September 3, 2016

Browns and Grandpa

Recently my son got married, moved into a new apartment, and started school for his senior year. I went to visit him and help him do a few chores around the new place, like replace a few electrical receptacles. Afterwards, while he and my new daughter-in-law were in afternoon classes I went fishing.

Since I had only a few hours I drove to the nearest river, got my wet wading gear on and walked downstream. For a weekday afternoon the river was pretty busy. I ran into one guy upstream of where I wanted to fish and two others downstream. They were all fishing western and were fully geared out with waders, vests packed to the hilt, rod/reel and nets. They looked at me as I passed them like I was from another planet -- me with my little chest pack, tenkara rod (nested), collapsible net and wading staff. I looked pretty spartan.

I watched them for a few minutes and didn't see them catch anything, so I found a spot between the two parties and slipped into the water, rigged up in seconds and started casting. On my fifth cast I was into a nice fish. After playing him into the net he turned out to be a 14 inch brown.

One of the flies I fished. 

I worked my way upstream from there and every few minutes I'd be into another fish. Most were in the 12-14 inch range, but a few were 8-10 inches, and one was 16 inches. All were nice healthy browns.

I'm not sure what it is about browns but I really like catching them. Maybe it's because my grandfather used to talk about how hard they are to catch -- how smart they are. He'd talk about catching "german" browns in the same river I was fishing. I love my grandfather; he's been gone for over 30 years now. He was a accomplished fly angler, but he wasn't to proud to fish a "rock roller" when it seemed more appropriate than a fly. He was with me when I caught my first unassisted trout. I inherited all his fly gear and fly tying equipment when he passed.

After a few hours and over a dozen and a half browns I got out and went back to the car. I'm not sure how the other guys fishing the river did, but it was a great outing for me catching browns and thinking about my grandfather.

Thanks Grandpa, I love you!


  1. Very nice tribute to your granddad, Tom. I'd give just about anything to go back in time and spend a day with mine.

  2. Great tribute Tom. It was my grandpa that taught me to fish too. 14 foot cane poles for sunfish. I am a convert to Tenkara a week ago, and caught my first fish last week up by Stanley. This is the kind of fishing I have been looking for for years. The one weight Sage was as close as I could get with regular gear. I love your videos. It has been an education. Thank you! Les


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