Posts Tagged Fly Fishing

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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Brought to You by the Letter F

Brought to You by the Letter F . . .

The Numismatic Fly Guy Strikes Again (NYC 02 2017)

The Numismatic Fly Guy Strikes Again
(NYC 02 2017)

Yes, the letter F has been appearing everywhere this February. You’ll see what I mean if you read on . . .

New York City’s weather has been warmer than usual this winter. The lakes of the five boroughs did freeze over for a short period at the beginning of February. Fly tying time, seasoned with a personal interest in numismatics, began in earnest.

And then spring arrived over one month early. Mourning doves began to announce the dawn of each new day that felt fine for fishing. Feathered friends of many species, singing and frolicking about the first blooming snowdrops, hinted that the fishes in the borough parks could be just as active below the waterline.

Ah, but an opportunity free to work a level line and kebari over a trout or bass has not presented itself. Work and the apparent full-time job of Manhattan real estate maintenance have a way of taking over when the weather seems especially good for fishing. So it has been this winter season, although there were a few hours free enough to check out the annual Fly Fishing Film Tour.

F3T Reflective Selfie (NYC 02 27 2017)

F3T Reflective Selfie
(NYC 02 27 2017)

F3T 2017 arrived in Manhattan at SVA Theater on February 27. The annual event hosted by Urban Angler, Ltd. featured tables for The American Museum of Fly Fishing, Casting for Recovery, and Amberjack. Refreshments provided by Catskill Brewery, Sullivan St. Bakery, and The Meatball Shop made it a night of fishing culture almost as good as a day’s actual fishing on the water.

Fat Tuesday came a day earlier thanks to the F3T! (NYC 02 27 2017)

Fat Tuesday came a day early thanks to the F3T!
(NYC 02 27 2017)

Today is Fat Tuesday, time to set aside tenkara for a moment to feast and be festive. Fishing will happen again soon enough, for sure.

February . . . brought to you by the letter F.

– rPs 02 28 2017

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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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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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