Tenkara on Oak Creek

by Brandon
(Phoenix, AZ)

brown on a black beetle

brown on a black beetle

I was able to sneak away for half the day this past Saturday and go up to Oak Creek, near Sedona, AZ. Oak Creek is a beautiful place to fish, but can be difficult. This time of year the water is low and clear, and even the stocked rainbows can be wary.

It was my first time fishing there since I have been fishing tenkara, and it was perfectly suited to this small stream.

With my 12' Iwana and a size 14 black foam beetle, I was able to get the first fish of the day on about my fifth cast. Being able to keep the line off the water and out of the current, I could keep the beetle near the far bank until a small wild brown hit it.

Moving upstream I found a slow pool with a few more wild browns, and three of them took a tan sakasa kebrari with a peacock ice collar.

With about an hour left before I had to head back down the hill to Phoenix, I drove to the West Fork of Oak Creek and fished just upstream of the confluence on Oak Creek. I found a few pools in a row with some stocked rainbows in them. In the 20 minutes I had left to fish before I had to head home, I landed 2 rainbows and hooked and lost another 6.

This was by far my best day on Oak Creek, and I really think I have the tenkara rod to thank. I was able to keep the fly where I wanted it, and manipulate it according to what the fish wanted. I don't think I would have caught the six trout I did with a regular fly rod and heavy line.

I love fishing this way.

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