Our second day in Tokushima was marked by a fishing trip to the most upstream reach of Katsuura River. Meeting Taro Nakano of Anydope at his workshop before heading to the water was fun and inspiring at the same time – even if some of us still suffered from a slight hangover.

Anydope - Dopey
Hands-on with the latest Anydope release…

After a proper lunch (again, delicious Tokushima Ramen), we took the road to Masaki dam – a truly remarkable place – unspoiled and of natural beauty. 

Taro and I started exploring an area with sunken trees overshadowed by steep banks. Fishing the reservoir was quite tough, because it’s banks are almost completely made of sharp rocks and boulders. If your casting is just a few centimeters off, you will shred your beloved topwater plug into pieces.

Masaki Dam
Masaki Dam
What a charming guy!

I got a brief lesson in how to use some of Taro’s lure creations, starting with “Dopey” – a darter-type lure released just a week earlier. It took me a while to get a feeling for the right balance of line-slack-use and twitches, but with a bit of practice I managed to find a good blend of short-turn movement and deep pop sounds. I just started using darter lures this season, but I’m beginning to understand why so many people get hooked on this lure type.

Masaki Dam
Masaki Dam
Simply magic place…

As usual, fishing was tough and we didn’t record a single bite, even if some of the spots we tried looked more than promising. In the meantime, we both had switched to “OneNac” – a lively moving single swisher – topping my list of all time favorites since I got hands on it. I even got a preview of the forthcoming 2nd version to be released this fall, which instantly caught my eye because of it’s more round shape and subtle movement. Just a short while after approaching an area with overhanging rock structures, we both had a bite, but somehow we (or the fish) missed out on this occasion.

Around sunset we joined Shingo and Yaz, who where fishing the reservoir in upstream direction. Both where still without a single bite, but “prime time” was near and we continued our pursuit in quite optimistic mood.

Masaki Dam
Taro, Shingo and Yaz making fun of the German guest. :)

We started exploring the backwaters of the reservoir. A stunning place with lots of boulders and rocks, embedded in more shallow grounds with crystal clear water. We saw a few good bass in this area, but couldn’t trigger a bite.

Masaki Dam
Beautiful place in unspoiled nature…

About an hour later – still highly focused and eager to break the deadlock – we fished the area for a second time. Taro finally hooked a good fish on “Subsidedusk” (サブサイドダスク), a fine pencil lure. Unfortunately the fish had other plans and after a short, yet exiting fight he got rid of the hook and disappeared in the darkness. What a bummer!

Despite all of us missing out on a fish that day, the mood was heightened by the perfect time we spent together and of course by excited anticipation of the dinner that was to come. :)

It’s been a while that a reservoir left such a lasting impression and I enjoyed every minute exploring this terrific place. Truly one of the highlights of this years trip. Big Thanks to my new friends from Tokushima for perfect hospitality and great memories!

To see all photos for this entry, browse the gallery.

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