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Tenkara Diaries, May 30th and June 1st 2013
Music by Takenobu
Tenkara was a gift from heaven, it perfectly matched the type of water I love most: mountain streams. But, there is plenty of good waters very close to home that are not mountain streams, ponds full of bass and bluegill and slow moving water full of carp. So, I decided to indulge and fish several types of water this week, all with tenkara of course!
Carp fishing with tenkara. It has been done before but I figured it was the time I went out and personally tested our rods with them. Yesterday I spotted a good number of carp right in town. I decided to take the tenkara rod with me today and test it out with those big fish. Fun, and much more manageable with tenkara than I had imagined. I used the Amago tenkara rod, about 15ft of tenkara level line and 4x tippet, plus a wooly bugger as well as a tenkara fly.
A few weeks ago I arrived back home from a fishing trip. I got home at night time. As I removed stuff from the back of the car I noticed someone crossing the street in my direction. It was dark and hard to see, but I noticed he was carrying a long item in his hand. It would either be a baseball bat and he was coming to beat me up, or it was a fishing rod case. Luckily when he got near enough for my heart to race I noticed it was a fishing rod case. And, not only that I could see it was a tenkara rod case. Cool.
This was my neighbor, Allen, who a couple of weeks prior had bought a tenkara rod. He then noticed my car with the TENKARA license plates and figured I probably liked tenkara too.
A couple of weeks went by and I finally was able to join him for some tenkara fishing. He drove to the spot before I did and gave tenkara a try on his own for a couple of hours. When I arrived I asked him how he’d done. He didn’t sound too happy about it and said he beginning to wish he’d brought his western setup. I figured I would just have to show him a couple of things and he’d be good. And, indeed that’s what happened.
Another couple of tips:
- Stop the rod tip high to fish with most of the line off the water as you get started, as opposed to laying the line on the water and mend. Or maybe put about 10 inches of the main line in the water to serve as an anchor.
- Make sure your line is tight, if it starts getting too slack or close to you, recast. It is very common for people to want to get the longest drift they can, but if the current is not pulling your line to keep it tight, it will be slack and difficult to cast or set the hook. Work with shorter drifts on more likely spots
- Don’t be afraid to cast. Many people coming from a western fly-fishing background are afraid to backcast and want to do a roll-cast or some type of flick. CAST! Just make sure to stop the backcast at 12 o’clock and don’t wait very long to do the forward cast, the casting stroke is quick and short to avoid getting caught up in trees.
John, TJ and I went tenkara fly-fishing in the Virginia mountains yesterday. We were looking for the beautiful brook trout found in those parts and certainly found some. Pretty fish. Watch for some special tactics on catching a lot of fish.
Music by Shenandoah Alley
It has just been discovered that some fish use a kind of sign language to help others hunt. So, I decided to investigate the footage I have been capturing over the last couple of weeks for the Tenkara Diaries videos to see if trout displayed any tendencies to use sign language – after all, one of the fish they discovered uses sign language is the coral trout. I’ll keep my eyes open in the future to see how they tell each other, “Hey, look at that tenkara fly; it looks yummy!”
*Once you click play, click on the gear icon and select the 1080p for best quality!
I went fishing with Steve Schweitzer, author of “Fly Fishing Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park” (an excellent guide book that now includes a section on tenkara). The fishing turned out to be quite tough due to cold snowmelt. Yet, this tenkara experience was great nonetheless, and we even ran across a tenkara angler on the water.
A frying pan and a tenkara Grand Slam in Colorado… Armed with a tenkara rod (I was using the Tenkara USA Ito), tenkara line and tenkara flies I went fishing near Aspen, Colorado yesterday. Caught some pretty good fish, a couple in the 20 inch range. You’ll see a tweak I did to my tenkara fly, the Amano kebari during the video, which seemed to produce results.
TJ, the man in charge of customer service here at Tenkara USA, is a Volkswagen Bus aficionado. He put together this neat video of him going to visit a pond in his area with his VW bus, in search of some panfish. Even with the VW bus sound it is a very peaceful video. I love how fitting tenkara seemed to the whole thing. The quick setup was fun to watch: drive, stop, setup and fish, pack and go home. Enjoy it.
Headed out for a phenomenal afternoon of tenkara fishing. Carried a prototype tenkara rod I’m working on, tenkara line and two tenkara flies I tied before heading out. Shot entirely with an iPhone. There are a couple of tips in this short movie too. This video is 5 minutes long, with a song by Takenobu. Make sure to watch it in HD (click on the gear icon, and then 720 or 1080). Hope you enjoy it.