Monday, September 14, 2009


Ironically enough, I'm not a big fish-eater. I love to go fishing and I'm Japanese-American but fish is just not a food I crave. Sure, when in the right mood, I like sushi...real sushi, not fake sushi like California Rolls. I've never really developed the taste for sashimi either - raw fish. Put some ribs or Santa Maria-style barbeque in front of me and I'm happy...very happy.
I do spend a ton of time drawing fish, though. This rainbow trout illustration is my most recent, and possibly best to date. Rainbows can be really beautiful creatures.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Point & Shoot

There used to be an element of uncertainly when taking least for me. I would take the photos, then wait for a week or two for the film to be processed and prints made. There was a combination of fear and excitement when tearing open that yellow-orange envelope from Kodak. Masterpiece or a dark, blurry  waste of paper? 
You could choose your film to suit the subject matter - warm Kodachrome, cool Ektachrome, green Fuji, fast black & white Tri-X. With digital photography, you can manipulate the image with your computer. There are even Photoshop filters to make your digital photos look like they were shot on Kodachrome or Fuji! I take so many more pictures with my digital cameras than I ever did before...but I'm afraid that I probably was a better photographer when I had to think more about what I was doing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Classic Salmon Flies

I have to admit that I really don't understand classic salmon flies. Many of them are beautiful and tying them can truly be called an art form. I am a trout fisherman - trout flies at least suggest some prey item...insects, crustaceans, other fish. At least to my eyes, salmon flies resemble very little in nature, not anything that a fish would normally eat. Do they just piss salmon off to the point that they bite them? Or are there things like color combinations that "trigger" feeding? I have absolutely no idea. Trout fishing is puzzling enough for me!

Friday, September 4, 2009


The largest fish that I have caught was a 21" Cutthroat trout at Flat Creek, near Jackson, Wyoming. It was in late August of 1992 and there were few fishermen on the water. Like most fly fishermen, I don't like it when there are too many other people around, and I almost always fish alone. That way, no one has to see how badly I cast or how few fish I catch. But when I caught that fish, I wanted someone to see it. As I released it, I looked around...I was alone. There was no one to share my excitement, no one slap me on my back and say, "Great fish!" It was just me standing there with a stupid grin on my face. The only sound was the breeze blowing through the streamside grass and my heart pounding in my chest.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hot Off the Grill

There are a lot of people on the Central Coast who are car nuts...rather, car enthusiasts. A car show in Pismo Beach regularly draws more than 300 entries and tens of thousands of attendees from all over California. Recently, there was a much smaller show in the little town of Orcutt. I was surprised that there were so many really beautiful and cool cars there.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fit to be Tied....

I hope go fishing soon, so I've started to tie some flies. I am neither a particularly fast, nor skillful fly tyer. Some people will sit down and tie a dozen flies of a certain pattern, then tie another dozen of a different size. Not me. I get bored tying the same thing over and over again. After a while I start to change things and experiment. It's kind of like my cooking - I tend not to follow recipes very closely. So after an hour or so, my flies tend to take on a mutated, pieced-together, Frankenstein's monster resemblance to the original fly pattern. These changes just might catch fish...but I usually don't fish often enough to have the chance to give them a try.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Something's Fishy

Went to a Japanese restaurant this weekend with relatives. Didn't get sushi...although I do like it alot. Lately, I've been opting for the meatier dinner combination plates. I am always impressed by how creative and artistic the chefs can be with their food presentation. Even at little hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop restaurants the dishes are prepared to feed the eyes, as well as the stomach. When I cook, I'm lucky if the meal still resembles food!