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Thread: Tenkara

  1. #171

    Arrow Fished the magic stretch ...

    ... midge larva trailing a rubber legs stonefly nymph today on the East Fork of the Bitterroot. I hooked up with a fiesty 13" rainbow, but unfortunately he helped himself off the hook before I could see which fly he ate.

    On the other hand, this guy stuck it out - obviously on the rubber legs.



    This is one of the biggest fish I have landed with a Tenkara rod. He went right at 17" and was very strong, especially with the help of a good current. He ran to some cover at the bank and I really didn't expect to pull him out and land him.

    Nice surprise.

    John
    Last edited by JohnScott; 11-18-2011 at 01:39 PM.
    The fish are always right.

  2. #172

    Lightbulb Updated ...

    Recently, a BB member inquired whether, a year later, Tenkara rods and fishing have continued to be a part of my fly angling experience.



    While I spent more time this summer on bigger water, when I got on the smaller streams, I went with a Tenkara rod as often as conventional fly rods.



    I fished this Montana backcountry creek last year with a Tenkara rod, and again this past October. The last time out was with an October Caddis.



    Not long after catching this little guy, I had on and played almost to hand and close enough to get a good look at this Yellowstone Cutt, which I had caught ten days earlier on an FEB Hopper while fishing with my Hexagraph rod.



    This is the largest trout I've had on a Tenkara - just about 20". I played him a bit conservatively because I was fishing the Tenkara, which is probably why I lost him just before landing him. Nevertheless, it was really exciting to see him come up in almost exactly the same spot and put up the same fight a second time and to ( almost ) handle him on the Tenkara.

    John
    Last edited by JohnScott; 11-19-2011 at 02:56 PM.
    The fish are always right.

  3. #173

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    I have been doing a little research on this topic of fly fishing, and to be honest it really intrigues me. In a way this is how I envision the first fly fisherman and women of course used to do it. Would you say in short that it is more challenging than using a regular set up? From my understanding you just have a furled leader with tippet added onto the end, is this correct. How does this perform in tight quarters as I fish alot of small streams in the area with alot of pockets and obstacles both in the water and on the banks that make an angler use his/her imagination to hit the holes? The water you are showing in the pictures, and mind you I only looked at the first page and last couple of threads look spectacular. I believe I may have to make a trip north to visit some of this beautiful scenery next year. Please give me your suggestions on this as I am considering trying to talk my wife into letting me get one.

  4. #174

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    It's easier than western fishing as you don't have to worry about drag. You can get you fly into very tight places that would be difficult with a western rod. I have fished the Madison and I have fished streams that were no wider than my rod. You use either a furled or a level line with a 5x or lighter leader.

  5. #175

    Lightbulb With multiple posts by a number of experienced ...

    Quote Originally Posted by moonlitflies View Post
    I have been doing a little research on this topic of fly fishing, and to be honest it really intrigues me. In a way this is how I envision the first fly fisherman and women of course used to do it. Would you say in short that it is more challenging than using a regular set up? From my understanding you just have a furled leader with tippet added onto the end, is this correct. How does this perform in tight quarters as I fish alot of small streams in the area with alot of pockets and obstacles both in the water and on the banks that make an angler use his/her imagination to hit the holes? The water you are showing in the pictures, and mind you I only looked at the first page and last couple of threads look spectacular. I believe I may have to make a trip north to visit some of this beautiful scenery next year. Please give me your suggestions on this as I am considering trying to talk my wife into letting me get one.
    ... and knowledgeable Tenkara fly anglers, this thread contains a wealth of information and ideas on Tenkara equipment and technique.

    It started out as a beginner's enthusiastic fishing and gear report and turned into an outstanding discussion by a bunch of folks who are devoted to this approach to angling. Thanks again to all who contributed.

    Take the time to read the entire thread and most likely all of your questions will be answered. And you'll be treated to more fish and stream porn !!

    John
    The fish are always right.

  6. #176

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    Haven't fished with a Tenkara rod since last summer. Decided to start with the TenkaraUSA Ayu this morning on the Lochsa. Big water, but high so the fishies are mostly near the edges. Got a lot of action in one little pocket, fishing a large FEB salmonfly dry. Seven cutts hit the fly but only three ate it - including this 17" fishy.



    John
    The fish are always right.

  7. #177
    Join Date
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    NYC
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    Nice fish! Almost worth waiting for.

  8. #178

    Lightbulb For those who fished cane poles ...

    ... or something similar, and think they have already had a Tenkara experience, please read the following. Chris Stewart contributed this to another thread started by someone who "didn't get" Tenkara. It is the best explanation I have seen distinguishing Tenkara gear from other long sticks with fixed strings. Chris agreed to let me post it on this thread, and edit my original post on this "sticky" to direct the cane pole crowd here.

    Fishing with a long rod and line tied to the rod tip is not new or unique (and no one is claiming otherwise). What is new to the US is the modern equipment, which allows you to fish in ways that you can't do with the cane pole you had as a kid. I know because I still have my cane pole and I've tried. Comparing a modern tenkara rod to what you had as a kid would be like comparing a modern graphite 2 weight fly rod to the cane pole you had as a kid (after adding guides and a reel seat to the cane pole). No one seems to make THAT comparison but it is EXACTLY the same thing.

    A tenkara rod is a very long, very light, very fast fly rod which is designed to cast a 12 to 20' leader without any fly line at all. And if you call making 20-25' casts dapping I guess you could say it is dapping - but only if you also said that making 25' casts with a fly rod is dapping because again, it is exactly the same thing. You are using the weight of the line to propel the fly. (In tenkara it is called a "line", but it is what in fly fishing would be called a leader, whether furled or just flourocarbon leader material). Stick and a string? Well, so's your Sage, which is just a shorter stick with a heavier string.

    If you can "get" the importance of drag free drifts, you ought to be able to "get" tenkara. The combination of long rod and light line allow you to keep nearly all of the line off the water so drag is minimized. Of course, having a rod that weighs 3 ounces, collapses to 20" (for walking through the woods or for travel), doesn't require an expensive reel, eliminates the necessity to mend or do a double haul or even take casting lessons may be advantage enough. Granted you can't cast past 25' but I would bet most of the fish most people actually catch are hooked within 25'.

    What I don't get is why people don't get it. Not saying you have to like it, want to do it or even have any interest in it whatsoever. I don't understand why people don't understand that it absolutely is not the cane pole fishing they did as kids. No worms, no split shot, no bobbers. It is fly fishing without the reel; fly casting without the haul. And if that is truly what you did as a kid, I apologize. (But really, if that IS what you did as a kid, you ought to get it.)

    In order to get it, don't start from the premise that it is a cane pole. Start from the premise that it is a modern graphite fly rod. Tenkara fishing is much, MUCH, MUCH closer to fishing with a fly rod than fishing with a cane pole.

    And if what you don't get is not the gear or the technique but why anyone would be interested in it, the reasons are probably as different as why different people like fly fishing. For me, I like it because with better drifts I catch more fish. I like that a small fish can still put a nice bend in the rod and a large fish feels a lot larger because of the leverage of the longer rod and because he can't take line so it is a very direct fight. With a fish of any size, you may actually need both hands to hold the rod. I like the light weight and the extreme portability of the rods. I really like that I don't even have to think about line management and never have excess line wrapped around my legs or getting underfoot (or wrapping around everything in sight when I fish from a canoe).

    If what you really like about fly fishing is making beautiful 60 or 80' casts, you would not like tenkara. If what you like about fly fishing is anything other than that, you might. It is different enough from what you did as a kid, though, that you really have to try it and see for yourself.

    One last point: I honestly, truly, sincerely believe that it is not getting popular because it is marketed exceptionally well. Heck, I'm one of the guys marketing it. I believe it is getting more popular because in some applications (streams under 40' wide for fish under 20" long) it really does offer significant advantages.


    Please note that Chris is an FAOL sponsor and is the creator / owner / operator of the website www.Tenkarabum.com. He is one of the most knowledgeable people in the fly angling community about all things Tenkara.

    John
    The fish are always right.

  9. #179
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    New York
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    John,

    Interesting comment.

    Well, allow me to ask a couple of questions regarding 'Tenkara' fishing. Obviously, it's not exactly the same as the bamboo 'stick', even the ones that were several pieces, that some of us usd as kids. Then again, Chris uses the term "modern" as a means of comparison. Well, I bet the originators of Tenkara back when would do a double-take on the rods used today for Tenkara fishing. Now I'm not saying I don't get it. Fish, or fly fish any which way you want for whatever reason you want.
    So, my questions:
    A) According to the documentation, approximately when was this method originally developed?
    B) Could the method be defined as simply as Chris does when he wrote, "A tenkara rod is a very long, very light, very fast fly rod which is designed to cast a 12 to 20' leader without any fly line at all" And then, "It is fly fishing without the reel; fly casting without the haul." Now I'm guessing that he means that a fly is at the end of the line?
    C) What if I were to say and be able to prove that, absent any worldly knowledge or access to information about Tenkara fishing, there were American fly fishers or just fishers who were using what I'll describe as the same method and equipment that was almost universally available 100 years ago?

    Actually, immediately after writing the above I looked up 'tenkara' and got the following from wikipedia:
    "Originally the rod was simply a bamboo/cane rod, which was cut and treated, but unlike contemporary western bamboo rods, they were not "manufactured" (i.e. split and glued back together). Unlike in the western fly-fishing tradition where anglers used heavy wooden rods, in Japan anglers always used bamboo, which is readily available and very light. Because of its light weight, Japanese anglers were able to use very long bamboo rods and reach as far as needed without the need to develop reels for the short rods developed in the west.[3]


    The Japanese used bamboo that was a native raw ingredient, cut it to a desired length, treated it and used it to cast a line made perhaps of 'gut' with some type of artificial fly, lure, or something to catch fish in their streams. Sounds just like a situation where "necessity is the Mother of invention".
    Here there was no bamboo generally available at that time so fishers used what was available and that meant different wood. So if I were to say, "I don't get it", that does not meant I don't appreciate the method. I do and if some like tenkara fishing that's good. I just don't think it's a 'new' method. As all things do, things change. The fly rod has changed as have all rods including the Tenkara rod. The use has not.

    Allan
    Last edited by Allan; 06-03-2013 at 12:45 AM. Reason: clarification

  10. #180
    Join Date
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    Here is what I don't quite understand about Tenkara fishing: what if you hook a large trout? Say 20+" ?.
    And, what if the trout are rising 35-40 feet away?
    How do you get nice LONG floats of your fly?
    I don't disparage the practice, and I know some highly respected fishers ( like Craig Matthews) who practice it and love it.
    It just seems to place many limitations on the fisher???
    Thanks, look forward to more explanations.

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