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A New Stream

by Phillip Dobson
(Butte, MT)

The gorgeous

The gorgeous

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.

Comments for A New Stream

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Oct 19, 2016
Unique mottled look
by: Chris Stewart

They look like wild browns that still have their parr marks.

Oct 20, 2016
Camp trout!
by: John Smalldridge

Those truly are beautiful trout! They must have been perfectly comouflaged in their environment. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 20, 2016
Brown trout
by: Chris S

Juvenile brown trout usually have an orange spot on their adipose fin which helps to id them.

Oct 22, 2016
by: Phillip Dobson

That would make sense, as this is definitely a spawning area. There were fish in quite a few redds, but I never got a close look at those guys. I very rarely find brown trout in headwaters around here so I don't know their life cycle well.

And yes, they were incredibly well camouflaged. Almost invisible despite hanging out in just inches of crystal-clear water.

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” - Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." -
Col. Robert Venables 1662

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