SW WI Tenkara trip

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

SW WI Tenkara trip

Postby 257ROBT » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:39 pm

The trip was supposed to start Wednesday AM, but due to being a bit short handed at work, it started Wednesday PM. Luckily, we were working in Sparta, WI so I was able to take my own vehicle to the job and then start fishing a stream about 20 minutes away that I like.

The whole point of the trip was to fish my Tenkara rod and see if the one fly approach would work. Wednesday evening I fished for a little over 2 hours and managed 5 browns. Two were in the 8" range, 1 was about 10", 1 was 12" and the last 1 was pushing 14". All 5 fish were caught on a Ishigaki Kebari with a yellow thread body and a grizzly hackle in a size 12. I was fishing the fly in the fast water and fishing similar to a streamer. The only other time I fished this stretch of water last year I got 1 8" brown. This approach worked on Thursday as well.

After waking up in the middle of the night to hear thunder storms, I expected the streams to be blown out on Thursday. The La Crosse, WI airport recieved 1.81" of rain. I stoped by one little stream south of La Crosse and it was not too good. I still managed 1 10" brown on the same Kebari I had used the day before. I went further south and found the streams to be running clear and very fishable. I stayed on 1 river the rest of the day, trying several access points. At all but one stretch I got fish. I had a mix of brookies and browns. I had fish from 4" to 14". I caught so many fish that I lost count. I know that it was the best day I have ever had fly-fishing by myself, and I might have even had more fish than when I went with a guide this spring. The fish, except for the last two, were caught on the same fly as Wednesday night. The only reason I changed flies was because the one I had on was falling apart. The last 2, which were 2 really nice 12"-13" browns were caught using a black body/brown hackle Ishigaki Kebari. After the last two fish I put a hook in my thumb and a nice doctor in Westby, WI cut it out. The black/brown Kebari drove the fish bonkers! I don't know how else to put it. In the 15 minutes I fished with it, there were more fish of all sizes, but alot more larger fish attempting to grab the fly. I have to put in more time with this pattern!

It was a great day to be out and about. The fishing was great and a one fly, size 12, approach worked for me that day. When I first got my Tenkara rod, I had someone tell me that Tenkara isn't any good for the driftless area of Wisconsin. From what I saw Thursday, they are dead wrong. I am going back down one more time though to see if Thursday was a fluke, or if it works again. My gut feeling is it may work even better because of having some time to fish it already.

One thing I noticed is all fish were caught fishing the fly downstream of me and bringing it back upstream while making the rod tip pulse the fly. I caught no fish dead drifting or any other manner. The length of rod had a real advantage when comparing it to western fly gear. I was able to keep the fly in the area I was fishing much better. I also didn't miss many fish. I think that the line connected straight to the rod is better for quick hiting fish. There just wasn't that lag time like fishing western gear. I also was able to get back into a spot quicker because of no major back cast being required. Another advantage to no major back cast was that the fly was in the water much more over the course of the day. Hard to catch fish with the fly out of the water. The last observation I noticed was that my arm was not fatigued by casting at the end of the day, which does happen to me with western gear. I really liked the orange level line I used. It was very easy to see during the whole day of changing light conditions.

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Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:43 pm
Location: WI

Re: SW WI Tenkara trip

Postby grampa » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:47 pm

Great report - thanks!
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: SW WI Tenkara trip

Postby wrknapp » Sun Sep 19, 2010 10:28 am

Your details are much appreciated and will be an invaluable aid to others. The "one fly" aficianados, including Daniel, will be especially pleased. Thanks.

"When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee" Is 43:2a "I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble" Jer 31:9b
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Location: Warm Springs, VA

Re: SW WI Tenkara trip

Postby rsetina » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:07 pm

Great report and info Dale. I found that most of the fish I caught this weekend were on the down stream side of the drift too.

My Tenkara Rods:
13' Ayu, 12' Yamame, 11' with a conversion handle, and an Ito.

My Wife's Tenkara Rods:
12' Ebisu and 13.5' Amago, 12' Iwana with a conversion handle, and an Ito.
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Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:55 pm
Location: La Crescenta, CA

Re: SW WI Tenkara trip

Postby tnitz » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:31 am

Thanks for the report.

I also find that I am most productive fishing downstream and I actually now often minimize the drift, quartering downstream. When I kept track recently, less than 10% of the strikes I got were on the dead drift (and as you know it's easy to tell if you are dead drifting with tenkara gear). One night I actually fished with cross current (yep, that's right) retrieves just to see what would happen and it worked fine.

This past weekend on a new river I tried fishing wets upstream, employing quick, short drift, casts. Euro nymphers claim that they often get strikes when the nymph is descending after the cast and they minimize the actual drift. Instead of "tailing out" the drift as you would with a wet, you "lift" it before it tails out. It all sounded good, so I wanted to try it. I didn't have success, but it was hard fishing anyway, so not a great place or time to judge.

Anyway, it's good to hear that you have similar findings. And I do think it makes a big difference on the retrieve when you move the rod - I tried tapping the butt with my other hand this weekend and that worked pretty good, too.
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Re: SW WI Tenkara trip

Postby ToddW » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:51 pm

Hey 257. I just got back from a day fishing the MN side of the Driftless. Caught my first Tenkara trout, a 13" wild brown and many more ranging 6"-12". Had good luck with green body, partridge hackle Ishi fly and caddis in the evening for dry fly action. Had the whole place to myself; very nice. Have you tried the Kinni with Tenkara? May have to try that next season. Regards, TJ Weibel
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