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.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Look: new yellow hi-vis Tenkara USA level line

Yesterday evening I received a package from Tenkara USA with their new yellow fluor carbon hi-vis level lines. The color appears to be truly hi-vis and I am looking forward giving them a try on-stream very soon. One of the advertised features is that they have reduced coiling (a typical characteristic of fluor carbon lines) so I was wondering how they look brand new right off the spool. Well they have some coil but they can be straightened-out very easily. I will let you know how the coiling is once stretched and then re-stored on a spool.

More to come once I have fished with them and compared them with Tenkarabum's hi-vis lines. Should be fun!

Tight Lines, -K

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Early Season on Bear Creek

My wife's weekend work schedule opened up a bit this last Sunday so I was able to sneak out for a few hours and check out how Bear Creek is doing. Bear Creek, although a tailwater (flowing out of Evergreen Lake) is frozen solid regularly during Winter with only a few ice free spots (which are typically void of trout). Since we started to have some decent weather here on the Front Range lately I thought I would see how things are.

Well, things are still a mixed bag. There are sections that are iced-over, some of them have a 3 feet thick layer of ice and snow, namely the section in the canyon upstream of Lair of the Bear. Downstsream though, you can find sections that are ice free and fishable. I did not venture further upstream closer to the dam, but I would imagine that water that is not in the shade all day will be open.

I started out with a Killer Kebari on a red hook with not much luck. The water is very clear and still cold and I spooked a few nice trout that were holding in slower water. I was able to observe a nice rainbow, maybe 14", moving around and feeding quite actively, including the occasional rise to what must have been a midge. I tried my luck with a small dry and a midge dropper, but some kids from the picnic area next to the creek came running and the bow got spooked.

Red Hook Killer Kebari
I moved further downstream and fished the stretch above the Beaver Pond where hooked into two trout (finally!), both were long distance released. Moving around a bit more, I got two more hook-ups which were also long distance released. All four took the midge dropper behind the dry...

River Statistics:
Weather: overcast, with some sun mixed in. some wind.
Air Temp: 42F at 10am, in the high 50ies/low 609ies in the afternoon

Water Temp: 40F at 10am
Flow: 22cfs, clear water with very little discoloration from run-off later in the day. 
Day on the water in 2012: 4

Fish: 4 hooked, landed 0

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

Tight Lines, -K