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Another Win for Tenkara

Trip reports, findings, events, and general experiences with tenkara fishing. Tell other tenkara enthusiasts about your tenkara experience

Another Win for Tenkara

Postby statikpunk » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:58 pm

Howdy All, Yesterday my local fly fishing club the "Ruby Mountain Fly fishers" held a One fly tournament, and I Won! The tournament was held at Angel Lake a high alpine lake just outside of Wells Nevada. I used my Ito with a level line slightly longer than the rod and my snake skin sekasa kebari which I have written about before here https://www.tenkarausa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2710 the tournament was held over the period of two hours from 10am till noon and in that time I managed to land 19 trout (tigers, and rainbows) the next runner up had 16, then 8 and the rest of the group varied from 0 to 6. Incidentally the runner up was using a fly that looked very much like a traditional kebari, but with a normal facing hackle, it was just a simple yellow body with a grey starling hackle. Also I was the only contestant to fish from the shore, I worked the same 50 yards of shore throughout the whole tournament, all the other contestants used float tubes and fished out on the lake, I was also one of the only contestants to not lose my fly (thank you Double Davey Knot), and the snake skin kept my fly in such good shape that I wouldnt think twice about catching another 20 fish on it, the snake skin has proven to be extremely durable. I won a gift certificate to our local fly shop, and a fly box with a replica of the fly each contestant used. the tournament was finished off with a lovely lunch provided by the club, they are a great bunch of people, i am a new member and they have been very accepting of me and very accepting of Tenkara in general.
Im very proud to have won but I really see this as yet another victory for tenkara, and a step towards its mass acceptance. I can tell you one thing a lot of uninterested fly fisherman were a lot more interested in Tenkara after the tournament than before. I got a lot of "now what was the name of that rod again?" questions and of course like most fly fisherman they thought my fly was the secret and were flabergasted when I said that I thought I could have done that with any of the flies in my box, and that I was not trying to replicate any bug in particular with my snake skin kebari, which of course started several conversations about Dr. Ishigaki, and his views.
So Daniel when you get a huge influx of rod orders from Elko, Nevada I will be waiting for my "Finders fee" haha :lol:
Another win under Tenkara's belt hooray!
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby tejplunkett » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:15 pm

CONGRATS! Thats awesome!! I lived in Elko for a year (long before I became interested in fishing again.) I can't remember there being any water there! :lol: I live in Boise now and can't find any decent fishing waters here or any other Tenkara fishers!? Again, congrats on your victory and may the Japanese "fishing gods" continue to bless your rod!
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby Daniel @ Tenkara USA » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:51 pm

WAY TO GO MATT!
That's great news, really! I just go back home from a 2-day trip, where I thought I caught my share of fish but don't think as many as you caught in 2-hours. Was happy to read your post as soon as I opened the forum up.
That's way cool that you not only used tenkara, but also a snake-skin fly!
Congratulations.
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby statikpunk » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:12 pm

thanks, with all of us tenkara guys winning tournaments its gonna get harder and harder to dismiss it as "cane pole fishing" haha

tejplunkett : if you ever get back down to elko, drop me a line I will show you some places that are Tenkara perfect.
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby statikpunk » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:19 pm

i was told by the club that since I won the tournament i was responsible for writing a report of the day for the monthly newsletter. I thought i would include the report for you all to read, its basically the same thing but includess some more information about Tenkara let me know what you all think.

This last Saturday (6/30) Angel lake was the place to be, for the annual and (unofficial) Ruby Mountain Fly Fishers, “One Fly” Tournament. As is always the case with Angel lake, the scenery and the weather was perfect and the fishing was as good as anyone could expect, the Tigers were fat and healthy and eager to feed even in the noonday sun. As a new member to the RMFF (my name is Matt Donovan if you haven't met me yet) you can imagine my surprise when I managed to clinch a win during the tournament, what I did not realize was that along with winning I also won the “privilege” of writing the story of the day for the newsletter. Thats ok though I'm happy to do it. Some interesting facts about me and the day is that I was the only fisherman to fish from the shore, throughout the two hour tourney I fished the same 50 yard expanse of shoreline moving back and forth as the fish become skittish and unresponsive. Also one thing about me that was new to many of the anglers of that day was my fishing style. I fish Tenkara style. Tenkara is a Japanese method of fly fishing adapted from inland , high mountain commercial fisherman. I initially picked up a tenkara rod as an ultralight backpack fly fishing setup for hiking, since the rods weigh an average of 2.5 ounces and collapse down to about 20 inches they make a perfect backpack fishing setup. I soon found myself enjoying the eastern style of fly fishing so much that I have converted to it almost exclusively, with my 4 weight gathering dust in the closet as I write.

Now for the bread and butter, the fly. It sounds silly but I actually didn't think that hard about the fly I would use for the tournament, because I pretty much fish just a couple flies exclusively. The Tenkara fisherman of Japan are known for fishing just “one” fly owing to the fact that proper presentation will trump “matching” of any particular bug. This line of thinking was first studied by Dr. Ishigaki, a Doctor of sports vision in Japan and also is known as one of the leading authorities on Tenkara in Japan. He concludes that fish (especially trout in fast moving streams) do not discriminate their food nearly as much as your local fly tiers union would have us believe. After many studies Dr. Ishigaki settled on one fly pattern, A reverse hackle thread body fly or “Kebari” in Japanese. You can see Dr. Ishigaki tie his signature fly here at the end of this Tenkara informational video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9a4HsRlj5Q&feature=plcp and to prove his theory Dr. Ishigaki has been fishing this one fly exclusively for many years, with only slight variations in fly size and color, which is mostly to keep the interest of the tier over the fish.

My fly is very similar in design the only difference, is that I use a snakeskin body, for the fly. I try and use materials for my flies that can be found here in Nevada and after reading about a man in Japan that ties flies using the skin of a poisonous snake, believing that the skin and the scales make for a body that is more attractive to fish than any other man made or feather material. I decided to try it, I used the skin of a bull snake that I harvested, and while I don’t think I catch any more fish with this fly than I did with my old ones, it does make for an easy to tie, very sturdy fly (since the skin is basically a thin leather covering) and also creates a great “on stream” conversation starter.

I won the tournament with 19 fish and received a box full of the other participants flies, which are masterfully tied, and a gift certificate to the fly shop. That being said, the real prize of the day was the camaraderie and delicious food cooked by Joe back at camp. As many of you know I am new to the club and I just could not be happier with all of the friendly people I have met and the immediate acceptance from all of the members. You all made me and my girlfriend feel so comfortable and welcome, that I just can't wait for the next get together. Maybe next time I will go easy on all of yah! Seriously though, I would just like to thank everyone involved for a great day out on the water, and if anyone would like to learn more about Tenkara or give it a try I have several rods, and I would be more than happy to meet anyone out on the water and give a lesson on this unique style of fly fishing.


Thanks for the great times,

Matt Donovan

(statikpunk@yahoo.com)
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby jayfisher » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:04 am

Matt,

I enjoyed reading your story. What's nice about the story is your tone of sportsmanship and graciousness while you still champion tenkara. I'd bet that your story might become part of the lore of Western tenkara. Congratulations on the whole experience!

- Jack
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby statikpunk » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:10 am

thanks Jay :D
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby Aaron Proffitt » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:30 am

Very well done,Matt...proud of ya.
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby caveyeti » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:54 am

Congrats statikpunk. I fished the Ruby's last weekend and it was outstanding. You have some excellent water in your area. Hope to get another trip down there in yet this summer. Good work on the tournament.

tejplunkett, There are at least a dozen of us in the SW Idaho area that are fishing Tenkara. There are loots of great water if you willing to put in an hour or two on the road. I'm in MtHome and fish every other Friday, if you want to get out I am going this week.
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Re: Another Win for Tenkara

Postby tntom » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:12 am

Thanks statikpunk for doing Tenkara proud. Not only a Tenkara rod but a fly as well. Again thanks.

Tom
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