Thank you to everyone who came out to see and hear me at the WNC Fly Fishing Expo this past weekend. We filled the seats and then some yesterday to talk tenkara, look at pictures of the awesome fish you caught over the past year and generally bond together among all those “reel fishermen.” I’m not sure but I think we may have even made a few converts along the way. I’m back on the water tomorrow ahead of a big cold front heading our way on Tuesday. We definitely need the rain and a sharp drop in temperature will likely filter out the less dedicated (okay, maybe rabid) anglers. Bottom line, winter fishing is coming…I can’t wait.
This weekend is the 9th annual Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Expo and I will once again be “talkin’ tenkara” to attendees. I present at 5:15 on Friday evening and 10am on Saturday and I’d love to see you there. My talk is called “Tenkara A-Z” but don’t worry, I won’t have a topic for every letter. What I will have is lots of good fish pictures, an overview of tenkara angling and hopefully answers to all your questions about where to fish, what rod/line to choose, how to rig and anything else tenkara on your mind. You will find directions and a full schedule for the expo here. I hope to see you there!
Any day you can fish is a good day to fish. When you can sneak out on a Wednesday though, it’s particularly sweet. That’s what we did this morning and had the river pretty much to ourselves. Well, maybe ourselves…and the fish. This beauty was one of many that were caught unaware by thinking all the human-folk would be working. We braved the early morning chill and got the trifecta of Brookie, Brown, Rainbow all before lunchtime. Happy hump day!
We got a little gift from Canada on Friday…a blast of cold air that brought temps down to the high twenties. Thankfully, trout like it cold. A few layers of fleece, plenty of hot chocolate and a good dose of determination paid off for us Saturday morning when these beauties came to our net. I was with a skilled angler and it was one of those magic mornings where good fishing was rewarded with both quantity and quality of fish. It’s funny but after you land a couple of fish like these beauties….your toes aren’t so cold anymore!
This past week we had a few beautiful warm days and what is likely the last of our fall colors. The hickory was bright yellow, the sumac bright red and the oaks a deep roan. This monster male Brookie was wearing his fall colors, too, when he decided to take a well presented nymph. A quick photo later he was back in the stream, blending in perfectly with the rest of autumn’s display. Nature’s beauty, big fish and shirtsleeves in November…it doesn’t get any better than that!
In the high ground the leaves are already falling, temperatures are cool and summer is clearly coming to an end. Perhaps this gorgeous, native Brookie was an end of season special. If so, it was a great way to end a wonderful, cool, moist summer. It puts our lower streams in great shape for the beginning of our Delayed Harvest season. Fish are plentiful, access is easier and the fishing is much more forgiving to newcomers. All that said, I’ll miss the wild.
I recently had the great pleasure of volunteering my services at an outdoor-focused summer camp for local teens. Along with some fellow Trout Unlimited members we spent the morning introducing a dozen local youngsters to the fun of fly fishing. I, of course, used tenkara. The two young ladies I was with had a great morning catching an interesting mix of warm water species plus one Brown trout and one Rainbow…pretty good for two first time fly fishers! Whether you are an expert, or a beginner, there are few better ways to ensure the future of our sport than to take the time to fish with a youngster. It’s good fun and good karma.