Saturday, March 24, 2012

It's Just Good to Get Out

This morning was just one of those days it just didn't matter what or if I caught was just good to be outside enjoying the beginning of spring.  The last week or two has brought warmer than average temperatures to the northeast and with that the blooming of many flowers and increased activity from many animals.  Many signs of spring are familiar and welcome following any kind of winter.  However, sometimes the rare and unusual sight greets the eye.  For instance, take this guy I spotted out in the yard....

An unusual grey squirrel
I have seen the rare black version of a grey squirrel but never one like this.  It just goes to show you that Nature is full of surprises and that sometimes you don't have to look farther than your backyard to see them.

Blooming forsythia, a familiar sight in spring
With trout season about a week away I was interested in going down to the millpond to "stretch out" some of those casting muscles.  Last week I picked up my first yellow perch of the year.  Today I was interested in maybe some large bluegills to put a bend in my tenkara rod.  I was unsure how active they might be because air temperatures have been warm but it usually takes a little longer to warm up the water.  But to my surprise I picked up an even dozen in less than an hour.

First bluegill of the season
I took all of them on a Kiwi's Killer, which has become my "one-fly" when fishing the millpond.  Over all it was a very good morning and I'm looking forward the rest of spring.  Hopefully next week I will have some brook trout or brown trout to talk about.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


C. S. Special....Dark
Sometimes when I'm just about done tying flies for the night I like to experiment a little.  Most of the time this simply amounts to tying a variation of one of my favorite flies.  Today's post follows along those lines.  I have a few sakasa kebari that I really like such as my Royal Sakasa Kebari and my olive Bubble Kebari.  However, I have a newer fly that I plan to fish pretty hard this year....the C.S.Special.  A while back Chris "TenkaraBum" Stewart sent me some of his Shetland Spindrift "Nymph Yarn" and I thought to put it to good use.  So pictured above is a variation of the C.S.Special using just the dark strand of the nymph yarn (the nymph yarn contains two strands, a brown and charcoal black one). For anyone interested, I'll post the recipe on the fly box page soon.

C.S.Specials...original and dark version

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Number One...2012

First fish of 2012
The long wait is over.  I haven't been fishing since last December.  Holidays, birthday parties, changing jobs and assorted other obligations have kept me out of the water despite a mild winter.  I was pretty sure the NYS DEC had not yet stocked one of my favorite places to fish...White's Pool...but I needed to get out and cast some flies.  I decided that whether I caught something this morning or not it would be worth it to get out. Only one other angler was fishing when I arrived at the pool, so there was plenty of room.  The signs of spring seemed to emerged overnight. Many of the stream side shrubs and trees are beginning to bloom and numerous birds were singing their brains out.  I wish I could have taken more pictures but my camera battery died after only one picture.  I tried only a few flies this morning but the winner for today was a lightly weighted bead head Royal Sakasa Kebari, size 12.  There were a number of yellow perch that took a liking to it, including the one pictured above.  No trout today but it was a good day to be out on the water and I'm looking forward to the coming season.  I hope every one else has a great fishing season this year!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Just A Thought....

Key chain pill holder
"Knock on wood"....It's never happened to me but I have read or heard about it enough.  A slip on some moss cover rocks or a case of "butter fingers" and a fly fisher might just watch a box of perfectly good flies go sailing down stream.  Now, some anglers might have another box on them and there are no worries but I tend to be "Mr. what if?"  I generally carry one fly box and one only.  I drop it and that would be a wrap for the day usually because I'm too far from the Jeep to get the rest of my flies or the only ones I have with me are in a single box.  So I have wondered about the best way to have a few extra flies on me.  The first thought was a  mini Altoids tin that goes in my pocket and that would work but I think I have found something even better.

A few Royal Sakasa Kebari and C. S. Specials easily fit into the pill holder
I had this key chain pill holder (available at many pharmacies) laying around and thought it would solve the potential problem of losing a fly box while on the water.  It could  be strung onto a lanyard and would be easily accessible.  It can hold 8-12 flies depending on their size.  For the "one-fly" tenkara angler that would be enough for an afternoon of fishing.  For other fly fishers it could provide quick and easy access to your go-to or confidence flies without having to fumble through various fly boxes.    Most importantly, if you lose that fly box...your day doesn't have to end prematurely.  It's just a thought.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Tenkara Rod Plugs

Moose antler line holders and tenkara rod plug
The last couple of weekends I have been trying to complete a batch of moose antler line holders to ship off to Chris Stewart the TenkaraBum.  I have made a few for a couple of tenkara anglers here and there but it's taking me a little longer than I would like it to, due to starting a new job. I was finishing up for the day when I decided to take a little survey of the scrap moose antler I still had on hand.  One particular little block of antler caught my eye.  It was roughly the right size for a previous idea I had had.

The first Tenkara USA rod I purchased was a 12' Yamame and I have loved it since the day I received it.  The only issue (if I can even call it an issue) was that the rod plug has always been a little loose and I have always worried that I would loose it.  This is where that piece antler came in. I decided to carve a replacement rod plug just in case the original should be lost.

Moose antler rod plug and original Yamame rod plug

I have seen other types of rod plug replacements on the Tenkara USA forum before.  Some have been made from foam or rubber.  Most replacements are made from inexpensive materials and will serve the purpose quite nicely.  However, I decided to make something that would last a little longer and might be just be good luck to have on me anyway.  I think for the next one I may carve the top into some kind of figurine...perhaps a trout.