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!”
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!
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.”
Happy holidays to all and thank you for all your support and flexibility during another whacky year. I hope you all have a chance to do what these two tenkara aces (my bride and first born daughter!) did and get out with family to enjoy time in the outdoors together. There’s no better way to burn off a few Christmas cookies! I hope to see you all in 2022.
Forget “Bold”. Fortune favors the cold! At least it did yesterday morning when this intrepid tenkara angler made his first cast on a 25 degree morning. I guess “Ice on the Lillian” is our version of “Ice in the guides” and we had plenty of that. Funny thing though, when you’re catching fish like this…you don’t feel cold! I love winter fishing but if you decide to take advantage of the quiet and good fishing it provides, keep safety in mind. Layer up, fish with a friend, have some warm drink handy and quit before hypothermia drains away your coordination (and good judgement!).
Fish were indeed the order of the day when I got out with these two friends, colleagues and fellow trout slayers. We spent a beautiful fall day on the stream and the action was steady all day. We had a chance to break out some dry flies and catch a good number of fish off the surface as a bonus. Brooks, Browns Rainbows and to finish the day, a two eagle flyover….what a great day!
We had a cold front sweep through WNC last night which conventional wisdom would say might slow fishing down. So much for conventional wisdom! I had an awesome morning on the water with this wonderful couple. The bright blue sky did nothing to slow them down as evidenced by the photos above. These were just two of the many Brookies and Rainbows that fell victim to their angling prowess. Neither was a tenkara angler when we started the day…but I’m thinking they might be now!
Usually when I guide a half day, it’s in the morning. But that inconvenient reality called work made that impossible for the smiling angler above. So we did what any true anglers would do under those circumstances, we fished the afternoon! As so often happens with fishing, our “Plan B” turned out better than we could have ever hoped for a “Plan A.” The day had warmed, the weather was beautiful and if other folks had been on the stream during the morning, they left more than a few untouched for us. The bottom line is that (as long as it’s safe) there is no bad time to go fishing!
I am happy to report that the orthopedist has cleared me to resume all of my normal (and abnormal) activities. I’m sorry to be so long in coming back but as it turned out, in addition to my collar bone I had also broken my second rib on the left side and sprained my left AC (shoulder) joint. Regardless, I’m better now and booking trips. Thank you everyone for your support and well wishes.
I used my friend and neighbor as a “test client” last week and he landed this really cool “mixed double” on one cast. I often fish a two-fly rig and occasionally a client will hook two trout at the same time. Landing them both is rare since the back fish tends to pull the hook out of the front fish but it does occasionally happen. I’ve never had someone land a trout and a Smallie on one cast though. It’s fun to be back on the water!