Brookies in Bear Valley
by Les Albjerg
Today was a special day of fishing my favorite rod, the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63. I caught my first Idaho Brook trout with it today. My son, John caught his first ever Brook trout with it today! These brookies were really bright with faded spots.
Our primary purpose today was to see if my trail camera survived the Pioneer Fire from last year. It was the largest forest fire in the US last year. It did survive, and I have some very amazing pictures of the fire. I was hoping to fish some of the small streams with my new Suntech Kurenai HM30R, but the creeks were running too high.
Picture 2 is Red Mountain that still has a lot of snow that needs to come down before the creeks will settle down. Picture 3 is a beaver dam I wanted to fish, but I couldn't get to it due to the mud.Picture 4 is a dredge pond in Bear Valley Creek. Rare earth metals were mined from this area during WW II. There is a creek that flows in and out of this large pond. We caught most of our fish in the running water where it comes into the pond.
My son John wanted to fish with his spinning rod to begin with. The bugs were out in full force today, and he said he needed a reprieve from the bugs and went to the car.
It was a many fish day! I was fishing the Sawanobori 63 with red wigglers and no weight. After several more fish, John came to check on me. He didn't bring his pole. I said to him, "Here use my pole, I will go back to the truck and I will get another one." I almost grabbed the HM30R, but since I had caught several fish in the 14-16 inch class, I didn't want to break my new rod! Instead, I grabbed the Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 44.
I had just made up a new line for it. It had a nice 12 inch Tenjo line, 3.6 meters of level 3, 18 inches of TenkaraBum sighter, and tippet. I had tied up a bunch of Keeper Kebari flies, so rather than spoil my son's fun with the wigglers, I tied on one of these. I saw a nice rise, and made a pin point fly first cast and "Wham" the fish hit, and it was over in no time, the Tenjo line broke! I lost a big fish, and a really nice line! I had another line, and tied it on, but it wasn't as nice as the one I had lost!
After several more fish, John asked if we could trade rods. He was having a grand time with the Sawanobori 63, but he fell in love with the Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 44 after a couple of lessons in one handed casting. In just a few minutes, he was dropping the Keeper Kebari between overhanging willows on the banks edge where the trout were hanging out. I have another fixed line convert! I know what he is getting for Christmas this year!
I really like both rods, but was happy getting back to my red wigglers using Chris' "Ultralight Worm Fishing" method, and the Sawanobori 63. Two handed fishing is a little more difficult to teach, and the wind was really moving the long rod! It was a refreshing day in the Mountains, and a special day with my son. Seeing the smile on John's face as he experienced to direct connection that fixed line fish does so well was priceless.
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
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.