Tenkara Angler - Winter 2016-17

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Summer Smallies Chris Stewart

It is winter and what is a tenkara angler to do? I can offer only two choices. One is to go fishing anyway and freeze your Nuggies. (Yes, I know this is a family magazine, but for anyone who may have been offended, “Nuggies” are a type of soft plastic lure used for ice fishing. I can only assume that if you are on a frozen lake sitting on an overturned 5-gallon bucket with your back to the howling wind, your Nuggies are going to freeze.) The second choice is to stay home, tie some flies and read about fishing at a time when the bite isn't frostbite. For tying the flies, you're on your own (although I do have some nice kits to offer). For the fishing, I can offer a tale of summer smallies. Now I am well aware that the tenkara anglers in Japan do not think that fishing for smallmouth bass is


really tenkara. The keiryu anglers wouldn't consider it keiryu either. Nor would the mebaru or the ayu or the kajika or the tanago anglers claim it. They don't know what they're missing! Shakespeare got it right, though, when he wrote “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” What it is called doesn't matter, as long as you get a fishy smile on your face and some fishy slime on your hand. (I had never before realized it, but “smile” and “slime” are anagrams. Now they're forever linked.) For many years now, starting well before I learned about tenkara, my friend Rex and I have been going to a lodge on an island in a lake in Maine for smallmouth bass fishing the first week of June. castleislandcamps.com My friend is a spin fisherman, and I used to be. Once I started fishing with tenkara rods and keiryu rods, though, I never looked back. Even with a 6.3m keiryu rod, I can't cast as far as Rex with his spinning rod, but I can certainly cast far enough to catch fish. The smallmouth bass are in the shallows at that time of year and we fish from a boat,

Castle Island Camps