Trout Of Japan

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by Daniel Galhardo

“THE SEA-RUN FORM ASCENDS RIVERS OF JAPAN IN MAY WHEN CHERRY TREES ARE IN BLOOM AND THEREFORE IS KNOWN AS THE SAKURA MASU, OR CHERRY SALMON”.

As part of my mission of spreading the tenkara story to anglers outside of Japan, I have made a point to visit Japan every year. I’m currently on my 6th “pilgrimage” to the country, meeting with teachers who share with me their techniques, their insights into tenkara, and of course their favorite fishing spots where we search for trout.

There are two main types of trout that we target in Japan: the amago and yamame. There is also a char, the iwana (side note, most tenkara rods we offer at Tenkara USA are named after Japanese trout/char).

The amago and yamame are virtually identical, except that the amago features red spots thorough its body while the yamame does not. The yamame and amago are also referred outside of Japan as “cherry salmon”. In his book, Trout of the World, James Prosek explains “Among Japan’s many varieties of native salmonids is a beautiful pink and violet salmon that exists in both anadromous and landlocked forms. The sea-run form ascends rivers of Japan in May when cherry treers are in bloom and therefore is known as the sakura mass, or cherry salmon”.

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Airflo Miracle Braid Running Line: Review

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By Louis Cahill

Airflo Miracle Braid is an exceptional choice for your shooting head setups.

I recently had the chance to try out the Airflo Miracle Braid running line. I have to admit that I never really understood why you would want a braided running line, but once I used it no explanation was necessary. I love it and I will be using a lot more Miracle Braid in the future.

There is one drawback to braided running line and I’m going to address it right up front because of the timing of this review. Braided running line is, by design, intended for warm weather. In temperatures below freezing it will freeze and become a nightmare, so don’t run out and stock up for your winter steelheading. It will not be a pleasant experience. When used under proper conditions, it’s awesome.

Choosing the right running line is always a compromise. I like mono running line for it’s low friction and shooting ability but there are some drawbacks. It’s slippery and no matter how much you use it, you will sometimes still lose your grip and blow a cast. It also has a fair amount of stretch and that’s not always great for hooking and fighting fish. 

Coated running lines are easier to hold onto and they float well but they don’t shoot line nearly as freely as mono, and they can stick to the water and be hard to manage sometimes during long swings in uneven currents. I use coated lines for some of my scandi heads, especially on lighter rods. 

The Airflo Miracle Braid offers the best of both worlds. As a choice for summer scandi style fishing, I don’t think you can beat it.

Here are a few reasons I love the Airflo Miracle Braid.

Hand

Miracle Braid gives you the best grip of any running line I have used. Even better than coated lines. The braid creates a natural texture that fingers can really hold onto, even when wet. It almost has the feel of oilcloth or an old silk line that’s freshly dressed. It’s warm and inviting to the touch. I never lost my hand casting with it.

Shootability

Miracle Braid shoots as well as mono, in part thanks to it’s ability to pick up water. This is what makes it unusable in freezing weather, but the water lubricates the line as it goes through the guides, and go through the guides it does.

Zero Memory

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New South Andros Bonefish Schools

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We have a few bonefish school dates and a last minute chance at a real bargain!

The G&G Bonefish School continues to grow in popularity. With anglers returning year after year, and new anglers eager to shorten their learning curve and become proficient in saltwater flyfishing, the schools have been selling out quickly.

At the time of this writing, we have a cancelation, leaving one spot in the Jan 5-12 school. We also have 4 spots open for June 8-15.

The cost for this 6 day / 7 night trip is $3975. That’s an amazing discount over the normal rate of $5950. These are the last dates we will have at those rates, so don’t hesitate if you are interested. All rates are subject to 12% Bahamian VAT Tax.

I don’t know of a better bargain or a better way to up your saltwater fly game. I hope you will be able to join me and experience South Andros for yourself. This place is famous for a reason. 

Email me at hookups@ginkandgasoline.com for more info or to reserve your spot.

HERE’S MORE INFO ON THE G&G BONEFISH SCHOOL AT BAIR’S LODGE, SOUTH ANDROS.

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Sunday Classic / Limit False Casting to Improve Your Casting Stroke

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When we first start out fly fishing and we’re still learning the mechanics of the casting stroke, it’s very common for many of us to make excessive false casts in between our presentations. For some of us, excessive false casting is an excuse to impart quality control during our fly casting, for others, we justify it for the simple fact that we just love casting a fly rod. Whatever the reasons may be for excessive false casting, it needs to be kept in check, if anglers wants to fly fish at their best. If you’re currently in the beginner or intermediate skill level range, one of the best ways to take your fly fishing to the next level, is to make yourself minimize your false casting on the water.

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Saturday Shoutout / Little Girls, Big Trout

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Lyla Blue Guymon is a normal seven year-old…with a magazine cover.

Matt and Summer Guymon have had their daughter Lyla on the water, literarily since before she was born. Every parent loves to see their kid catch fish, but not all get to see them catch trophy brown trout. Fewer more see the moment preserved on a magazine cover.

Matt’s story about the cover photo of Trout magazine is as heartwarming as it is unusual. Take a minute an share the excitement with Lyla and her dad.

A LITTLE GIRL’S BIG IMPACT IN TROUT MAGAZINE

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Simms Freestone Waders: Video

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Simms Freestone Waders offer quality, fit and performance at a great price.

The Simms Freestone waders are a great choice for anglers who want Simms performance at $279. I have a pair that I travel with and I love them. While they may not be as bombproof as my G4Zs, they are lighter and easy to pack. On the water, they don’t feel like a compromise.

This years Freestone waders have a few nice upgrades and include mens, women, and kids waders, as well as a pant wader. Theres an economical wader in the lineup for every anglers needs.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO FOR ALL THE DETAILS ON THE SIMMS FREESTONE WADERS.

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Little Things Matter: On The Water Tippet

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By Bob Reece

Successful anglers are built out of sounds habits. 

Those habits focus not only on the large aspects of fly fishing but also on the small.  Within the realm of those petite practices is being aware of the status of your tippet when you’re on the water. 

Your tippet is often the weakest link between a fly that hooks fish and the line that runs through your rod.  Due to this fact, it is critical to check the state of that material as you move through a day of fly fishing.   A lack of due diligence often results in frustration and sometimes heart breaking experiences.  

On a summer adventure with friends, we had been working through an isolated drainage known for its larger than average brown trout.  While fairly open, the typical stream side vegetation of willow and alder were very much present.  During the morning I watched my friend pop his tippet and fly loose from several different alder bushes.  As we arrived at a large run below a waterfall, I asked him if he wanted to tie on a new section of tippet.  My offer was declined.  

After one round of rock, paper, scissors; he won the first cast into the run.  On his second drift a large brown, over two feet long, happily ate his foam offering.  My friend paused and set the hook perfectly.  Sadness and open mouths followed seconds later when his tippet snapped a few feet up from the fly.  With a little inspection, it was easy to see the abrasion to the material that had built up over the course of the morning.

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Making the Bobber Better

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IF YOU’RE GOING TO FISH A BOBBER, YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR BOBBER BETTER.

I’ve written a little lately about my growing discontent towards bobber fishing. I’m going to say again, on the record, that there is a time and a place for a big gaudy bobber and when it’s time to fish one, you want it to work at its absolute best. Right?

There are two common problems with the way a bobber functions. They are both a matter of drift. On the one hand, a bobber can negatively impact the drift of your fly, pulling it up in the water column and causing an unnatural drift. On the other hand, there can be too much slack between the bobber and the fly, causing your bobber to react slowly when a fish eats.

I was talking about this with my friend Whitney Gould the other day and she showed me a cool trick that solves both problems. This is ironic because Whitney is a renowned Spey caster who will not fish a bobber under threat of death and openly makes fun of anyone who does, including me. I don’t mind, because I’m not too proud to learn something and this trick is so simple I’m shocked I’ve never seen it before.

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A Fly Angler Journey Through ICAST

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By Dan Frasier

“If IFTD is a charming antique shop, well maintained with some really neat stuff in it, ICAST is Mardi Gras, complete with floats and fire eaters.”

This year, for the first time, I decided to make the long trek from Sioux Falls, SD, to Orlando in the heat of summer to attend the International Fly Tackle Dealers Convention. For those of you that aren’t familiar, this is the largest Fly Trade Show in the United States. Every year companies gather to introduce the world to the new and wonderful products that will be gracing the fly shop shelves in the coming year; all vying for a pocket in your chest pack. The show is really a pretty good time, getting to see people you haven’t seen in years and getting a sneak preview of some really cool and innovative stuff. That said, two and a half days is a long time and the fly industry is rather small. So I found myself bored. Enter ICAST.

ICAST is the trade show to which IFTD is attached. It’s the show for the fishing industry in its entirety. Bikini-clad ladies staff booths and entire RV’s and lineups of boats grace the floor. It’s a real spectacle to behold. If IFTD is a charming antique shop, well maintained with some really neat stuff in it, ICAST is Mardi Gras, complete with floats and fire eaters. So naturally, I wandered over there. You know, just to check things out. Not because of the girls or anything. 

Anyway, I saw some pretty astonishing things that the gear world is bringing out and I wanted to share a few of those with you. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the cool and innovative new products on the fly side. Tacky’s breathable fly box stands out in particular. Now step with me onto Bourbon Street for a look at what the other side is up to. 

While having lunch one day one and talking with a friend, a tall and very loud man pulled up a seat next to us. He asked who we were and what we were at the show for. As my buddy and I explained who we are, he loudly cut us off and started talking about what he does. Immediately he reminded me of a carnival barker. I hung with the conversation for a few minutes and the man slid a package across the table to me like some kind of surreptitious spy dossier. I looked down and realized he’d given me a Bill Blade. 

A Bill Blade is a knife “system” which allows you to cut off the corner of your hat and install what amounts to a metal sheath that a knife blade slides into. That way you have quick access to your blade at all times by just grabbing the corner of your hat and whipping it out. You know, like if you’re with your buddies the Sharks and suddenly the Jets are snapping and prancing their way down the alley. You’ll be able to stick a fool in the time it takes to tip your cap. Just don’t try and REPLACE the blade into the sheath/bill of the cap without taking the cap off. That’s surely a recipe for an eye patch.

As I wandered the floor of the convention center a particularly large wall caught my eye

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On this day….. Veterans day

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By Aleks Renshaw

IN TODAY’S AMERICA, ONLY ABOUT 0.4 PERCENT OF OUR NATION DEFEND US FROM ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.

“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.” 

-Judd Gregg

If asked, It would be virtually impossible for any single one of them, who currently serve,  to say that their military service has not changed them in some way. Boot camp changes you, the brothers and sisters you serve with change you, and public perception of who you are and what you represent takes hold and changes you. Those are just the basics that I encountered. Add in the factors of serving during war time and tours of duty in war torn areas in the world and the fabric of a man, or woman, changes for ever. 

“The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

-Douglas MacArthur

It is impossible to un-see things. To rationally understand the things you are encountering, and erase the scars of war, visible and invisible. As individuals, we internalize and process things differently. Guilt, depression, anxiety, memory loss, and shame. Reactions, unique to ourselves and the experiences we encounter. It’s hard to help with something that, in most, has yet to show its self or they are unable to outwardly explain. 

To exacerbate this, only about 7.3 percent of all living Americans have served in the military at some point in their lives. So, about 92.7 percent of Americans can’t begin to relate to those men and women just out of boot camp, let alone returning home from a tour of duty. As these men and women fade back into society, we see an average of 20 veterans commit suicide daily. This number may fluctuate but, any number for our war hero’s is unacceptable. I personally faced a sailor who found herself wanting to end her life and another who I could not stop. I just could not get my head around the numbers that were being published or the two sailors I personally encountered. They left me wanting to do more. 

“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of mind”

-Washington Irving

So, I began by donating my monthly reserve pay to a National Veteran Organization and volunteering my time with several other Veteran Organizations. After a national scandal with a well-known charity I was sending money to, I found myself looking for a more genuine organization. An organization that has a more specific approach. A one on one program with a multi level approach that I could focus my efforts on. 

I found it in Warriors and Quiet Waters. A Montana charitable Organization that is privately funded, volunteer-based that offers programs to post 9/11 Combat Veterans and their families. 

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