October 29, 2012

The Bonus Fish

Made a quick run to Valley Creek on Saturday morning.  In case you hadn't heard, Hurricane Sandy is supposed to be hitting the area (possibly as you're reading this) and I felt a hastily cobbled together fishing outing was necessary before the floods of biblical proportions swallowed the land.

A short recap.  It was a pretty gray morning, but not necessarily cold.  I found the fishing to be slow, or more accurately, I found the hooking to be slow.  I fished dries, and landed three.  The biggest was around 9 inches.  I probably missed 8 or 10 trout that quickly rose and swiped at my offering, but totally ignored the hook.  Oh well, that's how it goes some times.

Enter the "bonus fish"...

You know, that fish you don't even realize is on your line until you're reeling in or flicking back your rod for another cast.  This tiny, tiny fish earned that honor.  Didn't even feel the take.  Lucky for him I was reeling in to move to another spot and not starting a backcast.  I don't count him in the three fish caught.  Heck, I'm not sure if it even qualifies as a fish.

I'll end this post with a nice autumn flavored picture of my favorite little footbridge within the park.  I have a feeling once Sandy is done with the area, things won't be looking quite as tranquil for some time.

October 26, 2012

The Skynyrd Spitter

In my Monday post I mentioned I'd try to insert a Lynyrd Skynyrd reference into my Friday fishing post.  Well, it's Friday...and also a week after the 35th anniversary of the plane carrying the original version of the band went down over Mississippi.  This is the best I could do.

Enter the Skynyrd Spitter....

Found the pics on eBay.  Auction's over...so sorry.

Enjoy your weekend.  If Hurricane Sandy is headed your way, be safe.

October 25, 2012

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Fly Rod Scorned

"Why do you keep ignoring me?'


"You know I'm really, really lonely..."


"You don't even listen to me anymore!"

Oh, sorry.

"You work too much."

I know, but it's that time of year.

"You didn't even bring me anything back from San Francisco..."

Sorry, my bad.

"Are you seeing someone else?"

Umm...uh, no.

...AND YOU...


"What's the b*tch's name?!?"
"Is she prettier than me?"

Your crazy, I'm just really busy.

"Oh honey,
I'm sorr...
you know this is all YOUR  fault."

I know...I know...
(it always is....)

After a little quarrel with my fly rod, we're scheduling some private time together this weekend.
Nothing's better than "make up" fishing.

October 24, 2012

Wednesday Nibbles - The Insert iPad Mini in Post Title to Get Search Results Edition

Hey, welcome back to Wednesday Nibbles.

Figured if I was going to break down and write a week of posts, it would only make sense to include this semi-regular segment.  I know, I know, it doesn't have the allure it used to...but let's give it a go anyway...oblige me.

First off comes some gear.  Well, not exactly gear but a t-shirt.  No, not a T! Shirt, I said a t-shirt, duh.  Well actually two t-shirts.  The first one is a collaboration tee from Allen Fly Fishing and artist Jake Keeler.  Allen's put out some very cool tees to date in their "artist series" and Rainbows In the Dark is no exception.  Only $19.99.  Pretty sweet.  Jake the artist also has a blog, found HERE.

Oh, the second shirt?  Well blog buddy Ben from Arizona Wanderings is having a bit of a sale on his Arizona-centric tees to celebrate his blog's birthday.  Check out his blog HERE to pick one up for only $10 or $12 (depending on design), or click these links HERE to see yours truly awkwardly modeling one.

What's next...ummm...did you hear about the Bigfoot sighting in Pennsylvania?  Yeah, no surprise, I mean we all know he's out there.  The ol' Squatch evidently was sighted molesting some dude's crappy camper.

There's no reason to doubt the guy above, right?  Watch the video for yourself.  If nothing else, his Bigfoot calls are extremely authentic....I guess....ummmm....  Oh, and evidently female Bigfeet are "top heavy," I hope Moldy Chum has made note of this.

You've proabably heard by now that Apple is unleashing a smaller iPad called (duh) the iPad Mini on the world.  Yeah, it's a bit smaller, and Android fans everywhere are laughing...but you know legions of people will line up to get one.  Makes me wonder what you could shrink in fly fishing that people would still want to buy.  Sub size 20 flies are a reality.    The Unaccomplished Angler evidently already comes in fun size.  I'm not even going to talk about tanago for fear of riling up the tenkaraians.

Apple iPad Mini Small

Personally, I vote Spey Rod Mini.  Get on that manufacturers.  Not a switch rod, not a fishing rod pen, legit mini-Spey.  I wanna take Spey to small streams ASAP.*

*Honestly, I have no comprehension or understanding whatsoever of Spey rods or casting.  All the cool fishing kids say it's rad and I want to be cool like them.

Yeah, everyone's favorite Fly Fishing guide Hank Patterson put out a new video this week... but more importantly have you seen this?

Close call...or good editing, interestingly enough, somebody posted this "video reply" of Russian idiots dropping live grenades off the side of their boat.  Like what did they think was going to happen?  That said, might be interesting to see some drift boat jockeys emulate their antics.

To close, some blog love.  Well, actually love for Wally the Wonderdog.

I don't plug The Subterranean Trout here all that often, but THIS POST is a very worthwhile read.  Judging by the comments, most of you appear to have already read it, but for the few of you that might have been internetless for the past few days, or heck, anybody who's ever befriended a dog (I miss you Caesar), check it out.  It'll warm the heart of anyone.  Well put TC, and godspeed Wally.

October 23, 2012

Tenkara Tuesday - Three Years & Counting

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

The month of October marks my tenkara anniversary.  Yes, it's been 3 years since I grabbed that funny little pole in my hand, pulled on it a little bit to make it bigger...and ohhhh...get your mind out of the gutter.

Seriously, my first tenkara outing (& fish) was in October 2009.  I even wrote a post about it, whod'a thunk?  I'm actually up to 119 tenkara posts (120 if you count this one) on the blog...which is more than many blogs of any fishing topic have written period.  I find that both compelling...and honestly, scary.

My first (out of focus) tenkara fish, October 2009

It's been a pretty interesting journey over these three years...and I'll tell you what, it's had some interestingly positive side-effects on my "regular" fly fishing.  Allow me to explain.

1)  Toting 11 & 12 foot rods around Pennsylvania creeks & streams will make you very aware of every stray branch, area of high grass...you get the point...within your immediate area.  When I pick up my substantially shorter non-tenkara fly rods, I rarely get hung up (outside of submerged rocks) anymore.  Can you believe it Spurky?  Probably not, but it's true.  At least in relative terms.  It's actually opened up opportunities to fish really small & tight water I would have never dared try prior to tenkara.

It's not always wise to cut down the trees that in the way of your backcast

2)  Dealing with a fixed line truly does improve your stealth.  Before tenkara, I never was a really sneaky fly fisherman.  I wore whatever color clothes I wanted and rarely crouched or kneeled, I pretty much stood far away and tossed out 30 or 40 feet of line.  Tenkara doesn't allow such luxury and as such an adaption was needed...one that easily translates to "western" fly fishing as well, even if it doesn't to your knees.

Stealthy like a ghost

3)  I kicked the nymph habit.  When I first started tenkara, I used small beadhead nymphs often.  It was what I knew from fly fishing, and a tenkara rod is still a rod, so why not?  Somewhere along the way I started to embrace and find success with traditional tenkara kebari (wet flies).  I think the '12 Tenkara Summit connected those dots for me.  It definitely did in terms of tying my own.  Ever since, I find myself experimenting more with other styles of wets, dries, and other flies in-between when fly fishing, tenkara or not.  Sure, I still like nymphs, but they have their place in my fly box, they are not my fly box.

My original "tenkara" fly box.  Used to only fish a dry (top row) above a beadhead dropper (bottom row).
Kebari (middle row) pretty much never got used.

4)  I appreciate the sound of a reel a whole lot more.  Don't get me wrong, I love my tenkara outfits, and they are surprisingly versatile, but there's just something about the 'click' a small click & pawl makes when fly fishing, be it letting out line, or having a trout take it from you.  As silly as it sounds, it may be the reason why I will never fish tenkara exclusively.  I also find myself appreciating the use of nets to land fish, even if I don't insist they be small and round.

Yeah, reels are good too

5)  Finally, wow...think of all the people I'm honored to have met (either face to face, or virtually) that share the same general interest.  Sure, a lot of them tend to butt heads from time to time - remember, tenkara fisherman and western fly fisherman are cut from the same uniquely opinionated cloth - but in the end they are all passionate about this technique and seemingly as eager to teach as learn.  

A few of many

The list is far too long to call out everyone by name, but you know who your are - a diverse group from across the globe that includes photographers, videographers, fly tiers, "bums," entrepreneurs, innovators, historians, cult members, gear freaks (ironic, no?), guides, poets, doctors, do-it-yourselfers, philosophers, and to be totally honest, just a bunch of generally good people. 

So thank you tenkara for unintentionally enriching my overall fly fishing experience, it's because of you I can't imagine my rod rack ever without both tenkara & traditional fly rods...(oh, and spinning rods ain't too shabby either!)


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 and email HERE, or check out this previous post for more information.

October 22, 2012

The Week Ahead

No fishing this past weekend...but no biggie.  Spent Saturday morning sleeping off some jetlag as most of last week I was on the West Coast on business.  Not Troutrageous! business (I wish), rather business that actually lends itself to paying my bills.

Carl Banks was at dinner on Wednesday; how can I make that up?

As for this week, the weatherman is saying there's going to be some really nice Fall weather headed our way...pretty much a week of relative sun and seventies.  Really can't ask for anything more than that...except maybe a few vacation days to coincide with it.  That probably isn't gonna happen, but maybe an early escape on Friday is something to look forward to.

Speaking of looking forward to...here's what you have to look forward to this week on Troutrageous!  Yeah, I'm going to write more than a token Monday post this week.  (Lists usually keep me honest, so figured this would be some good motivation).

Tenkara Tuesday - Yeah, it'll be back, with some recent observations that really nobody cares about.

Wednesday Nibbles - Why not?  Although I'm sure you've seen THIS by now.

Thursday - No catchy name, but there will be a post.  It'll probably be a letdown.

Friday - Freebird.  Ok, not really, but wouldn't it be most excellent if I could work Skynyrd into a fly fishing post without taking the easy way out and making a Low & Clear reference?

Neither Low nor Clear

As for the weekend...well, I guess all bets are off...

So that's a post about nothing for today.  I actually hope you're out fishing and not reading this.  If you're not on the water somewhere, I at least hope you're spending enough time at work looking at fishing websites...you know...in between finishing your TPS reports.

October 15, 2012

TroutHunter Must Pay Well

I ran out of 6X tippet on Friday.

I've always been a Rio Powerflex guy.  Sure, I've tried other brands, but I always tend to come back to Powerflex, which in my opinion provides a great balance between performance and affordability.

However, possessing an uncontrollable wandering eye when it comes to new gear, I tossed the following question out on Facebook last night,

"Need to replenish my 6X tippet supply. Usually a RIO PRODUCTS Powerflex guy. Thinking of trying a new flavor, any suggestions?"

Will be honest, wasn't expecting the overwhelming support for TroutHunter tippet.

Click HERE to read all comments.

A few other surprise brands were mentioned as well...Stroft & Varivas to name two.

So....what type of tippet do you use/recommend?  
...and to take it a step further, does it even really matter?  

Feel free to comment below.  I find informal surveys like this far more interesting than I should...plus it could make for good conversation.

October 13, 2012

The Beauty of a Three Day Weekend

Yesterday was too nice a day to go to work.  Or at least that's what I told myself as I slept in well past my alarm clock's wishes.  It was a premeditated act of hooky, as I recently reviewed how many vacation days I had still not taken this year.  In a "use them or lose them" scenario, a crisp Fall afternoon of fishing seemed to be more than deserved.

With no grand plans other than leaving the work-provided iPhone in the car, I headed back to the "not so secret" stream that I wrote about fishing for the first time a few weeks ago.  Small water and small fish, but very, very eager (and wild) small fish.  Seemed like the perfect refuge from the stresses of the office and an alternative to the more popular local creeks that got their seasonal stockings of pellet-fed transplants about a week ago.

I'm finding this creek to be great dry fly water, and as such was the primary item on the menu.  While the trout were not quite as cooperative as they were on that first trip, it really didn't matter, I had an absolute blast watching these little guys come up with minimal coaxing to take a properly presented meal.  I can see why people become dry fly snobs.  

Most of the trout caught were pint sized, much like the brown above.  I did catch one a bit larger - in the seven inch range - but being camera shy by nature, it wriggled out of my hand as I reached for the point and shoot.  No worries, at least I know they're in there...for the next time I decide to sleep in.

October 10, 2012

Everything Old Is New Again

Popular culture dictates that fashion is cyclical and most fads only go into hibernation to reappear at a later date.  Clothing, music, television, movies, it doesn't matter...do a quick view of what's "in" today and you'll get a heavy dose of the 1980s & 90s.  Heck, I saw folks from Beverly Hills 90210 in an Old Navy commerical the other day...uhh...not...that...ummm...I ever watched...that show...or uhhhh...tight rolled my...uhhh...jeans....

Fly fishing isn't immune to this phenomenon.  Rod makers are making brand new rods behave like old ones, there's a renaissance of older rod building materials (thanks Cam), PBR & trucker hats are everywhere, heck, even my beloved tenkara can be viewed as a "throwback" of sorts.

So what's the next fishing trend for 2013?  Clearly, Goat hats...

Hey Orvis, either get on board or get left behind.
Remember, you heard it here first.

October 9, 2012

Tenkara Tuesday - Tenkara: The Video Game

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

I recently stumbled across the details of a new tenkara video game evidently in production for release just in time for the Holidays.  Using streamlined, simplistic graphics, Tenkara: The Video Game, seems like the perfect alternative to the expensive, high definition, high resolution gaming of today.

From the game's developer:
"Choose between characters Level Line Louie & Furled Line Freddy and compete in fast paced, reel-less angling action.  Score extra points and unlock secret bonus items like the magic tamo by using the least amount of kebari possible....but be careful not to drag free drift too close to the shark...or your 5X tippet will be history!"

Tenkara: The Video Game is rated EEPTITRARTR, appropriate for "everyone except people that insist tanago rods are really tenkara rods" and will be available on XBox Kinect, Playstation Move, Nintendo Wii as well as in the Apple App & Google Play stores this Fall.


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 and email HERE, or check out this previous post for more information.

October 5, 2012

There's No Debate...

I haven't been doing much blogging or fishing lately, but I did watch the large majority of the first Presidential Debate on Wednesday night.

"Blah, blah, blah...."

I don't really talk politics here much, and I'm not really going to today.  People tend to freak out when you do (but please feel free in the comments at the end of this post).  As you probably know, the consensus is that Mitt Romney came off better on TV, but a lot of what of what he said might be classified as fiction.  Oh, and President Obama missed the mark by not bringing up the 47%.  Whatever.

I do know that there's one thing that is not up for debate.  Mitt Romney's hair is show-stopping glorious.  So amazing...everybody wants to be a Romney boy.

Neither photos used to make this lameass Photoshop are mine.  Although I wish the hair was.