Getting my butt kicked by some really large trout

I was invited to stay with my daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grandchildren. We were staying at a cabin on some private fishing water on the Buffalo River (about 3/4 - 1 mile). The owner had stocked huge rainbow trout, some brook trout, and med. size brown trout. There was also red eye rock bass in this section. I used the TenBum 40 and for the most part did fairly well. However, the huge rainbows gave me a few lessons on what not to do when you hook into large fish. Two trout were so large it was all I could do to hang on and pray for luck. These two actually made me become unbalanced by pulling me as they swam upstream in the current. I should have brought a gun because there was no way I was going to land these big mothers with the tenkara rod. I have caught some large trout in the past but I got a butt whipping by these two trout before they told me they knew my mom and sister. :smiley:
I hope I get a chance to fish this stream again and next time I’m going to bring the heavy tenkara ammo and several 7- 8wt. fly rods with a strong reel. At least I got to look at them before they took off laughing and shooting me the middle fin. Hopefully, there will be a next time with pics to show everyone. All I can do now is hang my head in shame. What really hurt was the family was looking at me when this all happened and they shook their heads probably thinking “old man you are way out of your league.”
Oh well, maybe next time.


Hi Mike, go to’s blog and scroll down to Big Fish on Tenkara: Why and How It Works to get a better understanding on how to handle big fish. As the article will demonstrate, there is no guarantee that the same thing will not happen with a rod and reel if you do not know what to do…Karl.

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Have you watched a fair number of Tenkara fly fishing videos? Where do most T-anglers choose to hold the rod grip in the videos? Answer, at the very back of the grip! That grip position gives the fish the most leverage it can have to defeat the angler.

But if you grip the grip with your rod hand at the front of the grip, with your first finger resting on top of the rod blank, it will give you a substantial leverage advantage because the grip butt will come in contact with your forearm as the fish pulls down on the rod - you have 2 points of contact (with much more leverage) than the rear grip can provide, engaging your arm and shoulder muscles, which are much stronger than your wrist muscles alone.

And in addition to that, you can up the pressure to 3 points of contact by lifting the butt section of the rod blank up with 1 finger of your rod free hand. But do not put any pressure on the blanks above the last one because it can easily cause rod breakage.

Another great advantage of the forward hand position is (with your finger on the rod blank) your rod hand gets much more feed back because the rod blank is much more sensitive than the rod grip can be, be it cork, foam, or wood. And the slight loss of rod length with the forward grip can be compensated for with a little more line or tippet length. Also, your casting accuracy and fly first presentations will also be improved as well with the forward hand grip.

The Tenkara rod Two-Hump Grip was designed so the angler’s heel of his casting hand to rest in the valley between the Two-Humps. And testing the leverage advantage is something you can test for yourself with out having to take your rod out of its rod sock. Try the back grip first and see how easy it is to pull the Tip Cap end down. Then, switch to the forward grip and see how much more pressure it takes to pull the Tip Cap down after the rod grip butt comes to rest against your forearm…Karl.

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Many thanks for the info… I will look at her info. and advice. She catches a lot of monster fish.
I wish I could say the same.

For fish the size you are describing I use my Daiwa Enshou LT39SF or LT44SF, they subdue them pretty fast.


I do watch a lot of tenkara videos and many times I go back and look at them again. I thought I did everything correct with putting the bend in the middle of the rod, taking my time, and holding the handle at the sweet spot. However, I admit, I was really intimidated when I saw these two trout and how strong they were. I have never seen trout this size except in pictures. I really appreciate your information , help, and advice. I normally catch 10-14 inch trout and warm water species in this size range. Every once in a while I will catch fish in the 16 - 20 in. range but that is a rare event. These two trout literally dwarf the largest fish I have ever caught which was 23" inches in Wilson Creek, NC back in the spring of this year.

I guess I will need to purchase a larger/stronger Daiwa. I do have a Daiwa I purchased but it is an older 36 model, I don’t think that rod could help me. I always wanted another Daiwa rod so this gives me the incentive to make the purchase. Hopefully, I will get another chance to fish this river but with a stronger rod. I don’t want to get my butt kicked twice by the same fish. Getting a new Daiwa will make this a fair fight and at least I will have a chance. I felt my first encounter with Hulk 1 and Hulk 2 was that they caught me instead of me catching them. There was a fishing guide, Chuck Craft, that caught a 32 - 34 inch brown trout in VA near this area. Chuck is an amazing fly fisherman and a great fly tyer Thank you again for your help.

Yeah Chuck was great, he passed a few years ago but his fly patterns live on.

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The CK Yellow Stonefly nymph he designed is a fish magnet. He gave me some elk hair to tie up some Elk Hair Caddis dry flies ( Al Troth design) and the hair was amazing. It was nothing like the stuff you get at the fly shop. I forgot to ask Chuck where he obtained his elk hair. Chuck hands were like ham hocks (they were huge). I could not believe how skillful he was at tying flies and even small ones.
I did not know he had pasted away. The Virginia fly fishing community has sadly lost a legend.

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