mercredi 26 février 2014


We are now at less than 10 days of the trout season opening so it is time for a gear check up to avoid some last minute inconvenience spoiling the party I have been waiting for six months.
The opening day is rarely a good day of fishing but it is the ritual and we have to be on the river's edge.

I have very few illusions about the meteorological conditions for this opening day so I prepare a proper attire: waterproof!

After many deceptions with entry level waperproof trousers in the past I decided three years ago to invest a little more money in some good quality trousers and after researches on the internet I did choose a SCIERRA Aquatex Pro.

Characteristics are:
-2 layer strong 320D taslon nylon shell fabric with PU coating and taped seams
-100% waterproof of 8.000mm and high breathability of 5.000 mvp
-Soft comfortable full taffeta lining
-Higher back for warmth and elastic inserts at waist for better fit
-Belt with nice slim buckle included
-2 side zipper pockets
-2 side thigh pockets with velcro
-Reinforced inner leg for high wear and tear
-Pre bended reinforced knees for great fit
-Adjustable velcro at leg

These theoretical characteristics seem vey interesting but do they make these over trousers worth the 200 USD I paid for them?

The first good surprise I had from these trousers is that the size of it is exactly the same than on the website size chart and on the label sewn in the trousers. Rare enough to be mentioned! So these trousers perfectly fit your trouser size. It is not the average 4XL baggy fishing over pants!
The adjustable belt is slightly stretchy, very comfortable and has a very slim buckle that is only 10 millimeters thick. And after hundreds of use the belt elastics did not relax and the buckle is still operational. 
The higher back panel has micro fleece lining, this feature is simple and effective. 

After three seasons the waterproof zips pockets are still fully operational which is a first in my experience with fishing over trousers. I do not know which manufacturer they come from but Scierra made ​​the right choice! These two slant pockets are lined with micro fleece that perfectly fulfills its function by warming your hands. After three seasons that micro fleece has not even begun to fluff, so it is very good quality.

When I go fishing I walk a lot and I put the ordeal on the legs seams on the Scierra but they have not yet needed to be repaired or rebuilt. This is noteworthy because it is the seams that determine the lifespan of a waterproof garment. No worries here! 
The breathability is really good because I've never had felt overheating with these pants on even after  several kilometers marches. These trousers help keep you comfortable even if you are static in cold or/and windy conditions. 

The thigh pockets are closed by very strong closing velcro that insures you that anything you keep in these pockets will not go away. Once again on this garment the seams are very strong and do not need maintenance after three years of hard use.

The lower leg is adjustable thanks to a velcro strap. The movable portion of this velcro is covered with very strong rubber. You can see on the picture below the state in which it is after frequent encounter with brambles: 

To conclude my opinion is that these over trousers do not have any major defect besides not being in the Scierra range anymore. One can find these last available ones for very good prices on the internet. 
Of course its successor, the KENAI, is available.

jeudi 20 février 2014


A few days ago I did a post on this blog for the launch of this DVD, in fact I had ordered my copy when you did read the post! It took a few days to get it in my mailbox and I have to say I was checking it every morning...It is a historical event though: the first DVD totally dedicated to Tenkara to be released outside of Japan.

 After a few days wait the parcel was finally in my hands but due to lack of free time I had to content myself of a few snatches each day but today I wanted to enjoy this afternoon off and entirely watch this DVD whose I expect a lot...

Disclaimer: I did write this post from my couch at my own risk so thanks for your understanding!

This documentary is 44 minutes long and as soon as I have pressed the "PLAY"button I have literally immersed in it.
The menu encompasses all the aspects of Tenkara, from history to casting via kebari tying. Nothing has been forgotten. Each explanation by Paul Gaskell, John Pearson and Hisao Ishigaki is perfectly clear, there are also strokes of humor which is not a bad thing in something serious like fishing. I expected a lot from this DVD and I must say that I really do not regret my purchase because everything contained on this disc was thought and made to reach perfection. One can feel the passion of the three protagonists in every moment of this film. 

Like other DVD this one features bonus, two in number for a period of 25 minutes.
The first one is about stream side hand tie of a kebari and fishing with it. The second bonus deals with the very interesting topic that is spotting sub surface takes. Thanks to slow motion replays and simple explanations this sequence demonstrates that the average angler can easily miss more trouts than he thinks he does. That is one of the thing Tenkara helped me to realize last season. 
On the whole I am totally satisfied by this documentary not only because it fills a gap in the Tenkara scene but because it features all the qualities that an excellent fly fishing film should have. Everything in this deals with simplicity, efficiency, technique and common sense. 
Having watched tons of fly fishing documentaries  these last years I can write that as a spectator this DISCOVERING TENKARA is truly different of anything released until now.

This masterpiece is without a doubt destined to become a cherished collector for the Tenkara enthusiasts who will, like me, watch it from time to time while waiting for the launch of Vol. 2!

vendredi 14 février 2014


For some time I have been exploring the jungle of Japanese tackle companies websites and I can hardly believe how extensive are the catalogs. We believe in the west to know the Japanese tackle market but I think we only have access to the visible part of the iceberg. Hundreds if not thousands of references remain unknown to us.
Today my post will deal with hooks, Gamakatsu's Nano-Gure.

Let's start by the beginning! These hooks are called "nano-gure" which means that they receive a nano coating and that they are originally destined for fishing Gure also known as Mejina.

These hooks characteristics are:
-Narrow and short shaft
-Flat wire
-Ultra slick surface

It is not something new for me to use saltwater fishing hooks to tie freshwater flies because I have been doing it for streamers for years so I thought it would be interesting to try some for wet flies. These nano-gure seemed interesting to me because of their wide gape, super sharp point and very small barb that will be easy to crush.
A few days ago I posted a picture of these hooks on my Facebook and someone asked me if I bought these hooks in Japan...yes, I did! One can of course find some of the Gamakatsu references in the west but I am realistic and prefer buying them at their real price in Japan and having them delivered at home.
These excellent hooks are sold in bags of 20 for the affordable price of ¥300 (USD 2.90)...Why pay more?

Thanks to Keiji Ito-san and Yoshinori Yoshitake-san for their interpreter talent. Without your help it would have taken me a full day to translate this label!

lundi 10 février 2014


As I did write a few days ago in a post on this blog I have decided not to use a fly vest anymore and I have got rid of it on an auction website. I had used it a lot but it was in perfect condition but I needed the money back to buy what I really need: a backpack.

I have done a bit of internet research a few weeks ago about fishing backpacks but I did not find anything that really was what I wanted. I even wondered if the people creating all these inadequate packs were anglers themselves then after posting some comments in a FB group about his fishing backpack my friend Adam Trahan did advice me to get in touch with Chris Zimmer, boss of Zimmerbuilt. And I have to say "Thanks" for this advice!

Before I got in touch with Chris Zimmer I did take a few days to seriously think about the kind of backpack I really need knowing that my fishing tackle has radically diminished in terms of weight and volume. Once I had a precise idea of what I wanted and needed I did get in touch with Chris Zimmer and in no longer than a day my backpack was created and fabricated...You read right! 
The Tailwater was created in a few emails and its fabrication was finished in the evening. The only things left to do were pay and wait! Three days later I had my hands on it.

I have chosen a Tailwater backpack that has a volume of 1300 ci and a weight of 8.75 oz. It is made of Dyneema which is an extremely light and strong fiber.
A standard Tailwater has almost what I wanted but I asked Chris Zimmer to modify a few details on my own pack. 
I wanted a zippered mesh compartment under the hydration tank hook. It will allow me to safely carry my keys, fishing license, ID card, etc. Once you have lost your keys and realize long hours after it is not worth starting searching it. I unfortunately know what I am writing about!

The standard Tailwater has two rod sleeves on which I have asked Chris Zimmer to add some elastic strings just in case I would one or two rods without their tubes that would avoid the rods to move within the sleeves. I never could stand the feeling of carrying something jolty when I walk.

The 3D shoulder straps are less padded than the average and that is a good thing in my opinion because with only 1300 ci of volume one will never have a big weight to carry, of course if one packs only what is truly useful for a fishing outing. Furthermore a heavy padding retains heat to the body. The shoulder straps also have daisy chains to allow the use of accessories. The sternm strap buckle includes a survival whistle.

To hold your rods immobile the Tailwater has two Dyneema sleeves plus two elastics with cord locks under the upper zip. I consider this solution much better than what I have seen among competitors because their locking system is unconvincing. The front of the Tailwater features two daisy chains with shock cord that allow the complete immobilisation of the bag contents and adding accessories without having to sew yourself.

Of course the Tailwater is made of waterproof fabric and the zipper is also waterproof. As one can see on the picture above there is no padding in the back and in my opinion that is a good thing for a backpack which is not destined to one day fishing outing. Heavy padding makes most of backpacks portable ovens. 
All in all I am sure to have found a backpack that really matches my needs and for a price lower than most of standard products sold by competitors. 

I only have to wait for a few weeks for the field baptism of this stunner backpack.

vendredi 7 février 2014


Like many aspects of life fishing is concerned by technical and technological evolutions and tenkara is no exception and it even seems to me that in the case that interests us today tenkara has a head start by proposing the first 3D printed fishing accessory.

Michael Hackney, the boss of The Eclectic Angler, has just released a 3D printed tenkara spool and I did not resist very long to the desire to own some of these innovative spools.

After a few days wait, they were here... Specifications are: 

-Diameter: 1.97"
-Thickness: 0.31"
-Axial hole: 0.79"
-Weight: 0.28 oz

I am not interested in this accessory only because it is something new but for its super light weight and low diameter characteristics. As I have decided not to use a fly vest anymore I have to consider more carefully the volume of each element of my fishing tackle. An additional point for these spools is that they are made of cornstarch which is biodegradable. Don't be scared! You will not see your spool degrade within your chest pack. 

The axial hole having a 0.79" diameter allows to "lock" the spool on the top of the rod's handle. This kind of spool was probably conceived for furled lines because the slots are rather wide but one can use these spools for level lines by crossing it between the slots. It works pretty well with a 3.5 level line.
Multiple holes on both sides of the spool allows you to fix your fly where ever you want to. This detail can be a plus in low light conditions, on the evening rise for example.

The offer includes a choice among 6 colors and 6 color combinations; there is something for everyone and it can help you to create a coding system for the storage of your lines. For example your #3 level lines on orange spools and #4 on green ones. Intermediate sizes will go on bicolor spools. For now Michael Hackney only offers one spool size but I think some new sizes will appear soon and so will do new products.

In any case it is a sign of good omen to see an ancestral fishing technique such as tenkara being combined in the future with the rich opportunities of cutting edge technologies like 3D printing.

You can purchase these spools on The Eclectic Angler site.

mardi 4 février 2014


Paul Gaskell, John Pearson and Hisao Ishigaki are proud to announce the launch of "Discovering Tenkara - An introduction to Tenkara : Fundamentals and Basics" Vol. 1, the first DVD of this kind to be released outside of Japan.

This DVD that deals with every aspect of Tenkara benefits of high technical means to be a centerpiece in the Tenkara popularization in the west.

I am really eager to have one copy and watch it!