Wind in my face to a place of rest. A calmness comes over me, soothing, relaxing, restoring my soul. Quiet except for the sound of Spring. Birds chirping. A slight breeze blowing. Escaping the drama of the world, ending with wind in my face going home.
It’s January—cold with a mix of rain and snow. Coronavirus has required us to stay inside. So, what’s a fella to do?
Planning. Getting ready for a fishing season along with a little motorcycling. That’s what a fella is to do!
Over the years, I have built fly rods and bought rods that would make it easier to carry them on a motorcycle. Then, I discovered Tenkara in 2013, and that changed my motorcycle/fishing world completely. However, I still like to use a conventional fly rod from time to time. It all depends upon the water to be fished. The minimalist approach to Tenkara just makes perfect sense with the motorcycle. So, for 2021, here is my list of gear for fly fishing with the motorcycle as transportation.
Any one of these will fit into the bags on my motorcycle. From top to bottom:
Tiny Tenkara. 8.5” collapsed, 54” extended
Tiny Tenkara 2. It is 14.5” in rod tube, 8’ extended
Tenkara USA Hane’. 17” in rod tube, 10’10” extended
7-piece, 9’ 5wt travel fly rod. 18” in rod sock
5-piece, 7.5’ 4wt fly rod. 20” in rod sock
Of course, there are a lot of other manufacturers and options out there. Find one you like, and get to fishing.
I do not use a fishing vest preferring a pack instead. I have three in different sizes. They can carry an assortment of fly boxes. It just depends upon how much you want to carry, or more importantly, how much room on the motorcycle is available. L to R above:
Simms small sling pack. Plenty of room for fly boxes and gear, including space for a water bottle on the bottom.
Fishpond small waist pack. Less room, but will hold one fly reel as well as fly boxes.
Fishpond small chest pack. Minimal gear. One small fly box.
With the minimalist approach of Tenkara, the small Fishpond chest pack is perfect, and it takes up less room in the motorcycle bags.
I think a net is a luxury for motorcycle fly fishing, especially if you are also hauling camping gear. But I recently discovered a net manufacturer who has been in business since 1955, and I think his net will be just the ticket for saving space.
The top net is one I built. It is 21” long, and will fit in a bag if you tilt it a little. It’s a nice net, and there have been plenty of fish in it. The little one is an expandable net from Handy Pak Net Company in Pennsylvania. It has a spring steel rim, folds up to fit in that pouch, AND it is a bigger net than my homebuilt. The Handy Pak Net is going with me on the motorcycle.
What about waders? Waders take up too much space, and if you’re going motorcycle camping, they are left behind. You either wet wade or fish from shore. If you’re just going fishing near where you live, there is probably room for waders. I prefer waist sock-foot waders with a separate boot. The waist waders fold up into a smaller package for transportation. Plan on some kind of plastic bag for carrying wet waders and boots home.
That’s all folks!
I am so ready to get on the motorcycle and go fishing.
See you on the highway (or maybe on the water … or both).
For some time, I have been thinking about making changes and producing content a little differently. But more often than not, what goes around, comes around. I tried writing fly fishing content on a separate blog, but that just was not working. So, more of my posts here will be dedicated to my fly fishing activities. There will always be a little travel involved in these posts, and sometimes it will involve a fly fishing adventure. Much of my fly fishing has been one of service. Service to the Veterans and Volunteers of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc.
Every now and then, I take off on the motorcycle to do a little fly fishing for myself.
Fishing for trout usually involves beautiful places. Quiet. Peacefulness. Serenity. And just like opportunities in life, sometimes, a second chance is needed. That is what “catch and release” is all about. You catch the fish, and return them to their home for a second chance at growing old.
And, so I did. I returned the rainbow to it’s waters.