Friday, 13 April 2012 | Simon
I blogged a few days ago about experimenting with braid for nymphing… If you have read the blog, you will have seen Duncan replied saying I should try Tenkara. As it happens I've had some Tenkara gear on order for a while as this was something I had been discussing with one of my fishing buddies for quite some time.. The gear hasn’t arrived yet as Its coming from overseas but I look forward to getting out on the water with it. (maybe this weekend?)
When I was looking into Tenkara, I googled for hours and found that all of the decent Tenkara equipment available on the market was being sold by companies overseas, although one of the American companies had set up a warehouse in England to service European countries…
** Come on Andy, get some good quality Tenkara gear in the essential fly shop?
Over the past few evening I have been surfing the net trying to work out what tackle & techniques the Tenkara masters are using. I found a few Japanese home videos posted around the internet and it amazed me how simple they like to keep things. I will report back about my tackle findings in more detail in a future blog, but one thing that came as a surprise was the minimalist approach to flies.
Unlike the western world, they concentrate on very few fly patterns in a reasonably large size. Some of the masters actually fish with a single fly pattern, in all waters, all conditions, all year round and use nothing else. The patterns appear to be very simple indeed, nothing more than a couple of materials, usually a simple thread body with reverse hackle using a size 12 hook. I will be tying a few in the traditional style with traditional materials over coming days to try out in my local rivers, I will let you know how I get along.. . In all honesty, they are not the types of flies or sizes I would normally expect to be effective in my local river but I hope to be proven wrong?
Whilst googling for tackle I found a couple of really good sites you may be interested in browsing. The first one is Tenkara USA www.tenkarausa.com , These guys have some excellent videos online and sell a small selection of good quality gear. I have just placed an order with them for the ITO and AYU rods along with various traditional woven lines… I will report back on my experiences with these outfits once I have tried them out.
The second site is Tenkara Bum www.tenkarabum.com , this site has some really good forum posts to learn from and a whole host of valuable information for those of us just starting out In Tenkara… These guys also sell good quality Tenkara gear and is shipped from the USA.
Finally, For those wanting to learn more, Stephen Cheetham, who runs a company called ‘Fishing with Style’ with his wife Christine, has now set up Tenkara instruction courses in Yorkshire for 2012. He is a fantastic tutor, very experienced and a great guy to spend time with… I have no affiliation with Fishing with style, but I have been on their fly tying and fly fishing courses in the past and they’re excellent. www.fishingwithstyle.co.uk