As spring opens up it’s no doubt a new fishing season is upon us. The phone is ringing, emails are flying, orders are coming in and shows and events are scheduled every weekend for the next two months. It’s a good problem to have so complaining, I’m not. To tell you the truth, it’s a blast.
Between Elkhorn’s Spring Event, Front Range Anglers’ Customer Appreciation Day and The Fly Fishing Rendezvous the days and weekends have been clipping right along. It’s a great way to educate people about tenkara, dispel myths about what you can and can’t do with a tenkara rod, and simply meet people. And really, that’s the best part – whether it’s a seasoned angler, a tenkara purist, a hard core reel guy, or a complete novice, the key is taking the time to talk and create a relationship.
I’ve met so many people, both men and women who are interested in fly fishing but feel like it’s just too complicated to learn. When you put a tenkara rod in their hand, it’s like magic. You can see them relax and the excitement build. What’s even better is the reel guy who is super suspicious about the whole reel-less concept, but gets a twinkle in his eye when you put a rod in his hand and dare him to cast it. By the third cast the hesitation starts to melt away and a very discrete but definitively visible curl appears in the corner of his mouth. He starts to see the application and understand its efficiency and usefulness. He gets it. At that point you have to be gentle and not show any pomp or bravado. Nothing but respect is shown but you know you’ve made a new friend. That is what brings me joy.
The part of the craziness I love, is the relationships you make within the industry. Whether it’s another tenkara company, a pack manufacturer or a line company, it’s fantastic when people can find or even better yet, create ways to benefit each other. This could be selling and promoting each other’s gear or collaborating on a project. Either way, when you can come together it’s a good feeling and typically a great product. It helps you get outside your own little bubble and see the world from a different perspective. In my experience, that usually leads to personal and professional growth. Which is good.
Finally, the other benefit from participating in shows and events, is you get to check out other people’s “stuff” and often find some neat goodies. I’m kinda a minimalist. I like certain comforts and am almost always “prepared”, but I don’t like carrying a lot of crap. I’m also a bit of a Type A which means I enjoy and prosper with organization. That being said, I picked up a nifty gear chest that I’m hoping I’m going to love. It doesn’t have a thousand little pockets – I don’t like those because I forget what I put in each pocket, but it is a singular place that I can store my gear and have it be extremely portable and all in one place. This is my new Kyton Gear Chest. It’s a plastic storage container with places to store 7+ rods, boots, waders, fly boxes, a mat and my fishing sling/backpack. It’s on wheels and has a comfortable retractable handle that makes it easy to pull and to store. And, although I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, there is also a battery operated fan to ventilate and help dry your gear so it doesn’t “stank”. You’re able to securely lock the chest so it’s easy to travel and fly with it.There’s also a removable tray which sits securely on the pull handle when extended. The gear chest can fit two pairs of boot, 2 pairs of wader, 2 slings, the mat, 7+ rods and a number of boxes and fishing paraphernalia into the chest without any problem. Now I have to see how well the fan dries things out. I’m heading out again this Friday afternoon for a little work and pleasure mixture that will obviously include fishing. I’ll keep you posted on the ventilation feature and just how effective it is. But at the moment, it’s nice to know all my gear is in one place and I don’t have to scurry around collecting stuff. Check it out at kytongear.com.