February 28, 2013

Redington - New To Fly?

A representative from Redington sent me an email yesterday, if you write a fly fishing blog, you may have received it too...that's typically how these things work.  Anyway, they are quite proud of the "New To Fly" section of their website and asked me to pimp it a bit.  So I figured why not?...it actually is quite cool.

Redington Fly Fishing New To Fly
BAM!  Everything in a convenient dashboard

So what will you find?  A little bit of everything.  From Flies 101, to tips on spotting fish, to a ton of different videos that show different casting techniques, this is about as comprehensive (& easy to understand) resource for beginning fly fisherfolk since the Curtis Creek Manifesto.  Heck, even if you're a grizzled, fly fishing veteran, it's still fun to click around for a bit...and I'll bet you'll learn something new.


Got some time to kill today...give it a try.  It's pretty slick.


DISCLAIMER:
Redington didn't give me anything to post this.  A PR person representing one of their sister companies sent me a boot bag once upon a time, but that's it.  I've written posts about that item already, so I no longer consider myself indebted.  I simply posted this on their behalf because I'm rad, and I think the interactive tools are cool.

February 27, 2013

Google+: Getting Facebook's Silent Cousin to Speak Up

Monday night was pretty weird...

Somebody made a pretty innocent post over in the Fly Fishing Blogger group I participate in on Facebook.  It was one of those "Read this article, it says Facebook is evil, they're stealing your identity" type of posts.


Well then Chris Hunt (of TU fame and Eat More Brook Trout infamy) made a point, followed by a little joke about moving to Google+.


If you're not familiar with Google+, it's sort of like Facebook, and sort of like Twitter, except much quieter.  For whatever the reason, conversations don't seem to flow as easy over there, and as such people try it for a while, and then leave.  Myself included, guilty as charged.

So I thought it might be fun to basically SPAM anybody that has anything to do with fishing in my unused Google+ Circles (think Friends on Facebook) and ask them why they don't use Google + and what might entice them to use it more.


While I honestly didn't expect much of a response, I was shocked to see the turnout.

The takeaways?  People said they don't care for Google+ because:

1) It's too quiet
2) There are too many social networks to manage
3) Closed API (restricts sharing across social networks)
4) "All my friends & family are on Facebook"
5) All Social Networks are evil, what difference does it make
6) Too many people put them in Circles that they've never heard of before

(BTW, not sure how #6 isn't the same as what goes on at Facebook...).

But they also said they would be interested in:

1) Using Hangouts (Video Chat) for things like fly tying
2) Getting a better grasp on the features/functionality
3) Moving to G+ if other people moved too

With that noted, most of those same people that commented continued to interact within Google+ throughout the day yesterday (Tuesday), posting stuff, creating new Communities (think Groups on Facebook), etc, etc...  Seems like there's interest to "kick the tires," for more than a few, if nothing else.

Want in?  I can send you an invite...

What does it all mean?  Beats me, but I think at minimum I'll give Google+ a solid 30 days of legit use to see if it gains any traction with me.

See you there?

Find me here, I'm sorta using both identities...
Michael Agneta on Google +
Troutrageous! on Google+


February 26, 2013

Tenkara Tuesday: The 2013 Tenkara Summit

So are you going?

News has been out for a while that the 2013 Tenkara Summit is headed to the East Coast, shacking up in Harrisonburg, Virginia on May 11th & 12th.

I made my arrangements last week, so I guess I'm officially going.

I happen to be looking forward to it too, because last year's event in Salt Lake City, UT was a blast. With that said, this year's event is advertising a "Tenkara Social," featuring a band & party at the hotel on Saturday night which definitely sounds interesting.  Karaoke, Sapporo, and sake bombs anyone?  Us one fly folks know how to get rowdy.


(Last year's recap posts HERE & HERE)

So again, are you going?    If so, or even think so, let me know in the comments below, would love to do some networking (and fishing) both before and during the event, and put faces to names should the opportunity present itself.


February 23, 2013

Stu's Superior Flies

Although I've never been to New Zealand (it's on my bucket list), I've always been a fan of Stu's Fly Shop from afar even purchasing a few odds and ends from them over the years.  There's just a vibe of fun, without any pretentiousness.  It's how it should be done.

Stu dropped this video the other day.  I dig it.  Figured you might too.


Damn that water's clear...


February 19, 2013

Guest Post: 3 Pocket-Sized Fishing Tools I Love

I'm taking the day off today.  I was recently sent a guest post submission, so I'm taking the gentleman up on his offer, an entry about all small, inexpensive fishing accessories that make his outings more enjoyable.  While they all may not fit your personal style of fishing, I hope this post at least creates the opportunity for you to reflect on the functionality of the various gizmos inside your tackle box, fishing vest, etc...

Heck, if there are any that tools that help you on the water, it would be great if you'd mention them in the comments.  Who doesn't like gear talk?  I hope you enjoy....

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Regardless of the context, having the right tools can make all the difference in the job you’re doing. Whether you’re completing some DIY work around the house, getting things done at work, or just hanging out on a dock, having access to the tools to help you do things better or faster and make just about any task more enjoyable (or less aggravating at least).

I’m going to discuss 3 fishing tools that I absolutely love – and I think you will, too. All of them fit into my cargo pockets so they’re extra portable and ready to go with you on your next fishing trip. And the best part is they’re all under $15.

A hand scale to weigh fish



Once of the primary things I learned when I started using a hand scale to weigh each of the fish I caught was that I was… ahem… overestimating the weight of my fish a bit. Albeit unintentionally. After I purchased my $5 digital hand scale from Amazon I found that I got a lot more serious about measuring and documenting the fish I caught. In response, I’ve seriously upped my fishing game and enjoy the sporting aspect more than I ever have now. Plus I learned to be skeptical of some of my friends when they claim big catches!

A pocket-sized notebook and pencil



In relation to the last item I posted, I also have a small notebook and pencil that I keep to document any large fish that I catch. I record the date, conditions, type of fish, bait, and weight. As I mentioned, this has really kicked up my game and given me some insight on what conditions and bait combination make for the best fishing. I used to just try to keep this information in my head, but I’ve found that writing it down actually makes it a lot easier to see trends and analyze them. I’m a much better fisher than I used to be, and I credit this system for getting me there more than any single pole or lure.

A small Leatherman mini tool



No more biting through line or struggling to pull a swallowed treble hook out for me. It took me years to finally just purchase one of these small Leatherman tools via Walmart, and I’m SO glad I did. I use it to cut line, bend hooks, and occasionally remove hooks from fish (although I have a dedicated hook remover that I normally use for that). I got by without a utility tool for many years, but after buying one I’d never live without it again.

Hopefully this has been helpful and I’ve talked you into spending the $20 total required for all of these items. Although I’ve been fishing since I was a kid, I’m enjoying it more now than ever before thanks in part to these items.

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About the Author:

Jeff Stevens is a writer for the hunting and fishing site Hunter's Guide. He loves to hunt, fish, and experience all things outdoors. Jeff recently wrote a related article titled 3 items in my tackle box that made life easier.

February 18, 2013

Rep Your Water - Southeastern Pennsylvania Style

I've been envious from afar of the folks in Colorado that have had their State represented in the "Rep Your Water" line of products, (specifically hats), for quite some time.

Recently a slew of other State-based designs have been released by the company, however Pennsylvania remains a "coming soon" proposition.

In light of that, I felt it appropriate that I design a hat for Pennsylvania...or at least Southeastern Pennsylvania (the only part of the Commonwealth that really matters)...

Wawa Brown Trout

This is a joke most of my readers won't get, or that the Sheetz-loving rest of the Staters won't appreciate, but whatever.  I think it's funny, and that's all that matters...

Postscript:
For more info on Wawa, and why us in the Philadelphia-area are obsessed with it, check out THIS link.

February 17, 2013

I Should Probably Check Out eBay More Often...

This whole potential move down South has me peeking into corners of the internet that aren't exactly trout or fly fishing.  While trolling around eBay last night looking for "redfish" stuff I found THIS auction...

 
Allow me to zoom in on that for you, really, I don't mind...


Now that's some Chatterbait...and marketing genius.

Man, I love the randomness of the Internet.


February 16, 2013

Quasi-Local F3T Events

Yes.  I got the box of goodies from the F3T a few weeks back.

I'd post a picture of them, but so many others have already done so it would be a waste to pick up my digital camera.  By now you know the drill....open the box and there's a hat, propaganda promoting the tour, a DVD, cans of beer, a hookah pipe, and Emmanuel Lewis. Quite frankly, it's an awesome swag package

Here's a picture of Mike from Dub The Thorax's package that I'm blatantly stealing from his blog without his permission.  His swag package that is...freakin' perverts.  You get the idea...


Anyway, in receiving said gifts, I'm probably supposed to write a post to promote the tour as it swings through Pennsylvania in the upcoming weeks.  Consider this post fulfillment of that obligation, however I would have likely written such a post without the above bribery.  I'm a dork for fly fishing movies that way.

Of the videos on my DVD preview sampler, Thai One On was my favorite.  Think fly fishing kinda sorta meets Hangover 2.  Just no Leslie Chow, which is a shame.


They were actually all pretty entertaining, or at least entertaining enough to hold my ADD-riddled attention span.  A few even had "local" ties....with Reel: A Day on the River shot on the Upper Delaware River and Urban Lines, shot in Washington D.C..  Throw in some Turning Tail, The Brothers Brown, and Expedicion Alacranes and that's what I've viewed to date.  All good stuff.

So if you live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (don't call us a State), and want to catch the show...here are the dates and locations...which aren't all that close to me in the Philadelphia Suburbs...but whatever...

February 21st - State College, PA  (The State Theatre)
March 10th - Oakmont, PA  (The Oaks Theater

Oh, and they have a showing in Jacksonville, Florida on March 5th too.  Just saying...

But don't cry for me Argentina...or Patagonia....late breaking news seems to be that there is a more local showing in the works a little bit later in the year.  The folks at The Sporting Gentleman in Media, PA seem to have something up their sleeves, pending logistics...which would be rad because they did a good job as hosts last year.

So did I earn my swag?  Hope so.


February 10, 2013

My Spool Is Bigger Than Your Spool

No really, it is...

Big spool left, standard spool right

Ordered up some tenkara lines a few weeks ago from the Moonlit Fly Fishing Company out of Idaho. Finally got around to really giving them a good look-see this weekend, although the cold weather and stupid wind kept me from actually fishing them and stuck inside the house.

Also included in the order was the pretty interesting line holder shown above.  Not only is it real wood (you can order on in bamboo, oak, or cedar), but it's got a cork ring to hold your fly when not fishing.  Pretty slick.

As for the lines...

Lines

The line on the wooden spool is what they call their "Bushi" line.  The line is made with furled polyester thread with a core of monofilament.  The line on the blue plastic spool is the "Ronin" line, which is the same thing without the mono core.  There's also a "Shogun" line with a fluorocarbon core, but I passed on that one this go around.

One of the cool things about these lines is that you can order them however you want them, much like the furled lines from another Troutrageous! favorite, Streamside Leaders.  I picked the thread colors, opted for the "ultralight/light" configuration, as well as tippet rings on both...so you could order the same lines, but they might be very different (if you so choose).

The one thing I immediately noticed was that both lines feel very fine and supple in hand with very little stiffness.  I would imagine should they contact the water on a cast, the touchdown would be light as a feather...but I really do not want to jump to conclusions just yet without fishing them.  I'll try to put these through the paces when I get out next time and I'll let you know the deal...


February 9, 2013

Big Changes Are Coming... No Joke

I had an interesting opportunity presented to me at work yesterday...  I don't talk about my job that much around here, although I've spilled the beans to some of you at random times, so those in the know might consider what I do for a living pretty cool, or at least interesting.  It allows me to work in sports, and travel to many events every year.  For example, for those of you who are friends with me on Facebook (me personally, not the blog), were inundated with several pictures of hi-jinks in New Orleans last week for the Super Bowl.

To-Be-MVP Joe Flacco Warming up Super Bowl Pregame

Anyway....

Yesterday I was presented the opportunity to go to Jacksonville, Florida.  Permanently.  My department in Pennsylvania is closing this summer as part of a company consolidation, and my bosses feel strongly about my work to date and future with the organization that they'd really like it if rather than accepting a severance package & moving on, I move down to the Sunshine State and work at the Mothership.  In all honesty, some people may re-actively be turned off by such an ask, but I'm flattered, it feels good to be recognized & wanted, especially in a time when others are not as fortunate.


Here's the deal.  I don't know how I feel about Jacksonville.  I've been there several times over the past few years.  It's just like most cities.  There are good parts of town and bad parts of town, I've been fortunate to have found many of the good in my travels.  I know my family will find its way, heck, my wife navigated through cancer...and I'm sure I could probably score a house for Lilly with the swimming pool and trampoline she's always wanted.

But do you know what Jacksonville doesn't have?  Coldwater streams...  With real trout...  What I'd consider legit Tenkara opportunities.  You know how I like me some Tenkara.  Yes, Jacksonville has great inshore & saltwater fishing, even fly fishing for bass, but the former is such a part of who I am...such a part of what I love, and daydream about when I'm at said job, that...I'm...well...confused.

Am I ready to trade in my T! sticker for a Salt Life sticker?

Is this what's in store for me (& the blog?)


I don't know, but I have about a month and a half to figure it all out.

I'm open to advice, suggestions, you name it, because right about now, all are welcomed.


February 1, 2013

The Lumineers at the Tower Theatre

Ok, not fishing.  Who cares....

The wife & I got a night of babysitting last night and snuck out to see The Lumineers in concert.  It's the second time we've seen them, the last time being last summer when they were in town with Old Crow Medicine Show.  

Last night's show was sold out, but we had pretty good seats...although we didn't sit down.  They were in the pit right up against the stage.

The wife...all happy

The blog may go silent the next few days, I'm hopping on a plane today to New Orleans for the weekend.  I'll let you put two & two together on that one.