THINGS YOU GOTTA DO SOMETIMES
by joe leal
This post is in addition to my previous submittal of "Small Stream Tenkara Adventures." (See other post). As I was typing in the story, I could see that I was running out of room, so here goes.
On the last stream I was fishing on that post, the extremely narrow and shallow one, the constant and strong winds presented many problems for me. If I was able to cast, the strong winds usually just lifted the whole line, tippet, and fly right off the water, holding it all there, 3-4 ft off the water's surface. This was not good. I certainly didn't want to let the line length lay on the water to prevent lifting. The small creek denizens would simply refuse anything except the fly-only on the waters surface. I had a real problem here. I already landed / photographed / released what turned out to be my only capture, but I was determined to catch others. Getting the fly to them was a real challenge.
After an hour or two up and down the small creek, I knew I had to think of something better. The occasional fish would come to the fly, but the percentages were not favorable at all. I NEED A VERY SHORT LINE!! I was already using a 9'-6" line, the shortest in my arsenal. Furled or flourocarbon, it didn't matter. Cast/drift up or down, that didn't matter, either. The constant, strong winds were A BIG PROBLEM. So, being a wise Tenkara angler, I sat down, had a smoke, and thought about it. Line length needed to be WAY SHORTER. TIPPET NEEDED TO BE SHORTER TOO. I looked thru my lines and decided that if I cut one of my Flouro lines and added 2' of 5x tippet, that might just do the trick. With much reservation, I took out my 9'-6" #3 flouro line, measured off approx. 3' and cut it with my nippers. Attach to lillian. Tie new figure 8 knot at end of new line. Attach new 2' of 5x tippet. Attach fly. Let's see what happens.
The 12' Iwana rod length was providing the necessary distance laterally from the stream edge to provide cover/stealth, the extremely short line gave me the vertical distance to DAP the fly onto the little runs/pockets. The strong wind still lifted the line some, but not nearly as much as before. THIS JUST MIGHT WORK!!! I found that I could even kinda half-assed cast it. AMAZING! DAPPING WAS THE ORDER OF THE DAY, THOUGH. I would love to say that I knocked them dead, but I'd be lying to you. I did, however, have a good number of strong rises to my fly, impossible a half hour ago. I found the solution. The rest of the afternoon was a pleasure. Unfortunately, none landed, BUT THEY ROSE TO THE FLY! I WON RIGHT THERE!!!
This shortened line and tippet/fly are going to be hanging over my tying desk to remind me. I can always buy new flouro to make a new line. Tenkara has turned out to be a thinking man's game for me. I hope it is for you, too. Pix are included of the infamous "creek." Tight Lines.
“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.
Beware of the Dogma