Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Who cares.

Geez, a guy takes a few days off to celebrate his anniversary in Vermont and he misses a lot of blogging entertainment.

Recently, that guy said that that style of fishing was a fad. A fad!

There's always something new, or something that's old that is renewed, in fly fishing. From the bamboo craze to fiberglass manifestites to Spey through to Tenkara the industry is always looking for either the new double-helix-carbon-nanotube-buckminsterfullerene material or some old thing that can be dusted off and renewed.

I took up fly fishing eight years ago and at that time most folks couldn't even spell Spey much less describe what it was all about (unless you were some sort of West Coast Steel Junkie). But Spey, emboldened by the Switch Rod craze, seems to be slowly influencing our sport in larger ways. It's an influence that has some legs and I expect long rods and Spey-like techniques are a permanent and important addition to the sport.

It's always good entertainment when you can catch a famous person saying something provocative; it's also a great accelerant for the blogosphere and web forums everywhere.

Is Tenkara the new Spey? I don't know. More importantly, I don't care.

I'm a fairly pragmatic angler. I like to catch fish. I like to stand in moving water. I like to take pictures of the places and the fish.

If I find a new piece of equipment that I can add to make any of those things better, I'm willing to give it a try. In fact, I'm a compulsive switcher of equipment; but I'm also selective.

While I appreciate the beauty of bamboo, I don't own one cause having beautiful things on the water isn't part of the thing for me. Fiberglass; don't get that at all. Spey, no. Switch, yes - great for mending and plenty of backbone for casting heavy nymph rigs.

Tenkara? There's enough to it to have made it worth a look -- portable, allegedly for small streams -- but in the end it was not compelling enough to offer advantages over a 7 foot, four weight rod. No Tenkara for me.

And maybe that's what Lefty meant. Maybe it was his opinion that the advantages of Tenkara won't make it a compelling technology in the marketplace.

Who knows.

I suppose at some point the casting legend will have to speak for himself, but until then, go find what works for you cause at the end of the day making the sport more enjoyable for one's self is the thing that really matters.

Gratuitous Snowy Small Stream Pron


  1. I like the picture on your homepage banner (freezing guide) going with the following comment:
    "in the end it was not compelling enough to offer advantages over a 7 foot, four weight rod. No Tenkara for me."
    One compelling reason: no guides to freeze in the winter.

    1. Jason: Touche.

      Unfortunately, most of the fish I go after in the winter make frozen guides irrelevant (small stream Brookies and Browns who won't take any line) or Tenkara can't manage (Steelhead).

      If I had more rivers near me that are "medium" sized -- something smaller than the Housatonic and Farmington but larger than a five foot wide blue line -- or had less vegetation hanging near and over the water, I might give this a try. I just can't imagine adding four feet of length to my rod and then casting successfully.

      Why don't seven foot Tenkara rods exist? Is it the fact you'd be too close to the fish or is there something about the physics that make short rods difficult to cast? I fish a seven foot rod with a nine foot leader all the time (and about four feet of fly line outside the guides) and I don't spook fish.

  2. Bloody fine piece there Zakurs. If yu keep this up we'll invite you to be a guest editor of The Angler's Culvert. Need I say more?

    The war on stuff we don't need must continue. Not because we don't need more stuff; we're men, we always need stuff. Because when you strike a trout weighing one-quarter pound on a 11.5' switch rod, you better have the frying pan sitting right behind me because that's where he's gonna end up once he re-enters orbit; and then we can sit, eat the trout, and discuss what a bunch of dumb shits we've been for spending our hard earned dough on a "new fish launching device".

    That said: Tenkara steelhead does sound fuckin tempting, in a Jackass kinda way.


    1. You needn't.

      Now you've gone and done it, you've planted the seed.

      Tenkara + 20 pound Stren (could the rod take the stress? Jason must chime in) + Jogging Shoes and you might land one of the smaller ones.

      We'd definitely need T.J.'s video skills. Spring Steel anyone?

  3. That will teach you to leave the blogsphere for any length of time for any reason without leaving someone behind to mind the store. Other than that, to each his own poison.

  4. Well said. To each their own. It is just fishing after all.

  5. Hi Steve. Got directed to your blog by The Perfect Drift. I like what I see and will follow as you post. If you get a chance, stop by Northern California Trout and say HI. www.northerncaliforniatrout.com. I've got you on the blogroll under "Our Fly Fishing Friends".

    Mark (Shoreman)