Friday, March 16, 2012

Bear Creek March 16 2012

I still had some leftover vacation days from last year and decided to take a half day to go fishing while the nice weather lasts. Sunday's outing to Bear Creek was still on my mind and I thought that fishing would be now even better with since it was nice and warm the entire week. Boy was I right...

I made plans with Jason Klass of Tenkara Talk to meet early afternoon; Jason took the whole day off and started fishing earlier in the morning, having a pretty good day himself. And he caught his first trout of 2012! Congrats, Jason.

Jason changing a fly
He told me all his fish in the morning were caught with a Utah Killer Bug, so I tied one on myself but it didn't quite work out for me. I switched to my standard searching setup, a dry (olive CDC & Elk) & dropper (midge larva at first, then RS2) and things started picking up. All my fish were caught on the dropper, go figure. What I really like about the CDC & Elk in this combination that it floats well and that it is a really sensitive "strike indicator". The slightest hesitation will pull it under.

I fished today with two new pieces of equipment, the Ebisu of Tenkara USA and the new yellow hi-vis level line of Tenkara USA*. These are my fist impressions, I will do more testing for a comprehensive review of both.

The Ebisu is a 12ft rod with a 5:5 action. It has a beautiful glossy black finish with gold letters. The "special" thing about the Ebisu is it's handle - made of pine instead of cork. The rod fishes well, it is definitively much softer than the Iwana 12ft. It feels a bit "top-heavy", similar to the Ito when fully extended. I suspect this has mostly to do with the relatively short pine handle that measures 8" and is rather short compared the other rod handles in Tenkara USA's lineup. You notice the "top-heavyness" at first when switching from the Iwana but you get used to it very quickly - as you do with the different casting stroke with this slower stick (I really start to dig the slower actions). One of the larger fish I caught today put an awesome bend in it but I hope I don't have to wrestle fish larger than, let's say 16" in swift currents; the Ebisu doesn't have the same backbone as the Iwana does. Don't get me wrong though, I really like this rod, in particular how nicely it casts a level line - such as the new Tenkara USA yellow hi-vis line. 

This new line does cast really nicely, I used today solely the 3.5. It performs in the same way as Tenkarabum's orange hi-vis no. 3 line. In fact, I measured both with my caliper and they have the same diameter. Anyhow, the lines perform almost identical, personally my first impression is that the yellow line feels slightly softer than the orange line. I am not sure if that makes any difference how it casts but the yellow seems to have, as advertised, less coil off the spool, although I wasn't able to directly compare this to the orange line since I didn't store it one a spool (figures...). I will make sure to test this later. In terms of visibility, well, I have to do some more testing also. The orange line appears to be more visible overall by having more contrast with various backgrounds. The yellow line is slightly less visible against backgrounds of similar color, i.e. beige, dead grass of Winter and beige/sand colored rock. 

THAT BEING SAID, I was fishing most of the time with a dry and dropper and I didn't have to watch the line for strikes - the dry fly took care of that. I will need to do more back-to-back testing with both lines when I actually would watch the line to indicate strikes.

So, without further delay, I know that you also want to see some fish porn, here are some of today's beauties. I was quite excited having landed 3 rainbows of the total 7 trout landed, rainbows are in the minority on Bear Creek and are purely catch & release whereas you can keep some brown trout (how many does escape my knowledge since I practice 100% catch & release). One of the rainbows put a pretty nice aerial show on, jumping 3 times trying to shake the fly.

gotta love them orange dots!
*) The yellow hi-vis level line of Tenkara USA was provided to me free of charge, the Ebisu was bought by myself (used).

River Statistics:
Weather: nice & sunny, little wind
Air Temp: low 70ies

Water Temp: 44F at 1pm
Flow: 23cfs, clear water with very little discoloration from run-off
Day on the water in 2012: 5
Fish: 14 hooked, landed 7

PS: don't forget the "Your Tenkara Story" contest, submission deadline is March 31st.  


  1. The streams warming nicely and the fish are responding. I agree those orange dots are striking.
    Well done.

  2. Great post Karel. I agree with you about the Ebisu being kind of "top heavy" because of the handle. I would like to see it with a longer cork handle (maybe similar to the Ayu). Maybe Tenkara USA will redesign it one day.

    Also, didn't notice it until you mentioned it but the new yellow line does seem "softer". I wonder if that has anything to do with the lower memory? I fished the #4.5 Tenkara USA yellow line in the morning and it was excellent--very easy to see. But in the afternoon, I found it more difficult to see with all the glare that was on the water and switched to the Tenkara Bum orange line. That worked better for me with the glare. All the more reason I'll be carrying both from now on.

    Nice fish. See you caught a rainbow too! It was a great day all around and a taste of what's to come this summer.

  3. The creek is shaping up nicely, it has grown own me a lot since I discovered tenkara, it is the perfect size for tenkara and the trout population appears to be quite healthy.

  4. Karel,

    If the lines are the same diameter, one of them is mismarked. My Hi-Vis size 3 is .285mm. The Tenkara USA 3.5 line is .32mm, which makes it much closer to my size 4, which is .33mm. Similarly, their 4.5 (.365mm) is almost the same as my 5 (.370mm).

    I am sure the line you have from me is not a 3.5 (it isn't made in that size).

  5. Hi Chris, I will doublecheck the lines, I thought I had them labeled correctly. I will post updates.