Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Fly Fishing Show - 2013

Chris Stewart the "Tenkara Bum"

Well the long wait is over....I was able to secure a free day on the social calendar and head to Somerset, NJ for the annual Fly Fishing Show.  Being primarily a tenkara angler my primary interest was meeting up with some fellow tenkara anglers and talk shop.  In addition, I am ever on the lookout for new fly tying materials and was hoping to get some standard materials as well as some unique items.  I have been looking forward to doing something fishing related for some time now and this trip was just what the doctor ordered.  My first stop was at Chris Stewart's ("Tenkara Bum") booth to drop off some flies and pick up a new rod for backpacking purposes.  I have had my eye on the Shimano Kozuka 27NT that Chris offers for a while now so I purchased one.  My only problem with it is I have to wait a couple of months to give it a good try out on the water.  After conversing with him and his friend Allan for a while I decided to wander around.

One of my favorite sets of booths to visit are the booths with all of the very talented  fly tiers such as Don Bastian and Sharon E. Wright.  I find it hard to take my eyes off their flies.  Though there were many other great tiers at the fly fishing show I enjoy their flies the most.....maybe because their heritage flies serve as connection to the past of this great sport we all share in.

Daniel Galhardo giving a tenkara casting demonstration
I also stopped by Tenkara USA's booth to say hello to Daniel and thank him again for facilitating a fly swap for me with several notable anglers from Japan.  I was introduced to a few new faces and had some great conversations.  Daniel also gave a  really cool rod bag that will come in very useful on the water this coming year.

Tenkara USA rod bag
I also ran into a few familiar faces such as fellow blogger and tenkara angler Morgan Lyle.  There were a few others I was hoping to see but the day was over before I knew it and I had two little girls waiting for me back on Long Island and a Mommy who could probably use a break.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Moose Antler Tenkara Line Holder 2.0

New Moose Antler Line Holder with TUSA traditional line.
Since I first carved a moose antler into a line holder to be used to hold my tenkara lines I have looked for ways to improve them or simply make them bigger.  The originals were carved from the stem of the antler near the skull.  This section of the antler is like a tube and is less porous making it ideal for what I wanted.  However, I have only been able to obtain antler that had about a 2 to 2.5 " diameter.  I would prefer to have something that is closer to 3"  in diameter or larger. This would allow for a less tightly coiled line and therefore less memory in some lines. It would also allow a little more creativity in what can be carved onto the holder.  So basically I'm always searching for antler that is bigger.

Finished holder with another slice taken from the "paddle" for a future holder.
A few months ago I made a purchase of a piece of antler I thought was just what I was looking for.  turned out to not be what I was looking for but a very thick piece of antler paddle.  The paddle is the section between the stem and the antler tines or the pointy tips on the end of the antler.  At first I figured, "Well, this won't work" and planned to put it on E-bay to recoup some money.  But the more I looked at it the more I realized it could work for a different type of line holder.

This holder may have some advantages.  First, the slight bulge on one side acts like a nice place to hold the holder while winding line without getting fingers in the way (see above picture).  It's dimensions are approximately 4" long x 2" wide (at it's widest point) x ~0.25" thick.  The thickness is less than my original holder and may also be an advantage in some storage situations. The three connecting bars will also serve equally well with holding flies that are already on the line. One disadvantage though may be with the use of some lines that may develop "kinks" at the ends.  But a traditional tenkara line works very well.  

Original moose antler line holder and the "2.0" version.
It may not be perfect but it is functional.  In the end you have to work with what the antler gives you and in this case it gave me enough for another tenkara line holder.  Meanwhile the search for a larger diameter antler stem continues....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Grizzly King Sakasa Kebari

Grizzly King Sakasa Kebari
The Grizzly King is one of my favorite wet flies.  The first time I came across it was while perusing through web pages dedicated to those beautiful flies known as classic wets.  Many of these fly patterns have been around for quite some time and have very interesting histories.  The Grizzly King is mentioned in Mary Orvis Marbury's "Favorite Flies and Their Histories."  I have converted a number of these type of flies into sakasa kebari such as a Royal Sakasa Kebari, Trout Fin Sakasa Kebari and the Abbey Sakasa Kebari.  Others have done this as well and I think they make beautiful kebari.  For anyone interested the recipe can be found in my fly box.