Intentional Fishing - Tenkara in Focus

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

It is confession time! I have been a sloppy fixed line fisherman in my first year.

I just finished watching Episode 1 of Season 2 of Tenkara in Focus. It is FREE! What Paul and John have put together is simply amazing. If you have not watched the free In Focus Season 1, it is worth going back and watching.

So, I have made a decision after watching this video. It is time to be more committed to learning traditional Tenkara. Tonight I am going to look at my 50 mile radius streams and identify those that lend themselves to traditional Tenkara, and will be dedicating some of my fishing sessions to really learning the art of traditional Tenkara.

At this point, I consider myself a Keiryu fisherman who has been dabbling in Tenkara. I am not going to give up Keiryu, but I am going to be more intentional fishing high gradient streams with Tenkara techniques. So it is time to do a little more planning and stop being so utilitarian in my fishing.

The free lessons on Tenkara in Focus are amazing. The downloads I have purchased would be cheap at twice the price. John and Paul will open up the nuances of Tenkara for you!

Comments for Intentional Fishing - Tenkara in Focus

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Oct 27, 2017
Talk less say more
by: Craig

The vids are very very good and I do recommend them.
I just wish the pair would talk far less
particularly on before and after fill my fast forward certainly gets a work out
I understand that it might be an American and U.K. cultural difference; where I am less is more.

Oct 29, 2017
Scouting on the way to Cascade Lake
by: Les Albjerg

Yesterday I was able to go up to Cascade Lake with my hunting and fishing buddy, Geoff. One nice thing about riding instead of driving is getting to look around. We drove up the North Fork of the Payette River. There were a considerable number of fisherman along the road. Most of them were fishing spin rods. I saw a few fly rods, no fixed line rods. The only guys I saw fishing were working the larger pools. Nobody was working pocket water that is the wheelhouse of Tenkara. This water is in that 50 mile radius that I talked about above. As I talked with Geoff who is a native Idahoan and a flyfisherman, he shared that very few people fish the riffles and pocket water.

So, one of the beauties of Traditional Tenkara is the ability to fish the pockets, I have found a new place of solitude even though it is amidst a popular fishing area. So, as much as Chris has talked about the thin blue lines, I would say also, "Look for the pocket and riffle water between the popular pools on those well known streams."

The Yellow Perch fishing on Cascade lake was fantastic! I out fished Geoff 4 to 1 using Gamakatsu Barbless Circle Hooks size 6 and Red Wiggler Worms. I offered him one of my setups, but he stubbornly refused! I stopped counting at 40 fish. Those circle hooks really give a really secure hookup, and are barbless, so releasing the fish was easy. Geoff forgot his net, and I had my
Daiwa Folding Net large on my ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Sling Lite. It saved the day with these large perch.

People are encouraged to keep the Perch so they don't get stunted again. Idaho Fish and Game has done a good job and worked hard to making Cascade Lake a premier fishing lake for both perch and rainbow trout. I kept 8 beauties. These are the largest perch that I have ever caught. The largest was 18 inches and the smallest that I kept was 15. I was using an ultralight spin fishing outfit. Growing up in Minnesota, we considered Perch to be trash fish, the Walleye was the king. These are the size of a nice Walleye! I ate one and it is that yummy mild white flaky fish! Yes, I practice catch and release, but I do like to eat fish as well.

Oct 29, 2017
Catchin' and Eatin'
by: Herb S.

Eighteen inch yellow perch! Les, do you realize you might have eaten a new world record?
"Yellow perch – Wikipedia
In many populations, yellow perch often live from 9–10 years, with adults generally ranging from 4–10 inches in length. The world record yellow perch (18 in., 4 lb. 3 oz.) was caught in 1865 from New Jersey, and is the longest standing record for freshwater fish in North America."
Anyhow, Idaho Fish and Game is to be congratulated for making fish like this possible, as you are for catching that monster and the "little" fifteen incher with others in-between.
What kind of rig are you using? Hook and split shot? Carolina rig? Perch are something I have little knowledge of, being mostly a sunfish fisherman growing up. Most of the perch I’ve caught were while ice fishing, and I do like to eat 'em. They're even better than bluegil.

Happy fishing,

Oct 29, 2017
by: Les Albjerg

Don't trust your buddy's ruler! He was measuring them and putting them in the basket on the side of the boat. I told him that about 8 were enough to take home. I just went out and measured the smallest and largest carcasses in the compost bin. I filleted them. The largest Perch was just shy of 15.5 inches and the smallest that I kept was 13 inches. Still nice big perch! Chaplains shouldn't tell lies!

Herb - I was using just a circle hook with two Red Wigglers attached and two large split shot 8 inches up, when I got the most hits. I would let it drop to the bottom and wind up about 12 inches and do some jigging. Everyone else was using plastics like a Mister Twister. That is what Geoff was using. We were fishing in 20 feet of water. It was a beautiful calm day, sunny and about 60 degrees.

Oct 30, 2017
Perch! and Then Some
by: Herb S.

Thanks for the info., Les. I was planning to go after perch this fall until waylaid by Judy's busted appendage -- couldn't take the time necessary on top of teaching my friend to fly fish. BTW, Judy, after 3 splints and 2 casts, has to wear a boot for 3 more weeks and she's going to rehab. Whew, long haul, but she's doing well.

I have a 12' Poke Boat (open cockpit kayak) and was fixing to use my Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 for down to 15' or so (it's SO Sensitive!) and a light spinner for deeper. I kind of figured to just use the split shot and hook rig and now I certainly will. I agree about circle hooks, having used them for several years in saltwater. Ditto for barbless hooks; been squashing down the barbs on every fly hook since the stating fly tying. Now to find red wigglers.

Don't worry about a little mistake, Chaplain. I have a Catholic Priest friend who would probably tell you to say 10 Hail Tenkaras and go forth and fish some more. Yes! They are NICE perch, ya, you betcha! I hear they get 'em that size in Lake Michigan, but inland perch that size are monsters. On the other hand, a friend and I fished a designated brook trout lake in the U.P. years ago, and all we caught were scads of 5" perch. A DNR biologist said the yoopers who like perch (over brookies!) have a habit of dumping in perch which over populate and then become stunted.

Happy fishing,

Oct 30, 2017
Jumbo Perch
by: Les Albjerg

Herb - If you Google "Lake Cascade, Idaho" you can see several pictures of the monsters they catch out of the lake now. It was overrun by dinkers. About 10 years ago the Idaho Fish and Game poisoned the lake, cleaned it up (it is a reservoir), and restocked it with rainbow trout, perch, catfish,and smallmouth and largemouth bass.
I had never really gone up there to fish because this is really a big playground for the Boise crowd. I try to avoid crowds, as solitude is just as important to me as catching fish. Next time I am going to take my Kyogi rods with me. I heard my 15 will be arriving shortly. So with a 12, 15, 18, and 21 I should be able to cover what ever depth they are at! The FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 should be just the ticket as well for perch!

I sent Chris a picture of my perch. If he gets the itch, maybe he could add it to this thread since it doesn't have any pictures.

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