March 18, 2016

Slow month

This past month has been interesting in my part of the country. Most every day that I could go fishing it was blowing and raining. The rain is of no consequence, but winds over 15 mph make it so "line off the water" tenkara is a pain.  I don't fish "line on the water" tenkara with furled or PVC lines, since to me that's not tenkara, but rather, fly fishing with a tenkara rod. So, I decided to do other stuff.

I did get some fishing in last weekend however. I was in Sun Valley for a medical conference and I hit the Big Wood on two separate days. I didn't take my camera with me, so I have no pictures -- how's that for a guy that almost always wears a GoPro when fishing.

The Big Wood is a "large" river by my standards. It's maybe 15 yards across and generally free from tree branches. It was flowing at 70 cfs and was off colored due to snow melt -- thanks to all the rain. So, although it's not all that large of a river, it's large to me. I'm a guy who likes creeks you can step across in places. Here's a photo of the river I borrowed from the internet:

I fished with my Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori rod. I've had this 6.3 m (20.6 foot) rod for a little while -- I can't remember exactly when I bought it from Chris Stewart. I've fished it on a few occasions and really enjoy it. It's casting action is smooth and unlabored. It throws a #3 fluorocarbon line really well and it will throw a dopper/point fly combo without any issues. This is how I've mainly fished this rod. I've not done actual keiryu fishing with it -- that is, bait.

The Sawanobori compared to a traditional tenkara rod.

I fished two different lines this past weekend. One was one of my tenkara lines, a 13 foot fluorocarbon line with red sighter. The other was a clear #3 level fluorocarbon line with two yarn markers. Both lines had 3 feet of 5.5x TroutHunter fluorocarbon tippet. These lines seemed to work well, and although I'm used to my line-sighter system the yarn markers were easy to see and follow during the drift.

There's really not much more I can say about this rod. It's too long for a CCS penny measurement, so I can't give you a RFI rating. But to me it feels like it would be about 4-4.5. It's easy to cast but since it's 20 feet long it has a lot of inertia, so casts are slow -- rich -- full bodied. I know those words don't mean much, that's why a CCS penny rating and RFI are so helpful, but they are the best I can do for this rod.

I caught three fish: 2 browns and one rainbow. The rainbow, and one of the browns, was 12 inches. They, of course, were no match for this rod. But the rod is plenty fun with fish of this size, due to its relaxed, mid flex, action. The other brown was something else altogether.

I was fishing a long run with two flies set in a NZ dropper-point fly rig. Like I said above, this rod has no issues doing this even when both flies are tungsten bead flies. I worked the slow run well by covering every inch of water and when I got to the head of the run (I fish working my way upstream) I hooked into a really nice fish. The hook set was solid and the fish took off for some snags on the other side of the river. It didn't get far -- this rod easily turned him, even in the current. After working him for a minute I brought him to net. He was a beautiful brown, with a full bodied girth that filled your entire palm. His overall length was about 17 inches. He was a beautiful fish, but alas, no pictures.

That's about all the fishing I've done as of late. Next month will likely be pretty slow as well as I'm going to have surgery. As long as I don't die I should be back in action mid-May. Hope for the best - prepare for the worst. Here's praying everything goes well!!


  1. Wishing you Godspeed in the recovery!

  2. Hoping you have a quick recovery. I look forward to reading about your tenkara outings when you are back in the saddle later this spring.


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