Showing posts from August, 2013

Portrait of a Wood Carver

Below is a short video made about Mike Wood, one of my friends back up in Pennsylvania that recently surfaced on Vimeo.  He is a member of the Stony Creek Anglers, the trout club I remain a satellite member of, but more so an extremely talented wood carver.  It's not a fishing video, but extremely well done.  Well worth a few minutes of your time.

Tenkara Tuesday - A Kebari Keepsake

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.
One of the projects I was just about to finish up when I had to pack everything up to move to Florida was a picture frame/display for the flies traded in February's Tenkara-Fisher fly swap.  In addition to the wonderfully crafted flies (a few to fish, a few to keep), Anthony Naples was kind enough to send an original piece of art back to each tyer of their respective fly.  As such, I wanted to create a decorative keepsake.

Almost 5 months later, here it is.

I'll be honest, I'm not the craftiest of people, so there is probably a way this could have been executed significantly better that it was, but I'm surprisingly happy with the results.  Clean & simple, just like tenkara.  Just rod craft store frame, line, & fly.  
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 adven…


Talkin' smack on Florida...that was the mistake I made on Saturday night.  Clearly created some bad karma for Sunday.

An innocent comment, not so much negative about Florida, just that I missed the cool of a trout stream.  See, down here in the summertime, when you dip a toe in the water while fishing, it's bathwater, or worse.  Not so refreshing.  But I digress...

So Sunday was pretty much a debacle.  Actually, it wasn't that bad, but if you're familiar with the term & the jokes around "first world problems"...I was probably having far too many "fish world problems."

Anyway...I rolled out of bed around 7AM and headed toward the area northeast of town that's got beaches, marshes, all that jazz.  Figured I'd try to throw around some flies for a little bit...low tide had passed about two hours before I got there at 8, so I was eager to see if in another 3 or 4 hours the high tide would bring anything into the shallows.

I starte…

Tenkara Tuesday - Interview with Drew Hollenback of Tenkara Rod Co.

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

On Monday the 12th, the little Tenkara community many of us participate in was stirred up by a Kickstarter campaign to launch a new tenkara gear supplier, the Tenkara Rod Co.  Always game for a good Kickstarter, I contributed to the campaign almost immediately after I saw its release on Facebook.

Well after an additional dose of social seeding courtesy of Jason at Tenkara Talk, and some good virality, this "project" got crowdfunded in less than 24 hours, which is really an impressive feat.  As such, I thought it might be interesting to reach out to Drew Hollenback at Tenkara Rod Co., and find out a little more about the product, the people, and the motivation to get into the Tenkara business.

Please enjoy!

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Drew, I'm sure it's a really exciting time for you & your friends.
T!:  Your Kickstarter campaign was fully funded in something like less than 24 hours (full disclaimer, I believe I wa…

TFO Mangrove Series Fly Rod Video

Found this video on YouTube last night.  It's of the rod I picked up a few weeks ago to do my salty bidding.  After playing around for it about a month in both fresh & saltwater, I have to say that I'm really starting to like it.

My take - it's fast, but a bit soft at the tip.  Took a while to get down the casting stroke to make it go, but I've found it good for close to mid distance casting...tosses 35-40 feet of line like a champ.  Need to lighten up the fly selection (or at least I do) to push beyond those distances accurately.

The only thing I don't love is the cork handle.  Think they went a little cheap here...there's a lot of filler and where said filler happens to placed on my particular rod is just awkward and a bit uncomfortable when I grip it.  Nothing I can't fix myself, plus it's not an $800 rod so I'm not going to complain.

That said, glad I watched the video.  Learned a little more about my rod including the covert hook-keeper...…

Pictures Or It Didn't Happen...

That's what one of my friends likes to say.

For better or for worse, that summed up my day yesterday.

Taking the opportunity to do a little fishing, I decided I wanted to walk some flats in the morning while K.C. & Lilly were sleeping and see what I might be able to turn up...despite the fact that the weather was considerably overcast, the tides weren't right, and it's not the optimal time of year.  Not to mention that this was a total non-guided DIY endeavor which had no chance to succeed from the beginning...  But since I have very low expectations when I go fishing, what did I have to lose?

I started the morning at Anne's Beach.  Disclaimer, I don't feel bad about disclosing the two spots where I fished, because quite honestly, they're not secrets.  I found them searching the internet in like all of two seconds.

Anyway, the flats extending out from Anne's Beach are of fair size (as if this Philly boy is some sort of expert or something), although a…

Kayaks, Tarpon, & Giant Lobsters

Day two in Islamorada was a lot like day one.  Except the pool was open.

We spent the morning kayaking which was pretty fun.  It was Lilly's first ride in a kayak.  She wanted to know why I wasn't paddling faster...

After that we went out to lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company (aka Bass Pro Shops).  We had just missed the daily tarpon feeding (may need to take her down to Robbie's before we go to see the real deal), but she got to look at some tarpon for the first time.

The afternoon was spent driving around looking for a hermit crab know for Mr. Krabs.  Yeah, he is coming home...  Unlike the Jersey shore that has hermit crabs in every freaking store, we had to drive up to Key Largo to find what we were looking for.  Actually the Rain Barrel had them (home of the ginormous lobster pictured below) but they were really ghetto.  Only the best for Mr. Krabs.

When we got back to the hotel, I fished off the pier for maybe an hour while KC & Lilly rested in the ho…

Crap, Do We Really Have to Bring That Hermit Crab Home?

Yeah, we finally departed from Jacksonville, made it through that sh*t show that is Miami, and are safe & sound in Islamorada for a little end of summer vacation - right before school starts for Lilly and my work schedule just gets insane.

What's in store for the next few days?  Beats me...we really don't have much of an agenda other than taking the hotel's kayaks out for a paddle and a visit to Theater of the Sea...but this is a family vacation so even though I'm in a fisherman's paradise, there's not going to be any extended days of guided fishing for me.  Might try a little DIY (which means I'll catch nothing) on Thursday morning while K.C. & Lilly are sleeping in.  Who knows.  Maybe it's specific to the Bahamas & Bonefish, but had no idea there was a DIY debate...

Anyway, yesterday was just a day of checking into the hotel, getting a bite to eat for dinner, and then Lilly hoping to go swimming in the pool...but it was unfortunately shut …

Tenkara Tuesday - Hansen Lakes YouTube Video

Being in Florida for almost two months, I'm beginning to feel somewhat removed from the "tenkara scene."  No coldwater, no trout, no mountains, none of what makes the tenkara experience special to me.  That said, every now and then I see something on the internet that pulls me back in...hard...

While he likely doesn't know I'm throwing this up here today, Paul Gibson of Arrowhead Equipment & recently posted a video (and shared in the Tenkara-Fisher forum, where I first saw it) that he made of a hammock camping/tenkara fishing outing in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.  Fullscreen and 720p this bad boy...

I mean damn if this this part of the country isn't drop dead gorgeous...  I don't usually have the attention span to watch YouTube videos that are over 2 or 3 minutes long, but I found myself getting lost in this one...just the majesty of nature...and a dude eating chili out of a bag on a rock...


(Relatively) Inexpensive Performance Fishing Shirts

A few weeks ago on Facebook, I put out a question asking for suggestions on lightweight, long sleeved fishing shirts.   Not the kind with buttons and pockets, but more so a moisture wicking performance fabric shirt...a loose-fit "Under Armour" style shirt if you will...

Well I got a TON of suggestions (check 'em out when you get the chance, as well as TFM's post with a great overview of the product category), more than I could possibly ever purchase.  So thanks everyone who participated there, it was a huge help in getting pointed in the right direction.  That said I did buy a few different shirts, simply to sample what's out there.
In recent posts you may have noticed that I'm fond a of certain light blue shirt.  I actually wore it the last two weekends.  That shirt retails for $35.  It's a great shirt, fits well (even over my belly), keeps me cool, and features UPF +50 protection, that keeps the sun's nasties away.

Anyway, while that shirt has fly f…

Uh Oh, The Man Is On To Me...

I believe after yesterday, I've hit up all of the neighborhood ponds easily accessible by bicycle...either by already fishing them at least once, or by having them shut down via postings like this that popped up at some point this week...

Yeah, that sign wasn't there last weekend...  Fear not Fever Hammock Hunt Club, I get the message, and understand, considering I saw two wild turkeys strutting around the edge of the pine trees this morning.

In the non-posted spots, I did catch some fish look a lot like last week's, but I'll post 'em anyway.  Started with Tenkara with the Ayu II...

...finished the day tossing some streamers.

Exploring Florida - Green Cove Springs

Although it's a bit of a convoluted back story involving dinner at Steak 'n Shake and going to see a movie that didn't work out as planned, the family took a little trip on the other side of the St. John's River last night and ended up in a little city called Green Cove Springs.

Down by the river there's a little park called...well, what else...Spring Park, and the landmark within the park is the actual warm water spring itself, where the entire city gets it's name.

It was pretty neat to walk around the spring, and the little stream of crystal clear water immediately below that makes its way down to the river.  The first thing you notice is the strong smell of sulfur, and the next thing you notice is the large in ground swimming pool built right beneath the spring source (wish I took a picture, but thanks to Google Images I was able to steal one).  The water basically flows from the ground, into the one end of the pool, out the other, and then down into maybe a…