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Summer Shad

Shad on the Sand

The hickory shad has become an exciting quarry to pursue with tenkara.

The hickory shad (Alosa mediocris) is smaller than the American, averaging 12 to 18 inches, but the fish is just as strong and acrobatic when hooked. The species frequently schools and chases bait close to shore, making fixed line fishing possible.

A Half and Half or Deceiver tied on a smaller size 6 or even 8 hook will match the size of the bait being hammered by the hickories. The best presentation is a repeated fast-paced toss and race across the water top.

Hickory shad fight as hard as a trout with the even more aggressive head shakes common with saltwater and anadromous species. Frequent jumps are thrilling, and a challenge, as the hickory shad’s boney mouth resists an easy hook set.

Hickory Shad Wrangled to the Net

— rPs 06 30 2021

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Golden Hours

James Wu with an impressive New York City Cyprinus carpio.
(NYC 05 2021)

There is a Japanese word — Yugata — that describes the golden hour when the slanted sun reflects off the earth in a particulary vivid, golden way.

Much of the same intensity and clarity can be experienced when a carp — the golden bone of freshwater fishes — rises to a fly and comes to the net.

May and June are the peak month’s for carp fishing in the American Northeast. Time, then, to tie some specific fly patterns to match nymphs and another carp food favorite: tree flower petals.

The Author’s Tree Flower Carp Fly.
(NYC 05 2021)

— rPs 05 31 2021

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Earth Day 2021

Chapter One Turns 20 Today

Two decades ago today on Earth Day, a sunny Sunday, I lived the experience that became Chapter One of Philadelphia on the Fly.

Time . . . FLYS.

Happy Earth Day 2021

Thanks, Frank: The Publisher’s Kind Words.

— rPs 04 22 2021

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Top of the Rock

“Top of the Rock” : the shadow of an urbane angler in Central Park.
(NYC 03 30 2021)

No fish in the net, but the level line got wet. The 2021 tenkara season has begun.

— rPs 03 31 3021

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Seaside Snow

Too Cold for Tenkara!
(02 2021)

February: often full of hints of spring, but not this year.

Snow on the beach, like ice on the pond, keeps the tenkara trip just out of reach.

Spring begins in just a few more weeks. Then, perhaps, the real thing when fixed line fishing in close quarters can begin.

— rPs 02 28 2021

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Snow Fishing

Skating a fly is easy here!
(NYC 01 13 2021)

There is a “no” in snow, and that no means no fishing, tenkara or otherwise, for the time being.

There is a “now” in snow as well, and that time now is ripe for reading, fly tying, and the other comfortable indoor aspects of the fishing life.

Anticipation can inspire preparation!

— rPs 01 31 2021

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On Ice

On Ice . . .

Hielo Fino: Oh, yes, it’s winter now.
(NYC 12 23 2020)

Early rise and an eager hike to the park for a final fishing trip found its goal foiled by that signature of the season: ice.

True, the new lid on the lake was “Hielo fino” with a few teasing openings, yet not enough free water presented itself for practical angling. The season is now . . . on ice.

So, 2020, a year to remember – not so much – comes to a close. Those days of bluegill and bass, the elusive trout and carp, and exciting new experiments in the salt – fluke and more – the silver linings to an unexpected, challenging, trying time, remain to warm the imagination over the winter.

Winter Dawn: fishing gone, but beauty remains
(NYC 12 23 2020)

Farewell, 2020.

— rPs 12 30 2020

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Photogenic Fall

American Shad: my most noteworthy fish this November
(11 2020)

The fall season may not be the most productive time for angling; it depends on the fish species you pursue, but it sure is a pretty time to take tenkara to the water.

Perhaps it’s the clarity of the air, the thinning of the colored leaves, the change of the light, which fades so much more swiftly at end of day by the time Thanksgiving arrives.

I have explored back bay salt and city pond banks this November, and both locales have offered slower fishing, yet given me great views:

The Pond

Urban Autumn
(NYC 11 2020)

The Back Bay

Silhouette on Sand
(11 2020)

Freshwater or salt, the late fall is a time to exalt Ebisu, the Japanese god of fishing, before the inevitable ice-over of the coming winter.

Go fishing . . .

— rPs 11 30 2020

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October Surprise

Surprise! I’m a hickory shad!
10 2020

October Surprise . . .

Autumn in the salt paints images of bluefish and striped bass in the fly fisher’s mind. So, imagine my October surpise when in the chilly rain my olive and white Clouser conjured up another new, and unexpected, tenkara species:

Hickory Shad

Another One in the Net!
10 2020

– rPs 10 31 2020

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Waiting

Waiting . . .

Waiting by the Bay
(02 28 2020)

February for the local fisher can be a time for fly tying, reading, or simply cleaning and organizing tackle in anticipation of the new season. Throughout all these pastimes is a central  principal: Waiting.

Waiting for the thaw

Waiting for spring

Waiting for opening day

Waiting for fishing

Leap year adds one additional day to this, the shortest month of the year, so we’ll all be waiting just a little bit longer.

— rPs 02 29 2020

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