Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Gear: Google Glass on the river

From the, "It was bound to happen file", according to the Billings Gazette, a Montana Tech professor has started thinking about a use for Google glass on the river.  I must admit I kind of like the idea of grip and grin photos with only the blink of an eye. However, that's not all they are thinking about.

"Hawthorne is creating an app, with the help of Scott Fleener, a computer science major at Tech, he hopes to submit to Google for use on all Google Glass devices. With a seed grant from Tech, the app will, using a Glass wearer’s GPS location, be able to give fishermen details on nearby rivers in southwest Montana."

Back in the late 90's, our pal Zugbug wrote a article for the BRFFA newsletter that predicted anglers using digital cameras and Palm Pilots would sell their catch on ebay while still standing in the river.  The man was sort of a prophet.

No word if Google has plans to release a version of their hardware in tweed with bison leather accents.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Gear: FreeSteps6 Wading Crampons

A while ago, I decided to forsake the felt soles of my youth and go with some of the, now not so new, rubber soled wading boots (with spikes).  I did this for various reasons that included invasive species as well as comfort when hiking into remote fishing spots.  When I tried them for a the first time I suffered from what I'll call a "lack of confidence" which seemed to manifest itself whenever I found myself waist deep in a tail water, trying to balance atop bowling ball sized rocks which were covered in rock snot.  This lack of confidence (and an adequate wading staff) led to many Fred Flintstone like moments.

Enter some friends from Hillsound, who sent us a set of Freesteps6 crampons to try. While Freesteps6 look a lot like a traditional light weight ice crampon, they are also being marketed as an easy on/off option for river wading anglers. The "independent studs" (note possible new name for our fishing club) with twenty-one 1/4 inch spikes are made of stainless steel so they should be fairly durable. I plan on giving them a test this summer, so look for a full report later this season.

At a MSRP of $39.99 a set of these won't break the bank and might keep you from breaking something else.