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Off Season

March 05, 2018

A few months into the off season without wetting a fly, the itch to catch some fish reached a fevered pitch. My friend Go Ishii knew of a nice spot in Matsuda (松田町) tucked away deep in the Tanzawa Mountains of Kanagawa Prefecture. I had never been and so I was excited to check it out. This was going to be an extra special trip for several reasons: firstly it was to be the first time Go and I were going tenkara fishing together. We had been on several fishing trips together before but for Goby or Wakasagi, not Masu. Secondly it was going to be my son Tadashi's first fishing trip! Lots of firsts, it was shaping up to be a great day.

The sun is warm and the fish are biting - time to go catch some fish.

The drive from home to the river went smoothly and in short order Tadashi and I arrived at the parking lot. It was a very cold day, barely above freezing and there was snow and ice on the ground. I bundled my son up in his snow suit, donned a few extra layers and my new waders, and Go and I headed down to the river armed with the Karasu 360 and 400.

The hut where you buy your fishing ticket for the day (¥3,000 C&R)

It took Go all of 30 seconds to land the first fish. I had heard he was a master tenkara angler but this really blew my mind. Stocked rainbow in a heavily pressured "pay to play" river mid winter and he brings one to hand with a kebari no less. Impressive!

The river was beautiful and the sky was blue. I caught a few fish, Go caught a lot more. My son loved it, which made me very happy. He got mad when I released the fish because he wanted to keep petting them. Around 2pm our growling stomachs got too hard to ignore, so we packed up and headed down to Hiratsuka to get some ramen.

There is no better way to wrap up a great day of cold fishing then with a bowl ramen!

To see more photos from this day's adventures, check out this Google Photos Album here.

Isaac Tait

Fallfish Tenkara is the brainchild of Isaac Tait who now lives in New England but dreams of returning, one day, to Japan. You should follow him on Twitter.