December’s End of the Line

December’s End of the Line . . .

Blue Friday Tapered tenkara line excels with a girth hitch. (NYC 12 0 2016)

Blue Friday
The silk end of a tapered tenkara line excels with a girth hitch.
(NYC 12 02 2016)

 

End of the Line

 

There is no decree,

Always though words far and wise;

An ocean in size.

 

The water is free

When you are lucky as we,

See to shining sea.

 

Pass on the noose knot.

No need to see or see not.

You just have to be.

 

–  rPs 12 02 2016

 

Postscript: Holiday Fishing Forecast is Festive!

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When Sunsets are Sudden

When Sunsets are Sudden . . .

 

Bluegill in November (NYC 11 2016)

Bluegill in November
(NYC 11 2016)

Sunsets are sudden in November. A day filled with fine mist and nimbus sky can open up, sprint into a quick dip of the sun, a sudden appearance by the moon, indigo sky meeting a horizon silhouetted for a brief period before an almost liquid tangerine infinity.  Venus glows star-white bright low to the southwest.

Leaves give tannin to the color tone of darker autumn water. Some lower branches of the Norway maples hold onto pennants of green and gold. Ginkgo like old gold coins pile into wind-drawn patches along the pond path. The oaks above and behind keep a full coat of the most russet leaves that whisper in low passing passages when the weather is best for angling. Mitten weather, still air, cold enough for a fingerless weave if dressed for comfort.

 

 Mitten Weather: Autumn Impressionism (NYC 2016)

Mitten Weather:
Autumn Impressionism
(NYC 2016)

A city park light switches on and the scattered bite of bluegill juveniles ceases. The bite become as light as the feather and fur assembled onto a crimped barbless salmon hook. The size 8 shank gets nibbled in and a light set of the rod raised connects to heaving sideswipes repeated four or five times before the fish in net measures out to ten inches, a quarter pound. Small fish this time of year bolstered by the stronger resistance the finned ones use in the angling wrestle.

Black crappies by the light of the night, and then, after a final fish, an early “Good night.”

Days follow that might be bright and cold and clear. The city soars into Holiday Season. The coated oaks then chatter and even roar in a strong sustained blow from the Canadian west. Days bright, best spent recasting, spent writing.

 

Black Crappie at Dusk (NYC 11 2016)

Black Crappie at Dusk
(NYC 11 2016)

 

– rPs 11 28 2016

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A Great Lake

A Great Lake . . .

Steelhead Visit Here (Erie County, PA, 11 2016)

Steelhead Visit Here
(Erie County, PA, 11 2016)

The angler and artist and author has gone off toward high cliffs of layered shale. Oak and maple leaves blow down the vertical faces of stone and enter flow. Fish of steel have returned and reside now in the stream set against the crooks and curves of the geologic foundation.

Fish in silhouette appear, some poised along submerged ledges, others nestled in nests of coalesced autumn leaves.

Fish of thirty inches — pale green, silvered and spotted, others cast in iridescent black and purple — all fresh from another year in Lake Erie, halt and go through these runs and pools and seams.

Downstream, a lake the size of the sea stretches out to where the horizon runs horizontal blue.

Orchards and vineyards along the coast can provide refreshment.

Here it is beside a great lake.

Good travels.

— rPs 11 15 2016

Postscript: In Memory of Christian Hand, poet, chef, droogie, born fifty years ago on this date in 1966.

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A Short Time at Tibbett’s

A Short Time at Tibbett’s . . .

October Colors Bluegill (NYC 10 2016)

October Colors
Bluegill
(NYC 10 2016)

One busy day off encumbered by multiple projects may convince you there is no time for fishing. There is. Three or four hours at the end of the afternoon spill before you like a glass set beside an unopened bottle of wine. Time enough, though truncated. The goal, fresh air, and to be gripped to a cork handle, arm held strong in the wrestle with a fish.

The path that passes like a spine north through Van Cortlandt Park in The Bronx is one best run. The occasional lingerer, for whatever purpose, may at times shadow a more slow footed exploration of the path. The plus side of this urban nature space still wins a day spent angling here. Tree canopy above is impressive and full of common eastern songbirds. The public  golf course on the eastern side of the path affords glimpses at some good games in process.

Tenkara, Running, Packed. (NYC 10 2016)

Tenkara, Running, Packed.
(NYC 10 2016)

Running tenkara continues to make fishing life more easy. Horizons expand. Running feet have the ability to arrive energized, to rush unmolested beyond strangers, and to connect promising fishing spots like dots along the brook.

Tibbett’s Brook, like the path, connects the lakes of two city’s. One can follow this path and continue north to Tibbett’s Brook Park, but that is not NYC; the park resides in Yonkers.

So, the Tibbett’s Brook, then. October sees the very tips of just some trees turning toward the yellow or the red. The brook, as does the Van Cortlandt Lake, reflects low, clear water.

Tibbett's Water (NYC 10 2016)

Tibbett’s Water
(NYC 10 2016)

The fish? Bluegill. Crappie. One pair of largemouth bass cruised in parallel swimming pattern in a manner that resembled a mathematical equal sign, which  hinted at other impulses in mind. A few more bluegill; a sweet spot of crappie bright like tarnished uncirculated silver. More than one a full handful, even on a bright, chilly afternoon trip of a few hours on runner’s foot.

Numismatic Crappie (NYC 10 2016)

Numismatic Crappie
(NYC 10 2016)

Time enough. Tenkara Time.

— rPs 10 25 2016

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Bass Trio

Bass Trio . . .

 

Rock Bass

Rock Bass (09 2016)

Rock Bass
(09 2016)

 

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass (09 2016)

Smallmouth Bass
(09 2016)

 

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass (09 2016)

Largemouth Bass
(09 2016)

 

September is a fishing month for bass.

This may be the best bass time of all.

What a (foot)ball!

Fishes keep biting, again and again,

When you continue to release them.

 

— rPs 09 23 2016

 

Postscript: The fly pattern used in all three examples was my Green Guarantee, size 8; my one fly for freshwater tenkara.

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C.A.S.T. for Kids at Harlem Meer

C.A.S.T. for Kids at Harlem Meer . . .
ttm-cast-for-kids-at-harlem-meer-jpeg-flyer-09-2016
2016-harlem-meer-flyer

I learned of C.A.S.T. for Kids from my fishing friend named Morgan. My appeal to you directly regards the event, a morning of city fishing, to be held  on Sunday, September 18 at Harlem Meer in Central Park.

 

My reasons are founded on several strong personal connections:

 

1) My wife’s twin brother, Louis, is a special needs citizen.

2) I am the author and illustrator of two books on fly fishing. The second, Small Fry: The Lure of the Little, includes a chapter on Harlem Meer as well as fly fishing with younger anglers.

3) I work part-time at Urban Angler, Ltd. on 5th Avenue and have independently guided several clients along The Meer, so I know the lake and how to fish there well.

4) I maintain an ongoing blog on tenkara, a simple form of Japanese fly fishing, great for Harlem Meer, which requires only rod, line, and fly. Physically challenged anglers have found the more simple style to be a godsend that allows them to keep fishing despite challenged limbs.

 

I’ll be there. Will you?

 

 

C.A.S.T. for Kids at Harlem Meer

8:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Sunday

September 18, 2016

Dana Discovery Center

Harlem Meer, Central Park

New York, New York

 

 

– rPs 09 14 2016

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Olympian Gymnasts

Olympian Gymnasts . . .

Tenkara fishing a smallmouth stream in summer. (07 2016)

Smallmouth Stream in Summer
(07 2016)

 

The jumps of the smallmouth bass are spectacular feats of athleticism. You could jump from the lawn to the tip of the gable in one hop if your legs were so strengthened to scale.

Smallmouth Season.  Small Creeks. The smaller waters where smallmouth reside, if only for the warmer months, offer slow runs over submerged logs rooted in silt, or stretches of swifter, shallower water where the shoulders of boulders break the clean current.

The small stream smallmouth is a seasonal fish. Bass swim upstream into these tributaries of larger flows in search of secluded spawning areas, cooler water, more relaxed currents. One may find only a half dozen such stretches of several hundred feet along one or two miles as the map reads.

Here plenty of creatures forage and become forage for the bass. Summer is also a time when large caddis dry fly patterns can coax fish rising to such naturals.

I have used the Deer and White, size 12, on streams where a smallmouth one foot in length was the average. The standard of measure I use is The Jump. Most bass of this size are Olympian Gymnasts above the water. Vertical jumps of several feet numbering as many as six, the smallmouth has both height and number!

Winded in The Net (07 2016)

Winded in The Net
(07 2016)

 

The rare use of the exclamation point is earned. Smallmouth bass are that exciting to seek out with rod, line, and fly. In between, the encounter with the redbreast sunfish gives added weight to the pull I feel for small bass streams in summer. And redbreasts do pull; they fill the role of permit here.

Fooled by a Soft Hackle: Redbreast Sunfish (07 2016)

Fooled by a Soft Hackle: Redbreast Sunfish
(07 2016)

 

The occasional stream bluegill may pop up, too.

Stream Bluegill (07 2016)

Stream Bluegill
(07 2016)

 

As may the fallfish take the place of tarpon. Large adults of twenty inches, silvered and strong, match the profile and can porpoise in defiance of any standard or tenkara fly tackle.

Fallfish and TUSA Ebisu (07 2016)

Fallfish and TUSA Ebisu
(07 2016)

 

Grand Slam! Yes, there is even more, that much more, to love about Smallmouth Season. Go find out! (hint-hint: that exclamation point again and again)

 

–  rPs 08 03 2016

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