Showing posts with label Tackle Box. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tackle Box. Show all posts

January 2, 2023

Return of the Classic

Over the years, I've gone through a lot of phases (and gear) as a fisherman. Spinning, fly, tenkara, fiberglass, saltwater, and eventually right back to tenkara and fly... one can call it an evolution... while in reality it's more likely a delusion. We've all been there, I'm certain you can relate.

Even though it wasn't fancy, my first "real" fly rod was a 7'6" Redington Classic Trout 3-weight. It was a Christmas gift from my wife back in 2010 and I fished the snot out of that rod for a few seasons. Up and down every nook and cranny of my homewaters, Valley Creek in Southeastern Pennsylvania. For two years we battled lots of fish all up and down the East Coast. From stocked rainbows to wild browns, to native brook trout, Classic Trout had seen it all.

An eager and willing fishing companion, I almost took it for granted. Until that fateful day when I snapped the tip during an unfortunate 2012 on-stream nymphing mishap in North Carolina.

No big deal I figured, and sent it off for some R&R and a warranty repair. Unbeknownst to me, it turns out that at the very same time Redington was having a bit of an identity crisis with the Classic Trout rod line, temporarily discontinuing it and replacing it with rods called the Tempt. So when I received my warranty claim back, my trusty companion was not what I found in the rod tube. Rather, I received a brand new Tempt.

I fished the Tempt a few times and it just didn't feel the same. It wasn't as if the rod didn't try, but we just didn't get along. I honestly doubt they changed the rod much other than the name (and cosmetics), but something was just "off". Maybe it was all psychological, I certainly wouldn't doubt it if it was. 

Coincidentally, I was also really starting to enjoy tenkara, and began using those rods for small stream fishing. So the Tempt was relegated to the corner of my spare room, sitting quietly in a rod tube, out of action for quite some time. Fast forward nine years, I finally decided to put the Tempt out of its misery and sell it in 2021. Figured someone should enjoy it, even if I never warmed to it. 

Around that same time I moved on to a Orvis Superfine Carbon rod of similar weight and length for my small stream fly fishing. (I mean you can't sell a rod without buying a new rod, right?) I've found the Superfine to be a rod I really like, and have made a point to use when I go on multi-day trips into the mountains, albeit to the resentment of my tenkara rods. 

But you know what? There was just something that didn't sit right. For all the polish on the new Orvis, I still missed that Classic Trout.

So, about a month or so ago, I went out and re-acquired a lightly used Redington Classic Trout I found available at a good price through a Facebook group. (Note, not the old 2010 version, but the newer version Redington has re-issued in the years following their misguided flirtation with the Tempt). 

Upon receiving, and after a few backyard casts, all seemed right in my fishing world again. I'm really looking forward to making some memories with this old friend again in 2023. Now I just hope the Superfine doesn't mind...

August 21, 2021

Clearwooder Combo

Although it's on the generational wane, folks from Philly have their own funny way of talking. Youse guys (a cousin to the southern Y'all), Iggles (the NFL team), and probably the one everyone has heard and made fun of, wooder (water). 

It's that last one that's been the most difficult for me to kick over the years. I still say wooder on the regular. Not that I really want to change my dialect mind you, but some of the other "Philly" has gradually eroded from my accent after being married to a Midwesterner for almost 20 years and living in the south for the last 8.

It's pretty funny, but the baseball Phillies have spring training in Clearwater, Florida each spring, which has created a nice little merchandise play for those quick witted t-shirt purveyors.

So let me tell you a secret. Did I mention this yet here? Probably not since I don't post all that much anymore.

I picked up an Orvis 9-foot 5-weight Clearwater outfit earlier this summer. Or as I'd call it, Clearwooder combo. Wasn't looking for anything fancy, but wanted to fill that hole in my fly fishing menagerie of rods. Seemed I had every quirky fly rod except the one all-purpose length/weight that gets recommended first.

In unpacking the contents and doing a little backyard casting, I found it to be rather nice for an opening price point Orvis rod that comes in a "starter set" box. The Clearwater reel that came with it is maybe a smidge heavy, but I'll probably use it as purchased. If anything, perhaps I'll consider upgrading the line if it gets consistent enough use. 

I tend to get gift cards from family members to Orvis or Bass Pro/Cabela's during the holidays that usually go unused since most of my fishing these days tends to be tenkara. A fly line upgrade would be a nice use of those funds since in my opinion, a nice fly line can greatly improve the performance of any rod.

Unfortunately, it's been raining so damn much in Florida since I got back from Pennsylvania/Colorado I haven't had a chance to use it on any of the local water yet. 

Anyway, looking forward to using the "Clearwooder" soon. Hoping it becomes my new jawn.

February 13, 2021

D-Flex Triangular Fly Rods?

Now This Is Different...

I stumbled upon a few teaser videos for a triangular-shaped fly rod last night. Nope, not made of bamboo, rather graphite or some other modern material. It's going to be sold by D-Flex Fishing Rods sometime this year, with the first model being called the Hyperlite RLX.


If you're not interested in watching the videos, the construction evidently allows for a stiffer casting profile, but a softer fighting profile, all in the same rod. It also lets the rod be stronger and lighter in weight in comparison to similarly rated tubular "round" fly rods. I mean what's not to like? 

You can also read more here.

Appears there will be a Kickstarter shortly, I'll probably post again once it is live just because I'm interested in following this project. However, if you'd like to be notified to be among the first in line, there's a link to sign up for email alerts on their web page.

Thoughts, comments?

October 15, 2019

Micro Spey Curious

Micro spey... trout spey... whatever they call it, I'd love to check that out.

Photo: Gorge Fly Shop

I was listening to the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide podcast on the subject last weekend (HERE) and my mind just started wandering, thinking about standing in a river, morning mist rising off the water, rolling out casts, swinging wets and streamers... most likely coming away skunked. Predicted result aside, I think could really get into that. It could be the larger water yin to my beloved small stream yang. Plus, not being a steelhead or salmon guy, there's a ton of terminology to learn... Scandi... Skagit... etc... and new flies to tie and fill fly boxes with...

Seems like it'd be a lot of fun to play around with for trout, and in a warm water setting, smallmouth bass. Could even be a blast on the shad run... and yes, we have them down in Florida.

Anyway, here's to daydreaming a bit. If nothing else, it's always fun to window shop for new gear.

August 3, 2019

Kickstarter: DRAGONtail Mizuchi Tenkara Rod

The eagerly anticipated DRAGONtail Mizuchi tenkara rod Kickstarter is finally here.

Ever since Teton Tenkara's Tom Davis teased an upcoming small stream rod he co-designed with Brent Auger of DRAGONtail Tenkara, many fans of "bluelining" for trout have just been waiting for the day to pull the trigger on a new tenkara rod purchase.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Kickstarter has ended and the Mizuchi can now be purchased directly through DRAGONtail Tenkara HERE.

Well, wait no longer. The Mizuchi zx340 zoom rod is now available for pre-sale. This rod is unique in the fact that it is a 3-way zoom rod that in explanation, not only addresses three small stream lengths (240cm, 290cm, and 340cm), but also fishes with an appropriate flex profile at each.

If you act quickly, you can get one of these rods at an "Early Bird" price well below the eventual retail price of $160. As of writing this article, this rod had raised more than $3000 toward the $8000 funding goal, so it appears it's well on it's way to production.

To read Tom Davis' post regarding the design and development of this rod, check out this link HERE.

Or, if small stream is not your thing, but you want to check out the full range of DRAGONtail Tenkara products - including rods, lines, line holders, and nets, check out this link HERE.

July 5, 2019

Release Box (Photarium) Update

It's been a while since I last wrote about the use of a "release box" here on Troutrageous! While you can reference that post from a few years ago HERE, in short, a release box serves as a small holding tank in which to keep a recently caught fish in the water to study and/or photograph prior to releasing.

Their use is not entirely uncommon, but there are very few options to buy them off the shelf. If you want one, it's largely a DIY affair.

While in the craft store the other week, I stumbled across THIS golf ball and scorecard display that seemed to be more or less the right dimensions (long and deep, but not wide) to handle a fish 11 inches or smaller. The store was having a HUGE sale (don't they always?) and I was able to score this clear "tank" for like $11.

On my last trip to Georgia, I figured I'd give it a go. Tucked away in my fishing backpack, I ended up using it on two or three fish.

So is this going to be a go-forward thing?  Here are my thoughts on the release box, in no particular order.

  • Window: What a great way to really visually study these fish. It's like peering through a window, you can really appreciate all the beauty Mother Nature put into rainbow trout. It also allows for a "hands free" and "net free" photograph, if that's your thing. My photos above weren't that great, or particularly in-focus, but that's user error and something I'd like to try and improve upon in the future. 
  • Scale: I'd like to add a ruler, or some marks to the outside, to give the fish a little bit of scale. These fish were in the 6-inch range, but in looking at the photos, nothing really indicates that. Would also be good to have if you're into keeping a fishing journal of your catches.
  • Extra Bulk: It's something extra to carry. If I'm planning on bringing my fishing backpack anyway, it's an easy (and lightweight) add to that kit. But if I'm fishing where I'd use my slingpack or something smaller, it'll stay home. I wouldn't wear a backpack simply to bring this along.
  • Condensation: Proved to be a minor issue. It was a hot day and when filled with cool water, the acrylic fogged up pretty quickly. Not a big deal, but looking at the fish through a foggy window wasn't the point.
  • Stress?  Does this put more stress on the fish? Beats me. They're in the water, so they're not being exposed to the air which I assume is good, but in keeping them out of the stream for a few more minutes than I normally would to study them more closely, I have to wonder if that actually imparts more stress than a quick net, lift for photo, and release?
  • Fragility: This craft store "fish tank" probably isn't the sturdiest option. It's watertight, but I could see where the right amount of pressure in the wrong place could crack it. Most of the DIY release boxes are made of much stronger Plexiglas, this is not.

In all, and even though I mentioned a few faults above, I really did like using this release box albeit in a very limited fashion. It was a very inexpensive way to add an extra dimension to the fishing outing by giving you an opportunity to really study and observe the fish up close and still "keep em wet." 

As I mentioned in the third bullet above, it probably won't come with me on each and every small stream fishing trip. However, if I am bringing along a few extras that necessitate the use of a backpack anyway, it's easy to pack and proves useful on stream.

June 17, 2019

Gyotaku - The Traditional Japanese Method of Printing Fish


You may not know it by name, but I guarantee you've seen it before. In brief, it's a traditional Japanese method of printing fish... like actually taking a dead fish, applying ink, and using it like a rubber stamp to make an impression on paper. Sure, that sounds a little crude, but stick with me for a few more paragraphs...

I believe it was used in the past in lieu of a fish mount to commemorate exceptional catches. Today, it is more commonly viewed in the context of art, and some splendid art it is. If you've seen the latest printing of Yvon Chouinard's Simple Fly Fishing, you'll find a gyotaku print of a leaping trout on the cover.

Coincidentally, (and the reason for this entry), I was fortunate enough to add an American gyotaku to my fishing themed art collection recently and I couldn't be happier.

I was gifted this cool little piece by Alan Lueke, a fixed-line angler out of Kansas City, Missouri. He was attending the 2019 Tenkara Wisconsin Driftless Campout, and passed along this print one evening after a day of fishing, which I've since framed.

It's actually a print of a Florida fish. See, Alan isn't a trout or tenkara purist, actually he'll use his tenkara and fixed-line rods to chase anything with fins, large or small. He commented, "The fish is a Gulf killifish caught in a mangrove flat in Fort DeSoto State Park just south of St. Pete Beach."

No matter the species, I think it's pretty rad and fits in well in it's new surroundings above my tying bench.

If you'd like to learn more about gyotaku, there are endless references out there to be had. Being Japanese in nature, it's been a fairly popular subject in tenkara-circles over the past few years, with some exceptional write-ups and examples found HERE, HERE, & HERE.

Additionally, if you're interested in acquiring your own gyotaku print, there are many artists out there, (particulary on Etsy), where you can find them for sale. Modern Gyotaku, Fishing for Gyotaku, The Mighty Bluegill, & Fresh Catch Gyotaku stand out as a few that immediately come to mind.

In any event, thank you Alan, I not only appreciate the print, but also the thoughtfulness of the gift!

April 7, 2019

Cheap Phone Protection While Fishing

It's crazy how good cameras in most smartphones are these days...  I used to bring along a waterproof point and shoot digital camera like the one pictured below on my fishing outings to snap photos for the blog or whatnot while out on the stream, but the quality of the photos I'd take from my phone's camera always ended up so much better, I've migrated toward that as my typical solution.

Even though some phones are advertised as somewhat "waterproof" these days, you'll still probably want to find some level of protection for your phone should you use it to take photos or video while fishing. You can really go crazy if you'd like (particularly if you're an iPhone person) in finding a waterproof case that is made especially to fit your smartphone. Lifeproof is a very popular brand for iPhones.

But if you're an Android person, it's a little more difficult because there are so many different phone manufacturers using that OS. Unless you have the latest Samsung or Google Pixel, true waterproof cases can be hard to come by, and when you find one, they're typically rather expensive.

I fall in the Android bucket, and as such have been using a simple waterproof "bag" case for the last year or so. It's the kind that has clear "plastic" windows on each side so you can work your phone and take photos, a "ziploc" type closure at the top that also folds over and gets clamped shut. Most of these also come complete with a "necklace" cord so you can wear it around your neck.

The case I use is from Seattle Sports. It's about $20.
They also make a larger version for some of the bigger phones on the market. 

I bought it from REI last summer with a gift card, and it's served me very well. I was originally concerned that the clear windows in the bag would possibly distort or make the pictures cloudy. You can't even tell these photos were shot through a plastic wet bag. Right?

There are a ton of options out there, so I'm not trying to sell you on this particular bag. Just sharing a great experience I've had with a solid piece of gear. Now these DO NOT provide impact protection from drops on rocks, etc... but for simple waterproofing, they might come in handy as "cheap" insurance on the water, especially if you are an Android phone user like I am. 

Heck, if you want to go super cheap, Dragontail Tenkara has their "Nirvana" branded version on sale right now for $3.99... I've never used it, but it looks very similar in form and function to my Seattle Sports version. At less than $5, that's a pretty killer deal!

April 3, 2019

Tenkara on Etsy

I used to shop Etsy a lot. My wife used to sew and sell stuff on there too. For whatever the reason over the past few years, I've somewhat strayed from using that site to acquire fishing stuff other than the occasional set of flies.

Decided to take a peek last night and see what's going on over on Etsy in the tenkara world. Found some interesting things, here are some highlights.

Handmade Nets (Tamos)...

Check THESE out from seller Beornidas. Talk about gorgeous. The inlay on the one handle almost looks like trout spots... only 2 left!

Simply drool-worthy 

Mini Packs Galore...

You may be familiar with Yonah Packs from prior posts here, but are you familiar with QuinnGear, Golden Trout Lanyards, or Back of Beyond Bagworks? Don't worry, I wasn't either. Each has their own spin on packs that support a minimalist approach to fishing.

A fellow Type III fan. Back of Beyond clearly knows good gear.

Exceptional Woodworking...

Besides the nets mentioned above, there's some really cool fly boxes from Dave B Design, rod cradles from Tenkara Rod Cases, and of course awesome line spools from Tenkara Path and wading staffs from TyRoam. You may have read my interview with Ty Espinoza of TyRoam in the past, if not, you should check it out.

A beautiful custom carved fly box from Dave B Design

No Shortage of Flies...

Look, there's a lot of sellers of flies on Etsy... too many probably. But don't spend too much time shopping around. Just go to Creekside Kebari. They are where it's at.

These flies are money, nobody ties them better than Creekside

There's just so much stuff to be had, I was really pleasantly surprised. Way more than a few years ago it's kind of crazy. So, the next time you need to scratch a gear itch and you can't find what you're looking for in your local fly shop, check some of these folks out... these are all small businesses trying to make good.

October 30, 2018

Tenkara Tuesday: A Great Deal on Badger Tenkara Rods

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

It's been a little bit since last I posted an official Tenkara Tuesday entry. I was compelled to do so today because a really good limited time offer is coming to an end, and I didn't want to let the window pass before letting my readers know.

Badger Tenkara is currently running a "factory direct" bulk purchase of their Classic & UNC rods at a significant retail discount. Much like a Kickstarter, it's an all or nothing sort of deal where should they hit the specific dollar goal in rod sales ($5,000) they'll place a bulk buy with the factory and pass along significant savings to their backers. That means you'll be able to get one of their rods (typically MSRP of $100 or greater) for $65, a pretty sweet price.

Here's the LINK to check the deal & details out.

As of the time of posting, there are only around two days left to get in on the bulk buy... so consider this last call.

Note: While I'm friendly with the Badger Tenkara guys, I've never fished either of these rods, so I don't want it to seem as if I might steer you wrong. Many folks have fished these rods and seem extremely pleased. A quick google search of "Badger Tenkara Rod Review" will turn up many positive reviews.

September 24, 2018

Interview: Tyrone Espinoza, TyRoam Handcrafted Hiking & Wading Staffs

Today we're very fortunate to have Tyrone Espinoza of TyRoam Handcrafted Hiking & Wading Staffs stop by Troutrageous! for a quick chat. I've been a fan of Ty's work from afar ever since stumbling on photos of some of his beautiful wading staffs on Instagram this past summer.

It's been fun following some of Ty's adventures on social media over the last few months, including what looked like a very productive International Fly Fishing Fair in Boise, Idaho which made me want to reach out and learn more about his products and company.

I'm definitely looking forward to purchasing my first TyRoam wading staff in the not too distant future, and after reading this I think you'll be more than tempted to do the same. Enjoy!

Hello Ty, please tell us a little bit about yourself; where do you live, what is your background in the outdoors, be it hiking, fishing, or otherwise?

Growing up in Redondo Beach, Southern California in the 1960’s and 70’s, I have lived and played in the outdoors since I can remember - the original Coppertone baby. At a very early age of 7 or 8 years old I took to fishing big time. I remember saltwater fishing for bonito and yellowtail with my little brother Mark in King Harbor Marina using ultra-light spinning gear with 6-pound test. Fighting some pretty serious sportfish with our reel drag screaming and chasing down fish in order to land them. - and we landed plenty!

I’m pretty much a traditionalist and have always had a fondness for the outdoors and working with my hands - especially woodwork. Fast forward, today my beautiful bride Rosie and I live in Sacramento, California where we are very active cycling, weight training, hiking, gardening, ocean fishing, fly fishing, and tenkara - fixed-line fishing. Oh, I should also mention helping care for our small grandchildren, they’re a ton of “energy” - code for crazy wild! We love them.

Can you give us some information about your business, how & when did it start, what was your inspiration, etc…?

I began dedicating time to launching my business: TyRoam Handcrafted Hiking & Wading Staffs in early 2017 shortly after I retired from California state government as a healthcare administrator. Although, I really started field testing my handcrafted hiking/wading staffs several years prior and continually making modifications from lessons learned on and off the water.

I paid attention to all the little details I encountered during use such as leash length, best types and densities of wood, lengths of staff, different types of grips, different types of waterproof glues and varnishes, etc... I applied all the years of my field testing experience and acquired knowledge into the development and evolution of my wading staffs. I already have plans for the next evolution... it’s an ongoing journey. The old adage... once you stop learning you start dying... yikes!

The initial inspiration that provided the catalyst was when I was first looking to purchase a wading staff at local fly fishing shops I saw cheap uninspiring wooden staffs that weren’t more than overgrown Tinker-Toy sticks that were grossly overpriced. That is when I decided to make my own and put all those years of high school wood shop to use, only about 40 years later. In addition, it was a great outlet to unbury the creativity that had been stifled from decades of administrative purgatory - working for "the man."

There are a lot of great products out on the market today; if you had to explain why somebody should consider one of your staffs over the competition, what would you tell them?

I let the beauty and functionality of my staffs speak for themselves. Once someone actually sees and “feels” the quality and uniqueness of my staffs then they come to realize how special each one truly is. Those that get an opportunity to pick up and hold one of our TyRoam staffs can feel the craftsmanship. With each one I build it seems like a little bit of my soul goes into them. Likely because I spend considerable time hand-sanding them that it almost seems I get personally attached to each one. It’s silly, I’ve even come to put nicknames to some that customers seem to enjoy hearing the story behind the inspiration. I’m not aware of any competition that can say the same or put that much passion into their products. It seems like today businesses are focused on decreasing materials costs and time in order to maximize profits. That’s definitely NOT what we’re about. In fact, we’re the complete opposite. Our TyRoam staffs are 100 percent handcrafted, which takes considerable time, and, we spare no expense in only using the FINEST materials. Our gratification comes from someone using our staffs.

On the more technical spectrum: I use Brazilian hardwood, four coats of superior marine grade varnish that undergoes a light 600 grit hand sanding between coats for a super silky finish, rubber motocross grips that get tacky when wet, premium marine grade shock cord for the leash that withstands the sun and won’t degrade from the weather, industrial 1/8 thick vinyl tubing to protect the lower part of the staff from being wedged between river rock and low lying brush, and where the leash is piped into the wooden staff it is infused and encased with epoxy so it’s totally cemented and waterproof both inside and out.

As for the wood staining techniques I use to come up with some incredible designs... let’s just say it’s at the journeyman level. Oh, there is so much more at the micro level that are invisible to 99 percent of folks. One good example of this are the hog rings I use to bind the marine shock cord. I use galvanized rings that are rust resistant to further enhance the durability and functionality, then I use not one but two applications of commercial grade adhesive vinyl heat shrink wrap around the rings to form the leash. Yes, this is overkill, however, I design and make my staffs to be passed on from one generation to another. Plus, some of us Virgos by nature can be over the top - ha!

It’s all these details and my unwavering quality inspection that goes into each TyRoam staff. And, for those that like metal collapsible, folding, and, telescoping staffs... good luck! I’ve had these fail on me wading across mid currents only to have it get stuck between some rock and fully separate when trying to pull it free. Nothing against metal staffs... they serve a purpose. Frankly, I make my staffs for those that appreciate things made from natural materials, and, that recognize genuine craftsmanship and know they are holding something truly unique that speaks to their souls.

In your opinion, what makes a great hiking staff and/or fishing staff? Is there a difference between the two?

A staff that feels comfortable, durable, functional, and has the structural integrity to help you out of a challenging situation. Yes, in my opinion, the difference between a hiking and wading staff can be attributed to the weight, waterproofing, grip types, length, and type of material used on the base of the staff. I design and build my staffs to be more stout with a bit more density. I pay careful attention to the weight of my staffs so they can be fairly universal for both hiking and wading, however, leaning a bit more towards wading. I also use materials and applications more suited for wading, however, they double as nice extras for hiking as well. A couple examples of this are using waterproof marine varnish and motocross grips... they’re both nice extra compliments for hiking as opposed to a standard polyurethane finish and less expensive vinyl grip.

I noticed in your Etsy shop you also sell some tenkara flies (kebari), how did you find tenkara and what do you enjoy about it?

I was introduced to tenkara several years ago by a fellow fly fishing club member while fishing on the East Walker River, in California. Fortunately, he was very skilled in tenkara and taught me the fundamentals that helped tremendously in making the adjustments from traditional single-handed fly fishing to the tenkara fixed-line method. What I enjoy most about tenkara is the simplicity and that one doesn’t need a lot of gear.

My bride Rosie really likes it too for pretty much the same reasons. I also enjoy making the various tenkara type flies and learning how to fish them. Tenkara has also helped me in becoming a better fly fisherman. It has taught me to be more stealthy when approaching the water, especially when wading since you only have a limited reach with the fixed-line approach.

What is your favorite part about operating a small business such as TyRoam?

This may sound really corny... however, It never gets old hearing all the compliments from folks on how beautiful our hiking and wading staffs are. Rosie and I really like engaging with folks while participating at fly fishing fairs and expos - this part of the business is a lot of fun. On the subject of metal staffs... I don’t feel that any metal hiking/wading staff can impart such human emotion compared to a beautifully handcrafted hardwood staff. Especially when passed on as an heirloom or even a gift to a loved one.

Also, we here at TyRoam take into account how important it is to have plenty of our hiking/wading staffs built and designed for women. We’re not talking making them “girly,” however, having a staff with a touch of elegance yet outdoorsy flare that is also a 100 percent fully functional workhorse. It’s nice being the owner and calling the shots to equally include hiking/wading staffs designs for women.

What do you see in the future of TyRoam Hiking & Wading Staffs? Are there any short or long-term goals you’d like to share?

In the very near future, I’ll be introducing an additional leash option to the lineup - a full shoulder strap. I think this will be very cool and really compliment my staffs. Here again, evolution as to functionality. Also on the horizon, I have a prototype for handheld wooden fishing nets, and, carbon composite fishing nets. For this venture, I plan on repurposing materials to lessen our carbon footprint. When available, I’ll have them on my shop and search: TyRoam

Quick “fun” question – if travel & resources were of no concern, what would your “ideal” outdoor adventure look like?

Hiking and fishing of course, then ending the day with an ice cold Sierra Nevada pale ale and some smoked salmon. I would love to go on an extended full-service fishing excursion in a remote area of Wyoming during the fall to experience all the colors and beauty of nature hand in hand with my Rosie to share the experience. Did I mention, I’m also a romantic at heart too?

Finally, do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share that weren’t covered in the previously asked questions?

Yes. When engaging with both men and women it surprises me to hear some say “Oh, I don’t need a hiking/wading staff ... I’m not there yet.” Meaning, that somehow age and debilitation is associated with needing assistance from a hiking/wading staff. I don’t argue and simply let these folks pass. However, I think to myself that they’re missing the opportunity to ACTUALLY being able to perform better during their hikes and wade fishing WITH a hiking/wading staff.

I’m a very athletic guy, at least in my own mind, and I use my TyRoam staff for bushwhacking through thorny wild berries, parting a path through poison oak, climbing up and down railroad track embankments, wading through some pretty good river currents to fishing holes I would not be able to usually reach without having to swim to. In fact, one summer while on the lower Yuba River a juvenile rattlesnake was resting along the river's edge right in front of my favorite fishing hole. So, I took my wading staff and extended it as far forward as possible and very gently nudged the rattler that soon departed - then, I dropped into my spot and started fishing.

So, my long-winded point is that a hiking/wading staff is a very functional tool, and, tools are designed to make things easier and when used correctly be more efficient - it’s not a sign of being handicapped.

It’s truly been a pleasure to participate in this interview and share our TyRoam story - we’re grateful. We’re simply a very small independent home-based family business... a throwback to old-fashioned values with the nostalgia of old Americana.


Hey... it's Troutrageous Mike again... In closing, I just wanted to thank Ty for taking the time to do this short interview and allow us a peek behind the scenes of his company, TyRoam Handcrafed Hiking & Wading Staffs. I wasn't compensated in any way to publish this interview, I simply appreciate the small business and entrepreneurial spirit within the fly fishing industry. If this is something my readers find interesting, I'd love to feature more folks like Ty in the future. So, if you know anybody that fits the bill, just let me know.

August 20, 2018

The Boots Part Two

Just wanted to follow up the last post.

So I went with the Orvis Ultralights. They ended up checking most of the boxes, and I'm not gonna lie, "free" gift card money played a role, so we'll see how it goes, I'll keep you posted.

I did happen to find this long-term use video for what it's worth. May just be a piece of Orvis propaganda, but looks solid to me.

Outside of the boots, I also picked up these DexShell wading socks. I might be more excited to try these out than the boots. The reviews seem to be uncommonly good for something I've never really heard of before... Perhaps there's a reason for that. I don't know, but guess will find out.

Going to wear them under my keiryu spats the next time out (we haven't talked about that whole subject on the blog yet)... So, if nothing else, the next time I go fishing, my feet should be pampered.

August 18, 2018

Giving The Boots The Boot

Have been a little quiet since Tuesday. People seemed to like that last post, so I left it up for a few extra days... ha!

So here's the deal... I think I'm in the market for new wading boots. I had bought a pair about two years ago, and I just don't care for them much anymore. They were great in the beginning, but over time, eh, they're not my favorites. A little too wide, a little too much de-lamination, and a little too much slickness of sole, although the BOA closures are certainly nice.

In the meantime, I've also tinkered around with what I'll call some "non-traditional" wading solutions, like these (now discontinued) Five Ten water tennies... and well... I've found most fit (my feet) rather poorly. If Nikes are your perfect sneaker (they're mine), I'm not certain how these Five Tens would even come close to fitting your feet.

So now I'm back looking for some sort of wading footwear solution. Preferably on the lightweight side, because you know I'm a stealthy rock-hopping ninja who does all kind of backflips and such when out on the water.

These new Orvis Ultralight Boots kind of have my attention at the moment, which is weird to say because I don't really consider myself an "Orvis guy." Whatever that means. They're new for this year and have evidently won some popularity contests, but I don't know if anybody has any sort of long-term review of them yet, so meh...

I'll probably still give them a go. Life is short, and I've got fishing to do. With couple trout trips in the works over next month or two, it's now or never I guess.

Why can't Nike do me a solid and just make these...?

July 17, 2018

Tenkara Tuesday: Quick Hits From Social Media

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday...

Going to try and make this a more regular Tuesday thing again, some weeks it will be extended "features"... other weeks it'll probably be some quick hits. This is one of those weeks.

Tanuki Golden Trout Rod

So if you follow Luong Tam and his Tanuki rod company on Facebook at all, you might have noticed that he's been all about golden trout recently, and he's developed a rod to go chase them. Check out the paint job on this thing...

Photo: Luong Tam

My only hope is that it's more suited for chasing golden trout than the "Appalachian Brook Trout" rod was for chasing brookies a few years back. Looks good so far...

Yonah Tenkara Fanny Pack

Ok, not gonna lie, I totally feel like I'm cheating on Zimmerbuilt by writing this, but a new tenkara/fly fishing fanny/sling pack from Yonah Packs was released recently.

Photo: Yonah Packs

I did purchase the original Yonah "simple" pack a while back just to check out the build quality and materials, and I will say that if that was any indication, anglers should be very pleased with this new edition. (Use coupon code YONAH5OFF for a $5 discount & free shipping)

Discover Tenkara Hirata-San Bundle

John & Paul at Discover Tenkara... half the time I can't keep straight whether they're asking me to sign up for free stuff, buy downloads, watch YouTube videos, or support through Patreon. Whatever. It's probably my fault, their informational content is so good, I tend to oversubscribe to their offerings.

Right now they've got a new bundle of content consisting of videos, e-books, and audiobooks on sale featuring tenkara master Hisanobu Hirata. I downloaded it the other night and have gone through the audiobooks in my drives in the car - they're excellent. And for a few more days the bundle is available for $45, rather than the regular price of $109. I think that price is good until the 19th, so don't sleep on it if you've got any interest.

Tenkara Cast 2.0

Daniel Galhardo is back from Japan and changing things up a bit with his popular "Tenkara Cast" podcast. Per his latest entry:

"I'm doing a soft "relaunch" of the Tenkara Cast, where I will be focusing on sharing more practical advice for your next outing. In addition, every episode will now feature a conversation with a different Trout Unlimited chapter around the US to find out more about their projects and how you can get involved." 

Sounds good to me... well not literally, I haven't listened to it yet. But if you'd like to, check out the embed below, or punch it up on your favorite podcast app.

Instagram: @tenkara.babaa

While not necessarily a new IG account (over 1,000 followers at the time of writing this), this really has to be one of my favorite Instagrams to just scroll down and get lost traveling through all the photos. Aside from the fact that the photography is great... the settings are absolutely phenomenal! This is real mountain fishing (and on-stream eating). Have to be careful though, too much of this account will get you stir crazy, wishing you were on the water!

Photo: tenkara.babaa Instagram

So I guess that's about it for today. I'm headed out on vacation this week so maybe I'll be doing some blogging from the road... or airport... or if wi-fi allows... boat. We'll see.

In the meantime (and in closing)... here's a random video from a Vimeo "tenkara" search for no good reason except FUN. Enjoy!


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.