May 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm #1302858
I'm curious why I see 'survival' type folks often selling little kits with just hooks and line, while the threads on this forum intimate that a real fishing rod is mandatory. Has anyone here had much luck just bringing line to wrap around a stick and fish with a bobber and bait, for instance on mountain lakes and streams in northern CA? I'd like to start fishing but don't want to add any gear to my pack. I'm in Sacramento and often head out toward Desolation Wilderness area. Thanks and apologies in advance if this question is absurd.May 12, 2013 at 10:40 pm #1985649
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
You can certainly fish with a stick and line. The whole idea of a fishing pole is to make accurate casts and to be able to play the fish. I would use a 8' long and thin willow or vine maple switch with a bobber. I've seen photos of canal bank fishermen with really long poles — like 16' or so. My father had a 2-piece bamboo pole that was 12'. About all you can do is to flip the fish out on the bank unless there is a lot of give in the pole. You still can't have the fish "run" like you can with a reel with a light drag.
I've been thinking of wrapping some line quides (eyes) on one of my trekking poles and cooking up a reel mount. The light poles like the Black Diamond Z-Pole or a SUL. carbon fiber pole should be easy to rig up as a. Fishing pole. They are too stiff to get much "action" but you souls be able to get a healthy cast with one rigged with a closed face reel. I guess a fly reel might work too.
The antithesis is something like the Popiel (now Ronco) Pocket Fisherman or a hand line. I use a hand line reel known as a "Cuban yoyo."
A hand line takes a quick reaction and it is quite a surprise the first time you hook a fish with one. I was hand line fishing from my sea kayak using a jig and rubber worm and hooked a rockfish. I got so excited that I nearly capsized. It is a very odd feel to have a fish tugging at the line in your hand vs a flexible pole. You need to be prepared to release line so you don't break the leader, but keep tension so the fish doesn't throw the hook.May 12, 2013 at 11:06 pm #1985653
Thanks for the helpful info! I will try the handline.May 12, 2013 at 11:14 pm #1985656
Dale WambaughBPL Member
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
You can get the yoyo reels on eBay or try a kite shop. They work great for kites. One side is curved to let the line peel off freely when casting. You can get a long cast with the right rig and a little practice. Perfect for jigging if you have a boat or platform.May 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm #1985869
In many mountain lakes, especially with rocky shorelines, there are fish that can be reached with a handline or with a line dangled from a stick or a treking pole. If your stick is not the long, flexible willow branch or its equivalent that Dale recommended, you will have a hard time catching good size fish on a light line. The ability of the rod's flex to absorb the force of a sudden pull is key. Without it, any fish with some fight can break line testing at several times the fish's weight. But if your quarry are the small fish that populate many mountain lakes, any stick and line with a fly on the end will do!
Bill S.May 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm #1985872
W I S N E R !BPL Member
If two little girls with a stick, 10 feet of line, one hook, and some salami can do it…
Catching baby catfish on the Sespe River. Adan's daughter at left, mine at right.May 13, 2013 at 5:48 pm #1985879
@davidlutzLocale: Bay Area
The key is an oversize puffy and pink pants!May 14, 2013 at 3:30 am #1985961
Pete StaehlingBPL Member
Any of that can work, but I will mention that the weight saved may be pretty minimal. Not sure what the Cuban Yoyo weighs, but I am guessing maybe as much as two ounces. Some Tenkara rods weigh in at 3 ounces or so. My point is that if pack weight is the reason for your choice you might consider just taking a Tenkara rod. You can find some for $60 or so (Check out the Fountainhead Caddis Fly). If that is too much some telescoping crappie poles are under $10 and are pretty light (3-4 ounces) and you might spend almost that much on a Cuban Yoyo.May 14, 2013 at 10:21 am #1986016
Elliott WolinBPL Member
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
"The key is an oversize puffy and pink pants!"
So that's why I never catch anything…May 14, 2013 at 11:50 am #1986041
Weight and price– but then I didn't realize one could have a tenkara pole for $60. The fishing I enjoy most is dipnetting salmon, pretty low tech, so the stick was more appealing than a reel or anything over $100. Thanks for the rec; I will look up someone he cheaper rods.Jun 29, 2013 at 10:43 am #2000836
@elf773Locale: Vancouver, BC
Just my opinion, but I'd get a proper pole and reel for targeted fish (for mountains ultralight), just makes it that much more enjoyable.
Not sure how the fish behave where you plan to fish, but from my experience some finesse is required to "angle" them, but YMMV.Jun 29, 2013 at 12:22 pm #2000854
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Here's my 8-year-old grabbing hooligan (herring-sized anadromous fish) out of the Kenai River earlier this month. In about 20 minutes, she'd gotten 25 of them.Jun 29, 2013 at 12:32 pm #2000858
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
The kids and I caught these ten sockeye standing in the surf with a 5-foot diameter net. That tends to be a lot more productive than lures, bait, rod&reel, Tankara, etc.
I did catch one of these in my hands after she'd slipped the net. (Fourth from the top, on the left, I think). So it can be done, even in very silty glacial water.Jun 30, 2013 at 10:13 pm #2001234
Now that is a blast from the past. I had a Pocket Fisherman when I was like 8! Not sure if they have updated the design since then, but my first edition as I remember it would not really qualify as UL gear.
As you pointed out, you don't need a pole to catch fish. Presumably in the scenario we are talking about you just want to catch something to eat, and pleasure and finesse don't enter into the equation. With barbed hooks you could even potentially set the lines out overnight and come back in he morning for breakfast.
For me the fly rod or stick is for playing *with* the fish, and well as "playing the fish".
When I was living in Greece there were some large iguana-like lizards living in the hills around my house, and I discovered I could play with them by throwing small pebbles past their nose. They would invariably chase it like a bug for 10 feet or so until the rock stopped and they realized it wasn't one. Yes, I am easily amused by such things for hours!. I never did find out what species the Greek lizards were – the local goat herder just laughed and call them "crocodiles".
Anyway, I leaned that A. lizards will chase a "lure", and B. goat herders don't give a damn about zoology. I later discovered you can pretty much do this with any lizards if you use the right "bait" pebble (i.e. smaller than the lizards head) together with the proper "presentation".
So the above experiences together with the present obsessive group of folks we have here leads me to posit the following 2 (possibly revolutionary) questions:
1. Might it be possible to catch lizards and other insect-eating reptiles using a more realistic fly with a hook (I think the answer to this based on my experiences is almost certainly "yes"), and
2. Are they good eating, and if so how to prepare them with UL gear.
I am prepared to take my Tenkara rod into the desert to prove 1. if someone can provide information on 2. I know Nick lives in the desert, perhaps he could grill and taste a few for us in the interest of scientific investigation.
At the very least there might even be a survival function for bringing the basic emergency hooks and line even into the desert. To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, you can still live on it, even if it tastes like shit.
David – So jealous! I had a less than half a pound piece of salmon tonight that cost me more than $10 down here.
On nets: I used a cast net as a kid all the time. You could possibly make a small, UL cast net quite easily. Perhaps about 4 feet in diameter. Since everything is nylon line and thin cords if could be very light and packable, probably only a few oz and packed to the size of an orange. A cast net would give you a ton of range as well. The main issue would be weights and you would probably have to have small "bags" of some sort to put rocks in on the outer rim. That would be highly efficient net (though also highly illegal in most places where I would be backpacking). For survival purposes I'm assuming I wouldn't care. With such a cast net I think you could more of less reliably feed yourself no matter what. As a bonus it would also work on slow-moving marmots, and possibly mulit-use as a head net.Jun 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm #2001237
"As you pointed out, you don't need a pole to catch fish. Presumably in the scenario we are talking about you just want to catch something to eat, and pleasure and finesse don't enter into the equation. With barbed hooks you could even potentially set the lines out overnight and come back in he morning for breakfast."
Very illegal in California, just FYI. Same with the yo-yos. There are many easy ways you can capture and kill an animal in an emergency, many of them extremely brutal and cruel to the animal, all illegal.
Still, these skills are important to know. I carry snares on longer trips and hope I never have to use them.Jun 30, 2013 at 11:03 pm #2001242
"I carry snares on longer trips and hope I never have to use them."
Again, we are talking about survival situations only here. In such cases it is bad form to violate the fantasy by quoting fishing regs. Anyway, in a lot of the places I like to go bait is illegal as well.
But let me get this straight, you carry equipment for killing what have to be pretty cute type animals with you? For shame!Jun 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm #2001244
"But let me get this straight, you carry equipment for killing what have to be pretty cute type animals with you? For shame!"
No shame, the cutest animals taste the best. I hunt occasionally.
Squirrels taste amazing. Fwuffy wittle squiwells…Jul 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm #2001569
I ran into this pretty much at random.
If you want to just fish with a "stick" maybe this one is both cheap enough and light enough (less than 2 oz and about $6) worth a try.Jul 1, 2013 at 11:02 pm #2001584
Take some paracord, pull out one strand a little bit, and tie an overhand knot to prevent any more strands from coming out. You will have one thicker/heavier line and a very thin line, kinda like a fly fishing line. Tie it off to a branch and get casting.
I only did this once and failed because I know nothing about fly fishing, so I'm not sure if it actually works.Sep 21, 2013 at 7:57 am #2026675
nope i know nothing about stick fishing or how to do it lol
kevinOct 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm #2031055
brian HBPL Member
@b14Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
assuming you have a basic, working knowledge of where trout hold in streams, and how they are 'opportunistic' feeders by n large…here is all u need in Desolation area streams, from any shop w/ fly fishing gear:
a 9 ft. tapered leader with 4x tippet
a handful of flies size 14 – black ants, prince nymphs, yellow humpies
tie the leader to a 7-10 ft willow or other stick, and drop the fly near the hungry trout, and yer in biz.
for the lakes you will want a longer line, so tying the leader to a 10-15' piece of 10 lb test line first would work, and a little split shot for casting weight. in shallow mtn lakes, most feeding takes place along the shorelines.
using flies which imitate trout food assumes that you're not inclined to spend hours trying to catch grasshoppers & the like ;)
if you are, then bring bare hooks.
Wow Mark i must say i am intrigued by the sub $10 tenkara knockoffs you found…Oct 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm #2031076
@richardcullipLocale: San Diego County
I had a fun and effective day of fishing with a stick during Survival School in the USAF way back in 1971 or so. It was up in eastern Washington or Western Idaho (never did figure out where we were). I had some mono and hooks in the small survival kit that was provided to each of us. Dug up some worms and tied the line and hook on the end of a willow stick and it was game on. Caught some trout that tasted remarkably good when roasted over our fire that first night in the woods. Of course things went down hill shortly after that when we were "captured" and put in a POW camp. As I recall those next few days weren't near as pleasant.Mar 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm #2079540
@glenn64Locale: Snowhere, MN
"Wow Mark i must say i am intrigued by the sub $10 tenkara knockoffs you found…"
I ordered one of these on a whim after reading about it here and just received it in the mail today.
Carbon Glass, 78" tip to tip (minus lillian), 15 1/4" closed, 38 grams with both end plugs and delivered to my door for a whopping $5.43.
I fly fished many years ago and my technique was adequate from what I remember, but this tenkara stuff is all new to me. Despite the short length, for the price and weight, I'll give it a whirl. Now for some floating line and dry flies I think, unless somebody advises me otherwise.
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