January 31, 2012

Tenkara Tuesday - A New Controversy?

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

As many of you may already be aware, I was lucky enough to meet a lot of tenkara-minded folks at the Fly Fishing Show last weekend.  It was a tenkara summit of sorts, albeit in Somerset rather than Salt Lake City...or at least a tenkara blogger summit, which in my opinion is just as good.

Now Daniel from Tenkara USA has already mentioned this little meetup on his blog, but in reading his post and looking at the pictures, there's just one thing that seems a little off.  It appears that for whatever the reason, Daniel doctored the group picture.  I guess it's probably because he wants to lay low following his week of tenkontroversy, but I figured I should probably publish the actual photo, you know, just to keep things real:

From Left to Right:
Lou from Fly & Fin, Chewbacca from Kashyyyk, Chris "TenkaraBum" Stewart, Daniel Galhardo,
Bart "The Jersey Angler", Matt "The Functioning Fishaholic", Yours Truly,
& wookie allergic "Tenkara Guide" Tom Sadler

Sorry Daniel, your secret is out, wookies prefer tenkara too.


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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.

January 30, 2012

The Art of VK Steelworks

Stumbling into the vast sea of "stuff" that is the Somerset, NJ Fly Fishing Show yesterday, one of the first things that immediately caught my eye was a stunning wall sculpture of a wet fly made of steel, looking aggressively medieval.  Actually, I think my reaction was, "damn, that's crazy..." as I went in for a closer look.

the Blackmore.610.VKS

Once in the booth, Matt (aka Functioning Fishaholic, who made the trip to NJ with me) & I were greeted by Val Kropiwnicki of VK Steelworks, who eagerly showed off this beautiful piece of art, in addition to many other smaller flies that were pretty much beyond anything I had seen before.  I'm not exactly sure what you'd call them, perhaps fly tying with a touch of fantasy...but do I know you would not want to get stuck by the "Circus Circus" during an errant backcast!!!

the Circus Circus.710.NP
(would love to see Val's interpretation of a Sakasa Kebari)

Honestly, I could go on, but anything I write will not really give this work justice.  It's so visual in nature, I'm going to stop with the adjectives now.  Instead, please click HERE and then click on the "Play Slideshow" link in the middle of the page.  Believe me, it's worth the few minutes it takes to view.


And if that piques your interest, please also check out the full VK Steelworks website.  

In a show filled with amazing fly tiers, $3,000+ bamboo fly rods, and beautifully machined reels, Val's work really stood out from the rest as something distinctively unique.  It was my honor to see these flies in person, and a great way to start the day at the Fly Fishing Show.


January 28, 2012

Gear Review - The Dead Drift DVD

Anybody who knows me also knows that my tenkara rod fully telescopes every time I think about fishing in New Zealand.  So when Steve from Stealth Films dropped me a note about a month ago offering up a copy of his DVD "The Dead Drift," there was no way I was going to turn that down.  I mean that would just be crazy talk.


Not really knowing what "The Dead Drift" was all about, I settled in to watch it last weekend, eagerly anticipating beautiful landscapes and big ass NZ trout.

Well it didn't disappoint.

Hosted by Dean Bell, of Blue Ribbon Wilderness Guides, "The Dead Drift" is basically a 60+ minute long video on how to spot trout, read water, and manipulate your flies properly in several different real-world fishing situations as he takes us into the Wilderness Waters of Fiordland, South Island, New Zealand.





Now for those of you that prefer your fly fishing movies to be more entertainment than instructional, this one probably isn't for you.  Just being honest.  This ain't Eastern Rises...or heck, it also isn't Once In A Blue Moon.  There's no fly in or fly over footage, no bearded trout bums, and no product placements.  

However what you will watch is some technical and tactical fishing analysis on some of the most beautiful gin clear water you'll ever see.  Don't worry, there is no shortage of fish porn, as Dean plucks pig after pig out of just about every nook and cranny of these streams with ridiculous regularity.  He just happens to do it in a relatively calm and straightforward fashion, explaining what he is doing as he goes along, as opposed to being accompanied by a death metal soundtrack coupled with a warm can of celebratory PBR. 


So is this DVD worth watching?  For general entertainment, maybe, maybe not.  If you like stories and narratives, go watch Hatch or Low & Clear instead.  However if you want to learn something that might help you catch more fish, then yes, by all means pick up a copy of "The Dead Drift" and watch as your head swells with all sort of newly acquired knowledge.

Don't believe me?  Check out some prior reviews of this DVD from different bloggers here, here or here.  And if so inclined, you can also buy your own copy here or here.


DISCLAIMER:
The Dead Drift DVD viewed in this product review was provided to me at no cost, but holds a retail value of $32.90 (US) per the manufacturer's website. I currently hold no association with Stealth Films, Steve Couper, Dean Bell, or Blue Ribbon Wilderness Guides whatsoever, however should I ever attack my bucket list and get down to New Zealand, I know who I'm getting a hold of.   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 let you know that too. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time in doing so?

January 27, 2012

Social Media - Yet Another Reason Why Klout Is Stupid



If you squinted hard enough to read that first Klout "Notification," no, that wasn't Photoshopped.
To quote:
"Klout believes you are influential in Congress."  

Let that soak in for a minute.

(Putting Klout's ridiculously erratic scoring method aside), if that is true, America has far more to worry about than we thought...

+Ks & T! stickers for everyone!


Postscript:  
Have no idea what Klout is or why I'm doling out +Ks?  No, it has nothing to do with cereal or Marts, and don't worry, most people haven't heard about it either.  Just uber dorks like me.  If you want to learn more about it, click here, but be forewarned, you're probably better off not getting involved in such shenanigans and tomfoolery.

January 26, 2012

Enough 'Tenkara Is A Fad' Already...

Okay, this "Tenkara Is A Fad" thing has gotten a little out of control.  Daniel Galhardo, (aka Mr. Tenkara USA) tweeted - and then later wrote a blog post - about a recent run in with Lefty Kreh and bloggers start writing up a storm, both pro & con.  We got this guy, this guy, this guy, and this guy just as examples.  There are a lot more, but I choose not to bore you by piling on.  Just Google "Tenkara is a fad" and you'll get more reading than you could possibly handle on such a meaningless topic.

Is tenkara a fad?  Other than Daniel, who has a business interest in tenkara, who really cares?  It might be a fad, but then again "authorities" on particular subjects have been wrong in the past...

Babe Ruth - He'll never become a good hitter, right?

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."
-- Western Union internal memo, 1876.

"Taking the best left-handed pitcher in baseball and converting him into a right fielder is one of the dumbest things I ever heard."
-- Tris Speaker, baseball expert, talking about Babe Ruth, 1919

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?"
-- H. M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
-- Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.

"Television won't last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night."
-- Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946

"You ain't going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck."
-- Jim Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, in firing Elvis Presley after a performance, 1954

"Groups are out. Four-piece groups with guitars particularly are finished."
-- Dick Rowe, Decca Recording Company executive, 1962 (turning down The Beatles)

"With over 50 foreign cars already on sale here, the Japanese auto industry isn't likely to carve out a big slice of the U.S. market."
-- Business Week, August 2, 1968.


Is it a big leap to put tenkara in the class of television, Elvis Presley, & Babe Ruth?   Probably, but I'm sure you can also see my point.  Experts know a lot about their particular field, that's how they become experts, and their views are right a lot of the time.  However, sometimes experts are wrong.  It happens.

Lefty might be right.  Who knows.  Who cares.  He is but one voice in a sea of fisherfolk.  Is it really even worthy of debate?

January 23, 2012

Another Week, Another Airport

The drive to and from the airport has been far too familiar the past few weeks. I'll be pretty quiet through probably Wednesday. In the meantime, enjoy the peace and quiet...

January 20, 2012

A Random Product from the Cabela's Fishing Catalog

I received the 2012 Cabela's fishing catalog the other day.  I used to really look forward to getting this bad boy every year (along with the competition's version from Bass Pro Shops), but when I sort of made the move from spin fishing to fly/tenkara fishing...well...it just isn't the same.  They've got different catalogs for that.

However, since I'm a gear junkie at heart, I still do enjoy going through the pages and soaking in all that's new for this year.  A few quick flips show that we've got all the latest & greatest stuff you don't really need, including micro guide baitcast rods, trolling reels with computer screens, enough new lures to fill 20 Alabama rigs, and of course some of the most "old mannish" looking footwear I've ever laid eyes upon.  Almost as bad as those velcro shoes you can sometimes see next to the elastic waist slacks in the coupon section of the Sunday newspaper.

These are so bad they're cool

Anyway, I thought I'd play a game today.  There are 336 pages in this year's Cabela's fishing catalog (back cover included)...let's pick a page at random, then pick a product at random, and blog about it (aka give it a free commercial).  Yes, I'm in need of inspiration, and I unwisely used my Bieber card yesterday.  Plus the great Google monster that lives in the clouds seems to like to send people to my site when I write gear posts.

Sooo....Random.org picked page 149.
And there are 7 products on page 149...and Random.org picked item 5.

Survey says...

Heh heh, it says wide load...shut up Beavis...


Evidently Skeet Reese (you know, the yellow guy that fishes with Roy Halladay and saves naked jungle people from rabid anacondas) designed this "wild-action" bait for flipping and casting to big bass.  Whatever.  That story sounds as good as any other.  I'm sure he designed it.  Honestly, I'd be lookin' to see what KVD is designing, but that's just me.  

It's available in a rainbow of colors, ironically yellow not being one of them.  My favorite is #030 Lime Purple Passion, which sounds like something that would be served in an umbrella adorned coconut...but at 6 for $2.99, what a bargain!  At least I think.  Everything in the fly fishing world is at least 8 times more expensive than it should be, so I can't tell a bargain on a normal fishing item if it walked up and slapped me in the face.

What's the point?  Beats me.  I was truly hoping the fates would let me write about one of those rods made out of carrots, the latest design in brass swivels, or the full assortment of planer boards.  At the very least, this post was somewhat fun to write, although I'm certain reading it had a decidedly different effect.  Sorry about that.  At least today is Friday.

January 19, 2012

Tenkara Thursday - Salvation In Tenkara?

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday Thursday.

I was checking my twitter stream the other day and came across this:


It actually wasn't hard to spot, as I not only follow Tenkara USA, but also a few of the re-tweeters.

Now I love tenkara, but a statement as bold as "salvation for the dying fly fishing industry" is something that I thing requires full context that a 140 character tweet can't capture.  I mean (Patagonia founder) Yvon Chouinard probably has a reason for stating the above, right?

So I went to go check out the article, located on page 14 of the 2012 Blue Ribbon Flies catalog.  (Please go read the article, it's quite good, far better than this post).  The quote is neatly summarized in the last paragraph by the following:
"I say it could be the savior of the sport of fly fishing because it is simple, inexpensive, and can be taught to an eight year old in minutes."
Well I guess the reasoning makes sense...tenkara is pretty easy to pick up, and you can catch fish on it.  A dummy like me is proof of that.  I suppose the "inexpensive" is a relative term, but I get that point too.  Rod, line, fly, simplicity, blah, blah, blah...  However, something tells me that the word "could" probably needs to be in bold font and underlined about five or six times.  If not the tenakara zealots readers will latch on to the words "savior" or "salvation," turning the proposition into a definitive statement.

See, there's a lot of things that "could"  be the salvation for the dying fly fishing industry...tenkara being one, but also the continued dominance of the squirmy wormie, Tim Tebow in waders, properly addressing the growing female demographic...or even a remake of a now 20 year old fly fishing film that helped inspire the industry's last period of significant growth...(oh, and I've got a director in mind)....

Skerritt, Bieber, and that dude from Twilight

Okay, on second thought, maybe Mr. Chouinard has it right after all...

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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.  If not, you run the risk of being exposed to more Bieber.

January 18, 2012

STOP SOPA

A lot of prominent websites will be going "black" today in protest of SOPA.  While I won't be going black since I don't control Blogger or Google, in lieu of a post, I ask you to please watch the video below and visit the link HERE for more infomation.  This is a serious issue, and a slippery slope for future internet use, blogs included.



PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Normal posting will resume tomorrow.


January 16, 2012

Social Media - What The F#@k Is Pinterest Anyway...

From time to time I actually attempt to write a helpful or informative post around here.  It's not very often, but today's as good as any.  I'll warn you in advance, this is kinda long...albeit with pretty pictures...

The topic of social media...it's everywhere these days. And many of you readers being fellow bloggers probably think it's the responsible thing to do to extend your blog's reach to the popular social networks at your disposal. You probably have a Facebook Fan Page, a Twitter account, and maybe even find yourself on Google+ from time to time. The ultra ambitious may StumbleUpon, Digg, or find themselves having Klout.

At this point, you've probably heard of another one as well, Pinterest.  But what to make of this Pinterest thing that is lurking on the edges and growing like wildfire, despite still being in "invitation only" mode?  To find out for myself, I signed up to be on the Pinterest waiting list, and three days later I was in. This is what I discovered, and of course my opinion if you should really give a damn about giving it a try for yourself.


To start, the concept of Pinterest is pretty simple, it's a picture and video sharing network. You share interesting pictures with others, much like you would on Facebook or Twitter, perhaps also inserting a short comment about why you like or shared the photo.

A screen shot of a bunch of pins...pictures & comments.  Kind of like your Facebook Feed or Google+ Stream

Photos can come from anywhere, but they primarily come from web pages you are reading. See an awesome picture of a hook jawed brown trout on a website you are reading and want to show off it's awesomeness? Just paste the URL into Pinterest and you can share it easily, while automatically including the link back to where you found it. If you use Google Chrome, you can even install a "Pin It" button into your browser for even easier sharing (or pinning, what Pinterest calls it).

The "Pinning" interface, I had to pin this great pic from Dry Files and Fat Tires
Creates something that looks like this...

The social aspect of Pinterest is also like any of the other social networks, you follow or are followed by others, and you can like, comment on, or re-pin (share) anything you might find of interest. Nothing groundbreaking yet, right?

The social life of Russell Schnitzer's photo
I commented on it, a person liked it, and another person repinned (shared) it

What does makes Pinterest unique is that when you share/pin something, you put it on a Board. You know...a pinboard. Boards are usually set up by topic and help organize similar items, kind of like a Twitter hash tag (#) might, but in a much more visual format. I have boards set up for Tenkara, Fly Fishing, Great Blog Posts, Fly Tying, Pop Culture, etc...

My Boards

What is really cool is that when you decide to "follow" someone, you can choose to only follow boards they've created that interest you, not necessarily everything from them. For example, you can choose to follow me (which then automatically sets you up to see pins from all of my boards), or you can just choose to follow my Fly Fishing pinboard, because you don't give a crap about Tenkara or Pop Culture.

I'm only following 3 of Graham's 9 boards

As far as a tool for self/blog promotion...Pinterest kinda frowns on that. If you plan to use social media as a place to just post links to your latest blog post, this isn't the outlet for you. Plus, since it's picture based, unless your blog post has a kiler picture in it, people will probably never click on it in the first place.

That said, if you are a fly tier or a outdoor photographer, this really could be a useful tool...not only to organize a portfolio of your work, but also to make it easy for others to find and re-share. Personally, I think I'll mostly use it as a holding tank for all the randomness that usually ends up in Wednesday Nibbles. If I see something cool, I'll just pin it for later consumption. If others enjoy looking at it too, that's just a cool side effect.

Some other things worth mentioning about Pinterest is that it is both Facebook and Twitter integrated out of the box (sorry Google+). So when you pin something cool, you can simultaneously post or tweet it on those two networks. The one drawback to that is that I haven't figured out how to make the Facebook posts go to my Troutrageous! Fan Page, rather than my personal Facebook page. Boo.


Pinterest also has a search box and a browse by category feature that allows you to explore and somewhat easily find and review other people's pins and pinboards, even if you do not follow them (yet).

Go ahead and find some sother stuff...

Finally, when you pin something, you can assign it a $ value, for example to call out that new fly rod you covet costs $700. The price then automatically gets indexed in the search engine as well.

Adding a "price tag" to a pin.  Notice the banner in the upper left?

So as an outdoor blogger is Pinterest worth your social media time? Probably not. Well...at least as one of your primary forms of extending your reach right now. Unless of course you're also a Mommy Blogger or a Photographer on the side - I know many of you may maintain multiple blogs.

See, I hate to say this, but it seems like the main demographic present in the Pinterest universe at the moment is female. Normally, I'd have no problem with that (I mean I'm particularly fond of women), but there's a disproprtionately high amount of pinning of fancy food recipes and fashion "looks" - like shoes, dresses, and accessories - which doesn't exactly fit neatly alongside the babblings from the "hooks & bullets" crowd.

Yes, let's have more evening dresses...

That said, Pinterest is somewhat amusing to play around with and just different enough when compared to Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to make it worth a look. I guess we'll never be able replace Crock Pot casserole recipes with Parachute Adams tying recipes if we don't at least try to play along...

If you want an invite, hit me up, I've got a couple to burn.


January 14, 2012

Gear Review - Margaritaville Polarized Sunglasses

I think I may have inadvertently become some sort of sunglasses reviewer guru or something.  I've done a review on these and these, so when Margaritaville Eyewear approached me a few months ago about doing a review on their sunglasses...I mean how could I say no?  Especially as one that is known to have gone searching for his fair share of lost salt shakers in the past.

Ahh...the younger days of Parrotheaded tailgating... 


OKAY FOOL, WHATS IN THE BOX?
The folks at Margartiaville Eyewear sent me a pair of Tortola polarized sunglasses.  When I cracked open the package, there was a pair of sunglasses (duh), presented with a very nice case, a tan nylon with sort of an antiqued brass hardware.  Accompanying the case was a little pull-string microfiber glasses bag that doubles as a lens cleaner, as well as a glasses leash made from like a shoelace type material (as opposed to neoprene).  Top rate packaging, and they almost too good of a first impression.  I don't know where they were gonna go from here.


AND WHAT ARE THE GLASSES LIKE?
The first thing I noticed is that nothing really jumps out as "cheap" when you examine these sunglasses closely.  The frames are "polymer" (aka plastic), but really solid.  Not that inexpensive squeaky plastic you might find elsewhere.  The hinges are metal spring hinges to prevent breaking from over-flexing, and there are soft rubber pads at the touch points on your nose and behind your ears, all of which make for a very comfortable and lightweight wear.

The leash can be attached to each "arm" through a small hole in the back.  I don't wear leashes on my sunglasses, so I really didn't try that out.  I really didn't need to anyway, the rubber pads kept them put.  No need to change my latitude.

On the fashion front, I have to say of all the glasses I've reviewed to date, these Margaritaville sunglasses are probably the most stylish.  They are my first choice to wear out and about.  But then again, I wear Owl Jones t-shirts out and about too, and have always wanted to grow a pencil thin moustacheso what does that say for my fashion sense?


UMMM, IDIOT, YOU FORGOT THE LENSES?
I'm not very picky when it comes to polarized lenses.  Typically, unless you are buying fishing sunglasses from the bargain bin, they are going to work just fine to cut glare and sight fish in most situations.  Heck, sometimes even glasses from the bargain bin work fine too.  And you don't have to get 'em drunk to take them home.

Margaritaville boasts that these sunglasses feature Margaritaville Polarized Technology, or MPT® (man, is that name original or what?), which are "the highest quality available and filter out 99.9 % of blinding glare" while exceeding "all existing eyewear industry standards for optical quality, value and durability." I guess that's just a ton of awesomeness rolled into a small package  Kinda like a Cheeseburger in Paradise.  If not, it's certainly a lot of marketing hype.

Either way, these Margaritaville sunglasses more than did the job on the water.  While I was down in Florida I used them to sight fish bass and bluegill, and back at home they've been great on Valley Creek to spot holding trout.  Basically, they let me see fins to the left, and fins to the right...with ease.  I've used them consistently now for about 2 months of fishing (not to mention my daily battle with sun glare on the ride in to work in the mornings) and will continue to use them after this "review" is over.

TO CONCLUDE...
There's nothing really bad to complain about when it comes to these glasses.  They're solidly constructed, do what they're supposed to in terms of cutting glare, and even look good on a big nosed goof like myself.  As for this review, consider it over.  I'm thirsty, and it's 5 o'clock somewhere...


DISCLAIMER:
The Margaritaville Eyewear sunglasses tested in this product review were provided to me at no cost, but hold a retail value of $159.95 per the manufacturer's website.  (Note: they now appear to be on clearance at $79.97)  I currently hold no association with Margaritaville eyewear whatsoever, but if they want to go out and share some drinks sometime, I'll never say no.  Especially boat drinks.  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 let you know that too. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time in doing so?

January 12, 2012

Two Nights In Vegas With Tenkara Talk

Tenkara Talk and I had a fun time in Vegas...it even let me take some pictures...you know to enter that contest...

The flight out was uneventful.  Wish the plane had WiFi though...
Feet on the ground, we hit the ground running...
I think this is my "official entry."  If only there were 3.
Me too...
Things only went downhill from here...

I'd show more pictures, but to be honest, it's better that Jason not see them...  See Tenkara Talk got a little out of control.  

The first misstep was when it insisted on buying one of those foot long frozen margaritas...then it started acting belligerent to a group of baitcasters.  Called them a bunch of "word for cats."  Luckily they laughed it off.  

After stumbling around it somehow picked up a Ross Reel from a bachelorette party and tried to take it back to the room.  Hated to do it, but I had to step in as a c#ckblock, I wasn't sleeping on the floor...we almost came to blows over the whole situation.  It was an ugly scene, but I guess that's Vegas.

If all goes well, we're headed home today.  Hopefully Tenkara Talk's new piercings get through airport security...

January 11, 2012

January 10, 2012

Tenkara Tuesday - What Happens In Vegas...

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

Tenkara Tuesday alum Jason Klass of Tenkara Talk fame recently posted a free sticker offer in conjunction with a tenkara gear giveaway he was holding to promote his blog.  Unfortunately, as I once learned the hard way, whenever you promote something as "free," even something as small as a sticker, the crazies come out of the woodwork and ruin the fun for everyone.

Luckily, I was one of the fortunate folks that got a Tenkara Talk sticker before the freakshow started.

Image blatantly stolen from TenkaraTalk.com

This week, my work is putting me on a plane again.  Instead of South, now we're talkin' West.  Las Vegas, Nevada to be exact.  While it will be 3 days full of drinking convention and trade show activities (no, I won't be here...and I'll miss this one by a week...), I thought it might be fun to bring the Tenkara Talk sticker with me so I can craft my entry into Jason's contest in some of my down time.

Where will Tenkara Talk show up?  You'll have to wait and see...


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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.  

January 9, 2012

Spin Fishing Valley Creek with Troutnspoons

I had the pleasure of fishing with Spurky (aka troutnspoons) this past Saturday.  When not posting pictures of bikini clad fishing women to my Facebook wall, he had been persistently texting & facebooking me about fishing Valley Creek again, and last week he basically told me, "Valley on Saturday.  Be there at 7 AM.  What exit do I take again?"  I guess he was telling, not asking, so I didn't have a choice...not that I'd say no anyway...


Meeting in one of the larger parking lots we geared up and headed down to the stream, walking in a bit before starting to fish at around 7:20 AM.  And let me tell you...it was freezing.  Literally.  You know, frozen guides type of fishing.  We both started the morning fishing spinning tackle and managed a couple follows and "love taps" from the resident trout, but no hookups.  In addition to the cold, the water was on the low side and very clear.  I always like Valley a little high and dirty (just like my wome....ah, forget it).


Catching up on all kinds of things, it was a pretty enjoyable morning despite not catching anything to that point. Spurky likes to talk, and is a pretty good storyteller, so I was entertained by all kinds of dirt on the locals (local to him - I don't know these people), and time flew as the sun finally decided come out to warm us up a bit.  


As we doubled back to where we parked the cars, I wanted to stop for two reasons.  The first was to switch out my spinning rod for a tenkara rod.  Spurky had never seen me use it, and asked if I'd give it a whirl.  The second was to find a freakin' band aid in the car.  I had acquired a nice slice in my left pointer finger from the fishing line...don't ask how, it just sort of appeared...and even though it didn't hurt, it was bleeding like a S.O.B. and wouldn't stop.  I usually keep band aids in my pack, but Lilly knows this little bit of information and gets into them and sticks them all on her stuffed animals.  Anyway, bloodletting crisis avoided, we moved on.

Well, the smell of blood must have been in the air because as we settled into fish the next section of water, out of nowhere, I got buzzed by a bat like 3 times.  Spurky had moved upstream a bit, so he wasn't there to see it, but it freaked me out a bit.  It wasn't a big bat or anything but I don't like anything flying around my dome.  After it calmed down and took a break on a nearby tree, I snapped a picture of it.  The zoom on my camera sucks, so this picture does too.


We fished a little bit more, but by now we started to run into some legit creek traffic.  It was now 10ish and it seems that all the late risers decided to show up at once, so we had to play leapfrog a bit to get to some of the better water.  While I played around with tenkara wet flies in the shallows, Spurky hit some deeper water about 30 yards ahead of me.  It was in that spot where he finally brought in a fish, his first at Valley, mercifully putting our fishless morning to an end.  I wish I had a picture (he was supposed to send one to me that he took on his cell phone, but I never got it), so we'll put this in it's place for now.


I wish I could say the floodgates opened from there, but they didn't.  We both ended up going fishless the rest of the morning as we continued to weave in and out of other anglers, before packing it up and calling it quits around noon.  Spurky had a two-ish hour drive ahead of him and there was no sense sticking around for this nonsense.  Even without catching our limits, fishing with Spurky is always a good time, I look forward to heading up his way for brookies the next go round.

January 8, 2012

Lost & Found

To the character that left $30 of Flourocarbon tippet on a rock at Valley Creek recently...


Thanks.

Seriously, I could return these to your possession if needed.  It'd be good karma, and I believe in that kind of stuff.  Just remember, lying to me would be bad karma back onto you.  No reversies.  Don't f#ck with karma.


January 6, 2012

L.L. Bean Will Make Me Misbehave

I told myself this year would be different.  I told myself there are better ways to spend my money.  I told myself there was no reason to get another rod this year, let alone another 3-weight.  Now I'm thinking (much like Lilly at dinner time) that I'm not going to be a very good listener.


I got my copy of the L.L. Bean Fly Fishing catalog last night and am absolutely smitten with the new Pocket Water fly rod.  See, I'm a sucker for a pretty face, and this rod is a looker (magazine centerfolds usually are, right?)

You'll immediately notice that it's got a paint job that looks somewhat like bamboo.  Appears to be very similar to the finish on my Sakura Betuatsurae Kongo tenkara rod, a rod that looks good in pictures but is stunning up close.


Additionally, from what I understand, the rod has some steak to go with that sizzle as well.  It got some relatively good press following last year's IFTD show, and I really look forward to getting out to a store to at least see, fondle, and hopefully cast one in person.

Here's a video...if you like those sort of things...and yes, it's sub $200.





The more I think about it, maybe I'll go up a size and get a 4-weight instead of the 3-weight.  I'm certain that will absolutely justify the purchase, right?  Thought so.  Let's not mention the fact that then I'll also need the matching 4-weight click & pawl reel to go with it.  Nah, that'll be our dirty little secret.

January 4, 2012

The First Miss of 2012

Each of the last two years, Mother Nature has been generous enough to provide wonderful weather to serve as the backdrop for New Year's Day fishing.  2010's outing featured multi-tasking via spinning tackle & Tenkara USA rod on some brookies on Stony Creek, and in 2011, the Fountainhead Caddis found itself catching some Valley Creek browns.

2012 Licence...check!

Surprisingly, the weather was even nicer for New Year's Day 2012; a mild 55 degrees, sunny blue skies, puffy white clouds, absolutely gorgeous...

Picture perfect

Being a little fatigued from a 16 hour drive from Orlando, Florida back to Pennsylvania the entire day before, I wasn't really in the mood to spring out of bed and hit the water right away.  Instead, I kind of lounged around the house a while, hung out with Lilly, and did much of nothing most of the morning.  However before I knew it, it was 2:30 in the afternoon and...well...it gets dark around here early these days!

Tossing on a hoodie and darting out the door, I hustled down to Valley Creek with Sakura Kongo in hand, determined to get 2012 off on a good note.  Wadered up and in the water by 3:00 PM, I had my my first fish, a really colorful brown trout, hooked by about 3:20 PM.  Unfortunately, said fish also decided to release itself about 3 feet from my wading boots as I reached for my net.  Didn't get it to hand, so I guess it didn't count.

What happened in the next 15 minutes, well...I think a higher power was trying to tell me something.  

C'mon rain, are you kidding me?

As soon as that fish kicked the hook, those puffy white clouds turned grey, as did the sky around them.  Then the rain decided to start. The rain wasn't falling that hard and there was no lightning, but it reminded me of Caddyshack.  I tried to fish through it for a bit, but honestly, wearing just a hoody, I wasn't dressed for the weather and without the benefit of the sun any longer, the temperature started to drop quickly.  And let's be honest, I'm not badass like Kent Klewein.  

The goal being to catch a fish on New Year's and not pneumonia, I decided to pack it in and head back to the car.  By then, it was almost 4:00 PM and I spotted the Park Ranger doing his slow cruise of the nearby parking lot in his car, a not-so-subtle suggestion that people should be leaving.

So New Year's 2012...one fish hooked but not landed...and an upper body drenching.  But don't mistake that for complaining.  I'll take 45 minutes of fishing any day of the week.  Oh, and I finally got to use my boot bag.  And yes, they did fit inside.  More to come on that...

Had to remove the puppies though....

January 3, 2012

Tenkara Tuesday - Tenkara Summit 2012

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

Yeah, it's back.  Didn't think I'd let it totally die on the vine did you?

So I decided last night that I'm going to make one of my trips (as stated in the resolution posts) the 2012 Tenkara Summit in Utah.  I just like the idea of that, making a statement rather than throwing out a goal.  Makes it more definitive.  Anyway, July 28 & 29, I'm there, eager to drink in all the blonde hair, blue eyed, lime Jell-O eating glory that is Salt Lake City.


The good news is, I actually think I can do this without breaking the bank.  In pricing flights to SLC last night, I discovered that they are relatively cheap, so as far as I'm concerned, it's a done deal once all of the details are worked out.

With a rod that collapses down (and of course no reel) at least I won't have to pack too much gear.  Rod, line, flies, wading boots in a bag, right?  But then again, maybe a the 5-weight may come with, you know, just in case a side trip should pop up.  Or maybe not.

Design by Anthony Naples of Tenkara Robot fame

Yes, Salt Lake City here I come.


I do realize this wasn't all that great of a Tenkara Tuesday post, but so what.  However if you'd like to have a hand in changing that in the future, you know there's always an open offer for tenkara themed guest posts below...

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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.