Doing Good…and doing Well!

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.

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This is How We do It!

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!

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There is a Santa Claus…and she’s awesome!

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!

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If You don’t Have a Plan…. won’t have anything to deviate from.

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!

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Friends, Fun and Yes, Also Fishing!

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!

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It’s Spring….Maybe?

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!

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Next, Next Gen Tenkara

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.

and my daughter, …full time mom, part time guide
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Good Karma!

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!”

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What a Difference a Week Makes!

Last Saturday we rescheduled a trip in the face of temps in the 20’s, winds to 30kts and blowing snow. Yesterday we got that trip in and our good judgement was rewarded with this beautiful Rainbow and many others. It was calm, sunny and in the 60’s. That’s the crazy nature of March fishing. Knowing when to exercise discretion and when to go for it is an important part of angling. I have two basic rules: conditions have to be safe and it has to be fun. The exact criteria to meet these standards vary from angler to angler. Part of becoming an angler is learning what your limits for fun and safety are and fishing within them. As long as we are good stewards of our streams and the fish that live in them, there will always be another chance to go fishing. Mother nature gave us ours, and I’m glad we waited!

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Welcome 2022!

From us to you and yours, here’s wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy new year. If there’s anything we’ve all learned in the past two years it’s hopefully that we never know what the future may bring, so we have to grab life as it comes to us. There will come a day when COVID and all its wrath are behind us. When that day comes, let’s all remember how precious “normal” life is and vow collectively to never take anything for granted again. My resolution for 2022 is simply to “savor the beauty of the moment.”

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