mercredi 2 septembre 2015

Tenkara on the Shō-gawa with Ajari and friends

After a restful night of sleep and a delicious breakfast prepared by Sasaki-san I did join my friends at their camp site where everyone was busy getting ready for the day that was going to be devoted to fishing. When I joined the conversation had no other topic, and it was a pleasure for me to make my friends discover the content of my kebari box and I must say that they seem to be surprised to see only Japanese kind of fly patterns as they were probably expecting more contemporary ones. 

It was already hot and it was barely 9:00 a.m when our band broke up, I saluted those who were leaving us and thanked them for the welcome they had given me the day before and then we were off to go fishing the Shō-gawa River, which rises in Mount Eboshi and then runs through the prefectures of Gifu and Toyama.

Arrived on the banks of the stream we did leave Tadani-san fish first and thanks to his excellent technique he quickly hooked a couple of iwana. Then we began to fish and catches did come at a good pace. We can roughly translate the name "Iwana" with "rock fish" and it is no coincidence that iwana is caught nearby stones, in the most quiet places of rivers, making your kebari drift as slowly as possible.

I walked a few meters and watched Ajari and Kura-san fishing and noticed that their successful technique  was very well established: accurate and delicate cast, no contact between line and water surface and perfectly controlled drift.

The first spot where Ajari, Kura-san and I did hook a dozen of iwana with different kebari without any common point but used in the same way, the good one!, will long remain in my mind. 

We fished like this all morning long only a few meters from each other exploiting all the "hot spots" of the stream. We fished every possible fish spot upstream and downstream and we were rewarded for it. This stream stretch has a very nice density of iwana. 

After a little over two hours of fishing we arrived at the mouth of a stream of about twenty centimeters wide. There were fly fishermen a few tens of meters upstream and we were hungry, the temperature had risen so my companions decided to stop fishing. They went up the bank then settled on the deck behind me and I heard Ajari then tell me he saw a beautiful iwana nestled against a rock at the mouth of the creek. I retreated a few steps to place me under the bridge and take advantage of its shadow to accurately locate the fish and said it was made when I deposited my zenmai-dou gently at its upstream. The iwana took it at its first drift. It was a beautiful yamato iwana.

This superb released fish, I collapsed my rod down, I  had the good days smile on my face and we left lunch. After the meal we did take the road to Ishigawa, another river lower in the valley where only yamame live. Once there we first spent a nice time to watch the fish from a bridge but we do not hang out because the very high temperature this afternoon let us think that fishing would be difficult. 

And it was difficult. This is again Tadani-san who caught the first fish. The yamame is a much more spooky fish that iwana and is very sensitive to vibrations in the water. Therefore it is advised when possible to fish from the bank.

Each of us caught a yamame which obviously made us happy but the warmth of the afternoon was goign to defeat our motivation. The fishes were not active on food and we decided to leave the river after two hours on its banks.

We quietly walked up the river and once returned to our starting point it was time to say goodbye to Kura-san and Tadami-san. I have been really happy to meet them after all this time only knowing them through Facebook. Ajari and I had were about to take the road to Takayama. I really had great time with the Itoshiro group. 

Bye friends! I will be back!

4 commentaires:

  1. Very nice writing and adventure. I envy you Christophe!

    1. Thanks Carlos! I wish you to travel to Japan one day, it is really a great experience.

  2. Awe guys, I miss fishing with you! Christophe, come fish in NY state with me. I'll take you to the Catskills :)

    1. Thanks for your invitation Adam! I have the United States on my list os perhaps one day we will go fishing together!