Ride that fish

Click me

Dautremer is by far one of the most gifted French illustrator for child books. I especially recommend her Cyrano, it’s insanely good. Do yourself a favor, check her out, you may well find a gem for the littluns in your life. These books will leave a touch of true beauty in their minds.

(Light years from the Disney crap they use to brain wash the kids)

Visite du cockpit

(The following has no relation whatsoever with fishing. You’re warned)

Today I thought I’d introduce you to another aspect of the TsC&C lifestyle. For you may think that TsC&C is but a way to build a rod, or even a cover up for my lack of skill to do so. You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s a complete weltanschauung, my friends, and nothing short of that.Take the g0nefishin9 cockpit for instance, the very place from which all those verbal stunts are delivered to you. Here it goes:

As you can see, they don’t come any TsC&Cer. The astute reader, blessed with a keen eye for details, won’t fail to notice that my children are exceptionally creative, that I have at least two rods on which I must wrap the guides, and that g0ne is powered by Ubuntu. But wait! What’s that thing on the left?

That, my friend, is the ultimate TsC&C computing device, the g0nemachine

A motherboardful of awesomeness, hardly outputing 18dB at 1m. Obviously some yellow livered hard-gamer freak may object that this is just a pile of crap components, which is correct except for the CPU fan and the power supply (ie the noisy parts). For the rest I don’t give a damn. I don’t do Call of Duty MW3. I write papers and a blog.

Unrelated, trash and chic, certainly no cheap, Prada Fall-Winter 09-10

Des bonbons pour les perches

A while ago I started a small collection of perch streamers, since I reckon perches will be one of my regular targets this season. Looking back at what I’ve collected this far (Grey and Black Ghosts, Circus Peanut, Sunfish) I realized that I have skipped one of the basic patterns: the so called Perch Candy. It’s easy to tie, doesn’t require fancy stuff, I guess it’s a classic.

Actually, I’ll also tie some for the big bows I’m determined to use to give my new 6wt some exercise. That’s going to happen (or not) during next month’s reservoir expedition. You can bet I’ll keep you posted.

Nœud pap’

Un post en français aujourd’hui pour David, qui avait voté Flaubert, un vote que je ne saurais condamner.

"La parole humaine est comme un chaudron fêlé où nous battons des mélodies à faire danser les ours, quand on voudrait attendrir les étoiles." Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary).

Vu sur le Limp Cobra hier, une méthode originale de connexion entre la mouche et la pointe du bas de ligne, permettant de régler au moins deux problèmes potentiels.

1. Imiter la pupe de chironome/moustique émergente : A l’émergence, la pupe se bagarre juste sous la pellicule pour essayer de la traverser, elle est particulièrement vulnérable à ce moment et donc une proie idéale. Le problème est de maintenir la mouche au contact avec la surface mais par dessous, avec une pointe de bas de ligne dont la raideur empêche l’imitation de bouger correctement.

La pupe, prête à aller se tortiller en surface. Notez les branchies en tête.

2. Eviter qu’un spinner ruine le bas de ligne : les spinners, comme leur nom l’indique, tournent. Attachés au bas de ligne, c’est vrillage de la mort assuré.

Un spinner à l'hameçon curieusement tordu

Dans les deux cas, la solution est la même : désolidariser la pointe et la mouche. Il suffit de passer la pointe dans l’œillet de l’hameçon, et frapper sur elle un nœud d’arrêt terminal. la mouche peut librement tourner sur le nylon, ce qui limite le vrillage. Pour notre problème n°1, une petite variante est de mise, inventée par Frank Sawyer, un pêcheur de légende qu’on a déjà vu par ici. Le nœud d’arrêt consiste en un brin de laine blanche prise dans un nœud coulant, ce qui assure flottaison et visibilité, pendant que l’imitation pendouille sous la surface, exactement où les truites viendront la gober. Plus, le nœud pap’ est une imitation convenable des branchies de la bestiole. C’est pas beau ça ?

La mouche à nœud pap, du dernier chic en réservoir.

This is all very well, of course, but worthless if you can’t fish it with style.

Doing it all right.

RX6 F906-4, second round

So, I had a couple of hours last week end, perfect time to build a handle for the blue babe, who got a fair share of wiggling recently.  As TsC&C as ever, for the handle I grabbed a cork grip, an old piece of semi garbage that Greg gave me (I wanted to buy it but he couldn’t sell it to me ’cause he’s a decent chap). And I decided to pair it with a sleek Batson reel seat, black aluminium and carbon. See what I do here? Beauty and the beast, sharp contrasts, that’s TsC&C for you.

That cork thing was a mess. The front part was chipped, and the recess for the reel seat wasn’t large enough. I tried to enlarge it, filing slowly and carefully, but the cork was bad enough to crumble at some point, leaving a hole… At that point I was convinced that heavy surgery was required. I cut out everything looking unhealthy, epoxied a cork and a burl ring down the handle. Burl looks cool there, but is also tougher than cork, which is a good news when the recess just leaves a rather fine layer of it.

Once the epoxy had cured, I put everything into the drill, and sanded it down to a pleasing shape. Then epoxied everything on the blank. Here the result:

Nice Batson reel seat (ref. RFIL2-GWG-B)

The handle is short, I wanted it that way. Usually, I cast with my hand against the reel. There’s usually 5cm of useless cork. So I took Ockham’s razor and got rid of the excess. As usual, what I do with my hands has personality, which is a polite with to say that my craft sucks but that’s ok. I couldn’t find a cork ring lousy enough to really match the handle, and as I used a cutter to put down the uncomely parts, the cut wasn’t geometric enough to exactly fit the machined cork ring. Fuzzy fit shows better here:

Crippled, but still on the catwalk

The wiggle test project

I learned something valuable. Adding a handle helps a lot to dampen the back bounce in the blank. I’m not sure why it’s the case. Mass added at the lower end? Better grip? Of course the grip is better, but it doesn’t feel like the bounce is handled better, rather that there’s less bounce. I’m guessing a combination of factors comes into play.

Anyway, now, the rod feels crisp. Wrapping the guide will undoubtedly modify everything, so we’ll see. I’m going to try to have the guide part as light as possible, ultra short wraps and light varnish. Stay tuned.

Visual Poetry

This is the picture that started it all for me. I was 10. It was a couple of kilometers of bicycle ride to the first bookshop. Fishing was a new flame in the fire of my young heart, but books were already a long standing love. I went to see what a couple of coins that had not been put to better use (i.e. buy firecrackers) could get me a book on fishing. There was one withing my economic league. Bright orange cover, with a beautiful pic of a guy, crotch-deep in water, netting a trout. La pêche sportive en eau douce (sport fishing in freshwater) by J. M. Boelle, published in 1978 by Solarama. Still a good read for those who understand French. Elementary, but well written.

Anyway, the second chapter of that book opens with this picture, and it just tattooed itself in my relatively new mind. I was for ever given the concepts for fly fishing, and fly casting: art, grace, precision.

Yet it took me almost thirty years and a cancer to realize that I really want to be that guy. Very few things exert a stronger visual fascination on me than the fragile unfurling of a line, caught by gravity yet resisting the fall, and, for a couple of heartbeats, flying.