Although you are certainly welcome to visit the current issue of Tenkara Angler magazine to see all of the cover photo contest entries, I thought I’d create a separate post to highlight them all as well. It will allow you to view these photos in a format that is not cropped for space constraints, as well as a few additional secondary entries that did not make the magazine.
All photos are below, please feel free to click into them to zoom!
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Congratulations to Anthony Naples & Lino Jubilado for winning the front and back cover contests. In lieu of physical prizes, each have opted to have a charitable donation made in their names to American Rivers (Anthony) and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers(Lino).
Thank you to all that entered, we’ll likely open up another photo contest for a future issue, so keep those cameras focused!
Reader’s Corner: What Trout Want and Simple Flies By Anthony Naples
Winter is coming. Well it’s a little while off still. But a guy can dream. I happen to love winter. Autumn is nice too. Who doesn’t love the smell of fallen leaves crunching underfoot and the crisp mornings warming to comfy afternoons? And of course the splendid dress of the brookies trying to impress their ladies. But fall can make me a little frantic as I know that prime fishing weather is slipping away. Every trip feels as though it may be the last of the season. Spring has that hopeful feeling of a fishing season just coming into its own. Summer can be just fantastic salad days of easy fishing, and then when the trout streams get low and slow I can usually switch over to some local warm water smallmouth streams. But autumn, though the fishing can be the best since early summer, has that nagging feeling of something slipping away.
Winter for me has no fishing expectations. I get out from time to time when the weather and schedule permits— but those trips are a gift. I can still look back on the fall fishing with good memories, still mull them over and think on them and enjoy them. But the winter is a time of comfort and relaxation. I don’t like the heat. The dog days of summer are my least favorite time of the year. Winter makes me feel alive again— the bracing air, the crunch of fresh snow underfoot, no yard work to do.
And then there’s the reading. Sitting inside, frosty windowpanes, hot cup of coffee and a good book. Most likely the book is science fiction, non-fiction science, nature or fishing. Winter is a good time for woodshedding, preparing, planning and thinking about the next season. It’s a good time to rethink things, to look back on the fishing season and think about what went right and what went wrong and what you might want to try next time around. And of course a good time to fill those fly boxes.
With all that in mind I have a few recommendations for your upcoming winter reading list – of course you don’t have to wait to winter. You could get started early and maybe even have time to implement some of what you learn and use some of the flies that you tie this fall.
What Trout Want: The Educated Trout and Other Myths by Bob Wyatt
Reading this book is a little like being Neo in The Matrix. So part of the speech that Morpheus delivers to Neo before making him choose whether he wants to really learn about the Matrix might be in order…
“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Remember… all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more…. follow me.”
-Morpheus, The Matrix
I hope that you choose the red pill…
The first part of this book is dedicated to what Mr. Wyatt calls “A Beautiful Fiction”, wherein he systematically picks apart much of what the previous few hundred years of fly fishing literature has taught us about trout and more specifically the idea of “educated trout” and “finicky trout” and “fly refusal”. And he does a pretty thorough job of it. He points to trout behavior that has led the fly fishing world to attribute much more intelligence, decision making ability and learning capacity to trout than he thinks they ought to be given, and provides alternative and simpler explanations based on experience and science. He then gives us his thoughts on what is really important to the trout and and some basic fly patterns that will cover most situations that the trout fisher will need to imitate the insects (and stages).
I don’t want to give it all away.
But let’s say it’s something to do with what many tenkara anglers have been suspicious of— presentation….
Mr. Wyatt is not a “one-fly” proponent in the way that some tenkara anglers may be. He’s not afraid to admit that trout get selective at times. And that a different fly may be needed, but the key feature of the fly is likely not what we’ve been taught by mainstream fly fishing. He’s in the school that says fly size is probably the most important factor (assuming adequate presentation too of course) not body color, wing material, tails, ribbing and/or other anatomical details.
I have not always been in this camp. But after taking up tenkara, my views have shifted. Though up till now I still hadn’t gone so far over to all of what Wyatt discusses in this book. I may be converted now – though I need to do some field testing.
If you’re coming to tenkara from a fly fishing background this book may really help you to clear away all of the excesses that you’ve picked up along your journey and give you a nice grounding in why you should reconsider the “common knowledge”. If you’re new to fly fishing, and tenkara is your entry point, this book will give you a solid foundation on which to build.
Some readers may think Mr. Wyatt goes too far – some may think not far enough – and like all fly fishing books I’m sure there are things in it that you just won’t be able to agree with completely based on your own experiences. After all the author is not immune to the biases that affect all of us, such as confirmation bias and availability bias. But I do get the feeling that he’d be happy to discuss things with you and keep an open mind.
In the end, for me this book provided a slightly different perspective on the trout and it’s brain that I hadn’t really quite grasped previously, and I’m willing to open my mind up to the idea that I’ve been wrong about a few things. Next trout season will be the time for some serious investigation of the ideas in What Trout Want.
Simple Flies: 52 Easy-to-Tie Patterns that Catch Trout by Morgan Lyle
I’m not going to go on too long about this book. I’ve written about it previously when I presented an interview with Morgan Lyle on my Three Rivers Tenkara blog and in a previous issue of Tenkara Angler. But I think it’s well worth mentioning it here again in the context of having just read Bob Wyatt’s book, because I first heard about What Trout Want in Morgan Lyle’s book and in the interview that I did with him.
What Trout Want lays down a great technical and theoretical background – but it is not a fly tying book. It presents only a few basic patterns – which considering the author’s entire thesis is probably quite appropriate. If you want to take what you’ve learned in Bob Wyatt’s book but also learn to tie some additional patterns for other species and situations, then Simple Flies is the book you want.
Morgan presents some great, easy to tie patterns and step by step instructions to go with them – along with additional background on the ideas behind using simple flies – it is more than just a tying manual.
Armed with these two books you’ll have a very productive off-season of reading and tying in preparation for your most successful trout season yet. Also it doesn’t hurt that Morgan Lyle is a member of our tenkara brotherhood and tenkara gets it’s due in his book.
During Saturday’s Midwest Tenkara Fest presentations, Paul Vertrees made a special appearance via pre-recorded video to outline some lines and detail some nymph rigs that he felt would serve many of the tenkara anglers of the Driftless well.
The video was well received, and Paul even gave Tenkara Angler magazine a quick little shout out, referencing one of the articles he had written for a prior issue.
As a follow-up, I figured I’d whip up a quick post with links to applicable articles in case anybody that attended wanted some additional information. The first two are by Paul:
Thought it only proper to send out a quick post this morning, as a follow-up to this past weekend’s Tenkara Jam in Boone, North Carolina. Simply wanted to express extreme gratitude to all that participated; be it from an attendee, presenter, vendor, and (of course) organizer standpoint. The tenkara community came together as one and showed very well, we should all be extremely proud of the Jam.
I also can’t say enough about the many jobs Jason Sparks took on wonderfully as host, emcee, and educator, and if he’s considering “running it back” in 2018, Tenkara Angler would love to participate again.
As a reader, if you’re new to the magazine (& website) as a by-product of the Jam, welcome. It’s great to have you here!
Since Tenkara Angler was referenced in several of the presentations, I also thought I’d list some of the links to articles that were specifically mentioned for easy referral.
As a matter of fact, most of the presenters and vendors have contributed to Tenkara Angler in one form or another since the magazine’s inception in 2015. If you’d like to page through the various back-issues at your leisure, they are best accessed for free, HERE.
While the submission deadline was opened last week for the Winter 2016-17 issue of Tenkara Angler, I happened to find a file on my computer that brought me back in time a few years to a similar concept assembled by Anthony Naples, author of the Casting Aroundblog and proprietor of the Three Rivers Tenkara shop.
The Wintertime Blues was originally published in 2013 and was a collaborative project involving fly fishing and tenkara-themed paintings, poetry, essays, photography, comedy, drama, etc… from 15 different contributors. You’ll find many of the names familiar.
Anthony was generous enough to put his copy of the The Wintertime Blues on loan to Tenkara Angler to publish for our subscribers in our “page flipping” e-reader Issuu format. Or you can also visit his blog Casting Around to download the free PDF.
I’m certain those who did not originally see this magazine in 2013 will find it quite an enjoyable read, and those that did will enjoy the walk down memory lane.