Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Very Long Distance Fly Swap

Sakasa Kebari tied by Mr. Katsutoshi Amano
I love to go fishing anytime and anywhere I can.  However, when I'm not fishing I always enjoy tying flies for other anglers and myself.  In the last year or two I seem to have developed a liking for yet another aspect of the sport of fly fishing and that is the collection of flies tied by notable fly tiers, such as Fran Betters and Don Bastian, as well as lesser known but very talented tiers such as fellow bloggers Alan and Karel.  There are many tiers out there whose flies appeal to me in one way or another.  I find some flies fascinating due to materials used or method of construction.  Some are simply like miniature works of art.

Ishigaki Kebari tied by Dr. Hisao Ishigaki
Many people find items that have been previously owned by someone noteworthy or an autograph to be extremely valuable for one reason or another.  I find that the same can be said for flies used for fly fishing.  In fact some flies can be sold for hundreds, even thousands of dollars depending on who tied it and how rare it is.  Why would collectors spend that kind of money to obtain an old dusty fly that generally can be tied today with the same or similar materials?  I can't speak for everyone but I can tell you why I would want to collect them.

Kebari tied by Shintaro Kumazaki
No two fly tiers tie the same flies exactly alike. A great example of this can be found in the new "Tying Tenkara Flies, Volume I" from In this video three different tiers tied the same pattern three different ways.  My point is that each tier of a particular fly will make slight modifications to either make the tie easier, more effective, or even for aesthetic reasons.  A little bit of their personality and their fly tying wisdom go into this process. Possessing flies from the a notable or very skilled tier allows anyone to hold and examine up close the genius  of another angler.  Such flies are also a piece of history.  How can today's tiers know where they are going if they don't know the paths that have been taken by others to arrive at the present day?  This is why I find such flies valuable and worthy of collecting.

Kebari tied by Hiroto Sasaki
With the help of Daniel Galhardo, founder of Tenkara USA, I was able to swap some of my favorite sakasa kebari with several tenkara masters in Japan.  The flies pictured throughout this post are the flies I received in return.  To me, each is as valuable as having a Fran Better's Ausable Wulff or a Carrie Stevens streamer. Each has something to offer or teach me.  I hope everyone who reads this will come to appreciate these and other flies as I have.  I also again just wanted to thank Daniel and my fellow tenkara anglers/tiers from Japan for these little treasures as they will now be added to my collection.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Tyrannosaurus rex 
I have not had a chance to do a lot of fishing in the last few weeks (this would explain the lack of posts lately) but the family and I have still had time to do a few fun things here and there.  For instance, today we took a day trip to the city (NYC, for those outside of the tri-state area) to visit The American Museum of Natural History.  It was the first trip for the girls and they enjoyed every minute of it.

It was a very busy day and the highlight of it was walking through dinosaur and extinct mammal halls on the fourth floor.  I could spend the entire day by myself and still be fascinated but it was very cool to see the amazement in the eyes and jaw dropping expressions on their faces.  It was a beautiful day outside and I would always love to be outdoors and maybe even fishing but it's virtually impossible to beat a day like today.
Mastodon found near my hometown in 1845
"Get a load of this guy!"
Wooly Mammoth

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Just About That Time

Orange Jewel weed in bloom
As many of my fellow bloggers have noted in the last few weeks, the signs of change are all around for those willing to pay attention.  My oldest daughter's first day of first grade is tomorrow but I don't that reminder to tell me what part of the year we are all passing through.

Enjoying the last few warm days of summer
I spent an hour this morning fishing for a few bluegills and taking in the beautiful morning.  It was a lazy morning and more than two dozen bluegills were willing to take a fly.  Fishing at the millpond provides one with a great sense of time and a progression of the seasons.

A small obliging bluegill with a lip full of a Kiwi's Killer
Some examples of  the change evident in the last few weeks are the blooming of golden rod and orange jewel weed and white wood aster.  The ends of some tree branches are showing some color.

A few leaves starting to turn
Even as some of the responsibilities of my wife and I will begin again tomorrow certain parental duties are nearing their end for the year.

Kids grow up so fast these days.... especially when you hatched from an egg a few months before.
The signs are there for those willing to observe and listen.  There is only a few pages left in this chapter...the next chapter....Autumn is right around the corner.