Flies in February

Flies in February . . .

 

There sits on one of my windowsills a squat glass jar capped in gold. February finds this once full glass filling again.

 

Interests and the path spreading like branches follows evolving passion even in the face of an other’s suggestions. I do incorporate experiments and techniques from and with friends, yet I avoid the net of orthodoxy by remaining as much as a lone cat as I can.

 

Two patterns from the vice beside the windowsill are small enough to fit a few on the cap of gold:

 

Partridge and Olive

 

Partridge and Olive Size 12 (2016)

Partridge and Olive
Size 12
(2016)

 

Heerl and Deer

 

Herl and Deer Size 12 (2016)

Herl and Deer
Size 12
(2016)

 

Tenkara Kebari all but for orientation of the hackle. As the remainder of the recipes fall in line with orthodox Tenkara Kebari I pause, side with majority rule in regards to the fundamental composition of each pattern, and I acknowledge there exists a kind of “Reformed Branch” of Tenkara, too. This branch I do practice with attention to balance.

 

Both kebari patterns fish well in my favorite waters; confidence driven by the constant elements: sparseness, natural speckled hackle, and body iridescence.

 

— rPs 02 05 2016

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Heroes: Gone

Heroes: Gone . . .

 

Harlem Meer Hielo Fino (NYC 01 2016)

Harlem Meer
Hielo Fino
(NYC 01 2016)

 

Thin ice spreads a broad surface steady cold winds skate across. Positioned beside a stand of dry cattail, exposed face feels a slap along the banks of the Harlem Meer, here one calendar month into Winter.

“David Bowie has died.” became an actual phrase as tough to bear. The headline’s words smacked me awake last Monday morning. Temperate December gone as a switch flicked on to a frigid January. What a way to begin. Then a man known to a young outdoorsman as “Grizzly Adams” portrayed by the now late Dan Haggerty, passed away.

Artist; Outdoorsman; Heroes: Gone.

Reading regenerates. Any flagging level of retention or enthusiasm for the written word must be engaged since for the writer the word can at times be work. Reading for professional growth becomes pleasure when the titles are as strong as Crooked Lines by Dominic Garnett and The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma. Fishing is a subject rendered in broad terms on these pages. Story, profound and fun, can be found in every line.

January Reading (01 2016)

January Reading
(01 2016)

 

The light of Winter: brilliance filtered clear scenes of brown, white, and blue finished by a tangerine sunset. That light gives hope, braced by added good timing in the form of a gift of new shoes, Saucony cross trainers, paired with an Ebisu tenkara rod that received express professional service from the Repairs Department of Tenkara USA. Support of this speed and quality has allowed me to grieve by living life as fully as I can squeeze It into a day.

Ebisu (01 2016)

Ebisu
(01 2016)

 

Loss can be reabsorbed and channeled into positive productivity and even happiness when pushing into a period of life experienced at a higher notch. David Bowie lived such a life. He pursued multiple art forms to high levels. He could dance. The theater and film embraced his performance. And he painted. David Bowie, artist, left us a large body of painting and sculpture. My appraisal sees his his work fit the historical space adjacent to Francis Bacon when it comes to rendering human personality and psyche through expressionist treatment of the portrait face.

Fly tying and illustration fit right in step with this multimodal creative expression. Combined with writing, these arts and crafts can also bring a fishing book to term. Writing, like most all the creative channels, involves the malleable process of the Plastic Arts.

Small Fry & the Muddy Moreblacks (01 2016)

Small Fry & the Muddy Moreblacks
(01 2016)

 

Green Guarantee in Situ (01 2016)

Green Guarantee in Situ: colored pencil and original fly pattern on paper
(rPs 01 2016)

 

The setting of eleven on my own amplifier can be activated by the blending of art and sport. Running combined with some safe clambering over rocks, safe climbing of trees, legal catch and release fishing. Bird watching, cycling, and yoga can be included as well. After the stretch and a cool down, the documentation through multiple art forms may happen, sometimes. The cycle of (my) Life, work I deem ample enough for a human life span.

David Bowie gave insights into this way of living one’s life. Dan Haggerty breathed life into a character who carried such convictions into the outdoors. Activity and Art: a lasting living legacy, a positive path pointed out so well by two heroes: the sensitive animal man, last name Adams; the putative human, first name David.

– rPs 01 22 2016

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“Let Me Go”

“Let Me Go”

 

Home to a Swan Prospect Park Lake (12 30 2015)

Home to a Swan
Prospect Park Lake
(12 30 2015)

The news of the passing of Ian Fraser Kilmister, Lemmy, hit me as hard as his pulverizing yet melodic bass solo on “Stay Clean” – the Motörhead track that has fueled my final kick during many a road race. On the eve of New Year’s Eve, bearing the news of this loss in a year full of it, including childhood role model, Leonard Nimoy, my own friends, John Mutone and Ketan Ben Caesar, and extended family, my uncle Andrew Amici and grandmother Marie Amici, there was only one thing I could do to find peace.

British angler Dominic Garnett helped to point the way. I have just received his new book of stories, Crooked Lines, in the mail and a recent post on his blog of the same name describes “Casting into the Wind” along gray canals lined by dry, tan reeds. That angling image offered me some light.

“Let me go,” I said to myself. “Fishing.”

I decided to repeat last year’s example with a visit to Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn. Unlike the bright and blue day I enjoyed at the close of 2014, the weather this time was gray, cold, with a hanging damp in the air. The lake sat gray and calm, the surrounding woods brown and still. The light tan of the shoreline reeds offered the only warm color to the scene, which was quiet but for the bird song of coots, geese, ducks, and gulls.

With the theme of “Letting Go” floating in mind, the decision seemed natural for me to also relax the rigidity in my fishing approach by bringing along a conventional nine-foot 5-weight matched with a floating line. The idea was to compare and contrast the equipment with my Ebisu tenkara rod with traditional furled line to learn how my casting (and hopefully, catching) may have evolved after four years spent focused on stillwater tenkara.

The lesson learned to my experience is I now cast rod and line better. I find myself entering into that easy rhythm of The Zone much more easily than before tenkara came to my attention. I fished the 5-weight in a fixed line manner, lifting line and leader off the water with very little use of the reel or stripping in of line. Slow swimming lifts were used to bring my size 8 Green Guarantee home to the bank.

 

Ebisu in the Winter Reeds (12 30 2015)

Ebisu in the Winter Reeds
(12 30 2015)

 

What's This!?! Conventional 5-weight for comparative fly fishing. (12 30 2015)

What’s This!?!
Conventional 5-weight for comparative fly fishing.
(12 30 2015)

 

Fishing? Yes. Fish? I missed one light tug on the Ebisu. I switched to another section of the lake where I brought the 5-weight into action. Like last year, during the last hour of light, a connection was at last made.

Not a perch, not like last year. This time something intercepted the fly along the far edge of some reeds where a few sunken branches also projected. Slow and solid, the taker pulled in rippled descending waves of resistance. The rod bent in a deep way as the fish, a large black crappie, rolled, splashed, and at last reached the surface and the mouth of my beaten but unbroken Brodin net.

 

The Best, The Last, 2015 Black Crappie (12 30 2015)

The Best, The Last, 2015
Black Crappie
(12 30 2015)

 

One fish, a nice one, allowed one more catch, photo, and release for 2015. Finished, the fish darted from my underwater grip. The sky had become noticeably darker. Low clouds began to roll in and my breath steamed. As I had been reminded far too many times over the course of this year, time races more than passes. “Letting Go” is necessary.

 

“Let me go,” I said to myself. “Home.”

– rPs 12 31 2015

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One Fly for the Tenkara Holidays

One Fly for the Tenkara Holidays . . .

 

TTMP Clan Green Guarantee 12 2015

“Six Green Guarantee!” (NYC 12 2015)

1.

Gift giving. Among anglers the act can be a delicate wade on slippery surfaces. Some people may even take offense as far as viewing an offer as a hard press unwanted.

Gift giver I may be. The acceptance of a fly pattern example, a kebari, perhaps as a holiday present, a simple gift from a friend or acquaintance who ties is, when from me, an act and an artifact of interaction akin to a card: business, birthday, or holiday.

If the gift offered comes in duplicate, or more, fish the fly! Mix the gift pattern with your own for the classic swing or two in a flow’s current seam.

“Tenkara is One Fly Fishing” has been offered as a koan, as well as a sales absorbing orthodoxy, yet I have met masters who swing tandem soft hackles on a long furled leader with the grace of every other magician who has penned a trout treatise.

One Fly. The inquiry begs an absolute or other from every voice. Is there an answer . . . yet?

Meanwhile, fish that gift fly, or deconstruct the recipe for future fun with one fly on the water.

 

2.

When the good wine flows as fast as a pocket water flow, one knows many more than expected have arrived. Plenty of guests made a party for the NYC Tenkara Club in Manhattan, New York City. A table appointed well greeted the second floor guest at Orvis, 489 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. Saddle hackles hung in rows and a white screen displayed slide show views of tenkara fisheries and fishers employed with a variety of matched tackle. Adam Klag displayed tenkara rods short and light along longer models capable of tangling with major Cyprinidae.

Respected voices filled the space with Q&A and useful demonstrations of tackle management.

“What About One Fly?”

There it was, then. The Question.

I refer to my Tenkara Fly Code first shared in May of 2012:

http://tenkaratakesmanhattan.com/2012/05/01/a-tenkara-fly-code/

That is my “Fly Box Flashback” for the close of December, 2015.

Time since New York City’s tenkara public meeting has since been spent with irony tying multiple patterns. So far from One Fly has been in part inspired by this recent gathering of tenkara angling kin. If I were a cub reporter and copy editor in attendance on December 8, I would have titled my reportage:

Tenkara Takes Manhattan

. . . the i-RON-y.

– rPs 12 14 2015

 

Postscript: My 2015 holidays season’s tenkara gift suggestions and recommendations in random order:

Crooked Lines by Dominic Garnett

http://dgfishing.co.uk/product/crooked-lines/

Nissin Flying Dragon Carp Rod at Tenkara Bum

http://www.tenkarabum.com/nissin-flying-dragon-carp-rod.html

Simple Flies by Morgan Lyle

http://www.amazon.com/Morgan-Lyle/e/B0196QS5OG/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Tenkara Flies by Anthony Naples

http://www.tenkarabum.com/anthony-naples-tenkara-flies.html

fallons angler issue 4

http://fallonsangler.net/product/fallons-angler-issue-4/

 

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Late Autumn Is December

Late Autumn Is December . . .

 

The Creek in Late Autumn 2015.

The Creek in Late Autumn 2015.

 

They are like memories, ghosts now, some of my friends living still in mind. I see them walking a floor of brown leaves over mud in misted woods as well as along the gravel path beside a pond reflecting fluttering gold foliage on an international blue sky backdrop.

I go on, move on an impulse, a grip on the day for a run in the park, some park, somewhere. One time I went into the clear air, saw brown bark of trees, and a blue sky as it does remain bright at autumn’s end. Here, where the fall season is near to being spent, rests in December. The last annual living color breaks away on a breeze. Time shifts, accelerated states, dressed as the city in colors of stone and bark and cloudless sky. Wind more braced blasts through, some days, after a few drawn in mist quite still.

Fishing would present a passage of challenge as I waded along and into browning fields. Stands of trees, copses, work one’s way in patches to a bank worthy of a skater’s exercise. I followed animal’s trail in misted early light. I tracked hide and seek with a young buck of four points. My camera provided one blurred memory.

The stream banked in brown, tan. Stands of Teasel crowned at the end of their bloom offered regal spiked silhouettes drawn by rising sun. The pool stretched long and slow, a rare section of a creek running low at the base of a still hollow. I swung the Green Guarantee along the seam where drowned brown oak leaves met clean gravel and small stones. Water not too tannin, though low, far lower than in past years.

Fishing. A Fallfish struck with two shakes of the head above water. As silver as a tarpon and strong. Three runs up and down flashing copper fins and white belly. Drawn to the net, wet, for a fifteen second photo session before release.

Scales of the Fallfish reflect light as off an uncirculated silver coin. I once found a silver half dollar in the rain, on the lawn of a curb. John F Kennedy was the President pictured in bust profile. So, too, the Fallfish posed for a portrait in net in the cold flow of the creek:

 

Like Coinage. Green Guarantee. Late Autumn 2015

Like Coinage.
Green Guarantee.
Late Autumn 2015

 

Release your fish before they become jittery and you are even competitors.

The Fallfish, Semotilus corporalis, the native, authentic native fish of some American streams, the fish here before the men from the east who were subsumed by the invasive and immigrant people of the west. Another fish, the Cod, drew those same people who have become today’s Americans. The Fallfish welcomed my Green Guarantee, like money, that wonderful binding glue. We agreed, met in the middle, supported by a net. The symbolism was a lived occurrence too compelling not to share.

That’s as far as I go into politics.

Fallfish luster in the net. One learns, too, that down leaves, brown, rest like scales slippery upon a solid clay and gravel bank. Slip they make you do, like ice, but in a more creaking kind of way. The thin ice, of course, it already encrusts the layered leaves in the aged autumn cold. Stand back up, cast again.

I appreciate the utility of vibram soles in such environments.

Behold! A Fish. A photograph. One of Two. One Fallfish, the second and final of the day, fought off my Green Guarantee, weighted and swung, near the center of a long run hip high. “Bonefish set to scale!” I heard myself. “Tenkara! Fly Fishing. Green Guarantee.” Amazement continued.

— rPs 12 08 2015

 

Postscript: One last one for Ketan Ben Caesar. Rest In Stream. Graziare.

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Day Without Art 2015

Day Without Art 2015 . . .

(an oxymoron for Aristotélēs)

 

Sweet in sustenance
Swims this combustible
Carbon water brain.

This blob tells me,
Compels me,
Yells at me.

Scanning other computers
All commuters,
In unison, yeah.

Cloud composed, composer,
Lack of composure.
Just right, suppose, or.

Sophistry some-ocracy, yes,
Suppository idolatry, yea,
Each on purveys.

Hey!
Hey!
Hey!

This Is Politics:
Opinion. Rhetoric.
Not Poetry Poetic.

 

Tenkara Bank 11 2015

Reflecting Rain (NYC Late Autumn 2015)

 

— rPs 12 01 2015

 

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NYC Tenkara Club

NYC Tenkara Club . . .

 

This just in. New York-based tenkara angler, Nelson Garcez, forwarded news of an exciting new development: a NYC Tenkara Club is forming. He says:

“Join us for the inaugural meeting of a New York City based fly-fishing club that congregates TENKARA aficionados. There will be fishing trips to the Croton and Catskills in New York as well as Connecticut and New Jersey. Fly tying sessions in town are also planned.”

When: Tuesday, December 8, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Orvis NY – 489 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY

“We will have pizza and wine and a brief presentation about Tenkara fishing around New York City.”

Please RSVP to: info@nyctenkara.org

“Walk-ins are MORE than welcome.”

See YOU there . . .

 

NYC Tenkara Club Flyer

 

– rPs 11 29 2015

 

 

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