TenkaraBum Challenge - Orangespotted Sunfish
by Levi Cain
(Blanchard, OK, USA)
size 30 Black Killer Bugger
Itching to increase my count for the challenge I spent my Saturday hitting various creeks near my house. The targets for the day were mostly micros but I was also hoping to find a certain species of sunfish and some crappie.
My first stop for the day was one of the headwater streams that flowed into Walnut Creek. This little stream is wide enough to step across the majority of its length and holds certain species that have never been surveyed in any part of Walnut Creek before.
As I arrived at the water's edge I could see all sorts of species swimming around. From various sunfish species, to bass, shiners, and even a few bullhead catfish. However, mother nature just did not want to be nice that day. Because like always it was windy as all get out. I attempted to place my fly near the bullhead catfish but would lose sight of my fly as soon as I would let go of it. My tenkara fly line might as well have been a kite the way it was flying through the air. So after sharing some words with mother nature, I started heading down stream in the hopes of finding a pool that was large enough to allow me to really give some power to my casts. Enable to force my line to where I wanted it and allow me enough room to drop the tip of my rod. Enable to escape most the wind.
I didn't have to travel too far downstream before I came onto a nice little pool that I could see a couple tiny bass and some sunfish swimming around in. I gave a few casts and instantly got attention. However, I just could not get the hook set with my size 30 Black Killer Bugger fly that I had made that same morning.
Then finally success, I watched as a small sunfish followed my fly so I paused on the retrieve and allowed it to sink. Sure enough the sunfish couldn't resist and sucked it right in so I set the hook. Even though it was tiny I still let it tire itself out a little before I landed it.
When I finally had it in hand I was surprised to find that I had just caught an Orangespotted Sunfish. So I quickly snapped a few pictures and released the little guy enable to get back to fishing. Because there was at least one more sunfish species that I still needed to catch. And within a couple minutes I had another Orangespotted Sunfish on. This one was a little bigger and was even slightly darker in coloration. But due in part to the wind, it also happened to be my last fish caught at that stream. So I gathered my gear and set off to find another creek to try.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin
"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653
"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.
Beware of the Dogma