Showing posts sorted by date for query tenkara jam. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query tenkara jam. Sort by relevance Show all posts

October 24, 2016

Fishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A week removed from physically being there, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has all but consumed my thoughts. The beautiful fall colors, the whisper of the trout streams, the ability to be amongst the crowds, yet still find the serenity of escape, are all haunting me (in a good way) as this Halloween month comes to a close.

Looking back, thought I'd share a few photos and highlights from the trip. There was so much water, I probably could have fished there each day, every day for a year and not fish it all, however having "base camp" in nearby Cherokee, NC, these were the spots I visited. 

The following spot runs right alongside the road as you head north through the park, past Smokemont Campground. A small footbridge passes the stream, and with a short walk, you can be totally removed from sightseers and picture takers. I went to this event after day one of the Tenkara Jam, as it was nearby and there was not a lot of daylight left.

I managed two small rainbows, and lost probably five or six more. Picking apart the pocket water took some time and before you knew it, I had lost track of the clock to the point where I was forced to wade back to the car downstream in the near dark. Not advisable.

Day two of fishing after the Jam took me back to a place a bit further away that I had first fished with Owl Jones & his buddy "Milliam" in 2012. It's nice to see that Mother Nature has reclaimed some of its roadside charms.

I found it to be a wonderful stream that fished far better this year than four years ago. It required a fairly long hike in and a lot of rock hopping, but it was totally worth the "inconvenience." Several rainbow trout greeted me in the lower stretches, before gradually changing over to brook trout as I gained elevation.

The final day of fishing was the best. Unfortunately, I needed to work from the hotel room a bit too long in the morning which wasted some hours I had intended to be on the stream. However, once I was able to get my affairs in order, it was certainly worth the wait.

Quite simply, the fishery was on fire, and utilizing my orange and white road kone kebari like a dry fly through the shallow runs and pools, I was able to bring many a fish to hand. As before, the fish were mostly rainbow trout, with some brook trout mixed in for good measure. I found it strange that I didn't encounter any brown trout during my three days of fishing, but I can't say that I minded, or that they were missed. 

After an experience like that, it's very difficult to leave the Smokies without a smile on your face. I'm now only faced with the dilemma of figuring out when to go back.

October 18, 2016

Tenkara Tuesday - Best of the Blue Ridge

So like...I don't ask you, my wonderful readers for a I?

How about you do me one favor...and if you're really good, you could do that same favor once a day until the end of October? Maybe I'm stretching it, but you'll see why in a second.

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine is holding their annual "Best of the Blue Ridge" competition. For those with fishing interests (like you), there is a category for "Best Fly Fishing Event"...and the Tenkara Jam is one of the five nominated finalists.

So go HERE and vote.

But you're saying, "Dude, I didn't go to the Tenkara Jam, and would you shut up about it already?" It doesn't matter, you know tenkara is rad, and we want the fairly large Blue Ridge Outdoors subscriber base to know it too. There's no doubt if when the Jam wins, their readers are going to ask themselves, "what the heck is a Tenkara Jam," and look it up on the internet. Cue the curiosity...and the next thing you know they've got a new rod in their hand and they're just as rad as the rest of us.

So go vote...

Really...I wasn't kidding...

(and do it again tomorrow)

October 17, 2016

The Not Really A Recap of Tenkara Jam 2016

So, this week's going to be a little weird. After I get in a my last day of fishing in the Smokies today, I'm driving to Atlanta to hop on a plane to San Francisco for work (don't ask)...and I'll be there until Friday. Ugh. So basically I'll be away from home (and any semblance of normalcy) for a full week. As such, the recap of the 2016 Tenkara Jam and the associated fishcapades will probably be a bit delayed.

That said, doesn't mean I can't share a few pictures that I might have handy...

Pimped a few magazines...

 Saw a few friends...

Ogled a few rods...

..and a few more rods...

...oh, and a few more rods...

Listened to some great speakers...

Was in awe of Jason Sparks...

And even caught a few fish...

Good times.

Like I said, will give a real recap when time allows. Hopefully sooner than later. I'm certain others will be posting stuff like crazy this week in social media. So in the meantime check Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for hashtags like #tenkarajam or #tenkarajam2016. If you're checking #caudalpeduncle, good luck. (inside joke from one of the presentations).

October 14, 2016

Headed To The 2016 Tenkara Jam

If you're reading this on Friday morning, I'm likely in the trusty Subaru headed to Cherokee, North Carolina for this year's Appalachian Tenkara Jam. It's about a seven and change hour drive from my front door, so I'm hoping I'm able to roll into the National Park area around 2 or 3 o'clock with a little daylight left to wet a line.

This weekend should be fun. Getting to hang out with fellow tenkara cult members enthusiasts is always a good time. I mean who doesn't enjoy a good furled vs. level line I right?

Seriously, I sure hope there's time to catch a few fish among all the camaraderie. My last trip to the Smokies wasn't that fruitful tracking down wild fish, although we did slam the stockies on the last day. I'd like to try and get into some brookies. I really miss brookies.

If you happen to be going, hope to see you there. I'll have a table at the event promoting Tenkara Angler magazine for a bit, then I hope to run around some and document the happenings. If hotel wi-fi works well, might even post some pics somewhat real-time. We'll see...

September 6, 2016

Tenkara Tuesday - The Upcoming 2016 Tenkara Jam

I'm fairly certain that everybody that reads my blog and has an interest in tenkara is well aware of what's going on this October 15 & 16 in Cherokee, NC; but in case you aren't, it's time do my part and spread the word.

In short, there have been Summits, Fests, Series, and Schools in the past, and not to diminish them in any way, but I don't think there's ever been quite as much tenkara under one roof as there will be at the 2016 Tenkara Jam.

First off, the lineup of speakers is ridiculously deep: Tom Sadler, Chris Stewart, Rob Worthing, Jason Sparks, Anthony Naples, Dan Dutton, Luong Tam, ERiK Ostrander, Jason Klass, and Daniel Galhardo. Wow, talk about a "who's-who" of the American Tenkaraverse.

Next, if you're interested in doing a little gear testing or shopping, I don't think you'll find more tenkara gear anywhere (including Japan). Tenkara USA, Tenkara Bum, Badger Tenkara, Tenkara Tanuki, Three Rivers Tenkara, Tenkara Rod Co., Riverworks Tenkara, Zen Tenkara, Streamside Furled Leaders, Zimmerbuilt, and Hunter Banks Fly Fishing will all be in the house. Ever want to wiggle that rod you've seen online before buying it, this is your chance!

And last but not least, representatives from many tenkara-friendly companies, organizations, and media outlets will also be in attendance. Boone Bar, Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Trout Unlimited, Project Healing Waters, Casting for Recovery, NCWRC, Southern Trout magazine, Fly Life Magazine, and even I'll be there promoting & reporting for my other online project, Tenkara Angler magazine. all that?

I'm sure I've forgotten a few (and for that I do apologize), but man, there's a lot that's going on. The schedule is so jam-packed (see what I did there...) I don't even know when we're all going to find time to fish all of the nearby waters of the Smokies! 

Fished this water in the rain in 2012, would love to go back again this year...

In any event, if you like tenkara, you gotta be at the 2016 Tenkara Jam. You've got a month to figure it out. If you're curious about tenkara, this is the perfect thing to learn a little bit more. Heck, even if you hate the idea of tenkara, swing on by, maybe we'll change your mind. Probably not, but at least you'll see we're not just cane pole fishin'...not that there's anything wrong with that. Kudos to Jason Sparks and everyone else involved with pulling this event together.

For more details on the 2016 Tenkara Jam, including a full schedule, list of presenters, and online registration, visit the official website HERE. While you're at it, also check out the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Facebook page more more real-time info in the days between now and the event.

December 29, 2015

2015: A Troutrageous! Year In Review

Not gonna lie, 2015 was not a banner year in either the fishing or blogging categories for myself or this website. I probably fished the least of any year in a while, and I know I blogged the least (108 posts vs. 2014's prior low of 138). But that doesn't mean one can't pick up a spoon and dig deep through the proverbial carton of vanilla ice cream to find the motherlode of cookie dough goodness sneakily hidden somewhere beneath the surface.

Cookie dough ice cream is pretty much the jam. You can even buy ghetto, store-brand
cookie dough ice cream and it's guaranteed to be awesome, and that's gospel.
Oh, and chocolate chips.

So with that said, here are the posts that I thought represented the blog well in 2015, and due to my erratic blogging cadence, you probably missed.

Fly Fishing The Florida Shad Run

Pretty much the most fun fishing excursion of the year. Big props to Captain Rich Santos for taking this noob out on your skiff - your extreme patience and good humor is commendable. Might also mention, this was one of the few times I actually used a reel while fly fishing in 2015. Crazy, right?!?

Exploring Florida - Kennedy Space Center

Nothing to do with fishing, everything to do with Lilly. Got to play chaperone (& hooky from work) on her big 3rd-grade end of year field trip to Kennedy Space Center. As Lilly's gotten older, I don't blog about her as much (for privacy reasons), but this one was too good not to share. We both acted like 9-year-olds that day!

Adventures in Bad Photoshop

This isn't one post specifically, but a few that share a common thread of misguided forays into the world of amateur Photoshoppery. From poking fun at Amazon, to Bigfoot hunting, creating lightsaber-buddies, giving a helping hand, or even checking in on John Adams & Clark Griswold, there was a little bit of fictional nonsense spread across the calendar year.

Tenkara For Everyone!

For being the "simple" form of fly fishing, I sure write an awful lot about tenkara. Too much for my own taste even, but these days I'm addicted, so it's what I do. Two of my most enjoyable fishing "road trips" involved a flight to Wisconsin for the 2015 Midwest Tenkara Fest & a 7-hour drive to North Georgia to enjoy some Comfort Food & Trout Streams. There were about a dozen Tenkara Tuesday posts as well. Finally, I also started a tenkara-themed emagazine named "Tenkara Angler" that's been received well enough to carry it into 2016.


Probably the most "work" I've done this year on the blog was a six-pack of  ICAST/IFTD recap posts hastily thrown together after spending a day at the show in July. As a matter of fact, the Fishing Kayak/SUP post was the most popular post of the year in terms of overall visitors; lesson learned, everyone loves gear posts!

So there it is, 2015 in review. Thanks for stopping by for another year of mostly self-centered frivolity. I never expected this blog to have as many readers as it does, and I can't thank you enough for taking an interest in the content shared here.

Also, if you are a fellow blogger and haven't, why don't you write a year-end post? I'd welcome a link to yours in the comments below; I mean who can say no to an opportunity for cross-promotion, right?

May 15, 2015

5 People That Instagram Tenkara Right

Over the past two years, I've really had fun tooling around Instagram looking at photos of the topics I enjoy. While my contributions to the social media platform have been less than stellar, digging into fly fishing, Star Wars, roller derby, and Florida lifestyle hashtags have opened my eyes to a ton of different people that I don't typically interact with via the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

As I've immersed myself in the tenkara content via the Tenkaragram project, I've noticed there are a handful of folks that really cover the subject well. Here are five of my favorites; some may be familiar, others new, but either way I think they're worthy of your "follow."

In no particular order...

The official Instagram account of Tenkara Rod Co., these guys absolutely slay it on Instagram. I'm not sure if they do this themselves, or have an ad agency or what, but lots of great photos, a nice amount of videos mixed in, and a huge follower base...seems like their posts receive about 400-500 likes on average, a staggering number.

The user types descriptions in Japanese, but the pictures speak for themselves. Tons of beautiful fish and landscape can't go wrong with any of posts this account pushes out to the world.

This Instagram account posts wonderful photos with fishing, camping, and handmade goods
as the subject. Sort of a hipster aesthetic, but I still dig it a lot.
A Japanese user, but the posts are in English.

Yes, you probably know Jason Sparks as the tenkara evangelist and have encountered him first elsewhere - Facebook, the Appalachian Tenkara Jam, or perhaps one of the clinics he puts on locally in the North Carolina area.  And yes, these photos usually get cross-posted to you can view them there too...but I have to give credit where it's due. Jason has a great eye for photography, especially macro shots, and he's consistently one of the top creators of tenkara content on Instagram.

I've been a big fan of Dave Blackhurst's tenkarautah account for a while. All of the pictures of fish, scenery, or the random tenkara doo-dad are all bright, colorful, and full of life. If you've been following him for a while, you may have once known his account as 10karafish, this is the current destination.
Photos like his make me want to get out and fish Utah again.

Honorable Mentions that are also worth a follow:

Have a favorite Tenkara Instagram account? 
Feel free to share in the comments below...

May 7, 2015

The 2015 Midwest Tenkara Fest

The first Midwest Tenkara Fest (MWTF) was held in Wisconsin last weekend. Forever seeking a good excuse to fish "The Driftless," the combination of trout, tenkara, and new-to-me fishing waters, proved just too tempting to pass up.

After a long day of travel on Friday...Jacksonville to Charlotte...Charlotte to Chicago...and finally Chicago to La Crosse, Wisconsin, the doors of the Midwest Tenkara Fest opened shortly before 11AM on Saturday. Saturday also happened to be the Wisconsin Trout Opener, so fishing was on everyone's mind.

Bojangles in Charlotte, Cubbies in Chicago, and a "FOR SALE" Baggage Claim in La Crosse

The MWTF itself was held in a VFW Hall in Coon Valley, Wisconsin.  Coon Valley is a really small town, basically a main street with all of the necessities; a church, a market, a pizza place, and of course, the ubiquitous Kwik Trip.

Kwik Trip, not a Wawa

The VFW hall sits right next to Coon Valley Veterans Memorial Park, a beautifully maintained public use facility that just so happens to have a trout stream (Coon Creek) run right through it! So the MWTF was no more than 100 yards from the water, making for convenient on stream demos as well as providing constant temptation during the various indoor presentations.

Now this is where I failed you, the readers of this blog. I'll be totally honest, I didn't take a lot of pictures of the MWTF...which is a shame, because if you're a gear nut, this was the perfect place to ogle many different tenkara wares. So in lieu of pictures, here's a quick rundown of the vendors...with some links to what I thought were the notable goodies...

Badger Tenkara - MWTF Hosts, there was also a table with their full line, including prototypes of two new rods, the UNC & Wisco. (Having cast the Wisco, I can tell you it was sweet, I'm going to pick one up to fool around with Florida Largemouth). 
Tenkara USA - Manned by Mark Bolson, a nice spread of TUSA rods, accesssories, and literature was present. Mark also was tying flies...and boy is he a talented tyer. Being very familiar with the TUSA product line, I think I spent more time chatting up Mark than fondling the merchandise. 
DRAGONtail Tenkara / Moonlit Fly Fishing - Rick Munday was overseeing this offering of rods & lines. I have to say, the DRAGONtail rods might have some of the sharpest cosmetics out there if that matters to you.
TenkaraBum - What's a tenkara event without Chris Stewart? There were far too many rods on his THREE tables of gear to even try and recap all of what Chris brought along. All of the goodies from all of the Japanese brands were present. The Nissin rods were especially nice to browse in person. I mean who doesn't want a Pocket Mini? It was all almost overwhelming...but impressive none the less! 
Craig's Keiryu Carnival - OK, Craig Thoreson wasn't selling anything, but he had all of his keiryu gear laid out on a table in the back, and he was eager to talk whomever asked through each piece of equipment. You've never seen a bait box like Craig's bait box. 
Streamside Leaders - Michael Moline (& wife Kathy) were also in attendance, with a rainbow of colored leaders, flies for sale, and of course two models of tenkara rod. The 9 foot Streamside rod is definitely a winner. Did you know Streamside has been making tenkara lines longer than tenkara rods have been sold in the United States? I didn't either, until last weekend. 
Zimmerbuilt - The bags and packs handmade by Chris Zimmer are ultralight, functional works of art. Having owned a "Guide Sling" for a few years, you really can't gain an appreciation for the quality construction and attention to detail without handling one (or many) in person. Chris was also selling MWTF patches, which I just had to scoop up. Plus he totally hooked me up...just try not to be jealous. 
Coulee Region Adventures - Ever think of fishing tenkara from a NuCanoe?  Anthony Larson did, and does, and as a guide and NuCanoe dealer, he was eager to tell you all about this awesome fishing platform.

The MWTF content spanned two days with Saturday and Sunday both filled with a lot of great presentations (and food). Matt Sment of Badger Tenkara sort of served as emcee walking the attendees through the basics of tenkara, both in the classroom and out on the lawn (& creek).

Other presentations were either in person, via Skype, or recorded video.

While all of the presenters (Mike Lutes, Anthony Larson, John Vetterli, Erik Ostrander, etc...) were great, a handful really stood out to me.
Craig Thoreson's keiryu gear & zero tension line overview - While I'm not giving up tenkara any time soon, it was really interesting to see all of the keiyru gear up close. The lines Craig makes were amazing. Imagine using spiderwebs for fishing line...yes, those zero tension lines are that fine. 
Rob Worthing (Tenkara Guides) Landing Big Fish - This was a recorded video / power point, but it was extremely thorough, informative, and Rob's delivery as narrator was very entertaining. Don't know the secrets to riding the power curve of your tenkara rod? Rob and the Tenkara Guides can fill you in on that, among many other big fish techniques.

Chris Stewart's Keiryu Tactics for Tenkara - Yeah, I know, more keiryu...but this presentation was more about applying some strategies from one form of fixed line fishing to another. Long rods, short lines, and yes... you can use split shot or weighted flies. It was simply a refreshing counterpoint to many of the tenkara taboos out there today. 
Anthony Naples' Small Stream Tenkara Movie - Yep, I called it a movie. At maybe 50 minutes long, it was a very, very, very comprehensive overview on how to fish small, tight water effectively. Plus a little birdy told me that bits and pieces may make it online, so keep an eye out, it's well worth it! 
(Oh, and Anthony, if you're reading this, Craig & I predicted successfully that at least some portion would be filmed in black & white...but we were both disappointed by no linocut animations). 
And I can't forget the fly tying!!!  - Dale Hewitt, Mark Bolson, and Matt Shipp each spent some time at the vise. I was most interested in Dale's presentation on local Wisconsin fly patterns such as the Pink Squirrel (and pink squirrel kebari variant), it was also really neat watching Matt tie kebari in-hand. As a guy who personally struggles with a vise, I admire his dexterity.

Dale Hewitt tying a Pink Squirrel

While the schedule was jam-packed with presentations, there was a lot of time provided to fish the Coon Creek as well as meet & chit-chat with other attendees, which quite honestly is my favorite part of these events. Whether it's simply first time introductions, or renewing friendships made at prior events, getting to better know people you've become acquainted through tenkara on social media is a great opportunity that I look forward to each year.

Sunday's MWTF Group Photo
(Unceremoniously lifted from Badger Tenkara)

Looking back on the experience, I thought the Midwest Tenkara Fest was a very informative and enjoyable event. It was extremely well run by the folks at Badger Tenkara (Matt, Mike, and Nicole) and I'd recommend considering attending next year's event to anyone that is ten-curious, lives in the midwest, or like me, simply needs an excuse to get out and fish the beautiful spring-fed streams of the Driftless.

And speaking of fishing...oh, I did some of that too. More on that, and this guy, tomorrow...