Even in the last two days since the first tenkara outing, I've learned so many things about what I could have done to catch more fish. I limited myself to the soft hackle fly thinking I should try what I thought was "traditional," but I now I think I was wrong to place a limitation on the rod. I could have easily dropped a scud with a red midge pupae using an indicator and split shot to get down to those hunkered down, January trout (Remember, David, just because your fly is by the fish doesn't mean you'll catch the fish). Instead, I stayed true to one tactic. Luckily, the sun came out on my second day and brought with it a few midges to the surface of the water. The fish were soon to follow.
I also realized watching tenkara casting on film is about the most boring thing in fly fishing video. This is simply because the action of casting is much more subtle, not because the fishing is any worse. There are just less moving parts to watch. Therefore, I tried to limit those shots in the video. I hope you get a sense of the fun trip I had out to western Virginia. It was wonderful to get a taste of the fresh water again after focussing so much on the salty fish.
Oh, and so far, I can already tell you my favorite thing about a tenkara rod. You really feel the fight of the fish. The running fish doesn't pull your drag, it pulls you. Pretty cool.
When you head out by yourself to fish new waters, there is no telling what can happen. I locked my keys in my car (while it was running), dropped my phone in the water, and still managed to catch a couple nice fish using my new tenkara rod. Looking back, I'd do it all again.
It may have been cold, but I got lucky.
Music by Max Tennone: Jaydiohead: "Change Order"
If you are interested in any of the waters I fished, check out Mossy Creek Fly Fishing's site. The guys at the fly shop run a great operation with great reports and instructions on some of the Virginia trout, bass, and muskie waters.