The Zenbivy Bed

I truly wish I was a ‘sleep on my back’ type of person. While out in the backcountry of the Colorado Rockies, in a tent on a sleeping pad with a mummy style sleeping bag, sleeping on ones back would be preferred but that just isn’t going to happen for me. For years I had to make do while using a mummy bag but times have changed. Enter the Zenbivy. Half quilt, half mummy, the Zenbivy is an ingenious 2 part sleeping system that allows you to easily sleep comfortably all night in any position.

At the heart of the sleeping system is the down quilt which is filled with 700 HyperDry Duck Down wrapped in a 20d Nylon Taffeta shell. First mainly used by the ultra light backpackers, the quilt is slowly becoming a favorite among the weekend warrior. Technology for the sleeping pad has helped with its redesigned choices for shapes and sizes and the advancement in technology to up the R value of the pads. Matching the Zenbivy quilt with your sleeping pad has never been easier and more comfortable. The second part of the Zenbivy process is the fitted sheet that easily goes with any sleeping pad. With its side zippers and covered pillow area, it easily slides over your pad and attaches to the quilt and allows for a variety of sleeping styles.

To be honest, when I first heard about the Zenbivy I was a little apprehensive. The quilt is straight forward and a no brainer for me, but add to that another piece that needs to be put on a sleeping pad and then connected to the quilt…I thought it would be too much trouble for what it was worth. I was very excited to have proven myself wrong! It’s so simple and easy to set up, not to mention the fact that it weighs in at roughly 2 lb 9 oz. Matched up with your sleeping pad, the Zenbivy sleep system should definitely make it into your over night packs as it is now in mine.

Head over to the Zenbivy website for all the specs and special offers. Also while you’re there, take a sneak peak at what they have coming for March 2019!

Photos: A Trout Every Month, for Almost Four Years!

Originally posted @ Orvis

A few years ago, I was struck by the realization that I was having a pretty good fishing streak, so I decided to look back at my photos and check their time stamps to see just how successful I had actually been. I was able to verify that I had caught a fish in December of 2014, and it was now September 2015. I then discovered that I had caught a fish every month for nine months in a row! Not too shabby, I thought. That was when I came up with the idea to see just how many months in a row I could keep up my winning streak.

This goal might be an impossible feat in certain regions, but in Colorado I can fish all year, so I don’t have to worry about a fishing “season.” Also, there are about fifty locations I can fish within an hour of my house, and although not all of them are fishable year round, there is still an abundance of areas available at any given time. Sometimes, my fish of the month is caught ten minutes down the road, while at other times it’s caught after hiking fourteen miles and fishing at 12,000 feet above sea level. This is one of the many reasons that I am grateful to call Colorado my home.

Having a goal like this makes me get out and fish when I normally wouldn’t do so, taking me out of my comfort zone and sometimes with unthinkable results. This past Super Bowl Sunday, for instance, I went out when it was 12 degrees! Not thinking I would see anything, let alone catch anything, to my surprise the fish were going nuts for the couple of hours I was able to withstand the frigid weather.

For the first year and a half of my goal, I was laser focused on making sure I caught a fish every time I went out. I would get nervous and anxious, thinking “I have to catch a fish today!” During a couple of the winter months, I caught my monthly fish on the last or second to last day of the month, feeling great relief that I had made it in time. But after those first eighteen months, I realized that I hadn’t been having fun and was so focused on my goal that every trip was riddled with anxiety. So I made it my focus to just enjoy my time outside and on the water with family and friends, and use my goal as something to sweeten the pot.

My goal is also a hit with my family; for example my son Brennon gets extremely excited when he’s the one who helps me get my “monthly fish” into the net. My wife enjoys my excitement and dedication, so now I don’t even have to come up with an excuse to get out onto the water.

Here’s to 45 months and counting!

Early Morning on The Dream

Tom and I took off of work and headed to the Dream Stream early on a Thursday morning. Did not see evidence of the spring runners coming out of the lake but still had some beautiful trout that made it into the nets!

Fly Fishing Colorado: Our Playground – 2017

Weather was tough this year but we battled through it to have another amazing year!

Fall on the Creek

I love this time of year because the big browns get so active. The creek I fish comes alive with the different species of fish that is in it. I hit it one weekend and did really well just before the spawn was starting to happen. Then the following week the spawn was on in full and there were beds all over the place. No fish were caught that week, I just walked the creek and enjoyed seeing all of the action that was going on at the redds.

 

Photos: One Last Trip for High-Country Cutthroats

Originally posted @ Orvis

I took one last trip to 12,000 feet this past weekend. Kurt, James, and Steve accompanied me into Colorado’s Sangre De Cristo Wilderness to chase Rio Grande cutthroat trout. The afternoons were spent hanging out under pine trees waiting out the rain-and-hail storms and the nights dipped down into the mid 30’s, but the Rio Grande cutts were out in full force. It’s always a good time hanging out in the Rocky Mountains and catching trout, no matter what mother nature throws at you.

Photos: An East-Coaster in Colorado’s High Country

Originally posted @ Orvis

I “met” Nick Meloy a couple of years ago on the fly-fishing forum on reddit, and this past week he was out in Denver on vacation. He had a free day and wanted to meet up and hit some Colorado water. We could have gone to the Dream Stream or the Blue or the Colorado, which are all fantastic fisheries. But being the altitude junky I am, decided to take him up to 12,000 feet above sea level. A three-mile each-way hike, with 2,000 feet in elevation gain, had the Pennsylvanian out of breath a few times, but we made it to the lake for an amazing day of catching cutthroat trout!

Photos: Holy Hail and Cutties in the Colorado High Country

Originally posted @ Orvis

Shawn, Tom, and I hiked into the Holy Cross Wilderness Area in Colorado for a few days of chasing cutthroat trout. To be honest, this wasn’t the best trip we’ve ever taken. With 23 miles of hiking, crazy thunderstorms, and hail storms that rolled through everyday, and not-so-stellar fishing, it was a bit of a struggle the whole trip. But that’s the way it goes when you are above 11,500 feet: you never know what to expect, so you just have to make the best of it and enjoy being out in the wild.

 

Gambling

Every year my friends and I try to take bets on when a certain couple of lakes will be open for fishing. These lakes are roughly 12,500 feet above sea level and take a lot longer to ice off than you would think. When you hit the lakes at just the right time it’s some of the best fishing we’ll have all year. But if you go too early, all you’ll get is some good exercise and some amazing views! Either way it’s win/win.

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My creek during runoff

I use the term “My creek” extremely loosely. Although when I go I don’t ever see anyone else so it might as well be mine. The fishing this spring has been great at the creek but I’m anxiously awaiting the snow to melt to start hiking the high country!

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