I've got two borrowed Japanese tenkara rods at my house this week, and yesterday I took one of them, the Sakura Betuatsurae Kongo Tenkara (Clif can translate that for you HERE), out to Valley Creek to put it through the paces. This post isn't a review of the rod by any stretch, just a bit of context.
The trip started on a nice note, as I ran into a friend, "Flyguy" from the PAanglers.com forums (he was pulling fish after fish out of the pool below the covered bridge). We chatted for a bit, and then went our separate ways, bumping into each other on the creek from time to time. He's a really good guy, one of those folks you could just talk fishing with for a long time if the opportunity presented itself.
As far as my own fishing experience, I ended up catching 4 browns on Zug Bugs & Griffith's Gnats, and then 5 more at the end of the session on dries. I actually used Ben from AZ Wandering's Sparkle Parachutes to catch the rising fish - I had won them in a contest at his blog last year and I've been waiting for a good opportunity to use them.
The feeding frenzy presented that opportunity & a short window of chaos ensued. At around 11:30, the fish just started going nuts rising (& even leaping fully out of the water) to eat some sort of small mayflies. BWOs perhaps? (I'm no Entomologist). It was like watching Jiffy Pop popcorn pop, one splash after another after another. It only lasted for about 15 minutes, and then the water went glass smooth, but Ben's flies did the job.
|Like my bracelet?|
Oh yeah, the Sakura Kongo...I almost forgot. Well, it handles quite a bit different than my Tenkara USA Iwana. It took me about 15 or 20 minutes to find the right stroke (and a feel for the ergonomic grip), but once I did, the rod sang. It's got a stiffer feel than the Iwana, but because of that also snaps much crisper casts and is very sensitive...and very light. Very, very light. I'm not sure what to compare it to, but I liked fishing it quite a bit.
|The fancy bamboo-like Betuatsurae finish|
When I got home to eat lunch, Lilly said she wanted to go to the local park and go fishing. We went, but unfortunately only lasted 15 minutes. It's still a bit cold for sunnies, and there was no bite at all...so we went to the playground instead. You know, limited attention spans. No sense in dragging things out.
|She tried valiantly...but the swings & jungle gym ended up being much more fun|