A Twofer

by Phillip Dobson
(Butte, MT)

I've been going back to the local winter fishing hole a couple times last week. The fishing there has been really good and really fun. I caught my personal best grayling the other day and yesterday I landed two fish at once. A first for me!

I was drifting a nymph rig through the most productive run. A #20 dark-purple frenchie and a #14 rainbow Dexter. I hooked up after just a few casts, and two my surprise, saw two forms rising out of the darkness. A flash of blue and, "oh crap, a grayling"! I got the grayling up onto the ice and quickly reached into the icy water for the bigger rainbow. A quick snapshot, then a nudge back into the water. Bighole grayling are always a special experience, and this made it even more memorable.

Comments for A Twofer

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Jan 22, 2017
Something to remember
by: Hoppy Dave (SD)

Two-for-one..... Not something to be soon forgotten! A memorable outing!

Jan 22, 2017
Sweet!
by: Les A.

Way to get out. I have not had a Twofer for many years. Makes it feel a little warmer when you are catching fish! It is thawing here, and hope to get out soon. Grayling is on my bucket list. I will be targeting them this summer. I haven't caught a golden trout since high school, and would love to see one of those beauties again. Which rod were you using?

Jan 22, 2017
Grayling
by: Phillip

Les, I was fishing my Sagiri 54MC. This rod keeps surprising me, and haven't really pushed its limits yet. I started with my 4wt with a spey fly and then nymphs, but didn't catch anything until I grabbed the Daiwa.

We have a lake up here that guarantees grayling. It's so easy to catch them that we try to avoid most fish and concentrate only on the most colorful males. The Bighole grayling are more rare, especially in the part of the river closer to Butte. I've only caught three so far. I still haven't seen a golden trout.

Jan 23, 2017
Grayling
by: Les A.

My sister in law had the record Grayling in Montana several years ago. We have some good grayling fishing areas here in Idaho as well. I have been doing my research, and will be on the prowl for them this summer. I was going fishing this morning, but woke up to a blizzard again. It is going to be a good water year in Idaho! The only real hole in my rod inventory is the 54 range. I continue to research Chris' selections and am conflicted! He has so many great selections. I love my Keiryu Sawanobori 63 so should I compliment it with the 53? The Nissin 2-Way 450ZX would give me a nice zoom rod that goes out to a 53! I have a Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 44 so do I compliment it with the 53? OR do I save up some extra bucks and get one of the nicest zoom rods Chris talks about, the Suntech Fine Power 56NP? So many great choices! So do we fixed line fishing folks get into the problem of changing rods as much as a fly rod fisherman does changing flies?

Jan 23, 2017
Go with any one of the Suntechs
by: Chris Stewart

Les, all I can say is after fishing your Suntech rods, you will not be happy with the Nissin.

Jan 23, 2017
Nine choices!
by: Les A.

I keep hearing about and seeing YouTube stories of how great the 5-5.5 meter rods are. I just worked through the Suntech rods that are in the 5.2 to 5.6 meter range, and there are 9 of them! Thinking through my fishing experience thus far, and getting out the note pad for a side to side comparison, I have narrowed it down to 3 choices! Thank you for so many choices Chris. The great thing is, I don't think I can make a bad choice! I do like the 2 Suntech rods that I currently own, and all of the rods I have bought from TenkaraBum are excellent, however the quality of the Suntechs really shines through (pun intended).

Jan 23, 2017
Long rods
by: Phillip

While we're on the topic, I also have some questions about Suntech's long rods. I'm not exactly in the market for a new rod, (my fishing money keeps going to gas and tying unnecessarily cool flies), but I love the build quality of my Suntechs and the Sagiri is lacking in the backbone department.

My ideal nymphing rod would be long, single handed, and with enough backbone to cast and set with a pair of heavier nymphs. Is it possible to get a stiff 6m+ rod that's still comfortable to cast all day? I really prefer single hand rods because of the extra mobility and, with arm outstretched, I get an extra meter of reach for drift control. I'm used to swinging ice tools all day, so generally I don't get rod fatigue, but 6m is starting to get pretty long.

Jan 23, 2017
No 6m one handers
by: Chris Stewart

I don't know of any 6m rods that I would fish one handed for more than one or two casts, and even then, they would be very light, flexible rods that would not be suitable for fishing a pair of heavy nymphs.

Jan 23, 2017
SIngle handed casting 6m rods
by: Jeff D

Phillip,

I have a Suntech Kurenai Long 61, which has become my go-to rod for bigger water. It is about as light (3.7 oz!) as a 6m rod with any kind of backbone could be. Despite the light weight, there is a lot of inertia involved with a 6 m rod. It is just barely castable with one hand, whereas casting it with two hands is an absolute breeze.

You could cast two handed and then do your drift with one hand. However, you'll find that with a 6m rod any shakes will be greatly magnified when holding it one-handed, making strike detection difficult unless one is using a bobber, oops I meant strike indicator.

Even casting and holding the rod two handed, I get incredibly long drifts using a mainline (#3 fluorocarbon) that is as long as the rod minus the handle section, and then a handle section length tippet. I use at least one keiryu marker at the mainline/tippet junction, sometimes more on the upper tippet, as it's hard to see your main line tip that far away.

I'm headed down south to one of the Missouri trout parks in a few weeks and the first rod I grab will be the Kurenai Long!

Jan 23, 2017
One handed 6 meter
by: Les A.

Phillip,
I have fished my Keiryu Sawanobori 63 one handed for a couple of hours on the Boise River. That said, I found the best way to fish the 6 meter rod one handed was with it tucked into my forearm. This tends to defeat your desire to hold it extended. It is such a dream to fish two handed, I only resort to one handed when I need to. It isn't bad one handed, but I am afraid we can't always defy physics. The inertia generated by having 6 plus meters out there can't be denied. When I was researching Keiryu bait boxes, I watched a Japanese fisherman one handing a 9 meter rod! Who knows what practice and experimenting with technique might bring.

Jan 23, 2017
Long rods
by: Phillip

Looks like I'm stuck in the 5m class. I was hoping that the superior tech in the new rods would work like magic.

My Daiwa is 5.4m and just under 100g (3.4oz). It's comfortable enough that I could probably go use a longer light rod like the Kurenai, or keep the same length and get a heavier rod, not both. I will say that I've gotten so used to casting the Sagiri that the shorter rods feel freaky light and fast.

If only there was a way to demo rods in Montana.

Jan 23, 2017
Keiryu Sawanobori 63
by: Chris Stewart

The Keiryu Sawanobori 63 is 125 grams, which is light for a 6.3m rod. If you choke up a bit and brace the grip of the rod along your forearm, with the butt at your elbow, you can cast it and fish it one handed, but it is still much more pleasant to fish two handed.

For that matter, I would bet that if you fished your 5.4m rod two handed long enough to get used to it you would switch from one handed fishing to two handed fishing. It is just so much less strain on your muscles and joints. A borderline tip-heavy rod becomes a feather.

The Keiryu Sawanobori can handle nymphs, but I'm not sure I'd fish a pair of heavy nymphs with it. The Genryu Sawanobori, on the other hand, would be ideal for that. I don't have the 6.3m Genryu Sawanobori in stock but I could order one. It is 160 grams and definitely a two hander!

Jan 24, 2017
Two handed fishing
by: Les A.

Phillip,
I echo Chris' comments. My question to you is why not learn two handed casting? I can one hand my Keiryu Sawanobori 63 when I need to. I much prefer two handed casting. Here are some of the reasons. The main reason I like it is accuracy. I can place a fly on a quarter. This afternoon after the storm, I went out in the back yard with my Keiryu Sawanobori 63 and my dozen targets. Five of them are the size of a quarter. I missed one of them by a fraction of an inch. A two handed roll cast is a breeze. Fishing the Keiryu Sawantobori 63 two handed feels lighter than my one ounce one handed rods. One thing nobody has talked about is strike detection. I noticed this the last time out. You have twice the detection feel with two hands on the rod. I was fishing trout in the riffles and pocket water on the Deadwood River, and there were times I felt the strike on the bottom hand, and other times on the top hand. I was fishing a bead headed hare's ear nymph. You have more leverage not only with the rod, but with you hands fishing two handed. You have way more wind control with two handed casting. Last and this is very subjective on my part, but there is a rhythm to two handed casting that makes you feel like you are dancing with the rod, and then with the fish as you fight. Last of all, I trust Chris! I told him what I was after in the fishing I do, where I fish, the size of fish I expected and he recommended the Keiryu Sawanobori 63. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical of his recommendation, but he was spot on! This was the rod of my dreams, and in the past months I have built my arsenal of rods around it. If I have room it is the rod I fish. If you really want the Keiryu Sawanobori 63 to feel light, get a Nissin Kyogi 63 as your workout rod! I have hooked into one steelhead with it, and am looking forward to carp fishing two handed with it this summer. I have the last week of March scheduled for steelhead fishing. Send Chris a detailed email of what you want in a long rod, and he won't steer you wrong. I am going to use my Keiryu Sawanobori 63 on Silver Creek this summer. Before the weather turned, I was fishing it with a 2 pound test line and a 7X tippet at a total length of 7 meters with a bead head nymph with total control and lots of fish in the clear fall water. These rods are amazing.

Jan 24, 2017
Thanks
by: Phillip

Thanks guys. I have cast my Sagiri two handed on occasion and it is nicely effortless. Makes me think of the old days with fixed lines on the Spey. However, one of the things I love about tenkara is the mobility it affords me. I have a free hand to push a branch out of the way, lean against a rock, grab a trunk and hang out over the bank, or even enjoy a beer. It's hard for me to give that up.

I feel that I have competent control over my drifts right now. I have a tiny spot of keiryu yarn at the line junction that I hold an inch over the water and pulse as needed. Doesn't work if I have too much coffee, however, the line bounces all over!

Jan 24, 2017
Great Discussion
by: Les A.

I took my Keiryu Sawanobori 63 out this morning for some one hand casting. I have fished a dry fly (foam hopper) and a bead head nymph dropper with my set up with no problem. I can cast a very smooth one handed cast with it. Phillip, from the discussion and my experience, I think you would be happy with a Keiryu Sawanobori 63 as a one hander. It does have its limitations as pointed out in our discussion. One thing I always keep in mind is that this in an evolving fishing method here in the States, and our Western fishing is much different than what I experienced in the Mid-West streams. I have not fished enough back east to make a comment. My biggest issue with the longer rods where we live is the wind. That is the main reason I want to add a 5 meter rod to the line-up of rods in my arsenal. I am also moving more toward fishing with bait and away from flies. I still like fly fishing, but I am getting hooked on light line Keiryu fishing.

Jan 28, 2017
MO trout parks
by: RJC

Jeff-

I was curious about your experience with tenkara at the trout parks. We have a cabin about 10 minutes from Maramac, but have only taken my seiryu rod once due to the crowded conditions and line crossing casts one often gets there. I have thought about trying the trophy management area because of the more open water and lack of pressure. Several years ago there, I lost a 3 lb smallmouth that had inhaled the 2 inch sunfish that hit my fly. It was a fast and furious (although quick) fight in moving water from a kayak.

Good luck and would love to see a fishing report.

RJ

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