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!