Paddle Me IPA to benefit local watershed council

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We all like drinking beer, and now sipping local suds can help support local watershed restoration efforts thanks to a new partnership between the Calapooia Brewing Company of Albany and the Calapooia Watershed Council of Brownsville, a 501c3 non-governmental organization.  As part of the partnership, Calapooia Brewing will donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of its Paddle Me IPA to support restoration work on the Calapooia River and community outreach about the value of local rivers around Albany.  “This is just a very organic partnership….  Our business branding and our personal recreation both center very heavily on Oregon’s Rivers.  We’ve been hosting the Watershed Council’s fundraiser for years now, and we decided it was time to step up and support these causes that benefit everything and everyone we care about in the Willamette Valley,” says brewery owner Laura Bryngelson.  The partnership is also working to organize river-centric events in Albany with the first event scheduled for summer 2014.

Calapooia Brewing was founded in 2006, although their location at 140 NE Hill St in Albany has been a continually producing brewery since 1993, making it one of Oregon’s oldest breweries.  For more information on Calapooia Brewing Company, see www.calapooiabrewing.com.

The Calapooia Watershed Council was created by residents of the watershed in 1999 and is a community organization that promotes voluntary actions to improve the health of the watershed.  The Council works with private landowners and state and local agencies to remove invasive species, increase fish habitat, and improve water quality in the Calapooia Basin and the Albany reach of the Willamette River.  In June 2013, the Council removed Cox Creek Dam near Talking Water Gardens in Albany and planted over 39,000 native plants in Simpson Park.  During the 2013-14 school year, the Council is working with North Albany, Central Albany, Oak Grove, and Central Linn Elementary Schools to provide place-based outdoor education for more than 240 local students.  For more information on Calapooia Watershed Council’s past and current projects or to offer your support for the Council, see www.calapooia.org.

The Rockies are no Cascadia

As promised, a short report from Kyle’s Gunnison float with his old pal Devin:

Brown trout took a little time to figure out, but tapered leaders from Trout Hunter did the trick.  The lack of a perfection loop on the end of these leaders took some getting used to (read, I’m lazy and prefer someone at a factory somewhere with much nimbler fingers than mine to tie my leader loops for me).  But the 8′ 3x was perfect for the aforementioned Chubby Chernobyls the Fly Czar and Mr. Mertens at Idylwilde were kind enough to send us off with.  These leaders didn’t get all kinky or curlycued when I’d yank my Chubby out of the bushes after an errant cast.  And the packaging was easy to open, which was nice given the number of mosquito bites on my fingers after night 1 made for some clumsy dexterity.

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Chris from Gunnison River Pro took REALLY good care of us.  “Raft-rental” really doesn’t do this operation justice, as Chris provides everything you need to guide yourself down some of Colorado’s best trout rivers.  We showed up, threw our stuff in the raft, and headed off with a cooler he’d packed full of goodies, a full kitchen, and all the odds and ends we needed to make for a comfortable river experience.  Amazing food, generous portions, and quality gear made for an awesome two day float.  Did I mention some of the food he hooked us up with was fresh from his personal veggie garden!?!  If you’re not the type to hire a guide, and prefer a choose-your-own-adventure kind of experience, Chris is the man to talk to in Colorado.  Great value and incredible service means I’ll be heading back next year for some cast-n-blast action on the upper Gunnison.

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I was also super impressed with the Scott A4 9′ 5 weight Devin brought along.  This rod could roll cast a country mile, felt light in-hand, and had high-end finishes I’d expect to see on a much more expensive rod.  I wasn’t crazy about the single-locking ring on the reel seat that came loose a few times while fishing, but that’s a minor detail easily fixed by a little attention from time to time.  An excellent mid-range rod that I’d pick over other competitors offerings at that price-point, AND it’s made in the USA!  Coupled with a Lamson Velocity with a killer orange colored drag, I had some serious gear-envy when Devo packed it up at the end of the trip.

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While brown trout are cool and all, gotta say, Colorado just doesn’t quite do it for me like good ole’ Orygun.  See y’all Cascadians in a few more days.

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Biolite: Backup Stove, Phone Charger, & Grill

As anglers we live out of drift boats, cars, trucks, and campers. In response to our numerous hours spent away from home we are Introducing Camp Life, a new series that will review gear that makes camp life easier, or is cool as sh*t.

Biolite Stove:

I was first introduced to this stove last winter when a good friend received one as a gift from his Dad. I was a little unsure of what a wood-powered phone charger that can be cooked on would be like, but I was quickly convinced on our first trip out, which was in a blizzard on Mt. Hood. Needless to say, the stove was running the entire night – charging, cooking soup, and warming coffee for our whiskey.

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How the stove works without getting into any crazy details:

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The orange unit is a fan and also the charger. There is a single USB port on it that will charge camera batteries, cell phones, and headlamps.

You chop small pieces of wood and load them into the “oven.” The fan forces air into the oven and gets the fire ripping.

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Pros:

It makes a killer backup. We were on day two of a four day float and ran out of propane (oops) and used the biolite as our primary stove without a problem for the last two days.

If you are in an area where a GPS or cell phone would be beneficial, the charger is very nice to have. It will also handle most camera batteries.

Fuel, or lack there of, is awesome. All you need is a couple of starter sticks (it comes with them) and small pieces of wood. I have thought about carrying a small bundle of wood just in case, but haven’t had a problem in the areas I have been camping. (This is NOT a stove for the desert)

It’s about the size of a nalgene water bottle, which makes it easy to store in a car or boat very easily.

The new grill attachment just made my mini-weber a joke.

portable_grill_mainCons:

You cannot control the temperature when cooking.

Having to continuously chop little pieces of wood and reload the oven regularly gets annoying.

If the fan dies, it is basically non-functional.

It is an open flame, so places with burn bans make this unusable.

http://www.biolitestove.com