The latest Tales from a Trout Wrangler
Volume 1 - Issue 3
A two-fer this for this edition. First an archive article about rods, then a look at a new fiberglass rod I’ve started to use. Tenkara rods and lines not mainstream, but they certainly have their fans, including me.
Picking a favorite tenkara rod
The diversity of rod choices, the multitude of fish to chase, the wide variety of water to fish in and the very nature of humans all points to one common conclusion. The “one rod” is not out there. Favorites, sure, but as my friend TJ Ferreira said,
“Bottom line for me is that everyone here and there is fishing Tenkara, no matter the flavor, color, brand or method they use. So my favorite? Every single one.”
In the end the most intriguing part of this look at what makes one rod a favorite was how reminiscent it is to other forms of fly-fishing. You could hear similar discussions in any fly shop in the country. That may explain why tenkara is no longer considered the fad it once was.
FoxFIRE zx280 Zoom Fiberglass-Hybrid Tenkara Rod
Sticking with the tenkara rod theme, when the folks at DRAGONtail Tenkara crowd sourced a new fiberglass tenkara rod that could be fished at three lengths I bought in. The rod arrived last month and it is exactly what I hoped for.
Here’s the beta from the DRAGONtail folks:
A lot of people have mentioned they would love to see a good tenkara rod in fiberglass material. We have found that the best place for fiberglass in tenkara rods is the Short Tenkara Rods that need to flex more than traditional carbon fiber tenkara rods give to get a smooth cast with the short light lines. This rod is mostly high quality S-Glass material, we added some carbon fiber in the tip sections to help reduce oscillation when casting. The marriage of these 2 materials in the FoxFIRE rod is fantastic!
This is a very playful rod with even small fish and because it is mostly fiberglass it will flex all the way to the handle when needed. Fiberglass material is also highly durable when compared to carbon fiber rods, in other words they can take a bit of a beating without issues.
This rod will be 9.3ft in the 280 long length, 8ft in the 245 mid length, and 6.6ft in the 200 short length.
It cast with a wonderful smooth, slow action that I really enjoy. It also tracks nicely, consistently putting the fly on target. A 6 inch brookie put a nice bend in it. Being able to change rod lengths on the fly has made me a long time fan of “zoom” rods.
I’ll write more about it when I’ve given it more of a work out and tried some different lines on it.
Instagram post of note
Friday night found me out with the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing crew at our local F3T event. It was a fun night as those events usually are, with fly-fishing flicks to entertain every form of angler. During the intermission I was humbled and honored to be presented the Taylor Turner Award for Conservation from the Fly Fishers of Virginia.
I received award in 2018 but the presentation was delayed because of the pandemic. As I told the crowd, they are the face of conservation action in the Valley and I couldn’t be more proud to be in their company.
About the Fly Fishers of Virginia Taylor F. Turner, Jr. Conservation Award (from the FFV website.)
The FFV has always been a conservation oriented organization and in 2002 we decided that as a club we would like to honor individuals or organizations in the state that have made a valuable contribution to the preservation of our fisheries and waterways. Richard Roadcap, then our VP of Conservation, originated the idea of the ‘Taylor F. Turner, Jr. Conservation Award’.
This new conservation award is named after former club president and long time member, Taylor F. Turner Jr. Taylor passed away several years ago and the board of directors decided that a conservation award would be one way we could honor and remember Taylor in the years to come. Taylor was an avid outdoorsman in both field and stream. He missed very few of our dinner meetings and was active in fishing trips and other events that the club has sponsored in the past. He always had a smile and a kind word for everyone that was lucky enough to have met him.
Worth your time
Sticking with the conservation theme for a minute. The Wild Steelhead Coalition latest Adipose podcast episode, Showing Up is the Most Important Thing highlights a simple truth.
“In this episode, we catch up with Jake Crawford to talk about his work with the River Stewards Program for the Native Fish Society, his time on the water as a steelheader, and the community of anglers working to protect the wild steelhead rivers of Southern Oregon. In this great conversation, Crawford hammers home how important it is for conservationists and anglers to show up and have their voices heard.”
Give a listen to the new episode of the Adipose. You will learn the why and how about showing up. It really is that important.
Marine Fish Conservation Network’s Waterside Chat
Last week I hosted Chef Dana Honn, chef-owner of Carmo in New Orleans for our latest Waterside Chat. We talked about seafood, fish sourcing, the culinary world and his involvement in marine resource advocacy. Along with many other topics, Chef Honn shared his thoughts on:
How “origin-to-table” goes beyond “farm-to-table,” and why it’s important to know the traditions behind what’s on your plate.
Why it is important to know your suppliers, from fishermen to distributors.
The pros and cons of serving up roughly 85 different species of seafood in Chef Honn’s restaurant. (Most restaurants rotate among 10 different species on average.)
Why improving seafood sustainability depends on building a stronger community.
The secret to cooking good fish at home. (Hint: Aretha Franklin sang about it.)
You can see this Waterside Chat here.
Sunday found me out on North River. The brook trout fishing is starting to get very good. Water levels are good and should stay that way. Starting to get a few more eating on the surface. I fished a size 12 or 14 parachute Adams with a hares ear or pheasant tail nymph size 14 or 16 dropper.
If you fish in or around Shenandoah Valley you should always check the weekly fishing report from Mossy Creek Fly Fishing. You can subscribe here. The latest report is on their YouTube Channel every Monday.
That’s all I have for now. As always, I welcome comments, questions and suggestions.