They say trout don't live in ugly places. That may be true, but micros live everywhere. You don't have to travel to Patagonia (or wear Patagonia) to fish for them. You generally don't even have to make a special trip. Wherever you're going, they're probably there (with more on the way back).
This introduction to micro fishing was on the way back from a video shoot with James and Rich Lee from Roamads. You'll be seeing a lot more of these guys (or more accurately, from these guys) in the future. They're setting up a small business to help small businesses - like TenkaraBum - with video to showcase their products. This shoot was all tenkara but I suspect there may be more in the future.
We hooked up after they'd purchased a Shimano Kozuka 33NT [since discontinued, but similar to the Daiwa Keiryu-X 33] and found out that it made a great Czech nymphing rod. I could see doing a shoot for Czech nymphing with a keiryu rod, and another for traditional keiryu fishing, and micro fishing, and oh, by the way, these guys are hera fishermen. I don't carry any hera equipment - but that could change.
Anyway, on the way up to the streams where we filmed the tenkara fishing, I mentioned that there was a little brook just off the highway where I'd caught micros in the past. We decided to stop on the way back to see if we could find some.
And sure enough, the micros were just where we expected them to be. Rich had admitted to wanting to catch the fish he could see, even if they were small (pretty much a requirement for a budding micro fisherman) so he was up - up on a bridge over a tiny stream that the streaming traffic on the parkway right next to it probably barely noticed.
The first time I fished here I'd used tiny bits of wax worms but Rich used flies and did just fine. Lots of micros eat small nymphs and crustaceans so flies work surprisingly well. Sight fishing also works surprisingly well but it really helps to see the fly. I've never used the white beads that Rich had, but that could change, too.
Rich started out with one of his smallest hera rods, but soon switched to the Suntech Kurenai HM33R I'd brought just in case. With quite a bit of streamside vegetation to reach over, the length of the HM33R was a huge benefit. After he'd caught the first chub while standing on the bridge, they all hid directly under the bridge. Subsequent fish (well on the way to a "many" day when we had to stop and head back to the city) were caught standing a bit upstream and casting under the bridge.
Although I introduced these rods for catching little wild trout in the headwaters, in Japan they're used to fish for a particularly beautiful type of chub. Our creek chubs here are downright drab in comparison, but on these light, sensitive rods they still put up quite a fight. With equipment matched to the fish, the fish doesn't have to be large to put a bend in the rod or a smile on your face. And you know, that's what it's all about.
I think Rich enjoyed his introduction to micro fishing, and the emails I've gotten from numerous people suggest that's pretty much the rule rather than the exception. It has to be one of the easiest types of fishing to get into - all you need is a few small flies or maybe a few small hooks and a worm - plus, of course, a desire to catch the small fish you can see.