December 31, 2013

Tenkara Tuesday: The Final Tenkara Post...of 2013

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

To continue yesterday's "year end" theme in which I recounted the most popular posts on the Troutrageous! blog over the past year, I thought I'd change it up and write similar post with a tenkara theme.  I mean it's no coincidence that the last day of the year is a Tenkara Tuesday, right?

Well, even though I wrote over 50 posts involving tenkara in 2013, none of them ranked statistically in the top five overall posts on this blog by Google Analytics.  Yeah, despite the buzz, tenkara is still definitely a niche pursuit.  So for today's installment of Tenkara Tuesday, I'm going to recap what I thought were the top 5 most memorable tenkara-related posts of 2013...perhaps you can call them my personal favorites.  I hope you enjoy.


The Top 5 Troutrageous! Tenkara Posts of 2013


#5.  Seeing Positives Through The Fog


While this wasn't my first fish of 2013 (that honor belongs in THIS post), this mid-January post had some really pretty brown trout in it...and for some reason I always like fishing in the rain.  Plus, if you look close, you may just see a familiar silhouette through the mist.


#4.  Southeastern Pennsylvania Blogger Trouting


This April event was not a tenkara exclusive outing, rather an opportunity to fish with some of the local folks I had met online over the years and subsequently developed friendships through fishing.  Two of us fished tenkara, while the other two fished "western," but we all got into a ton of fish, as they were particularly active.  It really was an awesome day, possibly my favorite of 2013.  It also spawned a kebari tying video found HERE


#3.  Tenkara Summit 2013 - Fishing The Day Before


I was fortunate enough to be able to make the May trip down to Harrisonburg, VA for 2013's Tenkara Summit.  This particular post was not about the summit itself (THIS one was), it was more about the fishing that took place the day before, and honestly just exploring some beautiful Virginia water.


#2.  Farewell (For Now) Good Friend


This Memorial Day outing was my "good bye" to Pennsylvania fishing (as a resident).  My June move to Florida kind of put a halt to my tenkara trout fishing for the year, but what a way to go out!  The fish were super cooperative...perhaps it was just their affection for the patriotic kebari tied especially for the day.


#1.  In Search of Pennsylvania's Wild Salvelinus Fontinalis


I had done a lot of fishing in Pennsylvania, but I had never caught a wild brook trout.  A gazillion wild brown trout, absolutely.  Stocked brook trout, sure.  Wild brook trout in other states, yep.  But for some reason, not in Pennsylvania...  After doing a little bit of recon, I was able to achieve the feat in a tiny trickle of a spring-fed creek in Southeastern Pennsylvania, a region of the state where brook trout are relatively rare.  While maybe not "epic" by most standards, I still smile thinking back to that day.  It meant a lot on many different levels.


Honorable Mentions:



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ATTENTION TENKARA FISHERFOLK

Are you a 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, I'd really enjoy hearing from you for an upcoming Tenkara Tuesday post! Feel free to send an email HERE, I'd love to publish your original contribution.

December 30, 2013

The Top 5 Troutrageous! Posts of 2013

Everybody likes a good year end recap post.

Okay, as readers, you probably don't give a flip about reading a blogger's year end post, but since it is a scientific fact that we bloggers are narcissists, we like to write them.  Also, to any blogger that also plans on doing one this week, THESE RULES STILL APPLY.  (Click that bold type to see what I mean).

Anyway, with that I figured today I'd more or less close out the year with the 5 most popular posts from 2013.  "Popularity" being judged by Google Analytics' visitor statistics.  Which I understand is clearly flawed since posts written in the beginning of the year have a better chance to amass more traffic, but this is my blog and I make up the rules.  So without further adieu...

The Top 5 Troutrageous! Posts of 2013


#5.  Introducing The Troutrageous! Fishing Blogger Pro Staff


Although the criteria for inclusion was real, this post was sort of a jab at all of the random "Pro Staffs" you see out there featuring people of dubious qualifications.  This post probably falls under the category of "web traffic bait," because everybody that was included is also a blogger...and since they are narcissists (see opening paragraph), they either wrote blog posts, Facebooked, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or whatevered about their inclusion...sending people right...back...here... 


#4.  Initial Thoughts: Redington Vapen Red 8-Weight Fly Rod


The Redington Vapen Red made the blogger rounds the summer.  Let's just say if it was a lady, it'd probably need to see a doctor...and walk a little funny.  At least with its fancy red wrap it was protected during all that activity.  (Maybe that makes it a dude?)  I liked the rod quite a bit, although I was iffy on the feel of the wrapped handle.  But us guys always seem to complain that it just doesn't feel the same...  


#3.  Initial Thoughts: TFO Mangrove Series 8-Weight Fly Rod


Oh, the Mangrove.  I had a love/hate relationship with this rod this summer.  It's not a broomstick and casts great, but I broke it on like my 3rd outing.  Fortunately, TFO customer service turned it back around fixed in no time flat, so all's well that ends well.  I also documented a separate bout with the handle.  The cork grip was/is beyond crappy...until I fixed it with some filler...now it's boss.


#2.  The Quest For The Ultimate Fly Fishing Kayak


This was actually the first of four installments in my search for...yeah, the ultimate fly fishing kayak.  I threw out some criteria that I was looking for to the masses, and got a ton of great feedback...which made my list of kayaks quite a bit longer...spawning the follow up posts.  In the end, I went with a Native Watercraft Slayer 12'.  It's a really nice boat, even though it's not the one pictured above.


Which leads us to (drumroll please)...


#1.  Trout In Cookies


Sometimes the simplest of posts yield ungodly amounts of traffic.  Or posts that contain an image of a chocolate chip cookie that for some reason ranked really, really high in Google Image search results for most of the year.  Either way, it was a winner, and qualifies somewhat as a variant of the "Dave Hester" rule.


So those were there Troutrageous! Top 5 posts of 2013.  If you didn't read them before, I hope you check them out.  If you're a blogger, perhaps you'd like to do the same over the course of the next few days, it'd be neat if you did.  Just know I'd probably at best only skim it, unless I'm included somewhere within.  Remember, narcissism rules.

December 29, 2013

Mythbusters? Tenkara Sasquatch Edition...

Yesterday, the stupid little brother site of Troutrageous! (aka Tenkara Sasquatch), posted an exposé of an overlooked tenkara sasquatch sighting in an April Vokey photo.  (Original post HERE).

I love the resulting comments & speculation this received over on Google+ (far more than on Facebook BTW)...so I embedded the post below with comments just for entertainment.  You can click on the little comic-book looking comment bubble to see them.  Evidently everyone's an amateur squatcher.  Heck, if you have thoughts, feel free to add to the growing list...

December 28, 2013

Tenkara Sasquatch Sighting with April Vokey?

This picture of April Vokey fishing is not new.  But people have clearly been too distracted by her deadly combination of good looks and fishing acumen to take notice of what is going on right behind her...umm...behind...

april vokey tenkara sasquatch fly fishing sighting

Don't see it?  Let me zoom in...

tenkara sasquatch fly fishing

Yup, clear as day.
Yet another Tenkara Sasquatch sighting...

Bucket List - St. Brandon's Atoll

Received Waypoints on DVD as a Christmas present so I popped it last night.
A ton of beautiful and interesting exotic destination fishing, but man...I soooo want to go to St. Brandon's...

Photo liberated from Confluence Films' Facebook page

Untouched flats.  Eager trophy bonefish, permit, & GTs...the stuff of dreams.


As for Payara in Venezuela...more like the stuff of nightmares...

Photo liberated from Confluence Films' Facebook page

Yikes!

December 27, 2013

Exploring Florida - GCS & "Freebird" Park

After our first visit to Green Cove Springs in the August, we sort of decided that it was a destination worth seeing...oh, maybe once.  Small town, with a natural spring in the middle.  However, I had also heard rumors of a park...mind you not your ordinary park...that was located not too far away from the spring itself.

So with generally nice weather, and a few hours to kill, we decided to hop in the car and go exploring.  That's what my family does, we just drive.  So the plan was to stop briefly to show my Mom the spring that gives the Green Cove Springs its name, and then to go find the "special" park...but more on that in a bit.

Upon arrival in Green Cove Springs, we were pleasantly surprised by a Christmas tree display that made the little side trip worthwhile.  Each tree was decorated by a family, organization, or business and had a theme.  They were really neat to look at, the pics don't do them justice...



Following the brief stop in Green Cove Springs, we moved on to find the main reason for the trip.  We were making somewhat of a pilgrimage.  We were headed to Ronnie Van Zant Memorial Park.  Yes, that Ronnie Van Zant, son of Jacksonville, FL, of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and of course...FREEBIRD!  


The Ronnie VanZant Memorial Park is a 90 acre recreational facility located in Clay County, Florida just south of Jacksonville off US 17 South before Green Cove Springs in Lake Asbury, FL, and has been funded by the Freebird Foundation, Inc from 1992-2001. Park Hours are from sunrise to sunset every day. 
This park has been geared toward helping children become better athletes, musicians and young adults. 
The most recent addition to the Ronnie VanZant Memorial Park which was completed in the Fall of 2000 is the creation of VanZant Trails, a Nature Walk thru the wooded area and wetlands of the park.

KC & I playfully refer to it  "Freebird Park," and I really wanted to make the drive over just to check it out since we moved here, but I never quite got over.

A bit out of the way, Freebird...I mean Ronnie Van Zant Park is surprisingly large and generally well maintained, with picnic areas, basketball courts, a playground, baseball diamonds, a disc golf course, walking trails, and a stocked pond with some small fishing piers complete with handicapped access.  We didn't go fishing, but we got harassed by some very aggressive ducks looking for a free meal.  Once safe, Lilly spent a few minutes on the swings before we packed up and headed home.

It was a fun little trip.  Exploring new places doesn't always need to involve exotic locales or far distances.  This was a prime example, and I'm looking forward to uncovering more of the Sunshine State in the time to come. 


December 26, 2013

Taking the Kid & Grandmom Fishing

I had to get the kid out of the house on Christmas Eve.  It was an absolute necessity after learning from a pretty reliable source that Santa was going to bring her an Xbox complete with Disney Infinity & Minecraft games the following day.  Once those packages were unwrapped, she'd be lost to me at least until the weekend.  I hate to admit it, but my kid is a gamer.

First step was re-stickering her Disney Princess tackle box.
She ain't into Cinderella anymore, Vedavoo & Dub The Thorax are now all the rage.

With that, I took Lilly and my Mom, who is visiting for Christmas week, out for about an hour of fishing on the 24th.  I wish I could say I played hero and we caught a ton of fish, but we didn't.  We spent the majority of the day re-learning how to cast, fighting the wind, untangling lines, and baiting hooks, but even without a giant bass on the line, the end goal was definitely achieved.  The kid saw sunlight...and actually seemed like she enjoyed it.  Maybe there's still hope to make her some sort of fisherperson someday...we'll see...

Here are a few pictures.  Nothing "epic," other than her smile.

She really enjoyed catching me in the fishing net...

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas!
Hope You Are Enjoying A Safe & Happy Holiday Season

*Pre-Photoshop components "liberated" from WhereWiseMenFish.com &  CBS Miami

December 24, 2013

Tenkara Tuesday - The Tenkara Guides

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

I've noticed the term "game changer" used quite often (if not abused), especially in social media, when it comes to describing the recent goings on in tenkaradom.  The most frequent benefactors of the adjective have been the remarkable new rods from Tenkara USA, the Sato & Rhodo.

Where I haven't really seen the credit that is due for literally pushing the known boundaries and changing the game when it comes to the ever-evolving fishing style of tenkara in America are the Tenkara Guides of Utah.  I guess that'll happen to somebody that has made contribution after contribution for the past few years...they kind of get taken for granted or leave themselves open to criticism by those that have internet muscles.  So consider this post my "atta boys..."

The Tenkara Guides (w/ Dr. Hisao Ishigaki)
Photo Liberated from http://tenkaraguides.com/

Whether it's bringing the 2012 Tenkara Summit to Salt Lake City, adapting and pioneering methods to successfully catch fish of all shapes and sizes; from trout to carp, creating incredibly entertaining fly tying videos, working with manufacturers to develop & refine gear (including what I consider the best tenkara-specific bag on the market), or simply spreading the joy of fly fishing to the disabled & impaired through their TROutreach program, these guys always seem to be at the forefront of the tenkara "movement."  Heck, I'm sure there are a ton of other things I failed to mention, or simply just don't know about, but it's exciting to have such out of the box thinkers involved in the developing scene of Western tenkara.

As a matter of fact, here is their newest video, just released on Monday...enjoy.


(By the way, I'm getting pretty good at just posting other people's videos rather than writing my own posts...I may keep it up.)

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ATTENTION TENKARA FISHERFOLK

Are you a 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, I'd really enjoy hearing from you for an upcoming Tenkara Tuesday post! Feel free to send an email HERE, I'd love to publish your original contribution.

December 23, 2013

A Weekend In Apalachicola by Cohen Stone

Not everything here is always fly fishing.

Check out this video by Cohen Stone I scrounged off of Vimeo last night of what looks like it was a heck of a fun fishing trip.  Plus its short and makes for easy viewing.  Don't sleep on all of the sheepshead catching in the beginning, they're generally loved by women in bikinis and have a mouth full of weird hillbilly teeth.

woman bikini fishing sheepshead
Pics liberated from http://www.fishypic.com/hook/category/sheepshead-pictures-inshore
http://pages.suddenlink.net/fhfc/Sheepshead.htm

That said, there are no women in bikinis in this video, so sorry for the tease...but there's a nice surprise catch at the end, so don't give up a minute in.  Makes me quite envious.

Probably an added bonus if you like Mumford & Sons too...


December 22, 2013

Painting Through Prosek

I've always been a fan of +David Nash's blog, My Leaky Waders.

It's one of those places where the posting isn't necessarily all that frequent, but when it is, it's usually worth looking at.  Whether it's the concise writing, the great photography, the underrated videography, or the blackmail he has on me, I always find myself clicking through whenever I notice that a new post has been added to the site.


Recently, I've really been enjoying his series of paintings which he calls "Painting Through Prosek"...which consist of small studies of variant coloration in fish, taking inspiration from the works of well-known artist James Prosek.


In any event, just like I mentioned in my lead in, they're worth following, be it on his blog, or via Instagram, where the hashtag #paintingthroughprosek is used to call out the latest installment.

Enjoy some of the examples below...