Yesterday we headed up into wild Brook Trout water for the first time this spring. Flows were a little high but the Mountain Laurel was blooming, the butterflies were everywhere and the fish were happy to take any well presented fly. I was with a skilled tenkara veteran and we actually fished with the same fly all day. It fooled this beauty while we were laying flat on our stomachs on a truck sized boulder and casting down 10′ into a pool. We were really gettin’ our tenkara on. My muscles are a little sore this morning from all the hiking, climbing and four point scrambling but it sure was nice to get back in the wild.
Many thanks to all of the wonderful people who have come fishing with Unreel Fly Fishing this spring! You guys and gals are awesome and I hugely appreciate your business, your support and your friendship. I’ve been so busy netting fish for all you tenkara aces that I hardly had a chance to pick up a rod. Well today I did and I got one! I know, it’s probably not as big as some of yours, but I wanted to show you a picture anyway. Very shortly we’ll be shifting gears and hiking up to catch native Brook Trout…you only need one hand for those little guys but we sure love ’em anyway.
In angling terms, catching an amazing fish like this on tenkara is truly, “The best of times.” Tenkara is not really intended to catch fish this size but with good technique (and a little good fortune), it can be done. The truth is though, that for every picture like this, there is probably a story about the fish that got away and in doing so taught us the lesson that made landing the next one possible. It usually takes a few tries to get your first, really big fish to the net. Successful fish fighting on tenkara requires good tactics, touch, anticipation and agility. These things come only through practice. The great thing is that the only way to practice is to go tenkara fishing. So get out there and go for it!
Last April I wrote about a father and two sons who were kind enough to join me for some tenkara fishing. We fished two days in a row and had an absolute blast. There was another brother who couldn’t be there and I said I hoped he’d make it the next time….well, he did and what a morning it was. These guys didn’t just get the “Appalachian Slam” of Brookie, Brown, Rainbow. They did it with some major gusto. Check out these fish. They were unbelievable! There were a lot more in between that on a normal day would have been more than photo-worthy. The guys are all coming back to Asheville for a family wedding in October…I’m getting my net ready!
It’s always fun to do things with friends but it’s particularly fun to try out new things with friends. It was my great pleasure to help that happen today when these two amigas decided to give tenkara a whirl. As you can see, it turns out they’re both natural born tenkara anglers. We caught fine fish all morning but this one was the best of them. An epic battle ended just the way we like, with smiles and a photo op. If you’ve been thinking about trying tenkara…do it…and bring a friend!
Well, not exactly. This handsome native to our local streams is a Red Horse Sucker…and a pretty big one. They are active in the streams right now as they spawn in the spring when water temp reaches about 54 degrees Fahrenheit. They are strong, heavy and as unlikely as it may seem, jump like crazy when hooked. They can really be a handful. This tenkara ace was more than up to the challenge, but we did do a bit of running up and down stream before getting the net under him! We returned the golden beauty safely to the river and were rewarded with more than our share of his more genteel, trout cousins. What a cool fish!
Do you sometimes think that somebody, somewhere is trying to send you a message?After some blustery weather blew through yesterday my wife and I went for a walk. At one point she suddenly she stopped and picked up this twig that had been shaken down from above. “Hey, that looks like a Kebari fly!” she said. Now I’m not normally a superstitious guy, but even I can recognize a sign that obvious. I’m going tenkara fishing!