind of got ahead of myself with the last ‘Good Eats‘ post which detailed our salmon cakes recipe since the main ingredient is already having salmon that has been grilled and then flaked.  I wanted to share a quick and easy marinade that we use which is great for the salmon cakes and just as good for a stand-alone salmon preparation.

You might notice the WhistlePig maple syrup in the photo below which arrived on my doorstep as part of a care package that I’ve been using in the kitchen this summer.  This is great Vermont maple syrup.  Thanks again, Whistlepig.

For reference, I’m doing the recipe math off of a single salmon filet and not two as in the photograph above.  Also, in the recipe below, going heavy on the maple syrup will make it sweeter or heavy on soy will send the overall taste that

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PANFISH ON THE FLY – 7 Proven Patterns for Warmwater

Keeping up with the upcoming content on this website is always in a state of flux and I have a Gmail folder where I stow emails that are everything from ideas emails to full-on cut and paste over to here to publish. If I’m not careful, I can get a overwhelmed with what’s in there or already in draft on the website.

Yesterday, I started out this email folder and it quickly went from over two hundred emails to less than 50.  Now I have the makings of several dozen posts and uncovered a few gems, including this one of favorite warmwater flies from Bart Lombardo of Panfish on the Fly.

Here are Bart’s seven “must-have” patterns to round out your summertime warmwater fly fox…


By a large margin, my most popular pattern is the Triangle Bug.  I developed this pattern to address a particular problem.
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