November 30, 2011

For The Next Few Days...

I'll be here...

...yeah, it's a work-related trip, but things could be worse.

Off to pack...

November 29, 2011

Laser Beams - Not Just For Frickin' Shark Heads

Lasers are pretty damn cool.  Whenever I think of them, Han Solo's gun immediately comes to mind, which is probably the ultimate in cool, but I had no idea how cool they could be until the folks at Make It Urz dropped this on me about a month ago....

Yes, that is a crappy picture of an awesome laser-engraved T! water bottle.  Pretty bad ass if I say so myself.

Now I didn't ask for this rockstar of a gift, nor was it prearranged to be provided in return for a blog post, or any of that nonsense.  It was simply the unsolicited byproduct of a reader "playing around with stuff tonight on the laser engraver."   

But that doesn't mean I can't pimp Make It Urz's my blog and I can do what I want.

So are you reading this on an iPad?  Yeah, they laser engrave those....

What about a smartphone?  Yup.

Kindle Fire?  That one too.

Okay, not a techie?  What about a fly rod or fly box?  Check & check.

Heck, even boxcutterswrenches, and tortillas are fair game....everything is at least 1000% more rad when it's personalized.

There's actually a ton of stuff they can laser engrave, including almonds, so check out the site if you get a chance.  Twitter works too.  They're also raising funds for an interesting laser engraved greeting card project on Kickstarter.  Go Small Business!

Me?  I'm just waiting to see what I get for Christmas, I have a feeling something will be packed up and sent their way come January.  You know, since they already have that T! logo down and everything.  Maybe I'll even get that Han Solo gun I've always wanted...

November 28, 2011

Mishmosh Monday to Get Caught Up

Since this post is going to be totally random, I know it should really be an installment of the Nibbles, but that's a Wednesday thing...

So I haven't really written anything in a while.  Yeah, I suck.  If I can't bring it, I'm not gonna bring it.  That's the deal.  While I'm not gonna be a Mr. Whiney-Pants about it, I do have my reasons for going AWOL like JCVD in Lionheart.

1.  Work has been kicking my ass.  I work in internet retail...which can be as brutal this time of year as normal brick & mortar retail.  I mean the doors never close and company-provided smartphones provide no escape!  Plus we moved offices last week, and with such a move, nothing in terms of technology seemed to work right.  My laptop is still not hooked up to our "network," but I digress...

2.  An extended bouz.  Bouz?  Yeah, that's what the Japanese refer to as "being skunked."  I had gone a few weeks without catching any fish...even using my magical tenkara rod.  Doesn't make for inspiring writing material.

3.  Thanksgiving.  It's difficult to type when all you're doing is feeding your face.  And we had visitors from out of town.  So when work wasn't kicking my ass, I tried to spend time with them.  Even though I did a poor job of it.

So with that out of the way...what else was I up to?  Here's a quick rundown, just to get all of you caught up and set the table for the rest of the week.

Fly Tying Show - Yeah, headed up to Somerset, NJ for the International Fly Tying Symposium a week or so ago.  What's a fly tying symposium you might ask?  Basically a bunch of dudes sitting at tables tying flies while people walk around and watch them do such.  I know...I know...not everyone's cup of tea, but it was actually pretty fun and some of the patterns will serve as good inspiration for future ties.  Heck, I even knew some of the "celebrity tyers" from their blogs, like Ulf Hagström and Gaeron Friedrichs.

Example of dude at table.  Not Ulf or Gaeron, actually John Klemm Jr.

Fishing the Little Lehigh - I also happened to carpool to the show with Mike aka Dub the Thorax & Matt aka The Functioning Fishaholic.  Those two are both big time "don the headsets and talk trash while blowing people up gamers" while they conversed about that during the car ride to and fro, I just reminisced about playing Contra on the NES.  Mike also took Matt & I fishing on the Little Lehigh after the show.  He caught fish, we didn't.  It was fun though, and chalk it up to my lack of skill rather than his poor guiding.  I'll be back at some point, at the very least to stick a T! sticker somewhere...

The motley crew at the kiddie pool

Christmas Shopping - Lilly doesn't read this blog...why would she when her computer time is spent at Club Penguin or Moshi Monsters?  So I feel comfortable saying that I did the heavy lifting of her Christmas shopping this past week.  And by heaving lifting I mean ordering stuff from Toys R' Us online and picking them up at a local store to save on shipping.  She's getting THIS, THIS, & THIS from Mom & Dad Santa...or more truthfully, from the advertising money that Online Hunter Safety Course paid me for putting their link on my site.

Thanksgiving - As I mentioned, friends from Texas came to spend the holiday with us this year.  It was great to have them for a few days, and I loved having them in the house, even though the j-o-b dealt me a cruel blow on Thanksgiving making me log on and work several hours from home.  Anyway, I know Lilly had a blast hanging out with her "cousins" and I can't wait to see them again!

Gear Testing - I've been testing some gear that people have been heaping on me by the handful as of late.  I mean like I'm going to say no?  So keep an eye out for some reviews of RedRam thermal underwear, Margaritaville Polarized Sunglasses, & the Orvis Fly Fishing App.  I know I'm not special or anything, as I've seen similar reviews from others elsewhere, I just need to hold up my end of the deal.  Oh, I also owe Make It Urz a tip of the cap by way of a post for something they sent my way recently.

Fly Tying - I spent the majority of the other night tying flies and re-filling my nymph box with some more beadhead princes in sizes 16 & 18 (my favorite).  Coincidentally, cp's blog tossed up a video tutorial on how to tie them.  Now beadhead princes are one of the few flies I can competently tie, but I saw his post go up while I was writing this one, so I thought it was a good excuse to pimp it.  All about the blog love.  It's good karma.

Fishing - Oh, and I went fishing yesterday.  Needed to wipe off some skunk.  I slept in and got a late start, but traffic on the water wasn't as bad as I thought it might be considering it was a balmy 65 degrees outside.  I didn't catch a ton (what else is new), but caught enough to leave happy and be in a good mood for what is going to be an unforgiving work week.  Bring it!

Always find the small ones to be the prettiest

November 17, 2011

Who Was Your First?

Poking around the innards of my blog last night I noticed I've accumulated 4,011 comments over the years.  I don't know (or really care) if that's good or bad or anything like that...because honestly, numbers are numbers and can be interpreted however you want.

What I did decide to do was take a look back to see who the first comment was from.  Any guesses?

Believe it or not, John from Fish Creek Spinners was responsible for that comment on 12/20/2007 on a post written about twisting up some inline spinners.  He's 100% to blame for providing that first bit of positive reinforcement to yours truly that a new blogger often looks for.

In working backwards...I also figured out I "met" both Mel & Shoreman on 8/29/09.  Interestingly enough, Clif first spoke up the day prior.  Wolfy...aka pre-OBN Joe...came a few months later on 11/23/09.  Some other golden oldies from that time also included Len Harris, Fisherbabe, Fishin Fool, Wandering Owl, TackleBoxTalk, Bill, and Butch Adams.  

Whenever I get retrospective about the blog, I often wonder what happened to Butch.  He liked walking creeks, taking pictures of wildlife, and finding old Native American arrowheads.  I enjoyed his blog a lot.  Maybe Butch is still out there under a different alias and I just lost track, that happens from time to time.

Come 2010, things started going apesh*t in terms of comments and commentators, but man, if it isn't interesting looking back and seeing some names from the past.

If you've been blogging for more than a year or so, and you blog allows you to look back in "comment time," I suggest you do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes doing such.  It makes for a very fun read.

November 16, 2011

The 21st Annual International Fly Tying Symposium's this weekend.

I've recruited a small army of fellow Pennsylvanians like this guy and this guy to invade Somerset like feather ogling dorks the Vikings at Noirmountier.

Okay, maybe we'll leave our Thor hammers at home, but at minimum there will be some parking lot battles taking place, as the lot at the Doubletree fills up quick.

The fish is impressive, but I can't help but be in awe of the hat

Last year was fun, so would expect nothing less this year, especially since I've gone from 0 to 60 in terms of tying my own flies since then.  Heck, I might actually understand what I'm looking at this time.

Anybody else plan on being at the show on Saturday?  If so, lemme know in the comments.

November 14, 2011

Went Fishing Yesterday...

...but caught nothing.  Don't even think I mustered a nibble.

First time I've received the double middle-finger salute from VC trout since I took Func out fishing, but not catching, at the end of July.

Did get really good at hook setting leaves though.

Looking back at last year's post from almost the same day, I can't help but notice virtually the identical pattern...well, except for the fact that I lucked into one that day.  The second weekend of November 2012, I'm sleeping in.

From a conditions standpoint, yesterday was pretty nice...water levels were a bit low, but other than that it was sunny with a few clouds...temps in the mid to upper 50s.  Just warm enough that the spandex-clad female runners scampering along the creekside trails didn't need to cover up in too many layers.  Not that I ever take my eyes off of my line in the water.

Yeah, it was a "surrounded by beautiful fall colors (albeit fishless) kind of day."  Glass half empty or half full?  I think upon packing it in I left feeling more like a Clif than a Howard.

November 10, 2011

Sacré Bleu!

I *heart* this French tenkara video.  Can't beat its Sega Genesis soundtrack.  Thank goodness the author (or is it director?) left 2 minutes and 15 seconds of total darkness at the end that really allows you to soak in those block rockin' beats.  Tasty.

Oh, and the first two minutes of actual fishing footage ain't bad either.  I think they even catch a fish...but not as big as HERE or HERE.

There's a blog too*...but I need the folks from Le Mouching to decipher it for me.  When I had the chance to pick a language to study in middle school, the Spanish teacher was hotter than the French teacher.

*Actually, the blog is quite interesting.  Lots of tenkarary goodness thanks to Google Translate.  Added it to the blogroll over there.  Hope no offense is taken by my French frère.  It's all good Yvon.

November 8, 2011

Tenkara Tuesday - Tenkara Rod Rack On The Cheap

I own 3 tenkara rods.  Not a massive collection, but obviously more than one.  While all are short by tenkara rod standards, each has its role.  The Tenkara USA Iwana is my "everyday" rod.  The Sakura Kongo is the compact pack rod (it's also stiff, so is a good "wind" rod).  Finally the Fountainhead Caddis is the "loaner" rod.  The rod I'll happily let someone else use if they want to give tenkara a try.

Sadly, these 3 rods had been spending their "off-days" hiding in rod tubes or socks, which is a shame because they're all kinda pretty.  At least as far as fishing rods go.  I had wanted to purchase a rack to store/display them, but they don't really fit in "normal" fishing rod racks.  By nature, when collapsed, tenkara rods are kinda short.

I had sketched a simple rod rack I thought I'd make from a piece of wood.  Just drill some largish holes in the top and slide the rods in upside down.  Sure, I'd need the rod caps to do this (or else the upside down rods would want to telescope out per gravity's request), but since I had them I didn't think it would be such a big deal.

Posting that drawing over at Tenkara-Fisher, Daniel from Tenkara USA suggested looking into a billiard cue rack.  Thinking this would make sense, and not really looking to reinvent the wheel (thanks Daniel!), I went that route instead.

And here are the results:

Sportcraft Billiard Cue Rack from the land of W.
Billiard Cue Tenkara Rack Mounted
View from above

The only real drawback I've found is that there is no way to store the rods if you want to keep your line attached to a spool.  The rack is just not deep enough to accommodate the spool resting on the upper grip.  Perhaps if you prefer the EZ-Keeper method of line storage, it may work.  I don't, so I couldn't test it to find out.

Instead, I'm going to get some small screw-in hooks to mount on the bottom of the lower bracket to hold my line know...something like this.

In the future, I may look into getting an inexpensive shelf like below to replace the lower bracket all together, as well as store the spools, line, perhaps a fly box - while still using the upper bracket to keep the rods standing upright.

I know it's a spice shelf, for example purposes only

However for now, this under $10 setup works fine, and thought it might be something my tenkara toting friends may have interest in.


Are you a Western tenkara angler? Do you have a story, pictures, video, fly recipe, or simply a fishing report from one of your recent tenkara adventures? If so, Troutrageous! wants to hear from you for a future Tenkara Tuesday post! Feel free to send an email HERE, or check out this previous post for more information.

November 7, 2011

The Lamest Fishing Report Poem You'll Read Today

Got up at 6:30 am yesterday.  28 degrees.
Fished for three or so hours.

Red Ram longjohns are good. 
One trout caught.  Lost three flies. 

No pictures.  No regrets.
True story.

November 6, 2011

Intergalactic Fishing Gangstas

Rifles...check....Chalice...check...Fish on...check!
Even Dinosaur Boy in the background is jealous of the swagger.
twitter reaction from Admiral Ackb...I mean @MakeItUrz

Any lazybones can just set up their blog posts to autopublish to Facebook or Twitter and call it a day.  First dibs on stupidness such as this that don't usually make the blog is all the more reason to "Like" or "Follow" in your social media channel of choice.  

You follow me?  Ha!  Get what I did there?

November 4, 2011

Check Out My Life On The Fly

Last weekend I wrote a guest post for Gaeron over at the "My Life on the Fly" blog.  He published it last night.  I may have been a bit under the influence while writing, and as such rambled incoherently about tenkara haters, but go check it out anyway.  Even if you are one.  Hater... :)

Even if you're not interested in my post, Gaeron's blog is thoroughly entertaining and informative on its own, so it's worth the click on well as a follow.

November 1, 2011

Tenkara Tuesd...Screw It, Yesterday Was Halloween!

Yeah, we love us some Halloween in these parts.  Here's the day in pictures...

Kindergarten Halloween Parade
Where's the dog catcher?
Check out the tail
The girls
May the Trick or Treatin' begin
Can I just walk in and take the basket?
Ate too much candy
The Haul