To GoPro or not to GoPro

I have always been impressed by the footage that gets uploaded on U-Tube that has been taken on action cams like the GoPro.  I have the feeling that one of these devices will be the best way to record my trip to Kamchatka. I also need to have it early enough to play with it to ensure that I get some good footage and know how to edit and upload it. Luckily for me an electronics mart has just opened under the building that I work, this has given me plenty of opportunities to browse.  However I got no useful advice, it seems that the combined English of the store assistance is less than my Korean (this is unusual and my Korean is minimal).  Prior to looking into these cameras I thought that there were only GoPro’s and some of the Sony style cams, there are hundreds of styles and brands,  rather too many to make an easy choice,

Between the browsing, reading the internet and observing the use of these cameras I have concluded that the GoPro  style is the most popular and that I should go that way. On further investigation it turns out that there are three box style cameras that all look identical, there is the Go Pro, the western market leader which also, the Isaw which is Korean and fits all the Go pro accessories, and  finally  the Yi which is Chinese and looks the same but all its fittings are  non-compatible with the GoPro.  In terms of performance the upper end of the Go pros have more features and are higher spec , the Isaw Edge (top model) was only just behind the Go pro 4 Silver but was about ½ the price, the Yi was similar in Spec to the bottom of the line GoPro but it did not have all the accessories and was a bit clunky to use.

Isaw Edge
Isaw Edge

There were 5 models of GoPro available, ranging from ₩199,000 to ₩590,000, 3 models of Isaw from₩ 109,000 to ₩199,000 and finally the two models of the Yi from ₩139,000 to ₩175,000

So the options were much the same as cars, a Ford, a Hyundai or a Cherry, I am fine with a Hyundai as a first car so it was the Isaw that I bought.

I have used it a couple of times now and it seems easy enough to use and the video is clear and not jerky. I have also discovered that it makes an excellent dash cam, I must delete the 15 or so hours of road I have recorded to date!!!

This is probably my last post prior to leaving for Kamchatka, while traveling I will have limited ability to be on-line, I shall try to upload photos and videos as I go.




Flies and luggage

During my travels I have destroyed many suitcases, I say I have destroyed actually I lay the blame for the majority of the destruction on the baggage handlers at various airports. Anyway I basically consider that luggage is a receptacle for cloths and assorted odds and ends, however all the outfitters gave very specific guidance for luggage and its requirements/functionality. The basic requirements are a main bag and a day bag; both have to be water proof and robust.

Generally it is suggested that the main bag be a duffel style bag, however I could not find a suitable one and I have reservations about carrying a fully loaded duffel miles through airports, I prefer things with wheels!! I found a snowbee rolling duffel with two waterproof compartments and a hard floor. Although in the photos it looks the same as any other rolling duffel it has a couple of very important differences, it is longer and narrower than most, this means that it comfortably fits a 9′, four pice rod and remains within the maximum linear dimension for “normal” hold baggage.  The bag cost £135 from John Norris.IMGP3753

The main bag was relatively easy compared to  my carry on bag, I looked at many waterproof backpacks and fishing bags, there was a plethora of them but none seemed particularly appropriate or they were $300 plus. Generally the water proof ones were simply a bag with straps, therefore did not have the required functionality. The main problem with these there was nowhere to put the stuff that can get wet without opening the whole bag, defeating the point of being waterproof day bag. With no external pockets or separate compartments they were not much use. All the other “water-resistant” bags looked like they would leak at the first serious bit of rain. In the end it was Bunnings (Australia’s equivalent to Home plus or B&Q) to the rescue, I dropped in on a whim and found this water proof tool bag by Kincrome for a whole $45, it came in sexy choice of bright yellow or bright yellow. It has plenty of internal and external pockets, has a hard floor, constructed out of heavy-duty vinyl and is cabin compliant.


Only time (and lots of rain) will tell if I have made the right choices, hopefully I have and my cloths will stay dry for the trip.


Finally some more fishing stuff.

I have just received the flys that I have ordered from The Fly Shop, They are not what I am used to. The largest flys that I use tend to be similar in size to the dry flys in the last photo.  I am hoping that the size of the fish are proportional to the size of the flys, they will be huge. I have photographed the flys on a navigation protractor which has a 1cm x 1cm grid, this gives a good idea of the size of the flys.  The Fly Shop offer several selections of flys for their Kamchatka trips, these selections are for a 1 week trip, so I bought one of them ($149) and asked them to add the extra flys that they thought that I would need for the second week. The total cost of the flys was $261.00 plus P&P

Mr Hankey

1.) Mr Hankey, this is a mouse fly (I don’t  understand how it can be described as a fly at all), the body is 4×2 cm and it is reckoned to be the most productive fly to use in Kamchatka, the fly selection included 20 of them, so I expect they will get a lot of use.


2) Various streamers, including  Pink and Purple TFS Sleech (I think that some one may be having a lend of me here), Freshwater Clouser,  Silvey’s Sculpin (black), CH Kiwi Muddler


3) More cool looking streamers including Morrish Medusa,  Swimming Baitfish Shad,


4) Even more streamers including Dali Llama (Black/White), Dali Llama (Olive/White) JR’s Baitfish (Olive) ,TFS King Smolt


5) And finally some dry flies that I recognise and even have some smaller ones in one of my fly boxes.  They include the usual suspects such as Elk Hair Caddis,  Parachute Adams,  and Royal Wulff.

I am hoping that my next post will be more photographic/photogenic as I am heading to the very south of South Korea  for a long week ends exploring.

Waders, accessories but no Flies

It is debatable which is the single most important piece of equipment that I will be taking to Kamchatka, while the rods, reel and flys are cool toys, the clothing that keeps me comfortable if far more important. Of all the clothing the piece that will be worn the most will be my waders, spending 2 weeks wearing ill fitting, damp and smelly waders is the stuff nightmares are made of, so I will start with the waders then go on to other bits and pieces.

I currently own a cheap set of Diawa boot waders which have served me well but they are not breathable and I have to be very careful about how I put my socks on as it only takes a matter of minutes to rub my ankles raw if the socks are not done correctly.  Because of the pain I put myself through during my trip to the Pyrenees I have convinced myself a new set of good stocking foot waders are a necessity for the trip.  Unlike most tackle I was not prepared to by the waders on the internet, I needed to be convinced that they fitted me correctly and the matching boots fitted properly and were comfortable (I find buying cloths on the internet difficult, for starters in Australia I am a L and in Korea I am a 2XL and the US sometimes a M ).  So during my visit to John Norris in Perth I tried on every set heavy duty of stocking foot waders that they stocked, The two best filling were the Simms G4 Pro £699 (of course the most expensive ones in the shop) and Vision Ikon at £199 these were every bit as comfortable as the Simms so at les than half the price it was them. The waders came with a set of Vision hopper boots with felt soles, which are the recommended soles for wading in Kamchatka.


Jacket, I have several nice waterproof jackets however none of them are totally suited to fishing, there was a wide choice varying form about  £50 to £500 jackets, I chose the  Airflow 3/4 jacket at £99.99. It fitted me well and had al the functioality that I require and not the Simms price tag.

Air Flow Jacket
Airflow 3/4 Jacket – not a fashion item

Bits and Pieces

Nail Knot tool, £11.99 John Norris, as small but invaluable tool to help a person with not so nimble fingers tying a nail knot to attached backing to a fly line or a mono filament leader to braid.  I spent a couple of hours practicing with my son and we can now tie a reasonable nail knot.

Knot Tool

Floatant & Sinkant John Norris £5.99 each, Gink and Kink absolutely nothing remarkable about either, I have used Gink before, Kink is the same brand and they are reasonably priced.


Tippet (and leader if necessary) Maxima 10lb, 12lb and 15lb, John Norris £2.99, each, I just bought clear nylon tippet material as according to the advice on various websites the fish in Kamchatka are not leader shy so fluorocarbon is not necessary.  Fluorocarbon Vs Nylon; Fluorocarbon is thinner for the same strength, has higher abrasion resistance, less stretch and is stiffer, this stiffness means that fluorocarbon has lower knot strength. I am just summarising several articles that I have read and what I have been told in fishing stores, I have done nothing to verify the accuracy of this information.


Glue, to fix any holes in my waders, the waders were supplied with a couple of patches so I didn’t need to purchgase those.


Head net and DEET from Millets, protection from the nasty Midges and other such critters

Bug Spray

Flint (Millets) and spare bootlaces (John Norris), because I would like to be a boy Scout.


Camp pillow (Mountain Warehouse) and Travel towel (Millets), essential for a comfortable trip, They are a fraction the weight and volume of conventional Pillows and towels.

Pillow & towel

Gloves John Norris £24.99 to keep my fingers warm,