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Fishing the Oak

Fishing the Oak

by Kevin Estela November 21, 2018

“FISH ON!” The words excite those standing next to you on the frigid riverbanks while the caramel brown water is disturbed by one of the monsters it conceals. You better call out, “fish on”, when you hook into a steelhead, brown trout, or salmon as any of those game fish could be a monster under the surface and capable of tangling the lines of the anglers to your left and right as it runs and fights for its life. When a fish gets hooked, it seems like everyone in the general proximity pauses for a brief second, feels a shot of adrenaline that temporarily numbs the effects of the cold wind, and anticipates what will come to the surface when it is time to land the fish. After all, even the average fish caught on this river this time of year is likely trophy-size elsewhere. Fall fishing Oak Orchard in Western, NY between Niagara Falls and Rochester is a ...

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The More Things Change, The More They Don't

The More Things Change, The More They Don't

by Brian Griffin November 14, 2018

There is an old aphorism that says “the more things change, the more they stay the same”, and there sure seems to be a lot of truth in that. Obviously in some cases things that worked for...whatever, will cycle back around and become useful again. But in some cases needs and solutions just fluctuate a bit in aesthetics and appearance, but largely remain the same in essence. Take cooking pots and clothing for example, We haven't always had stainless steels, Pyrex glass, or synthetic cloth, but we have been cooking our food in various styles of vessels for hundred of years, and we have been putting on clothing made of many different materials to protect our bodies from the elements even longer. In both of these cases the needs have remained the same the entire time, and only the solutions have evolved.

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Autumn Awareness

Autumn Awareness

by Brian Griffin October 30, 2018 1 Comment

With autumn comes some big changes from the warm days of summer. Sspecially for those of us who live in the temperate zones. Along with the changing colors of the foliage, come some other changes as well. It can be a good idea to make a few easy to manage contingency preparations in advance, rather than being caught off guard by Mr. Murphy's laws and possibly putting your or your family at risk.

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For the New Camper: The Little Things

For the New Camper: The Little Things

by Kevin Estela September 19, 2018 1 Comment

This list is far from complete and only you can add the missing items. Keep track of what you wish you had with you and find ways to pack it in next time. Be practical with what you want and consider if what you want to carry will be worth the extra weight and energy expenditure. In time, you’ll find the little things that make your outdoor experience that much better.

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Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter, As Featured in Gumption Gear Review

Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter, As Featured in Gumption Gear Review

by Robert Gilbert September 19, 2018

From the trademarked “Bullseye Lanyard Tubes”, 3D spalted steel flats, and unique Micarta knife pin patterns, your Fiddleback will always stand out from the crowd. But this knife is more than just striking aesthetics. Like all of Andy Roy’s creations, this knife looks good and works harder. ... Trust us, this tool goes from chopping and batoning, to kitchen work without flinching.  Whether you’re making tent stakes, fuzz sticks or just whittling, the Fiddleback Forge Bushcrafter proves time and again that it’s not only elegant, but eager for a life of daunting endeavors.

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How to Make South African Style Biltong: Beef Jerky Doesn't Compare

How to Make South African Style Biltong: Beef Jerky Doesn't Compare

by Kevin Estela August 15, 2018 1 Comment

Dried meat has been a staple of the outdoorsman’s diet for thousands of years. From one culture to the next, indigenous people have found ways to preserve meat for the long trail, as an emergency energy source, or the occasional snack. Recently, while on safari in South Africa, I had the opportunity to learn more about the national variety, biltong, from my friend and Professional Hunter, Russ Field. Since Russ is responsible for harvesting wild game on a regular basis and hunts well over 200 days a year, you can be certain there is a healthy supply of this dried meat at his lodge, in the safari truck, and at lunch. The process is extremely simple and the end result is only a week’s wait away.

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Resilience

Resilience

by Brian Griffin August 01, 2018 6 Comments

Knife makers, as well as the makers of many other tools, started looking into synthetic materials shortly after the turn of the 20th century. The goal being to make their tools easier to produce and less environmentally sensitive. The best evidence of when this practice became more widely available and less cost prohibitive can be seen in government issued military equipment from around the globe. Military personnel have to be able to function in any environment and in any weather, in order to be effective in their duties. In WW-I most of the furniture on tools and weapons; rifle stocks, bayonet handle scales, shovel handles, etc. was still being made of wood as they had been for centuries. By WW-II much of the wood had been replaced with plastics. By the 1960s most of the wooden furniture had been replaced with synthetic materials and blades made of corrosion resistant alloys were being developed and issued.

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Cleaning Fish with the Fiddleback Forge F2

Cleaning Fish with the Fiddleback Forge F2

by Kevin Estela July 24, 2018

The Fiddleback Forge F2 is Andy Roy’s interpretation of a fish and fowl knife. It has a featherlight blade with a fine edge that is exceptionally nimble in hand and perfect for processing both fish and small game. When this knife came out, I knew I had to have one as I find myself fishing and hunting birds more than I do large game and this knife seemed ideal. It doesn’t add much weight to the pack and it is purpose built. I received my desert ironwood F2 with only a few days before leaving for South Africa on safari where it would get a really thorough field test. [...] The next morning, I took a trip to my favorite local fishing hole and came up with two rainbow trout that would taste great for lunch. Just as I started to clean the first, I had an epiphany and came up with this “how to clean a fish” instructional for the Fiddleback Forge website.

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Planning for South Africa

Planning for South Africa

by Kevin Estela July 06, 2018

In late July, I will be headed on a dream vacation, a safari in South Africa. I will be joined by friends of Fiddleback Forge, Justen and Liam. We will be guided by the seasoned professional staff at Russfield Safaris. This hunt has been a long time coming. At one point, we even thought Andy was going to join us but with the new shop and knives to be made, we couldn’t pull him away from making the sharp tools you enjoy using. With less than 2 months to go, I’ve been getting my gear tucked away in the corner of my office (ok, it’s more like a room with an explosion of gear and piles of awesomeness everywhere in organized messes). This trip is coming up soon and I think it is time to start talking about it more publicly. This is the first of a few blog entries about this epic adventure.

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User-Friendliness, Finesse Over Force

User-Friendliness, Finesse Over Force

by Brian Griffin July 06, 2018 1 Comment

There is a time and a place for everything, and as Solomon points out in Ecclesiastes “to everything there is a season” Large knives are great to have along in the more wild and less settled places of the world, but there is seldom a need for them in a city or much more urbanized areas. So I much prefer to make carry something that makes sense compared to how I intend to use it when I am living the city life. Fortunately, looking at the number of smaller Fiddleback Forge models, it's easy to see I'm not the only one who feels that way.

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Hiking Buddy at Deer Camp...Hunting for Fajitas

Hiking Buddy at Deer Camp...Hunting for Fajitas

by Robert Gilbert May 24, 2018

In typical fashion, I bring more knives on a hunt that one guy needs but hey, is there such as thing as too much cutlery? Each morning I go out I grab a different knife and take it to the field with me and should I get luckily enough to harvest a deer, that is the knife that gets field dressing duties. Opening day I saw a lot of smaller does, spikes and yearlings - I was covered up in deer most of the day but I didn't want to take a smaller deer early in the season so I held out, we had some nice bucks on camera so I rolled the dice.

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Common-sense 1911 Pistol Upgrades

Common-sense 1911 Pistol Upgrades

by Kevin Estela May 15, 2018

Much like a Fiddleback Forge Knife can be appreciated for its beauty, so can a nicely finished 1911. Both Andy’s knives and modern 1911s blend classic styling and modern touches into a very functional tool. For those who like to match their Fiddleback Forge Knives with custom ferro rods, you can add another factor into your coordination game with a properly customized 1911. When you have so many options to upgrade your 1911, remember the advice of this blog and think logically to create a truly personalized piece of American firearms history.

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