Archive for Tenkara Techniques

Josetsu in July

Josetsu in July . . .

Answer in Hand
(NYC 07 12 2017)

How do you catch a catfish with a gourd?

Tenkara

Catfish like the black bullhead will be a game opponent in summer if one waits for lower light and goes slow on the presentation speed. Evening lifts the direct sun off the lake and Ameiurus melas returns from the lake’s deeper places, the sinks and channeled centers, onto the flats, shallows where lily pads and branches attract diverse creature protein.

Bullhead Abode
(NYC 07 12 2017)

Places storied as the same of the bass and other sunfish. The approach best calm, cautious, the fly, for me my one fly; a Green Guarantee kebari pattern, one that earlier lured a bluegill from the same end of the lake.

This plump pond permit flattened my Green Guarantee.
(NYC 07 12 2017)

Slowed to a crawl, patience through repetition gets to be rewarded by a sudden tug, the shake of the head that compels the wrist to lift, set, find a fish on the line.

July evenings may find the finned to be a black bullhead catfish. Whenever I see this fish family’s end game wrestle about the surface, I see the whiskers, and smile.

We two, this fish and this fisher, are quite alike, even in the face.

Nature. Found. Naturally.

Josetsu and the elder shogunate clans, I hope, approve.

Black Bullhead the size of a zucchini . . . GOURD.
(NYC 07 12 2017)

Arigato gozaimas!

zazen . . .

rPs 07 21 2017

 

Postscript: Revisit my first reference to Josetsu here, at TTM, circa April 2012:

https://tenkaratakesmanhattan.com/2012/04/20/the-answer-tenkara/

 

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TAE

TAE . . .

Thank You. Arigato.
(NYC 05 2017)

 

Tenkara Advertising Entertainment

 

-rPs 05 19 2017

 

Postscript: Featuring The Green Guarantee

by ron P. swegman.

c.2017 by ron P. swegman. all rights reserved.

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Cold Water, Wet Wind

Cold Water, Wet Wind . . .

 

The Sticks Cast
(NYC 03 2017)

Days of rain had drawn a distinct mudline, a seam bordered by blued rippled crystal, rendered by cold water current and a consistent wet wind. Perfect, for a stretch, from which fish might pounce on prey and retreat, covered.

A largemouth of fifteen inches darted from this cover and raced over the sprouts of pond bottom plants and in full sun rolled over my Green Guarantee. Rusty ron P. raised Ebisu, plucked the fly from the fish’s mouth a nanosecond before jaws could clamp down on the inhaled line.

Between the lasting breezes, a cold even thermal wear could not weather long. Run, jog, run made mandatory to stay active, not frozen. Beyond the sticks of last year’s shoreline stalks, fishes, and by leaning, balanced, a toehold on dry rock, Ebisu held out to work kebari along the edges, fishes.

Fishes. Yes. No, not the black bass, nor the expected black crappie. The bluegill, male and female both, took to strike the feather and fur kebari worked on the steady swim just above bottom.

Cold water.

Wet wind.

Fist Fish, 2017.

First Fish, 2017.
(NYC 03 2017)

Second Fish, 2017.

Second Fish, 2017.
(NYC 03 2017)

Yes. Gone fishing. Catching and Releasing. Happy.

–  rPs 03 31 2017

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Book Review: Fly-Casting Finesse

Book Review: Fly-Casting Finesse . . .

Fly-Casting Finesse
by John L. Field

When a new hardcover book dedicated to some aspect of fly fishing reaches print, there should be a pause, as the production time and cost for such a lasting document indicates the publisher’s belief in the value of the information on the printed pages between the covers.

Skyhorse Publishing, no stranger to readers of angling literature, has just released such a book.

Fly-Casting-Finesse

by John L. Field

160 pp., Skyhorse Publishing. Hardcover, $29.99.

ISBN: 9781632204882

First impression of the cover is reaffirmed by the fact the same glossy color is sleeved in a matching dust jacket. A quick flip through reveals excellent illustrations, diagrams, and chapters than contain numerous subsections with page breaks, a format that gives the busy reader plenty of places to pause and pick up again, almost the way one works a fly line on and off the water.

Who is the author? His name may be new to those used to hearing Kreh, Krieger, Rajeff, and Wulff, all giants associated with the cast. Field, who lives in Connecticut, is a former president of the New York City Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the American Casting Association. His casting reputation is solidified by his status as an IFFF Certified Master Casting Instructor. Credentials enough to author a book on the fundamental mechanics of fly fishing.

Field writes in a clear, unadorned style; he is very good in composing phrases that in their succinct accuracy allow a caster to internalize and turn them into mantras:

“Presentation Scenarios”

“Currents and Cover”

“Line Control”

“J” and “L”

“Timing and Tempo”

I invite readers to explore the book for themselves for an elaboration of such phrases. Set aside some time outdoors as well to put into practice what Field has written on the page.

Tenkara is not given any featured place in this book. What may to some appear to be a shortcoming, or weakness, actually on reflection refocuses the fact that, tackle choice aside, it is the angler and the positions, angles, and motions used in the fishing process that matter. A chapter on the double haul has no practical value in the world of fixed line fly fishing, but so much else – line mending, casts in close quarters, the roll, the bow and arrow, et al, can all add to the skill set of those who fish the rod, line, and fly.

Fly-Casting Finesse is available at Urban Angler, Ltd. in Manhattan and, of course, online.

Good Reading.

– rPs 03 22 2017

Postscript: Read more about Fly-Casting Finesse on the Skyhorse Publishing website:  http://skyhorsepublishing.com/titles/6317-9781632204882-fly-casting-finesse

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Clean Slate

Clean Slate . . .

Nymphing with Ebisu in January (NYC 01 2017)

Nymphing with Ebisu in January
(NYC 01 2017)

New York City wore a thin sheet of powdered snow for a few days at the start of the year.  Sustained rains came to soak the five boroughs, misted, warm enough to keep the park ponds free of ice. The cleanest water of the year rests still and cold . . . and uncovered.

The season of slate water is here to mark the new year. Winds like change blow through in between days foggy and still. Stillwater tenkara may best be tried when the wind is low enough not to complicate a narrow cast over and around branches bare or covered with dry leaves, crisp, curled, almost eager to grab a traditional tapered line or 5x leader.

Nymphs (and streamers if you must try more than one fly), crawled just above the bottom build technique, but often seem not to lure interest. Fishes all seem to have vanished, perhaps in the deepest water bedded down in the same submerged leaves that give the New York City waters that wintertime tannic quality and stony dark color.

Combined, it almost reads like a sign.

“Do Not Disturb”

For now then, fishes, all right.

– rPs 01 22 2017

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Jetty Knight

Jetty Knight . . .

Jetty Knight by Maryann Amici (12 2016)

Jetty Knight
by Maryann Amici
(12 2016)

or Nothing, for the Birds . . .

Sometimes one takes tenkara to the ends of the Earth near the end of the year. Can one go father on running foot than the surf zone, North Atlantic Ocean, in December? Here you are.

The Birds

The Birds Family Scolopacidae (12 2016)

The Birds
Family Scolopacidae
(12 2016)

One picks fishing trips like slot machines. A line wins, sometime(s). Engaged in it on the fly is only a strategy. So is Tenkara. Wins are enjoyed, as are fishes, yet these come spaced enough for no exact science to be sure. Time and place judge. Conditions mix. Catches vary.

One day the water was calm, the breeze, barely, but very cold. The tenkara rod extended above surf and tolerated twitches tethered to a Clouser Kebari along the swells. Cormorants and other birds angled nearby. Hours passed. No takers.

The Pattern

Clouser Kebari (rPs 12 2016)

Clouser Kebari
(rPs 12 2016)

The Bait

The Bait (12 2016)

The Bait
(12 2016)

The Waves

The Waves (12 2016)

The Waves
(12 2016)

Next time swells capped white even an 8-weight could only surf high, water bucking the weighted pattern like a reveler on a casino’s mechanical bull. One hour made an epic casting lesson schooled by wind and water as fishes below hugged into boulder rock crevices unreachable.

Sometimes one fishes and catches nothing but a contemplative time, an athletic time, spent in a surf wave of sporting happiness.

Nothing, for the birds?

Slumbering Shell (12 2016)

Slumbering Shell
(12 2016)

— rPs 12 20 2016

Postscript: In memory of Louis J. Amici, Jr. (1947-2016) and Jeff Feldmeier (1966-2016). They always met the train on time.

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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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