This weekend I hiked up to the high country, exploring the headwaters of one of my favorite local streams. The characteristic of the water changed dramatically, becoming steep, tumbling and with lots of cover.
Being at high altitude and in lush forest provided respite from the heat wave and a chance to tune out from daily life. This was intended more as a hiking trip with my wife and our dog than a fishing trip, but how could I not take a tenkara rod along?
And, of course, when I saw the water and found a good-looking pocket, I was glad the compact rod had come along. I absolutely needed to see what fish I would find here. Would it be the browns commonly found near home? The rainbows more easily found halfway between home and the headwaters? I had no idea. I had not done any research about the headwaters. And I’m glad I didn’t research it.
As a “professional” fisherman who may fish several times a week, anticipation and curiosity are a couple of the things that prompt me to drive and cast the fly yet again. I probably would have cast the Amano tenkara fly to that pool regardless of what I knew about those waters. That’s how it always is. The desire to know what lurks below the foamy pool inspires each of us to pull the tenkara rod out of the pack, or from behind the car seats, tie the line to the lillian and cast.
The little jewel that found itself connected to my line was exactly the reason I love exploring new waters. Neither rainbow, nor brown, not even a cutthroat…a healthy, shiny cuttbow – a hybrid between a rainbow and a cutthroat – or, as Margaret suggested, why not call it a rainthroat? Despite the lush forest and small size if the stream I used the Ito at 13ft with a short 10ft line and 4ft of tippet.