February 15, 2019

The Itinerant Angler Podcast with Yvon Chouinard

Zach Matthews released a pretty solid interview with Patagonia founder Yvon Chouniard on his podcast "The Itinerant Angler" this week.

Photo: Patagonia

While Mr. Chouinard speaks quite a bit about the re-issue of his "Simple Fly Fishing" book and what he enjoys about tenkara and his quest to simplify, he also expands on many of the philosophies that make him one of the more unique businessmen and environmental philanthropists of our day (my words, not his).

Take special note around 12 minutes into the interview when he shares what he has perceived to be one of the most important characteristics of a fly when fishing... It's what makes tenkara such a killer set of techniques for catching fish in almost any situation.


February 12, 2019

Tenkara Tuesday: There's Some Great Content Out There Right Now...

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

Man, it's a great time to be a tenkara angler. With folks emerging from their winter hibernation, there's been a lot of great content floating around the internet recently to really get you stoked to go fishing. In today's post, I'll do a quick spin through some of the things that have caught my eye...

Blogs Reborn

It's been cool to see some of the better tenkara-friendly blogs release a stream of new material after periods of silence. First off, Jason Klass has been on a roll lately pumping out new posts over at Tenkara Talk. A lot of the recent entries have been gear-oriented - flies, packs, boots, accessories - so before you hit the water, head over to do some serious reading so you can figure out what you may (or may not) need to bring along.

Additionally, Anthony Naples has resuscitated his Casting Around blog. I always enjoyed Anthony's writing and the latest installments are no different. A few new entries on flies and fly tying have been extremely informative reads.

Fantastic Instructional Video

Discover Tenkara's John Pearson and Paul Gaskell have done it again with their new DVD/download release, "Manipulations: The Illusion of Life in Fly Fishing." There is nobody out there right now producing the kind of high quality instructional product these guys do, and this video is phenomenal. It does a really deep dive on using fly manipulation to entice unresponsive fish... but the best part is it's not just intended for tenkara anglers, but standard fly anglers as well. Check out the beautiful camerawork in this short video excerpt...

Two Tenkara Reads

This week, two tenkara-themed e-magazines were released, so if you're into that sort of thing you're in luck!

The first, the February issue of mounTEN, Tenkara USA's zine, is wonderfully composed with a feature on Katsutoshi Amano. There's also a fascinating look back at their "launch" video... you know the one that got everybody asking, "but where's his reel?", and of course, the fantastic artwork of Jeremy Shellhorn. Heck, you might even see a familiar name or two in the article about Tenkara USA's best-selling rod, the Sato. Check it, you won't regret it.

Oh, and I'd remiss if I didn't mention the newly released "Best Of" Tenkara Angler Warm Water Fixed-Line Mashup issue. Yeah, due to popular demand, I pulled together all of the great warm water content (think bass, panfish, carp, etc...) from the past three years and compiled them into one (re)issue. The response has been pretty favorable so far, so if you're interested in pursuing any of those species with your tenkara rod, you may want to give it a look...

So, looks like you've all got a lot to read and watch now... I hope you enjoy it all as much as I did!

February 11, 2019

An Afternoon with the Bassmasters

Guess they're not called "Bassmasters" for nothing. This past weekend, the B.A.S.S. Bassmaster Elite Series kicked off their 2019 season about forty five minutes from my house in Palatka, Florida. The anglers ran down to nearby Lake George the past four days and put up some really amazing numbers.

I decided to head down to the event grounds in Riverfront Park on Saturday afternoon. The sponsors of the tour such as Berkley/Abu Garcia, Toyota, Carhartt, Power Pole, Mercury, Nitro Boats, and Academy Sports set up tents and gave away freebies while the anglers are out fishing.

Even though the anglers were competing miles down river, you can watch the actual fishing action live on a big screen, (with NFL style play-by-play & analysis) and then there's a weigh-in once they all come back to the stage area. Saturday was the "cut-down" day, as the top ten cumulative weights from the three prior days would compete on Sunday for the championship.

Now, I'm not really a fan of professional bass fishing, I kind of went out of novelty, but evidently Saturday was one of the more memorable days of bass fishing in recent history... The catching was pretty much rapid fire, and the St. John's River fishery produced some beasts.

Anglers bring back their best 5 fish for weigh-in, and there were several "bags" weighing in the high-twenties, and two well over 30 pounds! It was rare for somebody to come up to the scales with less than twenty pounds of largemouth bass, which is usually considered a good day.

In any event, here's a few photos from the weigh in. The largest bag was caught by Clifford Pirch at over 34 pounds. The day three leader was Chris Johnston with a weight total of over 75 pounds.

Clifford Pirch's huge haul

Patrick Walters also broke 30 pounds,
including the largest fish of the day at over 9 pounds

Amazingly, none of those anglers won the event. Veteran tourney angler Rick Clunn evidently had a HUGE Sunday and outfished almost everybody by 10 pounds to take home the trophy. Here's Mr. Clunn hoisting two from his 23 pound Saturday haul.

Despite some pretty crummy weather, it was a pretty fun way to spend an afternoon. There was a surprisingly large crowd at the weigh-in and there was just enough to do to kill the time in the lead up. While it's not a substitute for actual fishing, should you ever get the chance to attend one of these events... do it. It's always fascinating to watch people who are arguably the best in the world at what they do, regardless of what it is.

February 8, 2019

How Can This Movie Possibly Be Bad?

Looking forward to wasting an hour and a half this weekend...

If you're not familiar, please, please, please press play.

EDIT: It's Saturday night, just finished watching it. 
A nice mix of Sharknado & The Notebook. Two thumbs up.