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High River Keiryu

by Joshua Phillips
(East Tn)

I received my Fine Mode 450 Tuesday. Evening thunderstorms delayed fishing until Wednesday. Being the wettest spring on record, the river has been the highest I can recall, so far making for great fishing in slack water and creek mouths.

Having said that, my expectations where low for my first attempt at keiryu, and decided before hand to just get out and practice my cast get used to the rod. Starting out with split shot and a red wiggler, I soon found my baitholder style hooks were being stripped with no hook ups. Lesson learned, poor hook selection.

So I tied on a #6 weighted beadhead nymph, moved to a clear area with some nice slack water and a submerged log, third drift with pulsation, as per Chris, hooked into a fiesty Holston river small mouth, all the while my wife and 1 1/2yr old daughter 10ft behind me watching the whole thing.

After two beautiful jumps and in complete control of the little bronzeback, the excitement and inexperience fixed line fishing overcame reasoning, instead of lightly laying him on the bank, I grabbed the 6x by hand and of course it snapped.

I did not expect to go to the river and have a lifelong memorable experience my first time with a keiryu rod. There's plenty to read on the site and all the information tips and tricks, of which I used most, simply work, including the supplied tip grip (worked perfectly).

Again, thanks for supplying the knowledge and equipment I would possibly have never known about without Chris and this site.

Comments for High River Keiryu

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Jun 01, 2017
Hook Selection
by: Chris Stewart

There is quite a selection of hooks that would work well, but in general I would suggest smaller hooks than most bait anglers are used to.

Just like downsizing from a nightcrawler to a red wiggler, I would downsize the hook to no larger than a 12 and I often use hooks much smaller than that.

Jun 01, 2017
Hooks for Red Wigglers
by: Les A.

Joshua, welcome to the obsession! It sounds like you had a lot of fun. It will only get more fun as you gain experience. I enjoyed your report.

Since I am a Red Wiggler Farmer, and I fish them often, I won't be as modest as Chris. All of the Keiryu Hooks I have bought from him work better than standard USA worm hooks. Until you get the itch to learn how to Snell your own hooks, I would highly recommend the Owner Main Stream Tenkara Hooks that Chris sells. The Gamakatsu R10B hooks hold the wigglers on well too That is what I caught the bass on in my write-up "8 Meters of Red Wiggler Fun." That said the real bargain is to buy the "Keiryu Rigs" for $5.00 that he sells. You get a lot for the 5 dollars. It is a bargain. They are just the right length for your new rod. They have great hooks. The real bonus is the education you will get seeing how the Japanese set-up their rigs. Oh, and they really fish well. I used mine on Wilson Creek last week and had a great day of fishing.

Jun 05, 2017
Small hooks
by: Joshua P.

Over the weekend we were in West virginia. A short ATV ride to a river I've drove by countless times over the last seven years brought another memorable keiryu learning experience. After drifting weighted nymphs was unsuccessful, I took the advice given dropped to a #18 and a wiggler and the day got exciting 4 different species including an 11 inch brown from behind the rock my nephew was sitting on. As far as red wigglers go, until finding this site and keiryu my red wigglers have happily cultivated my raised vegetable beds, so I'm not so much a worm farmer as a worm landlord. All of this angling fun right under my nose. Thanks for the advice gentlemen.

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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

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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