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First techniques to try

First techniques to try

Postby msteudel » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:24 am

So I'm in the process of getting my first tenkara rod. And while I probably will use some of my standard fishing techniques on certain rivers, I'd also want to learn traditional tenkara.

What fly (size) and technique would you recommend first?
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby Nagasaurus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:21 am

I would say whatever size you can see so you can practice manipulating the fly (to observe it pulsing and how little you need to move the rod to twitch/pulse the fly). This will likely be a size 10 or 12.

As far as technique a good once to start with in a slightly upstream cast, let it sink, twitch the fly, let it sink, and repeat the twitch/sink cycle until the fly drifts past you. Letting it hang at the end of the drift with a few more twitches/pulses is a popular technique as well.

Have fun!
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby msteudel » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:33 pm

Is most traditional tenkara flies subsurface reverse hackle?
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby Nagasaurus » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:10 pm

"Most traditional" is hard to define as it depends on which area of Japan. The history that Daniel and others have studied include both rear-facing and front-facing hackle so both have their roots in the tradition.

Personally I'm used to tying and fishing rear-facing hackled flies so that is what I fish with. Many will tell you it is not the fly style but the presentation first, the size/profile second, and then the color.

If you are unsure use flies you have confidence in (assuming you have done other types of fly fishing before). You have plenty to learn on your casting, hook setting, retrieves, etc. first without picking your "one fly". Have fun and get out there to catch some fish! The fish in your area will tell you what they like.
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby John @ Tenkara USA » Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:34 pm

msteudel,

I usually start out with a dead drift, just like I would with a "western" fly outfit. I'll give pulsing a try if I'm not catching anything. A lot of times if I'm not catching fish on the dead drift, I'll give the pulse first chance through a new spot to make sure the fish aren't seeing the fly and rejecting it after the dead drift. Having said that, I've caught a lot of fish on pulsing flies through water that I've already dead drifted through and vice versa. I'll use the plunge technique anytime I see an opportunity for it, and will usually make a few casts with it, adding a pulse to it as I go.

This changes a little on water I'm very familiar with. If I know a certain technique works really well on a certain river in a certain situation, I'll go right to it, i.e. I know a pulse retrieve almost always works best in the evening on the Gallatin near my home. I usually start out with it and only change if the fish don't respond. Hope this helps.
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby msteudel » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:16 pm

John @ Tenkara USA wrote:on the Gallatin near my home


Yaaaay, I love the gallatin. My sister lives out near the axtail bridge. I've had some awesome days on that little river. I want to take my watermaster out there and float down it to 4 corners, I'm sure there's a lot of good water that's hard to walk too.

MS
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby John @ Tenkara USA » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:33 pm

Yep, the Gallatin is a great tenkara stream. In general, I like the canyon water a little better for tenkara but the valley can be great, too. Remember that if you're floating the gallatin, you must leave the craft to fish, even a personal vessel like a watermaster. It's very much worth it; you're correct in your assumption that you can find a lot of water that way that rarely gets fished.

The river is very blown out from spring run off right now, but should be back in shape in a week or two.
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby msteudel » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:37 pm

Ahhh the brown mud .... if I stand up in my watermaster does that count as leaving? :) Thanks for the info I didn't actually know that.
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby msteudel » Mon Jun 10, 2013 2:38 pm

So any suggestions on a simple kebari I could have a friend tie to try? Links to recipes for bonus points :)
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Re: First techniques to try

Postby jd_smith » Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:31 pm

Hows this for a how to by Jason Klass.http://www.tenkaratalk.com/2012/01/how-to-tie-a-tenkara-fly/ Hope this is what your looking for.

Also I think the best techniques for a tenkara beginner, no matter of your previous experience as a fisherman, are accurate casting to precise spots and keeping all of the line off of the water to get the great tenkara style drift. Casting accuracy and presentation are paramount in fly fishing.

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