Monthly Archives: July 2014

A month of One Fly

GRHE Sakasa Kebari collection - #12, 14, 16

GRHE Sakasa Kebari collection – #12, 14, 16

On June 23 when the waters finally dropped to near normal summer flows I started fishing my GRHE Sakasa Kebari and haven’t changed flies since that day.  It took a few weeks to decide to just stick with one pattern all year but I finally made the commitment to it and have stuck with it for a month now.   This is prime time for fishing in the PNW so I’ve managed to get out 20 out of those 30 days even though I can only fish for about 45-60 minutes on any day.  That means I’ve gotten to put this one fly in front of a lot of fish on four different rivers so  far.

What have I learned.  First, fish will eat this fly.  I haven’t been skunked yet in any of these 20 outings using the GRHE Kebari.  Second, size can matter.  A few days ago I started with my usual #12 on the Middle Fork and had several fish come up to the fly and then reject it.  There were some bugs coming off the water, luckily tan ones, and they were a bit smaller so I finally cut it off and put on a #14.  Wham!  Fish on!    Third, presentation does matter.  I’ve fished up through a run drifting the fly and having no grabs at all.  At the top of the run I’ll turn around and swing the fly through and wham!  Fish on!   Mixing up the presentation can make all the difference in the world, probably more important than size.   Fourth, fly tying becomes very easy.  I know exactly what fly to tie and I just do some different sizes of it.  Right now I’m using #12-16 and haven’t resorted to a BH version but may have to when the waters cool in the later fall.

I haven’t encountered a real hatch yet where trout are keyed on one insect on top, that would be the real test.  There was a group of fish rising on the South Fork one day and by lifting the #14 GRHE I was able to induce them to grab the fly so the presentation seemed to work.  I have yet to get a fish to rise to the fly on the surface though but I’m sure it will happen soon.  We are getting hammered with storms today and the Raging in my yard has gone up by 50% already in just a few hours so it may be a few days for the rivers to drop before I get to continue on my one fly quest for the season.  Unlike Paul Puckett’s One Fly experience I don’t consider mine to be a bad decision, so far it is working out well for me.


Tenkara for healing

All my gear ready to go

All my gear ready to go

As some of you know I’ve been dealing with an illness all year long that has my activity levels lowered significantly and put an end to my ability to teach tenkara and guide this season.   It is a GI infection called SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) that is turning out to be very hard to eradicate so I am having to stay on a very restricted diet and limit my movement to under a few miles each day to stem the weight loss from the disease.  I’m very used to going out and running many miles most days and being able to spend an entire day on the water, hiking to various locations and fishing many hours so this has been a very tough adjustment.

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The joys of a backyard river

IMG_4692Early this spring my wife and I moved from our home in the forest to a small home on a  river, something I’d always wanted to do.   Granted, this isn’t some famous trout river and it is currently a very small river but it is still a river and we have a few hundred feet open of waterfront on it with a trail system that lets me access a good mile of water easily.

All spring I sat and watched the river go up and down with the rains, ranging from just over 800 cfs and a big brown mess to looking absolutely perfect with flows around 60-75 cfs.  All that was before the river opened for fishing.  By the time June rolled around and the river opened it was low and clear, running about 25-30 cfs which seemed really low to me until now when it is at about 11-15 cfs most days.   I can just about cross the river now without getting wet above the ankles in my yard if I’m careful about it.

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One Fly to Rule them All

grhe-step-9Last year when I started fishing tenkara I was soon hooked and decided to give up my Western fly rods for the season and just focus on tenkara.   I stuck to being pretty traditional and only fished kebari and pretty much only three or four patterns all season.   This season I’ve decided to go all in and do the One Fly approach.   I hadn’t really started out planning on doing this but found that I’d just been fishing only one fly for a few weeks.  Then I read Daniel’s post on Gink & Gasoline about the Single Fly Approach and decided to just go for it.   I’m only able to get out on the water an hour or so at a time at the moment so simplifying and taking one more decision out of the equation lets me just focus on making the most of my fishing time.

My one fly – my GRHE Sakasa Kebari.  This has been my goto fly since I started fishing tenkara and find it works in most any situation.  I know when fish are rising I’ll wish I had an Adams Ishigaki Kebari but I think the GRHE has more action when fished most ways and thus is a better all around pattern.   I get fish on it dead drifting, pulsing, swinging and even on the surface if I can keep it dry and floating.   So far I’ve caught rainbows, cutthroat and brook trout on it in four local rivers with fish ranging from 3-15″ so I figure it is working.   I tie the fly in #12 and #14 currently but will probably tie a few in #16 for the days when the fish are skittish and maybe a #10 for lakes or on the Yakima where I can get by with a bigger fly.

Rhodo Review

IMG_4643In February at the Fly Fishing Show in Lynnwood I picked up the new Rhodo rod from the Tenkara USA booth.  I couldn’t wait to try this rod out but had to wait quite a while before the local rivers opened and then got low enough to fish.   Once I got out with it though the Rhodo quickly became my favorite tenkara rod and the one I have used the most this season so far.

The Rhodo is a Triple Zoom rod that was designed for small waters with tight casting situations. It would excel back in the rhododendron lined Smokey Mountain streams where it got its name from.   I live on a fairly small river in Western Washington, really a creek during the trout season and a real river when the rains and salmon show up in the fall.   The trout are small and there is a lot of brush to contend with so it was the perfect location for me to first fish the Rhodo.  It has since become the only rod I use on this stream and other small streams in the area.

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