Yesterday I went up and Tenkara fished a small stream that I have fished for many years with western fly fishing tackle. The section I fished runs between a small, very old, summer cabin development and a USFS public campground, that is located a few miles upstream from the development. The section of the stream I enjoy fishing the most is above an impassable rock canyon and where an even smaller tributary stream enters the main creek. If you fish much above that point, you get into an area where the people fishing downstream from the campground fish down into, and the fishing there is not nearly as productive there as it is in the lesser fished area in the middle of this section of the stream.
In the area upstream from the cabin access road crossing there is a pipe that takes water out of the stream for the development's water supply needs that has a maintenance trail for the pipe line built beside the creek, from there on the stream is with out any trails of any kind until you get close to the campground. The best I ever did in the cabin water before with my western tackle was 10 fish caught from the cabin water. Yesterday fishing with my Tenkara gear, with the stream very low for this time of
the year, it fishes better with more water running in the creek than there was yesterday, I had released 17 brown trout by the time I got to the water take out point.
Ten trout were caught on a size 15, pink butted version of a Royal Trude dry fly pattern, and 7 more were caught on a size 12, Two-Tone X-rated ant pattern in the cabin water. Above the canyon where I could get back on the stream again, I finished out the ant pattern's 10 fish limit. And then I went next with a size 13, Foam Spider pattern, which also caught its 10 fish limit. Then it was on to a size 12, Two-Tone Foam Beetle pattern for its 10 fish limit, and finally a size 11 High Country Hopper pattern for the final 10 fish limit of the day for the 10 fish per fly pattern limit that I usually stick to in my fishing - that's a total of 50 brown trout over a few hours on my Tenkara tackle. The best I ever did with my western fly fishing tackle fishing the same flies under much better water conditions was a 30 fish day on this same
stream some years a go, at this same time of the year. More recent outings have not been nearly that productive in a long, long time.
Conclusions and Findings:
The fish responded better to the low riding foam flies on this day than they did with the down wing pattern or the High Country Hopper pattern. The high Country Hopper has a deer hair wing tied in in 3 sections, with the butts of each wing section over wrapped with a single strand of olive sparkle yarn for the hopper's body. The sparkle yarn is water absorbent, and it pulls the fly down in the water for pressure wave sensing by the trout's lateral line. After the deer hair gets fully saturated, the High Country Hopper becomes a wet dry fly. So about half of the fish caught were taken on the High Country Hopper pattern fished in the wet fly fishing mode. The brown trout on this day, however, took the High Country Hopper with much more enthusiasm when it was presented to them as a dry fly. And it did not matter if the fly was dead drifted or pulsed through the water with as much enticing action as I could give it fishing in the wet fly fishing modes.
Tackle Notes and Final Conclusions:
The rod I used was a 12 foot long Iwana, Tenkara USA rod, with a cut back to 7 feet long Traditional Tenkara USA line that had been a 10.5 foot long line before modification. The tippet was 5X fluorocarbon, about 4 feet long to begin with but ending up being a little shorter than 3 feet long due to fly pattern changes and a few lost flies. There were times that I wished that I could have cast farther than I was able to cast with the line I was using. But I was never able to catch as many fish as I caught yesterday with my western rod, reel and tackle, which has much greater casting distance capabilities than the Tenkara tackle I was using has to offer, even with the 6 foot 9 inch western 3 Wt. rod that I normally used to fish on this stream with in the past. There were foot prints all along the stream from the Memorial Holiday Weekend the weekend before, which may partly explain why the fish were so much spookier than they usually are on this little creek, which is always real spooky.
So I have to say that I did better with my Tenkara tackle than I was ever able to do in the past with my western fly fishing gear, under tougher fishing conditions, using the same flies that I have always done
well with on this stream. I lost fewer flies and had fewer tangles than I usually get with my western tackle. Consequently, I enjoyed myself and the fishing a lot more with the Tenkara tackle than I have ever
enjoyed fly fishing in the past on this little creek with my western fly fishing tackle. For me Tenkara is here to stay for sure; Tenkara is not a fad as far as I am concerned, and I don't care what Lefty has to say about that.
Last edited by Karl Klavon on Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:36 am, edited 2 times in total.