Posts Tagged Saltwater Fly Fishing

Late Summer Salt

Late Summer Salt . . .

A sweet spot for the salt tenkara experience.
(08 01 2020)

One rod. One line. One fly. Many, many ways and places to fish. One of these, the salt, continues to fascinate and engage a nascent facet of tenkara’s potential.

The more mellow environment of the sod bank back bay flats gives one a perfect place to wade and cast for game fish in close quarters in the salt.

The primary species remains the summer flounder, the fluke, although as August progresses, juvenile bluefish, called “snappers” by the locals, have returned to provide additional action.

The rigging could not be more simple; a Clouser minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, or a Gotcha tied directly to the 10-20 lb. tip of a flourocarbon level line.

Fluke rig in the field.
(08 21 2020)

Practice in action reveals the best time to fish, and catch, is during a low tide when fish are more concentrated and feeding. In the case of the fluke and bluefish, feeding on spearing, mummichog, and other small baitfish.

Spearing.
(08 20 2020)

These fish fight exceptionally well on tenkara tackle. Fluke, even shorts, and bluefish, even snappers, fight like stream trout of the 20-inch class. Both species are built for strength and bursts of speed and provide a wonderful, sporting fishing experience during the freshwater doldrums of late summer.

A “keeper” fluke landed on a mudflat during low tide.
(08 19 2020)

 

Bluefish of “snapper” size.
(08 23 2020)

— rPs 08 31 2020

 

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Fluking the Flats

Back Bay Flat at Low Tide at Dawn
(07 2020)

Low tide around the back bays of the American Northeast allows hours of comfortable wading and in midsummer a chance to fish the fly for fluke, the summer flounder, on these sod bank flats.

Tenkara makes a fine fit for this kind of fishing. Stealth in waste deep water gets you up close, the fixed line allows methodical casts to cover the surrounding area, and the aggressive manner of the summer flounder assures a lot of chances for hookups in close quarters.

The rig for fluke is simple. A level line of 10 to 20 pound test, fluorocarbon preferred, a few feet longer than the fully extended rod, attached to the Lillian on the top end and a small Clouser Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, or Half & Half on the business tip. These standard classic patterns will mimic the bay anchovy, mummichog, and silversides upon which the fluke feeds.

Fluke Bait
(07 2020)

Fluke Flies
(NYC 07 2020)

The exagerrated twitch used in tenkara is a match with conventional fluke presentation. The takes are sudden and intense, and if you miss a hookup, a pause and continuation often brings a second or third strike.

Fluke Battle
(07 2020)

No other fish fights quite like a flounder. The nearly two dimensional body can slice through a current rip with ease, or plane in the water against the rod, creating a formidable bend.

“Gotcha!”
(07 25 2020)

And be sure to carry a net, fluke flutter and stay aggressive even out of the water. The sight of the fish, like a muse of Pablo Picasso during his Cubist period, never grows old. Nothing says “saltwater” quite like a flatfish.

— rPs 07 31 2020

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See Bass?

See Bass? . . .

 

Line on the Water
(NJ 04 2019)

Tenkara rod yamame tethered to a small sparkled shrimp kebari found no willing herring or striper schoolie to tempt. The floating 8-weight line on a reel reached farther into the solunar peak and still found no takers, no curious passes from bass in the deeper water where the current’s piled sand  flat dropped off into dark gray.

Water calm, a pass of squall coal gray cloud and on wind holding a spatter of rain. Calm times felt in a zone, fishy, and at that when came the yank, a strong physical stop below the surface. Hot Tail Half and Half, my own fly from a box full of talented friend’s, fooled a fish, too.

One hand managed one shot on the phone fly from the battle middle when eyes saw a dark form sprinting from a puff of sand in two feet of estuary water. See bass, see not a bass, but an early fluke, a fine one flipped off with a smile as flatfish fled.

Sand Trail of a Fluke in Flight
(NJ 04 2019)

 

Water too cold at 47 degrees Fahrenheit ( 8 Celcius) for the striped bass where I have been to fish The search continues. The season is early.

Fishing is not catching, yet, in or out of net, there is always a view.
(NJ 04 2019)

 

The saltwater season of 2019 has begun.

— rPs 04 17 2019

 

 

 

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Blue Trout

Blue Trout . . .

Bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix
(09 2017)

Temperatures have held high in humidity after a cool valley where August met September. Days have become shorter of light.

The seas have been swollen, due to the newsworthy vortices from the south and east. The view is broad, dynamic waves, bass from the raw power of waves that tackle rather than slap.

Time for albies, but before the linesiders, the bigger striped bass of autumn, both fish far too much for tenkara designed for trout. There is from the same jetties some times of clear sky and slack tide in September when the cocktail, quite the snapper in tooth, makes itself vulnerable enough, as in close enough, for successful multiple cast-hook-catch landings in the net.

Number Two Fish, Bluefish
(09 2017)

Tenkara in the salt remains an experiment rewarded. Bluefish of this size fight, the manic headshake like a trout of twenty inches, a trout with teeth. Most small Clouser or Charlie type patterns will lure fish. To land fish, your own skill at the cast in coastal breeze, and in arm wrestling with fish, is up to you.

Silver lining; the view:

Blued View: Bluefish Weather
(9 2017)

 

— rPs 09 29 2017

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Jetty Knight

Jetty Knight . . .

Jetty Knight by Maryann Amici (12 2016)

Jetty Knight
by Maryann Amici
(12 2016)

or Nothing, for the Birds . . .

Sometimes one takes tenkara to the ends of the Earth near the end of the year. Can one go father on running foot than the surf zone, North Atlantic Ocean, in December? Here you are.

The Birds

The Birds Family Scolopacidae (12 2016)

The Birds
Family Scolopacidae
(12 2016)

One picks fishing trips like slot machines. A line wins, sometime(s). Engaged in it on the fly is only a strategy. So is Tenkara. Wins are enjoyed, as are fishes, yet these come spaced enough for no exact science to be sure. Time and place judge. Conditions mix. Catches vary.

One day the water was calm, the breeze, barely, but very cold. The tenkara rod extended above surf and tolerated twitches tethered to a Clouser Kebari along the swells. Cormorants and other birds angled nearby. Hours passed. No takers.

The Pattern

Clouser Kebari (rPs 12 2016)

Clouser Kebari
(rPs 12 2016)

The Bait

The Bait (12 2016)

The Bait
(12 2016)

The Waves

The Waves (12 2016)

The Waves
(12 2016)

Next time swells capped white even an 8-weight could only surf high, water bucking the weighted pattern like a reveler on a casino’s mechanical bull. One hour made an epic casting lesson schooled by wind and water as fishes below hugged into boulder rock crevices unreachable.

Sometimes one fishes and catches nothing but a contemplative time, an athletic time, spent in a surf wave of sporting happiness.

Nothing, for the birds?

Slumbering Shell (12 2016)

Slumbering Shell
(12 2016)

— rPs 12 20 2016

Postscript: In memory of Louis J. Amici, Jr. (1947-2016) and Jeff Feldmeier (1966-2016). They always met the train on time.

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Tenkara Vegetarian

Tenkara Vegetarian . . .

 

Vegetarian Tenkara 07 2016

Genus Fucus (NYC 07 2016)

 

One photo with one caption can at times tell it all.

Location: the salt waterfront of Manhattan Island.

– rPs 07 11 2016

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Tenkara & Sabiki

Tenkara & Sabiki . . .

Sabiki: pencils on paper (04 2015)

Sabiki: pencils on paper
(04 2015)

Sabiki rigs employ another Japanese method of catching fish. Perhaps some variation might be employed using a tenkara rod? Last year’s toe dip into the world of saltwater panfishing proved tenkara equipment was up to the challenge.

A Typical Sabiki Rig

A Typical Sabiki Rig

Stay tuned for more reportage from the salt. Meanwhile, traditional tenkara kebari remain a model for some of my sketches-in-progress.

Kebari Model and Sketch (04 2015)

Kebari Model and Sketch
(04 2015)

— rPs 04 30 2015

Postscript: Here is a link to last year’s initial foray into saltwater tenkara: https://tenkaratakesmanhattan.com/2014/07/25/the-salt-on-the-level/

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On the Water, On Line

On the Water, On Line . . .

On the Water August 2014

On the Water
August 2014

On the Water

On the Water, the magazine, is in print this August and the new issue is now available. “Fishing the Five Boroughs” suggests one group of NYC lakes to fish during a long weekend. My Tenkara USA Ebisu makes another cameo in one of the photos.

Saltwater Line Leader Ingredients (photo taken 08 11 2014)

Saltwater Line Leader Ingredients
(photo taken 08 11 2014)

On line
Saltwater panfishing on a tenkara rod flex of 7/3 requires a line leader formula more specific than general freshwater fishing. One I have found has fitted my form of casting and catching.

The Ingredients: 3.5 Level Line; 4 to 8 pound monofilament; one #10 swivel; optional split shot or egg sinker

The 3.5 Level Line I cut to length of the rod (I match my 12-foot Tenkara USA Yamame.) One end I use for the rod connection. I tie a slip knot to match the rod’s silk Lillian. The opposite tip is simple knotted to a #10 swivel. This midsection hardware tackle is my nod to the fascinating myriad of conventional bait rigs used for porgies, fluke, and other such inshore and estuary species. The tippet consists of a single straight length of monofilament between 4 and 8 pounds sized from one half to two-thirds the length of the Level Line.

One can go a little lighter or higher on the line’s strength. The choice depends on an individual’s hook setting and fish playing techniques and whether or not one can tolerate a three dollar Clouser Minnow lost on a piling.

The range of the leader tippet’s length provides a casting distance equal to line, rod, and outstretched arm. Twenty-five feet is a workable average and allows a captured fish to be raised over a fence or bannister without too much stress on fisher and fish.

Docks and piers over the water, a jetty projecting into the surf, or flats and estuary grass banks can all be fished with tenkara equipment. The main point is a line leader similar to this one can cast small saltwater kebari patterns, reach fish, and bring fish to net or hand.

– rPs 08 11 2014

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