April 22, 2019

Easter Sunday Big Bend

Now I'm not going to pretend, pond fishing for bluegill is not particularly difficult. Tie a fly on, toss it out, and you're almost guaranteed to catch something. Anyway, that was the plan for yesterday evening, to catch a few fish before the weekend ended and it was time to reboot the work week...

What set yesterday apart was the size of the copperhead bluegills that came to hand. Virtually no dink bluegill for a change. All were legit, the kind you can barely hold in one hand. All really solid and particularly strong fighters that put a nice big bend on the end of a fixed-line rod.

It wasn't just bluegills though, I also caught a few bass as well, as the fish were generally fairly frisky. Fortunately, the recipe was rather easy. Black woolly bugger... cast at about 10 or 11 o'clock... let it sink for a count of five... slow twitch it horizontally across your body (or along structure) back to the bank. Even when you couldn't sight the the fish while in pursuit, the swirl in the water a foot behind where your line entered the water was a dead giveaway to brace for an impending strike. 

It was a fun way to kill an hour and a half at sunset on Easter Sunday.

Gear Used:

April 12, 2019

Tenkara Angler Magazine: Spring 2019

I’m happy to announce that the Spring 2019 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine is live!

The contributions are pretty interesting this go-round. There are several profiles and interviews in this one, including features on Red Brook Tenkara's Bill Holleran (by yours truly), Paul Gaskell (by Adam Trahan), & Discover Tenkara (by David West Beale).

In addition, you’ll find some destination fishing pieces by Rory Glennie and Karin Miller, gear articles by Tom Davis, Chris Hendriks, and Tristan Higbee, a fly swap recap from members of the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers, essays from Adam Rieger and Nick Pavlovski, and finally, a profile in yellow perch from Jim Wright.

As usual, the Spring issue will be available as an e-magazine over at Issuu, HERE.

And also available for sale as a physical magazine and PDF download in the Blurb bookstore, HERE.

I hope you enjoy a little weekend reading!

April 7, 2019

Cheap Phone Protection While Fishing

It's crazy how good cameras in most smartphones are these days...  I used to bring along a waterproof point and shoot digital camera like the one pictured below on my fishing outings to snap photos for the blog or whatnot while out on the stream, but the quality of the photos I'd take from my phone's camera always ended up so much better, I've migrated toward that as my typical solution.

Even though some phones are advertised as somewhat "waterproof" these days, you'll still probably want to find some level of protection for your phone should you use it to take photos or video while fishing. You can really go crazy if you'd like (particularly if you're an iPhone person) in finding a waterproof case that is made especially to fit your smartphone. Lifeproof is a very popular brand for iPhones.

But if you're an Android person, it's a little more difficult because there are so many different phone manufacturers using that OS. Unless you have the latest Samsung or Google Pixel, true waterproof cases can be hard to come by, and when you find one, they're typically rather expensive.

I fall in the Android bucket, and as such have been using a simple waterproof "bag" case for the last year or so. It's the kind that has clear "plastic" windows on each side so you can work your phone and take photos, a "ziploc" type closure at the top that also folds over and gets clamped shut. Most of these also come complete with a "necklace" cord so you can wear it around your neck.

The case I use is from Seattle Sports. It's about $20.
They also make a larger version for some of the bigger phones on the market. 

I bought it from REI last summer with a gift card, and it's served me very well. I was originally concerned that the clear windows in the bag would possibly distort or make the pictures cloudy. You can't even tell these photos were shot through a plastic wet bag. Right?

There are a ton of options out there, so I'm not trying to sell you on this particular bag. Just sharing a great experience I've had with a solid piece of gear. Now these DO NOT provide impact protection from drops on rocks, etc... but for simple waterproofing, they might come in handy as "cheap" insurance on the water, especially if you are an Android phone user like I am. 

Heck, if you want to go super cheap, Dragontail Tenkara has their "Nirvana" branded version on sale right now for $3.99... I've never used it, but it looks very similar in form and function to my Seattle Sports version. At less than $5, that's a pretty killer deal!

April 3, 2019

Tenkara on Etsy

I used to shop Etsy a lot. My wife used to sew and sell stuff on there too. For whatever the reason over the past few years, I've somewhat strayed from using that site to acquire fishing stuff other than the occasional set of flies.

Decided to take a peek last night and see what's going on over on Etsy in the tenkara world. Found some interesting things, here are some highlights.

Handmade Nets (Tamos)...

Check THESE out from seller Beornidas. Talk about gorgeous. The inlay on the one handle almost looks like trout spots... only 2 left!

Simply drool-worthy 

Mini Packs Galore...

You may be familiar with Yonah Packs from prior posts here, but are you familiar with QuinnGear, Golden Trout Lanyards, or Back of Beyond Bagworks? Don't worry, I wasn't either. Each has their own spin on packs that support a minimalist approach to fishing.

A fellow Type III fan. Back of Beyond clearly knows good gear.

Exceptional Woodworking...

Besides the nets mentioned above, there's some really cool fly boxes from Dave B Design, rod cradles from Tenkara Rod Cases, and of course awesome line spools from Tenkara Path and wading staffs from TyRoam. You may have read my interview with Ty Espinoza of TyRoam in the past, if not, you should check it out.

A beautiful custom carved fly box from Dave B Design

No Shortage of Flies...

Look, there's a lot of sellers of flies on Etsy... too many probably. But don't spend too much time shopping around. Just go to Creekside Kebari. They are where it's at.

These flies are money, nobody ties them better than Creekside

There's just so much stuff to be had, I was really pleasantly surprised. Way more than a few years ago it's kind of crazy. So, the next time you need to scratch a gear itch and you can't find what you're looking for in your local fly shop, check some of these folks out... these are all small businesses trying to make good.