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Will Tenkara save me? (Fishing Ramblings)
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Will Tenkara save me? (Fishing Ramblings) on 05/07/2013 21:42:38 MDT Print View

A brook trout I pulled out of the Kearsarge Lakes many years ago...

I have a good deal of experience fly fishing. I used to be quite a junkie, actually, getting up at 3AM every weekend, even just to fish for tiny trout in tiny streams.
After many years, I got tired of it and slowed down...

I expanded from targeting trout to chasing steelhead and salmon in Northern CA. I did that for a few seasons, but living in SoCal, I can't do it often. And it's expensive.

So I moved into saltwater fly fishing in the surf. Perch, croaker, shark, but mainly targeting corbina. No offense to the freshwater fly fisherman, but pound for pound, the corbina has to be one of the fastest fish alive. I've never come across anything like it in freshwater. It's not uncommon to nearly get spooled by one in less than 30 seconds on a 6-7wt. setup. Sink tips, shooting heads, giant flies, and horrendous wind...saltwater is a whole different beast. I've spent more time fly fishing saltwater than anything else.

But out of all of it, my overall favorite fishing was in tiny streams for tiny fish. Getting into stalker mode, doing very "quiet" fishing in tiny local canyons and areas that nobody else fished. My favorite rod is a 7'6" with 2 wt line. I actually had a wine bottle holster for my belt and would stand barefoot in summer streams all day...A bona fide fish-chasing drunken Zen lunatic.

And then I just got tired of chasing fish. And then I got to thinking a lot. And I got tired of harassing fish for fun. I started to seriously question the ethics of catch and release. (I now spearfish in the ocean. I only spear what I will eat)

And I quit fly fishing. It's been a few years now.

And now it's calling me again. I miss sitting and tying flies. I miss walking quietly in streams. My father (who is no longer alive) taught me to fish. I miss fishing with him. Those were good times, good memories, and very much a part of why I don't want to turn my back completely on stream fishing. I think I'm looking to rekindle that connection with my children, to take them fishing in the High Sierra this season.

All of this is my roundabout way of saying that I'm thinking Tenkara is the answer.
I just want to fish. No fooling with tons of gear, line, flies, gadgets...
I think I'd be willing to fish again if I had a setup so simple and light that if I were inspired I could break it out at any small stream or lake in the Sierra and fish for a few minutes and move on. And Tenkara looks good for kids. I just took my son to some local casting pools and he enjoyed it quite a bit. But he was free of the nightmares of snagged backcasts, overhead branches and bushes, wind knots, and obstacles everywhere. I think Tenkara would be a sure bet for him in the Sierra.

I'm bummed I missed out on the Daiwa Soyokaze, I think that would've been my rod.
I'm looking for something that will be primarily for small fish. 12" would be epic where I'll fish for trout (local and in High Sierra lakes).
I don't need brand names.
Even with the ability to cast, all the trout I typically catch, at home and in the Sierra, are caught at 20' or less. So I'm not sure I need an 11' to 12' rod.

This line on the TenkaraBum site stood out:
"For a backpacking rod intended for larger trout, I would suggest the Shimano Kozuka. For a go-anywhere rod intended for micros, or at least relatively small fish, I would suggest the Kiyotaki."

I'm considering the 8'10" Kiyotake27 kids package at Tenkarabum for ~$100.
It seems like a good way to get into UL Tenkara for fairly cheap. This sounds like it could fit the bill for tiny High Sierra brookies and goldens.

Or the Daiwa Kiyose 27? It seems to be the slightly smaller brother of the old BPL Tenkara Hane.


Edited by xnomanx on 05/07/2013 22:11:22 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - F

Locale: Colorado
Tenkara and kids on 05/07/2013 22:28:33 MDT Print View

I've never fished before. As a kid it looked boring sitting around a pond in a city park in Birmingham (not AL, the other one) waiting for something to bite. But I attended a presentation delivered by Daniel Galhardo recently and I liked the simplicity of tenkara equipment. Seems like the initial learning curve is easy enough for my young son and his internet-imposed ADHD dad to pick up quickly, yet offer plenty of room for growth to keep us challenged. I picked up a 12' TUSA Iwana a few weeks ago, and I'd like to take it out to the local creek soon before the snowmelt puts a temporary hiatus on activities. A potentially great father and son bonding activity. Yet exactly what you mentioned about the ethics of catch and release gives me pause.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
tenkara and kids on 05/08/2013 06:33:13 MDT Print View

Manfred wrote up his family JMT thru and his kids fished the whole way. Report here:

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Will Tenkara save me? (Fishing Ramblings) on 05/08/2013 07:35:57 MDT Print View

A short rod will make it easier to fish the willow tunnel creeks and the brush lined lakes.

You can always fish a longer line if you feel the need for reach. The challenge with a long line is playing the fish. As long as the fish heads away you can maintain control. When it runs to you and you can't lift the rod enough to keep the line tight you may lose the fish on the first jump or headshake (I fish barbless). If you are fast enough to gather the line as the fish comes to you, and can keep the line tight, you'll do ok. It is a fun dance. And usually short.

Unlike the Hane, the Kiyose (keiryu rods) have no cork on the handle, only a textured surface the diameter of the butt section. They feel amazingly small and light. Just casting will make you smile. But there is a picture somewhere with a 22" brown caught with a Soyokaze 27, so the rods are more than capable. Some are short when collapsed (16") but not all. Those pack well.

Edited by greg23 on 05/08/2013 07:50:38 MDT.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Tenkara will save you! on 05/08/2013 07:53:13 MDT Print View

Tenkara will make you feel like a kid again, have you wanting to miss work to spend your day fishing.

I have a Daiwa Sagiri I will send you "free" to get you started if your interested. You can read a review of this telescoping rod on the T Bum site.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Tenkara will save you! on 05/08/2013 20:29:34 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the response everyone.
I'm thinking the Kiyose will work for me. I actually like the rods without cork handles; I'd want something as minimal as possible.