Fishing Makes the Fish

by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)

Nissin Fine Mode Nagare

Nissin Fine Mode Nagare

I thought I’d share an experience I had on the river awhile back. With high water from September and October rains in Central Texas, it’s been hard to get out lately. Finally I had the opportunity to work one of my favorite stretches of the Blanco River and enjoyed a great morning catching several dozen red ear and red breast sunfish. It felt wonderful to be outside.

With work responsibilities, travel time is limited. The best I can usually do is hit some local creeks and rivers, but that’s okay. Hey, life is good.

Well, as I worked a peacock midge with the special order Nissin Fine Mode Nagare Chris Stewart sent me, I thought back to a conversation I had on a different river more than a year ago. I was as happy as a dead pig in the sunshine, catching panfish and enjoying the water, when a fellow angler sidled up to me.

“Is that all you’re catching?” he asked. “Those little-bitty guys?”

“Yep,” I replied, “that’s what I’m catching.”

He just smiled . . . or was it a self-satisfied smirk? “Well, maybe you can use them for bait.”

I wasn’t sure what to say to that, so I finally asked, “Have you ever caught a six-inch bluegill on a one-ounce rod?”

No, he admitted, that would be a new experience. I handed him the Suntech Kurenai. Now he had a new look on his face . . . an instantaneous, longing kind of smile. “Oh,” he said, managing only a single syllable. I saw his wrist flex, as he automatically started to cast the Kurenai.

Hey, if you’ve ever handled a fine Japanese tenkara rod, can you blame him?

You know what I was thinking? Fishing makes the fish . . . fishing with a good rod, in a fine place, on a nice day, with the water massaging your toes. Why explain?

Return to Your Tenkara Stories.

“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

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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