Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ding Dong the Hook & Hackle Xi rod has arrived

So this comes a little late but a few weeks ago I was told I had won the Hook & Hackle rod building kit from the essay written to Fishing the Southern Blue Ridge blog by Owl himself. Believe me I was more excited to hear that I had won the rod than I was when I got married (Don't tell my wife). After waiting patiently the rod kit arrived by USPS and I decided to start this rod building experience with everyone, I would film the opening of the rod kit from the mailing tube. I'm not fully knowledgable with all the parts actual names, I can tell ya what they're for but I did my absolute best to explain what they were. So without any more delay heres my video:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Packin up and moving to beverly hills

SO I decided in the best interest of my blog, to move it to There's no special special reason if you're curious as to why I moved it , I just found that they seemed to offer a more streamlined method of doing this compared to Wordpress. I like some of the neater features available and to have my blog set up so the Google "spider" grabs it and displays it in search results was another reason.

So if you've enjoyed my posts in the past feel free to subscribe to the left of here. I promise some great things are coming up with tons of footage of my pals and I having fun out on the water and maybe JUST MAYBE you will get a glimpse of the "owl". But you won't have your chance unless you subscribe. Come back ya hear!

See ya at the creek

Tippin Taco

It’s Raining It’s Pouring. The F.D Rossevelt Park Trail (Part 1)

So I’ve received a lot of questions about my name TippinTaco. And the question usually is where did it come from and how did I get it. So Just like Owl and others in the OBN community, I want to explain where the name came from.

A year ago, several of us decided to hike the back-country F.D Rossevelt State Park Trail: Pine MTN Trail. This trail was 24 miles of switch backs and pure terror on this particular weekend. We arrived that Friday morning at the visitor center, and made our way to the large trail map. Our job was to detail map our route and time frame in which we had planned to hike. After countless warnings from the lady at the front desk about rain, we shrugged her off and made our way out the door to be greeted by the one and only: Thundering and rain

We had previously called the Trail Angel that wold take us to the very last foot of the trail to park our car and then drive us clearly straight across the mountain to the start of the trail. Remind you it’s raining as hard as it could possibly rain in Georgia, for those who don’t live here, it was hard and fast enough to drench your clothes in the matter of minutes. As we watched our car disappear and the trail head slowly come into sight, it hit us like a ton of bricks, there’s only one way back. the moment we all stared at each other while standing in the rain, all we could hear was tires squealing and the Trail Angel SCREAMING GOOOOODDDD LLLUUUCCCCCKKK…. as he pulled off to not be seen again.

Man what a lonely feeling. To be standing in the edge of the woods, raining pouring down, dirt turning to slippery slides of mud, and no way to get back to our vehicle except sucking it up and starting the hike. Ironically even though we were standing near a tower, none of us had any cellphone coverage what so ever. We covered our bags, covered our heads, and off we went on our 3 day journey through the F.D. Rossevelt State Park.

Hiking isn’t a skill to take lightly, short trails of 2-3 miles isn’t something to worry about but when trekking over 7-10 miles a day, carrying 30-40lbs of gear and trying your best to survive is the technical part of the sport. It takes planning and adjustments that honestly some can’t ever comprehend. It can be the most amazing experience you’ve ever had, or the worst and the verdict is based on your ability to make the best out of the worst situations.

the first few hours we had to trek some of the worst parts of the entire hike, it included creek crossings and switch backs up the side of mountains that honestly aren’t wide enough for a hike and their bag. To add to the thrill it was obviously coming a typhoon and the creeks became rivers and my wife accidentally became one of the fish. She somehow managed to miss the sign: Welcome to Slippery Rock… Well she slipped down the rock, into the creek river. Her Lekki Treking poles went floating and she laid on the ground laughing about what just happened, as I found A LOT of humor in the situation I couldn’t help take the fact her poles were floating away more seriously than her falling. At this very moment I knew that this would become one of the biggest adventures in my life.

Frogg Togg Breathable Waders with Stocking Feet!! (Review)


GUYS I’ve found the greatest waders for the big guy or gal!! As I did some searching I came across a company called:

Frogg Togg Waders and Apparel

I was very skeptical when it came to ordering this online due to the fact many of us larger people buy something, get it dropped at the front door to only get it in the house, opened and tried on to find out: IT DOESN’T FIT!!!!
Trust me it has happened a lot to me over the years and the most hurtful thing in the world to have to do is call customer service and tell them that the item didn’t fit, and when you order an item XXXL, trust me the person on the other side of the line knows why it didn’t fit. So XXXX’s doesn’t matter anymore to me when I’m purchasing anything online that involves clothing or gear for outdoors. The numbers that follow that set of X’s is what sets my gears in motion to purchase such piece of clothing.

So after days and days of searching, I finally came across Frogg Toggs. Really nice website, full flash, navigation and as a company they seem to have a lot to offer EVERYONE!!! As I’m combing through their online shop I come across a wader called the Hell-bender. Now You must be thinking, what kind of name is that fir a wader?. I can only assume its named after the Huge giant salamander:

So after locating these waders on their online store I had to do more research before taking the dive into something like waders online. Did some review hunts, did some forum checks and most of the posts I found had nothing but great things to say about this company. So I was set on these nice looking fat guy waders. Went back to the site attempted to pick my size and added them to my cart to find out they were out of stock!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I need these. After a fast search result find, had these on their store from FOR $99.99!!!!!! That’s $40 cheaper than Frogg Toggs for their smallest size, I can only assume the larger you went the more expensive they got. So lets fast forward.

So today I receive the waders and man I’m glad I took a dive for these. Amazing big guy fit, plenty of room in the knees and butt area. Nice features such as built in gravel guards and chest pocket, nicely placed suspenders and of course stocking feet. After trying them on, I realized I had successfully bought a nice size wader online and got the size correct!! So if you’re in the market for some waders, and you can be of any size really but specifically large guys such as my self, give these a looker. You won’t be disappointed I’m sure, because I’m not.

Feel free to shoot on over to Amazon and take a look at what they're offering in sizes and styles. Again these have to be some of the best waders I've used and obviously much more affordable!!

Whatta bout’ big trout guys?!?!?

Dear fishing gear manufacturers -


A fat fly fisherman

If I was to write a letter to any of the fly fishing manufacturers, that’s what the letter would read verbatim. I’ve been fishing for a very long time now, not necessarily fly fishing but just fishing in general. And from my experience in ANY sport out there, clothes and gear just isn’t made for bigger people. Do I expect to be big the rest of my life? Of course not, but while I’m big I’d like to enjoy the hobbies and sports that I choose without worrying what I can and can’t wear. For example:


Yes they make bigger guy waders, but they fit really weird, there seems to be no middle ground. They design smaller waders around the smaller guy almost perfectly, but the moment they have to it, they seem to lose track of the proportional differences in people our size. Now there’s going to be those people who refuse to agree with me, and if that’s the side of the tracks you stand on, then great, but just so you know there’s a lot of larger people who can’t find the equipment necessary to enjoy sports SO THEY CAN LOSE WEIGHT!!!

When they design a pair of high-end waders, how come they can’t design sizes up to xxxl+? Is it because they are using the mentality of clothing designers such as Abercrombie,Gap,Dulce, Victoria Secret? They prefer their gear being seen on people who could appropriately model their gear without disgusting other users who could potentially purchase the same clothing/gear?

Some would say yes to all of the above.

I personally wear a size 46 in pants, but yet still have issues finding breathable waders or guide shirts or pants. Please don’t use the line: There’s some out there if you look hard enough…. That line is full of fluff if you ask me. If I do a random search for waders you will see hundreds of links through hundreds of retailers with Small to XL waders fully stocked and ready to sell. Call any of them to attempt to place an order for larger waders and you will certainly be faced with this very fast response:

I’m sorry sir, we don’t carry that size in our store. If you wish to order something that large please go to our website and we can specially order it for you which will take 6-8 weeks to make and then another 1-2 weeks for delivery.

Why shouldn’t they carry larger sizes? Isn’t it true that America is getting bigger? Why shouldn’t outfitter stores accommodate larger fisherman or women for that matter when they come in their stores? I think the issue with the industries in general:


When manufacturers quit using their clothing lines and gear as a fashion statement, and tailor it towards EVERYONE, maybe we can ALL get out on the river and enjoy fly fishing, instead of sitting for hours dumbing down our searches to locate an ok pair of waders that won’t hold up long enough to get ones money worth of use.

Pentax Optio W90 Outdoor Camera (REVIEW)

So a few weeks ago my wife and I decided to jump into the after market of nice elaborate cameras. But with my opinion weighing on her choice, I had several things on my mind that would determine if we should purchase:

1. Well built

2. Water proof

3. Basically nuclear explosion proof

So we set off on a journey that most outdoors people do ever so often. We were hunting that perfect camera that could withstand my wife using it.. no really. See she has owned hundreds of cameras ranging from point and shoots to elaborate high-end Nikons. She has pretty much destroyed them all in one fashion or another. We do a lot of outdoors activities all year round so weather proof is a huge issue with us. I fish, kayak, spelunking, hiking, hunting all year round. So now you get the idea I hope.

So one of the biggest features any fisherman in a camera is its ability to repeal water. I’ve seen camera manufactures claim this on more than one occasion, so this time it was going to have to be the real thing. After days of research and surfing the world wide web, we came across the:

Pentax Optio W90

• As PENTAX’s 11th generation waterproof digital camera, this rugged, adventure-proof camera is ideal for any environment.
• Waterproof to 20 feet for reliable underwater photography.
• Shockproof to 4 feet to withstand the rigors of extreme use.
• Cold proof to sub-freezing temperatures for use in chilly wintery, snowy activities.
• Dust proof for use in dry, sandy climates.
• 12.1 megapixel sensor and wide angle 5X optical zoom (28-140mm equivalent) ensure detailed images of any subject near or far.
• Large 2.7 inch LCD, with 16:9 wide screen aspect ratio, is easy to view even in strong light or underwater.
• Digital Microscope mode with LED lens lighting perfectly captures even the smallest and closest macro subjects as near as 1cm from the camera.
• An HDMI port plays back beautiful high resolution images and video on HDTV’s.
• Capture movies in widescreen 720p HD video at 30 frames per second.
• Advanced Pixel Track Shake Reduction captures blur-free images in any lighting.
• Take perfect portraits with fast Face Detection, Smile Capture, Blink Detection, and processing modes specifically designed for portraiture.
• Capture images remotely with infrared remote control capabilities.
• An autofocus assist lamp helps to quickly and accurately focus, even in challenging lighting.

Now after you looked through the specifics of this lovely chick magnet camera, you probably said to yourself, they’re the same specs that most cameras in this market have. But I’m telling you guys its the real deal. This camera has seen the snow, ice cold cave water, dropped and honestly with in the next few months every other catastrophe that a camera would normally be destroyed. I personally recommend this camera for those who love shooting photos and videos out in the wild, possibly standing in a river, waist high in cold water. Do a little shopping around, you can usually find this camera under the $200 range. Good luck out there, and stay safe!!

“Why I deserve to win a Hook & Hackle Rod Building Kit” – A Taco Eulogy

A good friend of mine by the name of Owl Jones, (you can find him at and his blog: Fishing The Southern Blue Ridge) is hosting this amazing fly pole give-away over on his blog from the great fly fishing company Hook and Hackle (Hook & Hack). So the question was why do I personally deserve the pole, so let me tell ya why ;)

As my close friends from the all know, I’m what they call “The Noob”. I’ve spent the last 23+ years fishing with my father side by side and having some amazing adventures while doing so. Till this day I fish with the same poles that we fished with while I was growing up, and I’ve never imagined ever getting rid of them. See my father passed away due to a service related injury on the USS Nimitz. Ever since his passing I find my poles and fishing gear to be that special thing to hand down to my kids. Dad and I shared the same gear with each other every season, if it broke, he would fix it, so there was never a real reason to buy anything new. Not that we couldn’t but it just made things more special.

A few weeks before he passed away my dad went trout fishing in the North Georgia mountains. He called me the day after bragging about catching all these huge fish, because at this time, I hadn’t been able to fish with him as much as I had liked. Honestly my life and career had picked up, he retired, and sadly there wasn’t much time to fish. Sadly July 28th 2007, my dad passed away.

I’ve regretted every day not taking the day off, and going out to the creek and catching fish with him like the old days. So 2 days after his burial, I went trout fishing and caught ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I stood there knee-deep in the Pigeon River, laughing at myself because I knew he had something to do with it. I made a promise to never take things for granted when I have kids and to show them the amazing sport of fishing and the love of fly fishing that I’ve always had.

While there’s an unfathomable amount of fly fisherman, most that have more gear than they could ever imagine, I’ve kept only the necessities. I want to build a personal relationship with this amazing sport and hobby that most can’t imagine. I’d personally love to have the chance to build this amazing rod, not just for personal use, but to do as my dad did with me: Have something very special to give to my kids one day. What would be better than a rod I built with my own two hands? This rod wouldn’t be the one bought off the store shelves surrounded by the masses of other rods just like it. This rod would have my heart and soul in it.

As pages in my life have turned and experiences have directed my life’s sailboat into the direction I’m going, I feel this would be a great opportunity to hand build a rod and learn more about our amazing sport, but also create a master piece for my family to cherish after I’m gone.

So I’ve spilled the beans so to speak, and have put it all out there.

I wanted to also say that I’ve only heard amazing things about Hook and Hackle (Hook & Hack). They do have an amazing selection and some great prices. Please stop by their site and give them a look around.