TenkaraGrasshopper on the South Platte, Colorado

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Supporting Local Small Business

I know this is a bit off topic but yet it is timely in my opinion. Last night I was watching TV with my fiancee and during the commercials one of the credit card companies talked about a shop local Saturday. I thought about this last night and decided that today would be a good day to talk about this concept but change it a bit.

Just as a side note, I am writing this at a local coffee shop here in Aurora, CO called the Beantree. I could have gone to Starbucks but felt this was the right choice instead. It goes with this post I guess. That being said I am sitting here drinking an amazing Chai latte made to order and I must say it is amazing. So if you are in the Aurora, CO area at Illiff and Peoria come check it out.

Also, I had an experience earlier this week that prompted this post as well that I am very happy to report to you all today.  I am always trying to buy fly tying supplies from local fly shops here in the Denver metro area and will even drive a ways into the mountains to check out the shops there as well. I was looking for a few small items for a few flies that I wanted to try.

I have many shops that are within about 20 to 30 minutes of my home so I just did a quick Google search and found Colorado Skies Outfitters in Parker, CO. Having been there once before almost a year and a half ago I decided to check them out. After driving a short distance to the shop I arrived at one of the few fly shops that you can tell is run by dedicated guides from the outside. OK, so how could I tell?

If you go to a fly shop like Colorado Skies Outfitters you know you are in the right place when there is a pickup truck that has obviously been used hard and a drift boat on a trailer sitting in front of the shop that has been obviously lovingly cared for. The windows on the doors are covered with stickers from multiple manufacturers from around the country and world.

Now upon entering the store I was greatly impressed by the fact that the guy working was sweeping the floor of the shop as I entered. That just went to show me that the people working there truly care about the look of the shop. Just as I entered I was greeted with a very friendly welcome as I walked the shop looking for a few things. I was asked if I had been fishing recently and I had to admit that I had not been out as recently as I would have liked.

What impressed me about this exchange was that I got a sense that I was not just considered just another customer but a fishing buddy. OK fine, so a new fishing buddy but a fishing buddy none the less. We chatted for about 20 minutes before I got a call from my CO aka my fiancee. I was supposed to meet her for lunch. But before I left I ran into Theo Anest, who from what I hear is the penultimate guide.

We chatted for a few and he told me that he was going to be heading up to Grey Reef for two months. What an awesome life. A great shop and the chance to travel. Seriously? What an awesome way to live. I then headed out the door and went to meet with my fiancee.

OK, so what does all this have to do with supporting local business? I guess what I am trying to say is that having gone to a small fly shop like this and feeling like more than a random customer I have decided that I am going to return to the shop more frequently. I can also go to the Bass Pro Shop but I have decided that the little guy is the best one to frequent.

I want to ask all of you, my dedicated readers, to please find that small local fly shop or small local coffee shop or whatever small business you can use and continue to frequent these locations more and more.

Even though the credit card companies and some of the local Chambers of Commerce suggest specific days I would ask and suggest that we all not just choose one specific day but make every day a Shop Local Day.

Below is the link for Colorado Skies Outfitters. Check them out, they are the best!
http://coloradoskiesoutfitters.com/

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fly Tying Bench Update

I wanted to let you all know that The Finest Fly Tying Benches of Colorado has gone active today. Here is the link to the new site. You can also find a link to the site on the right hand side of my home page. Also here is the quick link to The Finest Fly Tying Benches of Colorado sit as well.

Jay is an awesome craftsman and his brainchild being The Finest Fly Tying Benches of Colorado has some of the most amazing benches I have found in quite some time. Jay has made an addition to my bench that I am going to be reviewing here very shortly so please keep your eyes peeled.

If you want or feel the need to here is the link to my review of the bench I use as purchased from The Finest Fly Tying Benches of Colorado.

 http://www.tenkaragrasshopper.com/2012/01/new-fly-tying-bench-i-purchased-at.html




http://www.flytybench.com/




Friday, March 16, 2012

Tanago Thoughts

I recently received a Tanago rod from Chris Stewart of www.Tenkarabum.com fame.  What is a Tanago rod you ask?

Well apparently it is almost exactly like a Tenkara rod but it is designed for catching minnows or other very small fish. I am looking forward to trying and terrorizing the minnows in my local waters as an experiment in another way to catch fish. Does it bother me that the rod maxes out at 5" to 8" fish?

Not at all because a fish is a fish in my eyes.

Chris was nice enough to send me a complete setup which is pictured below.




Because I am not totally familiar with Tanago fishing and am in no way an expert even remotely I am including the link to TanagoBum so that you can learn more and also so that Chris gets the credit for this and so that if you get interested you can order a setup from him. Below is the link to his site so have fun with his information.

TanagoBum Information Link

I intend to try out this style of fishing here very shortly and as soon as I do I will be posting a few pics of the fish or whatever else I catch as well as my review of the equipment that I used.

Initially, the Tanago rod that is manufactured by Daiwa is rather interesting feeling in the hand. The grip is a textured finish that is adhered directly to the rod. It extends the same way a Tenkara rod extends. When collapsed the rod measures it is all of 19"!!! The rod that Chris sent me is 7' 9" when fully extended with the lilian.

I don't have a way to weigh the rod, but I have to say it is almost ridiculously light in the hand, almost to the point of feeling as if you are not even holding anything at all. That being said, the action is quite nice and I believe will make catching even a very small fish quite exciting.

I look forward to trying this out soon and hope that I get to catch some fun little fish very shortly.

This style of fishing may even give a new meaning to the term Bait Slingin'!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bear Creek Monday March 12, 2012

Well, I finally was able to hit Bear Creek yesterday outside of Morrison,CO.  I had a friend from out of town visiting so we made a run up there. The water was running at about 20 CFS which was pretty darn nice. For the most part the lower part of the river was open except for a few spots in the bends of the river.


The interesting part was the fact that there was lots of fish that were scared more than anything. I had one hook up and not much else. The wind was a little unruly but nothing that couldn't be dealt with. We fished for most of the day and towards the end we walked up the canyon because Karel of www.tenkaraonthefly.net told me about the ice dams farther up the canyon and I wanted to see them from myself.


OK, so it is not an ice dam, it is more of an ice bridge, and I never thought that I would get to go ice fishing in a natural ice hole. But it was interesting to see the amount of ice on the water and also to see what we have to look forward to this summer. It is going to be absolutely amazing up there this year and I will look forward to wetting a few lines with those that wish to join me.

I am going to be doing my best to add a few more things in the days to come so keep checking back.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fishing the South Platte River

 March 4, 2012, I went fishing with two awesome friends, Karel Lansky and Jason Klass for a day out. The weather was beautiful giving us robin egg blue skies. Sadly we all got skunked for the day but can you really complain about a day on the water? I am disappointed that we did not catch anything but at least I know there are plenty of fish in the river.

I devirginized my Ito on this trip as well. Ma, what an amazing rod. Either at 13' or 14'7" it is an amazing rod. What I found very interesting was that at each length the rod handled just a little differently, which to start was a little disconcerting until I got used to it. I also fished strictly with the TenkaraUSA 3rd generation furled line. I was very impressed with the quality and the ease of use of the line. It performed quite well considering the amount of wind we encountered.

I intend to also review the new TenkaraUSA level lines that I recieved from Daniel. I hope to have a post up very shortly. Sorry it has been so long everyone.