Sunday, July 28, 2013

Into Everyone's Life A Little Rain Must Fall

Purple Trillium
Fruit of the Purple Trillium
The day began overcast and with the possibility of rain, which eventually became a reality. Like many of my trips upstate to visit my parents I usually go out for a quick hike or try to visit some "thin blue line" looking for some wild trout. A few rain drops here and there usually doesn't phase me but for a few minutes here and there the heavens opened up.  The great thing about being out in the woods or along a stream is that no two days are ever alike. Many days heavy rain will put the fish off but not today.  I think the heavier the rain the more bites I had.  I didn't wind up bringing to many to hand but I was happy with what I caught.

Though the rain was a little annoying at times any wild brookie I got to hold put a smile on my face.  The only regret I have is that I was not able to take more photos because of the rain but I did manage to snap a few shots of a purple trillium moving along with ensuring the next generation of trillium's will be there next year. Overall the rain did nothing to dampen my spirit. It is just part of the outdoor experience.  Not every day can be sunny and 80 degrees.  Into everyone's life a little rain must fall.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A Tenkara Tackle Box For Those Thin Blue Lines

My new compact tenkara survival kit.

I am always trying to make useful compact kits for various tasks.  I have especially enjoyed the challenge of creating the smallest, yet fully functional, kit for tenkara fishing.  My first attempt at a tenkara "survival kit" has worked well for me but I like to keep experimenting.  My goal is to have the smallest tenkara kit that contains everything needed for a few hours to a day on the water.  I had purchased a couple of Tanago Tackle Boxes from Chris Stewart, the Tenkara Bum, a while back and decided to use them as the starting point for a new kit.

An opened box containing everything needed
There is one large compartment that I decided to use for my tenkara lines and tippet and five smaller compartments for flies and other items.

A foam tenkara line/tippet holder made to fit in the large compartment
A high vis tenkara line on top and 5x tippet wound into the bottom holder
This holder is as small as I can make it to fit but large enough to avoid introducing too much coiling and memory into the line.  In addition, a few slits added to the foam is all that is required to hold the tippet or line. This large compartment can also hold a mini tweezer to help remove hooks if necessary from a trouts jaw.

The other side of the kit easily holds a number of flies and a line nipper
I have found that I rarely use more than dozen flies during any outing on the water, including ones lost to fish and vegetation.  Therefore this box holds more than enough flies.  The nipper is pretty self explanatory and the this one from stream works is very compact and works well.

Compact nippers
Some Royal Sakasa Kebari and Killer Bugs are essential flies for any trip to the stream or pond
Overall this kit is not much larger than Altoids tin and has all that is needed to enjoy tenkara fishing for a day on the water (including line, tippet, flies, nipper and tweezer).  I have made this kit specifically for exploring those "thin blue lines" out in the woods but find that  it would be equally useful as small kit to keep in the car or in a backpack for those moments when the urge to cast a fly or two in the hopes of bringing  fish to hand needs to be met.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cicada Sakasa Kebari

17 Year Cicada

I have not had a great deal to blog about lately.....probably does not help that I have had no time to blog either.  However, I have a moment now to write up a quick post for another sakasa kebari that was inspired by a relatively recent trip home to the Hudson Valley.  On my last visit home the periodical cicadas made their first appearance in 17 years. I know there are fly patterns out there specifically to mimic this biological wonder but my sakasa kebari was not meant to imitate but simply use the color scheme.

Cicada Sakasa Kebari
  Hook: Mustad C49S,, size 12
Hackle: Hungarian Partridge, grey
Head: Pearsall's gossamer silk, color red
Body: 6/0 Uni-Thread, color black
Rib: Pearsall's gossamer silk, color hot orange

I don't know how effective this pattern might be but I figure that the bright red head (like the cicadas red eyes) or contrasting orange rib (like the cicada's orange wing veins) might induce a couple of strikes.  I doubt  this pattern will replace any regular pattern in my fly box but it's always nice to tie something a little different and change things up.