Showing posts with label Tenkara Summit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tenkara Summit. Show all posts

October 8, 2017

2017 Tenkara Summit

It took a little longer than I thought it would, but figured now was as good a time as any to do a recap of the Tenkara Summit that took place in Estes Park, Colorado back on September 16th. Actually, this will be more of a photo dump, with a few captions included for good measure.

Daniel Galhardo kicked off the day with opening remarks and a quick history of the Tenkara Summit

Matt Sment from Badger Tenkara's presentation was extremely informative.
Many tips on how to be a better tenkara angler were covered.

Jason Klass (Tenkara Talk) discusssed tenkara techniques

And Steve Schweitzer rounded out the morning's presentations discussing fishing both Rocky Mountain National Park & Indian Peaks Wilderness (his books on both are excellent!)

There were quite a few vendors present. The Tenkara USA tables were a hub of activity...

Shiso, Daniel Galhardo's dog was also in attendance.
Shiso has recently taken to social media with his own Instagram account!

The Hane 2 prototype rod was introduced and made for sale for the first time at the Summit.
Those that bought it will provide feedback to see if this becomes a permanent rod in the TUSA lineup.

There were other vendors too, like Trek Light Gear...

...and Dennis from Tenkara Path with many handmade items including line spools...

...and some interesting nets.

Lunch was provided out of two food trucks - pizza & BBQ.

I went with pizza, the truck had its own wood fire oven!

Back inside, there were other wares, such as rod cases...

and fly boxes. All so beautifully crafted.
A full view of vendor row

There was also "Tenkara Pie" for all... I went back for seconds. :)
Jammers enjoying their BBQ lunch...

After lunch, Dr. Ishigaki put on a casting clinic.
He casts effortlessly and had a great rapport with the crowd.

Adam Trahan put out some targets for casting accuracy drills.
There were also breakouts for rod/line rigging...

...and fly tying.

Chris Zimmer from Zimmerbuilt showing off some of his packs.
Every tenkara angler should own one.

The afternoon had two wonderful presentations.
The first was by Patagonia founder, Yvon Chouinard.
The crowd was captivated by his passionate plea for protecting our natural resources.

Dr. Ishigaki also addressed the crowd and touched on many different tenkara topics.

The day's program ended with a panel Q&A from many of the day's speakers.
But that was not it! After a short break for dinner, the hall reopened for fly tying.

Again, Dr. Ishigaki drew a crowd as he tied his namesake patterns.

Colorado band Paper Moonshine provided the musical backdrop

Many of the tyers participated in an "Iron Fly" style competition moderated by 303 Flies.

The winner being presented his spoils from Dr. Ishigaki.

It was an incredibly full day of events, and there was so much great information being shared. Not only did I leave feeling like I learned a ton, but it was so great to see old friends and make new ones. If you've never attended a Tenkara Summit, I'd highly recommend considering one in the future.

October 4, 2017

Tenkara Fishing Along Fern Lake Trail

Realized last night that I never posted about fishing on my last day in Colorado; the Sunday after the Tenkara Summit. I also never posted about the Summit itself, but I'll probably save that full write-up now, as Adam Trahan did a pretty solid job covering it over at the Tenkara USA blog. May share some photos at some point though.

Anyway, back to fishing. What a fun day!

Rocky Mountain National Park is such a nice place to fish. I rolled into the park around 9AM, and already saw quite a few anglers out fishing in the Moraine Park meadow. Rather than put further pressure on that water, I decided to head up the Fern Lake trail and fish that section of the Big Thompson River a bit further upstream.

Along the way, I passed another tenkara angler named Marc, and chatted him up for a bit. He was trying out his new Hane 2 rod and said he was having some success with the brown trout. Excited, I hiked in a bit more before popping down to the water to see what I could find.

Almost immediately, I had a fish on... and then off. Usually, that would piss me off, but I took it as a good sign of things to come... and it proved to be. 

Working upstream, I encountered a brown in almost every nice sized hole. Now, I'm no tenkara wizard, but I felt like I was casting some sort of spell with my magic wand, as fish usually don't come to hand that easy. Guess that's just how it is out in Colorado.

Not really being familiar with the water, it didn't seem all that deep, so I wasn't fishing weighted flies. Instead, I was primarily using a black Ishigaki-style kebari with grizzly hackle, that I'd first drop into the various pockets, holes, and eddies and let sit, or dead drift. If the trout didn't show interest in the fly, I'd impart a bit of action by twitching the fly slightly faster than the current. The latter technique seemed to be what brought the "larger" fish to hand. (I don't catch big fish, so large is a relative term.)

I'm not going to bore you with any more fish photos, instead, just look how gorgeous it was that day. So, so pretty.

Ok, I lied... one more fish photo!

It ended up being a great way to end the Tenkara Summit weekend. Couldn't have asked for more out of my second Colorado experience. Now the only question is when do I get to go back?

September 25, 2017

Fishing Wild Basin Trail

It was Friday morning. The plane had just landed in Colorado and I still didn't have much of a gameplan in place. The red Kia Soul rental was acquired, and I couldn't check into the hotel up in Estes Park until 3pm, however, in the meantime, I had a few hours to burn and wanted to get a line wet.

In between the airport and the hotel, I knew I wanted to stop at two of my favorite places in Boulder, McGuckin Hardware (to obtain a fishing license), and Rincon Argentino (to obtain lunch). While eating my empanadas and referencing a Rocky Mountain National Park guidebook, I decided I wanted to head up to the Wild Basin area and try my luck at some brook trout, and perhaps, if I was lucky, some greenback cutthroat trout.

License in hand and belly full, it was a short hour or so drive to the Wild Basin trailhead. Everybody must have had the same idea, as the parking areas were very full, but I was fortunate to find a spot in the main lot near the ranger station. Most of the foot-traffic was not fellow anglers, rather hikers, sightseers, and those of other outdoor pursuits. Hastily grabbing gear from my suitcase, I thought I had everything I needed, but more on that in a bit.

The first spot I dropped in at was a short walk from the trailhead, and for those familiar with the area, not quite as far as Lower Copeland Falls.

Fortunately, the brook trout were eager and quickly came to my fly. Unfortunately, I had left my waterproof camera back in the car, and with a long weekend ahead I didn't want to accidentally dunk my phone in the water in the name of a few fish photos. I took a few quick snaps with one of the brookies in the net and then resolved to keep the phone stashed away, with the exception being the occasional landscape photo of my surroundings from dry land.

Fishing each run of boulders and corresponding pocket water methodically, I found the time was passing extremely quickly. I had arrived at around 1PM, and before I knew it, it was almost 5PM. It was a damn fun four hours though. I brought many brook trout to hand and got to fish some of the most gnarly, yet beautiful stretches of water on the way up to the Calypso Cascades and Cony Creek.

With the sun getting lower in the sky, and about a 45-minute hike back to the car, (to be followed by an hour drive up to Estes Park), I decided to turn back, unfortunately before getting up to the altitude and water where the greenbacks reside, but man, what a day, it was still damn worth it.

While it's always a little bit sad (and tiring) walking back down the trail knowing that fishing is over for the day, I couldn't help but feel more than a bit energized. I'm standing in Colorado, cool water rushing beside me, knowing there's trout everywhere and also two more days of fishing fun ahead. Man, I love the Rockies.

The drive to the hotel went faster than expected, and having been up since 3:30AM East Coast time, I collapsed on the bed in a heap. Finally, hunkered down in the room, I slept well that night... although Saturday (and the Summit) couldn't come soon enough.