September 8, 2014

Partridge & Flash Inspiration

Read a great post over the weekend from Alan at Small Stream should really go read it when you get a chance.

He tied a 'Partridge & Flash' wet fly that looked really simple to tie, yet effective as all get out.  The post itself tells a great story in and around the tying & fishing of this fly.

Thought I'd tie a few of my own yesterday, except reverse the hackle and make them tenkara style kebari.  I also added a peacock herl collar, which is a typical feature on my tenkara flies.  As you can tell, I'm not much at the vise, I can tie about 6 patterns adequately, but these turned out okay despite the poorly focused picture below.

I really need to get better quality partridge, the feathers I have came in a fly tying kit from a few years back and are all nasty and full of fluff.  That said, I can't wait to give these a try once I get back on some trout water.  Maybe Colorado at the end of the month.

Did you tie or fish any different flies this weekend?

September 7, 2014

September 5, 2014

Oops...I Was Hacked...

Going to reset my passwords today since I evidently got hacked this morning.

I guess the short list of celebrity hacks is now:

  • Jennifer Lawrence
  • Kate Upton
  • Troutrageous!

If you happen to see any odder than normal posts from me of just links, don't click them until order is restored.


UPDATE:  Tracked it back to my Yahoo! Mail account, so if you received an email from me (hopefully it just went into your SPAM), open at your own risk.  Passwords updated.

September 2, 2014

Weekend Recap (In Pictures) That You've Probably Already Seen On Facebook Or Instagram...

Because I know you want to read all about MY Labor Day weekend too...

The wife & kid were out of town on Saturday and most of Sunday.  With no agenda other than making sure our newly "rescued" dog didn't use our carpets as a toilet, I had a little time to do some things on Saturday; such as clean up some unwashed dishes that were sitting in the kitchen sink and starting to smell, get my hair cut, and watch meaningless college football.  How about those Nittany Lions?

However, I did get a few fishing-centric activities in; the first being that I stopped by the Floodtide Festival at Blackfly Outfitter...

Afterward, I spent the rest of the evening downing a Jersey Mike's Sub and finished up my tenkara rod build.

Both were pretty fun, but the sub, hoagie tasted better.

On Sunday, I snuck out in the morning to try the tenkara rod out on some local bass...

Yes, I'm probably holding that second one "wrong" and it's jaw will never recover from being held at such an angle...  Go ahead, call BASS, or even PETA on me...

Anyway, as for the rod, it's a bit heavier in hand than what I've been fishing with lately, but far from unyielding.  It tosses a #3 level line like a champ.  The Winn grip performed well too.  It's actually more sensitive to vibration than I thought it would be, and since I tend to hold my tenkara rods with the butt end in my palm, the short length of the grip didn't pose a problem.  I'm pleased with the build, and will happily put the rod in my normal rotation.

The rest of the day I went over to a co-worker's house for some backyard food, drink, & games.  I'll spare you the pics of dudes in the swimming pool.  I left a bit before the party was over as the wife & kid were due home around 8PM.  So curtain closed on Sunday.

Monday.  Labor Day.  We all pretty much slept in...well, except Lilly who woke up early to sneak on the computer and watch Minecraft YouTube videos.  I don't know if any of you have kids who like this Stampy Cat character, but holy crap...FML...

Not going to tolerate a "video game day," we packed everything up and went to the beach after lunch...

The surf was pretty rough (although it doesn't look too bad in the pics), and kicked all of our butts...we didn't last too long, instead retreating for dinner of chicken tenders and Coke Freestyle machine...which is by far the best invention in the history of soft drink dispensing.  They really need to make a home version.  I'd buy that in a heartbeat.

Now, it's Monday night, I'm knocking out this blog post while my wife is downstairs watching the Unauthorized "Saved By The Bell" Story on TV.  I guess my efforts to block the Lifetime Channel from our cable service when we moved down here were unsuccessful. *Sigh*

And that was it.  Long weekend over.  Gone too soon...and not exactly enthusiastic for the work week ahead.  At least we've got the NFL to look forward to...which kicks off on Thursday with the Packers & Seahawks...but more importantly (once again for me) is the Eagles vs. Jags on Sunday.  Original hometown vs. current hometown.  Go Birds!

Eh...who am I kidding...I'd probably rather be fishing.

August 31, 2014

The Tenkara Customs x Winn Grips Rod Build

I think I'll call her Vapenkara Blue.

I stumbled through my first tenkara rod build last night.  I typically don't carry much initiative to build rods, (or even tie flies) but this one has a little back story.  I won't bore you with excessive details, so here it is, long story short...

When I went to ICAST in July, Winn Fishing had quite a big booth.  One of the grips they had tucked away in a "not for US Distribution" display was a tenkara grip.  I followed up with them after the show with legitimate interest about possibly becoming a dealer (selling tenkara stuff is like the cool thing for TENKARADORKS™ like me to do these days), and received a sample in the mail not too long thereafter.

So what's one to do with a grip but no rod to put it on?  I wasn't really planning on stripping the cork grip off of one of my existing tenkara rods.  I like them fine and didn't want to deal with the hassle.  Enter Tenkara Customs, pretty much one of the only places you can find tenkara blanks online.

I ordered up a 12' blank, as well as the butt & end cap hardware, (all priced relatively reasonably might I add) with the plans of tossing the Winn Grip on there.  This is the result.

However, don't get excited.  There are a few things you should know about the Winn tenkara grips...besides the fact that you probably won't find one for sale in the US.  (I'm backing off the dealer angle for these reasons...and as I mentioned earlier, general lack of ambitions).  

First off, the grip itself is short, like really short, only 7.5 inches long.  In comparison, the Tenkara USA Sato's cork grip (which isn't a large grip by any stretch) is 10.5 inches long.  It's about the same length as the old Tenkara USA Ebisu's wooden grip, if that helps any. 

Second, the inner diameter of the grip is very, very narrow.  It wouldn't fit the handle section of most tenkara rods as-is.  I had to go get a file/reamer/rasp thing from Lowe's and make the hole bigger.  And it was a big P.I.T.A.  The inside of Winn Grip is some sort of hard plastic foam stuff that doesn't want to file away like cork would, so it took a lot of time and muscle (the latter of which I don't have much of) as well as some light hammering, which I wouldn't (and I'm sure Tenkara Custom's doesn't) recommend.

I'm going to send Winn the feedback, which I'm sure they'll "love" to hear, but we'll see where that goes...

In the end though, I'm happy with the result of the build.  Once the grip was the correct inner diameter, the assembly went smoothly and Tenkara Customs provided an excellent "how-to" manual.  I'm going to try and fish the rod either today or tomorrow to see what the blank is like.  Having fished a Redington Vapen Red in the past, I already have somewhat of a feel, (get it?), for a Winn Grip.

August 28, 2014

The 2014 Appalachian Tenkara Jam

Can't make it out to Boulder the last weekend of September?  Is Colorado just too far away?  Perhaps you're just allergic to hippies and stoners...  If that's the case, this alternative tenkara event might be for you.

Not meant to compete with the Tenkara Summit, but rather compliment on the East Coast, the Appalachian Tenkara Jam is being held on October 11th & 12th in Foscoe, North Carolina.

Here is some of the agenda for those interested:

Saturday October 11th 11:00AM - 8:00PM
Day One: Big screen presentations and live demonstrations inside

Sunday October 12th 9:00AM - 6:00PM
Day Two: Casting Clinics, Technique Tutorials, Stream-side Classroom, Small Group Guides

There will be presentations on the tenkara style of fly fishing covering topics such as:

  • Overview: Rods, Lines, Flies
  • Kebari History and current patterns
  • Big Fish Wrangling
  • Small Stream Techniques

And more...

While the official registration is not open yet, there are plenty of details available at the event page located within Facebook...with more details to come.

8/31 EDIT: A webpage has been set up HERE supporting details and registration of this event!

Just something to bookmark and keep on your radar for the time being.  If you've never attended a tenkara (or any fly fishing) get together, they are great fun, and an awesome way to learn a little bit and connect with like-minded anglers.