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Two Days In Nirvana With A New Rod
by Herb S.
I bought a Suntech GM Keiryu Special 27 last year just before the Tenkarabum Traveler 27 was introduced, and finally got to try it out July 1 and 3. Wow! Double wow! If the Traveler is “better” than the Special it’s marvelous indeed. I fished the same stretch of river both days in 90 degree heat and high humidity. The water was clear and the level is back down to normal after months of flooding and record levels.
July 1 was a several fish day following my friend and former fly fishing student, Xiaogang, down behind him. This was the first time he’s been able to fish in almost 2 months. The air and water were full of brown #14 caddis, but there were few rises. I went through several fly changes and finally connected with a #12 Cooper Bug on 2 ½’ of 6X attached to the #3 tenkara level line. My fish were all small bluegills with a baby smallmouth. I let Xiaogang cast the rod and believe he might be hooked, too.
July 3 I went alone and it was a quite a lot day. I began with a very small copper beadhead nymph tied on a curved caddis hook. After losing all the larger fish, including a nice smallmouth, I realized that that bead was probably interfering with hookups and switched to a #12 beadhead Black Killer Bugger. That did it and I lost no more. The lunker of the day was an 8 ½” bluegill with a few more in the 7-8” range and many smaller. Some small smallmouth gave tremendous fights, and a highlight was spotting a pod of 6” smallies upstream, casting to ‘em and having one whirl around, follow the fly downstream and nail it. Sight fishing at its best.
I absolutely love this rod! It weighs nothing, and casts like a dream. At first I thought it would be too short for a fairly large stream, but at 9’ with line and leader the same length it has plenty of reach. Most of the sunfish were tight to the bank and I think the short range of the rod and line helped to judge the distances and stay out of the bushes. Catching the little fish was great fun but the surprise came with the larger specimens; this rod has guts! I was afraid of it breaking with some of the violent fights and singing line, but the Special 27 came through like a champ. I bought it for fishing Shenandoah National Park but it’s going to get a lot more use around Michigan. Another Chris Stewart winner for
“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