April 17, 2014

Book Review - All Fishermen Are Liars by John Gierach

This is probably blasphemy to the highest order, but I should probably start this post by saying that I'm not a huge John Gierach fan.  I'm also not much of a book critic, so take both for what they are worth...


Actually, it's not that I'm not a fan, I just really never read any of his books before.  Trout Bum?  Never read it.  Dances With Trout?  Nope.  The only Gierach book I ever attempted to read was his last, No Shortage of Good Days, which I bought on Kindle fully intending to immerse myself during a cross-country flight, but never really got into it enough to see it through to completion.  It just didn't light my fire.

When approached to receive an advance copy for a review of All Fishermen Are Liars, I wasn't overly excited, but I figured I'd give JG another shot, especially since the book was getting some good early press.


Now the purpose of this mini-review isn't so much to tell you specifically about what's inside.  If I did that, you wouldn't need to read the book.  What I will say is that I finally did experience what I've heard from so many others before.  The chapters consisted of several loosely connected short stories - they were unpretentious in nature, each with a splash of humor that was entertaining in a refreshing way. It's a easy read, with a hint of liveliness more reminiscent of listening to a good story teller than reading something from a page. 

The best thing about this particular book is that there will probably be a topic, experience, or setting (if not several) that you'll easily connect to in some fashion.  For me there were three - Chapter 4 (Michigan coasters), Chapter 13 (Tenkara), and Chapter 22 (Getting turned around in Wyoming) - that hit home for me.  There was usually something relatable in each and every chapter, even if only a minor detail, making the read all the more personable.  Yeah, I guess that Gierach guy is kinda talented...

So would I recommend All Fishermen Are Liars?  Yes.  It's tough not to recommend a book that grabs you and takes you along for a somewhat introspective ride in a fun, yet easy going fashion.  But unlike me, you're likely already a John Gierach fan, so you probably already know that.

I suppose while you're checking out All Fishermen Are Liars, I have a lot of reading to catch up on...and that's the truth.

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Postscript:  Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA recently conducted an interview with John Gierach regarding his views on tenkara; specifically those mentioned in chapter 13 of All Fishermen Are Liars. Please enjoy the video interview HERE as a complement to the book and this review.


DISCLAIMER:
The copy of "All Fishermen Are Liars" featured in this product review was provided to me at no cost, but carries a suggested retail price of $24. I currently hold no association with Simon & Schuster or John Gierach, but I have good naturedly lampooned him once or twice on the blog before, found HERE and HERE...what'chu gonna do when Gierachamania runs wild over you?

REVIEW POLICY:
As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!  I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll comment on the experience, but rather than write an uncomplimentary post, inform the manufacturer my opinion of their offering directly outside of this blog.  This policy pertains to items both purchased and provided at no (or reduced) cost.

April 14, 2014

Video - Bluefin On The Line

I'm a sucker for fishing videos...even if they are not fly fishing.

Check out the trailer for Bluefin on the Line; it's not all about hauling fish on the boat, there's a conservation angle too.  I'm pretty sure you'll dig it.


Full DVD available from Costa's website.

April 13, 2014

The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak - Part 7

The local outdoors store in Jacksonville (Black Creek Outfitters) made note on Facebook the other day that they were going to begin carrying LIVE Watersports Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) shortly.

While SUPs are not technically fishing kayaks, LIVE does make a fishing SUP, called the L2Fish.


What makes these boards pretty unique is the catamaran style hulls.  With such a wide base, this becomes a seriously stable platform that should be ideal for fly fishing.  The MSRP of $1999 may put the L2Fish out of some people's budget, but we can all dream, right?


I do see this being a very fun boat to take out on ponds, creeks, and saltwater flats.  And as you can see from this pic lifted from the LIVE Facebook page, you can accessorize these for fishing to no end.

Lifted from LIVE Watersports' Facebook

Specs from the LIVE Website:

  • Dimensions: 12'6" x 34" x 9"
  • Volume: 300+ Liters
  • Proudly made in the USA
  • Large straight-cut tunnel port for smooth pass-through ensuring unrivaled stability and speed
  • Wide spread catamaran hulls provide tremendous stability, minimal drag, and better glide ratio
  • Wide outboard hull flotation for maximum roll resistance and pearling prevention
  • Hollow design provides the highest possible performance with the lightest carrying weight in its class
  • Molded construction to ensure manufacturing precision
  • Superior materials and patented LIVE technology employed under deck pad for incomparable sturdiness
  • Oversized deck space for transporting cargo, the kids, your closest friends, or even a trolling motor
  • Custom double-layer traction pads for comfort
  • Multiple tie down locations for carrying coolers and other cargo


DISCLAIMER:
I currently hold no association with LIVE Watersports, this post simply highlights product(s) of interest for those seeking a kayak (or SUP) for fly fishing.


The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak Series
Part 1  |  Part 2  |  Part 3  |  Part 4  |  Part 5  |  Part 6

April 7, 2014

So You Want To Buy A Tenkara Starter Kit? Patagonia vs. Tenkara USA

Patagonia made some pretty big waves in the tenkara-verse last week with the introduction of the "Simple Fly Fishing" tenkara product line.  Aimed at introducing people to a less cluttered version of fly fishing, the products can be bought a la carte, or bundled in a kit which I'm sure will be very attractive to many people, especially those getting into tenkara (or even fly fishing) from the ground floor.

With that, this is what is included in the Patagonia "Simple Fly Fishing" 10'6" Kit...
(They actually offer 3 different kits, each with a different length rod, I chose the 10'6" middle sized rod for example purposes)

Patagonia

Image from Patagonia.com

  • 10’ 6” tenkara rod telescopes down to 20.5”; includes spare tip and second section; rod sock has built-in line holder to organize line when not in use
  • Level-floating .027” tenkara line made from small diameter hard mono core with supple PVC coating
  • Pre-looped 7.5’ 3x tapered leader
  • Box of one dozen soft-hackle flies hand tied by the Montana Fly Company
  • Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel (paperback)

All that for $279.85.  Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?

But that kind of got me to thinking...what would a similar package cost from Tenkara USA?

Tenkara USA has been offering a starter kit via Orvis for a few seasons now that retails for less at $215, but that includes two different lines and is centered around the Tenkara USA Iwana model rod.  While there is nothing particularly wrong with the Iwana, I was more curious to see what a package with the new Tenkara USA Sato & Rhodo rods might run since they have some added features such as the three-way zoom and the "keep your plug" system that neither the Iwana nor the TFO-produced Patagonia rods possess.

Tenkara USA

Image from TenkaraUSA.com


All that totals $259.90, about $20 less than the Patagonia kit.

But hey, wait a minute...the Patagonia kit also comes with a tapered leader and a book!

Yep, even though Tenkara USA has a very extensive "how to" section on their website that you don't have to pay anything for, I should probably add at least a spool of tippet and a how-to book to make the comparison "apples-to-apples"...in this case since Tenkara USA doesn't sell either, I'll source both from good ol' Amazon.


GRAND TOTAL = $278.65

...which is basically the same as the Patagonia kit ($279.85).  Yeah, I guess you're 6 flies and a spare tip short in the Tenkara USA package, but you're probably more than offsetting that by having a rod with more features and 3 different fishable lengths.

The choice seems simple to me.

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Postscript:
I am aware that there are other very viable options for tenkara starter kits out there such as THIS or THIS that are even less expensive than the two outlined above.  Finding the most inexpensive option wasn't really the point of this post...as that exercise could go on to no end.  Purchase decisions should come down to personal choice and this post is not an indictment in any shape or form of Patagonia/TFO product.  That would not be fair since I have never used them.  That noted, I have been more than happy with all of my Tenkara USA gear dating back to 2009.

April 4, 2014

Introducing Eddie Bauer Sport Shop Fishing

Got the email introducing the Eddie Bauer Sport Shop Fishing line to its customers today.  It wasn't a surprise, as there's been quite a bit of press about it in recent weeks, as well as a lot of serious fisherfolk pulled into the fold to insure its authenticity.

While I've always been an L.L. Bean guy, I absolutely love EB's wrinkle-free dress shirts for work and Travex camp shirts for play.  I think I wear one or the other to work pretty much every day...so it'll be nice to maybe be able look at some fishing apparel in the same shopping trip in the future.

Yeah, people are going to poo-poo it (because that's what us fly fishermen do to pretty much everything new because it's either too "poser," too expensive, or whatever...), but I think it's at least worth checking out...

The "Shop Now" Buttons Don't Work in the Image.  Click HERE to see products.

April 3, 2014

Kype Fishing Magazine: Volume 5 / Issue 1

I've been supporting Kype Magazine here at Troutrageous! for a few years.  To be honest, when my blog was in its infancy, they were really the first "entity" to show any interest in it.  I was one of the first 2 or 3 blogs they mentioned on their website, and even though they've added a quite a few since, I only send good karma their way.

There's been a recent change in the management of Kype Magazine.  It's been mentioned in places like Midcurrent, HATCH, Facebook, etc...but if you're not in the know, George Douglas has stepped aside and Aileen Lane (whom you may recognize from MKFlies and other fly fishing related things) has assumed the reigns.  Not sure what that means, but I have a feeling it will be good to have a fresh energy around the publication.  I just hope she doesn't wise up and give me the boot from page 40!

Anyway, in holding to tradition, here's the embed of the latest issue.  Enjoy.

April 2, 2014

Bandit >:(

Lilly drew this in school as part of her vocabulary studies...


...I hate fishing bandits too.  >:(