October 31, 2017

Tenkara Tuesday: Tenkara Angler Winter 2018 Call For Submissions

Just wanted to use this Tenkara Tuesday (and Happy Halloween) to cross-pollinate the fact that the "call for submissions" for the Winter 2017-18 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine is now underway.

If you've got any tenkara-themed stories, essays, fly tying recipes, product reviews, tips, tricks, or even photography, poetry, or original artwork, it would probably fit in perfectly with the next issue.

Interested? Check out the Tenkara Angler website HERE for more details.

October 15, 2017

Cool Stuff: Art of Jeremy Shellhorn

There are so many creative types out in the fly fishing community. Whether it is fly tyers, rod designers, photographers, videographers, authors, you name it, it seems as if those who enjoy pursuing fish with feathers also love to flex their creative brain muscles.

One of the favorite items I left with from the recent Tenkara Jam in Boone, North Carolina (full post upcoming) was a mini "zine" created by Jeremy Shellhorn. You may know Jeremy as the designer of most of Tenkara USA's artwork and graphic treatments, as he is mentioned frequently on their blog and social media. Jeremy also happens to be an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at my wife's alma mater, the University of Kansas - so Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Jeremy (right), manning the Tenkara USA table at the Tenkara Jam

I thought I'd share a few photos of the Tenkara zine. The magazine itself is only a few pages, so I don't want to photograph the whole thing cover to cover.

I've always enjoyed the aesthetic of Jeremy's work, and if you do too, you can see more examples of it over at Tenkara USA, or his tumblr site Getting the Drift.

October 8, 2017

2017 Tenkara Summit

It took a little longer than I thought it would, but figured now was as good a time as any to do a recap of the Tenkara Summit that took place in Estes Park, Colorado back on September 16th. Actually, this will be more of a photo dump, with a few captions included for good measure.

Daniel Galhardo kicked off the day with opening remarks and a quick history of the Tenkara Summit

Matt Sment from Badger Tenkara's presentation was extremely informative.
Many tips on how to be a better tenkara angler were covered.

Jason Klass (Tenkara Talk) discusssed tenkara techniques

And Steve Schweitzer rounded out the morning's presentations discussing fishing both Rocky Mountain National Park & Indian Peaks Wilderness (his books on both are excellent!)

There were quite a few vendors present. The Tenkara USA tables were a hub of activity...

Shiso, Daniel Galhardo's dog was also in attendance.
Shiso has recently taken to social media with his own Instagram account!

The Hane 2 prototype rod was introduced and made for sale for the first time at the Summit.
Those that bought it will provide feedback to see if this becomes a permanent rod in the TUSA lineup.

There were other vendors too, like Trek Light Gear...

...and Dennis from Tenkara Path with many handmade items including line spools...

...and some interesting nets.

Lunch was provided out of two food trucks - pizza & BBQ.

I went with pizza, the truck had its own wood fire oven!

Back inside, there were other wares, such as rod cases...

and fly boxes. All so beautifully crafted.
A full view of vendor row

There was also "Tenkara Pie" for all... I went back for seconds. :)
Jammers enjoying their BBQ lunch...

After lunch, Dr. Ishigaki put on a casting clinic.
He casts effortlessly and had a great rapport with the crowd.

Adam Trahan put out some targets for casting accuracy drills.
There were also breakouts for rod/line rigging...

...and fly tying.

Chris Zimmer from Zimmerbuilt showing off some of his packs.
Every tenkara angler should own one.

The afternoon had two wonderful presentations.
The first was by Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard.
The crowd was captivated by his passionate plea for protecting our natural resources.

Dr. Ishigaki also addressed the crowd and touched on many different tenkara topics.

The day's program ended with a panel Q&A from many of the day's speakers.
But that was not it! After a short break for dinner, the hall reopened for fly tying.

Again, Dr. Ishigaki drew a crowd as he tied his namesake patterns.

Colorado band Paper Moonshine provided the musical backdrop

Many of the tyers participated in an "Iron Fly" style competition moderated by 303 Flies.

The winner being presented his spoils from Dr. Ishigaki.

It was an incredibly full day of events, and there was so much great information being shared. Not only did I leave feeling like I learned a ton, but it was so great to see old friends and make new ones. If you've never attended a Tenkara Summit, I'd highly recommend considering one in the future.

October 6, 2017

Guiding Ain't Easy

We don't do guest posts on Troutrageous! all that often, but I received an email from my buddy Spurky yesterday and he wanted to file a fishing report. Spurky & I go back quite a few years, and I'll never tell him no. So please enjoy this tale of a recent "guided" adventure... 

Guiding ain't easy they say.

I have taken T! aka Mike out a few times in my area and have done pretty well, alas last time was 6 LONG YEARS AGO!! Hint Hint!!

I met a great group of guys this early summer while camping up-state by Trout Run, PA. They were a few sites above me along the creek. What caught my eye when fishing was that Kip was using a tenkara set up. We made friends and fished together along the trout stream full of small fish who did not want our wood, steel, or feathers - just live bait.

We got talking and I invited them down to fish in my stomping grounds. As the set date was getting near I was hoping for decent weather as summer forgot to show up, and Seattle style weather was the norm.

I went out 1 week before our trip to scout and did very well, then went out the Wednesday before, but took hooks off to see how active the fish were. I was excited at all the strikes and fish I saw.

The day came and once they were settled in the HONEY HOLE, the gang and I headed out. The water had dropped at least 6" and all the fish would swipe at the lures, but there were few takers. Seems the only person who was catching and bringing to hand was the.... gasp.... fly fisherman of the group! I was happy that we caught a lot of tiny brook trout with great colors, (they were still in the same area as early September) with the smallest being about 1" tall and 4" long.

The next day we hit the Swatara Creek for anything. The water was low and clear but cold. We hit a few in the beginning until we got to the middle of the trip, and Mike found a route through the deep channel where we could wade.

Usually, it's a smallmouth bonanza, but figuring the water as cold as it was, it turned into a large pickerel catching zone. Bob with the fly rod caught the largest, with another biting through my 8" test line. Mike caught a beauty, though regretfully probably won't make it as it swallowed totally a large spinner...

I do not know who I made mad, but little later I lost the felt of my wading shoes, both of my favorite lures, and took a nose dive in a deep hole! Now soaked, my phone went nuts, the screen turned white, the word emergency in red started flashing and it started dialing 911! However, it would not let me talk or shut it down, and we were an hour from the camper. Eventually got the cover off and disconnected the battery and called the 911 center to explain. Luckily, I knew the dispatcher and he understood, though they were trying to trace the spotty signal. The phone eventually survived, but the camera is dead.

We gathered a few more fish before we returned and the party started. A couple of guys, Kip, and Shawn went out to pickerel central and got another one Sunday morning.

To me, I was disappointed in lack of fish, but the company was great along with the stories. It was brought up about future day trips, so we will see what happens...

October 4, 2017

Tenkara Fishing Along Fern Lake Trail

Realized last night that I never posted about fishing on my last day in Colorado; the Sunday after the Tenkara Summit. I also never posted about the Summit itself, but I'll probably save that full write-up now, as Adam Trahan did a pretty solid job covering it over at the Tenkara USA blog. May share some photos at some point though.

Anyway, back to fishing. What a fun day!

Rocky Mountain National Park is such a nice place to fish. I rolled into the park around 9AM, and already saw quite a few anglers out fishing in the Moraine Park meadow. Rather than put further pressure on that water, I decided to head up the Fern Lake trail and fish that section of the Big Thompson River a bit further upstream.

Along the way, I passed another tenkara angler named Marc, and chatted him up for a bit. He was trying out his new Hane 2 rod and said he was having some success with the brown trout. Excited, I hiked in a bit more before popping down to the water to see what I could find.

Almost immediately, I had a fish on... and then off. Usually, that would piss me off, but I took it as a good sign of things to come... and it proved to be. 

Working upstream, I encountered a brown in almost every nice sized hole. Now, I'm no tenkara wizard, but I felt like I was casting some sort of spell with my magic wand, as fish usually don't come to hand that easy. Guess that's just how it is out in Colorado.

Not really being familiar with the water, it didn't seem all that deep, so I wasn't fishing weighted flies. Instead, I was primarily using a black Ishigaki-style kebari with grizzly hackle, that I'd first drop into the various pockets, holes, and eddies and let sit, or dead drift. If the trout didn't show interest in the fly, I'd impart a bit of action by twitching the fly slightly faster than the current. The latter technique seemed to be what brought the "larger" fish to hand. (I don't catch big fish, so large is a relative term.)

I'm not going to bore you with any more fish photos, instead, just look how gorgeous it was that day. So, so pretty.

Ok, I lied... one more fish photo!

It ended up being a great way to end the Tenkara Summit weekend. Couldn't have asked for more out of my second Colorado experience. Now the only question is when do I get to go back?