Thursday, January 22, 2015

Listen to the Music

There recently was a seemingly endless conversation on one of the fly fishing forums regarding what’s more important to catch fish - fly or presentation.

The consensus results can be summarized:

- develop a repertoire of many different presentations - or - always use the same one (dead drift (it’s the perfect presentation for dead caddis flies))

- shake the bushes and be prepared with a vest full of fly patterns for whatever you see - or – one generic fly properly presented will almost always work

- all the possible combinations and permutations of the above

What I find most interesting, the exact same conversations take place in the other forum topic I follow.

I want to start playing guitar, what should I do?

- learn to play scales - or - never study scales, just play songs

- start out playing classical, pop, jazz, bluegrass, finger style, with a pick, the blues

- buy a Martin/Gibson/Custom built - or – buy a $100 Epiphone/Yamaha

And at the end, the exact same answer results for both -

Go out and fish / listen to the music that is inside you.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tenkara using a Crappie Pole

One fairly common question - Can I fish tenkara style with a telescoping crappie pole? Up until now, I’ve been answering - Yes.

It’s how I got started. When I first heard about fly fishing with a fixed length line system several years ago, I decided I wanted to give it a try. I started with a South Bend Black Beauty composite rod/pole I bought at Wal-Mart for $12. Other than being heavier in weight than might be ideal (I could only fish with it for a couple of hours before I got too tired), it cast and fished without problems, I caught a ton of fish using this set up. I will always have a soft spot for this set up, it's what got me started having a great time fly fishing with a then new technique to me.

As I think about it, a truer answer would be – Yes, with the right line. And that might be easier said than done for some folks. I found you needed to use a line that was considerable heavier than a line you might use on an actual tenkara rod. Since I furl my own lines, other than a bit of trial and error, once I find the right combination, the set up was certainly more than capable of delivering and fishing a fly.

I found that a permanent connection to the rod tip worked best for me -

I think the question actually being asked is – Is using a crappie pole the cheapest way to fish a fixed length line system? If it requires the purchase of a custom tapered line, which may or may not work, maybe it’s actually cheaper to buy a $50 - $60 true tenkara rod. Coupled with a couple dollars worth of single strand fluorocarbon line, a real tenkara rod may be just as economical. It’s definitely a demonstrably better solution at close to the same price.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Rod Case

My Friend Colin uses this 5 mm neoprene can cooler by Browning as a rod case
Colin says there is enough room in it for all the basic gear you need for Tenkara fishing. In addition to your rod it'll hold a line spool or two, tippet spool, small fly box, your hemostat and clippers.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Now that's a hatch!

The hatch was so heavy it was picked up on the weather radar.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Love the wind!

I love fishing in the wind. 4th of July weekend I had the chance to fish a couple of windy evenings and had a blast. Granted, this may not be for everyone, but for where and how I fish, it’s great. I fish a large river, so I can just about always position myself with regards to the wind. My river has a lot of caddis flies, so an active presentation works well. The fish are used to seeing and feeding on active caddis flies. To be honest, it’s as much kite flying as it is fly casting. My fly is in the air as much or more than it is on the water. It does allow one to perfectly imitate the up and down movement made by an egg laying caddis. It’s amazing how accurately you can place and manipulate your fly once you get used to it. Basically it’s dappling the fly - touch the fly down. lift it up, repeat. I think what makes it so exciting is the explosive takes of the fish. They feel the need to strike explosively. When feeding on the naturals, they know they will be gone in the blink of an eye. It’s eat fast and aggressively, or go hungry. Next time you are sharing the river with a stiff breeze - don’t curse it, use it to your advantage.