Article by Joshua Brooks
“Keep the line tight! Enjoy the ride!”
These words always seem to come to mind watching your fishing buddies hook up on a nice wild trout.
The past year has been interesting to say the least. Fishing the little creeks that I love so much played a huge part in getting me through it all. It’s been said many times that it’s not always about catching the fish. I would have to agree. Maybe it’s my age, or general enthusiasm about small creek fishing. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent countless hours in the middle of nowhere all alone. Who really knows?
As of late, there is nothing better to me than sharing these experiences and being a good net man. This is why I enjoy tenkara so much. For me, there is nothing more efficient for this style of fishing. Everything has its time and place of course. Tenkara is the perfect gateway into learning some fly fishing basics. You can take it as far as you want, and in many directions.
I’ve seen some amazing wild and native trout caught this year on classic fly patterns placed in just the right spot. Nothing real fancy about it. Just setting yourself up for a good sneaky cast. You don’t need to be a fly fishing expert. All you need to do is give yourself that chance.
Sharing a day with a friend or family member, climbing up huge boulders, through laurel thickets and navigating waterfalls is what it’s all about for me. The time we spend together enjoying the beauty of nature, and each other’s company is priceless. I love the journey and the long hikes, just for the shot at that spooky brookie. Each trip is different in its own way, but the excitement never fades.
Now, I’m no fly fishing guide. I’m happy to share any of my gear, flies, line, or whatever it takes, just like others did for me when I was starting out. I do this because I know these stories last a lifetime.
So, get out there and enjoy each other. Put the phone on airplane mode. Crack open a cold one. You might be enjoying that streamside sandwich when a bobcat walks right in front of you. You could stumble across a bear or even see a rattlesnake. Just get out there and share. That said, be safe and know your limits. Be prepared and let someone know where you are going every time while chasing those blue lines.
Josh prefers the Tenkara USA Iwana rod paired with 3.5 level line connected to Rio Fluoroflex 5.5x/7x tippet. A menu of small conehead buggers, slump busters, beadhead nymphs, and floaty dry fly patterns of all varieties can be found in his fly box.
Joshua Brooks has a great love for outdoor adventure. He spends his free time roaming the mountain streams of Western North Carolina in search of that next brook trout. Yellowstone cutthroat and western adventures also hold a special spot in his heart. He strives to turn these passions into his life’s work. You can follow his journey on Instagram and YouTube @ Rare Form Fishing.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2021-22 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.
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