December 10, 2023
I'm a creature of habit. I tend to fish the same creeks and streams until I feel that I know them intimately. But every once and a while I feel the need to explore new waters.
This last year I've been brave and explored quite a few new creeks and streams. Many of them are in Wyoming, not too far from where I live in Idaho. Some have been a real surprise and others not so much.
On October 18th, I decided to test out three creeks that I've never been to. A couple of them are in busy canyons, but one is off the beaten path. I didn't have to hike to any of them, and that was nice. All three had fish in them, but the last was the most productive.
I fished each creek for about 30-45 minutes; just long enough to test out the water for fish and species. I was pleased with all three. Needless to say, I'll be back to each of these creeks to explore in more detail their nooks and crannies when the weather warms next summer.
December 3, 2023
I love October in Southeast Idaho. If it turns out to have a series of warm autumn days, the fishing can be magical. I love driving into the mountains when the maples are red and aspen are golden yellow. The air is cold but the sunshine makes up for the declining temperatures.
On this particular day I decided to fish a stream that I used to fish all the time. It has native, wild cutthroat in it, but planted rainbow and brook trout have become more prevalent over the years. Public land access is excellent and the canyon is heavily used during the summer. So, I tend to fish it later in the season, when fewer campers are around. I also like hiking down into the canyon section, away from the road, but I think my days are numbered doing this, as I'm not sure my back will hold up to that kind of cross-country hiking much longer.
I used the Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu 360 6:4 on this trip. This is one of my favorite rods. Its faster action promotes tight loops, which are often needed on this stream. It also has a fast hook set and power for fighting fish in fast currents. It collapses down to 52 cm (20.5"), which is plenty compact for cross-country hiking. I use a #3 line with it, but it's equally at home with a #3.5 or #4.
The canyon section has some really nice pockets and pools, and these can hold some pretty nice fish. But when I'm in the canyon any fish will do, as the scenery is part of what I come for.
Here's the vlog:
November 26, 2023
This creek is close to my home and I used to fish it a lot. I haven't fished it for a couple years, but I thought it was time to go back and see how things and changed over the years. I used to fish it before I found tenkara. I'd use my St. Croix 7' 6" 2wt fly rod and back then I'd pick up some pretty nice sized fish.
It's a fun little creek. I used to ride my motorcycle up over the mountain to get to it, but since my back has deteriorated, I had to stop doing that. Now, I drive the Tacoma up there and walk in on the trail. That's still fun, but I do miss the bike.
The creek is small in its headwater region. It has native, wild cutthroat trout in it, and the challenge to taking them is the creek side grass and brush. It takes quality casting to not end up with your fly spending most of its time in the vegetation.
After starting tenkara, I've preferred certain tenkara rods for this creek. First was the Daiwa Sagiri 39MC, then a couple Suntech rods, and finally the Oni Itoshiro (which is what I use in this video). But now I think a better match is the Nissin Air Stage Fujiryu 330 5:5 and the Shimano Pack Tenkara. I ended up selling the Sagiri, the Suntech rods and the Itoshiro, as they didn't speak to me the same way the other rods did.
As far as flies, pretty much any fly will work. The creek does get pretty low and weedy in late summer, and it's then that I'll use a dry fly, like a foam ant or parachute Adams. But most of the time I fish subsurface with unweighted kebari.
I still love this creek. This next year I need to spend more time fishing it. I've been away too long.
Here's the vlog: