Home > Gear > Putting Tenkara to the Test

Putting Tenkara to the Test

The head-waters of the Nantahala River has a totally different character than the lower portion.  The lower Nantahala is a people zoo.  Turn past what’s known as the “put in”, where bus loads of boaters are poured into the river and the “Nanty” becomes a narrow stream which tumbles and cascades off the side of a very steep and rugged mountain.  This is where I took the Tenkara to test it for both fishability and fun factor.

The first thing I noticed about the whole experience is how fast I went from sitting in my house to standing in the middle of a mountain stream fishing.  There was no gathering up of gear or time spent setting up rod and reel; no feeding line through line guides.  It was as simple as extending the sections of rod, tying on a fly and making a cast.  Moving from one spot to the next on the river was just as easy.  The line keepers on the side of the rod make it a breeze to move around without tangling the line.  Casting has a more delicate feel to it than I remember from my old western-style fly rods and of course, casting is all done with one hand.  The Tenkara seems well suited for getting into the many hard to reach spots under overhanging vegetation.  Casting under and around low hanging limbs and high growing brush is more common than not when fishing the many mountain streams in the Smokies.

So I have to say I’m very pleased with the Tenkara setup.  I think it will add a whole other layer of fun to my bike camping adventures without adding more than a few ounces of weight.

Jack

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Categories: Gear
  1. Tom
    August 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Jack, I hate to ask this but is that last picture your bait or your catch? Inquiring minds want to know.

  2. The Velo Hobo
    August 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Yep, that’s actually a fish, or may develop into one someday. I almost flung it into the air as I was about to cast again, then realized I had snagged a baby trout. Needless to say, this one was released back into the wild, a bit wiser.

    Jack

  3. January 22, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Man, I’m sorry to tell you this – but that’s no trout. That’s a minnow. Most folks call them chubs or dace. Great photos though, and if you fish that section from fall to spring you’ll find plenty of willing trout. Maybe even a big one or two as well.

  4. The Velo Hobo
    January 22, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I’ll stay out there trying for bigger. I’ve caught several on this section as a kid (decades ago). Now it gets so crowded you almost have to bring your own rock to stand on. I’ve been having better results in the Park. Noland Creek is pretty good and overlooked by many folks.

    Thanks for the comment, Jack

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