I have determined that I will set up a permanent tying station in my office area. I have been struggling for years on how to set up this room of mine … more specifically, how I will making this room functional between fishing and my day job. A need for balance between being organized, having easy access to fly tying materials, and having some sense of aesthetic values. Till today I have resorted to keeping most of the things in boxes & containers and taking it all out when I tie, then putting it all away, but this is a drag. I looked up how other people have their tying situations set up, and here are some images I found...
My friend Charles is heading to Korea for his friend’s wedding, and he plans to do some fly fishing while he is there. I thought it might be helpful for him to get a view of some of the fish he can expect to catch there. Here are the species I recommend targeting, and he can expect during the early spring season.
산천어 (Oncorhynchus masou)
Likely the most prized fish to catch, mainly because they are so pretty. They are smaller in size, but is representative of Korean trout. If you fly fish in Korea, you must meet this fish. You can find them in small mountain creeks.
Another highly prized fish, and again representative of the Korean prize fish. These guys get a bigger in size and are aggressive when they take the fly. You can find them in small mountain creeks, usually in larger pools.
무지개 송어 (Rainbow Trout)
Not a native, but rainbows are always fun to catch. They run, they’re aggressive, and there’s a lot of them around.
강준치 (Culter erythropterus)
Some fly fishers ignore this fish, but to date these guys give the best fight and are sized to do it. Bigger fish, usually in larger, slow moving rivers. This is Gone Fishing's special.
끄리 (Opsariichthys bidens)
I don’t know what these guys are about, but they are super fun to catch. Aggressive at strike, and feisty fighters for their size. This is Ksanchun's special.
갈겨니 (Zacco temmincki)
Simply put, blue gills of Korea. They smell like watermelon. This is Soboro's special ... although he will deny it ;-)
I’ve never met these guys, but from what I hear they are the predator fish in these parts. All the other fishermen I meet just keep saying, “if you catch this fish, watch your hands. They have spikes all over their back”. I guess lots of people get spiked by these guys when they thrash around.
Large Mouth Bass & Blue Gills
They have been introduced in the late 70s as game fish, and since then have caused a lot of destruction of the eco system in Korean waters. They are sought after as game fish, but there are many concerned with these and other invasive spieces.
* 사진에 관하여: 제 친구가 한국에 처음으로 낚시를 하러 간다고 해서, 바쁘게 사진을 찾아 올리느라고, 허가 없이 사용한 사진이 많습니다. 일단은 죄송하다는 말씀 드리고, 만약 내렸으면 하는 사진이 있으시면 답글로 열락주세요, 바로 내리겠습니다. 용서해주세요.
Some people like reading the book, then watching the movie. Some like it the other way around. The latter is usually less disappointing, and actually can aid a little bit when reading the book. Of course it kills the opportunity to invent the faces & voices of the characters, which is a valuable part of reading. I’ve done it enough times that if I'm in the zone with the book, I can kind of tune the movie scenes out. I’ve also had enough times reading books and watched poor movies of it, but even then, if I liked the story enough, I will sort of imagine "through" the movie. I’ve heard of this book “The River Why” by the author David James Duncan, and I've heard it’s good. The movie is in production and will soon be out. I will wait and watch the movie first, mostly because I think the book will be good. It’s always good to have shots of a hot looking girl (Amber Heard) with a name like Eddy, fly-fishing intensely. Looking forward to this movie then the book.
At times it felt like this winter will never end, or just be much longer than I can be patient. I sense Spring in the air, the water is flowing again in the rivers and the lakes are glimmering with small waves. The sight of open water after a cold winter is a beautiful sight. As with each winter a short tribute to the season that has come and gone. I have fly boxes full of flies I have tied over the winter, some proven and some invented. New lines on most of the reels, clean boots, and lighter clothing that I can actually move it. Okay, ready to fish now.
가끔은 기대하지 않은곳에서 찾는 이쁜 고기를 만나면 기분이 좋아 진다. 알고 지내는 형과 얼마전 같이 저수지에 낚시를 다녀 왔는데, 뜻밖에도 여기서 산천어를 만났다. 이 산천어는 작년에 넣어 놓은 물고기라고 주인 아저씨가 얘기를 하는것을 나중에 들을수 있었다. 그날은 이런 뜻밖에 이쁜 고기를 볼수 있어서 그냥 좋았지만, 나중에 사진을 자세히 보니, 산에서 만나는 산천어 보다는 강한 인상을 소유한 이 산천어가 그동안 송어들 사이에서 그동안 살아 남으려고, 얼마나 힘들었겠나 하는 생각이 들었다. 어쩌면 그래서 자신에 인상이 그렇게 강하게 될수 밖에 없었는지. 아마 송어랑 좀 섞였서 그렇게 생겼다고 할수도 있겠지만, 난 그냥 이 산천어가 살아 남으려고, 그래서 비슷한 인상을 쓰고 다니다가, 이렇게 인상이 굳었다고 생각하려고 한다. 그래서 조금은 슬프고, 조금은 대견하고, 그리고 조금은 우리 사람과도 같다고 생각들었다. 산천어도 예전에는 바다와 민물을 드나들었는데, 세월가고 강산 변하다 보니, 그렇게 계곡에서 살게 되었다고 읽었다. 만약에 다시 바다와 연결을 해 놓은다면 시간이 걸려도 산천어는 다시 바다를 향에 가려고 할까? 아직도 자기 집이 생각날까 하는 생각을 해 보았다.
Pete and Matt reels in another set of big fish on their recent trip to Puerto Rico. I have always thought Tarpons so beautifully shaped, with their slender bodies and dynamic shape. Their proportion can work as small fish or as giant as the ones Pete caught. Pete fought these monsters on flimsy 12 pound line, and had to guide them for over 20min in order to land them. Pete and Matt – thanks again for the photos.
I am sure that fishing with my son is one of the most important reasons why I love this sport. My older son Jon likes to fish and is good at catching fish. There’s that moment when you no longer have to help them while at fishing, where they know how to bait their hooks, change lures, and know how to release fish by themselves. He’s finally at that point, and he continues to ask for more of his own equipment, and no longer wants to fish with the Batman rods. This year I will teach him to fly fish, and we plan on spending time up in the creeks of western Wisconsin. When I ask him what is his favorite fish, he answers that it’s a trout, but he doesn’t forget to mention that he’s never caught one in the wild (he’s a caught a few in the trout farm). I hope that this year he will be able to catch his first wild trout, and I plan to be there to guide him. My younger son still has a few years before he catches up to fishing with us, but I am sure he will have a wonderful time, being in charge of netting the fish when it gets close enough. My wife is still unsure about fishing, but she’s promised to give it a try this year. I hope that this season is the one where our entire family shares time on the water, with fishing rods in out hands.
Fly fishing is one of the few sports where the action itself is sometimes much fun the intended result. My favorite fishing author John Gierach once wrote that fly fishing is the best fishing, especially when you are not catching fish. I recently went out to a trout pond in Korea and saw a lot of people there basically there to just cast. Loooong super double haul casts. There was a lot of fish (enough for my friend to catch 26 fish in 3 hours) but these guys were interested in one thing only, making that super long cast. Distance is important when fly casting, however there’s a fine balance of elegance with performance. At least for me, without elegance - a sort of graceful easiness to the cast, it starts to look pretty ridiculous. Below are some images professionals launching their lines in the air ... mixed in a some our own photos, because newbies also sometimes make good fluke cast ;-)