Pavel Adamovsky: I'm in love with tenkara

We constantly look for and discover something new on our fly-fishing journeys. Today's global world with its hundreds and thousands of impulses gives us plenty more opportunities than ever before to search for and to discover new things. Just think about it - would it have been possible half a century ago to get a message in English from a Russian living in Prague, saying that he would like to introduce you to the world of traditional Japanese fly-fishing? Perhaps, but it would certainly not have been as straightforward and intense then as it is today.

And exactly this happened to me when all of a sudden I got an email from a Russian called Oleg, asking me if I would like to try tenkara in Bohemia and write about my experience. I knew a little about tenkara and because my fly-fishing journey leads me more and more towards lightness and simplicity, I did not hesitate. Tenkara represents something of a return to the past, when fly-fishing was simple and light. It doesn't require hundreds of different kinds of flies, dozens of different rods, all sorts of gadgets, jackets loaded with half the offerings of a fly-fishing shop, equipment so expensive that leaving it in your car overnight will make you lose sleep.

tenkara fishing Litavka river

And exactly this happened to me when all of a sudden I got an email from a Russian called Oleg, asking me if I would like to try tenkara in Bohemia and write about my experience. I knew a little about tenkara and because my fly-fishing journey leads me more and more towards lightness and simplicity, I did not hesitate. Tenkara represents something of a return to the past, when fly-fishing was simple and light. It doesn't require hundreds of different kinds of flies, dozens of different rods, all sorts of gadgets, jackets loaded with half the offerings of a fly-fishing shop, equipment so expensive that leaving it in your car overnight will make you lose sleep.

What is tenkara? It is fly-fishing with a light telescopic fishing rod inspired by a traditional Japanese fly-fishing technique. With tenkara, there is no need for a fly-fishing reel because the line is attached to the tip of the fishing rod with the so-called lilian (a short braided line which is attached to the tip of the rod). The fly line (usually also braided) is tied to the lilian with a simple knot. There is a tippet at the end of the line just as in the "Western" style of fly-fishing.
chub fan catch on tenkara
Tenkara fishing rods are very delicate and even people who are used to fishing with light #2 or #3 rods will feel the difference. That difference is enormous. The fly-fisher will also notice how minimalistic the equipment is that you need for tenkara fly-fishing: a telescopic rod that will fit in a rucksack or a bag, a spool of fly line, some tippets, a small box of fine flies, clippers and a clamp. One hundred Euros is enough to get you started, even if you are a complete beginner (at least in summer, when you don't need boots and waders).

Oleg may have been the first fly-fisher to try out tenkara in the Czech Republic and I may be one of the first Czech pioneers who, with tenkara, will venture out onto other Czech rivers. I have tried tenkara on Litavka, Lužnice and Mže, and that is just the beginning of my journey. I will be happy to share the lightness of tenkara with you as I gather more experience. Either way, I am in love with tenkara already... 

My comments: Pavel Adamovsky also writes  for www.muskareni.cz and www.flyfishingpoint.net.