Spring Trout & Cherry Blossom
2 CommentsTuesday, 18 April 2017 | PG
Spring blossoms, hatching flies and warming weather...Those weeks of a new trout season when spring and new life start really start to gather pace are a joyous time to be on stream.
While Japan is famous for its love of "Sakura" (cherry blossom) and the tradition of flower viewing (hanami), I am always amazed at how beautiful my local, Yorkshire blossom is at this time of year. Whether I'm driving along tree-lined avenues in urban areas, in formal parks and gardens or especially by a trout stream - it is a real pleasure to see those vivid colours of new life after the stark winter landscapes.
Whenever I have an hour between jobs (maybe skipping lunch if necessary), I love taking just a short time on stream to enjoy a few casts and take in the sights of spring. Those early season hatches of upwing flies really kick the trout into full feeding mode and it is just fantastic to lightly drop a simple wet (or dry) fly into the feeding lanes and see who is at home...
Of course, it will be absolutely no surprise to you that I seem to enjoy it most when that simple fly is attached to a long, supple tenkara rod - and this season I am really (really) loving using the "suzutake" bamboo landing net that Saitou-san so generously made for me.
You can see Saitou-san tell his story (and explain his suzutake bamboo rods as well as see the net I am talking about) in Episode 2 of Tenkara in Focus - the free tenkara show that John and me launched towards the end of 2016. If you want to find out more about Saitou san's philosophy and see the bamboo fishing tackle he has made - you can watch the episode embedded in my blog post on this link:
It is just a lovely, light, functional piece of craftsmanship - and the soft knotless mesh allows me to keep the fish in the water and take some lovely photos for my memories; before releasing the well-rested fish back to its home.
And I don't even begin to care if anyone takes offence at me mixing my local experiences and culture with some of the things that I find so attractive in Japanese fishing and traditions. I think its fantastic and it gives me a huge amount of pleasure in my life.
How great it is to appreciate some of the sights that surround us in the natural world. And while I enjoy catching a nice big fish from time to time - how great is it to see and appreciate the beauty that all sizes (big and small) of wild trout have in such abundance?
Any of us who live close to these fantastic creatures are lucky indeed.
I hope you've managed to get out plenty so far this season...and I really hope that you've found things to marvel at.
Please feel free to share your best bits of spring so far in the comments below...