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My daughter's first trout

by Tom Davis
(Inkom, ID USA)

I am new to Tenkara, though I have been western fly fishing for over 25 years. I have been impressed with the "uncluttered" technique of Tenkara and so I thought that I would take my daughter out on the river and let her try. She has never fly fished and only has cast western-style a few times on our front lawn. The day was a cold 27 degrees with a slight but steady breeze.

I took her to the river, we suited up and walked out carefully into the water. We moved to a pocket in the river where I knew there were fish. After brief instruction I had her cast at the head of the pocket. She was using my new Iwana 12', furled leader, 2.5 ft 6x fluorocarbon tippet. She had two flies on: #14 olive Czech nymph with orange hotspot (dropper) and #18 Copper John (end fly). I had previously thead a 1" section of orange Kahuna LT indicator onto the tippet and secured it at the loop-to-loop leader-tippet connection. This gave her something to focus on.

The first two presentations went unanswered but on the third the indicator paused and she lifted the rod tip. Fish on!!! After a brief fight narrated with giggles she brought the fish to hand. It was a 10" rainbow -- not a trophy but perfect for her first fish. She removed the Copper John and let him swim away. All in all, she caught a total of 6 fish in 20 minutes. I took the rod from her to let her hands warm up (at least that is what I told her) and caught 8 more in 15 minutes. Because we were cold we then packed up and went and got a hamburger.

Looks like I am going to have to get her her own Tenkara setup!

Comments for My daughter's first trout

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Jan 07, 2012
Congratulations to you both!
by: TenkaraBum

That is the risk you run when letting someone fish with your tenkara rod!

I really do feel that tenkara is the ideal way to start someone in fly fishing. Your daughter's success and giggles are evidence enough.

Very well done!

Jan 16, 2012
Applause! Applause!
by: Albert Yi

I saw this review over at the TenkaraUSA website but without the comment on the warming up of her hands. Might I suggest a pair of Glacier Gloves for her? They're made for fishermen by fishermen originally on the icy waters of Pyramid Lake, NV in the winter. I've ordered a pair for myself for this winter's trout fishing and can't wait to use them.

Feb 27, 2012
The smile and the fish are priceless
by: Anonymous


I enjoyed your story. In the scheme of things that sounds like a wonderful first outing.


Apr 29, 2012
by: Perry

That was an awesome read! I'm thinking seriously about getting into Tenkara but have been a bit reluctant since I fish mostly on the Kern River (which is quite wide in most spots) in Southern Cal. but your picture shows what looks to be a size-able river and I'm seeing that others are successful fishing large rivers as well. The Kern has many spots where I believe Tenkara would be excellent. I also get up to many smaller creeks and rivers from time to time in the Sequoias and Kings Canyon that are smaller. I'm still undecided as to what length rod though. Any suggestions 12' or 14'??

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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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