Wednesday, April 23, 2014

tenkara in pisgah

Last weekend brought a slightly different sort of set of adventures. While everyone else was busy worrying about training for spring races and cursing the rain, a group of five of us headed out Friday afternoon for two days of east coast canyoning and tenkara fishing. This was an unique, but very logical,  pairing of activities and I was honored to be included on the roster. Daniel, the owner and founder of Tenkara USA, was our Tenkara fishing guru. Joe, founder and owner of Pura Vida Adventures,  was our canyon guide. Graham and Dusty were our esteemed media types. And I was there to watch the ropes float away and enjoy the ride.

April is early for canyon season around here and forty five degrees is cold for April. Rain and wind make 45 a lot colder. 5pm is late to be starting Tombstone Blues. But those were the conditions and that is exactly what we did. Tombstone gave us the perfect opportunity to get to know each other, slide down some ropes, wet some flies. It was a really good group and the weekend got off to a great start.

We made it back to the parking lot where we planned to swap canyon gear for camping gear and then hike back in to spend the night just as the sun was setting over Looking Glass Rock. The temperature dropped another ten degrees, the rain started freezing, someone said "How about a night out in Brevard?", and nobody had any complaints about abandoning a night of camping the freezing rain. I drove home while the rest of the group went out on the town before bedding down on the floor at Pura Vida's headquarters.

The night of luxury did us all well. I'm sure everyone in the group has spent plenty of nights shivering under an ultralight set up in the freezing cold rain, but that wasn't what this trip was about and was nothing any of us missed. It was still cold and still raining on the drive back up the mountains to Grassy Canyon Saturday morning and we all were wondering just what we were in for.

What we were in for is the grandeur that is Grassy. Cold and rain didn't matter. We all took the time to stop and fish along the way with Daniel providing plenty of expert individual instruction. I've tried carrying tradition western fly rods on mountain bike rides before and they just don't work. Too big and bulky. Too hard to set up. Too hard to catch a fish with. The tenkara rods make complete sense and totally work. You really don't need all of that stuff and Daniel proved it by teaching us all how to easy it is to catch a fish and something about what it means to have an adventure.

My pictures:

















And hidden all the way at the bottom is this really good video of the trip by Tenkara USA:

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