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A Tenkara Perfect 4th of July

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:17 pm
by JWJFisherCA
I took my Iwana rod up to the John Muir Wilderness this weekend to fish a few alpine lakes and I was lucky enough to find some great water. At the one major creek crossing on the trail there were deep pools teaming with small brook trout. I knew that seeing the outlet stream from the lake full of fish was a good sign that the lake would have fish as well. We were pre-occupied with getting to camp so I didn't have time to fish the stream on the way in. After setting up camp we put together our fishing gear and walked over to the lake where the fish were feeding furiously on any thing hitting the water. It was a perfect opportunity to use the Iwana. Once I got the casting down I was getting bites or hooking a fish on almost every cast. I caught many book trout and a few rainbow trout as well. The little rainbows fought noticeably more than the brook trout but the brookies were much more beautiful fish. The next day we decided to continue the fishing adventure and check out some lakes that were about a three mile hike away. There was quite an elevation change on the way but the scenery was great and there were plenty of cairns to guide us to the lakes. The first two lakes of the three were a bust as far as fishing went. There were way too many insects peacefully enjoying the water. We didn’t see a single fish swimming and lake number three was looking suspect at this point. The difference from the middle lake to the upper lake however, was dramatic. This was a much deeper, colder lake; a great habitat for trout, and we saw them feeding as soon as we got up to the shore. The fish up here spooked much more easily than at the lake we were camping at. I knew I would have to use some stealth to catch them. As I made my way around the shore I spotted a tree close to the water, the side facing a deep pool was in heavy shadow. This was the perfect place to cast from with my Iwana. I could watch the fish and cast right to them without them noticing me. After c&r'ing two bows and a nice little brookie I saw a big rainbow cruise into the area. I made one cast but wasn’t close enough and thought I had lost the oppurtunity at this one. The fish turned his head after that first cast and started to swim off. I had one more chance to make the perfect cast and I put the fly right on target, about a foot in front of his nose. As soon as the fly hit the water he bolted for it and gobbled it up. After a bit of a fight I brought in a 14” rainbow trout! It was a great fight on the Iwana. The sound of the line singing while the fish made run after run had my adreneline pumping.

Not to make a contest out of it but my friend was using my spinning gear this trip, and I easily outfished him 4 to 1. I can't say that I won't be bringing my spinning tackle on future trips but the Iwana is definitely my go to rod now! I never realized how difficult it would be to photograph the fish and get them back in the water. Half of my photos were of the fish jumping out of my hand, but here are some of the good ones.

Re: A Tenkara Perfect 4th of July

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:04 am
by Jay K
Great pictorial post - thanks for sharing. Great colors on those fish.

Re: A Tenkara Perfect 4th of July

PostPosted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:43 pm
by JWJFisherCA
Thanks Jay K! You know, when I bought the 12' Iwana I wasn't sure how well it would suit the small alpine lakes I backpack to. I'm obviously not going to be casting to the middle but when those big guys were cruising the shallows my Iwana gave me the ability to make a quick, accurate cast and a delicate presentation. It's such a fun way to fish!

And yeah, those Sierra fish really have amazing colors. I was surprised by the variation in the brook trout I was catching too. I wish I had a picture of each one to compare.