With the nice weather (and not as much rain as I expected yesterday), I headed back to Valley Creek armed exclusively with my tenkara rod. It was going to be a relatively short outing, as my Mom was coming up around lunchtime to spend some time Lilly and I wanted to be home to greet her. So I had a hard stop scheduled at 11AM no matter what.
Rolled up into the parking area around 7:30AM and hiked in a bit, didn't really get a line wet until 8AM. Water was clear and cool, and the flow was nice.
One of the reasons why I like tenkara is that with a fixed line and without a reel, it really simplifies fly fishing. One of the things I don't like about tenkara, is with that same fixed line, you can only cast a certain distance (in my case, about 11 feet with a full extended drift to about 20). Because of that you have to get pretty close to the fish you want to catch, which for clumsy ol' me can be an issue. Here's a video of me casting, but notice no fish caught (this will be a theme):
Well, fast forward until 10:45AM and about 5 pools and 6 or so runs later, I hadn't caught anything and to be honest was getting a little frustrated. That and I wasted about a half hour when some folks walking their dogs through the park (without leashes) had no problem letting them jump and splash around in the same pool I was fishing. I love dogs, but c'mon show a little courtesy. Plus, with my trusty spinning rod I know I would have surely brought a trout to hand by now, but with this tenkara stuff...not so much.
I was just about to pack it in and head back to the car when I made a few final casts into these riffles:
Oh...wait a second, what was that? The tip of my Iwana rod started dancing. Fish on! Mental checklist time...think I've got a good hookset...seem to have good control of this run...let's bring her in. As I start to lift my rod to bring the trout in (again in tenkara there's no reel), about 6 feet in front of me I see a splash, a flash of white belly, and my only trout of the day kicked the hook and swam off giving me the "middle fin." AAUGH!!! I felt like Charlie Brown trying to kick a field goal, except instead of Lucy an 8" brownie was holding the ball.
Being bummed about losing the fish and then checking my watch in disgust, I figured it was time to head home. However on the hike back to the car, my disappointment quickly subsided and turned into a sense of excitement and anticipation. You might have won the battle today trout, but the tenkara rod & I will be back and I've got a fly with your sore lip written all over it.