Guest Blog Post by Discover Tenkara team
Producing fly fishing DVDs is a wonderful labour of love with the potential satisfaction of creating something that could be owned and enjoyed by a small, super-dedicated audience. It is a tremendous privilege to be able to portray your perspective and passion to people with a shared interest in a subject that you, yourself, hold very dearly.
For us, a large part of the reason we were able to discover and immerse ourselves in the magical pastime of tenkara is due to Daniel Galhardo and his commitment to telling the story of a beautifully elegant traditional form of fly fishing from the highlands of Japan. Without Tenkara USA’s website – and the infamous “Tenkara fly fishing” video clip – it would have been difficult to progress beyond a brief curiosity prompted by a BBC programme called “Fish: a Japanese obsession”.
We found that we shared Daniel’s fascination and respect for the deep knowledge and skills base possessed by the top Japanese tenkara anglers – and that tapping into even the simplest elements of that tradition was almost unbearably enjoyable. In short, we couldn’t stop bugging people about how much fun this thing that we’d discovered was! Our fly fishing (in the form of long-leader “French nymphing” and other related long, light rod-based European competition methods) was already moving towards a strong family resemblance to the solutions that subsistence fishermen had hit upon eons ago in the Japanese mountains. Because our fly fishing backgrounds emphasised such similar elements in terms of presentation techniques, simple fly design and stream craft – tenkara immediately made quite a lot of sense. As we began to study and practice tenkara at every single opportunity, it continued (and continues!) to make more and more sense both practically and aesthetically (UK spelling!!).
There is also a beautiful paradox: A beginner can learn enough tenkara technique to at least get a fish to take their fly within just a few minutes of picking up the rod – but because the equipment is so basic; real mastery will take a lifetime of continual practice and improvement. This is wonderful because you will never get bored or run out of things to learn – but it will always be a fundamentally effective and simple approach!
Thanks to Daniel and his team, we are now afforded the great privilege of beginning to pass on some of the things that we have discovered about tenkara techniques in an NTSC-format DVD available to ship within the USA. We also have the great honour of including some of Dr. Ishigaki’s demonstrations and explanations of tenkara skills. Consequently, in this first DVD volume, we have identified and addressed areas that, in our experience, tend to be the most common hurdles for students on our tenkara courses.
• Drills for casting accurately and comfortably
• Preventing line-splash that scares fish away
• Fool-proof ways of catching and retrieving the long line when landing a fish
• Avoiding spooking fish with the line before they have seen the fly
• Gaining confidence in simple, traditional fly patterns and transitioning from dry to wet-fly
We also include instruction on the handful of fundamental elements that make the biggest difference in terms of success when catching fish:
• Spotting areas in which fish will hold station and feed
• Using stream flow and positioning to conceal yourself from the fish
• Maintaining good contact with the fly and producing a natural drift
• Detecting when a fish has intercepted your fly
Following these simple building blocks will immediately put you in a position to catch lots of fish from your favourite trout streams – and give you a solid base from which to develop further.
Our profound thanks go, again, to Dr. Ishigaki and Daniel for supporting and enabling this initial production – and to have it released and made available direct from the USA in NTSC format. We hope that it proves to be a useful and enjoyable means for people to get the absolute maximum enjoyment possible from their tenkara fishing trips