First tenkara creek trip

by Brandon
(Phoenix, AZ)

I took my first tenkara creek trip yesterday. I have played with the rod at a local lake a little bit, but no moving water until yesterday. My wife and I took a little day trip to a creek, and so with the kids I only had about an hour to fish. Something to keep in mind is I've been fly fishing for about a year and a half, and in that time with traditional fly gear have caught exactly 16 trout in moving water.

After finding your site, I decided to go completely tenkara and got some wool yarn and copper wire and tied some killer bugs. Also I got some black thread and a Metz hackle variety pack and tied some Ishigaki flies. All black thread with white, grizzly, or brown hackle. Over the weekend I tied up 9 killer bugs and 5 Ishigaki flies, all size 14. I put those in an old Altoids tin and those were the only flies I took with me yesterday to the creek. Nippers and 6x tippet in one pocket and flies in the other, that's all I took with me. No excuses, I wanted to focus on FISHING. I fished the Ishigaki until I lost them all (trees, fish), then I switched to the killer bug.

I am completely sold on tenkara rods, their effectiveness, and to fishing those flies and focusing on presentation rather than constantly changing flies. In one hour I landed 12 rainbows, and hooked and lost at least that many. Everything from a 13" stocker to 5" stream born rainbows. And that was in the same spot of the creek, I only moved about 20' either direction to stay close to my wfie and the little kids.

The fish didn't seem to mind what color hackle on the Ishigaki, and absolutely slammed that fly. They also liked the killer bug (I think I caught 6 on each fly), but takes were more subtle. But with the 12' Iwana, I really think it was easier to feel the take than using a strike indicator (left those and the split shot at home, too). I could see the line move and feel the tip going down, and just lifted my rod and easily set the hook. I'm going back to that spot in a couple weeks for a two day camping trip with some friends, so that means two days of fishing for me.

Anyways, thank you again for your level line advice, and for your site. I will be picking up some level line before the trip Fathers Day weekend.


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