Showing posts with label Guest Posts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest Posts. Show all posts

January 22, 2019

Fly Fishing In Slovenia

I love travel and destination fly fishing. 

You may recall last year I posted about a guide service in the Pyrenees (Spain). Heck, one of my readers even took them up on a guided outing! Recently, I was contacted by Aitor Serrano, a guide from Slovenia to share some information about his home waters. After seeing what Slovenia has to offer, I couldn't help but allow him to post about his country and services as well. The following is in his words...

Fly Fishing in Slovenia
Marble trout, grayling, and emerald waters on the sunny side of the Julian Alps

We at Alps Fly Fish would like to introduce you to the fishing fly fishing destination of Slovenia.

Slovenia is a small European country located between Italy, Croatia, and Austria. It is located on the shores of the Adriatic Sea and at the foot of the Alps. Slovenia is a country formed from the former Yugoslavia and is currently modernized in its entirety. Our alpine country has the largest population of brown bear in Europe, beautiful national parks such as Triglav, and pretty turquoise-blue rivers such as the Soča River.

Slovenia, together with the Spanish Pyrenees, are considered the two most beautiful and spectacular destinations in Europe to practice fly fishing.

The three great treasures of Slovenia are:

Rivers with Emerald Waters

Slovenia, despite its small size, has many rivers in a very small radius of action: mountain streams with small, wild marble trout, medium rivers with large rainbow and brown trout, chalk streams in the plains with exceptional populations of grayling and where we can find incredible mayfly hatches…

Perhaps the most beautiful river is the Soča, with its famous emerald waters:

Marble Trout

The marble trout (or marble fish) is a kind of brown trout who lives in the basin of Adriatic sea.

It is characterized by its tabby color, aggressiveness, and by being able to reach sizes greater than one meter in length. Sometimes they have side stripes very similar to those of the zebra trout.

The big marmorata trout feed on small fish. The best time to fish them are April and May when they are caught using streamers in the big rivers.

Adriatic Grayling and Hucho

The grayling is a fish that is characterized by its large dorsal fin and small mouth. Dry fly fishing for graying is very fun. It is a fish that serves as food to the Salmon del Danubio or Hucho which is a fish very similar to the Taimen of Mongolia that sometimes exceeds the length of 1.5 meters. The hucho are caught at the end of autumn and winter.

Slovenia, Fishing, and Much More...

In Slovenia, non-fishing companions can also enjoy a multitude of activities such as visits to castles, horseback riding, guided tours through wine cellars, or hiking in National Parks...

Our operations center is located in the Valley of the Soča River, where Ernest Hemingway's novel "A Farewell to Arms" was centered. It was based on Hemingway's experiences as an ambulance driver in the first World War.

Fishing Guides in Slovenia

We hope you enjoyed this article and would like to thank Michael Agneta for giving us the opportunity to tell the readers of the United States more about our fly fishing guide service in the destination of Slovenia.

If you are interested in taking a fishing trip to Slovenia, do not hesitate to write us at and/or visit our website

Aitor Serrano

January 11, 2018

Spain, A Fly Fishing Paradise

I was fortunate to visit Europe in the summer of 2017 for the very first time. One of my favorite stops was Spain, and while I was wandering the streets of Barcelona and later the mountains of Montserrat, as an angler, I couldn't help but wonder what the fishing opporutnities were like.

Earlier this month, Ricardo and Adrián from Pyrenees Fly Fishing reached out to me about posting some information about fly fishing in Spain. Answering my question from last summer, I'm more than happy to present what they provided below:

Spain, A Fly Fishing Pardise

Fly fishing trips to Spain are becoming popular. The beauty of the Spanish Pyrenees together with its climate, gastronomy, culture, and excellent fishing make this a dream destination for both angler and non-anglers alike.

We are many fishermen who would like to be able to spend our vacations with our family, friends, and of course with the enjoyment of fly fishing. If that is your wish, Spain is the perfect destination!

We have all heard of Spain as a destination of sun, beach, gastronomy, culture, with excellent communications, medical services, and security... but have you heard of its rivers, trout, and mountains?

Northern Spain, Pyrenees

The Pyrenees is a mountain range of more than 400 km in length and with peaks of more than 3000 meters that divides Spain from France. On the sunny side of the Pyrenees (Spanish side), there are many possibilities for fly fishing: brave high mountain streams, almost virgin lakes near the top of the mountains, valley rivers with large trout and barbel.

Zebra Trout, Brook Trout, Barbel and Much More!

One of the most coveted fish by foreign fishermen who visit its waters are the mysterious Zebra trout, a variety of brown trout that lives in the rivers of the Mediterranean basin and that are characterized by their two black stripes and great aggressiveness.

Equally, the fisherman will be able to enjoy the fishing of brook trout in little known mountain lakes and in some headwaters of certain streams, fishing for big rainbow trout in some low channels, and of the spectacular fishing of the barbel Graellsii with a dry fly closer to the great lakes of the valley bottom.

Equipment and Flies for Fishing

The friendly climate of Spain and the warmth of its waters are a decisive factor that condition salmonids to surface feeding. For all these reasons, dry fly fishing is the most effective technique. We also recommend using 9-foot, 5-weight rods for fishing with floating lines and long tippets.

How to Organize a Trip in the Company of Non-Anglers?

Pyrenees Fly Fishing is a company located in the Pyrenees, near the city of Zaragoza and offers guided fishing trips from two operation centers with multiple activities for non-angling companions.

The angler can enjoy fishing days in the hands of local guides who will take you to exclusive places of great beauty and exceptional fishing thanks to their permits to circulate through restricted access trails. The companions can enjoy days designed to measure by team guides in which they can enjoy cultural visits, hiking, wine tourism, and National Parks.

For more information, you can write to Ricardo Madeira at

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...

April 29, 2017

Examining The Anatomy Of A Fishing Kayak

We don't do guest posts that frequently on Troutrageous!, however, the content provided by Jeff from South Texas Kayak was so well composed and thorough, I thought I'd make an exception. Enjoy.

Are you a current canoe or paddleboat enthusiast? Are you thinking about venturing over into the kayak market? Well, you will probably find it much more enjoyable and challenging than other water sports. Kayaks have the capabilities to not only travel faster, but they can venture into harsher parts of the water. This is not to even mention the fact that you get two blades to paddle with instead of one. Kayaks also sit closer to the water, which can be a truly amazing feeling. However, the whole process isn’t just as easy as jumping right into the kayaking market.

You need to be aware of the anatomy and components of a kayak in order to truly understand the vessel and choose one that best suits you.

Knowing Your Genre Of Kayaking

The first thing you need to be aware of is, that there are several different genres of kayaking.
Just to name a few genres, you have:
• Whitewater
• Sea, surf
• Touring
• Recreational

Depending on the type of kayaking that you plan on doing, it might affect the type of kayak that you choose to buy. While there are a variety of different kayaks available, there is common terminology that is used throughout the community.

Knowing this terminology and anatomy will help you better learn the sport of kayaking. It will also make it much easier when it comes to speaking to other enthusiasts. By analyzing the Kayak Fishing Gear Guide, you will be able to gain more insight into fishing kayaks and the associated gear.

The Bow Of A Kayak

You will probably hear people often times refer to the bow of the kayak. When you hear this, you should know that they are actually talking about the front of the craft. In fact, this is the universal term for all different types of boat. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a motorboat, canoe, or kayak, because the bow still means the front of the boat.

The Stern Of The Kayak

Just like the bow, the stern is another universal term that means that same thing on all boats. When you hear the term stern, you can think of the rear of the boat. It is important to be aware of these terms because people will use them often when talking about kayaks.

Starboard And Port Sides Of A Kayak

Two more universal terms that you need to familiarize yourself with are the starboard and port sides of the kayak. Starboard means the right side of the kayak, while the port side refers to the left side of the craft.

The Hull Of The Kayak

The hull is probably another universal term that you are somewhat familiar with. However, when it comes to the hull of a kayak, thing can get really tricky. The reason for this is, because kayakers are actually talking about the bottom of the boat when they refer to the hull. In the rest of the boating world, the term hull almost always refers to the entire body of the craft.

Understanding The Deck

The deck of a kayak is actually the top of the boat. Different types of kayaks will offer different styles of decks. For instance, the sea kayak really has a lot of accessories on the deck. You will find everything from bungees to cleats, and hatches.

The Cockpit

The cockpit of a kayak is actually the part of the boat that you are going to sit in. When you look at a kayak, you will see a large hole in the center of the deck. This is what is known to the kayaking world as the cockpit. However, the seats of a kayak can be different for different types of boats. For instance, some seats can be suspended from the rim of the cockpit, whereas others can sit directly on the bottom of the craft.

It is also important to know that the sizes and shapes of cockpits can vary greatly. Some sea kayaks will contain an almost circular cockpit, whereas in touring and recreational kayaks the cockpits are almost oval. Oval cockpits can come in handy if you are not quite as slim as you used to be. If you intend to kayak and fish with a friend, you should consider investing in one of the tandem fishing kayaks. With one of these models, you will have dual seats to accommodate your friend.


Anytime you hear the term coaming it is actually referring to the lip or rim of the cockpit. This is where the skirt usually attaches. The cockpits of most kayaks can be covered with what is known as a skirt. This is a waterproof material that covers the waist of the kayaker once he or she in inside the craft. This not only helps keep the kayaker dry, but it also helps keep the inside of the boat dry.

Foot Braces, Foot Pegs, Or Footpads

Once you are inside the kayak, you will find some kind of adjustable foot support, which is known as the foot braces. It is important to know that every manufacturer is different and will design their foot braces a little bit differently. These braces are also sometimes referred to as foot pegs or footpads. The balls of your feet should rest perfectly against these braces. There are also pads located on the underside of the deck, which allows users to rest their knees.

Once everything is adjusted perfectly, it should almost be like the craft becomes an extension of your body. This gives riders total control over the boat and allows them to maneuver through harsh and unforgiving waters.

Thigh Braces And Thigh Hooks

Other components that can aid the kayaker in controlling the craft are known as thigh braces or thigh hooks. These devices are located on the underside of the cockpit. These components allow users to safely and comfortably press their thighs against them while they are paddling.

Walls And Bulkheads

Located inside the deck of certain kayaks users can also find what are known as walls or bulkheads. These foam partitions are either glued or fastened in place and they prevent the kayak from collapsing. Since these bulkheads seal off one or both ends of the boat, they can also be used as a watertight storage compartment. Gear will be loaded through a hatch that is located on the top of the deck.


As you can see, there are quite a few components that are involved with a kayak. You also need to keep in mind that every kayak can be outfitted or customized with different accessories to suit a certain boater’s style and needs. Now, that you know the basics, you shouldn’t have a problem communicating with other kayakers or choosing a kayak that accommodates your needs.

Author Bio:
Jeff is a fishing and kayaking enthusiast, a proud father and an avid Houston Astros fan. Jeff created his kayak fishing blog with a plan to provide useful information and resources for kayak fishing, canoeing and fishing in general to new anglers. A longtime passion turning into a new career with the help of his son Kevin. You can email Jeff at

July 12, 2016

Tenkara Tuesday - DIY Minimalist Tenkara Fly Vial

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

When Tenkara Tuesdays started back in 2011, my intent was to provide an opportunity for anybody who wanted to write about their tenkara experience through guest posts. I received a few entries, such as this, this, and this, but eventually things went silent, and I occassionally kept the Tuesday posts going using my own voice. However today I'm happy to see things come full circle, as it's my pleasure to post a neat little "tenkara tip" that George Roberts submitted somewhat out of the blue while I was away on vacation. I hope you enjoy it.

DIY Minimalist Tenkara Fly Vial

My favorite minimalist fly holder is a small glass vial. It will easily hold a half-dozen or so wet or dry flies - this is more than you'll need for a day of fishing - and it will fit unobtrusively into your shirt or pants pocket.

If you know a registered nurse you likely have a virtually unlimited supply of these vials. Many intravenous medications are packaged in small glass vials that are fitted with rubber stoppers. A few minutes’ work is all it takes to repurpose them for angling.

First, explain to the nurse in your life what you need - namely, spent I.V.-push vials such as those that contain Protonix.

Next, remove the thin metallic crown that holds the rubber stopper in place. Here I’m using the small blade of a wine opener.

Remove the vial’s label by placing it into a pan of boiling water for a minute or so. You may need to use the blade of a knife to assist you, as well as some dishwashing detergent to remove the glue. (I didn't think I needed to illustrate this.) When you've finished, and the vial is clean and dry, you'll have an imminently functional fly holder that cost you nothing more than a few minutes of your time. These also make great gifts for your fellow anglers--particularly when they contain a few of your own patterns.

About the Author: 
A fly angler since age seven (and a tenkara angler since age forty-seven), George Roberts is the author of Master the Cast: Fly Casting in Seven Lessons (McGraw-Hill, 2002). You can visit his website at


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 7, 2015

Guest Post - Spurky On Kids & Fishing

I don't really do guest posts on the blog that much anymore, but whenever my buddy Spurky wants to write something, the floor is his. Spurky is a top-notch angler who taught me a ton about spin-fishing for trout when I lived in Pennsylvania. He's shown me around a ton of Central PA creeks while always being the kind guide & host. I figure this is the least I can do to return the favor.

Today Spurky takes aim on video games, parenting, and teaching kids to fish...

They say that children are the future of fishing. Actually, children are the future of everything.
Back to fishing, kids now have so many distractions, and of course, the phones. Video games of fishing are all over, and when kids play these games, and then - gasp-gasp - go outside and actually go fishing, you hear that it is too hot/cold, too muddy, too dusty, and so on and on. Then if they do get a fish, well it is too small, too slimy, etc, etc. They want to go back to the video game for the trophy fish. 
I am guilty, I have a few of these games that my wife bought me. Well, I get my butt kicked on them. After all, they are pre-programmed by a person in a studio. I have a game where I could basically match the water I fish during the summer, it even had my favorite lure. So I went fishing on the game, I got a few, but took a long time to get a "decent" amount of fish. In real life in about the same time, my arm would be getting tired from catching fish of all kinds and sizes. 
Parents today, because of computers in my opinion, do not take the time to raise their kids or take them on bonding trips like fishing. At the campground, I have a seasonal site right by the waterway that I wade for hours at a time, usually 4 to 5. I see parents taking kids out fishing on the creek, seeing sights that make me cringe and sorry for the kids. 
 I have seen rods - from 12' surf rods to rods that look like ice fishing rigs. Add to that lures ranging from saltwater size to little plastic worm bits, and most have floats (bobbers) attached to the line. Mind you this is along a creek at a campground with little slow moving water. Most currents carry the float from the center of the creek to the shore in about 10 seconds, so useless.  
Numerous times I have tried to explain what to do in set up and where to fish so the kids will catch fish, but 99% of the time I get treated like a leper, so have given up trying to help other peoples' kids out. This past year I tried to help, and again the leper routine be a well, ass, I went to where I told them to go, and caught fish about every cast, including 2 smallmouth over 16". Then I hear the father saying it was luck and I was a show off. I even asked if they wanted to try and offered extras of the lure I was using, and I got, "he just wants our spot, we will stay here." Oh well. 
I was very lucky, I have a daughter who was an extreme daddy's girl who went fishing with me all the time. It made me sad to lie to her so I could go out alone for me-time and to find new spots. She won a local tourney and was a state fishing champion. She picked up everything fast and was very competitive about fishing. She went with me on trips to Lake Ontario and to the large water at Raystown. 
 Alas, when she hit 16 it dropped off to no more fishing. She would bring friends out to the camper and get very upset that I was helping her friends catch fish instead of them being with her.  
I recently started taking other kids out fishing; I love teaching kids and actually loathe going out with adult learners. Our first trips out I scouted areas to take them, and we got a lot of fish, including the first trout for the one. I am not really big into numbers, but as young adults their first trip yielded 73 fish of all species, and the second trip with a second young adult yielded even more fish, including bass over 3lbs! 
This season I got to take another young man out for trout fishing. It was not my best trip, but we did get his first trout. 
Another trip was planned with another young adult, the weather and water conditions were far from good, but they wanted to go. We hit 8 different areas with only one sunny caught. I could tell he was bored and did my best to explain why this trip was not like the others. 
I really hope the youth of America can be taught to enjoy the slow, quiet, simple things like fishing, but with all the instant gratifications on phones and computer games and such it is going to be hard. I have not given up teaching, I am going to try again next spring/summer.

June 7, 2015

Guest Post - Angler Eye Safety

My buddy Spurky from central PA decided to send over a guest post the other day. I always enjoy a guest post from Spurky because he's a top notch spin fisherman...and my lure fishing Sensei. Posts from him change things up around here every now and then and take you from hooks and feathers to spinners and spoons.

In this post he explores safety on the water, particularly eye safety, something anglers probably take for granted until it's too late.

Please enjoy.

Safety while fishing, do we really think about it?

Nowadays, parents have kids basically in bubble wrap to do anything. Sorry, but I grew up in an era without child seats, riding in bed of pick ups, etc... Back to the point in hand, I tend to go fishing a lot, and picked up a few things.

The safety aspect I believe is most important to fishing is eye safety. I work as a mechanic so I have to wear safety glasses all day. My glasses have prescription lenses, so I basically wear safety glasses all the time, paid for by work.  :)

Spurky doing what he does best

When out fishing, the glasses have prevented me from getting branches in the eye when following someone, or from injuring myself when not paying attention. Now the reason I am so thankful so wearing them...

I was fishing for trout on the local over-sized hill which was no cell signal area. I would have to cross the stream twice to get back to my truck due to terrain. (I am lucky, my truck has OnStar if there's no cell coverage in an emergency). My lure got snagged, a 1/4 oz spoon, and I had 8-lb test on. Pulling to free the lure was not working so prepped myself to snap the line, as lure was in a deep hole 30 feet upstream.

Pulling to break it, I heard the line "singing," then it happened. The lure broke free and in a millisecond the spoon hit my glasses dead center in the left lens, knocking my glasses up my nose and off my head and laying me out on the ground. When got my senses back, I had blood all over from cuts on my nose. I found my glasses and saw a small chip in lens, it was dead center.

Not THE glasses, image used for effect

If I did not have my glasses on, my doctor said I most definitely would have lost my eye. I had the lens replaced and the eye doctor had the lens manufacturer check the lens. They estimated the impact at approximately 45 mph!!!

With the wide range of safety glasses out there, there is no excuse not to wear them while fishing. Whether it is a dry fly or a large metal bait, remember your sight is important and you need to protect it.

May 16, 2014

Guest Post - What's To A Bag?

My buddy Spurky from central PA decided to send over a guest post the other day.  I always enjoy a guest post from Spurky because he's a top notch spin fisherman.  Posts from him change things up around here every now and then and take you from hooks and feathers to spinners and spoons.

In this post he explores the perfect fishing bag for the wading spin-fisherman...and takes a shot at his trout fishing nemesis.  Probably an inside joke, but maybe some fellow Pennsylvanians may have heard the legend of Spurky's adversary.

Please enjoy.

I go fishing a lot.  When I go I almost always go wading from ankle deep to chest deep, so I cannot carry a box for obvious reasons.  For years, decades actually, I have used a fishing bag.  Actually a Bass Pro Shops crappie management bag that I bought over 25 years ago.

This bag has been through it all, weather wise and fishing wise.  It was snowed, iced, rained, and submerged.  It was the bag I used to take my daughter fishing with for over 14 years.  It was big enough to hold live bait when she went with, which was 90% of time :-).  Though small enough to carry around wading, carrying everything I needed, even soda cans.

Last couple years she (the bag) started to die, so to speak, and I have been looking for a replacement, but nothing out there comes close to its size or shape.  I spent a lot of money and time trying to find a suitable replacement.  I found one that was perfect, but during a spring cleaning it disappeared. The bags that are close are for fly fisherman, so it is not really set up for a steel/plastic chuckers.

Not long ago on a fishing site, a friend said he accidentally thought he bought a bag, but his wife said no, it was a purse.  So I looked at the local second hand store and for 1/1000 of the price of what is now called a fishing bag, I got a bag to use with tons of storage, and at low cost, easily replaced.  It sounds funny, but when a design works for you and you cannot find what you want or need, you've got to adapt and use what is available.  In fact no one knows it is a purse unless I tell them.  The best is the price; my last one I bought was .75 cents, and I used it for 2 wading seasons.

The bags in the picture, the top row costs over 75 dollars, bottom row $2.25!   I just wish someone would cater to the non boat/kayak fishermen who wade/shore fish a lot, I mean really why not?  Are we second class people?

Ya well, I love to wade.  It makes fishing (to me) more fun, and closer to nature.  The best thing is in clear water you're lower in the skyline so harder for them to see, and a lot of time I get to watch the fish chase, hit, and run.  Plus if they do not hit, watching them chase is a lesson into how to use lure, and if maybe I need another color to use....whoops COLOR...color does not mean anything just ask the "super trout man" Mr. F. Nale....:-).......anywho, what in a bag?

May 6, 2014

Tenkara Tuesday - It’s The Rod Stupid…

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

Today's entry is a guest post from Anthony Naples.  It's a reflection on why tenkara creates success pretty much for anyone, right out of the box...or rod tube...or  know what I mean.  Please enjoy.

So about four and half years ago I started fishing tenkara. At first I used it like a western rod without a reel. I cast longish floating furled leaders with dry flies and nymphs - and then I went to nylon level lines - because they’re cheaper and float better than fluorocarbon lines. The stealth that the long tenkara rod and light lines gave me was amazing and it more than made up for a lack of reel. I fished the sulphur hatch on Spring Creek (my favorite stream and favorite hatch) with my tenkara rod and western tactics and I caught fish on dries and emerges and spinners. I was ignorant (apparently) but blissful.

Along the way somewhere I learned that I was doing it all wrong. I wasn’t supposed to let the line lay on the water. I wasn’t supposed to fish dry flies - not to mention the poppers and and hoppers that I was fishing for bluegill and smallmouth. Hell, I wasn’t even supposed to be fishing for bluegill and smallmouth.

And turning over stones, looking at tiny benthic beasts, stumbling across the stream to catch the randomly flitting (yet somehow hard to catch) mayflies in my hat so that I could examine them and tie flies to match them - that was all wrong too.

None of that bug stuff matters. It’s not the flies! It’s not the gear! It’s the skill. Right?

That’s the story anyway.

But a recent conversation reminded me of a fundamental fact that I’d lost somewhere along the way.

It’s the rod stupid.

It is the gear - it’s just different gear!

When I really stop to analyze my tenkara “success” - I have to admit it’s not due to any “tenkara master” status. It’s almost completely due to the stealth that the super light tenkara line offers me. I’m not afraid to admit it.

I’m not saying that there is not a wealth of tenkara skills to learn and acquire - I’m just saying that, in moments of lucidity and quiet contemplation I have to admit that I probably don’t have them.

When I began tenkara, my tenkara “success” was almost immediate - once I learned to keep the rod out of the trees and how to land a fish without a reel - I started catching fish at a better rate than before. This was before I knew anything about “tenkara” tactics. It was all just the same old tactics made better by a long rod and super light line.

When my friend pointed out that those of us in the west, most doing tenkara for less than 5 years, are far from masters at tenkara techniques, and that it’s not our super tenkara skills - but it’s the effective tenkara gear that’s making most of the difference for most of us…well…I was gobsmacked. Then I thought back to my beginning - to my love of the stealth that tenkara gear gave me - and my nearly instant “success”. And I realized that he was right - at least in my case - if I want to be totally honest.

It’s not the skill - it’s the rod, stupid…


About the Author:

Anthony Naples hails from Western Pennsylvania (don't hold that against him), and has been a voice in the ever-growing American tenkara community since 2009, recently serving as editor on the first Tenkara Magazine.  His blog, Casting Around, which features both tenkara and fly-fishing themed stories, poetry, and original art, can be found HERE.


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.

April 13, 2013

Guest Post: The New Age of Fishing

I was recently approached by Fishidy to see if I'd be willing to post a guest post about their service.  Heck, I'm pretty liberal around here, especially if it's about something that I think others might find helpful or useful. So I'll take a backseat today and give up the floor for this guest post.  Take a peek; if you're into fishing logs, maps, and social networks, I think it may grab your interest.


The New Age of Fishing:
Online Maps, Social Communities & Fishidy

Many see fishing as an avenue to escape the stresses of everyday life. Fishing gives us a chance to get away from the office, disconnect from the laptop and cell phone, and enjoy the simplicity of throwing a perfect loop to watch it unfold just beyond an eagerly awaiting trout. While I’m in no way disagreeing with the puritan mentality and the comfort offered, it doesn’t hurt to take a look at emerging technology within the fishing industry and see what it can do to provide for a more successful day on the water.

All of us have traveled to new destinations with the hope of discovering a bountiful stretch of water. Sometimes we get lucky, and our trip is a success! Other times we get skunked and often wonder what went wrong. What if we could change the odds a bit in our favor, and really utilize online fishing maps?

One of my favorite new tools is Fishidy. This online platform brings together elements of online fishing maps, catch management, and mobile technology all driven by an online community of passionate anglers. As a free Fishidy member, you have access to over 8,000 waterways across the U.S., including lakes, reservoirs, saltwater and rivers. Fishidy’s maps include detailed contour lines, boat ramp access points, live radar, and moon phases in addition to species information, shoreline features and fishing tips. As a premium Fishidy member, the advantage is even greater. Premium members unlock a featured mapping layer that shows fishing hot spots designated by local guides, tackle shops and DNR personnel. These hot spots are proven to produce fish and Fishidy gives you tips on which species to target, during which season and what to throw.

However, the real benefit of Fishidy comes into play as you begin to build your fishing social network and better prepare yourself on where to fish, connect with buddies, local waterways, or make new friends and follow waterways you’d love to get the chance to fish. As friends mark their catches, and waterways report the latest conditions, you find yourself in the middle of a personal stream of continuously updated fishing data. The logging feature of Fishidy truly becomes invaluable.

And it gets even better. All of this accessibility is available in the palm of your hand. Fishidy offers a fishing map app for iPhone and Android that syncs up your data while you’re on-the-go (or on the water). As an example, say you find yourself on a stretch of productive water you want to keep track of for future reference. With Fishidy’s mobile app, it’s easy. Simply press a button on your mobile device to mark your spot or catch, and Fishidy instantly records your position on its map. Those big browns hiding below that undercut bank suddenly don’t seem to be an anomaly anymore. You’ve done your research, marked your spots, and fishing eventually become that much more enjoyable (not that it ever wasn’t).

What else can you ask for?


About the Author:

Alex S. is a writer, enjoys camping, and is new to the world of fly fishing. When not outdoors, a laptop and a cup of coffee provide good company.

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....


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.


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.

December 9, 2012

Sunday Tippets Guest Post

I wrote a blog post for today, but not for this blog.

I'm pulling down the property value over at "The River Damsel," so go head over there if you want some advice on how to handle awkward fishing presents.

See you over there...

November 7, 2012

Guest Post - What’s for Dinner? Serving your Catch of the Day While on Vacation

There was an election or something last night.  That meant watching election coverage on TV and the live streaming of people celebrating and bitching on Facebook & Twitter all evening.  Who had time to write a post?  Not me.  So I pulled out a guest post I had in reserve...

Going on vacation?  Going fishing?  Always hungry?  This post from David Bryce is for you.  Enjoy.


What’s for Dinner? Serving your Catch of the Day While on Vacation

Many years ago, my wife and I traveled to Hawaii. This vacation/business event was rewarded to a select few of us who reached our year-end-sales quota. My company’s “President’s Club” was a fun-filled, all inclusive week of activities and excursions.

Being from landlocked Missouri, I was thrilled to travel somewhere balmy, a tropical destination in the middle of the great Pacific. I needed a break from all the rigmarole back home and was craving balmy breezes, the crash of the surf and pleasantly plunging my work-laden toes into some wet sand.

I passed on the 4 am mountain bike ride down Maui’s Haleakala Volcano, and though my wife tried to convince me to go, I told her it sounded kind of silly and a bit foolish to waste extra time on land. I had ocean plans; swimming and then drying off on the beach, preferably with a cold drink in my hand. Of course, my wife laughed later that afternoon when she returned from the bike ride and spotted me struggling just beyond the wave break, a boogie board string wrapped around my neck and a sea turtle’s beak latched on my board. After I finally managed to get to the shore, she asked me, “So, how’s that water?” The good news is I still enjoy boogie boarding; I just choose to swim in a little shallower surf now.

In keeping with my proximity to the beach and other seaside interests, we planned a deep sea fishing venture, bright and early the next morning. We signed up to go with another couple from our group and headed out towards the rising sun. We finally got our break, though it wasn’t on my line, my co-worker got a bite and we spotted its tell-tale silvery scales as they breached the blue waters; a Mahi Mahi. After a good twenty minutes of fighting, he finally reeled it in and we were pleased that it weighed in at a good twenty pounds. 

The crew put the fish on ice and when we docked my buddy took it with him to see if one of the local restaurants would cook it for dinner. As luck would have it, a chef from one of the nearby hotel restaurants agreed to serve it. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the next time you are on vacation, I would recommend that you too, take advantage of some of the local fare by catching it yourself.

Here’s a look at a few seaside spots where you too, can bring back the catch of the day for yourself:

Seychelles: It’s not easy to get to, but definitely worth the time and effort. Even better? One of the best tasting seafood can be found here; namely Black Marlin. Served grilled, it maintains its firmer flesh and also has a sweeter taste than other ocean faring fish like swordfish.

Gulf Coast: A little closer destination and was not disappointed when I pulled in a great big Red Snapper. What could be better than a day on the gulf? Dinner! Filleted and drizzled with white wine, butter and a splash of lemon.

Alaska: It’s a different kind of beautiful, replace those swaying palms with evergreens and those heady tropical breezes with brisker northwestern gusts and you’ve got a great place to get some of the finest tasting fish in the world; Chinook Salmon. No matter how it’s prepared it is sure to please with its unique rich and savory taste; smoked, filleted, steaks or even prepared as sashimi it is a highly sought after delicacy.

A vacation is fun to get away from the stresses of everyday work and routine, to take advantage of the local fare. If you can plan an excursion that includes fishing, then you can not only enhance your trip, but bring home dinner as well. Your wife might complain about all that time spent at sea, but she’ll thank you for the meal later.


About The Author:
David Bryce is travel writer who enjoys writing about travel and family vacations. He currently blogs for Thousand Hills Resort in Branson, MO.

August 9, 2012

Troutrageous! Storms 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (Part 2)

Today, Chase Hundley is back with part two of his OR Show post.  (You can check out part one HERE).  He digs into some gear, thus I'm not going to delay the goodies with an extended intro.  So without further adieu, get to reading.  Enjoy...


As promised, here's “part 2” of my Outdoor Retailer excursion with proof that I slobbered over gear and not the awkward contortionists at a New Balance party for the release of their new minimal running shoe (I’m still asking myself why I was invited to a party for running shoes).

Fine New Balance Lady

…I’ll just say I followed friends there – also there was free food.

Finally, here’s all the awesome gear I witnessed at the show.

1. Redington Link Rods
Redington Link Fly Fishing Rod

My favorite piece of new gear from the show would be the Link Rods from Redington. I’ve been on the search for an 8wt that I can use for big bass flies, saltwater, and a possible steelhead trip in the near future. I played around with the 8wt Link Rod at the casting competition during the Open Air Demo and fell in love with it. I was really surprised at how quickly I was casting (semi) accurately with a giant piece of wet yarn tied on (I say “semi” due to my noob-like casting skills). They also look awesome.

2. Montana Fly Company Boat Box
Montana Fly Company Boat Box

You can fit a ton of stuff in these. I’m anxious to see how many giant bass streamers I can cram in one. Also, they’re waterproof. I usually end up having to dry out my flies after a float/fish trip due to my streamer box not being waterproof. I’ll probably end up purchasing one of these soon, unless the gear Gods make one appear on my doorstep sometime.

3. Orvis Helios 2 Rods
Orvis Helios 2 Fly Fishing Rods

The Helios 2 will probably be awesome (I’d hope so with the price), I didn’t get to cast one, but I tried to get a feel for it with some floppy (movements?).
These are wayyyyy out of my (and most people I fish with) price range, but I’d really love to see if they perform as well as the price says they do.

4. Umpqua Packs
Umpqua Feather Merchants Fly Fishing Bags Packs

Umpqua showcased a ton of new stuff that I didn’t expect at the show. They’re coming out with a new line of flies and accessories aimed at selling in big box stores, but what I was most impressed with were the packs. They were some of the best looking and most practical fishing packs I’ve seen. There is also a waist pack, but my picture of it was terrible. Apparently they’ve teamed up with a popular hiking/mountaineering pack brand to make these guys. They’re also coming out in a green/grey color very similar to one from (a popular pack brand) that I carry everywhere.

5. Fishpond Packs
Fishpond Waterproof Fly Fishing Packs Bags

Waterproof packs seem to be pretty popular right now, with good reason – it seems I dunk mine every time I’m wet wading. Most of the ones I’ve seen so far weren’t very stylish at all (don’t really have to be), but these from Fishpond were some of the best looking ones I’ve seen. They also have a ton of styles coming out, including rolling luggage type bags.

6. Redington Ultra Packable Sonic-Pro waders
Redington Ultra Packable Ultra Sonic Pro Waders

I haven’t had a chance to try out the Sonic-Pro waders yet, but people I know seem to be in love with them. I’m pretty cheap and it’s hot as hell in Arkansas during the summer, so I normally take the “it’s too hot for waders approach” and end up using my neoprene duck hunting waders when I absolutely have to. There have been many times fishing for trout in our tailwaters that I’ve wished I had some light waders, though. I actually can’t wait to try a pair of these, they seem extremely light and they pack down into a small pack (the pack hanging on the mannequin) – something my neoprene waders will never do.

7. Orvis Silver Sonic Waders

What impressed me most about the Orvis Silver Sonic waders was the ability to transform into a wader pant. They seem to be decent waders and are constructed with sonic welding technology.

8. Orvis Gale Force Packs
Orvis Gale Force Waterproof Fly Fishing Bags Packs

Orvis jumped on the waterproof pack train as well and is coming out with some pretty slick waterproof packs. They seem like they’d be put to some good use when I slip off of a giant rock trying to stalk a smallie.

9. Redington Prospector Rods
Redington Prospector Fly Fishing Spey Rods

I’m extremely inexperienced in the spey/switch casting rod category, but these seemed to be some nice rods. What really impressed me is the fact that they are making them all the way down to a 4wt. I imagine that would be a fun rig to cast.

10. Buff Gloves
Buff Fly Fishing Gloves

I can’t remember the exact name of these gloves, but they’re Buff’s new fishing gloves. They had a few different styles and felt great. The stripping guards on the fingers were my favorite part.

There you go, my favorite fly fishing gear from OR. I’m anxiously waiting to see what IFTD has to show that I didn’t get to see. There are a few pieces of gear that might roll in for an actual product review in the near future, so get ready.


Now did Chase deliver the goods for you guys or what!?!  Great recap Chase, and thanks for bringing your A-Game to these posts.

If you're interested in reading more of Chase's work, I suggest...rather demand you go visit his blog Feather & Scale.  I'm sure there will be more posts to come regarding the brands he met with at the show as well as his own exploits with rod & reel.  And while you're at it, check him out on Facebook & Twitter too.

August 8, 2012

Troutrageous! Storms 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (Part 1)

This post is an example of how much power us blog-wielding characters have in the eyes of "The Industry."

Actually, I really don't have much power at all, but it's good to know I can use my URL to score a friend a "press pass" to a trade show so he doesn't have to pay top dollar for a credential.  With that...Troutrageous! sent Chase Hundley on assignment (you may know him as @thechundley on Twitter or from the blog Feather & Scale) to the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market Show in Salt Lake City, Utah...ironically the week after I left.

Chase's assignment - check out all the new outdoor stuff, especially anything fly fishing, and do whatever he could to further besmirch this blog's name.  Enjoy...


Thanks to namedropping Troutrageous!, I (Feather & Scale) had the opportunity to attend the 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market this past week.

The week started with an open-air demo day on Lake Jordanelle Reservoir, just outside of SLC. The open-air demo was basically a chance for brands to showcase their stuff in a more natural environment and allow people to test their products.

The demo was full of watercraft to test out, shoes to try and Redington even set up a casting competition. If you’ve ever wanted to be completely overwhelmed with Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP), this was the place to be. There was even a giant SUP.

Stand-up paddleboards were definitely the most heavily populated item at the show. There were also plenty of Yeti Cooler knock-offs, including one from Igloo. There were plenty of kayak companies, as well, with quite a few fishing kayaks.

My personal goal, in true Troutrageous! fashion, was to find Sasquatch at the show. I was successful in my Sasquatch hunt by complete accident and found him chilling by a car in the middle of the show (I guess being Sasquatch means you get to drive inside buildings).

I was honestly disappointed by the lack of fly rod companies at the show; I’m blaming it on IFTD being next week. There were quite a few brands that make fly fishing products, but there definitely could have been more. Packs seemed to be the common new product for the fly fishing brands.

Best Booth Swag
Montana Fly Company ended up winning the “best booth swag” award with a flask full of whiskey (decorated with a painting from Mike’s favorite fly fishing artist). They obviously knew how to win a fly fishing obsessed Arkansan’s heart.

Easiest booth to get a free beer without waiting in line for an hour
Free beer was pretty common once 4pm hit. You almost had to camp out if you wanted to get one very quickly. The “easiest booth to get a free beer without waiting in line for an hour” award was easily won by Redington. This was mostly due to the fly fishing brands being squeezed in the very back of the convention center, but turned out to be beneficial during happy hour.

Best free food
Keen did it real big at the show. Their indoor booth was huge and across the street from the show; they had a constant outdoor party (Keenfest) going with free food, shirts, live music and water misting from the corner of everything. They receive the “best free food” award for having a food truck with WHOLE FREAKING PIGS ROASTING one day being extremely generous with their portions.

Stay tuned for a breakdown of the best gear I encountered in Part 2.