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Archive for the ‘Tenkara fishing’ Category

One Friday evening a few weekends ago, my mate Dave and I backpacked into nice river somewhere in the Australian High country to do some fly fishing, Dave brought along his No 4 and his Tenkara Yamame rod, I had decided to go lightweight and only brought along my Yamame rod. We had planned to fish Friday evenings rise but it was raining heavily so we settled down around the fireplace in an old cattleman’s hut and had a nice evening eating our gourmet takeaway curry and drinking some Port.

 

On Saturday morning we started fishing at about 7.30am, Dave decided to use his No 4 rod and as mentioned previously I only had my Yamame rod. The conditions where just about perfect, it had been raining the day and night before and the river had a good flow in it and we had a slight breeze to our backs, we both tied on much the same combination a small brown dry with a beaded nymph trailing about 30 cm below. After a few casts I hooked up a nice half kilo (1 pound) rainbow, Dave also did not take long for his first. Dave is a fly fisherman who likes to do a bit of bushwalking but I am a Bushwalker who likes to do a bit of fly fishing, in the 6-7 years I have fishing with Dave all but once he has out fished me but for some reason that morning I was doing better on my Yamame, I was catching three fish to Dave’s two. Early on in the morning I was catching the fish up on the nymph but as the morning was passing I started to get more on the March Brown or Royal Wulff dry fly, some where small but most where around half a kilo, a few a bit bigger, all where released.

A nice Tenkara cast

As the temperature heated up things started to slow down, we decided to go back to camp, have some lunch a rest (sleep) and fish the evening rise, I had a tally of around 15 rainbows and browns, Dave with his No 4 had only about 10, I had out fished him with my simple lightweight Tenkara rod, a rare feat.

A nice spot to fish

That evening Dave taking my lead, decided to use his Yamame, we wondered down to different part of the river, Dave started at the middle of a big pool and I started up stream at its head, I tied on a Royal Wulff and on my first cast I caught a nice 600-700g rainbow, at that spot I landed three very nice rainbows, after my second I had decided to move on and had collapsed my rod, the line was still in the water, when I started to pull the line in a nice little rainbow could not resist, I had my third from the same spot and dinner, who needs a rod.

The long pool where Dave hooked and lost a nice 1.5kg rainbow

I continued slowly upstream, after a short time my evening tally was 5, all over half a kilo, I kept one for dinner, expecting Dave to have kept one too, after about 40 minutes Dave caught up to me, he had hooked what he thought was a 1.5 kilo (three pound) rainbow, fought it for a few minutes before it broke him off in the rushes, he decided to move on but when he went to collapse his Yamame, the second and third sections where stuck hard, Dave unfortunately broke the second section trying to release the stuck pieces, he was pssed off, and was especially po’fd when I told him I had five but only kept one, Dave had no dinner, so I loaned Dave my rod, he fished for about ten minutes before he decided that it was not his night, I took over and hooked a very nice rainbow right in front of him, me 21, Dave 10.

After a very nice meal of trout and pasta sitting around the hut fireplace , we finished off the Port and retired ready for a mornings fish, this was to be a different day, we where on the river at around 7.30 again, this time the breeze was coming from up stream, I was finding the fishing hard going, Dave was nailing it, his more powerful no 4 was allowing him to cast much further than I was with my Yamame. We fished until 10.30 am, Dave had 12-13 more and after some very hard work I had only three, in the end we both had caught around 24-25 fish each. It was a real good test putting the No 4 and the Yamame against each other, why did I out fished Dave on Saturday, I have no idea, the fishing gods where with me, but on the Sunday, I had some problems casting into the slight breeze, my fly was not landing well at all, the three fish I did manage to hook where when the wind had died down.

All I can say that in the end neither rod or person was the better, but most important of all, we had a very enjoyable weekend, and the river had been a pleasant surprise.

Dave has just e-mailed me and the new and spare tips have arrived, outstanding service from Tenkara USA.

Tony

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This trip was in the north western area of the Australian Alps New South Wales, in Australia the streams are closed for fishing in winter and this was my last fish until spring.

During Easter 2010 my mate Dave and I fished the Tooma on Pretty Plain for three days, we had near perfect weather though a bit cold at night.

We drove down to the Tooma Dam car park on the Friday morning and started the 13k walk into the Pretty Plain at 11am, most of the walk is on the Dargels Fire Trail which is very easy walking, on the way in we stopped by Patons Hut for a look at the finished Hut as last time we went by 2 years ago it was still under construction, it had burnt down in the 2003 fires.

Where the Dargels FT crossed the Tooma we came across two walkers, one had been spinning and had caught two fish the day before, they had just come back from visiting the newly opened Pretty plain Hut, just around the corner we saw a fly fisherman who was not having much luck, he appeared to be a beginner and spent a lot of time retrieving his fly from the bushes.

We wandered on a bit taking a shortcut through some grasses where we came across a couple who also had just visited Pretty Plain Hut who told us how to find the foot pad to Pretty Plain Hut. From a distance the guy had a very large long cylinder sticking out from his pack, I speculated from a distance that he had lots of rods but when we came closer it was a large double closed call foam sleeping mat. Soon after our chat with the couple we wandered over a hill to the stunningly pretty Petty Plain.

Our destination that night was the Old Pugilistic Hut site which is at the junction of Pugilistic Creek and the Tooma, on the way we stopped for a bit of fly fishing, we caught about five nice rainbows between us in an hour, we then made our way to our campsite dumped our packs and walked back down stream to do a bit of serious fishing before it was time to set up camp, Dave pulled in a few nice 25-30cm fish but my luck was not that good I only caught a 15cm rainbow, one of the larger fish was kept to supplement our evening meal, it was cooked over a fire in the Old Pugilistic Hut fire place.

After a cold night and morning the day warmed to be very nice, and we set off for the walk to Pretty Plain Hut, the newly rebuilt hut was opened on the 13th March after the opening party where some 130-150 people turned up we where the 5th party to have recorded their visit in the hut log book, Pretty Plain Hut is the only log style hut in the high country and it is one of the largest huts. After our hut visit we went exploring over a ridge the next valley in Pretty Plain and ended up finding a foot track at the top of the ridge leading to Pretty Plain Hut, the view from this ridge was very nice.

It was about lunchtime when we made it back to the Tooma, Dave decided to walk down stream a bit to start fishing and I decided to fish back to camp, well Friday afternoon I was not that lucky but on the Saturday afternoon my luck had returned and I caught 12 rainbows from 25cm to 32cm on both dry and nymph, Dave’s luck was not that good with only two fish landed.

Saturday night was cold and because our camp was near two streams it was very moist, there was a lot of condensation on our tents which froze and in the morning and when we packed up I collected enough frozen condensation that I had enough to throw 4 snow balls at Dave, it soon warmed up to another very nice day. On our way back we stopped to try our luck down stream just below where Hell Hole creek comes in but both Dave and I did not even get a nibble so we headed back on to the car. When we crossed the Dargels FT/Tooma ford I was putting my boots back on when I noticed my rod was missing form the side of my pack, oh dam I said, I must of left it back at where we last fished which was about 2 k through trackless grasses, so Dave and I left our packs and set off for look, I do a bit of cross country running so I went ahead and Dave went slower to have a better look.

I made it back to the last fishing spot and I said dam again, no rod, it must have fallen out while walking, this will be like looking for a needle in a hay stack, a very big one. I started to walk back trying to remember the path we had taken, this was not easy as it was flat with lots of grass and some shrubs and my rod being a Tenkara was not very big but it was in a black bag.

After some 700 meters on the trip back my luck changed and there it was sitting in the middle of a patch of low grass, wow you beauty, my much loved Tenkara Yamame rod is back with me. I normally tie my rods on but as we where walking on roads or through low grass I decided it was not necessary, in future I will be putting my rod in my pack or sewing a loop on my rod bag.

On that trip we saw 18 other bushwalkers, this is more that we have seen in total in the last five years of wilderness fishing in the Snowy’s. After a feed in Cooma we arrived back in Canberra at 6pm, it was a very enjoyable trip that in some ways I did not want it to end.

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My mate Dave and I set off early Saturday morning on the weekend of 27-28th February for the drive up in the local mountains, we planned to walk to a remote fishing spot on the Goodradigbee River that we have had our eyes on for a while now, this was my first trip with my Yamame which I had recently purchased from another Aussie that decided that he had too many Tenkara’s. We parked our vehicle at the Mt Franklin car park on top of the Brindabella Range, put our packs on and headed west, our target was only 3.2k away with a decent of 750 meters, the problem was there was no trail and the area is recovering from bushfires that went through the area in 2003. A lot of the vegetation in the local Australian bush needs fire to regenerate and the re-growth can be very thick, this was not to bad just after the fires but a lot of the re-growth is now above head high and the weaker plants have not started to die off yet, in places it is not possible to see past your nose.

The 3.2k walk down took us 4 hours and as it is still hot here, we where quite exhausted when we arrived at our destination, after as rest and lunch we pulled out our Yamame’s and I was first to tie up, I put my line in right next to our camp site and on my third cast I got my first fish a nice little Rainbow, a few seconds later my second and then a third, Dave took some photos in between tying his fly on and by the time he put his fly in the water I had six fish and from the 10 meter stretch of water next to the camp site I pulled out 10 fish, wow what a start.

Dave soon caught up and we where pulling in fish at will, after a while we lost count, we estimate in the afternoon we caught 50 or so rainbows each, this fishing spot is very special and is protected by some of the most rugged country in the region, it is only madmen like Dave and I who are brave or stupid enough to venture into it.

As it turned out the Goodradigbee is a perfect river for a Tenkara rod.

Well for the walk out that is another story, in the morning it started to rain, we left camp early, some 7 hours later we made it back to the car.

below are a few photos from the trip, I think they are self explanatory.

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