Saturday I visited a local river for some trout fishing. The weather wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t that bad. When I put on the waders it was 21 degrees with a steady 10mph wind, with gusts up over 20mph. In recent weeks I have had a few conversations about flies. Tenkara flies, Western flies, and the cross over of the two. I had decided that a Hornberg fly is one of the best western version of a Tenkara fly. The Hornberg can be fished on the surface or subsurface with movement.
After a few minutes standing by the river to plan my attack and watch for fish I saw a few rises by a log jam. I cast across the river and guided the fly around the fallen wood and paused it near the deep pool. I saw a flash come out from the abyss but he didn’t like the presentation.
Presentation is the most important thing in fishing so I changed my game plan to see what would work. I let it drift on surface around the front of the log, then when it got to the deep pool i’d pull the fly and drag it subsurface. Once it was pulled a foot or two i’d let it dead drift to the back log and repeat. That did the trick, I saw the fish come out from the log and take the fly.
After that fish I moved away from the log jam because with the catch and release of that fish I spooked anything near it. I was unable to catch anymore fish at that location. I jumped in my car and headed up stream. That’s where it all came together. I waded to a new section of the river I had never fished before. Since the water was low and clear I could see from a safe distance a few fish in a deeper pool. Using the same pull and drift technique I was able to catch my 2nd fish of the day. It was a feisty rainbow.
At about that time two kids came nearby and started to fish in the general vicinity with spinning gear and a few moments later a worm fisherman came and setup on the other side of me. I’m big on fishing etiquette and this was a COMPLETE breach of fishing etiquette. I will let it slide from the kids because they were young and wanted to fish, I was about to surrender the pool to them and ask if they wanted to try and fish Tenkara until I saw a worm fisherman approach with his bucket. I am not a fishing snob nor do I think taking trout is wrong. I do think that people should at least leave some fish in the river so the kids can catch fish and have some fun. The more fun kids have the more fishermen we have for the future.
Over the next hour or two I caught 6 more fish to everyone else’s one, unfortunately I couldn’t take pictures because I didn’t have much room to walk or wade to take them. Eventually everyone left and I was alone at the river again. With numb feet I slowly made my way back to the car. As I drove off I saw the kids come back and i’m sure they caught there fair share of fish and had a good old time. Not a bad day at all. The only downside was that I went into the day with two Hornbergs and came out with 1/2 of a Hornberg. One of the flies was completely mangled and the second was roughed up a bit.