Yesterday was a near record for warm temperatures with a high of 90 in Asheville. We got out of town and enjoyed cooler temps on lower water where this beautiful Brown topped off a fun and productive morning. After lunch we hiked up to the refreshing shade of some wild trout water and landed a number of gorgeous native Brookies. We got one right below a refreshing little water fall and the 8″ beauty pictured below to finish off the day.
That’s a full day. Full of fun that is! Last night I laid down, fell asleep in about 30 second and, as always, dreamed about the one that got away.
Yesterday as we were fishing we looked down to see a large school of brightly colored “minnows” swirling in front of us. They looked like tropical fish from a coral reef somewhere. In fact, they were locals, Tennessee Shiners from right here in southern Appalachia. For most of the year they are silver and look pretty much like any other small forage fish in our local streams. But this time of year the males are a bright fiery red and aggregate in groups for spawning season. I hope they’re all successful! Never forget that a “trout stream” contains a lot more than trout. Take time to notice, appreciate and understand all the wonderful denizens of the waters we love.
Good karma is a beautiful thing. These two wonderful tenkara anglers supported the last of my four “Tenkara Tuesdays for TU” and the river showed its appreciation for their conservation mindedness with some great fishing. These two monsters put our tenkara skills and gear to the test. As you can see, both were up to the challenge. Not pictured were the many smaller beauties we caught in between. 100% of the guide fees from these trips went to support cold-water conservation here in WNC.100% of the fun and satisfaction of doing it went to me! Many thanks to all who participated.
Take a look at the excellent angling form of the tenkara first timer above. Rod tip high and leading the fly downstream, line tidy and ready for a take, fly drifting drag free with the current (flowing from right to left in the picture), angler focused, expecting a take and ready to set the hook. That’s how you do it! Below is the reward for such good technique…another fish in the net.
Good fishing yields good results and details matter. Next time you go fishing, take some time to look at what you’re doing and worry less about what the fish are doing. If you do your job, they’ll do theirs and you’ll end up smiling like these tenkara aces!
I am always honored when someone gives a gift of tenkara fishing with me to a loved one. There’s an added level of motivation to make sure the day goes as well as it can. Yesterday, it certainly did. The smiling gentleman with that monster Brown Trout was cashing in a gift certificate that came as a Christmas Present (Santa is visible in the background and in the second photo).
After lunch we had a great hike up to some high water, caught some native Brookies, and enjoyed the beautiful May wild flowers. Now that’s a Merry Christmas!
We arrived at the river the other day to find it unexpectedly high and off color due to unforecast overnight rain up in the drainage. So “Plan A” to fish a spot that required us to wade across the river for the morning was moot before we even got our boots on. We went to “Plan B” and did well by working the spots we could safely access without crossing. Then to “Plan C” which was to jump over to another nearby, smaller stream where we killed it and finished the morning with a flourish.
Things don’t always go the way you think they will. It pays to be flexible in your plan and versatile in your angling skills. Tenkara purists would have groaned at the rigs we fished under those challenging conditions….but the fish didn’t mind and neither did we!
What a great day I had yesterday with two good friends from our local Trout Unlimited chapter. They were already deadly fly fishers and took to tenkara quickly. More important than their angling skills, they brought an awesome spirit of fun and comradery. That turned what would have been a good day of fishing into a great day together on the stream. As I like to say, the fun-meter was solidly in the green the whole time!
We had some crazy swings in temperature over the past weekend. We started Sunday morning below freezing and finished the day near seventy. The only thing that stayed consistent was good fishing all day. I was out with these two experienced tenkara anglers who took full advantage of the beautiful day.
Back home, they are mostly smaller stream/smaller fish anglers but they got to brush up on some larger fish fighting techniques. As you can see, they were more than up to the challenge!
If I turned you down for a trip last week it was because I had cleared my calendar for my two favorite fishermen, my grandsons. They were on spring break and we got in as much stream time as we could. They helped with two trout stockings and stream clean-ups. The reward for their hard work was a bunch of great tenkara fishing and a deeper understanding that our rivers and the fish that inhabit them are gifts that must be respected and cared for. You want to know why I’m such a fervent conservation advocate? Just look at the photos above and below.
These two tenkara first-timers joined me today as part of a fundraiser for the Land O’Sky chapter of Trout Unlimited. Their generosity was rewarded with some wonderful fishing and a beautiful morning on the stream. If you aren’t a TU member, I encourage you to consider joining the thousands of anglers who are. Your support enables TU to continue its outstanding efforts in cold water conservation and will also put you in touch with a wonderful group of conservation minded fishing people. As they say in TU, “Take care of the fish, and the fishing takes care of itself!”