This blog is written by tenkara anglers to the tenkara anglers.
1stStep 360 tenkara rod - new edition.
popular 1stStep 360 6:4 rods are again available at web store. This rods lot is
produced with minor improvements:
added some cork volume to the handle to make it more comfortable for the
anglers with large palms;
- the grip
ends are covered with rubberized cork to make it more reliable;
butt cap now is compatible with TRY rods.
June 2014, The European Tenkara Convention was organised by Oleg from The
Tenkara Times and held in Czech Republic.
purpose of The European Tenkara Convention is to introduce Tenkara and to bring
different companies that are involved within Tenkara together so we can create
a good network and cooperation instead of just looking at each other as
competitors. Although it is not really looked at as a commercial event, the
companies are allowed to sell and promote their products and services at the
event. During the first European Tenkara Convention, which was an initiative of
Chris Hendriks Fishing – Experiences and his site www.tenkara-norway.com , we met companies and people from England,
Czech Republic, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Japan and the USA. We had a
very good time and learned a lot from each other and introduced Tenkara to the
Oleg and his site www.tenkaratimes.com showed us Czech Republic and how he fish with
his rods on his waters. It is a beautiful country with a lot of hidden spots to
fish at. We were blessed with nice and warm weather and so was the day that the
European Tenkara Convention was held on. Oleg opened the European Tenkara Convention
and Misako Ishimura started with a presentation about the history of Tenkara.
Misako is a great resource when it comes to the historical part of Tenkara and
although I have seen here presentation before, each time I learn something new.
After the presentation of Misako I offered a presentation that explained a little
bit more the practical side of tenkara.
between the presentation we held a coffee-break
and lunch-break where we could get more acquainted with each other. Besides the
normal anglers we met a professional fly tyer, a fly fishing guide and an
online fly fishing shop owner. All these different people created together some
very interesting conversations! People
from the Netherlands, Russia, Czech Republic
Japan and Austria were present which gave a very international setting
to the event.
walked to the demonstration area where Oleg had several rods rigged with
several lines so everyone could try different rods and set ups. During the
demonstration almost all the visitors caught some fish and learned very quickly
about the casting, that the fly should land first and why it is so important to
keep all the line from the water.
blessed with a very good stretch of the river that was used as a training
stretch during the Fly Fishing world championships. Normally it would be
pressured very hard but as I already said, this was a trainingstretch so there was plenty of fish left for the
All in all
it was a great day with about 15 visitors. The European Tenkara Convention is
still at a small stage but all the visitors where getting all the attention
they needed and even more. Since the organiser, Oleg, and Misako and I where
there we were able to give very detailed lessons to the visitors. And both Oleg
and I are convinced that with cooperation of different people and companies the
European Tenkara Convention will grow to a bigger event with a lot of different
content that will be held each year at a different spot in Europe so a lot of
people will be introduced to Tenkara!
So if you missed it this year, we will
make sure that the 3rd
European Tenkara Convention will be held in
High Dartmoor Tenkara.
Dartmoor is an area of wild granite
moorland rising to a height of 621 m (2037’) and covering an area of 954 square
kilometers (368 square miles). It is located in the county of Devon in the far
southwest of England. The Dutchy of Cornwall controls the fishing for brown
trout, sea trout and salmon, on 25 km of the high moorland streams.
These waters are made for the Tenkara angler
as they are well stocked with beautiful little wild brown trout, mainly in the
10 to 35cm length range. Furthermore, many areas of river are boulder strewn
with complex currents that would render the use of western rods and line on the
water hopeless when it comes to drag control (if I were to use a western rod
I’d choose to ‘high stick’ with a 10 or 11’ two weight). In addition, many of
the streams are so small that the only effective way to fish them is with a
long rod so that the angler can stay well back from the fish whilst holding the
line off the bankside vegetation and awkward currents.
During our three-day visit, In mid May 2014,
Steve Donohue and I fished on virtually all the Dutchy’s waters. The rivers
were back to normal levels after heavy flooding a week earlier and the weather
was hot and sunny with virtually no wind. Despite only seeing a few Stoneflies,
Sedges and Black Gnats we found the fish were generally willing to rise to a
dry fly or Sakasa Kebari fished just subsurface. Each day we both landed good
numbers of trout (mostly very small but with a sprinkling in the 23 to 28 cm
range (9 to 11”). Steve’s best fish was 35 cm long and I lost one a little
bigger after an epic fight.
I found the TRY 390 7:3, with a 350 cm
number 3 level fluorocarbon line and 1 m of 6x tippet, to be ideal for most of
the fishing, whilst the TRY 360 6:4, with a line plus tippet no longer than the
rod, came into play on some of the more overgrown bits of river.
Both rods are a joy to use: being so light it was possible to fish all day without any fatigue, whilst their ability to put a fly exactly where one wanted was a real plus factor. As for flies, I mainly opted for a size 18 Black Gnat, but the fish were not too choosy. Steve and I also had plenty of takes on Black size 12 Sakasa Kebaris, size 16 Shuttlecocks and size 14 Elk Hair Caddis.
Useful kit includes, waist waders, wading
boots with studded soles, a good wading staff, knee pads (preferably with shin
guards, not only to keep a low profile by kneeling but also to protect waders
from gorse bushes and thistles), plus the usual gear you’d take for a day’s
walk over wild country.
Tickets to trout fish on the Dutchy of
Cornwall’s waters cost £10 per day, £30 per week or £70 per year, available
from a number of sources which are listed in the following very useful web site
that give a lot of information on the other fishing in the area, including the
West Country Passport system that opens up many extra waters to the visiting
In addition an Environment Agency Trout and Coarse Fish License is needed, available
(£3.75 per day, £10 for 8 days or £27 per year).
There is a wealth of accommodation available in the area, but we stayed
at a very reasonably priced Guest House, www.theoldposthouse.com, in the lovely little town of
Moretonhampstead on the east edge of Dartmoor. Steve and Zoe Williams were
perfect hosts and Steve is a keen flyfisherman and a convert to Tenkara since
we introduced him to its advantages.
Tenkara fishing in Sweden.
It is very quiet about Tenkara in Sweden. There was an article in a fishing magazine a couple of years ago, but since then it's been pretty quiet. Not completely silent. Occasionally, Tenkara is mentioned somewhere. So in Sweden, Tenkara is no big deal. The very few vendors of Tenkara rods that actually exists do so in quiet, and compete with foreign Internet shops for the customers. Why, one could ask oneself. Maybe the Swedes are accustomed to fish in other ways, and after other types of fish? But still, almost every fly fisherman I have encountered have actually tried Tenkara, or at least want to know a little more. Not everyone wants to try the rod, but they seem to show at least some polite interest. Another reason could be that fishing in smaller streams isn’t particularly widespread. Fly fisherman in Sweden fish for salmon or sea trout in the larger rivers and rainbow trout in put&take waters, especially in the southern parts of Sweden.
Southern Sweden here means everything south of the imaginary line just north of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden. It’s because that large areas of the Southern Sweden has been industrialized so that the wild trout hasn’t survived in many waters. The same can be said about the grayling, it exists, but only sparsely south of the Dala River (Dalälven). Now, I have far from been fishing throughout Sweden, so part of my saying might be coloured by prejudice. But at least in my area, they sell no fishing licenses for the streams. In the second closest area it is only sold fishing permits for streams that are, or have been, catch&release waters. I know it's a lot better in the northern parts, where one can actually target fishing for wild brown trout and grayling.
Do you want to go fishing in Sweden? Then you're in luck. Sweden is a very beautiful country with a lot of natural scenery. and we have the “Allemansrätten” which means that anyone is allowed to walk in our woods, and put up tents for a shorter stay, as long as you don’t ruin things, or interfere with anyone else’s stuff. In the 5 great lakes of Sweden, and along the coast line, it is free to fish. And in some cities, it is free to fish in the streams that traverse them. Often they set out rainbow trout or other salmonids there as well. Of course there are also a lot of other types of fish that can be caught in Swedish waters using Tenkara, including both Pike and Perch. And they can be found almost everywhere, in every water.
If you cannot find an area with free fishing, a fishing license must be purchased. You can apply to fish in both local streams and lakes. They are often sold at gas stations, camping sites and tourist bureaus near the water itself. In principle, all water that is of interest for a Tenkara fisherman requires a fishing license. Some waters are also private, which means that the landowner does not grant the water for fishing, or the water is hired by a local fishing club. One must also not go fishing in Nature Reserve areas, but they should be signposted. For some areas, you can buy a fishing license over the Internet, for instance on the site “ifiske” (https://www.ifiske.se/
). The fishing license is then delivered as a SMS or an email.
If you go by this kind of sign (IMAGE) so it means it is sold fishing licenses nearby. If you are able to, and know in advance where to go, I recommend that you perform a search on the Internet and see if you can find information about what type of fish is in the water you intend to visit. As previously mentioned, many rivers have been dammed why the trout can no longer get through.
Skitfiske på er
(sort of a “break a leg” statement for fishing)
Apparently, Technological Overload Also Abhors A Void
July of 2013 saw me jaunting up the pass to
fish the McCloud River. And by
“’fishing” I meant “hauling around a pack-mule’s measure of filming swag, with
a small amount of fishing actually happening.” Being the constant learner of
new things that I am, the “documentary bug” hit me shortly after I learned a
modicum of special effects and a few editing tricks.
So I start thinking, “Hey, maybe I can make
short film about the Tenkara-centric, rhetorical hazing I suffered at the hands
of my Western fly-rod buddy and submit it to the F3t film festival.” I of course, assumed that my film’s point-of-departure
and Tenkara-in-derision premise would make me a shoe-in for the tour. I was wrong about that, but I learned a few
things out there and had quite a time making it gel. Most of which involves me not doing it again
the way I did it this time.
Tenkara—and for that matter fly fishing in
general—bears all the hallmarks of what the intermittent luddite wants: Time
away from the gadgets, forays into seclusion, self-marooning—for me, I’d rather
come perilously close to anthropomorphizing a Wilson volleyball as my PSI/Felix
Unger counterpart than hash out my fishing naughts on Facebook.
Yet, I find myself now, pressured to have a
tripod, a camera, a homemade jib, a stabilizer, a slide, a steadicam, a cable
roller, and ten GoPro batteries nearby “in case I decide to chronicle this
moment.” Now, I practically feel guilty
for leaving it all behind—sort of the way the anecdotal American does when the
very omission of leaving one’s smart phone at home by mistake causes the Delirium tremens
endorphin dependency. I was half-ready
to by a propeller-driven paraglide wing and DJI Phantom drone before my wife
slipped a Mickey into my Red Bull.
So now, I’m now discovering that this
film-making thing has its own odd black hole of self-afflicted peer pressures. Problem is,
I’m the peer. That makes me the punk AND punkee. And I for
one intend to shake it, and shake it NOW.
Pictures on the water are nice.
They are especially attainable when you’re out with a buddy. But I frequently am not. I have pictures of big fish I’ve landed. At some point, trout footage saturation for
me became just that : overload. Secondarily, the odd, second-tier and “also-ran” ego boost that being “on set” has
to bystanders IS momentarily gratifying.
I also now know how it must feel to be Anson Williams:
(person) “See that guy by the jeep? He’s
making a film out here.”
(addressing me) ”Sir who are you with?”
(them) “I think I’ve heard of that.”
(me) “entirely possible.” (I then saunter
off making box-forms with my hands while they contemplate my hair color)
Plus adding the “I’m waiting for a callback
from Hanks” line always adds enough intrigue to muddle things even further. I
have sacrificed the potential for a delicate take on the river simply because I
was afraid to move upriver from my stowed gear, and too incomprehensibly lazy
to wade out, move it upbank, and then re-insinuate myself.
My guess is, Isaak Walton wouldn’t have
been interested in posting mid-river selfies on Instagram. All he had was pen and paper—and I’ll
furthermore extrapolate that to mean
he waited until at LEAST bankside to whip out the inkwell and quill pen. Hashtags: #phat #horsehair
To my mind, creative journaling will
outlast the cinematic pieces anyway. I’m
not pamphleteering against film; I’m soapboxing against placing unrealistic and
peace-robbing onuses on ourselves with inherently narcissistic need to document
everything we do in visual form.
I’ve heard it stated that one week of
outdoors camping devoid of electronic devices pushes a sort of “reset” button
on our brains, allowing our paralyzed hippocampuses to start mending. Besides, if I have my way, I’d rather have my
rash and foolhardy expeditions place me in the unified company of people that
look like they’re in the waiting room in Beetlejuice—than
the padded rooms in One Flew over the
So if you must, make that film. Get that shot. Then get back to what it was you meant to do
in the first place: the THING ABOUT WHICH you were filming.
Tenkara Where; Tenkara Now.
Those of you who perhaps might follow the Facebook tenkara posts, know we are at a particularly exciting place in our sport. Western-style for trout and grayling, at least on rivers, has tended towards a new finesse, with ever-lighter fly lines, and ultimately the leader-only approach, while the boundary condition of what we had recently regarded as a limit in tenkara is evaporating. Best of all, I think, the two approaches, once seen as so polar, are converging.
I fish rivers throughout the scale of possibilities; from minute upland trickles down to the lower reaches of broad rivers. So long as there are fish that will come to the fly, ideally trout and grayling, I find a contentment, borne of both an empathy with these beautiful places we visit and a sense of exploration and adventure. Whereas in the past I limited my tenkara exploits to those upper reaches where the quarry was mostly, if not entirely, small wild trout, where a big fish is 30cm, I find myself looking at ever larger sections of river, and much bigger fish, and still not dismissing the possibilities of the fixed line.
This last winter, right up to the end of the British grayling season on 15th March, I fished exclusively tenkara, mostly on the middle Eden in Cumbria. I fine tuned the set up, from the starting point of the outstanding Motive 390 (6:4), until I had what I consider to be the optimum leader construction for a double nymph rig. This consisted of a rod length section of #3.5 fluorocarbon, with a short section of either Sunline #2.5 or fluorescent copolymer 2.0mm as an indicator, with a tippet of a little over a metre of 5X or 6X Fulling Mill copolymer, the latter of which is probably the best material I have ever used for river tippets. For winter grayling I place the two nymphs very close together – about 30cm separation – and latterly these usually consist of either Euro-jig variants and/or PTNs.
The entire set-up has been a revelation, allowing me a level of control (including in terms of presentation) that the shorter western rods have lacked. Without a doubt, also, the grayling, in any size of river, is the ideal target species for the fixed leader approach. Even big grayling do not run anything like as fast as trout and are much easier to bring under control and ease to hand (or net if you are so inclined).
The long rod allows the ideal range of presentation from the wading angler such that correctly ballasted nymphs will quickly reach the river bed or close to it, where both of them need to be, and the angler can have almost straight line contact with them throughout the drift, even manipulating their motion a little from the dead-drift situation, while the indicator section is cutting almost vertically through the water's surface. Jigs are particularly useful for this method, because they fish point upwards and any fouling of the stones on the river bed is usually the bead becoming lodged, rather than the hook point, and these nearly always come away cleanly.
During the last mild winter, several specimen grayling have come to this rig, and no end of OOS trout, and I found myself in wonder at the level of control, once the fundamental of the leader and tippet had been optimised. Grayling of 44cm, 45cm and 47cm - between two and three pounds in weight - came off the Appleby waters of the Eden, all from fairly fast flow. While not running fast, big grayling like this are strong, dogged fighters and they present a large surface area to the current. That puts a lot of strain on hook-hold, tippet and rod. If they get downstream of the angler it is inevitable that one has to go with them, or if western-style fishing, then line must be yielded. With all three of these fish I found the flex in the rod absorbed the downstream lunges of the fish while I needed to take no more than a step or two to cushion any further shock. Had I been fishing western, I would more likely have yielded too much line, rather than taking numerous steps, which is always hazardous in the winter river, and the grayling would have been too far from me; a situation which frequently ends in the hook pulling free. The latter, in any case, is inelegant; quite unlike the beautiful, arched tenkara rod gently absorbing the grayling's weight against the flow. In each case the fish came sedately to hand after a couple of downstream excursions.
Now, after what has seemed a long wait through the foul winter just passed, we are into a new trout season and for the first year ever, I am oddly not thinking of any material change, from tenkara back to tried and tested western. The fish are changing, of course, already focused for long periods of each day on the surface, for midges and dark olives, but I do not feel the need to be able to present at particularly greater range than tenkara will allow on the big river.
I did have one fascinating experience a few days ago, however, which I want to convey. I was wading up a section of the middle Eden, fishing a kebari on a dropper with a small PTN on point, on the Motive 390; picking pockets in search mode. There was no hatch and consequently no fish showing, until about 30m upstream, at the tail of an island channel, I noticed a fish dimple the surface. As I approached I nipped off the flies and increased the tippet length for a dry fly (it takes only one fish showing to make me change to dry).
On went a 19 heron herl plume tip to what was now a combined line and tippet of about 7m. There was an upstream wind, so no problem with delivery on the target area from my downstream approach. I needed this sort of range, however, because of the shallow, clear water in which the trout was feeding. As I eased quietly into range the fish showed again, though I could not see any fly on the surface.
I rose the fish with perhaps my third cast, on a narrow foam lane, but striking felt nothing at all – a 'fresh air rise'. Several casts later it came again, with the same lack of contact. At least it was not spooked, but it is odd to have a fish miss the plume tip. I changed the fly for the yellow quill version, and smaller; a 21. Twice more the fish rose and again with fresh air rises! I was surprised, because it is extremely rare for a 21 plume tip to suffer what was effectively rejection. The signals were there however, in the form of a lack of an upwing hatch. I studied the drifting line of foam more closely and was probably quite fortunate to notice that one of the bubbles was actually not a bubble but a pair of mating midges. Then, I could pick out a few more of this minute species. I changed the plume tip for a much smaller version and within two casts rose the fish yet again, this time setting the hook.
It was a magnificent, leaping wild trout, for which the Eden is so famed, and even better it was followed by other similar fish farther up the drift line, all coming to the midge version of the plume tip on the long leader.
It was a wonderfully salutary experience; from failure and rejection, though analysis and a tactical adjustment, to final, even dramatic, success. I was, however, reminded quite starkly of one crucial aspect of the entire process, common to fishing the fixed line. Once that hook is set the acrobatics and fast moving nature of a sizeable wild brown trout almost immediately puts the angler at a severe disadvantage in terms of control and this is hugely exacerbated by an over-length leader and tippet. One of the trout I hooked that afternoon dashed into the overhanging branches on the far bank and I was utterly powerless to prevent this. Fortunately, everything held and the fish withdrew back out into the open water and I was able to bring it to hand; though this was more by luck than any aspect of control, and probably more thanks to the excellent tippet I use nowadays (Fulling Mill copolymer in 6X – 0.12mm).
And then there is that awful moment of having to grasp the tippet... I think this is one of the biggest 'issues' in tenkara fishing and we are some way off a solution. And yet we must strive for such, because, really guys, this is not cool. It looks exactly as it is: clumsy and out of control, fraught with hazard. It is frankly inelegant, and this, for the most delightfully delicate and elegant means of fly presentation ever, is plainly wrong. I know that several tenkara anglers are concerned with this, while others might be in denial, but I am utterly convinced that we need to find a solution to this one or western-style - particularly with leader-only – will always be seen as the prime option for trout on the larger river. The experience of a big Eden trout going ballistic, among the tangle in fast flow, left me both thrilled to the point of shaking, but also feeling slightly guilty in the sense that I know how I would have felt if the fish had broken away – one of the great sins in our sport.
A word about the upcoming 2nd European Tenkara Convention in early June: the event will be in southern Bohemia in Czech this year, where the rivers are simply perfect for tenkara. I am very sorry not to be able to attend because of my son having to sit important public exams at that time, and I have explained this to Oleg. I just want to wish all the attendees every success in this beautiful region and hope that the Convention consolidates the entire tenkara movement in Europe, and beyond.
Fishing Marble Trout with Tenkara.
I come from a fly fishing background but have
been practicing tenkara now for two seasons. My first experience with Tenkara
was on the Ucja river with a dry fly. I was amazed at how easy it was to
present a fly without drag over long drifts. Since then, many things in the
fishing itself have become easier. But my goal to catch a good sized, spooky
marble trout on tenkara brought new challenges. In pursuit of this goal, I tested
my gear to its limits. I caught and lost many good sized fish with a trial and
error in approach. Stalking fish in these crystal clear rivers with a fairly
short Tenkara setup offers a challenging combination of fishing and "hunting"
that suited my style perfectly. I am not a Tenkara purist who only fishes
kebari's. I’m more like a hybrid who gives each situation exactly what it asks
for to get results.
My biggest marble trout caught on Tenkara gear. This one was close
to the 70cm mark. I presented a white woolly bugger perfectly on the first cast.
The fish just sucked it in like trout candy. Adrenaline moment!
My favorite rod is a 13 ft, 7:3 like the TryTenkara 390. This will cover most fishing situations and fish sizes. I tried different
lines but I got stuck on the orange fluoro carbon, size #3, a foot shorter than
the rod. I rarely use longer lines; I just try to get closer to the fish and I try
to avoid hand-lining fish. I fish a 3 to 4 ft. fluoro carbon tippet, generally
in 6X or 7X ,but I will use 5X for big dry flies and small streamers.
I use 3 boxes of flies to cover every
situation, all season. One box contains small mayflies, klinkhamers, needle
flies, ants, beetles, and midges to match the hatch for steadily rising fish.
One whole box is dedicated to my favorite big dry fly, a size #12 elk-hair
caddis. It is attractive and works perfectly to provoke a strike by looking
like a good meal for every marble trout. My thrid box contains a couple of
small weighted streamers for getting down to the bottoms of deeper pools.
I only use one kebari-like fly. This fly gets
deep fast with a golden tungsten bead and thin black body. It is attractive
with an upward partridge hackle and an
orange hot spot. This killer is my most fished and most effective subsurface
fly. It works all the time on just about any fish.
Sight fishing is the way to go. The waters are
clear, so spotting the fish is the easy part. It can be more difficult when the
fish are deep because they have such good camouflage they blend in with the
background. Even then, spotting fish is the easy part. The flipside of such
clear water is that the fish can see me just as easily. I look for opportunities
where I can stalk specific marble trout and deliver one perfect cast, like a
sniper, thus provoking unwary strikes. This is my favorite fishing style but is
incredibly difficult. Getting close to a marble trout without spooking it is a
serious challenge. In between dry fly
opportunities, I fish the kebari to visible fish and likely looking spots and
pools. I make around 10 casts with dead drift before I walk on to the next spot.
fish in the pools hold where the main current slows down and the gravel comes
What Guarantees Me More Succes:
I walk a lot in search for opportunities. I
stay out of the water on higher ground to scan larger parts of the river
looking for fish. Good sized marble tout claim the best spots in any secition
of river so I pay extra attention and take more time to observe these interesting
spots before I get too close.
is a typical marble trout spot. They prefer dark places with overhang. I would
approach this spot from the opposite bank with a low posture, using the rocks
I always walk upstream. Most fish face
upstream, so approaching them straight from behind is the way to keep out of
sight and increase your chances from just seeing a fish to actually catching a
tout can be found in unusual spots in the river. Keep an eye out for
contrasting forms and colors close to the river banks, walls, and obstacles.
When I spot a good fish, I take the time to make
a plan by observing its behaviour for a while. I find a way to get close
enough. Sometimes I need to walk back downstream, cross the river, and try the
appoach from another angle. As long as I stay directly behind the fish, I am
safe from discovery. I choose the best fly for the job and check that the knots
are secure. I also try to plan the drill and the choose the best landing place
before I even start the approach. I don't hurry; my mindset shifts from "fishing"
During the approach, I concentrate and keep in
mind that when the fish sees me my chance is lost, so I need to approach with
stealth and stay invisible. I Keep a low posture and, if possible, try to use
the natural surroundings to cover me so that the fish don't see me coming. I
use things like bushes, rocks, and flowing water to block the fishes’ view, thus
allowing me to get close enough to make the cast.
there are no streamside features to hide me, I use the broken water surface of
the currents to stay as unseen.
The first chance is the most productive chance
so the first cast must be perfect. Marble trout don't give away second chances very
often. When the fish is close to the surface or in shallow water, I use the big
caddis. It does the job everytime so long as I remain unseen. I want to cast
the fly close to the fish’s head so it can take with minimal effort. When the fish are holding deep, I dead-drift
the attractor kebari in the strike zone. I focus and fish a very tight line to
feel even the lightest takes.
When I got a hookup I prepare for a sprint. The
fish will likely take off in the first moments after the hookset. I'm not only
lifting my rod backwards but also switching to the left and the right to
desorient the run direction by pulling the head of the fish in stream. This
method will push the fish towards me keeping it close. Because fishing with
barbless hooks is mandatory, keeping constant tension and pressure is very
important to not lose the fish. Running after the fish is not uncommon so I
keep going with this drilling style to tire the fish, eventually leading it to
quiet water, and finally scooping it with the net.
Slovenia has a fairly easy licence system. No state
licences are needed and they are easy to get at shops, hotels, apartments, and
campsites. They can be purchased for
only one day but you get discounts for 3 or 5 consecutive days. For a full list
of licence providers, take a look at the fishing club website: http://www.flyfishing.si/povezave.php.
Or visit the Soca fly fishing shop in
the center of Kobarid.
The link above also shows a list of places to
spend the night. Prices vary from 15 to 100 euro's per night and can include
breakfast, lunch, and dinner. To keep things practical, I suggest choosing a
place within the Kobarid, Tolmin, Most na Soci, or Idrija pri Baci range to
stay central and have all the rivers close by. For precise inside information
or good advice please don't hesitate to send me an email or visit the fishing
shop in Kobarid.
Tenkara & Kayak Fishing in Brazil.
form of fishing is to wade using tenkara or fly tackle. However, living in a
semi–arid region, wading boils down to the beach throughout the year and lakes
in the dry season because there are very few rivers with sufficient water.
There are also mangrove areas, but wading there is impossible because you can
only access the channels by boat.
the beach is somewhat unfriendly and not particularly productive due to strong
winds and high waves. In lakes and rivers, the few wading points suffer
constant fishing pressure and if one wants consistent catches he must rely on
chance or move away in search of remote locations.
expanding my fishing options was the main reason I opted for a kayak in my
Trolling Motor vs. Paddle.
do not paddle my kayak. Due to the high winds here, paddling and fishing do not
go well together. The solution I came across was to outfit the kayak with an
electric trolling motor that has 44 lbs thrust.
tenkara gear, one of my hands is free to operate the trolling while the other
can cast and work the fly. When I hook a big fish, the ability to go in reverse
with the trolling motor gives allows me to quickly pull away from the snags in
lakes, or roots and oyster banks when fishing the mangroves. A 65 Amp/h battery
guarantees me a whole day of fishing.
mangroves, without the kayak it would be impossible to go after snook and other
species that inhabit this water. The kayak approach is beyond silent and allows
me to precisely cast between the roots, which is crucial in snook fishing.
are very strong but are also very lazy. If your fly lands one foot out of his
ambush zone, he won't come to it.
fish are almost invariably peacock bass in lakes and snook in the mangroves.
species such as oscar, traíra, snapper, and even tarpon may appear
inadvertently but are not my main fishing focus. One good thing about these two
fish species is that, although they occupy different environments, they like many
of the same flies, making the guesswork easier.
I have tested
several models of tenkara rods from 2.40 m up to 4.20 m. My personal favorites
are rods between 3.00 and 3.60 meters. The longer sticks allow me to wade in
more open areas and the smaller models work well in
canopied areas. I like fast
rods (7:3 or 6:4) because they work better in the wind. But the 5:5s have their
place, as they fight smaller fish much better and help protect delicate tippet.
Usually I take at least two rods with different actions and use them according
to what the situation requires.
I also did
many experiments with various types of line (furled, flurorcarbon level, dakron,
etc) and currently my preference is for the floating lines made from fly fishing
running lines. In situations of extreme wind, or if I need to use a fly down
deep, I will opt for the titanium line.
I like to
use short lines and either match or underline the rod. I prefer a 4X or 5X
tippet (0:18 or 0:15 mm) that is 60 to 90 cm long and, in the case of snook
fishing, I add 20 cm of 14 lb fluorocarbon shock tippet. Snook abrade and break
tippet very easily.
mentioned in the paragraph about targeted fish, Snook and peacock bass have
very similar preferences when it comes to flies. Their favorites are the top
water ones like gurglers, divers, and poppers, but in certain situations streamers
and even some nymphs can make all the difference.
The flies I
use range from # 8 or # 10 for streamers and surface flies, and # 12 or smaller
for nymphs and killer bugs, etc.
It is worth
mentioning that I only use nymphs in lakes or river environments. In mangrove
areas they have no effect .
1stStep 360 rod released for Y14 season.
customers to love tenkara from the very first tenkara fishing day. That is the
reason why I consider the entry-level rod to be the most important in our model’s
line. To achieve this I’ve based production of the 1stStep rod on customer
feedback rather than expert reviews. Experts can fish tenkara style with
broomsticks; beginners need a rod with forgiving casting and presentation
features. Experts prefer several specific rods to match various fishing
conditions; beginners own one rod for all fishing conditions. Experts break
rods on rare occasions: beginners do so often, and need durable and reliable
rod. Also, the market niche demands that our prices be competitive.
1stStep 360 tenkara rod for the Y14 season and I consider it the best entry
level rod on the market now. We combined the best features from the Y12 and Y13
1stStep and NEXT rods to create the new 1stStep 360 Y14 model. This new rod is
lighter than the old 1stStep, better balanced and stronger than the NEXT 360.
Now it is 366 cm long and the center of gravity is 0.7 m from the butt.
It has 8 segments, a medium 6:4 action, a real AAA grade quality 28 cm long cork
handle, a rubberized wooden plug and knurled metal butt cap with rubber cushion,
and weighs just 79 grams.
grateful to all the customers and experts for the feedback, specifically Robert
Worthing from www.tenkaraguides.com for his criticism when he tested earlier
you’ll like new 1stStep rod as I like it.
Teplá Vltava – the Perfect Tenkara Stream.
On any river I always find myself thinking of its suitability for tenkara versus western-style. Most, but not all, that are best for the fixed-line tend to be small. Most, too, contain grayling, which, I have discovered, are the perfect tenkara quarry, more so than fast moving trout - particularly big trout. In any case, the wonderful Teplá Vltava, in Sumava national park of south west Bohemia, is just one of these streams, and in my estimation, it is not only perfect for tenkara, but is perfect in every sense, especially for its wonderful grayling.
From the standpoint of the fixed-line, the scale of this feeder river to the magnificent Vltava tailwater, is visibly all what one would possibly desire. With a 12' or 13' tenkara, and leader/tippet set at a little over rod length, say 15' overall, the wading angler (Teplá must be fished from a wading stance almost everywhere) can cover the entire river, though wading must be careful.
Pace, as always, is the crucial aspect (assuming quiet wading) that determines the successful angler's progress. One needs perhaps half a kilometre of water to oneself, over a day. You might fish this up in the morning, learning how to fish the river, and then will drop back down to particular areas located in the morning session, and fish them through with the benefit of a hatch. Surely, in summer, these will be mixed caddis, medium olives and pale wateries, and the grayling will focus on the up-wings, undoubtedly, and perhaps all the larger specimens will come to dry fly in the form of CDC plume tips.
This fly is the perfect tenkara dry fly, in either the F-fly style, if caddis really are prevalent as a foodform, or the utterly unbeatable up-wing or shuttlecock style in a 19 (TMC 103BL). And on Teplá Vltava, this fly, for me, resulted in two of my most outstanding days of 2013.
Oleg tells me that Teplá Vltava might be the water where the tenkara convention delegates of 2014 can fish. Very exciting this; and here is a possibility for you: just by a railway level crossing is a 100 metre length of river which my friend Tom Speak refers to as the 'glory water'; because it was here that Jan Siman took me in September of 2013, and where I caught five 40cm plus grayling, on plume tips in my second run up, during the beginnings of a PWD hatch. This length of river is astonishing. In the morning it lay, calm and apparently lifeless; not a rise to trouble its surface. But in the early afternoon, at the beginnings of the hatch, it was unbelievable. Immediately upstream of this section is a long broken series of rapids; fascinating water, but populated more by smallish trout than grayling. Downstream, however, is the water of which dreams are made – utterly perfect grayling water in the form of short pools and glides, much of which is overgrown and lends itself to a short tenkara rig and a small kebari (though I would choose the plume tip every time if there was any surface activity whatsoever).
In fact, downstream of the point described above are many kilometres of highly varied river, ranging in width from a mere six metres up to about 15 metres, though averaging about eight. With the gravel and limestone substrate, this produces a never ending scatter of different water types, from desperately slow, deeper (up to a little over a metre) sections which are fairly silted - which most of the local anglers will nymph in the classic Czech-style - to riffling rapids, laced with milfoil and water crowfoot. There are numerous bends as the river carves its way through the forest and you will notice that the foam lanes are often very close to the bank, channelled there by the currents. These are the best indicators of grayling positions that exist, short of an actual rise, because foam lanes are also feed lanes, and this is invariable. A well defined foam lane is certain to be where grayling will collect. It is very common on Teplá to catch within mere centimetres of the bank. Jan Siman demonstrated this to me. I watched him bounce his fly off the foliage on the far bank so that he would be close enough. The grayling really do hold very close indeed, even if the water depth appears to be insufficient to cover them. In the slightly peat stained (remember the forest) flow, the fish are completely invisible.
A rise to a hatch will shift their position somewhat, particularly in the beginnings of a hatch as the emergers will be over the silt and the gravels, depending on species, and before they collect in the drift lanes. During such a hatch this river is simply incredible. I can scarcely believe the numbers of grayling in such apparently small pools. I recall one of these, which Jan had fished before me, and caught four from, which I decided to stay in and see how many I
could extract while the hatch, of pale wateries, persisted. The pool was perhaps 12 metres in length, with a broad run-in, over gravel, and a narrowing, well-defined tail. I started at the head and took six grayling in ten minutes. Missing out the central section I then dropped to the tail and decided to work my way up during what was now the peak of the hatch. In a little under an hour I rose upwards of thirty grayling, bringing two thirds of them to hand. They ranged from 20 to 40cm. It was all close-quarters fishing, all sub-10 metres, and this is typical of grayling in an up-wing hatch, and typical, I think, of Teplá Vltava.
The very nature of this Sumava river is simply ideal for the fixed-line; its scale, its cover, the wading, and, perhaps intriguingly, I claim, the main target species – the grayling. To have all this among numerous Vltava tributaries above massive Lake Lipno, over many kilometres of the forested border country with Bavaria is enchanting. If the fixed-line approach had not been developed in Japan (and Italy in the form of Pesca alla Valsesiana), it could have been developed on Teplá Vltava. The idea of fishing kebaris in the riffle water on this river, in the absence of a hatch, appeals immensely; though I am certainly looking forward to returning to find the up-wings coming off and targeting some of the huge grayling which are then at their most vulnerable, to the well placed plume tip.