Fly Fishing in California

The McCloud River

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Some of the most legendary fishing in California is located in the North of the state, very close to the Oregon border.

In the shadows of the tall pine of Shasta Trinity National Forest lies the McCloud River, or the Green Cathedral. This is famous among fly fisherman in the state– and for those who know fishing well– nationally.

Mt Shasta

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The place to fish in the idyllic place lies in the protected grounds manned by The Nature Conservancy. On any given day, 10 passes are given out to fish the McCloud. Five are reservations and five are walk ons. Reservations sell out for the entire summer season in one day in February. As such, many people make the pilgrimage to the McCloud in hopes of securing one of the five day passes.

The McCloud River- Nature Conservancy

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People camp at Ah-Di-Na before making their way to the river. And that is camping with a “c” not a “gl”. Campsites require a tent and all supplies however there is running water and fire pits at the campsite. Mornings begin early. And the fishing is spectacular. The water boasts every shade of green the eye can detect.

 

The McCloud River Fly Fishing

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The vegetation is unusual. In some places it is like a scene out of Jurassic Park.  Huge plants, giant flowers and clouds of butterflies are frequent sites along the 8 mile out and back hike along the river.


The McCloud River

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While in the area, it makes sense to pay a visit to Lassen National Park- one of the least visited and undiscovered National Parks in the United States. Dazzling glacier lakes lie beneath high altitude mountain hikes. The park was formed around the erupted Lassen Volcano- which created some unusual landforms– like an underground tunnel system called the Subway Caves


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While in Lassen, stop by the Loomis Ranger Station and the Loomis Museum, most certainly the highlight of the trip! 



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Jackson Hole: Winter Guide

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Wyoming is the least populous state in the union. Jackson Hole is the 48 mile long valley that straddles the snake river

Here are some things to do in the Winter:

Eat: 

During the winter, if you are skiing, it’s easier to stay and eat in Teton Village- referred to as ‘the village’. With that in mind here are some favorites. Terra Café for breakfast at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain. Four Seasons resort- it is combo of chic and cowboy- it’s expensive but worth it.  Note: you can rent a helmet camera from the ski concierge. If you just had the run of your life and want to congratulate yourself– or take some time to re-thinking now dropping Corbet’s – head to the restaurant on the top of the mountain called the Couloir. It’s fancy, the food is great, make reservations in advance. Osteria is also amazing for some wonderful Italian after a day on the mountain. For more casual try Teton Thai.

Outside of the village, Lotus Café is a wonderful organic place to restore your energy with some green juice and probiotic salad bowls. It is very popular with the locals- and it is very good.

For Apres Skiing: 

The Mangy Moose is the place to grab a micro brew and, usually, listen and probably dance to a local band. This is one of my favorite spots- it was also the place where the shot ski from our wedding had it’s last stand. Last intact photo of the ski below (lobster not included). At the Moose try anything from Snake River Brewing Company (you should also check it out in town). Additionally,  the state’s first locally produced bourbon Wyoming Whiskey has won a good deal of awards recently.

Here is a video my friend, videographer and Jackson resident Alden Wood Faust put together. It’s all all about Apres in Jackson Hole– it’s amazing.

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Winter Activities 

  • Skiing- of course. Jackson Hole Mountain is a legend.
  • Snowshoeing or cross country skiing in grand Teton national park.
  • One other must for the winter is breakfast at Nora’s Fish Creek Inn. This should go under eating- but it really is an activity. It is not in the village, but it is in Wilson, closer than town. It is an incredible cabin with great food. It won a James Beard award in 2012. Get the huevos rancheros or the biscuits and gravy.
  • Snowmobiling in the park- we saw buffalo.
Mountain Chic
For more recommendations on Jackson: Check out Travel Guide, Jackson Hole Wyoming

America’s Cup 2013

Vintage America's Cup- Life Magazine

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Commemorative Piece for San Francisco for Louis Vuitton Cup

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First Day of the America’s Cup from the Water

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New Zealand Hosts America’s Cup


Louis Vuitton Cup Poster

Boats Against the Backdrop of the Golden Gate

Centurion Magazine

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The Trophy Arrives in San Francisco

America's Cup Trophy Delivery

The Cotswolds

 
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The Cotswolds are an incredible way to see some of the most picturesque Brittish scenery, just a short drive from London. We were absolutely floored by the bright green of the rolling hills punctuated by the happy yellow of the wild flowers and the impossibly quaint towns you pass along the route. You could have a wonderful time meandering through different villages, but here are some of our highlights.
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The Kingham Plough in Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire: This is an incredible gastropub. Fantastic food at the best butter we have had life to date. The butter makes it— like nothing you have ever tasted.
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Daylesford Organic in Gloucestershire: This country store is absolutely amazing. Their cheese room has an incredible selection- we sampled many and bought many and ate many. Their produce is so fresh and good looking would make you believe you were in the middle of the South of France. But the freshness makes sense, given the abundance of farms in the surrounding hills.
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Their beautifully packaged honey, lemon curd and jams are perfect gifts. And here’s the kicker, they have the above mentioned butter from the Kingham Plough. Transporting butter back from the Cotswolds to San Francisco requires a level of dedication which speaks volumes (about the butter).
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Stowe is a town that deserves a stop-off . Their town square is lined with boutique shops–filled with Barbour, campaign furniture and tweed. However there was one store which we absolutely loved called As Long as it Sparkles. And it wasn’t just because of the name. Here, the store owners have meticulously combed through estate sales in London and stores in Paris to find the perfect mix of one of a kind pieces of costume jewelry, beautiful clothing and really rare finds like incredible crocodile clutches.
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Bourton on the Water is the venice of the Cotswolds. It is touristy. But along with that comes the benefit of a lot of places to eat and shop– so it’s really a matter of personal preference. Upper and Lower Slaughter are gorgeous villages. Tetbury has good antiques.
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We spent our time in the Costwolds in a place called Overbury with our friends Tamara and Caspar. Days were easy. Breakfast was at 11, champange at noon, lunch around 4 and dinner closer to 11. We filled time eating, sitting by the fire (yes even in the summer), going for long walks (or as some Brits would call it, rambles), and trying to get close enough to the sheep to pet them (unsuccessful).
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And, to my endless delight there was a trampoline on the estate where I was able to resurrect some of my trampoline skills (or rather skillz as you can see).
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London Calling..

London Calling
A guide to London. One caveat, this is definitely not a hipster or touristy version of a travel guide. Nor is it entirely cost concisous. It’s centered around Kensington/Knightsbridge/Chelsea and it is simply what we know to be the most fabulous things to do in London right now.
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Places to Stay
 
Number Sixteen:
When you walk by this place, pictured above, in South Kensington, you would truly think it is just a gorgeous home in an exclusive neighborhood that was throwing an early evening cocktail party. When we walked up to the entrance, there was more than a part of me that thought I was walking into someone’s foyer by accident. There are 41 individually designed rooms. The hotel boasts a beautiful conservatory that opens into a private garden where you can dine all day.
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The Ampersand:

This is a great hotel, part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s boutique collection. However, we love this hotel for one main reason: it’s the best priced luxury hotel in this prime location. It is about a block away from the Natural History Museum (as you can see from the beautiful windows in the hallway pictured above) and a very short walk to the Victoria and Albert Museum. They have a very sweet lobby area where you frequently see posh looking guests sipping tea and nibbling on macaroons. The staff was extremely accommodative to our changing schedule. And they do not nickel and dime you with extra costs like internet access.

Other Honorable Mentions:

The Mandarin Oriental is iconic, right in the center of Knightsbridge near Harrods and Hyde Park. Their bar has a cocktail served in a martini glass with a giant circular ice cube that has inside it’s frozen sphere, an elderflower. Blakes is good spot as well. The Lanesborough is stunning.

For More on London See:

High Time for High Tea: Best Places in London

Best Places to Eat in London

Places to Have Fun in London

 

And always remember when in London…
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The Cotswolds

Tis the Season for Roadtrips!

We will be roadtripping from London to the Cotswolds next weekend and I look forward to it with great enthusiasm! Stay tuned for our travel guide to London and the Cotswolds…

Reinfried Marass

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Our last roadtrip (well… that we wrote about) was from Seattle to Vancouver. We crossed the border in a zip car named Shenanigans with no drivers license. Sometimes you must travel in style, sometimes you must travel in Shenanigans.