Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Preseason & Giant Bugs

With baseball season nearly upon us I thought this posts title would be fitting. Trout season officially begins April 1st across New York State but here on Long Island it never really closes.  Many places are open year round, however, spring stocking usually occurs just prior to the season opener. Today was my first fishing trip since last October and I spent a couple of hours at Randall Pond looking for some stocked rainbows and browns....what I would consider preseason. I started the day fishing night crawlers, wax worms and spinners....nothing crazy. I brought a tenkara rod and flies as an afterthought. Things were going well and I landed a few fish here and there so just for the heck of it I decided to use my tenkara rod for the last half hour. The only flies I had were size 6 Killer Bugs (which I had originally planned to use for bass later this year). I thought that these giant killer bugs (I usually use size 12) might be s bit much but in the end I landed just as many rainbows as I had with my spin rod. Overall it was a nice day to just get out and "warm up" for the upcoming season. It also seems that I have a new fly to add to my fly box for the year.

Thursday, March 6, 2014



Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tenkara flies in 2014

Takayama Sakasa Kebari
It's been a little while since my last post. I chalk it up to a busy work schedule, holidays, illness in other There has also been a lack of fishing related items of interest.  I purchased a new HMH Spartan vice at the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, which was exciting to me at least (thankfully I no longer have to tie flies with my $30 vice from Cabella's that has been with me since the beginning). However, I would like to share one item of note. Dave Dirks (Author of Tenkara Fly Fishing: Insights and Strategies) has invited several other tenkara fly tiers and myself to contribute to a new book he plans to release later this spring.  This time Dave's book will focus Tenkara flies, traditional as well as non-traditional patterns. Below are a couple of patterns I have tied for the book.  Hope you enjoy them and be sure to check out Dave's book when it comes out.

Kurobe Kebari

Hida Shokawa Kebari
Okushinano Zakogawa Kebari
Okushinano Uonogawa Kebari
Okushinano Akiyamago Kebari
My own variation of the kebari pictured above...The Barkeater

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Wrap Up

Moodna Creek

Well 2013 is nearly over.....and in many ways not soon enough. 2013 has had it's fair share of trials, tribulations and stress. Like previous years, it could have been better but it also could have been far worse. The most important thing is that my wife and children are happy and healthy.  Though 2013 was very busy I still had a number of times to get out on the water and reconnect with the outdoors.....which is something I think ALL OF US need to do from time to time.

One of my favorite  and more respectable browns from earlier this year
I had the chance to fish some new streams across the Hudson Valley and Long Island. I caught some beautiful trout in some spectacular settings. My local warm water pond yielded some impressive largemouth bass.  Though I would say my salt water endeavors with a tenkara for snappers (bluefish) were little disappointing.  Their numbers just didn't seem to be as high as in previous years.  But hey, that's what makes each year unique.  Spending a lot of time outdoors one can't help but notice the cyclic changes of the seasons and develop the ability to predict seasonal occurrences.....most of the time.

My best flies for 2013
 Some fellow anglers have asked me about my best producing flies.  I have found that they have changed a little from year to year but in 2013 the flies pictured above accounted form the great majority of my fresh water catches that were brought to hand.  As in 2012, The Killer Bug and my Royal Sakasa Kebari were my best flies.  Wooly Buggers are an outstanding pattern and in some locations are they are my go to fly. However, this past year has me firmly believing that I will not step foot on the water without one additional pattern....the Killer Kebari (in a light and dark version).  Though I tie my version of Chris Stewart's creation a little differently, they accounted for a fair number of large rainbows and browns. I don't believe I was skunked more than once or twice the whole season.  If I had these flies at least one of them worked for a fish or two.

In addition to some great fishing I had the good fortune to be invited to contribute to a couple of new fishing publications focused on tenkara. I am grateful to David Dirks, Daniel Galhardo and Anthony Naples for considering me to be part of a list of respected and talented tenkara anglers.  Several years ago when I placed my first order for a tenkara rod and decided to start tying flies for my own use and enjoyment I never thought I would have been adding my own input to fly fishing literature and tying literally thousands of flies for fellow anglers.  All of it has been pretty cool to say the least.

2013 has been such as busy year and finding time for the fun things has at times been difficult.  Earlier this year I had even contemplated closing down this blog.  It takes time to keep a blog going....something I never seem to have enough of. But blogging has been a nice outlet in more ways than one.  I have seen a number of great blogs come and go (more likely just fade away).  I never wanted mine to just fade away but when I feel ready to stop typing I will try to bring this story to a fitting conclusion.  In the meantime, I find that there are a number of bloggers out there who I feel I can call friends (even though we have never met).  I really enjoy reading their blogs and if I were stop blogging I would miss them too much.  With my wrap up finished I would like to wish all fellow bloggers, anglers, fly tiers, family and friends a very Happy & Healthy New Year.  May 2014 find you enjoying a quite stream with a trout in hand and a smile on your face as often as possible.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas to One and All

This time of year always seems to tough.  The constant hustle and extra tasks to do associated with the season, in addition to the always hectic every day rat race can make things tough.  But I have two special little elves that remind me why the extra work is worth it.  With Christmas nearly upon us and the big man soon making his yearly night time sleigh ride, I would like to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas, a Happy and Healthy New Year and good will to all now and throughout 2014.  May it be filled with joy. May Santa leave your stockings full of flies and tippet and not lumps of coal.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The North River Killer

North River Killer
I have not had a lot to post about lately.  Work has been tough with lots of long hours and I have not had much of an opportunity for any outdoor action let alone fishing. I figured it might be a good time for a quick post.  I had a lot of success this year with a Killer Kebari. This includes some rather handsome rainbows on the Nissequogue late in the season. Chris Stewart originated the Killer Kebari and ties his with a brown hackle.  I, like Paul Vertrees, prefer my killer with a grey Hungarian partridge hackle. Despite the effectiveness of this fly I still like to "tweak" flies like this from time to time. I call the fly pictured above a "North River Killer".  The only difference between it and the original is the addition of Krystal Flash in the hackle. I didn't have a chance to fish it this year but I plan on it as soon as I can next year.  For anyone interested the recipe is below.

North River Killer

Hook: Mustad C49S scud hook, size 12
Hackle: Hungarian partridge, color grey & several strands of pearl colored Krystal Flash tied in 
Thread: Pearsall's gossamer silk thread, color brown
Body: Shetland's spindrift wool yarn, color sand & colored with a prismacolor marker, color also sand

Sunday, November 3, 2013


First catch of the night
This post is about time I recently spent on the water.  However, this post will not include and mention of tenkara (well, maybe not), rod and reel, or beautiful wild brook trout.  This time the quarry was squid.  There are several times a year when the right conditions present themselves to catching these fascinating, quick and delicious creatures.  On an incoming tides after dark, all that is required is a bucket, headlamp, long-handled net and some patience. Simply spot them and get a net into place before they dart away and quickly scoop them up....while trying to avoid the spraying black ink. On Saturday night I tried my hand at this for the first time and met with some success.

I managed to catch about a half dozen squid.  I planned to have these guys for lunch on Sunday but as I prepared to clean them I could not help but be fascinated by them.  This was especially true when witnessing the movement of the chromatophores.  These are the little brown spots visible in the picture.  They are used in communication displays, as well as camouflage.

Like many other aspects of Nature, the time for "squid'n" will only last for a short time. Hopefully, there will be a few more trips in the near future.  While netting them is the best method some were trying to catching them with rod and reel.  Who knows....I may eventually be the first to land a squid on a tenkara rod.