June 30, 2012

The Rise Of The Intelligent (Tenkara) Ape

Great apes have been known to use reel-less fishing implements for many years.  Like his ancestral cousins the chimpanzee & orangutan, Tenkara Sasquatch is no exception.

The Revolution Has Begun

June 27, 2012

Kype Fishing Magazine: Volume 4 / Issue 1

Issue One Highlights: 

Sight Fishing For Lake Trout
Perfecting Your Swing
New Spey Lines
Aerial King of Salmonflies
Afternoon Delight

June 26, 2012

Red Stripe Ain't Just A Beer from Jamaica

The kid got a red stripe on her karate belt yesterday for most likely for mastering the Chuck Norris superkick.  Car windshields, consider yourself warned.

Congrats Lil!

June 25, 2012

Possible Arizona Tenkara Sasquatch Sighting

Jacksonville State of Mind

Might be a little quiet in these parts this week, we'll see...

Headed down to Jacksonville, Florida for work until Thursday night.  Not really sure what the "down time" will bring in either quantity or activity, but I do understand they have a fishing pier somewhat near where I'm staying.  Maybe I'll check that out or something after work if the weather's okay.

Luck has it that there's also a tropical storm in the Gulf right now and the forecast is calling for rain.  Lots of it.  Maybe that fishing pier will wait...

June 22, 2012

Bigger Than Anything You'll Catch This Weekend

Yeah, doesn't get much more badass than Brett Crawford.  300+ pound alligator gar.  Bowfishing gear.  Likely a tin of Skoal in t-shirt pocket.  

No forced perspective or overuse of HDR in this fish pic...

Photo courtesy Brett Crawford & T-Rex

"The two men used a rope attached to Jim's Polaris to drag the fish to the house. Even together the two men could not lift the fish. Jim offered a forklift from his garage, which was just the tool they needed to hang the catch for photos and to weigh it.
But their scale's 300-pound capacity was inadequate. The fish measured 8 feet 2 inches. And it bottomed out the scale in resounding fashion."

Full news article in Corpus Christi Caller.

June 21, 2012

Alpha Tackle Tenkara Rods?

Have noticed a lot of searches for "Alpha Tackle Tenkara Rods" in the good old Google Analytics lately.  Like almost as many as "hot stripper", "you suck", and "YUUUUP"...

Don't know (and don't really care) what that's all about, but I did go and goof around the Alpha Tackle website for a good 10 or so minutes last night.  Being a Japanese website, and despite the assistance of Google Translate, I didn't find any tenkara rods, but did uncover a pretty sweet online catalog with all kinds of craziness going on inside.

If only the Bass Pro catalog had spreads like below, squid fishing (?) would probably be HUGE in the States...

June 20, 2012

Not Quite Tenkara Sasquatch

TV Angler Charlie Moore was recently caught on film running into Tenkara Sasquatch's somewhat confused cousin Spinnerbait Sasquatch.  A much shorter relative to his telescoping rod relative, Spinnerbait Sasquatches are unique in that they have a rare tolerance to obnoxious New England accents.  Either that, or they are deaf.


[ EDIT:  I removed the embedded video and it's damn annoying autoplay that I couldn't seem to remove.  Click on the image above to see the video on NESN.com. }

June 19, 2012

30 Second Book Review - Fishing, Ghosts, And My Mother's Gray Hair

On my recent family vacation, I had the pleasure of thumbing through a paperback copy of "Fishing, Ghosts, And My Mother's Gray Hair" by Mark Kautz.

Mark Kautz you might ask?  Yeah, you probably know him as Shoreman from Northern California Trout.

Being a follower & regular reader of Mark's blog, I ran to the front of the line when he mentioned he was taking pre-orders for his new book about two months ago.  Blog love extends beyond the digital space; it's all about supporting fellow bloggers in their various efforts - and good karma.

That said, when I actually read the book, I was surprised by a few things...(spoiler alert)

1) Although many of his posts today are about lake fishing - either spinning from shore or tooling around in the Float Tube Cumberland with fly rod - a lot of  his early fishing experience was in the salt. 
2)  While Mark is retired now, he evidently didn't work much when he worked.  All he wrote about was how his sales calls were good excuses to fish different water.
3) He writes a really fun fashion that is easily consumed, just like his blog.  I figured Mark might have had some editor "fancy it up" or something.  I consumed it cover to cover in probably 2 hours...and it was so enjoyable I even re-read portions a couple times.  Considering my generally short attention span, this is quite a feat.

So if you're looking for something light, that's also fishing-themed to read, you may want to check out this book.  Paperbacks are available over on his blog for $10.  Heck, you can even download it for Amazon Kindle...it doesn't get any easier than that!

And no, I'm not just writing this because Mark paid me to.

OK, despite the innuendo above, Mark did not pay me to write this.  Instead, I stole enough money out of Lilly's piggy bank to buy my own copy...which is proving to be a bad investment because Mark also decided to deface my copy and write stuff in pen on the inside cover.   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?

June 15, 2012

Kayaking And Fishing In Islamorada

Since I know all of you are dying to see more vacation pictures....here's a few more, from day two (the one full day spent) in Islamorada.

It started with an 8:30 wake up call for some ocean kayaking.  We kayaked around some flats for about 3 hours.  We didn't see a ton of fish, but saw a lot of wildlife otherwise.  The only casualty was K.C.'s legs (which got sunburned despite sunblock), but it didn't damper the activity.

We just chilled here for a bit, enjoying the shade of some mangroves

Later we did some pier fishing.  Our resort had it's own fishing pier so that was pretty convenient.  Nothing crazy to catch...but it was an easy way to kill the downtime between lunch & dinner.  Spinning rod rental was included in the resort fee, so we both used them (and shrimp) to get into some fish.  

Donkeyfish on!

K.C. was a pro at catching what we were calling "donkeyfish," while I was sight casting to pickerel-sized barracuda.  Some sharks and rays hung out too (although we didn't even try to catch those).  I eventually ditched the spinning rod (because those toothy buggers broke too many lines and stole too many hooks) to a fly rod that I brought along to catch the last 'cuda of the day.  I'm no saltwater fly fisherman, but it felt nice to see it take the fly. 

Nice grip n' grin doofus

For the nightcap we headed over to Robbie's for a nighttime booze & fish cruise aboard the "Capt. Michael."  The boat was to leave at 7:30 PM and return after Midnight.  I'm usually not one for deep sea fishing, but K.C. was all about it...and the bargain of it being only $40 per person...so if my wife wants to go fishing, I'm not going to fight her!  

The Capt. Michael awaits...
...but first a quick dinner at The Hungry Tarpon
Fish sandwich

Glad my wife picked out this little adventure as we had a blast.  Captain Tony and his crew made everything easy and enjoyable, couldn't have asked for a better time.

The ride out
Sun going down
A crappy picture of K.C. with a fish.  My point & shoot was not on the best action setting
A better picture taken with K.C.'s DSLR

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention that K.C. totally schooled me deep sea fishing.  She probably caught two to my one the whole night.  She's without a doubt the reason we had a solid pile of fish at the end of the night...

Bound for the fryer

June 14, 2012

Fishing and Fatherhood

With Father's Day approaching I was asked by our friends at the Pottstown Mercury to reflect on "being a dad" in a blog post.   I suppose with the vast sea of "mommy bloggers" out there, the perspective of someone with a laptop and a Y chromosome is one that is of some value, at least at this time of year.

Now people familiar with this blog know that I write about my daughter Lilly fairly frequently.  OK, not as frequently as I do trout, or scantily clad women fishing in bikinis, but enough to give you a little view into the puppy loving, Cartoon Network watching, chicken nugget eating, Scotch tape wasting kindergarten-graduate that runs our household.

There are a lot of parallels between being a dad and fishing.  To start, before you even pick up a rod (or your wife spits out a kid) you can read a lot of how-to books and watch a lot of videos to prepare you for what you think your responsibilities are going to be. Unfortunately, you've got no idea what you're getting yourself into until you jump in and get your feet wet.

What used to be the best catch...

For me, I donned the waders 6 years ago.  And believe me, not everything has been trophy fish since.  We're talking the tangled lines of potty training, the hook in the hand of refusing to eat dinner, and snag in the trees of playing far too many video games...all while having to put up with the cutest little smile than makes handing out any sort of discipline a challenge onto itself.

Does it get easier, yes?  But again, just like fishing, once one skill is "mastered," many more puzzles present themselves.  Once a fly fisherman learns to catch fish, he then typically wants to learn how to tie his own flies...which leads down the path of buying a ton of feathers, tools, and a tying vise, none of which is inexpensive.

Heck, fast forwarding many, many years, I read somewhere that the average wedding cost in 2011 was $27,000.  Yeah, looks like I'll have to stop tying flies now...

In the end though, even with all of those trials to pass & riddles to solve, I'm not sure if there's anything more rewarding than being a dad, (including catching a 20"+ trout).  Heck, being a dad is way more rewarding than catching a big fish.  Fish don't give you hugs, fish don't make you ridiculously proud at even the smallest achievement, fish don't sneak into your bed in the middle of the night just to "snuggle," and fish certainly don't say "Daddy, I love you."

...now the best catch ever!

Yeah, being a dad ain't that bad at all.  Love you Lil.  Thanks for making every day, Father's Day.

June 13, 2012

Sharing Some Vacation Pictures

While everyone is still chatting up "Sacred Cows"...I'm in Florida enjoying a week of vacation.  (Thanks to everyone who has commented on that post to date).  Clearly, with that post in the rear-view mirror, Troutrageous! has peaked and there's no way to stop the decline.  So rather than try, I figured I'd just put up some vacation pictures...

The first batch are from the in-laws' in Boca Raton.  Backyard canal fishing and goofing around with Lilly were pretty much what was in the cards.

One of a few Mayan Cichlids...little buggers fight really hard.
Detail of tail
Test driving the Tenkara USA Ito...yeah it was overkill
Lilly intently reading the latest Windknots & Tangled Lines post
Tiny frogs in a beer glass

The last batch are from our arrival in Islamorada.  No tarpon fishing (like fishingpoet), just hanging out at a resort for a few days, and the eating and drinking that goes with it.

Lilly saying goodbye...as she's staying at "Camp Mom-Mom"
Fishing pier behind the hotel
Dinner spot...was good.
Pie.  Enough said.

June 11, 2012

Lots & Lots of Little Fish

Perhaps if you have kids...or have spent any amount of time over a friend or family member's house that has kids, you may have seen the "Lots & Lots of Jets and Planes" commercial.

Perhaps annoying at first, it actually becomes quite intoxicating.  I wish I had the delivery of that announcer.

Anyway, first night of the Florida family vacation visiting the in-laws, I snuck out back for about an hour to do some fishing in the backyard canal.  Nothing serious...just looking to wet a line.  There's usually panfish a plenty, and they didn't disappoint.

What struck me was their size, all on the smallish end of the spectrum.  Usually get into a few largish specimens, but no dinner plate fish here.  No big deal, because the action was relatively constant (when not picking out algae from my fly - damn you Florida summers).

I can just hear that commercial announcer now..."Lots & Lots of Little Fish"...heck, I'd buy that video.

June 9, 2012

The Pennsylvania Pigeon Shoot Controversy

There was an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday about a somewhat controversial Pennsylvania "tradition"...The Pigeon Shoot.

No, it's not a fishing thing, but it's outdoorsy, and has some parallels to an annual fishing "Rite of Spring" so I thought I might be worth posting.

It comes up in local press every few years.  Basically the deal is that rather than shooting clays or stationary targets, the Philadelphia Gun Club (and a few other clubs in the State), round up pigeons and systematically release them to let club members have at them as target practice.  It's kind of like opening day of trout season, when hundreds of stockies are thrown in a 10 by 20 foot hole to be removed one after another.  Like the trout that doesn't care for Powerbait, many pigeons get/fly away to "safety," but the ones that don't...well...don't.

Other than shooting a bunch of what some might think are nuisance birds...
what's the issue might you ask?  

First off, pigeon shoots are perfectly legal in Pennsylvania.  But since we're talking shotguns, a good portion of the birds don't die right away upon getting hit...rather they're knocked out of the sky by the gunshot and fall to the ground with crippling injuries, blows that most times will prove fatal later.  Do the birds suffer in that time between flight and expiration?  I suppose so.  But then again, so do those opening day trout latched on to stringers bound for the dinner plate.  Animal cruelty groups definitely think the pigeons are getting a raw deal, and have been trying to shut these shoots down for years.

What I find most interesting is the latest tact taken in the war against pigeon shoots.  Since the Philadelphia Gun Club property resides on the banks of the Delaware River, it is now being sued by said environmental groups for violating the Clean Water Act...or in other words, polluting the river with a bunch of dead birds and spent shotgun shot without permit.

To quote the Inquirer article:
"The shoots are a violation of the Clean Water Act because of shot and carcasses falling into the river," van Rossum said. "They can't have a discharge into the water without a permit."
Federal and state agencies have failed to enforce the Clean Water Act, van Rossum said. So she and her nonprofit group, which has more than 7,700 members, filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia on March 30. 
In addition to the pigeon carcasses, gunshot containing lead, bismuth, tungsten, copper, steel, and other metals are polluting the river, according to the suit."

Hmmm...that's an interesting angle.  Does it carry any real weight?  Probably not, especially considering the fact that pretty much every waterfoul hunter could be considered guilty of the same "crime" if precedent is set.

Something tells me pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania aren't going anywhere anytime soon, but what are your thoughts; environmental and/or moral?  I'm especially curious considering parallels to fishing, and the strong "catch & release" ethic that is prevalent in such circles.

As always, comments are welcomed below...

June 8, 2012

Friday Filler

How do I follow up yesterday's nonsense?  Simple answer, I don't have the ambition to.

I got too much stuff to do after work today and then tomorrow as the family prepares for a week long jaunt to Florida.  Luckily, no overgrown mice this time (to Lilly's dismay), just family time with the in-laws and a very brief midweek escape HERE.  That should be fun, even though I don't anticipate chasing down any 'poon.

By poon I meant tarpon...were you thinking something else?

One of the things I might think about/plot/plan/scheme while away drinking and laying on the beach is the whole "Southeastern PA...Mid-Atlantic...East Coast...whatever...Outdoor Blogger Summit" as suggested by a few in yesterday's comments.  That might actually be doable.  Maybe not Olivia Munn doable, but you know what I mean.  

There's gotta be casinos hotels not too far away that could probably host something like that...and pizza is relatively cheap.  I don't have any clue what we'd do at said summit, but it could be fun.  With all that, I've already false started on a Eastern Tenkara Summit a few times...so honestly, don't hold your breath if I'm the one steering this ship.

Add caption

Oh, and one more thing.  All you that got in on the sticker thing...envelopes are stuffed and heading out today.  Don't be scared when Mr. McFeely knocks on your door, he doesn't want to give you a backrub, it's only a sticker.  Thanks for the interest in rockin' the T!  As always, pics are appreciated once they're stuck.

June 7, 2012

Ten Sacred Cows of Fly Fishing

Yeah, I hate 'em.

Not where chocolate milk comes from.  Duh, that's from chocolate goats.

Here's ten for you that revolve around fly fishing.  I have more, but a list of ten seems about enough.
Why now?  Because I feel like being opinionated for a change.

Starting with...

FASCINATION WITH PBR - Pssst...cool Montana fly fisher guy, you're drinking the same beer attention-seeking hipsters do.  The only acceptable PBR is this PBR.

BAMBOO RODS - Whatever...can I interest you in a rotary phone for $2,300?  Wax this ferrule.

"SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FLY SHOP" - Eh, not if they give crappy service...oh, and constantly whine about how "big boxes" & e-commerce are killing them.  Adapt.  Evolve.  Move on.

CATCH MAGAZINE - It's a great picture book.  Any reason why every blogger, tweeter, & facebooker has to announce its monthly release?

A small sampling...

GOLDEN BONES - I like carp, but enough with the glorification as the future of fly fishing crap already.  I get it.  They're big.  So is your mom and I don't write article after article about her.

BRISTOL BAY/PEBBLE MINE - Okay, we heard you for the 14,023rd time.  Enough.  You're past the point of being tuned out.

DEREK DEYOUNG - Ultra talented artist, but if I see his stuff on another t-shirt or fly box or toilet paper holder...

My art is mesmerizing...no?

FLY FISHING BLOGS - Yeah, flailing a 5-weight doesn't mean you automatically should write - and guess what, nobody reads your blog because it's pretty damn uninteresting, just like mine.  I blame the OBN.  OK, not really. (Speaking of which, when's the OBN going to stop giving away fishing gloves and lanterns and put together a meeting or conference or something, so you know, us outdoor bloggers can...ummm...network?)

KIRK DEETER - Total respect for the guy...and he's originally from Pennsylvania.  But writing for 107 publications/organizations/and trade rags may constitute as overexposure.  Where are the comic books Deeter?

GO PRO CAMERAS - See fly fishing blogs above.  You ain't Yukon Goes Fishing.

Hawgdog55...you're doing it wrong.

I'd toss tenkara in there (I love the tool, but not the "simple is superior" complex that often accompanies it) but it already gets made fun of plenty.  A graphite cane pole can't be a sacred cow.

You got any sacred cows you want to pick on?  I know you do.  Let's discuss.

C'mon, grow a set and add your own to the comments below...

June 6, 2012

The Secret Letter Is...

This is Lilly's teacher-assigned homework for her last week of school...

Do you get it?  Totally awesome.

Oh, and since we're talking letters...if anyone wants a free T! sticker I'll send 'em out to the first 15 or so people to contact me with their mailing address.  Details HERE.

June 4, 2012

Birthday Fishing Recap

Before I begin, thanks to everyone for the well wishes this weekend in regards to my birthday, even my wife, who totally busted into my blog for the second year in a row.  I had a really fun day, the weather was nice, got in a little fishing, and spent some Daddy/Daughter time with Lilly.

So for the fishing...I'm not going to bore you with too many details.  On a normal day, I wouldn't have gone fishing on a day like Saturday.  The water was high, fast, and discolored (HFD) pretty much everywhere you went from some storms the night before.  I actually wanted to go out and fish the Perkiomen Creek, but it was really high and unfishable.

The walking path to the creek, recently "stoned," quite nice.

Instead I went back to ol' reliable, Valley, which usually clears and drops much quicker than the other water in the area.  Well...no dice.  Water was totally HFD at Valley too.  But since I was there, I figured I'd at least give it a shot.

Well, in 3 hours of fishing, I only lucked into one fish.  I actually caught it when I was walking through some really low branches from a creekside tree and just happened to have my tenkara line drifting in the water during the acrobatics.  When the line suddenly tightened I thought it was getting tangled in one of the low hanging limbs, but it actually hooked a fish.  What a nice birthday present.

Birthday Fish

After that, I headed home.  Short & sweet.  We ate dinner, had some birthday pie (not cake, pie), and Lilly & I decided to take advantage of the cool weather and clear night and camp out in the backyard.  

After a little Nintendo DS and reading of a Judy Moody book, we were both out cold by 10:30.

What a great way to spend a birthday.  What more could one ask for?