Tenkara fishing report
Over on the TUSA board I posted an "Open Invitation" post to see if I could find Tenkara fishermen in my area. I didn't expect to get so many responses. But I'm glad I did.
One of those responses was from Chris who hasn't actually signed up on the forum yet but has been reading the forums. He emailed me to say he would be in town to do some fishing and asked if we could meet up. Last Tuesday we did.
We met at the parking area of the Bear River which is only about 10 minutes from my house. We hiked in and I showed him my favorite spots to fish. We ended up at a little riffle where I can usually get at least one fish. Chris suggested I go first so I started casting my fly into a seam between some fast water and a slow deep trench. I got a hit and was pulling him in when the fish threw the hook. A few cast later I caught my fly in a tree behind me and when it snapped off my furled line curled up. Since I had to straighten out the line and tie on a new fly we swapped places.
Chris made a few cast and caught a fish pretty quickly on his Iwana 11'. Cool!
We moved downstream a bit and tried some places which looked classically fishy. I was working a small series of rocks and was trying the soft water in front of the rock, the foam lines behind the rocks where the fast water and eddies meet, I tried the quiet water behind the rocks all to no effect. Almost in frustration I cast right into the fast water between two rocks and caught a small brown trout.
Chris came down to my spot to see how I was doing. Then he game me the bad news. His rod had broken. The section just past the handle (the first telescoping section) had split in several places. We talked about it and we think we know what happened: That kind of break looks like what happens when somebody steps on a graphite rod. Chris never stepped on his rod. However, he did say that he accidentally did exactly what Danial always cautions against which is to tighten the line to the Lilian when the tip section is partially out of the first section. He had done that and he broke the tip section. So he went back to the fly shop and they traded him his old Iwana for a new one and charged him only for the shipping cost of the replacement tip section. However, the rod they replaced it with didn't have the plastic on the cork. It didn't look like a new rod. We think that they accidentally gave him a rod which had been stepped on and was suppose to go back to TenkaraUSA for warranty replacement. Now Chris has a 2nd broken rod which he has to replace again. We really think this is more of the fly shop's mistake rather than a quality issue with the rods.
We hiked back up stream and Chris said he wanted to watch me fish some of my "for sure" spots. I wasn't having any luck but we noticed a couple of fish rising upstream from us. I got out of the river and walked way around so I could wade in quietly. There was no "prospecting" this time. We waited and waited until that fish rose again when he did I made one back cast and put the fly just above him on the forward cast.Just back, forward and done. The fish slammed it and was hooked but as I was bringing him in he shook the hook again. I think I need to set the hook a bit firmer than I am, especially with my very soft action Ayu rod.
I waded down stream very carefully and quietly. Chris was up on a rock spotting fish to let me know where they were. We waited for a rise and I did another quick back,forward, done cast. No false casting to spook the fish at all. Sure enough he hit it and I hit him with a hook set. I brought him to hand and had a nice brown trout.
It was getting dark and the bats were coming out so we decided to go into town to have a beer. As we arrived at Dottie's just before closing my friend and chef/owner Todd made us some hot wings to go with our beer. He had run out of wings so he made them from strips of chicken breast. They were awesome.
We talked to Todd and his daughter at the bar and told fishing stories over some beer. But the restaurant was closing up and it was time to go home. Chris and I shook hands and parted ways knowing we'd be fishing together again. It was the first time either of us had fished Tenkara with another person and we had a blast. Chris was really going to have a blast because the next day he would be salmon fishing in the morning on the Feather river and drift boating the Yuba river in the afternoon. I'm glad I was able to spend some time doing Tenkara on a little trout stream with him.
Yeah, it was fun.