May 2018

Commentary Tips/Tactics

The Trouble With Tenkara — And Why You Don’t Need It

on
May 30, 2018
The advantages of a Tenkara presentation are not exclusive or unique to Tenkara itself, and in fact, the same benefits are achieved just as well — and often better — with a long fly rod and (gasp) a reel.

I bought a Tenkara rod for my young boys a few years ago, because the longer a rod is, the more control the boys have over a drift. And the lighter a rod is, the easier it is for their small arms to cast. Long and light Tenkara rods flex easily, allowing them to load with minimal effort. That's great for both kids and adults.

I’ve used the boys’ Tenkara rod extensively — long enough to understand exactly what I don’t like about Tenkara and to understand that a fisherman can achieve the same things with a standard, long leader (long Mono Rig) setup.

Fifty Tips Tips/Tactics

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #43 — Two Ways to Recover Slack

on
May 27, 2018
Much of what we learn about fly fishing comes from instinct. Fishing, after all, is not that complicated. It does not take a special set of talents or years of study to figure most of this out for yourself. It just takes a tuned in, heads up approach out there on the water, and a good bit of want-to.

Being self-taught has its own rewards, namely a certain individual satisfaction about doing and discovering things your own way. I would argue, however, that no one is fully self taught. And the motivated anglers I know all seek out information from a variety of sources to improve their game.

I like to think this Fifty Tips series and the Troutbitten site as a whole caters to that ambitious kind of angler — the one who takes pride in fishing hard and digging deep for new resources, mining information about the next small (or large) adjustment that hooks more trout to the line.

And many of these adjustment, these tips or discoveries are downright obvious. They’re the kind of thing that you certainly would figure out on your own if you thought about it long enough. They’re the things you already know, inherently, but perhaps haven’t thought about in much detail. And often, I believe within these simple things are the keys to the greatest discoveries — your biggest steps forward.

So here’s a “Duh” tip that has big consequences:

There are two ways to recover slack after the cast: stripping in line or lifting/moving the rod tip.

Tips/Tactics

Modern Nymphing Elevated — More of What’s Possible with a Mono Rig

on
May 25, 2018
Devin Olsen and Lance Egan have released Modern Nymphing Elevated. It’s a follow up to their excellent video from a couple years back, Modern Nymphing.

The subtitle for the latest video is “Beyond the Basics”, and that’s a good way to look at it. Elevated jumps right into the deep end from the beginning, so without taking a look at the first Modern Nymphing video (rom 2016) or without a very firm grasp of long leader techniques to begin with, the viewer may be a little lost. Elevated is more of an addendum — like added chapters to a book — than a standalone work. There’s no recap of the basics and no rehashing of leader formulas . Instead, Elevated is two hours of video dedicated to the nuances of long leader fly fishing. And that’s a good thing.

Elevated covers better casting, common drift mistakes, arm and rod positioning, managing the line and leader, sighter angles, strike detection, drift principles, stream positioning, approach, and many other in-depth elements that simply catch more fish.

Modern Nymphing Elevated begins to cover a lot of the variations to a Mono Rig that are possible.

Baseball Stories

The Little League Series: Some Teams Are All Heart

on
May 23, 2018
I’ll always have a soft spot for kids this age. These young boys and girls are six to eight years old and learning to be hitters, with their own coaches serving up meatballs across home plate.

They are sophisticated goofballs with only minor control over their emotions, with conditional attention spans that are sometimes ripped away by the slightest and silliest things imaginable. They’re kids.

And for many of these little people, baseball is a first chance to learn the life lessons that build strong adults: that true success is earned through hard work, that passion exceeds wishful thinking, and that teamwork is a constant compromise.

At the Little League age, heart is everything. And I’ve seen teams with half the talent take down bigger teams with twice the power through sheer will and desire — they just wanted it bad enough. Determination is contagious. Belief is addictive. And when a team buys into one another, they don’t easily let go of that belief.

Fifty Tips Stories Tips/Tactics

Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #42 — Work into the Prime Spots

on
May 21, 2018
The trout were on. They started with nymphs, but as soon as the emerging tan caddis popped to the surface, a green summer morning turned into something special.

Steve was the first to switch to dry flies. Around 9:30 a.m. I leapfrogged his position again and stopped to visit for a moment. Steve spoke as I approached.

“Man, these are the days you dream about,” he said while casting.

Standing in the creek, not far off the bank, he glanced over his left shoulder in my direction, judging the length of his fly line against the back casting space I’d left him. And I continued wading closer to my friend in the ankle-deep water.

“You switched to dries?” I used the statement as a question . . .