Fishing tight quarters

Trip reports, findings, events, and general experiences with tenkara fishing. Tell other tenkara enthusiasts about your tenkara experience

Fishing tight quarters

Postby Tenkara USA » Mon May 04, 2009 2:30 pm

I wonder what peoples's experiences have been in tenkara fishing on tight quarters.

Charles mentioned on another entry that he found "casting on tight setting a pleasure".

I have managed to get pretty good at keeping my strokes short when fishing tight quarters. Sometimes casting only with a bit of a wrist flick, or I do a sideway casting to keep the line over the water instead of on trees, and since I'm not casting more line than the lenght of the rod, I have been stuck much less frequently than with conventional fly-rods. Also, if I want a slight shorter rod, sometimes I may keep the first segment collapsed, thus shortening my rod by 1ft, which makes a bit of a difference.

I wonder about your experiences.
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby CM_Stewart » Tue May 05, 2009 10:12 am

Image

The picture above is a spot on my favorite stream - most spots on the stream are more open than this, but certainly not all. So, the question is how do you fish a spot like that with a 12' rod? It's easier than you'd think. If you can see an opening, you can probably get a cast through the opening. If it's really tight, the first thing I do is choke up on the rod. Hold the rod up past the handle so that the butt cap is about at your elbow. Then, recognize that the "view" from your rod tip is now about 10 1/2' to your right (left if you cast left handed). The photo below shows the same structure from the rod tip's point of view. In this case there was room downstream for a low, sidearm backcast, but if there isn't you might be able to let your line float downstream and once it straightens out then make your forward cast (practice this in a more open area first). A forceful cast and a tight loop can negotiate fairly tight spots. This time it worked according to plan, with an 8 incher caught at the lower right "X" and a 6 incher caught at the upper left "X". Yes, I get a lot of flies caught in trees, but the flies that get caught casting into tight spots on a small stream are almost always retrievable. (The flies I lose are almost always because I missed a fish, because on streams like this, if you miss a fish you will catch a tree.) If the entire stream were this tight, it probably wouldn't be my favorite stream, but there are a lot more places where I want to be able to reach across a current seam or let just the fly and tippet touch the water to get a drag-free drift. That makes the long rod my preferred choice.
Image
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby jeffkreager » Tue May 05, 2009 7:07 pm

Good post CM.

I didn't know we could post photos.

I'll have to take my camera when I break in my new rod. It looks like this might be the weekend for a quick WV trip.
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby jeffkreager » Thu May 07, 2009 3:06 pm

Image

test photo
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby jeffkreager » Thu May 07, 2009 3:10 pm

Sweet! I can post photos. That was a test. Now I just need to take some then...
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby Stephen McGowen » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:48 pm

Tenkara is surprisingly well suited to tight quarters fishing. casts can be made with little rod movement, as soon as the fly is moving you can make a"circle" cast with minimal back cast space. Never raise the tip of the rod above your head...everything normally done in a vertical plane can be done paralell to the stream surface with tenkara. Observation and planning are requisites for sucessful small stream fishing....it is not a stroll down the boulevard. Stay low and move slow.
Our model should be the Great Blue Heron. My encounters with them on stream never fail to remind me of past tricks or present new techniques. They are always in the shadows on stream. They are quiet and never seem to move, yet are in a different spot every time I look. They do catch a mess of fish.
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby pszy22 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:00 am

Speaking of Blue Herons, I was surprised this year that they learn from us as well.

I have a small 3 acre pond in my subdivision that I fish in the evenings for bluegills and bass. About mid season, I saw a blue heron who was across the pond from me. It looked like it was watching me, but I thought it was just my imagination. I turned my attention back to fishing and proceeded to start working my way down the shore line. After about 5-10 minutes, I realized that the heron was shadowing me, staying on the opposite shore. I caught a small bluegill and decided to toss it towrads the heron. The heron intently watched it in air. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), my throw was short so of course the fish swam away when it hit the water.

Then something totally surprising and unexpected happened, the heron flew to my side of the pond, and landed about 30 feet away. He stay there seemingly watching my fly on the water. A few seconds later, I caught a another small bluegill. I threw it the toward the heron, and he was on it like Oprah on a Xmas ham. Down the hatch it went, followed by a quick sip of water, then back to watching my fly. Caught another fish, repeated the above. I wasn't sure I wanted to feed the heron any more, so I decided to call it a day. I thought this was a neat one time experience.

Two days later, when I went back down to the pond, the heon immediately took flight and settled down on my side of the pond, this time a little closer. I pretty much repeated the same ritual, the heron now become my regular fishing partner, he is there every time out. To be honest, it's become a bit of a pain. I've been cutting my fishing time short, since I don't want to feed the bird more than a few small fish, and I feel guilty to have him stand there expectantly after he's been fed.

He's come as close as 3 feet away to take fish, I don't want to make him too tame or dependent. I've actually been keeping my trips down to about one a week, and haven't been out for the past few weeks now that it's getting colder outside.
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby LMarshall » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:42 am

Stephen McGowen wrote:Tenkara is surprisingly well suited to tight quarters fishing. casts can be made with little rod movement, as soon as the fly is moving you can make a"circle" cast with minimal back cast space. Never raise the tip of the rod above your head...everything normally done in a vertical plane can be done paralell to the stream surface with tenkara. Observation and planning are requisites for sucessful small stream fishing....it is not a stroll down the boulevard. Stay low and move slow.
Our model should be the Great Blue Heron. My encounters with them on stream never fail to remind me of past tricks or present new techniques. They are always in the shadows on stream. They are quiet and never seem to move, yet are in a different spot every time I look. They do catch a mess of fish.


Good points.

I find that on small streams in tight quarters I end up using the bow and arrow cast a lot, a sidearm cast, or I sort of flick the fly and line out there a ways (I find I can't cast very far like this though, so I don't do it much since so much line can land on the water with the fly). This summer I fished a stream that was only about 3 feet wide over much of its course, so you can imagine what that's like in a New England forest. Despite having good success on the entire stream, my favorite stretches flowed through a recently drained beaver pond, and an old growth hemlock stand; you can probably understand why. On the rest of the stream the bow and arrow cast, along with awareness and planning were key. One thing to watch out for with the bow and arrow cast are overhead branches that may prevent you from setting the hook or playing the fish, since you can get into position and cast right under them without noticing if you aren't paying attention.

pszy22; that's a great story! Birds can be amazingly intelligent.
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Mon Oct 19, 2009 2:38 pm

LMarshall wrote:awareness and planning were key


YES, I believe so too. When fishing a very small stream it's important to see what is around you and above you. As long as you're aware, then you can dictate the direction of travel of the rod, and therefore line.
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Re: Fishing tight quarters

Postby wrknapp » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:22 pm

I agree with all of you. When fishing near and under brush and trees, I have found that awareness and caution are key. Because of the length of my Ayu (13'), I have become much more cautious then I was before. When I do tangle my line, I immediately cut off the fly and start over. When walking through woods or streamside brush from one location to another, I often just wrap up my line and collapse my rod rather than try to weave my way through. The extra caution is worth the time. I look ahead and ask myself how I will handle the strike and land the fish considering what is around me. I may miss a few by not striking with as much motion, but I'd rather do that than try to untangle my line from overhead branches. I also have collapsed the first and second sections when necessary and would collapse more if it would help with a small fish.

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