Fishing lodge story a cliffhanger


According to Google translate, such is the Japanese for “And as close to the water as you can get it, please…” words almost certainly heard by architect Masato Sekya, as he was briefed on this delicately-poised residential project  in southern Japan.

Jutting out from the cliff face overlooking a river, the house is planned as a weekend retreat for a couple who like to fish.

“Faced with the possibility that the sharply inclined riverbank could collapse or the water could rise, the suggestion of setting a tall pillar on the shore to support the residence was deemed too dangerous.

“The building’s tubular reinforced concrete structure is installed on flat bedrock, with a concrete pillar as a fulcrum, and a mass of concrete as a counterweight.”

All undoubtedly very dramatic and a tribute to man’s creativity but given the country’s susceptibility to earthquakes, I wouldn’t be hanging around on those steps to the riverbank when mulling over my choice of nymph.


Fish, bikinis and Southern discomfort

scof-shen-369x480Nice piece of journalism in the latest Southern Comfort on the Fly (page 100) even if the pictures make uncomfortable viewing, particularly when you’re in an office like this particular reader, surrounded by numerous other angling journalists, all of whom now think I need help.

David Grossman – oh, the irony! – has gone straight for the shock jugular in ensuring he’s heard on the growing number of catch shots online involving young women in swimsuits. Some of the words are NSFW and I’m assuming the call on the confederate flag bikini was made before last weekend’s goings-on in Charlottesville, but his point is heartfelt and articulately argued.

“I’m not saying it’s wrong to appreciate the female form or take a wild ride on the interwebs for spankable material. But that’s called Pornhub, not Instagram. For the women out there who really fish, who like many men have devoted their lives and careers to our quirky pursuit, it kinda sucks to be reduced to likes on social media when professional fly fishing opportunities arise. Sponsorship deals, ambassador programs and advertising seem to be leaning towards likeability over substance, and the women who aren’t willing to fish a flat in a g-string for the sole reason of revving our tiny lizard brains are being left out.”

Occasionally, this frontier presents itself when I’m considering re-blogs to the Trout Fisherman tumblr page, but I guess I’ll just carry on applying the same acid test. If I suspect that the fish and its procurement were not the principal drivers behind the image in question, it won’t make the cut.

Disregarding all photos of women anglers not clad in unisex waders and fleeces, after all, feels like it would be a different kind of unfairness.

Fishing ads of distinction

Take this to a hundred other companies in the fishing trade and they’d spit the dummy.

“Where’s the product?!”

“It doesn’t even mention fishing?!”

“What the *** are you morons on…?!”

If that’s you, allow me to offer you an alternative view of this sales pitch.

Some of us like the soft sell, just as we like being told a nice story in a world full of ugly ones. Nor do we regard “less is more” as an accidental oxymoron.

So we read this, enjoy the whimsy and may well subconsciously remember the firm responsible next time we’re in the market for eyewear.

And there are more of us than you think.

Banana Ad


Kayak mag gets to the bottom of it

KayakIt’s a purely abstract exercise at my age but just as I’m intrigued by the idea of snowboarding yet underwhelmed by skiing, so I’m beginning to warm to the kayaking concept when boat fishing generally leaves me cold.

A minimalist thing, perhaps; ski-sticks and engines scratched from the equation, but whatever it is, I respond to kayaking in a way I never have to watching a grown man yank repeatedly on a starter cord.

That musing aside, I refer you to the latest Kayak Bass Fishing Magazine in the hope that the article on  page 60 may have some crossover benefits for those of you in long-term relationships with a boat seat. If not, well, I’ve had less-welcome extensions to my vocabulary than ‘kayak butt’. Hopefully, you have too.


Ain’t no sunshine? Then they’re gone

a-fly-rod-of-your-own-9781451618341_lgOn a roll-call of supposedly hard and fast rules that stand on shaky ground, this thing about trout ceasing to co-operate in bright sunshine is due some serious review.

Just days after filing an article on a great day’s fishing beneath near-cloudless skies at Tinto Trout Fishery (see our 500th issue, out on  August 16) I start reading John Gierach’s latest book, A Fly Rod of Your Own, and encounter this:

“The day was unseasonably chilly, cloudy and rainy with a leaden sky…The weather felt more like October than August and would normally have been promising for trout fishing, but Snake River cutthroats don’t care for gloomy days. They’re friskier when it’s warm and sunny…”

None of this makes the basic premise unsound, of course, but it does serve as a cautionary reminder that the only thing set in stone in flyfishing are bridge supports.

When the conversation flags at the pub this evening…

Not really on-point with a fishing blog, save for the fact that the man who said it was a keen angler, but this fascinating interview with the late American writer, outdoorsman and one-time hell-raiser,  Jim Harrison, throws up one of those trivia gems whose repetition  would make any of us sound like a real man of the (outdoor) world…

“Here the Harrisons started telling me about the rattlesnakes. At the dawn of creation, Mon­tana received a generous helping of them. Until recently, an ungodly amount of the serpents considered the Harrisons’ prop­erty home turf… In 2003, one rattler, startled by Harrison’s beloved English setter Rose, reared up and nailed the dog. Rose lived but was so neurologically damaged that Harrison had no choice but to put her down. This was war. On one sanguine afternoon, Harrison shot twenty rattlers. The creatures kept turning up until he hired a local snake guy to find their den, which was gassed. The snake guy filled two barrels with dead rattlers. The thing with rattlers, Harrison said, is this: you have to kill the alpha male. If the alpha male leaves the den and does not return, he will not be followed. Harrison smiled as though this had all sorts of other implications.”