Variety is the Spice of Life
by Kris Franqui
When I got serious about fly fishing years ago, I decided I was not going to be a one-trick pony: dry fly purist, streamer junkie, euro practitioner, or stillwater specialist. I was committed to learning, and enjoying, many types of fly fishing. My work and my weekends take me to the four corners of the state, and I want to be able to fish, and catch fish, wherever I find myself.
I see Tenkara as the latest road on my fly fishing journey, another tool in my bag that will provide versatility, simplicity, and enjoyment. Iíve scoured websites and blogs, bought books, and watched videos. I have a new appreciation for the history and tradition, but Iíve enjoyed reading Chrisís articles that encourage experimentation and not getting caught up with someone elseís definition of what is or is not the ìrightî way to use the equipment.
For my latest escapade, my buddy and I fished the Henryís Fork and Madison rivers. In shin deep pocket water with the Traveler 27 and Kurenai HM30R, we practiced stealthy fly first casting with unweighted soft hackles, catching rainbows and brookies from 3-14î inches. Fortunately, my buddy had the Traveler for the bigger end of that range, and that was one take and fight he wonít soon forget. Along the bank of the swollen and colored Madison, I used a heavily weighted jig streamer with my Daiwa LT H44. One nice gentleman walked past me and asked ìs that one of those Tenkara rods? what do you do when you hook into a big fish? I just smiled and said I hold on tight. He chuckled and walked on his way. Unfortunately, he was out of sight and didn't witness the rod in action as I jumped into the run that he had just vacated, hooking into a nice rainbow and brown.
In another situation on the Henry's Fork, when the caddis were flying, I tied on a wet fly at the end of my level line and swung it through some riffles with the Oni Honryu 450. That was the best hour of the trip as the rainbows smashed the soft hackle repeatedly until the thunderstorm chased us off the water as it approached dusk.
At the end of the weekend, we had caught fish on different seiryu, keiryu, and tenkara rods, utilizing many different flies and techniques. Each situation presented its own challenges, learning experiences, and successes. I think TenkaraBum would call that a many day.
“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