November 22, 2015

Exploring Florida - The St. Augustine Alligator Farm

Haven't written an "Exploring Florida" post in a while, (heck haven't written much at all as this has been one of the least inspiring fishing years I've had in a while), so I figured this would be a good time to revisit the theme since it's 100% independent of any fishing pursuits.

A few weeks ago, Lilly & I took a little trip down to St. Augustine, particularly the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. It's just one of those places we've sort of taken for granted in the almost three years we've lived in Florida. We'd always say, "we should go check that out sometime," yet we never did, at least until recently.

That was a big mistake on our part, and we both left pleasantly surprised. This attraction has far more to offer than alligators (the lemurs were Lilly's stars of the show), so if you're ever in the St. Augustine area, it makes for a really neat 2ish hour diversion. My pictures below probably don't do it justice. Highly recommended!

November 14, 2015

Public Service Announcement - This River Is Wild

Many of you are familiar with the exploits of the "This River Is Wild" crew. Great writing & photos, awesome fish, carp camo, all that good stuff...

Well, due to some unfortunate events, their blog was forced to move URLs to:

So if you haven't recently, check 'em out (again), and don't bother going to the old site should you have it bookmarked, blogrolled, feedburned, or whatever...unless you enjoy the writing of domain squatters.

We now return to regularly scheduled programming...

November 4, 2015

Wednesday Nibbles - The North Jersey to North Georgia Edition

Let's Go!

Tie One On...

Got the flyer (or is it flier?...perhaps it's more like a pamphlet) in the mail for the 2015 International Fly Tying Symposium up in Somerset, NJ the other week. In case you're interested in attending, it'll be the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 21 & 22.

It's been maybe 3 or 4 years since I've been to one, and unless you're a hardcore fly tyer, it's probably not an event you need to go to each and every year, but I have to tell you that if you haven't been, it's definitely worth swinging by. Getting up close and personal and being able to observe and ask questions of folks who really know their way around a vise is a serious treat. Plus, it's not all tying, there are usually some retailers in attendance, as well as a casting pond.  Heck, it's the 25th anniversary of the event this year, maybe there will be cake the image above suggests...mmmm...cake...

Just Because...

I'm sure you've seen this by now, or purposely chose not to watch it...but it's so funny, I'm embedding it because I can.  And don't take offense to the Democrat angle, there's a Republican one too...

It'd be kinda hilarious if someone did something like this to "A River Runs Through It"...maybe someone already has. Buster wants to fish...

New Stuff...

Did you see that TenkaraBum is selling a branded rod now? Touted as "the first tenkara rod designed by an American tenkara angler in collaboration with a Japanese rod company," the Suntech TenkaraBum 36 is kinda guaranteed to catch your eye.

Image courtesy TenkaraBum

Designed with a midsection stiff enough to fish nymphs, but a tip section limber enough to cast light lines, this Swiss Army knife of a rod sizes up to be a pretty rad new option. Oh, and it's going to be sold in Japan as well as the United States, so that's pretty much all the street cred it needs. Plus, I'd be lying if I told you I didn't place an order for one yesterday, so hopefully more to come soon...


Totally nothing to do with fly fishing...but did you see the news that "they" want to open a few Hunger Games theme parks over the next few years, including one in Georgia?

Originally a skeptic, I have to admit that the movies grew on me, but a theme park? Wonder if you pay admission or get selected in a lottery?  All I know is that if I got anywhere near the park and heard cannon shot(s) off in the distance, I'd probably turn around immediately. Unless of course instead of meals with Princesses, there was "breakfast with Katniss" or something...then I'd be so in.

Blog Love...

Last but not least, time for some blog love...and holy smokes...look who's back!

This week's blog love goes out to Fontinalis Rising who took time out of his schedule to put on a fresh pot of Monday Morning Coffee...the first one in like 4 or 5 months. Talk about caffeine withdrawal...

Glad to see JT back writing again, even if it was simply a token update as to his current whereabouts.

Welcome to the South Mr. Tucker, just steer clear of 'em Duke boys if you know what's good for ya...maybe we'll meet up at Hunger Games Land in the not too distant future...

November 3, 2015

Tenkara Tuesday - 2015 Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Blue Lines & Brookies Kebari Swap

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

While not a prolific fly tyer, I do enjoy participating in a good fly swap every now and then. It's pretty interesting to see what others can whip up on their vises...or perhaps even in-hand.

Recently, the opportunity presented itself on the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Facebook group page. Themed "Blue Lines & Brookies" this fly swap was introduced as follows by the "swapmeister" Joe Deppe: 
"Anthony Naples of Three Rivers Tenkara is our guest tyer! Anthony has brought us Casting Around, his art work, Tenkara Times and now ONI rods to the USA and now he is bringing you the chance to get a must have set of backcountry kebari!! The theme is just that Backcountry Kebari. What is backcountry to me may not be to you but that is all right as long as we all get a big pack of Kebari in the mail. Think Blue Lines and Brook Trout and you will be on the right track. Need suggestions just ask on this post. New and need pointers on tying ask away. If you are headed to the Tenkara Campout this is the swap not to miss. Everyone there will be jealous when you open your fly box full of these!"
So without further adieu, here are the flies from the "Blue Lines & Brookies" swap, a nice balance between reverse hackle kebari, wet flies, and dry flies. There's a little bit for everyone...well done by all!

Anthony Naples: Pass Lake Wet Fly

Anthony Naples: Peacock Caddis

Bob Olsen: Starling Nymph

Jason Konopinski: Purple Kebari
(Photo liberated from Facebook as I did not receive his fly in my box)

Jason Sparks: Assorted Kebari

Jason Sparks: Foam Square Ant

Jason Sparks: Shotaro Kebari

Jeremiah Brown: Killer Kebari

Micah Brown: Black Stonefly Nymph

Mike Agneta: Beadhead Road Kone Kebari

Mike Agneta: Tellico Kebari

Peter Brath: Guinea Hen Kebari

Rob Worthington-Kirsch: Green Weenie & Starling

Rob Worthington-Kirsch: Utah Killer Bug & Starling

Robb Chunco: Gold Ribbed Bracken Clock

Susan Johnson: Yellow Sally Kebari


Are you a tenkara angler? Do you have a story, pictures, video, fly recipe, or simply a fishing report from one of your recent tenkara adventures? If so, I'd really enjoy hearing from you for an upcoming Tenkara Tuesday post or Tenkara Angler magazine! Feel free to send an email HERE, I'd love to publish your original contribution.

November 2, 2015

The Next Time I Visit Valley Creek In October I'll Leave The Rod At Home...

Haven't been back to Pennsylvania all that often since I moved to Florida. It's a shame, I miss it a lot, but for whatever the reason I've only been back maybe three (or four) times in almost three years.

A few weekends ago, back on the 17th of October, we decided to change that...and I even tried to get a little fishing in. Albeit somewhat unsuccessfully.

Look at the size of this HAWG!

It was sort of funny, Mother Nature must have known we were coming from sunny, 85 degree Florida. A cold front pushed through the region coinciding with our arrival, dropping the overnight/early morning temperatures down to the low 30s, the coldest in Philadelphia since April.

I had to use the window defrosters on the car in the morning...I don't even think cars in Florida have window defrosters. That kinda sucked. Ugh, I'm getting soft.

I should have known better, back in 2013 I visited at almost the same time of year and had very similar results. Valley Creek probably could have benefited from some rain too, the water was very low and very clear.

So in lieu of good wild trout pics, here are just some photos of the stream & surroundings.
Despite the cold temps and missing fish it was good to be back, I missed it.
Valley Creek warms my soul.

The covered bridge is evidently still under construction after being hit by a truck

Was bummed these riffles didn't yield any fish, they're usual a "honey hole"

Leaves down and in the water, you can tell it's Fall in the Northeast

A peek upstream - the low, slow water made the run look almost glass-like

The water's usually knee deep here, it was lucky to be ankle deep.

Postscript: October fishing in Valley Creek isn't always bad, I just had some bad luck the last two times. Here's a post from 2010 that shows the other side of the coin.

November 1, 2015

Who Says Fly Tying Is Hard?

Who loves spending hours upon hours at the fly tying vise?  Not me, I'd rather be fishing, or eating candy or something...

With that in mind, I couldn't help but share this post/recipe from TenkaraBum on "The Overhand Worm." And don't think just because the source has "tenkara" in it, that this is only a tenkara fly. Remember, the fish don't know if you use a reel or not...


October 20, 2015

Tenkara Tuesday - The Force Awakens

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

Ok, who the heck cares about fixed line fly fishing when there's a new Star Wars trailer to watch!

Over...and over...and over...and over...