June 19, 2018

Just Starting to Clear

My favorite streams are just starting to clear. Run-off has ended, but the water levels are not yet to stable summer levels. Still, I fished one of my favorite reaches yesterday. I used moderately heavy tungsten jig nymphs to get the fly down quickly in each pocket. To throw these flies I fished my Daiwa 43M-F. This is a fantastic rod for this type of fishing. It casts heavy flies very well, is stiff enough to invoke rapid hook sets with minimal arm movement, and it controls the trout in fast water without breaking a sweat. I don't use it for tenkara, but for nymphing it's great.

I fished 1h 15m and took nearly two dozen. Here is a video of a few of them.

June 11, 2018

Another Small Creek Sortie

I had a few hours to kill the other day, so I visited one of my favorite local creeks to exercise some of its brown trout.

I fish this creek year round, but it's particularly challenging during the summer when leaves are on the riparian shrubbery. I love the challenge it offers.

The trout were holding right where I thought they'd be, but I did take a few from some lies that I hadn't in the past.

The Tenkara Times Watershed 330 (now renamed 300Z) worked great with a 7' level line. I typically fish later in the day, but this day I fished in the morning for my usual 1.5 hours, because of the forecast 90°F day. It was a nice time out with many trout taken.

Another successful sortie to a favorite small creek!

June 6, 2018

Home Waters

I love fishing new waters. I love the thrill of catching fish on the first visit to newly scouted creeks and streams. But even more than new waters, I love fishing home waters.

There is something about being home that makes you feel at peace and unburdened. You get to know every bend and riffle, every pocket and pool, and you're able to know exactly where the fish are. Sometimes, you can catch the same trout many times in a season. I've got a couple that I've caught many times over several seasons (they have markings, such a spawning scars, that make them easy to identify). It's a real joy.

The other evening I fished one such water. I presented the fly using my Nissin Air Stage Honryu 380 and a 290 cm (380 cm with tippet) #3 level line. The fish took a soft hackle grey kebari, as well as a Grave Digger kebari in locations that were very familiar to me. It's fun to know exactly where each fish would be and to be able to present the fly in a way to induce a take.

At one point, the stream slows and narrows. On many occasions I have presented a sakasa kebari with moderate results. Usually it's the smaller trout that will take the fly, with the larger trout usually giving me a refusal. I've tried numerous different patterns, motions, and depths, all with the same result. But this evening was different. Upon reaching the slow water section, and after presenting the subsurface fly and getting the usual refusals, I swallowed my pride and changed to a terrestrial dry fly -- in this case, a #16 foam ant. On my first presentation I hooked and landed a healthy 13 inch cutthroat. A few casts later I took the largest trout of the pod, a 14 inch brown. Lesson learned: on some waters your one fly might not be the right fly. Change to the one fly that works.

After my usual 1.5 hours fishing, and after landing numerous healthy trout, I drove home. Yes, it's nice to be back home again.

June 4, 2018

Another Visit to Crane Creek

I just returned from a month long trip around the US. My wife and I drove visiting New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. We also drove through Nebraska, Iowa and Wyoming. We spent our time visiting various historical sites, as well as visiting some of our children and grandchildren.

On our way through Missouri, heading to Arkansas, we stopped for a few minutes at Crane Creek. I've fished this creek four other times previous but this time was different. The main difference was the air temperature of 92°F; the heat index was 98 degrees.

The water was low and clear. This was no different from the other times I fished Crane Creek. But this time the fish were not as active. I suspect it was due to the unseasonably warm weather. Still, I was determined to fish for the very challenging McCloud rainbow trout that were there.

I only fished for one hour; it was too hot, even wet wading. The trout would not look at any of my favorite kebari patterns so I decided to go deep. Since the water was very clear I could see the trout holding on the bottoms of the deepest pools. I changed to a #14 Egan's Tungsten Surveyor and began sight fishing to specific fish. This worked well. In the last minutes of my designated one hour fishing time limit I took some small rainbows as well as two 12-14 inch beauties.

These trout are silver bullets. The larger fish took to the air immediately after being hooked. They did jump after jump trying to shake the hook. It was a real special treat to hold watch one gentle in my hand before letting them slip back into the depths.

I don't know how you folks live with that heat! It was too much for me, a guy from Idaho. I'm glad to be back home where we have a "dry" heat. That's more my type.