Friday, May 30, 2014

New Hooks!

There are days when I love going thru the mail.  Most days not so much.
But look what came - new hooks! 
Ah, the little things

Monday, May 26, 2014

Tenkara Hero PNW #3

Caught plenty of trout today. These guys were the notable ones. In order: small/cute, chubby, and pretty big!

After catching little guys all day this last one was a surprise. As you can see, I caught him on a Wooly Worm. This was towards the end of the day and I was just experimenting with flies seeing what would happen. I got a take from this fish on the biggest, flashiest Tenkara Hero kebari, but he spit it out before I could set the hook. I fished it a bit more but got nothing. So I rested the spot for a while and returned to it with the Wooly Worm. No action on dead drift, but some skittering on the surface got his attention and WHAM. This was my biggest fish on a tenkara setup to date. I felt a little under gunned with the Kiyotaki 24 but managed to get bring this one to shore.

The other Tenkara Hero fly that worked well today was a #14 (?) brassie.

Should have taken a photo of this river. Next time. (But I'm not telling where it is unless you buy me a coffee!)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Quick Posting - Flies that worked at Castle Rock Creek

Just a quick posting before I sign off for the night.  Here are about half the flies that caught trout this week.  (trip update tomorrow)
The Silver Diver is a glass bead, partridge, peacock, silver wire, black 6/0, and about a  #12 nymph hook.  It caught a nice brown trout that was in fast water under a rock right at the end of a deep pool.  It drew him out and I think he knew he was fascinated by the tiny flashy object when it was a split second too late.
silver diver

This had the biggest trout of the trip

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tenkara Hero PNW #2

Yesterday was my first real tenkara mission. A total success. And I learned a ton.

This high-gradent mountain stream receives zero pressure. Getting to it requires a fairly steep 1.5 mile hike after a relatively short drive from SE Portland. The reward?

Tenkara anyone??

I caught little trout for 4 hours straight, minus one fallow period which I spent mostly getting snagged all over the damn place.

Here's a representative fish:

I started off fishing the Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 27, an average size line, and my go-to #12 Adams. Not traditional Tenkara, I know. But whatever. Right away I got into some fish, but the #12 was getting spit out quite a bit. Since I had already caught some fish, I felt like I could experiment the rest of the time. So I put on a Tenkara Hero kebari and went to work. It was just as easy to catch fish. I even caught fish with the very flashy Tenkara Hero "Rainbow" kebari, containing multiple color beads. (Sadly, I lost this one to a snag.)

I used a lot of the tenkara skills I've been reading about. Caught fish using these techniques:

- dead drift
- pulsing
- pause/drift/pause
- swing

My favorite takes of the day:

  • There was a deep pool, deeper than most parts of this stream. I figured there might be a fish down in there, so I successfully used the plunge pool above it to sink the kebari deep and hook up with the fish!
  • Toward the end I went back to fishing dries. For no real reason, just wanted to. I put on a Royal Wulff and at one point was pulling it at a medium pace across the surface film of a little pool. Who knows what it was imitating, but a fish really found it attractive and hammered it.

I came to conclude that the Kiyotaki 27 was a bit too short, and the line was too long. So I eventually switched rods, settling on the Daiwa Kiyose 33SF with a short-ish line.

The rod is overkill for the fish in this steam - I pulled a few into the air - but I liked the length. I can't wait to get back here with my forthcoming 12' Iwana. It'll be very interesting to see if the added 2' are an advantage or hinderance. I liked the long rod, short line tenkara setup. We'll see if it holds true for other streams!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Finally - Tenkara !!!

First trout trip of the season starts NOW!
Heading to my secret spot in the Southern Driftless Area of southwest Wisconsin.  
And I have 3 news rods to test out. 

Trip report, rod reviews and fly testing results after the weekend.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tenkara Hero PNW #1

Greetings from Portland, Oregon, USA!

This is report #1 from Tenkara Hero Pacific Northwest Division. I'll be testing flies tied by Chris and seeing if the trout out here have an appetite for them. (Sneak preview: they do!)

I am a tenkara novice. Completely. While I am on and off fly fisherman I hadn't yet gotten into tenkara even though it made complete sense to me the first time I heard about it. I spend a lot of time outside and in most of Oregon it is difficult to find water that doesn't have fish in it so I finally decided to bite the bullet and get a tenkara setup to have with me at all times.

After asking Tenkara Hero Central about what setup I should get, I was delighted to find a tube from Chris, now officially my Tenkara Sensei. Included were some rods, flies, traditional lines and other miscellaneous goodies. Hot damn!

A few days later I headed out for an evening fish after a delicious taco cart dinner. I packed up the Kiyotaki 24, and peddled to a local creek. A place I'd never fished.

The creek reminds me a lot of one of Tenkara Hero Central's main fisheries: the Salt Creek. This one too runs though an urban area and has suffered from abused. Much like Salt Creek, things are sort of looking up for this one and it has been the focus of some restoration efforts.

Though it is still polluted in recent years there has been a small and fragile return of Coho and Chinook. It is illegal to fish for them, but fishing for the few resident, wild cutthroats is a-okay.

I made my way down, parked my bike at the first sign of a fishable spot, and - as promised - set up my rig in about 15 seconds. Already I loved tenkara. It seemed appropriate to use a reverse hackle fly for my virgin tenkara experience. Here's what I chose, now looking a bit wary.

I cast four times upstream, getting a feel for casting the furled line. Easy.

I cast downstream to a seam along the bank and - I could hardly believe it - something flipped its tail up at me. Hoping I didn't startle the thing off, I cast again.

Instantly, the fish gobbled my offering and a few seconds later it was in hand. A great looking cutty! 10"? 11"? Not that it matters.

You might be able to imagine how pleased I was. After a nice ride and an easy setup, I had a great fish after six casts. The simplicity of tenkara encouraged me to get out and do it.

The rest of the evening I poked around other parts of the creek, getting a feel for it and experimenting with some different flies. I caught one more trout on a heavy nymph with a small tail, not bothering to match the hatch. (Not that there's anything wrong with that).

My first tenkara outing was a total success.

Tomorrow I'm headed out to the Coast Range with the Kiyotaki 24 to target some rainbows that are rumored to live between two waterfalls on a rugged mountain stream.

Thanks to Tenkara Hero Central for making this happen!

skinny tropical kebari

recipe = orange thread, partridge, j.a blue/green body dubbing, black holo tinsel, #8 3xlong streamer hook

skinny tropical kebari

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Inspired Tying

Listening to David Gilmour while I was tying this evening.  Zero plan, random ingredients for a fly and this is what I came up with.  I call it the Gilmour Kebari.
Inspired Tying
Recipe = orange thread, partridge, rooster neck feather, ice peacock tubing, peasant tips, black 6/0, #10 3x natural bend, which i bent the eye slightly up to change is position in the water
The Gilmour Kebari

Sunday, May 11, 2014

small school of bluegill kebari

this is my offering for the facebook group Tenkara-Midwest fly swap.  the theme was flies for panfish and/or bass.  so i made this bluegill kebari.

baby bluegill kebari

Saturday, May 10, 2014

My Season opener...not so hot

First real day back in the home waters and I got skunked.  Big time.  It was unusually hot, like 94F summery hot (if you didn't get the memo, spring started this week in Chicago) and I so badly wanted it to be awesome.  Not at all.  A single hit.  Weeks of waiting.  Zero.  
The water is still pretty cold, very swift, and fish are tiny and on the bottom.  So I fished with my Rinfu 35sr, a 9' -#3 level line with a 8" bit of red amnesia as a sighter and 3' of 7x tippet with a weighted killer bug on a #14.  I did have a feeling with more practice and a longer line with one more color of a sighter (pink #2.5) it could we a wicked combination.  I still need a bulky fly with a very small hook (#20>) that I can get down thru swift water.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Aaron's Fly Box

Had the chance to send a small fly box out to the West Coast to the TenkaraHero in the Pacific Northwest.   Just a wide range of new tester flies.  We'll be hearing back from him on rod reviews, fly, and trip reviews.  Can't wait.
World Champion Kebari in the center of the box.