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My first Tenkara Outing.......

Trip reports, findings, events, and general experiences with tenkara fishing. Tell other tenkara enthusiasts about your tenkara experience

My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby bjanzen » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:46 pm

Let me begin by saying I have really enjoyed this board. It has some wonderful people here and have really helped me get started in this simplification of my obsession ;)

Well, after much anticipation, I made the 200 mile trek to my favorite trout river (South Holston) with my fishing buddy I will call Michael on Friday. The weather was sunny and 80+ degrees and the wind almost calm most of the day. Like most of the east coast, the flows have been crazy all winter and I haven't had a chance to fish up there since last July. Now my Ayu had come in the mail on Wednesday and I had been tying up leaders and getting ready for the trip. Was dying to get on the water with it and see what all the hype was about.

We arrived at the fly shop at 11am and the water was set to drop at noon. We talked to the owners there and learned what was happening on the river. Seemed like black flies were going to be the game.

After a quick bite to eat, we headed down to the parking lot to don our waders and gear. I was a little nervous trying out my Tenkara rod on this trip.....What if I couldn't catch fish.... What if I hated it?..... What if I ruined this precious afternoon on my favorite water?........ What if I needed more reach to fish this water?....... What if I longed for my bamboo rod and reel and 60 plus feet of line?????

Well, I asked my buddy if I could have the truck key in case I wanted to come back for my bamboo rod that I am used to. I had first fished that bamboo rod there the previous July and have just loved it ever since. Have even made two more like it for others I am so fond of it.

After picking what I thought I needed, I took ONE fly box, my leader wallet, and my lanyard..... See this stuff is rubbing off on me :lol: :lol:

When I got to the river, I walked out onto a grass bed and started rigging up my rod. I pulled out a green and tan thread leader that I had made and added 3 feet of 5X and 3 feet of 7X flourocarbon tippet. I tied on a #20 gold beaded zebra midge and started casting. I slowly worked my way into the river. When I made it to a nice run in the middle of the river, I began focusing on my technique. I was watching my line for any takes and trying to keep my drift perfect. This river requires that if you want to catch fish.

After several drifts, I finally felt a bite just as I was picking up line for a cast. Caught me off guard! It did feel good on that Ayu though and I quickly cast for another pass through there. After several more drifts, I decided that I must be missing strikes and tied on a #18 Parachute Adams for an indicator fly. Several more drifts and still nothing. The water was knee deep and flowing pretty good but I had roughly 4 feet of 7X below my Adams. Maybe I wasn't getting down deep enough......

I pulled out a small shot and pinched it on..... First drift I started hanging bottom. Dang it... I needed a smaller shot but I had left that in the truck. I decided to try lifting slightly as the fly settled to the bottom to keep it in the current. BANG I had a hit! Took some getting used to fighting a fish with no reel to play with.....but I landed a nice brown trout in no time at all. I called to my buddy that I needed a picture of my FIRST Tenkara fish. He didn't hear me so I released it. (Sorry.... No pictures to prove it) (Didn't know he even had a camera until we left)

In the next hour, I caught close to 20 fish on that Zebra midge in that run. No reason to go back to the truck for the bamboo....... I was having a blast. Biggest problem I had was not knowing what to do with my off hand.... No reel to wind.... No line to hold and haul...... I was lost ;) Decided it was easier to land a fish though....... No pile of stripped fly line at my feet for the fish to swim through :lol:

After the action died down, I went over to the opposite bank and sat down. I took a break and just watched the river as I swapped lines. I had a pile of leaders and lines to try and decided to try the level 15# 0.013 flouro I had brought. After I re-rigged, I looked across the river at my buddy who was still in the same spot.... Still catching fish. I decided to just butt in and see what he was catching them on. I could tell they were hitting drys...... so I made my way across the river. When I got close, I asked him why he was hogging the fish... He just laughed and told me he was enjoying a nice black fly hatch.

I tied on my best flies.... Some #22 black thread with CDC wings and gave it a whirl. Tried a gray body.... Still no go. Finally decided to try some nymphs below an indicator. I pulled the Adams off my lanyard and tied a Jujubee below that. After about the fourth fish took the INDICATOR, I decided to just cut off the dropper. It was just in the way :shock: I have no idea why that fly worked.... It made no sense but it did and I caught a nice 14" rainbow and close to 10 others before the action slowed.

At one point, my buddy turned to me and said..... "How do I know you are catching fish? I can't hear your reel! Guess I have to listen for your leader singing through the current........"

At about 5:30, we decided to call it a day. Fish were still rising but we weren't catching any. We had had our fill and we had a long drive home to talk about our day and the fun we had had.

I had a wonderful time..... One of my best fishing trips ever.... Caught over 30 fish........ Didn't loose a single fly.........had a blast fighting the fish....... didn't put the fish down! It was a GREAT first trip. Now how will I ever back that up?
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby wrknapp » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:48 pm

Great report. I hope to be down that way in a few weeks to see my brother and do some fishing.

Randy
"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee" Is 43:2a "I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble" Jer 31:9b
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby jbenenson » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:46 am

Great story to read. It was almost like being on the river with you. Aside from the fishing, the story shows how versatile a tenkara rod can be: how many types of flies, shot and indicator, leader length will work.
--
I would like to have the modest contact with the nature in hope of continuing the beautiful streams forever

Yoshikazu Fujioka
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby bjanzen » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:56 am

Glad you liked it.... Tried to add some detail and humor to it..... Don't want it boring ;)
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby solocanoe » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:01 pm

Excellent read! Thanks for posting the experience!

Being new to Tenkara and "devouring" web pages while my set up arrives from Daniel....your post is wonderful!

I read somewhere on the 'net that a guy in TX tried to fill his empty hand with a beer - but after 8 fish before he could finish said beverage...he gave it up!

It will be interesting to figure out...no hauling, no holding, no reeling....of course I only did that on far casts and not while in the canoe...but the "no line" piling up in the stream or bottom of boat will be a nice change.

Thanks again for a nice read.
-john
Lucky to get out. Whenever I can. Never enough. Romans 8:31
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby CM_Stewart » Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:36 pm

bjanzen wrote:Biggest problem I had was not knowing what to do with my off hand


Your off hand is for your wading staff. Mine has saved me many times, including prying my foot out of where it had been wedged in the rocks for about 20 minutes. Luckily, the water was only about knee deep so I could bend down to get good leverage.
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby jbenenson » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:54 pm

Chris +1

I use my wading staff every time that I fish and it has saved me from falling many times. Like Chris, it has also helped me free my stuck foot.

One important caveat: there is a tendency to wade too deep or into too fast a current when using a wading staff. Do not do it!! It could cost you your life. :twisted:
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I would like to have the modest contact with the nature in hope of continuing the beautiful streams forever

Yoshikazu Fujioka
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby CM_Stewart » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:41 pm

jbenenson wrote:One important caveat: there is a tendency to wade too deep


Not if you wear hippers.

Well, not more than an inch too deep. :oops:
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Re: My first Tenkara Outing.......

Postby rsetina » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:15 pm

Congratulations! It sounds like your first outing was a good one by any measure. My son and I are heading out to a local stream this Sunday on his day off. Hope we have as good a time as you did.
Rick

テンカラ。小さなストリームのシンプルさ。
My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
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