The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - Blue Sky Boatworks 360 Angler

Hey, TQFTUFFKis back... after a bit of a hiatus. What brought it back from the dead? A very unexpected email. And let's be honest, this latest entry from Blue Sky Boatworks (same parent company as Jackson Kayak) is a little bit out in left field. But who said left field was a bad place to be!?!

For somebody who's seeking a personal watercraft that's sort of a hybrid between a kayak and a bass boat, well this may just be the thing for you.

It looks like it's an incredibly stable fishing platform, fairly maneuverable, and has the ability to be paddled, pedaled, or even go on the move with an electric motor.

The 360 Angler will eventually retail for $3500, but right now via Kickstarter, it's available for $2500. (The "early bird" at $2200 already sold out!)

Plus, Jimmy Houston digs it... that's all the validation I need.

Catch & Release

Trout. They're constantly swimming around inside my head. Holding in the current of my thoughts, not willing to scatter, even when startled by the ruckus of the outside world. Especially brown trout. They're particularly stubborn creatures.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Atlanta for business. Atlanta is not terribly far away from my home, an hour by plane, about five by car. I bolt from work early on Friday afternoon, looking forward to the extended drive.

Adel, Cordele, Unadilla, Byron, McDonough. All stops along the interstate begging you to feed, fuel, and perhaps stay awhile. I speed past them all, save the Zaxby's & Shell in Tifton, keeping one eye out for state troopers, the other on the road.

But before Atlanta, I was going to steal a day and a half and head the mountains to the north. The mountains with cold water streams, tunnels of rhododendron, and those haunting wild trout.

The evening's destination was Dahlonega. A small college town w…

Better Late Than Never...

Sunday... was a pretty good day.

I finally got out fishing for the first time in 2018. Wow, that took a long time.

This was the first fish of the year, a pretty undersized and gnarly bass. Not certain if you can see but it's got some sort of wound on its back (underneath all the muck).

Regardless, the weather was really nice (a bit windy, but I'm not complaining), and I brought about a half dozen cookie-cutter bass to hand, with the random bluegill or two thrown in for good measure.

More importantly, Sunday was also Lilly's 12th birthday. And I only bury this at the bottom of the post because I don't think she likes Dad writing about her on the blog much anymore, but man I love this kid so much...

Happy Birthday Lilly!

Grayling... Because Man Cannot Fish For Trout Alone...

Grayling have always been a "bucket list" species for me. Once or twice I've been in the right place, but evidently not at the right time to make that happen.

In relation to that pursuit, there have been two really quite thorough resources on grayling posted online in the past few weeks. Thought I'd share them here and I hope you enjoy the referrals if you happen to share the same interest in this beautifully different fish.

The first resource is from Discover Tenkara (is there anything these guys don't do well)?  It's a very detailed breakdown of all the rods, flies, techniques, in grayling fishing and can be found HERE. I mean it's pretty much everything you'd want to know, without them actually taking you physically out on the water. And despite the fact that it's from Discover Tenkara, there is plenty here for those who are not tenkara-centric anglers.

The second is a very long infographic provided by, a UK-based fishing r…

Vintage DIY Fly Box

The concept of a Do It Yourself (DIY) fly box is nothing new. Often, you'll see repurposed Altoids tins, or even random plastic containers such as pill boxes serve as the base... but it's not often you find them fashioned from an antique tobacco tin. As such, when reader Mark White sent his project in, I really wanted to share:

"There are numerous manufacturers of fly boxes on the market. All very well made along the spectrum of cost. I was searching for some a little more unique.

One weekend while browsing the local antique store I came across a “tin” that used to hold pipe tobacco. Due to the character and printing on the container, the DIY wheels began to turn.

I cut a piece of foam the size of the container and hot glued it to the bottom the tin to keep it secure and a place to hold the flies. I prefer one with an attached lid so there’s one less thing to deal with on the stream. It measures approximately 1 x 3 x 4 inches and fits nicely in a shirt pocket.

Not only does t…

Tenkara Tuesday: A Slightly Stale, (But Meaningful) News Roundup

A lot's gone on since the last installment of Tenkara Tuesday, so figured I'd do a round-up of sorts, if for no other reason than to write up a new post. Some of this may be news to you, some may not, but it's all pretty cool. Hope you enjoy...

I guess I'll start with my friends over at Discover Tenkara. I mean I feature them quite frequently because they've been pumping out such great content over the past few years.

Unfortunately, the news is quite horrifying, as due to a dispute with a former business partner, they've lost the rights to sell many of the most popular titles in their multi-media library. While they're currently in the process of creating some new product to keep the business (and free episodes of Tenkara in Focus) afloat, they've also established a Patreon account for those that appreciate their work and want to sponsor their future efforts. If it's something you might be interested in, check out this LINK and video below for more …


Never thought it would happen in my lifetime...

As a lifelong Eagles fan, I'm still in disbelief. This doesn't happen to "us."

January 1981: Oakland 27 - Philadelphia 10
February 2005: New England 24 - Philadelphia 21
February 2018: Philadelphia 41 - New England 33

Is that last score correct? We were playing Tom Brady, right?

Particularly this team, who lost its franchise quarterback, perennial All-Pro left tackle, all-purpose running back/kick returner, and starting middle linebacker to injury, just to name a few...

Wow. How about those Underdogs.

And yes, plane tickets have been purchased, I'll be at the parade. Maybe I'll see you there...

Familiar Podcast Voices

You into podcasts?  Here's a few recent ones with some names familiar to this blog...
Check 'em out! Good listens each and every one.
Karin Miller of Zen Tenkara on the Remote, No Pressure podcast:

Bart Lombardo of Panfish on the Fly on the Tenkara Cast podcast:

And Justin Carfagnini of CARF Outdoors on The Hub podcast by

2018 Midwest Tenkara Fest Announced...

The guys at Badger Tenkara recently announced the dates for the 2018 Midwest Tenkara Fest as May 5th & 6th.
In addition to the typical vendors and presentations, it appears they will have Misako Ishimura as a special guest speaker, as well as host an angler submitted "film festival." Sounds like fun. Plus, any excuse to go fish the Driftless is worth taking advantage of, that place is awesome!

More details can be found on their blog HERE.

In addition, if you're interested in reading some prior posts about the Midwest Tenkara Fests of years' past, check them out HERE.

BRO: Respect Your Elder

Really enjoyed this quick read by Randy Johnson about Grandfather Mountain over on Blue Ridge Outdoors' website. It's not about fishing at all, more so about the mountain and its secrets, slightly from a hiking point of view. That said, I just like reading the history and learning more about the North Carolina Appalachians; it's such a beautiful part of the country, I'm taken aback every time I visit.

Click on the link HEREto read the full article.

Spain, A Fly Fishing Paradise

I was fortunate to visit Europe in the summer of 2017 for the very first time. One of my favorite stops was Spain, and while I was wandering the streets of Barcelona and later the mountains of Montserrat, as an angler, I couldn't help but wonder what the fishing opporutnities were like.

Earlier this month, Ricardo and Adrián from Pyrenees Fly Fishing reached out to me about posting some information about fly fishing in Spain. Answering my question from last summer, I'm more than happy to present what they provided below:

Spain, A Fly Fishing Pardise

Fly fishing trips to Spain are becoming popular. The beauty of the Spanish Pyrenees together with its climate, gastronomy, culture, and excellent fishing make this a dream destination for both angler and non-anglers alike.

We are many fishermen who would like to be able to spend our vacations with our family, friends, and of course with the enjoyment of fly fishing. If that is your wish, Spain is the perfect destination!

We have all …

A Cheeky Job Opportunity In Your Future?

Working in the sporting goods space (in a round-about way), means you end up on a lot of "industry" email lists. Business journals, press releases, even career opportunity listings can find their way into your inbox on almost a daily basis. In skimming one yesterday, it was hard to miss that it appears the parent company of Cheeky Fishing is looking for someone to essentially run their fishing business...

"Cheeky Fishing is seeking a Brand Manager (Cheeky BM) who will assume a leadership role managing all aspects of the Cheeky Fishing brand. The Cheeky BM will report directly to the CEO of North Point Brands, and as such, will play a critical role in managing day-to-day business operations for the entire entity. The Cheeky BM role is ideal for individuals who are seeking a position in the outdoors/fishing industry and who thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial work environment. The Cheeky BM position is demanding and provides an opportunity to learn and develop a wide v…

Tenkara Tuesday: Tenkara In Focus Go Ishii Interview

The guys over at Discover Tenkara just uploaded Episode 5 of their second season of Tenkara In Focus on Monday. It's a really exceptional interview with tenkara angler Go Ishii. At just under twenty minutes, it's really worth the watch if you have the time to take it all in.

Go's contributions to furthering Japanese tenkara knowledge in the West have been invaluable, and this in-depth "sit down" really adds great context to the man behind the translations. There's also a nice accompanying blog post over on the Discover Tenkara website.

In a somewhat related side-note, I have to further compliment and recommend Discover Tenkara's new print book, "How To Fool Fish With Simple Flies." I received my copy in the mail over the holidays and have had the opportunity to read it almost from cover to cover.

Not only is there some great photography of over 70 different examples of simple flies / kebari, but the book really shines with its extremely detaile…

Guadalupe Bass: Texas Parks & Wildlife

Cool little video by Texas Parks & Wildlife (for PBS) that shows the restoration efforts being put in place to ensure the future of the Texas state fish, the Guadalupe Bass, in the South Llano River.

Plus, you might recognize a few of the anglers in the video... OBIF anybody?

Tenkara Angler Magazine: Winter 2017-18

It's finally done! Thanks to a bad head & chest cold, it took so loooong to edit and layout, but the Winter issue of Tenkara Angler magazine is finally live and ready to be digitally flipped through.

This issue is a little different because it doesn't focus so much on actual fishing or technique, rather activities you can do off-water, especially during a cold winter. The main draw is a focus on fly tying, featuring five different flies, (with ingredients and instructions) from five different tyers. There's also a DIY on tamo (landing net) building, a core workout routine for anglers, and a recommended reading list... once you're done reading the magazine, of course!

That said, all the other good stuff that's usually in TA is back too - essays, photography, destination reporting, art, poetry, so even if you're not feeling like MacGyver, there's still probably something to read as well - check out Melissa Alcorn's entry, it's awesome.

As usual, i…