A Little Light Fishing

by Herb S.
(Southwest Michigan)

August 6,'17 - a very pleasant day on a small river with the Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 390. It was a bit breezy so the line du jour was #3 level tenkara. The tippet for this rod was the usual 7X. The variegated green wool bodied/brown hackled fly was tied on a #14 1XS curved caddis hook. What a lovely, light, sensitive rod! It's perfect for the prey of the day, lots and lots of golden shiners and river chubs with a couple of baby largemouth bass, 2 perch and a rock bass.

The rod performed beautifully as always and the fish fought valiantly with one trophy 9" chub diving into the weeds which caused me to wade down to it and extract it by hand. Large weed beds give the river a spring creek-like character and make 5X tippets mandatory when going after larger fish, but today was a fun day for little fish. It began overcast and cool, rapidly warming up to 72º. Great sport with a great rod!

August 9,'17 - A change of pace on a big river, the St. Joseph below a dam with a long, light rod, the Suntech Aoi ZPRO 53. The line was #3 level tenkara with the required 6X tippet. By the way, I can squeal on this river since it's known to only a couple of million close friends ;-) and it gets heavily fished. Today it was deserted, a rare thing, but I got lucky. I avoid weekends like the plague; to say it gets crowded is an understatement. Anyhow, today was a warm, breezy smallmouth fishing day and the Aoi ZPRO 53 was perfect for it. There are no weeds to snag the line and the water is fast with a gravel/rock/sand bottom. In a dry summer like this one it's mostly fairly shallow so there's room to maneuver when fighting the fish. A #8 Bead Head Olive Woolly Bugger was all that was needed. Following Chris's example I seldom count fish, but today I did and landed 15 smallies, a chub and a bluegill (first ever here). Although I was prepared and carried a net for the first time in years, it wasn't needed. The smallmouth were mostly between 8" and 10". In the past I've caught larger fish, but the river does get pounded and size and keep limits don't bother some fish hogs. Nevertheless, it was a great day with a great rod! The Aoi ZPRO 53 is a wonderful caster, is sensitive in the extreme and has the remarkable ability to protect 6X tippets.

A note to John Evans and Les A.: Both beautiful rods, the green Hakubai and blue ZPRO, attract dragonflies very well! And yes, I've felt the bugs land on them. Amazing.

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"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." -
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As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


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