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TENKARA ANGLER

Fall 2015

www.tenkaraangler.com


TENKARA ANGLER Fall 2015

COMMUNITY 2 INTRODUCTION

4 INTERVIEW: ROBB CHUNCO

8 5 PEOPLE THAT INSTAGRAM __RIGHT DESTINATION 12 NORTH ST. VRAIN CREEK, CO 16 TENKARA SUMMITS PAST

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20 MIDWEST TENKARA FEST

GEAR 23 KORKERS GREENBACK BOOT 24 TENKARA TIMES TRY 360 TACTICS 26 FLOATING LINES FOR ___WARMWATER

27 THE ROAD KONE KEBARI ESSAY 28 COMFORT FOOD & TROUT ___STREAMS 30 THE GREAT INDOORS

31 FAREWELL FOR NOW GOOD 31 FRIEND

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ONE MORE CAST 32 TENKARA SASQUATCH


Fishing A Trout Stream Somewhere In Appalachia Photo by Je Jones

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INTRODUCTION

Thank you for taking the time to page through this issue of Tenkara Angler. Being that it's the first issue, I would like to take some time to state the mission and objective of this project. Tenkara Angler is a magazine-style publication that was honestly put together as low-cost entertainment. Some people like to watch movies, some people like to play video games, I happen to like to find creative outlets, and online publishing tools have always intrigued me. Tenkara Angler takes many of its cues from several of my favorite fishing publications. You'll likely notice parts reminiscent of Eastern Fly Fishing Magazine, Tenkara Magazine, Headwaters Magazine, and Field & Stream. Long term, I'd love to see Tenkara Angler become a resource with many different contributors, not simply my point of view. Perhaps even advertisers, who can subsidize some of the contributions, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Today, Tenkara Angler is none of that. It is simply a compilation of tenkara-themed "greatest hits" from my blog, Troutrageous!, with a few new entries sprinkled in to round things out. In time, it may get there. It may not. There are so many different ways to consume information, even tenkara information. The odds are against it. I should probably also address the elephant in the room. No, I do not see Tenkara Angler ever becoming a competitor to Tenkara USA's Tenkara 2

Magazine. I have far too much respect for Daniel Galhardo to encroach on his territory, and I certainly don't fancy myself a magazine editor, or photographer, or professional writer. Tenkara Angler in its current form is simply a recreational project. Something different that gets the creative juices flowing in a new way. I plan on printing some copies for personal use, friends, & family, and if someone takes enough interest to actually want to purchase one through the eprinter I'm utilizing, well, thank you very much! I hope you enjoy the first issue of Tenkara Angler Magazine. It sure was a lot of fun to put together.

Michael Agneta Editor In Chief


"Not So Secret" Water Southeastern Pennsylvania

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Interview

Robb Chunco - Creekside Kebari + Fly Co. As I started playing around a little bit more on Instagram last winter, I found that it broadened my horizons to what is going on in the world of tenkara, especially when it came to folks that weren't affiliated with any of the rod companies, nor doing the majority of their socializing on Facebook or Twitter.

Etsy:

www.etsy.com/shop/CreeksideKebari

One of the first users to catch my eye was Creekside Kebari + Fly Co...an account that not only appeared to be tying really great flies, but taking stellar photos of them as well. As such, I'm happy to present the following interview with Robb Chunco of Creekside Kebari + Fly Co. I understand that you & Creekside Kebari + Fly Co. are based in Buffalo, NY. What do you consider your home waters? Do you have a favorite creek or fish species, and what do you like most about it? (No need to give up secret spots) Being in Western NY, we’re pretty lucky to be smack dab in the middle of some pretty amazing waters. Within an hour’s drive I could be at any one of a half dozen prime creeks. A little further out and another half dozen – that’s what’s cool about the area. If you've got the time to keep looking, you’ll keep finding water to fish. The Upper Cattaraugus, Hosmer Brook and Wiscoy Creek are probably the best known. The Lake Erie and Ontario tribs are legendary steelhead fisheries as well. I’ve gotta say that brookies are probably 4

Instagram: @creeksidekebari


my favorite. They’re also New York’s official state fish, so I got that goin' for me. Which is nice. But I have a big soft spot for warm water fishing. If you've never taken a slab of a bluegill on a tenkara rod, then I kind of feel bad for you – those little SOB’s are a hell of a lot of fun! But honestly, any fish on the end of your line is pretty hard to beat. Brookies, browns, bluegill or bass – I’ll happily catch them all. When I think of Buffalo, 3 things come to mind. The Bills, wings, and snow. They’re probably stereotypical associations, like all Philadelphians (where I'm from) are insane for the Eagles and eat a diet of only cheesesteaks. What’s your opinion of the first two, and does it really snow as much as most people think there? I’m just not a fan of football. Not even one little bit. But I do sort of admire the dedication of Bills fans. I dig wings (thank you for not calling them ‘Buffalo Wings’, by the way). I live about 2 minutes away from the Anchor Bar where they were invented. Snow. Oh, snow... Yes, it can get pretty crazy here at times. If conditions are just so, and Lake Erie isn’t totally frozen the Lake Effect snows can be quite intense. This past season the areas just south of the city got 7 feet of snow in 3 days. It was insane. The city proper got nailed pretty badly too. However, the other 3 seasons are known for being pretty glorious around here. How and when did you come across tenkara? What was/is appealing about it to you? I “found” tenkara not even a year after I started fly fishing...I love the efficiency, but am not one of those guys that has decided to abandon my reels all together. Did you fly fish prior?

I think 3 or 4 years ago or so, a good friend told me about it. It seemed really cool – I know the term “simple” gets used a lot, but it’s right on the money. It’s a truly simple way to fish and that simplicity can be pretty liberating. I had messed around with fly fishing a little bit before I got into tenkara, but was primarily chasing largemouth bass with a spinning rig and soft plastics. If anything, tenkara is almost fueling my interest in conventional fly fishing. The two methods both have their place and a tenkara rod is so portable it’s nice to be able to pack one along in addition to a fly rod. I’ve got a few Eagle Claw Featherlights with Martin clickers and a Cabela's CGR rigged up with an LL Bean Pocket Water reel. They're so buttery smooth. Tenkara tools can be simple, but let’s talk gear for a second...rod, line, fly box. I've got way too much tenkara gear, but am crushing on the Tenkara USA Rhodo, Sunline 3.0 level line, and a Tacky Fly Box to do my bidding at the moment. What do you use, do you have a preference? I have a Badger Tenkara “Classic” and a “Bad Axe.” I dig Badger because of their relaxed and approachable view on tenkara fishing – a “just get out there and do it” vibe. Their Badger Lite lines are really nice and I've been using 12’ & 14’ furled kevlar lines from Streamside Leaders. I really like the way they cast, but this year I’d like to look into using level line a bit more. Man, those Tacky boxes are nice, aren’t they? I love mine. And more importantly what’s INSIDE your fly box? I’d imagine you’re not a “one fly” guy...but who knows, you might surprise me…

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I’m not really a tenkara ‘one fly’ purist. I get it, but fishing different flies is fun, man. I’ve got a few of almost everything in my catalog. I love pheasant tail kebari and I really like killer bugs – both the Frank Sawyer and the Utah version. The traditional kebari with a silk loop for an eye seem to move really nice in the water due to the flexible eye, so I always have a bunch of those on hand. So many “Western” patterns work well with a tenkara rod – Adams, a few terrestrials, small poppers for bass and bluegill. Stimulators for a dry & dropper rig. It seems silly to not use them – why limit yourself? What does your tying bench look like? Mine is always a mess. Do you have favorite tools (vise, bobbin, etc...) or materials to work with? I’ll be honest, those whip finish tools just confuse me. I always start out pretty organized and then it’s all downhill from there. If I’m tying up a whole bunch of the same pattern I’ll try to stage everything in a kind of mise en place. I've got a nice, simple and solid HMH SX pedestal vise and really can’t see myself needing anything else. It’s just rock solid. Zero BS. I like Dr Slick tools – I have their Micro tip scissors, a few ECO bobbins and their bamboo handle whip finisher. It seems like there’s a certain dark magic at play with the whip finisher, doesn’t it? Embrace it, dude. Embrace the dark magic. I've noticed you offer many different kebari patterns for sale. Where do you get your inspiration? Well, there are a few “standard” offerings, but there’s usually a lot of daydreaming involved with pattern development. I 6

scratch notes and sketches on scraps of paper all the time and when I sit down to tie, I’ll dig them out and try to make them work. I’ll sometimes try to translate a Western or North Country wet pattern into a tenkara pattern, but after a certain point it can get kind of moot. Why try to fix what isn't broken? What about the “+ Fly” part of your brand’s name...you also tie English North Country soft hackle flies. While not mutually exclusive, tell us more about that portion of your offering? It seemed like a logical second side to the shop. They’re quite similar to kebari in their structure, simplicity, and elegance, and also fish quite well on a tenkara rod. Tying them is a lot of fun and also a huge exercise in restraint. They just don’t look right with too much or too little hackle, and the silk thread has to be wound just so. Their history is incredibly interesting as well. Have you tied flies for a long time? Your Etsy store is relatively new (November 2014); what made you decide to sell your kebari? Is there a "top selling" pattern yet? I’m still fairly new to tying, but I kind of hit the ground running. It just sort of clicked. My buddy who initially told me about tenkara had been telling me for years that I would really dig tying, and he was totally right. I’m not sure when or why I decided to start selling them. I think I just wanted to see if I could actually do it, but then it turned into something a bit bigger. There’s no real top seller per se, but people do seem to dig the Caddis Larva kebari and the Pearly Gates kebari. I move a lot of Killer Bugs too. What else do you like to do beside fly tying and fishing?


So many things to do, and not enough time to do them. I play guitar, and have a few analog synthesizers that I mess around with in a low key solo electronic music project. I like woodworking. I love photography. I love to cook. I've been a homebrewer since 1994. I snowboard and ride bikes when I can. I really dig camping, and now that my son is getting old enough (5 this year!) to come along with me, we’ll be doing quite a bit of that this summer. I believe I first noticed your flies on Instagram. Is that your primary form of marketing, and what do you think of Instagram as a marketing tool? Instagram has changed everything for me. It is my primary form of marketing – I have a Facebook page and a Tumblr account too, but Instagram is a very powerful platform. It’s essentially a form of free advertising if you want it to be. In closing, s there anything else you’d like to say about fly tying, fly fishing, or Creekside? Feel free to say whatever comes to mind. I really appreciate your taking the time to notice my work, and giving me the opportunity to answer these questions. It seems like there can be a little bit of animosity in both fly fishing camps (tenkara and conventional) toward one another, and there really shouldn't be. The techniques each have their merits and limitations – what works well with one method may not necessarily work with the other, but they can cover each other’s backs. I've seen some downright nasty chatter toward tenkara online that sounded like it could have been happening in a middle school locker room. Lighten up! It’s all a means to an end, and who the hell cares how you do it? All photography courtesy Robb Chunco

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5 People That Instagram Tenkara Right

Over the past two years, I've really had fun tooling around Instagram looking at photos of the topics I enjoy. While my contributions to the social media platform have been less than stellar, digging into fly fishing hashtags have opened my eyes to a ton of different people that I don't typically interact with via typical social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter. There are a handful of folks that really cover the subject of tenkara exceptionally well. Here are five of my favorites; some may be familiar, others new, but either way I think they're worthy of your "follow." In no particular order... @tenkararodco The official Instagram account of Tenkara Rod Co., these guys absolutely slay it on Instagram. Lots of great photos, a nice amount of videos mixed in, and a huge follower base...seems like their posts receive about 400-500 likes on average, a staggering number.

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@tenkaraholic The user types descriptions in Japanese, but the pictures speak for themselves. Tons of beautiful fish and landscape photos...you can't go wrong with any of posts this account pushes out to the world. @5ive3hree This Instagram account posts wonderful photos with fishing, camping, and handmade goods as the subject. Sort of a hipster aesthetic, but I still dig it a lot. A Japanese user, but the posts are in English. @jasonsparks25 Yes, you probably know Jason Sparks as the tenkara evangelist and have encountered him first elsewhere - Facebook, the Appalachian Tenkara Jam, or perhaps one of the clinics he puts on locally in the North Carolina area. And yes, these photos usually get cross-posted to Facebook...so you can view them there too...but I have to give credit where it's due. Jason has a great eye for photography, especially macro shots, and he's consistently one of the top creators of tenkara content on Instagram.

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@tenkarautah I've been a big fan of Dave Blackhurst's tenkarautah account for a while. All of the pictures of fish, scenery, or the random tenkara doo-dad are all bright, colorful, and full of life. If you've been following him for a while, you may have once known his account as 10karafish, this is the current destination. Photos like his make me want to get out and fish Utah again. Tenkara on Instagram doesn't just stop with these accounts. There are also several that I would be remiss if I did not give them honorable mentions, such as @apnaples, @mikeadamstattoo, @creeksidekebari, @tenkarachick, @tenkarausa, and @johnjmcmullen. All of those Instagram accounts have a lot going for them, fresh content, beautiful photos, and of course, tenkara. Even if you don't plan on posting your own photos, it's worth downloading the Instagram app simply to follow and view great photographers like these five. You won't be sorry that you did!

St. Mary's Wilderness George Washington National Forest, Virginia 10


Scenes From The Stream Respect The Resource

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Destination

Breathtaking.

North St. Vrain Creek, Colorado

I was extremely excited to cash in an offer to go fishing with Karel Lansky during the 2014 Tenkara Summit in Colorado. Karel & I have been friendly online for several years, and briefly met out at the 2012 Summit in Salt Lake City, UT, however I was never fortunate enough to share water with him. Swinging by the hotel around 7AM, followed by a quick pit stop at Dunkin' Donuts, Karel & I sped off to our fishing destination of the day, the North St. Vrain Creek via the Wild Basin Trailhead. Karel was excited to try and get me a Greenback Cutthroat, while I was pretty thrilled just to be going after some colorful brookies... (He later explained that brookies aren't as loved out West as they are in the East, they're considered invasive and have crowded out native species). To say this area was picturesque was a total understatement. I honestly wasn't prepared for the beauty of the cascading water as we waded the creek and walked the trail upstream. While some of the tighter areas were somewhat similar to some water I've fished back East, the scale was just magnificent to behold. Huge boulders, plunge pool after plunge pool, pocket water galore, big downed trees...damn, this was some beautiful water. We started out the day beneath some falls, plucking out a few eager brookies. Karel was kind of disappointed that the fishing was "slow," but I was having a blast. He probably didn't understand that when I fish, the "numbers" are usually kept on one hand.

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I think those fishermen out West are just spoiled! That said, he was certain things would pick up once the sun got a little higher in the sky and things warmed up a bit. He was right. We continued to work our way upstream...sometimes taking turns working the same water, other times spreading out a bit and leaving some space in between. It seemed the further we went, the better the fishing! Brookie, brookie, brookie, brookie...certain runs and pools were just rapid fire. I probably caught a dozen, Karel easily 2x that; it seemed every stretch we tried held fish, it was just a matter of figuring out how to get them to hand. We were so into it, we really didn't even stop to take a lunch break...only hungrily chomping down trail mix and Clif bars on the go.


The rod of the day was the Tenkara USA Rhodo. Karel taught me his method of fashioning "EZ Keepers" out of brass paper tacks & rubber bands for easy line management

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Then the trail went slightly vertical and my sea level lungs were not quite ready for it. Screw you altitude. We kept going up because the higher up we went, the more likely we'd be able to get into some Greenback Cutthroat trout. But once we got to where the trail leveled out again, I thought my lungs were going to explode. Hunched over, I told Karel to fish at the first run while I composed myself and tried not to pass out. After a little bit I was fortunate enough to gather enough of my wits to get that first Greenback Cutthroat hanging out right beneath the froth of a small plunge pool. I'll be honest, my head was still swimming, so I'm not sure I let out the proper amount of emotion once the fish was brought to hand. It did feel damn good though, and was well worth the pain. We continued up, as it was Karel's turn to catch his greenback cutt, which he did slightly after we reached Calypso Cascades. Karel also picked up another greenback cutt on the way back down in one of the most "pimp" ways to do so. He basically walked in to a spot...Cast once...and BAM...fish on. It was so awesome to see, kind of like Babe Ruth calling his shot!

We fished our way back down to the car, each picking up a few fish along the way. It was much easier hiking down than it was going up. The ride back to the hotel was probably just as enjoyable as the fishing. Karel is a very entertaining story teller, and we traded stories of work, families, including our similarly aged daughters (who both happen to love Minecraft), and other random things...like the first three Star Wars movies (chronologically, not numerically) for example. I honestly could not have asked for a better afternoon hopping rocks, probing pocket water, hiking trails, and trading tales. It was an outstanding day of fishing that I won't forget very soon and I can't thank Karel enough for showing me around and playing the role of unofficial "guide." GEAR USED: Tenkara USA Rhodo Tenkara USA 2.5 Level Line (Pink) Assorted Sakasa Kebari Tenkara USA Tamo (Net) Karel Lansky writes a wonderful blog entitled "Tenkara On The Fly," which can be found at: www.tenkaraonthefly.net 15


TENKARA SUMMITS PAST The Tenkara Summit, held annually by Tenkara USA, is an event that is well worth the drive or ight to attend. With an incredible amount of tenkara knowledge present, it is an ideal opportunity to learn new strategies and techniques, meet likeminded anglers, or simply drool over the ample gear on display.

Here is a look back at the last three Tenkara Summits in photo form.

The 2015 Tenkara Summit will be held in Estes Park, Colorado Information can be found at www.tenkarausa.com

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17 Salt Lake City, Utah 2012


Harrisonburg, VA 2013

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Boulder, CO 2014

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Destination

2015 Midwest Tenkara Fest

Coon Creek, WI The first Midwest Tenkara Fest (MWTF) was held in Wisconsin last weekend. Forever seeking a good excuse to fish "The Driftless," the combination of trout, tenkara, and newto-me fishing waters, proved just too tempting to pass up. After a long day of travel on Friday, the doors of the Midwest Tenkara Fest opened shortly before 11AM on Saturday. Saturday also happened to be the Wisconsin Trout Opener, so fishing was on everyone's mind.

providing constant temptation during the various indoor presentations.

The MWTF itself was held in a VFW Hall in Coon Valley, Wisconsin. Coon Valley is a really small town, basically a main street with all of the necessities; a church, a market, a pizza place, and of course, the ubiquitous Kwik Trip.

Tenkara USA - Manned by Mark Bolson, a nice spread of TUSA rods, accessories, and literature was present. Mark also was tying flies...and boy is he a talented tyer. Being very familiar with the TUSA product line, I think I spent more time chatting up Mark than fondling the merchandise.

The VFW hall sits right next to Coon Valley Veterans Memorial Park, a beautifully maintained public use facility that just so happens to have a trout stream (Coon Creek) run right through it! So the MWTF was no more than 100 yards from the water, making for convenient on stream demos as well as

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Here's a quick rundown of the vendors... Badger Tenkara - MWTF Hosts, there was also a table with their full line, including prototypes of two new rods, the UNC & Wisco. (Having cast the Wisco, I can tell you it was sweet, I'm going to pick one up to fool around with Florida Largemouth).

DRAGONtail Tenkara / Moonlit Fly Fishing Rick Munday was overseeing this offering of rods & lines. I have to say, the DRAGONtail rods might have some of the sharpest cosmetics out there if that matters to you. I was particularly interested in the new zoom


rod, the Komodo. A very impressive offering. TenkaraBum - What's a tenkara event without Chris Stewart? There were far too many rods on his THREE tables of gear to even try and recap all of what Chris brought along. All of the goodies from all of the Japanese brands were present. The Nissin rods were especially nice to browse in person. I mean who doesn't want a Pocket Mini? It was all almost overwhelming...but impressive none the less! Streamside Leaders - Michael Moline (& wife Kathy) were also in attendance, with a rainbow of colored leaders, flies for sale, and of course two models of tenkara rod. The 9 foot Streamside rod is definitely a winner. Did you know Streamside has been making tenkara lines longer than tenkara rods have been sold in the United States? I didn't either, until last weekend. Zimmerbuilt - The bags and packs made by Chris Zimmer are ultralight, functional works of art. Having owned a "Guide Sling" for a few years, you really can't gain an appreciation for the quality construction and attention to detail without handling one (or many) in person. Chris was also selling MWTF patches, which I just had to scoop up.

Coulee Region Adventures - Ever think of fishing tenkara from a NuCanoe? Anthony Larson did, and does, and as a guide and NuCanoe dealer, he was eager to tell you all about this awesome fishing platform. The MWTF content spanned two days with Saturday and Sunday both filled with a lot of great presentations (and food). Matt Sment of Badger Tenkara sort of served as emcee walking the attendees through the basics of tenkara, both in the classroom and out on the lawn (& creek). Other presentations were either in person, via Skype, or recorded video. While all of the presenters (Mike Lutes, Anthony Larson, John Vetterli, Erik Ostrander, etc...) were great, a handful really stood out to me. Craig Thoreson's keiryu gear & zero tension line overview - While I'm not giving up tenkara any time soon, it was really interesting to see all of the keiyru gear up close. The lines Craig makes were amazing. Imagine using spiderwebs for fishing line...yes, those zero tension lines are that fine. Rob Worthing (Tenkara Guides) Landing Big Fish - This was a recorded video / power

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point, but it was extremely thorough, informative, and Rob's delivery as narrator was very entertaining. Don't know the secrets to riding the power curve of your tenkara rod? Rob and the Tenkara Guides can fill you in on that, among many other big fish techniques. Chris Stewart's Keiryu Tactics for Tenkara Yeah, I know, more keiryu...but this presentation was more about applying some strategies from one form of fixed line fishing to another. Long rods, short lines, and yes... you can use split shot or weighted flies. It was simply a refreshing counterpoint to many of the tenkara taboos out there today. Anthony Naples' Small Stream Tenkara Movie - Yep, I called it a movie. At maybe 50 minutes long, it was a very, very, very comprehensive overview on how to fish small, tight water effectively. And I can't forget the fly tying!!! - Dale Hewitt, Mark Bolson, and Matt Shipp each spent some time at the vise. I was most interested in Dale's presentation on local

Matt Sment Badger Tenkara 22

Wisconsin fly patterns such as the Pink Squirrel (and pink squirrel kebari variant). As a guy who personally struggles with a vise, I admire his dexterity. While the schedule was jam-packed with presentations, there was a lot of time provided to fish the Coon Creek as well as meet & chit-chat with other attendees, which quite honestly is my favorite part of these events. Whether it's simply first time introductions, or renewing friendships made at prior events, getting to better know people you've become acquainted through tenkara on social media is a great opportunity that I look forward to each year. Looking back on the experience, I thought the Midwest Tenkara Fest was a very informative and enjoyable event. It was extremely well run by the folks at Badger Tenkara and I'd recommend considering attending next year's event to anyone that is ten-curious, lives in the Midwest, or simply needs an excuse, like me, to get out and fish the beautiful spring-fed streams of the Driftless.


Gear Korkers GreenBack Wading Boots

Much of the water that tenkara anglers fish require quite a bit of dexterity on stream. Climbing down steep banks, scaling boulders, hopping rocks, it takes a toll on your legs, and your wading boots. In 2016, Korkers will be releasing a new boot at a very friendly pricepoint. Known for their interchangeable outsoles, will bring that same technology to the market at under $100 with their new GreenBack™ boot. Per Korkers CEO, Brian Chaney: "Compare Korkers new $99 GreenBack™ Wading Boot to any other boot in the fishing industry in the $79-$110 price range and it simply blows the competition away. We wanted to ensure that the GreenBack™

spares no expense when it comes to technology and performance. The GreenBack™ features hallmark features like a molded EVA midsole for shock absorption, comfort, and support, as well as our proprietary OmniTrax® Interchangeable Sole System. We believe the new GreenBack™ delivers an outstanding value for consumers of all types and are excited to be able to reach new customers with this economical price point.” Korkers will offer the GreenBack™ in three different outsole package options, Felt only ($99.99 MSRP), Kling-On® and Felt ($119.99), or Kling-On® and Studded KlingOn® ($139.99). www.korkers.com

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Tenkara Times TRY 360 6:4 Tenkara Rod

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"Wow, now that's light..." That was my initial impression, and probably most lasting impression when it comes to the Tenkara Times TRY 360 rod. That, and "what's with the purple stripes?" Not to spoil the review you may or may not read below, but I was really impressed by the rod. I honestly didn't expect too much when I was first offered the opportunity, but the rod came through and then some. First I guess we'll get into the specs... I don't have one of those fancy postal scales some rod reviewers use to weigh their rods, but this model is light. Like super-light. Like even super-ultra-light. The Tenkara Times website claims it's 62 grams. Not being good with metric conversions, I'll just say it's on par, if not lighter, than the 11' Iwana from Tenkara USA, which is pretty impressive considering this rod is a foot longer extended. It definitely fishes lighter in hand than any of my other rods, Iwana included. The rod is approximately 12 feet when extended and a little over 22 inches long collapsed giving it a slightly taller profile than some of the other 12 footers I've fished. It's got a very spartan charcoal matte finish (which I like a lot), with each section tipped by some odd purple stripes. Why purple? Beats me. Perhaps it's to stand out in a crowd. The cork grip is of fair to better quality and the winding check is executed cleanly. Maybe the only thing I don't care for is the screw off end cap being more or less flush to the bottom of the grip. You need to use a coin or something in the deep groove to unscrew the cap, you can't just use your fingers as with other rods.

It's rated a 6:4 which it pretty true when flexed under the fight of a fish. I'd say the rod is a touch stiff, but very crisp casting. I fished it with both 3.0 Sunline level line as well as a Moonlit DePuy Springs furled line and was able to put out some really accurate casts with each. I've fished the rod for trout as well as in warmwater for bass & bluegill. It handled all species fairly easily. I was really concerned that with the rod being so light it may also be delicate. Not the case. It flexed enough to protect the 6x tippet I was using and really handled the muscling of the fish to hand quite well. The price is right too. The rod runs $149 and is available domestically through Three Rivers Tenkara (threeriverstenkara.com) as Tenkara Times is a European company. So would I recommend this rod? In short, yes I would. Even if you don't like purple. It's so freakin' light it's going to really surprise you the first time you pick it up...and then again once you're fighting a fish of substance. In my current collection of 9 tenkara rods, I'd place this one in the top 3, I like it that much. Note: The cosmetics of this rod were updated slightly after this review was written. 25


Tactics

Floating Tenkara Lines For Warmwater

RIGS Floating Line (Left); Streamside Windcutter Line (Right) Both Pics Courtesy of Respective Manufacturers If you haven't tried a tenkara floating fly line for warmwater applications yet, do yourself a favor and pick one up, especially if you frequent lakes or ponds. Being a trout guy by nature, my tenkara kit in recent years had evolved into level lines and kebari; excellent tools for tricking opportunistic browns, brookies, and rainbows in swift moving, coldwater streams where the emphasis is on presentation and keeping the line off the water. The perfect tools for the job at hand. With the warmwater opportunities that present themselves in Florida, and fish like bass and bluegill that are not quite as line or leader shy as trout, those same level lines and kebari can still work, but sometimes it's just more effective (& entertaining) to fish topwater. Foam grasshoppers, beetles, and poppers, work extremely well in warmwater settings like ponds, but I'm not going to lie and suggest that level line (or furled lines) are

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the best compliment to that menu of flies. Sure, you can add floatant to each to keep them somewhat buoyant, however over time, both types of lines will "want" to sink and bring your fly down with them. On the other hand, the ultralight floating fly lines designed for tenkara rods seem to be the perfect tool for THIS job, and in my opinion well worth including in your arsenal. While I'm not going to endorse a specific floating line, two great options that I've personally fished are the RIGS floating tenkara line and the Streamside Leaders Windcutter floating line. Both lines cast and turn over easily, even with larger flies. They obviously both float. A few differences between the two is that the RIGS line has a short section of high-vis indicator at the very end of the PVC line. It utilizes a tippet ring for line-to-tippet connection. The Streamside lines can be purchased at several lengths from 8' to 30', and use a welded loop for line-to-tippet


connection. While you probably won't see a ton of coverage regarding floating tenkara lines (unless you're from the school of "Simple Fly Fishing") in my humble opinion, they are probably the easiest casting and most effective lines to use if you are going to fish dries or topwater in a warmwater pond for bass or panfish. If that sort of tenkara fishing is something you enjoy doing, even if only on occasion, you owe it to yourself to give a floating tenkara line a shot. I think you'll find it enhancing your fishing experience.

The Road Kone Kebari A Hazard to Fish Everywhere

"One Fly" tactics may be debatable, however if I could only fish one fly, the Road Kone Kebari might be it. Simply a fluorescent orange bodied sakasa kebari with white (or grizzly) reverse hackle to aid in visibility, and a peacock herl thorax, the RKK can also be tied with beadhead to get a little deeper in the water column. It's successfully caught brook, brown, and rainbow trout, bass, panfish of all sorts, even South Florida exotics! In warmwater situations, it's best to let the RKK fully sink, then retrieve in swift pulses like a streamer. In coldwater, fish it right beneath the surface, employing whatever tenkara technique you prefer. If you're looking for a new pattern for your fly box, the RKK might be the multi-purpose ticket you're looking for! 27


Comfort Food & Trout Streams

I don't really consider myself some sort of "destination angler," but it seems like I've been seeking as much out of state trout fishing as I have been chasing bass, bluegill, shad, redfish, and other species locally within the Sunshine State. In search of a good recharge from the work week, I often take refuge in North Georgia to fish some trout streams that my friend Jeff first introduced me to last year. Driving the six or so hours to get to my destination at the southern origin of the Appalachian Trail is a small price to pay to relieve the accumulated stress of daily drama and deadlines. I'm not a man of many vices, but the promise of wild trout water will motivate me like few other things.

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Upon arrival, I considered myself fortunate. Other cars were parked along the road and at stream side campsites, but on the whole, I didn't see many other anglers on the water. I suppose they could have been hidden by the rhododendron, but it proved a good sign of things to come. I'm not going to detail every plunge pool or every set of riffles, but the fish were very kind to me. They were eager to interact, and I was able to score a nice rainbow on my second cast and a solid brown on my fifth or sixth. That never happens. At least not to me. The residents really seemed to respond to a small white hackled kebari. I enjoy fishing


white hackled flies for no other reason than they are easy for me to see in the water or against the wooded backdrop. Most fish were caught slightly below the surface, but some aggressive juvenile rainbows rose on occasion. There's nothing quite as pretty as the banding of parr marks.

There's no other place that I feel as care free and at ease than when standing in a nice cool trout stream. I'm not sure if it's the sound of the flowing water, the shade of the forest canopy, or what. Maybe it's just the relative solitude that a missing cell phone signal provides.

Before I knew it, getting lost in the motions of hopping rocks, bow and arrow casting, lofting fly after fly softly into pocket water, and drifting in and out of random thought, I had spent almost 9 hours on the stream. It barely felt like 45 minutes. Not wanting to drive back to town on the winding mountain roads in the dark, I packed my gear up and contently headed back to the car.

I think more than a few of you know what I'm talking about. That's why you're reading this, that's why you grab your fishing rod and find your special place. We're all hooked on some aspect of fishing that makes us come back because it feels easy and familiar. Just like mac & cheese & pecan pie. My comfort food is a trout stream, what's yours?

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Essay

The Great Indoors

She hates the heat, hates bugs, hates getting dirty. I think she's afraid to ride her bike. Seriously. She loves being around her Dad, but it's tough to get her to go outside. Perhaps if she had friends in the neighborhood. She'd rather draw, read, watch TV, or play video games. Maybe not exactly in that order. She loves the "Great Indoors." So moments like these are extra special. I'll take them when I can get them. Little ďŹ sh. Big smiles.

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Farewell (For Now) Good Friend When Secret Water Treats You Well It's Tough To Leave It Behind...

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ONE MORE CAST

Tenkara Sasquatch Sighting 32 Undisclosed Location


Looking Up A North Georgia Trout Stream


TENKARA ANGLER Fall 2015

Tenkara Angler - Fall 2015  

Featuring an Interview with Creekside Kebari, Destination Fishing in Colorado & Georgia, the 2015 Midwest Tenkara Fest, & more... Tenkara A...