April 18, 2011

It Only Takes One Fish to Turn Your Day Around

The weather in the area on Saturday night was pretty bad.  Considering what happened in the Carolinas I shouldn't complain, but we had buckets of rain dumped on us combined with very, very high winds.

Wanting to go fishing on Sunday, it was somewhat convenient to know that my window to do such wouldn't be until later in the day (K.C. & Lilly were going to be out for the afternoon), so I simply crossed my fingers that Valley wouldn't be too swollen and fast by the time I got there.

However, when I did...
High, swift, & muddy...but fishable.

Normally, I wouldn't have fished it.  I probably would have headed home, or simply taken a walk through the woods, however I forced myself to.  The visiting Sakura Seki Rei was jealous that I took his little brother Kongo out last weekend instead of him.  Can't have family unrest.
Seki Rei's day in the sun

So I fished...  Quite unsuccessfully might I add for about two hours.  Not a nibble on the end of the line.  The rod however is a gem.  A bit heavier (also longer 3.6m vs. 3.0m) with perhaps a slower action than the Kongo, but in my opinion the better caster of the two.  Look, flick, and the fly's on the bullseye.

With the absence of action at its apex, my watch said it was 4:00 so I pondered heading home.  I've been there and done that before - fished a messy Valley with no results - so with the rod test drive mostly complete, why continue?  Might as well head down the path back to the car.
A well worn path

But right before I got to the end of the trail, I decided to veer right and give one of my favorite stretches one more try.  Effortlessly snapping cast after cast with the Seki Rei, I drifted my tandem of flies through a grouping of large rocks...if there's a trout lurking, surely it's got to be here...

BAM!  Fish on.

This particular brown had some getup and go too.  The combination of this fish's motor, the ultralight tenkara rod (with no reel or drag), and attempting to bring it to net somewhat against the swift current made it quite a memorable fight.  The trout made several runs, flexing the Seki Rei deeply in counterbalance, until finally, tired from battle it allowed me to remove the fly from its jaw and snap a quick picture before swimming back to sanctuary.  Adrenaline pumping I could only smile.  It was one of those experiences that make you remember why exactly you chase those sneaky wild fish in the first place.
14 inches of fight - a nice fish by Valley standards

The stench of a potential skunking (or should I say bouz?) removed, the rest of the afternoon was fished at a more leisurely pace.  Kind of got to sit back and smell the flowers if you will...
Obligatory flower picture

A handful of much smaller, more typical Valley trout came to hand in the following hour.  They were all quite frisky little buggers, some rising, some feeding sub-surface, but each a carbon copy of one another.
This one went for the Owl Jones "bombproof" caddis

While this one liked the nymph

It was about this time when I realized that the sun was getting low in the sky and it really was time to head home.  No worries though, after a day like Sunday, I'll be back...soon.  


  1. Great looking brown trout!!! I should youtube that technique your using. sounds interesting.

  2. An "A" for effort.
    Nice browns. The flowers are a part of fly fishing I truly enjoy.

  3. Beautiful fish Mike. Looks like the Northeast is starting to thaw out. Thanks for sharing.


  4. That brown is some beauty! Nice job.

  5. Not too shabby. I subscribed to your youtube page.

  6. I always like the release footage. It is awesome you were able to be so productive in the less than ideal water.

  7. Mike
    Great post with the browns, and the nature shots.

  8. looks like you wrangled a Valley Creek Slab. Good on you Mike.

  9. Nice fish and pictures. Love the wild browns. Way to stick it out.

  10. Always a good day when you can beat the skunk. Of course, a little sunshine and blue skies helps.


  11. Looks like a good day to me! Pretty fish, sunshine and no asphalt under your feet!

  12. Just have to agree with all the other guys here. Very nice fish under tough conditions. You Tenkara guys are getting it done!

  13. Thanks guys! It was an awesome day, the kind that makes you keep coming back. I really enjoy the tenkara thing on small creeks like that. The ultralight rod is a perfect match for the tiny fish, so when a "larger" one gets on, it's quite a fight.