My Tenkara Season on Canvas

I haven’t been fishing or posting much these last four weeks for a few reasons.  One, the trout season has pretty much shut down and I’ve been spending my fishing time on the beaches making 70-80′ casts with a switch rod and catching searun cutthroat.  I think for the most part I’ve hung up my tenkara gear for the winter.   Mostly though I’ve been busy painting.  I signed up for the Seattle 30-Day Art Challenge where you have to produce 30 8×10 paintings in 30 days for a show that is part of December’s First Thursday Pioneer Square Art Walk.

I decided to make the theme of my challenge my season of tenkara and all the waters that I fished this year.   I didn’t quite do all the pieces from my tenkara trips but the majority were, others are from hikes or saltwater fishing.    A few of my tenkara locations are missing too – the Cedar, the Tolt, the Raging, the North Fork, and Taneum & Robinson’s Creeks.    I’m currently finishing up the last few paintings which are not tenkara related.  You can see all the 30-Day Challenge pieces here.    Here is a brief summary of the tenkara fishing spots that I did paint.

South Fork

This season I wanted to fish as much of the South Fork as possible and tried to cover much of it in the show.

Source Lake

Source Lake

The start of the South Fork is Source Lake, which can be found by hiking 2.5 miles from the Alpental Ski area at Snoqualmie Pass.  When Catherine and I hiked there the lake was low so I didn’t actually trek down the scree slope to cast a line into it.   I did, however, fish it near Apental and caught cutthroat so fish can be found the entire length of the river.

 

South Fork at Asahel Curtis

South Fork at Asahel Curtis

A favorite spot in the early season was at the Asahel Curtis picnic area and near Denny Creek.  This spot produced quite a few golden colored cutts in their spawning colors.   It seemed to fish best when the water lower was still high.  I fished the water from Asahel Curtis all the way up to just below Alpental and caught fish all along the way.

 

 

Day26

South Fork Picnic Area

Further down, at Exit 38, is Ollalie State Park with several access points.  I fished this area a lot in the early summer and found it full of cutthroat and the occasional brook trout.   This painting is from the South Fork Picnic Area at the middle access point in the state park.

 

 

Day25

South Fork at Exit 32

In North Bend itself off Exit 32 there is some good water which used to be one of my favorite stretches to fish.   This is a scene from down the trail that can be accessed from the road.   This view is also the view that I created the Northwest Tenkara logo from.

 

 

 

South Fork Under Mt. Si

South Fork Under Mt. Si

A little closer into North Bend I discovered a stretch of water that became one of my favorites this season and produced the best fish on the South Fork for me.  In between the Snoqualmie Valley Rail tracks and North Bend Way was some good water that I noticed first when riding the train on an outing with the family.   I fished this water into the fall and got several nice cutthroat from it.  It also has outstanding views of Mt. Si.

 

Snoqualmie at South Fork Mouth

Snoqualmie at South Fork Mouth

Finally, I had to fish the actual mouth of the river.  One day in September I finally waded across the main stem oft he Snoqualmie at the point in this painting to access the mouth and worked my way upriver.   It was fun to have covered the entire river over the course of the season, learn a lot of new water and catch fish everywhere on tenkara.

 

 

Middle Fork

Next to the South Fork I spent more days on the Middle Fork than any other piece of water.   I used to fish it a few times a year way up the Middle Fork road but this year discovered water further downstream near North Bend.

Day21

Middle Fork at Pratt Confluence

 

I did do one trip early in the summer up the Middle Fork Road when Catherine and I hiked to the Pratt River confluence.  Of course I packed in a tenkara rod and while we stopped for lunch at the confluence I waded out and caught some cutthroat.

 

 

 

Middle Fork Fall

Middle Fork Fall

I spent a lot of time this year fishing in North Bend though, off of Exit 32 and Mt. Si road, these are a few spots that I found very productive and that fished well late into the season.   This painting is from a run I fished well into late October when the river was still in good condition and the cutthroat willing to come up for kebari.

 

 

Middle Fork Under Mt. Si

Middle Fork Under Mt. Si

Another favorite spot during the late summer and early fall was a stretch of water that had a great view of Mt. Si and a lot of big boulders that made great holding water for big cutthroat.

 

 

 

Methow Valley

We did several trips to the Methow Valley this year, one to Sun Mountain early in the season and one to Mazama in late summer.   I managed to fish Patterson Lake,  Freestone Lake, the Methow and Robinson Creek during these trips.    These were my first tenkara in a lake experiences and I managed to land trout up to 22″ using my Amago.

Lake Patterson View

Lake Patterson View

I fished Patterson Lake in May when we were at Sun Mountain after a long day’s hike.  I managed to get a few rainbows that evening when a sporadic hatch was coming off on the water.   This is a view of Patterson Lake from near the start of our long 25k hike day.

 

 

 

Day20

Freestone Lake

The Freestone Lake was in our backyard during our family vacation to Mazama so I fished it quite a bit during our stay there.   It was good to just get out for an hour in the morning and again in the evening and get a few nice trout each time.   This spot was Cadence’s favorite spot to go out on the rocks and fish, she did well with her spin rod this year and landed 4-5 trout in the 15-18″ range.

 

 

Last Run on the Methow

Last Run on the Methow

I love to fish the Methow River when we are in the area and one of my favorite spots is a run just before the river turns into closed waters.    This stretch always fishes well and has produced my biggest Methow cutthroat to date though that was a few years ago on a regular fly rod and a #10 Stimulator instead of on tenkara.

 

 

Methow From River Run Trail

Methow From River Run Trail

While the Methow above Mazama is closed to fishing it is a beautiful place to hike.  This is a view from the River Run Trail that we hiked one day in between rain showers.

 

Yakima Canyon

In the fall I decided to start fishing the Yakima with tenkara, my first experience with it on a really big river.  I headed over with my Amago and did excellent in Ellensburg, in the farmlands and in the canyon.    I did quite a few paintings from my time in the canyon this fall, I love the canyon walls and the colors found there.

Yakima Canyon #1

Yakima Canyon #1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yakima Canyon #2

Yakima Canyon #2

Yakima Canyon Meets Mark Rothko

Yakima Canyon Meets Mark Rothko

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yakima Canyon at Umtanum

Yakima Canyon at Umtanum