A New Stream
by Phillip Dobson
I feel that I've been neglecting my tenkara rods a bit as of late. I recently finished a build on my first Western-style rod, a beautiful little 4wt, and there's a lot to learn about that tool; it's strengths and limitations.
Last week was a lesson in the limitations of a short rod and heavy line. Also a reminder of the strengths of a long rod and light line.
Acting on advice from a friend, Andrew and I traveled to remote stream not far out of town. We were told to expect beautiful scenery and a bunch of dumb cutthroat. The scenery delivered in spades, the cutties, not so much.
By slowly crawling toward the stream, we could see fish holding all over. Any stray movement, however, would send them scattering. The trout had a unique mottled look that I had never seen before. I had no idea what species they might be.
I scared a ton of fish trying the 4wt before switching to the 5.4m Sagiri and a short #2.5 line and 6.5x fluoro. Even with a delicate fly-first presentation, I still spooked most of the fish before landing one on a small soft hackle. A beautiful mottled "golden-brown" trout.
Andrew was fishing a near-ideal Western setup: a 10.5' 3wt, casting nothing but a fine tapered leader. Tenkara fishing with a reel, basically. Even then, the rod wasn't nearly as long as my Sagiri, and the touchdown of his tippet scattered the fish every time.
We fished this section for a while before heading a few miles downstream where we found less wary fish (that still had that cool coloration). All in all, an excellent trip and a lesson in stealth and frustration.
Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)
Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin