This Dusky Shiner (Notropis cummingsae) was added to my lifelist during my recent trip into North Carolina. One of the creeks I checked out was Rockfish Creek near Raeford, NC. This creek is part of the Upper Cape Fear River Watershed (03030004). The reach I visited was near a poultry processing plant and was very clear with a deep steady flow. I spotted a school of these fish centering their activity near a tall grass lined edge. I was able to make my presentation without them discovering me and they cooperated nicely! The drift of the micro-baited Tanago hook was intercepted decisively nearly every time. In an attempt to make sure no other species were present, I presented to a few individual fish away from the school, but they were all Dusky Shiners. A handsome addition to the list.
I had a few hours before darkness the night before my meeting in Southern Pines, NC to check out a few creeks south of Pinehurst. One road crossing provided nice access to Horse Creek. Upstream, this creek is dammed to create Pinehurst Lake. The water was quite clear with a dark bottom, though flowing very slowly through this area. Among the surface vegetation along one edge I could easily see Mosquitofish scurrying around. After catching a couple of the Mosquitofish, I spotted another surface fish, but it had a much different behavior. First, he was solo, and second, he swam in a more deliberate fashion with distinct pauses as he seemed to carefully observe and search his surroundings. I was able to place my tiny piece of bait close to him on the surface and he directly approached within an inch and stopped and stared.
Now, mind you, I was using my short, 6’6′ Soyokaze rod and had to lean out over the water carefully with my arm full extended to get this presentation to him. As I patiently waited for his decision, it became more and more difficult to hold the bait steady as the tremors of my arm were magnified by the extremely light tip of the Soyokaze. The small movements of the bait may have been too much for him as he briskly moved forward and took the deceptive morsel in front of him. Gotta love those surface takes…..especially from a new species!
TenkaraBum recently wrote a thought provoking article on his Website that really makes sense to me. Although I am not an active part of the Tenkara scene yet, the common sense logic presented speaks volumes toward where this sport could go. Well worth the read. Nicely done, Chris!
What is interesting to me, is that I am arriving at this from the opposite direction – having obtained the 6’6 Soyokze for my Micro-fishing. Before moving to the Deep South, I regularly flyfished for Summer Run Steelhead in the Pacific Northwest with my Sage 7wt. I miss that time on those rivers and now find myself being drawn back into flyfishing, specifically Tenkara, through my Soyokaze rod which was purchased for another purpose. …….the other day I found myself furling fine tippet material for a tapered Tenkara flyline….now I need to dig out those Grouse and Starling feathers I have saved somewhere!
Last night I finished up the next prototype in the Micro-fishing line spool project. I’m getting closer to that I envision, though it still isn’t quite right. To accommodate using it as an un-rigged line holder, I made one of the interior wire loops into a wire hook. I also changed from using soft copper wire for the loops to a much stronger and more durable spring stainless steel.
I was hoping that the slits in the rim surface would hold a furled line…(for Tenkara application), but that didn’t work out in their present configuration…..something to keep working on! I’ve got some ideas! The present configuration would work just fine for a Tenkara spool to be used between locations while rigged for fishing.
I’ve been thinking of other more fine grained hardwoods to use, but I do like the fact that this Chilean Cherry is quite light in weight. The Rosewoods and Cocobolo would be a delight to carve and would finish out better, but would be significantly heavier…..maybe not a big thing!? I’m also looking at using North American native woods, and we have some nice ones here!
In my recent trip up to North Carolina I did manage to catch a few fish of interest to me. This trip I only took my micro gear, so that was my focus. My first opportunity was along a picturesque stretch of Jacob Fork of the South Fork Catawba River in Catawba County, NC. This water was crystal clear running over a bedrock/boulder substrate, something I don’t get to see in Lower Alabama. It took me about an hour to figure out how to get an acceptable presentation to the visible fish. I was fortunate and caught two new species for my lifelist, the Bluehead Chub ( Nocomis leptocephalus) and the Warpaint Shiner (Luxilus coccogenis).
I am always kicking myself when I anxiously review my “fish” pictures and realize that I took no pictures of the neat little creek I just returned from. Many of these special places I know I will never get the chance to return. I’m trying to do better, though there is still a awful lot of room for improvement! Here are a couple places I found myself this week while in North Carolina.