Monday, April 29, 2013

Should I rename my blog again?

I'll get to the subject line in a minute.  But, first, a few workout notes from last week.

As of Friday, I'd been to CrossFit 9 out of 12 days.  I know this contradicts what I'd said a few weeks ago about doing less CrossFit and more aerobic work.  However, I've been seriously modifying the workouts to reduce issues with my shoulder and it seems to be working OK.

Last Monday, we started with 7x1 front squats, with a goal of a one-rep max PR.  When I first started CF, I couldn't do a single front squat rep holding the bar with the correct grip.  The correct grip has the hands on the bar at about the "clean" position, and the bar rolls back onto the front of the shoulders, supported more by the shoulders than the hands.  Due to a lack of flexibility, it's taken a while to improve on this lift.  For a long time, I used a "cross grip", basically forming an "x" with my arms and hands to hold the bar.  While this works, it's not the standard grip and I've been working on the correct grip.

For a long time, my front squat max was 225 pounds, done with a cross grip.  But, with lots of  proper grip front squatting, I knew I could improve upon that.  In March, I managed to do 225 and 245 with the proper grip.  However, my back squat best is 365# and it's fairly typical that your front squat max is about 85% of your back squat max.  That would put me at about 310 pounds - far from 245.

So, I was pretty sure I would be able to lift more than 245, but I wasn't sure how high I could make it.  I finished my warm-ups and did my first working rep at 225.  Then one at 245.  Then reps at 265, 275 and 280, and only the last one was really a struggle.  But, I did four lifts at or above my previous best.  I wrapped up with a 245 and a 225.

On Wednesday, the workout was distinctly not shoulder friendly.  Instead of doing some jerk complexes, I opted for 7x1 of deadlifts.  My best ever deadlift was done on 2/21 of this year - 420 pounds.  Since then, I've had one relatively heavy deadlift day, maxing out at 365.  I did my reps as follows:


The 405 went pretty easily, but the 425 was a lot tougher.  I stalled out with the bar just below the knees, but I stuck with it and the bar started moving again and I nailed the rep.  After this, I skipped the main workout too, and ran 5x400 meters instead, averaging a pathetic 1:50 or so per rep.

On Friday, we did 5 sets of 3 touch-and-go deadlifts for max weight.  My best weight on this workout in the past was 365, but after the deadlifts on Wednesday, I only got to 345.

For the week, I made it to CF four times, which left me feeling good about spending the weekend fishing.

And this is why I might need a new blog name.  A few have come to mind.  The Futile Fly Fisherman.  The Failing Fly Fisherman.  The Flailing Fly Fisherman.  The Retired Fly Fisherman?

My son and I started on Saturday in a small tributary of the Winooski River.  We knew there were some native brook trout in that stream, but after an hour, we gave up and headed to the big water of the Winooski.  There were a few bugs in the air - mostly Hendricksons (ephemerella subvaria) and a few Baetis (tricaudatus) and blue winged olives (a specific variation of Baetis - Attenella).

I tied on flies to match the nymphs of the Hendrickson and blue winged olive, but we had no luck at all.  My son saw one fish rise to take a Hendrickson, but the fish was well out of casting range.  Because of high early season water flows, wading towards that fish would have been very dangerous.

After a couple hours, we tried one more spot - the confluence of the Mad River and the Winooski River.  Here, we got shut out again.  This area was in the shade and there were no insects out at all.  I tried some streamers - fished deep and slow - but no luck.

For the day, my son thought he had one bite, but he missed it.  I had nothing.

On Sunday, my son had to work, but I fished the Dog River for a few hours.  I fished one new (to me) stretch of water that had some beautiful holes.  There were a few Baetis in the air, but not much else.  After two hours or so with no action whatsoever, I decided to check my phone to see how much daylight I had left.  I was thinking that I shouldn't do it, because this is the cast where I'll get a hit.  Sure enough, about the time that thought passed through my feeble brain, I got a hit and responded too quickly, snapping the line.  I have no idea how big the fish was, but if it had been tiny, I set the hook hard enough that it might have landed on top of me.  Even though this river has some big browns, the brief encounter didn't make me think I'd hooked into anything big.

A few minutes later, I returned to my car to fish one other stretch of this river.  Before Hurricane Irene, this had been my favorite stretch of the the Dog, but it's been changed so much.  My son and I caught some fish at this spot last summer, but I had no action at all this time around.

So, two days of fishing.  Total flies lost was probably four or five.  Total fish caught equals zero.  And my brand new expensive rod and reel have been shut out their first three times on the water.  Operator error, no doubt.

On Wednesday, my son and I are both taking vacation days from work to return to the Middlebury and New Haven rivers - the two rivers that shut us out on opening day.  Maybe my streak of futility will end that day.

1 comment:

Jeff Farbaniec said...

As much as I love the title "Flailing Fly Fisherman" (try saying that ten times fast), I think the current title works just fine. There's nothing in the current title that would prevent you from writing about skiing, Cross Fit or not catching fish. But renaming the blog with a fish theme makes subjects like skiing and CF off-topic. In the meantime, keep the tantalizing fish stories coming, but don't expect me to sell my mountain bike and buy a rod.