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Interview with Justin Pittman of Precision Fly ...

Published by Dave Weaver [Dave_W] on 12/10/2018 (496 reads)
There is a new fly shop open in Mount Holly Springs Pennsylvania and the founder and owner is my friend and Trout Unlimited colleague, the estimable Justin Pittman. Justin needs no introduction to Cumberland Valley regulars, but I’d like to introduce him and give you a chance to hear some of Justin’s thoughts on fly fishing and his new business.
(Disclaimer: I have a modest business partnership with Precision Fly Fishing)

Dave Weaver: How did you get started in fly fishing?
Justin Pittman: I got started in fly fishing early in college. I went to college at Lock Haven University and was always into fishing. I wanted to take my fishing interest to a higher level and bought my first fly fishing outfit from Phil Baldochino at Kettle Creek Fly Shop.

DW: Is there an area of fly fishing that you most enjoy – throwing streamers, fly tying, bass, match the hatch, etc.?
JP: Probably the area of the sport that most appeals to me is wet fly fishing. I’m a serious night fishermen and love to be out after dark from Memorial Day to Labor Day and this is probably the most exciting time of the year for me. I’ll throw dries or nymphs, and streamers when it’s bitter cold, but I just really love to wet fly fish.

JP1


DW: I admire your conservation efforts recently in the Cumberland Valley. You’re a busy man with many irons in the fire. How do you find time to fly fish or enjoy the outdoors?
JP: I do value conservation, and you’re correct, I’m very busy. I’m a probation officer for juveniles as my “day job” and I own Holly Flies along with Precision Fly Fishing and Tackle now. I get out fishing when I can as I have a seven and a nine-year-old. My wife and I live locally and, while I can’t get out fishing as much as I used to, I try to stay involved in the community and enjoy the sport when I can. For me, perhaps the most rewarding side of the teaching and conservation angle is the Cumberland County Street to Streams Program, an organization I created to introduce youth, many of them with drug and lifestyle problems, to the sport of fly fishing. We’re starting our tenth year now. We partner in this effort with the Cumberland Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited and I think the program has been a great success. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments.

DW: Do you have a fly fishing or outdoor mentor and, if so, how did they influence you?
JP: I wouldn’t say I had as much of a fly fishing mentor, as I had an outdoors mentor. I grew up in a strong outdoors family in Newburg Pennsylvania and my father and grandfather were huge outdoorsmen. Hunting is bigger in my family. We did a fair amount of fishing but, as I said, I really didn’t get into fly fishing until later in my life. My father was the initial outdoor mentor in my life. Over the years, I’ve had the fortune of many experienced and wonderful people who have taken me under their wing and helped me grow.

DW: Why did you decide to start Precision Fly Fishing?
JP: Precision Fly Fishing developed in my mind initially as a means to grow my fly business. The trend in this business is moving toward wholesalers selling directly to retail markets online. I received some encouragement from some prominent fly fishers here in the Cumberland Valley to open a fly shop. After talking it over with my wife and further discussing it with the local experts, we came to believe that a local fly shop could be successful in this area if done the right way.

DW: Does Precision Fly Fishing carry merchandise outside the realm of fly fishing, and if so, what are they?
JP: Although we’re mainly a fly fishing business, we do carry merchandise outside the realm of fly fishing. We felt that, considering the outdoor market in this area, that we should offer a live bait and spin tackle section, if this was feasible. Initially, we had a limited range of conventional gear, but the demand in this are was higher than we recognized, so we’ve expanded our fly fishing and conventional gear area out to about four thousand square feet of display area. We hope to address all the needs of local anglers.

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DW: What makes Precision Fly Fishing a unique business relative to so many other fly fishing businesses?
JP: Well, every fly shop is a unique business and Pennsylvania has had a lot of great local fly shops that have become important cultural aspects of a local region or watershed. Many of these shops are friends of ours and they have helped me personally to start and grow this business. We do run a guiding program. Particularly unique to our business is the fact we have a fifteen hundred square foot apartment on the second floor above the shop – the “Angler’s Nest” - which we rent to visiting outdoorsmen. This is something we hope to continue and expand in the future. Our business is also unique in that the store layout displays the fly fishing and conventional gear in separate wings. Spin anglers can visit that section and, hopefully, eventually expand into fly fishing and visit the other side of the house. Also unique to Precision Fly Fishing is that we carry one of the largest selections of flies available on the East Coast. We currently have out on our show room floor about two thousand patterns and this is being expanded to closer to three thousand patterns between now and spring time.

DW: What is your business philosophy behind Precision Fly Fishing?
JP: Our business philosophy is grounded in the belief that anyone from any walk of life who is interested in fly fishing, can walk into our shop and feel comfortable in asking questions and have access to an array of merchandise at every price point. I think we’ve accomplished that and we hope to continue with this outlook in a rather structured and difficult market. We’re surrounded by some of the best fly fishing businesses in the country, so we’ve taken a methodical approach

DW: What has surprised you about the fly fishing business since you got involved?
JP: Well, I’ll tell yuh, one of the things that really surprised me is the amount of fly tying material that is available out there. We could fill this building many times over with the amount of tying material that is on the market. We’ve long sought out materials from around the world for Holly Flies, but it is just really amazing how much of this stuff there really is out there. This was a real eye opener for me as I entered this business.

JP2


DW: Where is Precision Fly Fishing located and how can customers get in touch with you?
JP: We’re at 502 North Baltimore Ave., Mount Holly Springs PA 17065. We can be reached at our website: www.precisionflyfishing.com and www.precisonflyfishingandtackle.com. Phone number is 717 486 4646 and you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook. We’re very close to some of the best trout fishing in central Pennsylvania with Mountain Creek right behind the shop, Yellow Breeches about a mile up the road, and Letort just a few minutes further. The Susquehanna is less than an hour away, and there are mountain brookie streams within minutes of our shop.

DW: What are some of the major brands you carry?
JP: We’re a Hardy dealer and also carry Douglas Outdoors, Maxxon Outfitters, and Cortland, among others. We’re one of the largest Tenkara USA dealers in the state. We also have Peak vises, and dubbing, hackle, and general tying materials from all the major suppliers. On the spin gear side of the house, we carry Fenwick, Abu Garcia, along with Penn Reels, Pflueger, and more to come by springtime

DW: Where do you hope to take Precision Fly Fishing in the future?
JP: At this point in time, we just hope to see continued positive growth within the fly shop. We hope to be a valued pillar of the local community where people can drop by, get a cup of coffee, and enjoy their experience. We hope to continue to grow, thrive, and serve the fly fishing community.
DW: Thanks Justin.



Precision Fly Fishing
502 N. Baltimore Ave
Mount Holly Springs, PA 17065
(717) 486-4646

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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 10/23/2018 (2581 reads)
So tell us about the Open Air Project?
Steve Sunderland and I decided one day to start a podcast about hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. The vision for The Open Air project was to share with people the stories of us and our guests, all while educating everyone in the process. We both feel that learning is a never ending journey, one that we intend to share with our audience. If we can learn, meet unique people, and make few friends along the way, we feel that we've accomplished our goals.

Coty SoultWho is your audience?

Our audience is anyone that enjoys the outdoors and nature. We'll cover topics that vary from hunting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, camping, canoeing, and really anything in between. You may tune in one day and hear about a topic that you're deeply involved with and have a true passion for learning about the intricacies of. The next episode may be something that you've always had an interest in but maybe not had the time to learn about or even experience. We also do a small segment about craft beer at the end of every show, and have had some good feedback about that.

What got you interested in starting the Open Air Project?
I love listening to podcasts, and thought it'd be cool to give it a shot. It's also a great opportunity to get together with some cool people, hear some stories, and drink a couple beers.

What has been the biggest surprise for you in taking on this effort?
The biggest surprise has to be how intricate the process was to setup. I thought we would just record some stuff, submit it to iTunes, and that would be that. That was hardly the case. I had to learn a lot about building a website, RSS feeds, producing good sound quality, hosting media files, and much more. I enjoy a challenge, so in the end it ended up being a good surprise.

What are your plans for 2018?
2018 is going to be a great year for The Open Air Project. We have some great guests lined up already for the upcoming year, and we'll also be producing some video gear reviews. One of our other goals for the year is to record as much footage as we can of all of our adventures. We have a fishing trip to Montana planned, and a hunting trip to Ohio that we hope to produce video content from.

What are your biggest outdoor interests?
My current outdoor interests include fly-fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing, hiking, and just being in the woods. In my lifetime my hobbies have varied depending on the area I've lived in but have always involved the outdoors. Some of those include, snowboarding, surfing, and whitewater canoeing.

Where are your places on your bucket list?
Man, that's a great question. I've been fortunate to be able to cross off a ton of my traveling bucket list places in the last few years, but just like anyone else I have ton more places that I'd like to go and see. I'll just list the ones that would have to do with hunting and fishing for the purposes of this article. Tops on my list would probably include New Zealand, Alaska, Colorado, and British Columbia.

How did you get started into fly fishing?
I started fly-fishing relatively late in life. I have a good friend that invited me on an annual trip to Pine Creek, and everyone there fly fished so I borrowed a rod every year and went with them. After about three years of doing this I decided to give it a real try.

Well, when I get into something I don't typically just dip my toes in. I try to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. I have a competitive side to me, and I don't necessarily mean with other people, but with myself. I want to be good at whatever I do. That's just my personality and I'll typically push myself pretty hard to be better. With fly-fishing, I feel there are three main ways to do that.

First is to do research, and that's how I found Paflyfish, and I feel that it's the best place on the internet to learn about fly-fishing.

Second, is by learning from others. A mentor can really cut the learning curve. Paflyfish helped me there also, because I was able to meet some great people that were willing to share everything that they knew. This also led me to some great friends that I shared some amazing moments with.

Last and what I feel is the most important is time on the water. It's really that simple. You can talk about fishing all you want but to really understand it you need to be there, and do it as much as you possibly can.

What are your favorite areas of Pennsylvania to hunt and fish?
My favorite places to hunt in PA are right where I live here in the Clearfield area. I can be on some of the best public hunting land in the state within 10 miles, and there's more land than someone could hunt in a lifetime. Our game commission doesn't get the credit they deserve for not only providing us with great places to hunt, but also (although some would disagree) they've made what I believe are some great decisions within the last 20 years to improve the overall health of our forests.

As for fishing, it would have to be the central part of the state. Again, I'm blessed here also, as I can be on the Little J or Spring Creek within 30-40 minutes. this has allowed me to get to to know these streams intimately, and if you combine those with Penns Creek, and Big Fishing Creek, I'm not sure there's a better area for fishing on the east coast, especially come May.

Where can people find you and the podcast?
You can find me on Paflyfish I check in there almost daily, and am more than willing to answer any PM's, but you can find the podcast in the links below. I think one of the coolest things is that if you own an Amazon Echo (Alexa) you can tell her to "play the latest episode of The Open Air Project on Tunein Radio" and it starts to play.

Website: http://theopenairproject.com
iTunes: The Open Air Project Coty Soult & Steve Sunderland
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Open-Air-Project-993749137422734/
Stitcher: The Open Air Project
Tunein Radio: https://tunein.com/radio/The-Open-Air-Project-p1037344/
Twitter: The Open Air Project (@openairproject) | Twitter
Instagram: Coty Soult (@theopenairproject) • Instagram photos and videos

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Published by David Weaver [Fishidiot] on 03/22/2015 (2841 reads)
Oldgeorge1

Part of the lore of fly fishing in Pennsylvania, and the Cumberland Valley in particular, revolves around stories of big fish, usually giant brown trout. Of course this comes as no surprise to fishermen, nevertheless stories of great fish, caught and got away, serve to set the stage for what might happen every time we visit Letort or some other famous stream. Among these famous fish stories, perhaps the best known is the story of “Old George” as recounted by famed Cumberland Valley fly fisher and fly tying innovator Ed Shenk (think “Letort Cricket” and other patterns). “Old George” was the name Ed gave to a very large trout he pursued for over a year in the upper Letort in the early 1960s. The fish dwarfed other browns in the same pool that were themselves over twenty inches. Ed carefully observed this particular fish and patterned its daily comings and goings (not surprisingly, Old George came out in the evening and returned to cover early in the morning) and described the great fish as being very light colored. He saw, hooked, and lost the fish multiple times. Finally, he caught the brown on a streamer fly in 1964. Old George taped just over 27 inches and weighed eight pounds. In a final twist in the story, Ed ShenkOld George turned out to be a female. The story of Old George went on to become part of the lore of Pennsylvania fly fishing. Ed recounts the full story of Old George in the final chapter of his book Fly Rod Trouting.

On occasion, I’ll paint portraits of specific fish caught by anglers and using an old faded color photo and Ed’s description of the fish, it was my pleasure to paint a life sized image of Old George. This painting was presented recently as a gift to Ed at the 2015 Limestoner banquet held by Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited. Ed was the guest of honor at this year’s banquet. It was a privilege to see Ed Shenk reconnect with Old George after the passing of half a century.


Photograph by Bill Strockbine
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 12/27/2013 (1916 reads)
Hank's in Missoula Montana sharing some fishing stories and browsing gear at a couple local fly shops. Hope you dig it! Snap It!







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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 11/14/2011 (6385 reads)
Over the past year I have found myself spending a lot more time on the road for work. Things have been busy and these days I enjoy all business opportunities I get. While in the car I have been completely turned off by terrestrial radio and all the political blowhards on both sides of the fence stirring the pot for their own self interests. I have come across some ways to get some of my fly fishing fix with a few different podcasts during the week.

Probably the most prolific interviewer of fly fishing notables is Roger Maves. Roger's podcast "Ask About Fly Fishing" is an Internet radio show that he has been doing since about 2006. Roger has some really great interviews with some wonderful folks in the industry almost twice every month.

What I like most is hearing from a wide range of freshwater anglers, saltwater enthusiasts, biologists, fly tiers, writers, guides and photographers. With with over 130 interviews that include the likes of Eric Stroup, Gary Borger, Joe Humphreys, Jim Klug and plenty more you would enjoy. The interviews provide some in-depth and current takes on what is trending in the industry.

Roger offers the radio program online and to download for your MP3 player at his website here.

More recently I have added "The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast" hosted by Tom Rosenbauer to my iPod. Tom is currently the Marketing Director for Orvis Rod and Tackle and has been broadcasting the show since 2008. Almost every week Tom covers a topic that informs and educates beginners and experts alike.

Tom's conversation cover a range of topics like setting the hook, fall fly fishing, tippet tips, steps for getting kids into fly fishing and so much more. The Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast can found on the Internet here or on iTunes.

Download some of these podcasts on you iPod or smartphone before your next road trip and enjoy some quality time on the road!





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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 05/08/2011 (6467 reads)
jGary BorgerGary Borger provides extensive ideas on how to fish the surface of the water and just below in "Fishing the Film." He explores what brings trout to the film zone and why you need to really understand what is going on in that space.

"So, the question becomes, with all the food available on the bottom why would trout ever come to the surface to feed?...There only can be one answer: there's more food that's easier to catch at the film."

Further examination of feeding in the film Gary reveals traits of several different types of rise forms. Bulges, tails, fins and other rises are all indicators of very specific feed behavior. These feeding characteristics offer better insight to specific activity below the surface.

I was not only impressed with how much coverage Gary provides with the world just below the surface, but also sharing fly fishing tactics that bring success, too. Gary focusses on an aspect of casting that matches the water flow and more importantly that does not produce drag. It is chapters like this that make it a book for beginners and experienced anglers a like.

"Fishing the Film" is a book I will be keeping close by for quite a while. Many wonderful ideas to explore and try out.

Fishing the Film is the first in a series of twenty books Gary is putting together. Further books are to be a hit as well. Jason Borger provides an excellent set of illustrations throughout the book.

To purchase Fishing the Film you can go to Gary Borger's page here.
You can find out more about Gary Borger at his blog.
More from Jason Borger can be found on his blog.
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Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 04/26/2011 (2631 reads)
This past winter the Fly Fishing Show exhibit floor in Somerset was already getting busy the first day and the my friend Keith Torok encouraged me to join as he wanted to hear Gary Borger's lecture. I have enjoyed some of Gary's books, but I never had a chance to see one of his seminars. So we darted over to the DoubleTree and got situated just as Gary got started.

jGary BorgerGary began by elaborating on the many different rise forms, trout feeding behavior and carried the seminar with a determined conversation that really intrigued me. It was interesting to hear some of his ideas that I knew I was overlooking on the water sometimes. The list of my mistakes seems to grow daily.

He shared a little more about his book "Fishing the Film" that he just released. I definitely needed to get some more info on his book.

Gary is very well known for his previous five best-selling fly fishing books, writings for numerous magazine's, consultation on “A River Runs Through It” and numerous awards. Honestly his accomplishments could fill up one of my blog posts.

He was busy traveling to Louisiana and points south fly fishing for red fish and drums. Seems like most of the cool people in the fly fishing industry head south for some part of the winter. I was pretty busy too sharping my streamer hooks (yippee) and shoveling some late winter snow, but we were finally able to find some time in March.

We got caught up in some of the things that got him started and keeps him so excited about the sport. He was quick to share one of his most memorable experience when he caught his first trout on a Leadwing Coachman as a boy of 12 growing up in Pennsylvania.

Our conversation then moved into his enjoyment when he is fly fishing in New Zealand. You could hear his excitement in just the mention of the heading to that region. He commented, "It is the opportunity to hunt and target the trout in those waters that makes it so good." You could really tell this kind of fishing had special meaning as he elaborated on the fun in going after the big 24" trout that are so common on the South Island.

Some of his travels to New Zealand and other locations helped inspire Gary his current writing project. He is working on a series of upcoming books he hopes will cover all aspects of fly fishing.

This was something that started for him over ten years ago. The original hope was to have all the big names cover a subject in a book proving a complete fly fishing series. Gary imagined himself more as the editor, but as time went by and lucky for us he found himself starting the series himself.

In the next part of this post I will share more about "Fishing the Film" and Gary's upcoming plans for the remaining series.

You can find out more about Gary Borger at his blog.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 11/17/2009 (5166 reads)
Chuck FurimskyProfile Overview: Chuck is an avid fly fisherman and fly tier. He is the sole director of the International Fly Tyers Symposium. He designs flies for Raineys Flies, and had developed a tying material made from leather called Bugskin.

Questions

1 - Dave: Please tell me how and when you got started into fly-fishing.
Chuck: I started in Fly Fishing seriously when I attended college, Penn State, and took the George Harvey fly fishing course in the physical education dept. It was the first Credited course offered at any University and it changed my life.

2 - Dave: Tell me what inspired you to create the International Fly Tying Symposium and The Fly Fishing Show.
Chuck: A fly fishing club of volunteers had a fly fishing show in Southfield, Michigan, that I attended. It was such a long drive I thought I could start one where I owned two retail stores at Seven Springs Mt. Resort. That was my first event that started it all for me. Now, after twenty years later, I’ve done many shows, none near by, so I’m traveling even further today.
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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 07/19/2009 (10396 reads)
Tenkara is the traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing. Only a rod, line and fly are used. Daniel W. Galhardo recently founded Tenkara USA and has attracted an avid following of people who also appreciate this style of fly-fishing that is particularly well-suited for fly-fishing small streams and backpacking.



1- Dave: Please tell me how and when you got started into tenkara.
Daniel: I have been fishing my entire life, and fly-fishing for the last 12 years. Progressively I went through phases of trying different methods of fishing, from cane pole fishing using telescopic rods and bait as a young kid in Brazil, to lure fishing, to fly-fishing, and finally tenkara. Until I discovered tenkara the complexities only grew but added little to my overall fishing experience. A couple of years ago I came across a book called“Angling in Japan”. It was published in English some 70 years ago by the Japanese Board of Tourism and described the various fishing methods practiced in Japan. Ironically, tenkara, the only traditional fly-fishing method in Japan, was the smallest chapter in the book. Having lived in China during college, and being married to Margaret, who is Japanese American, prompted me to do more in-depth research on this unique combination of Asian culture and fly-fishing. About a year ago on a visit to Japan where I stopped at every tackle shop I saw, I became personally familiar with tenkara. I was quickly sold on its simplicity and effectiveness, and, being a small-stream aficionado, found it was what I had always been looking for.

2- Dave: What was one of the most interesting or surprising things that you learned when traveling in Japan about tenkara?
Daniel: Two days before departing for our trip to Japan I learned about a region in Japan where fly-tying and rod-making are designated as official traditional crafts. In the city of Kanazawa we visited a family that has been tying flies for 20 generations – over 430 years – from the same shop. They started as needle makers and soon were making flies for Samurai to go fishing. Later I learned those rods and flies are actually for “Ayu fishing” not tenkara. Nevertheless, this was still extremely impressive. Japan has many very narrowly defined methods of fishing, and though some are very similar at a first glance they have important distinctions. Ayu fishing for example, uses flies and long telescopic rods, but is not really considered fly-fishing as casting is not required to get the fly to the fish, it’s a bit more like dapping. They also have cane-pole fishing with telescopic rods for carp, and stream fishing with telescopic rods and bait. All rods and equipment are very different and highly specialized. Among all these methods, tenkara is the only real fly-fishing.

3-Dave: Tell me what inspired you to start Tenkara USA?
Daniel: During our trip I bought a tenkara rod and started thinking of all the waters I could fish when coming back to the US. Upon our return I fished it a lot and realized it was perfect for every stream I fished, and the long rod was much more effective at fishing most of them. Holding a fly in place on the other side of a current was probably the main advantage of using such long rods. I fell in love with it, the simplicity, technique, effectiveness, not to mention history. Also, as a backpacker, I really liked its portability and the full setup is so light. I started looking around and couldn’t find other tenkara rods or much information at all. After asking myself “why?” and coming up with no good answer I decided I had to introduce tenkara to anglers in America, a pretty ambitious goal considering it’s a foreign way of fishing that does not target the biggest fish in the rivers. But, I know that not every angler is after the biggest fish, most are after the experience.

4-Dave: What makes tenkara so appealing to someone already fly fishing in the traditional [western] style?
Daniel: In May of this year, Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, one of the leading authorities in tenkara fly-fishing in Japan, came to give a presentation and demonstration in the Catskills, at an event hosted by the Catskills Fly Fishing Center and Museum. We spent a lot of time together, and the two reasons he says he likes tenkara are: 1st simplicity, 2nd it’s about focusing on your technique and presentation not the gear, and whether you catch fish or not is up to you. For what I see simplicity is drawing most people to try it, and the technique is making sure people stick with it. I would also add it’s a very effective way of fishing, and in Japan it’s commonly said that tenkara outfishes western fly-fishing 5-1. Lastly, tenkara provides the most direct connection between fisherman and fishing; though he’s not talking about tenkara, to borrow the words from angler and writer Ed Engle, "What I like most is catching a trout in the most direct way possible. My most memorable fish have been the ones where there was as little between me and the trout as possible.”

5-Dave: Tell me about the Tenkara equipment and what kind of costs should someone expect to get started.
Daniel: In tenkara there is only a rod, the line, and a fly, the essential elements of fly-fishing. Dispensing with the expensive reels, and expensive lines, which don’t really see use in small stream angling, an angler can get started with high-end tenkara gear set at $150. That is compared with approximately $400 and up for good quality western fly-fishing gear.

6-Dave: Are there special flies for tenkara or can one use traditional materials.
Daniel: Any fly will work, I personally still use elk-hair caddis on most of my fishing. However, some traditional tenkara patterns were developed to work very well with tenkara rods. The long rods give anglers a lot more control on the presentation and manipulation of flies. The reverse hackle of some tenkara fly patterns is a distinct feature that works well to give the fly a lot of “life”. In tenkara one is more concerned with presentation and “giving life” to the fly, rather than the perfect imitation of insects.

7-Dave: Is there any special amount of training or time needed to learn the tenkara style of fly fishing?
Daniel: No special training, that’s the beauty of tenkara, it is easier to do. The main thing for experienced fly-fishermen is to remind themselves to slow down a little, and shorten the casting strokes. Nevertheless, tenkara can also offer anglers something that may take a lifetime to master. There is a huge variety of casting techniques that one can learn and practice with tenkara and there’s already enough to learn about reading water and presentation to be encumbered by gear. Like Dr. Ishigaki said, it’s about the technique; and the nuances of reading water and properly presenting a fly don’t come overnight.

8-Dave: Have you seen much interest in tenkara in Pennsylvania and if so why?
Daniel: Pennsylvania is currently the 4th state with the largest number of tenkara anglers in the US, following California, Colorado, and Utah. Watching Mr. Joe Humphreys’ videos before launching Tenkara USA made me think of Pennsylvania as a natural state for tenkara fly-fishing. All the techniques and places Mr. Humphrey was showing made me constantly think, “What if Joe Humphreys had a tenkara rod in those videos?” Though counterintuitive to think of using such long rods for small streams, I have found the long rod gives you control and precision ideal for all but the brushiest streams. The shorter casting stroke, the ability to cast with a flick, or even better, the perfect tool for the “bow-and-arrow” cast that Mr. Humphrey made popular, make tenkara a very effective and versatile tool even in the Pennsylvania brush streams. And, if the streams get too brushy, then you also have the ability to shorten the rod a bit as they are telescopic.

9-Dave: Tell me where do you see the future of tenkara going?
Daniel: In these first few months in business we have seen a very large and growing following despite our “zero-marketing-budget”. I wanted to see the interest for tenkara growing in a completely organic way, where anglers learned from other anglers about its simplicity, effectiveness and other reasons to do tenkara fishing. I believe anything good is spread by word of mouth. I didn’t want ads to convince anyone to do it and have it become a fad. Tenkara is nothing new, it has been around for hundreds of years and is still practiced in Japan for a reason. It is always going to be a small-stream fly-fishing niche. But, much like Spey casting was introduced for anglers pursuing large fish in large rivers, tenkara deserves its place for anglers pursuing a different angling experience in small streams. There is a very passionate group of people that got into tenkara in the past few months and I believe may soon retire their reels; I expect that number will continue to grow with people who will find the tenkara simplicity, “refreshing”.

10-Dave: Where should people go if they want to learn more or get started with tenkara?
Daniel: Just go to your nearest or favorite stream! I believe angling is not a science that requires years of theoretical learning, or countless hours of instruction. It requires going out there and fishing. The best way is to learn 3 simple knots, go out there, and fish. Though theory and specific knowlege is interesting and will always help a bit, the industry has made angling seem difficult and intimidating by introducing a lot of complexity to it. The most difficult element of learning western fly-fishing is casting, tenkara reduces that dramatically and I hope it will make it easier to introduce more people to fly-fishing. To learn more about tenkara, one may visit our site, www.tenkarausa.com . Our site also has an active forum where members can discuss tenkara and connect with other anglers, though I’m afraid there may not be a whole lot to discuss in the long term since in the end it’s just you with a rod, line and a fly.

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Published by Dave Kile [davekile] on 06/07/2009 (9146 reads)
Dave Weaver Interview - PaFlyfish.com
Dave Weaver is an artists that resides in south-central Pennsylvania. His artwork focuses on freshwater game fish, the saltwater flats, and the wildlife in and around Gettysburg. In addition to his wonderful paintings, Dave is an avid fly fisherman, civil war historian, and military veteran. His trout paintings truly standout and something I know many would enjoy learning more about.

1 - Dave: Tell me more about your background with your art.
I’m essentially self taught and would describe my art as best categorized as subject interest illustration. The word “illustration” tends to have somewhat low brow connotations in the elite fine art realm these days. That’s fine with me - my art isn’t a big deal. I think too many artists go to ridiculous lengths to explain how their work adds to the human condition or to demonstrate how sensitive they are. I don’t claim that my artwork has much real purpose other than to make fly fishermen happy.

Although I loved drawing animals as a kid, I didn’t start painting seriously until about 1992. It seems perfectly natural to me that my passion for sport fishing came to dominate my art topic matter. Any painter worth the stains on his or her palette has a passion for producing art – speaking for myself, however, I have a passion for fish and fishing and it’s really from this passion that my art got started. There’s something of a longstanding cliché among artists that it doesn’t matter what you paint, merely how you paint. While I agree with this in the abstract, for me subject matter – primarily trout – is a big part of what lured me back to drawing and putting paint to canvas. I started competing in trout stamp competitions about that time and eventually went on to win four competitions as well as placing in quite a few others. It wasn’t easy and a humbling experience.

While I’ve had the great good fortune to have had many mentors in other endeavors, with art I struggled to learn alone. I simply didn’t know anyone else who painted in the sport fishing genre whose shoulder I could watch over and to whom I could ask questions and seek constructive criticism on a regular basis. Fortunately there are many masters whose work I could study and I continue to scrutinize their work with an eye toward identifying the qualities that make it great. I did receive a lot of encouragement from fly fishermen and fly shops. In particular, I appreciate the encouragement from the late Dr Jack Beck of Cumberland Valley Trout Unlimited and Enoch “Inky” Moore of the Pa Fish and Boat Commission. Special thanks for getting me started in fly fishing art also needs to go to Yellow Breeches Outfitters, the first gallery (fly shop really) to show any confidence in selling my trout art. They continue to display my work after 15 years - ditto with regards to Lord Nelson’s Gallery here in Gettysburg. I sincerely appreciate their support.

2- Dave: Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration for me flows primarily from fish and their environs. This is particularly true with trout. As your readers are well aware, wild trout are possessed of absolute beauty and I’m as fascinated with the physical traits of trout as anyone, especially brook and brown trout. As I like to say, I could paint brook trout for the rest of my life and never get bored. However, the form and coloration of brown trout, I find, are more mysterious, ephemeral, and difficult to portray than brook trout. I can’t explain why this is, but browns have always been tougher for me. Whatever the case, any honest Pennsylvania fly fisherman is inspired by wild trout. So am I.

Gazing at the work of great sporting and fish artists is also inspiring. Most of the great sport fish artists are contemporary. The fishing art genre, however, recently lost its patriarch, Stanley Meltzoff, at the age of 89. In my view, the current master of fish art is Mark Susinno, who, not surprisingly, lives and paints here in PA. Not only is Mark the best game fish artist in the world, he’s a hard core fly fisherman and a heckuva nice guy. I’m also stunned by the beauty and accuracy of artists like Mike Stidham and Joseph Tomelleri. Paintings by artists like these masters on top of their game are always an inspiration to me.
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