Fly fishing in Japan: 2

Last time we introduced you to the Japanese style of fly fishing known as Tenkara (“from heaven”). Another style from Japan is known as Ayu fishing. According to historian Andrew Herd, in his book "The Fly":

"Fly fishing became popular with Japanese peasants from the twelfth century was promoted to a pastime worthy of Bushi (warriors), as part of an official policy to train the Bushi's mind during peacetime."

This refers is primarily about Ayu fishing. The technique commonly uses a fly as lure, using longer rods. However, no casting technique is required, as the approach is more akin to dapping. Ayu was practiced in the lowlands (foothills), where the Bushi resided, whereas Tenkara was practiced in the mountains.

It is believed that fishing flies first originated in Japan for Ayu fishing over 430 years ago. These flies were made with needles bent into shape and used as fishing hooks, then dressed as a fly. The rods, along with fishing flies, are regarded as a traditional local craft in the Kaga region.

More on fly fishing around the world in future blogs.

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