Posts Tagged Tenkara USA

Olympic Winter

Olympic Winter . . .

 

Fresh Fish: First Fish of 2018
(NYC 02 13 2018)

. . . or, Mardi Gras at the Meer

February weather in the American northeast often experiences a string of damp mild days followed by a day or two of sun, clear sky, and very, very gradual temperature drop.

Winter Olympics in mind; I set out in such weather on my own biathlon of cross-country running and tenkara fly fishing, dressed for movement during the afternoon of Mardi Gras. I arrived to the welcome sight of open water over all but one end of the Harlem Meer.

Fishing Conditions Favorable
(NYC 02 13 2018)

Ice-free plus kebari equals fishing.

Herly Werms
(NYC 02 2018)

My one fly kebari for the day,: the Herly Werm, a size 12, weighted, fished in slow lifts until late in the afternoon when wakes, chasing swirls, appeared from motion just below the surface of the Meer.

The sun had turned to orange and the evening feed was on. I began to swim the nymph, dressed with a red bucktail. Connection was made.

The limber 5/5 action of the Ebisu rod, my favorite, the one each season I fish first, helped me to wrestle with the one hooked now to the Herly Werm. Surfacing and diving in repeated short runs, the profile of a sizeable crappie dressed in silver and gold and scattered patterns of black, like metal, a medal of tarnished electrum, fresh, the sight and solid feel of the first fish of the year.

Black Crappie, Herly Werm
(NYC 02 13 2018)

The chilling intermittent breeze faded from concern as I slipped the fish back into the water. I stood, and shivered, satisfied.

Fishing accomplished.

I packed up and set out on the return run toward the high ground of Central Park to watch a sunset the color of Olympic Gold.

Sunset from Central Park
(NYC 02 13 2018)

— rPs 02 16 2018

 

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5 Yrs.

Five Yrs. . . .

Ebisu Approved
(NYC 04 09 2017)

“Five Years” is the title to the opening track of David Bowie’s necessary masterpiece “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars”.

Five years now marks the amount of time I have spent rendering the topic of tenkara in images and words.  During that time, Bowie has passed, although his music continues to inspire those of us still here, some of us fishing.

Manhattan saw my first use of true telescoping fishing on the fly. Exploration of the island’s fresh and salt fisheries has centered tenkara at my angling core. Rod, Line, Fly = fishing, and fish, more often than not.

The sport has drawn me across the face of New York, as well as Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Washington and Hawaii, waters fresh and salt.

It has been stated countless times in conversation that it takes ten years (or maybe 10,000 hours as in the words of Malcolm Gladwell), that it takes such long time to end up a master of some thing.

“Five Years” begins a great Bowie album.

Perhaps five years ends the beginning of an aspiring tenkara master’s journey path.

Five years ago today I began to offer my own word on tenkara, fishing, fly tying, and adventure, which I then as continue to now find to be a more than fitting, in fact necessary, natural progression of an author whose book Small Fry: The Lure of the Little, published in 2009, coincided in some ways parallel with the bright and enterprising incorporation of Tenkara USA by Daniel Galhardo.

Imagine my happiness, then, to receive in coincidence a copy of Daniel’s new authoritative tenkara book, — “The Book” – on this same 5th anniversary weekend of Tenkara Takes Manhattan.

Ebisu now, as then, appears to approve.

– rPs, Palm Sunday, 04 12 2017

Postscript: Revisit the first TTM post here:  https://tenkaratakesmanhattan.com/2012/04/09/hello-world/

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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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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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Year’s End, Prospect

Year’s End, Prospect

Prospect Park Lake Brooklyn, 12 29 2014

Prospect Park Lake
Brooklyn, 12 29 2014

Vapor Trails imbued with sunlight fill a blue sky on some December days. One last one above the temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit beckoned me to follow through on one final item of outstanding tenkara fishing business: Taking my Tenkara USA Yamame rod for a test around Prospect Park Lake in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn . . . Of course. I had to go there at least once in 2014. Completion of mission vital to my own authority added a pinch of incentive as well. Prospect Park had not seen my traditional tapered line all season. The Bronx, Manhattan, as well as Queens have all been noted as has fishing the Hudson’s New York Bight’s salt adjacent to Staten Island. Four, not all five, boroughs in total, the count found wanting a major one of New York City’s destinations: Prospect Park Lake.

The omission appears even odder considering Brooklyn’s coolwater lake has the highest notoriety for catch and release bass fishing. For nine months of 2014, I have fished hard, in and around town in between serving as a guide to new gear at an urban fly shop. My first catch of a bass happened as early as the final week of winter in March. Trips in between then and now included meeting the saltwater papio of O’ahu, Hawaii. I had been to Brooklyn a bunch of times for friends and culture. Time then to go fishing there as well at the eleventh-and-a-half hour of the year.

One of my own pioneering tenkara trips took place along a portion of Prospect Park Lake’s asymmetric circumference. The lake has over a span of years drawn me and several of my companions together in search of fish on the fly. Earliest spring and fullest summer have been experienced, never winter.

The cold day squeezed between Christmas and the New Year began bright and breezy, qualities that made the prospects look challenging in all ways but my own confidence. I knew, just knew, some kind of fishing would present itself if I maintained the kind of endurance and mental focus I must exhibit to complete a cross country run along a bright and breezy Hudson River waterfront.

Conditions lakeside enforced an immediate variation on my use of line. My traditional tapered lines were set aside in deference to Level Line attached to a much longer tippet of finer 6X. Unfocused invisibility can be seen as obvious given cold lake water’s clear visibility. Water temps in the high thirties Fahrenheit discourage green plant life, and the recent season’s remains now rest brown and settled. Prospect Park’s water and its column become a more translucent body skirted by shores of cattails, trees limbs, and stone and mortar wall.

Large nymphs work to lure fish during the cold season. Leaf litter offers ample residences for the dobsonfly among others. Whether it be a Kebari americana like The Prince, Zug Bug, your own variation on the theme, or the all-inclusive Woolly Bugger, unweighted or beaded patterns are effective. More important may be presentation. Some strip in a nymph when stillwater fly fishing. Fair the approach may be, as well as a Leisenring Lift customized to your speed theory, or a sustained swimming action that takes advantage of an unweighted fly pattern’s buoyancy . . .

The Undulating Microtug

I grinned when the technique met a take. Connection to a fish had first to endure several persistent hours of casting in and around some brisk breaths of air off the water. Coldweather tenkara this was. No topwater action was on deck. The kebari patterns were a dice roll that occupied my mind: Olive Dobsonfly, The Prince, Zug Bug, and my own Grey Wet Wool Nymph described in my second book, Small Fry: The Lure of the Little. Sizes ranged between 6 and 10.

Coldweather Tenkara (12 29 2014)

Coldweather Tenkara
(12 29 2014)

What changed during the day was the wind. Air and lake calmed during the last hour of daylight. I finished with an Olive Woolly Bugger tied by steelheader Stephen Kasperovich of Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He is adept also when angling for yellow perch, the fish that turned my fading prospects at Prospect into a grand form of fishing finale.

His pattern uses a very soft chenille body matched with an undulating saddle hackle. Several seconds after I began to swim the Olive Woolly Bugger, a fish met the fly and connected. Several runs of ten feet and head shakes bent the Yamame and played me before I lifted a perch in net from the water.

Yellow Perch (Olive Woolly Bugger by Stephen Kasperovich)

Yellow Perch
(Olive Woolly Bugger by Stephen Kasperovich)

Perca flavescens has been encountered before both at Harlem Meer and Van Cortlandt Park Lake during late August and September. The species is a popular quarry for ice fishers, making its presence and activity understandable on the calm end of this cold day. Several more perch followed, although not in a metronomic fashion one might associate with a large school. Each fish had to be worked, had to be coaxed, into striking. The hinge of the entire experience was again a willingness to put full thought into full motion forward. Full cast and retrieve with a focus on the fly at the end of the Level Line. Any slow swimming retrieve using wrist action combined with a lift can take tenkara fishing into catching. The other factor may well be that I found a spot holding some fish at prime time: the short span of minutes that can make up a wintertime bite.

Yellow Perch in Net

Yellow Perch in Net

Bird life communed on and around the lake. American coot, Fulica americana, plied the calm water and called at dusk in the manner of gas passing out of either end. Strange, mildly humorous, a sound like belching farts almost quite nearly contradicts the bird’s conservative plumage, which may bring to mind a solemn clergy’s robes.

Bird in View (American Coot)

Bird in View
(American Coot)

The day’s final sunlit moments brought a final yank transmitted down to the grip of my Yamame. The strategy of the competitor changed. Now a tight, circular fight, at net’s end my heavier opponent turned out to be a very round bluegill dressed in a pale purple sheen with olive details and black chain link bars twisted and reminiscent of the double helix. Bluegills can be a rare encounter after the spawning bed period. Even small waters may find a bluegill population strangely reticent despite a circumscribed space. I felt more than pleased to call this fish my final catch and release of the year.

The Final Fish (Bluegill)

The Final Fish
(Bluegill)

Red skies at sunset reminded me of a poem from my collection of poetry, museum of buildings: poems

Across the bridge I’m crossing
Lay the city bathed in sunset.

At the end of this “last day of December” the trees rather that the tower blocks were tinted.

Sunset (12 29 2014)

Sunset
(12 29 2014)

Farewell, Tenkara Fishing, 2014

The Year’s End

– rPs 12 30 2014

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Tenkara Any, Any

Tenkara Any, Any . . .

August in NYC 1:  Bluegill Male (photo taken 08 2014)

August in NYC 1:
Bluegill Male
(photo taken 08 2014)

My ultimate life raft kit shall henceforth include always a tenkara rod, kebari, and the tackle pictured in “On the Water, On Line” weeks earlier. Saltwater casts from an inflated raft will lure lifesaving sashimi sustenance. Extended alpine accident withdrawal may be sustained by mountain trout or swamp panfish. Universal tool is tenkara.

During the good times, the catch remains best when made a repeatable encounter.

August in NYC 2: Bluegill Female (photo taken 08 2014)

August in NYC 2:
Bluegill Female
(photo taken 08 2014)

Rain may fall. Good. Fishing better then is my usual state of play when best embraced by a wading jacket.

Padded Rain

Padded Rain

Tenkara Any . . . Time, Any . . . Where.

Yamame at Rest

Yamame at Rest

As for the necessary Kebari, that is one field, universal . . . in scale, in choice.

Any ideas?

– rPs 08 27 2014

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On the Water, On Line

On the Water, On Line . . .

On the Water August 2014

On the Water
August 2014

On the Water

On the Water, the magazine, is in print this August and the new issue is now available. “Fishing the Five Boroughs” suggests one group of NYC lakes to fish during a long weekend. My Tenkara USA Ebisu makes another cameo in one of the photos.

Saltwater Line Leader Ingredients (photo taken 08 11 2014)

Saltwater Line Leader Ingredients
(photo taken 08 11 2014)

On line
Saltwater panfishing on a tenkara rod flex of 7/3 requires a line leader formula more specific than general freshwater fishing. One I have found has fitted my form of casting and catching.

The Ingredients: 3.5 Level Line; 4 to 8 pound monofilament; one #10 swivel; optional split shot or egg sinker

The 3.5 Level Line I cut to length of the rod (I match my 12-foot Tenkara USA Yamame.) One end I use for the rod connection. I tie a slip knot to match the rod’s silk Lillian. The opposite tip is simple knotted to a #10 swivel. This midsection hardware tackle is my nod to the fascinating myriad of conventional bait rigs used for porgies, fluke, and other such inshore and estuary species. The tippet consists of a single straight length of monofilament between 4 and 8 pounds sized from one half to two-thirds the length of the Level Line.

One can go a little lighter or higher on the line’s strength. The choice depends on an individual’s hook setting and fish playing techniques and whether or not one can tolerate a three dollar Clouser Minnow lost on a piling.

The range of the leader tippet’s length provides a casting distance equal to line, rod, and outstretched arm. Twenty-five feet is a workable average and allows a captured fish to be raised over a fence or bannister without too much stress on fisher and fish.

Docks and piers over the water, a jetty projecting into the surf, or flats and estuary grass banks can all be fished with tenkara equipment. The main point is a line leader similar to this one can cast small saltwater kebari patterns, reach fish, and bring fish to net or hand.

– rPs 08 11 2014

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