January 20, 2017

January 19, 2017 -- a little winter fishing

This winter has been anything but normal. It has snowed and snowed. This is great for the high elevation snow pack, but it has affected my winter fishing. The streams are in great shape, but I just can't get to them!

Most winters I can find places to park and not get stuck, but this year I can't. The snow is plowed right to edge of the road and is much too deep to drive into and not get stuck. So, the times I have been out I've had my wife drop me off and come pick me up. I've not recorded my trips this winter, as I'm getting tired of carrying my camera, but this week I did record the outing.

The water was very nice; it was snowing and there was a slight breeze. I only fished for 1 hour and 15 minutes but took a number of browns and one whitefish. Here's a video of some of the fish:

January 18, 2017

Tenkara USA podcast

It's been awhile, but a Tenkara USA just released a new podcast. Daniel talks about what Tenkara USA has been up to lately, and some of the challenges he has had this past year.  Some new things are in the pipeline for Tenkara USA and it should be an exciting year. If you've got a few minutes I'd recommend it to you-- its a good listen.

January 9, 2017

Suntech Suikei TenkaraBum 33 -- completion of the TenkaraBum troika

As you know, I have and fish both the TenkaraBum 36 and the TenkaraBum 40 tenkara rods. I really like both rods and I think that they have greatly expanded the rod choices for discriminating tenkara anglers worldwide. They are engineered with modern materials and are manufactured to Japanese perfection. They are really a breath of fresh air in the rapidly expanding world of tenkara fishing.

Well, now there's the TenkaraBum 33. This little rod completes the TenkaraBum series and is a great addition for those looking for a shorter rod for smaller streams. The TenkaraBum 33 has the good looks of its bigger brothers, but it's not just a shorter TB36. Here's what Chris says on his website:

"The TenkaraBum 33 shares a design philosophy with the TenkaraBum 36 but it is not just the 36 with one less section. It is a different rod constructed on a different blank with a slightly different design goal. The goal for the TenkaraBum 36 was for an all-around rod for how American tenkara anglers fish (with weighted nymphs and with dry flies in addition to the unweighted wets used in Japan)." 

The TB33 is a very capable rod for smaller streams. It has the ability to finesse cast a tight loop into those well protected spots (tightly protected under willow branches) so common in smaller streams, and yet it also has the stiffness and power to initiate a quick hook set and power the fish out away from the snags. This is exactly what is needed for my smaller streams. I find that softer or slower rods have the advantage that they load easily and can lay a fly down gently, but they have a very hard time setting the hook quickly and in powering the large trout away from underwater snags. In small waters, you have only milliseconds to act to keep the fish from diving under weed or snag and breaking off. With small trout it's no problem, but a 14 inch brown taken in a creek only a few feet wide is a challenge for any rod. The TB33 is up to the task.

I find that the TB33 answers best to a heavier level line, like a #3.5 -4. Small waters don't require lighter lines, because it's easy to keep a shorter line off the water, even a #4 line. The TB33 will cast unweighted flies and beadheads equally well. With a quick, powerful cast you can propel your fly to its intended target with conviction and accuracy.

Here are some measurements of the TenkaraBum 33:

Fully collapsed: 57 cm
Fully extended: 331 cm
Weight (without tip plug): 70.7 g
CCS rating: 23 pennies
RFI: 6.9

Conclusion: This rod completes the TenkaraBum series of tenkara rods and is an excellent rod for smaller waters and/or tighter canopies. It's fast and powerful and would be a welcome addition to any angler's quiver of rods!

Disclaimer: My opinion regarding this rod is just that, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.  Also, your rod may not have the same length, issues, or functionality as my rod. There are variations between rods, even in the same production run. No description can fully tell you how a rod feels or fishes. For this, you must personally hold, cast, and fish the rod then make up your own mind. 
I receive advertising revenue from TenkaraBum, but this does not imply a favorable review of their products. I was loaned the rod and it was returned to Chris Stewart.

January 7, 2017

A Sad Thing Due to Computer Hacking

No, I'm not referring to the US election, I'm referring to the closing down of Tenkara-fisher.com. If you weren't aware, Tenkara-fisher.com was a forum for the dissemination of tenkara information that was hosted by Adam Trahan. The forum has been a place for tenkara anglers to share their knowledge and passion for this unique fishing style. In a world where more people share through social media, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, forums seem to be going away. Now it's Tenkara-fisher.com's turn.

The cause of the forum shutting down is foreign hacking. Not the Russian government, but some other entity. Nevertheless, after much effort and money in fighting this contamination, Adam has decided to shut the forum down.

Tenkara-fisher.com has not just been a forum, but it also has been a repository of fascinating interviews of tenkara anglers from around the world, These interviews were hosted by Adam and provided a special insight into the fixed-line fishing practices of many individuals, some Japanese and some not.

Tenkara-fisher.com also had many interesting articles related to tenkara fishing, camping, tenkara related gear, etc. Genryu and keiryu fishing were particularly highlighted with the gear and techniques reviewed in detail. You could come with a question about anything "tenkara" related and someone would help you out. The participants of the forum could be at times like family.

But, like a lot of families, Tenkara-fisher.com had some drama too. Sometimes opinions got heated and people got their feelings hurt; some people left or were banned. Heck I almost left at one point. But I always came back. I, like many others, saw the value of the forum and even donated money to offset Adam's expenses.

Not all forums or blogs stand the test of time. Not all can be like Troutrageous!, which celebrates it's tenth year this June. I'm sure that there will come of day when this blog, Teton Tenkara, will sign off and fade into cyber-history, but I'm sad to see Tenkara-fisher.com go. I didn't always agree with the way some things were presented and the ego's that got thrown around, but the information and, most importantly, the cyber-friendships that I made were of great value to me.

Adam has not given up though, and this is a good thing. Even as Tenkara-fisher.com shuts down, Tenkara-fisher.blogspot.com is rising, like a phoenix, from the ashes. This is Adam's blog, not forum, but it has had a promising birth as a place where some of the precious information Adam has gleaned over the years can be shared. As of this writing, it is chronically the genryu adventures of Japanese fixed-line anglers. They are well written and very informative. You can see that I've added Adam's blog to my blog list.

So, as I have said, I'm sad to see Tenkara-fisher.com go, but I'm glad to see Tenkara-fisher.blogspot.com arise. I hope all the articles and interviews will be preserved for future reference, even if the forum is not active. With the intent of preservation, I have republished my Treatise on Static Testing and the Classification of Tenkara, Keiryu, and Seiryu Rods, that I originally wrote for Tenkara-fisher.com, on Teton Tenkara. I placed it as a tab near the top of the blog for easy reference.

I wish Adam all the best with his new blog, and I would encourage all of my readers to subscribe to it.