More Exploration of Tenkara Syndicate Waters

by Dave Southall
(East Yorkshire, UK)

On June 19th I made a second visit to explore one of the UK Tenkara Syndicate waters in Derbyshire. It was warm (20 degrees C) & dull but brightened after midday. The river was low & clear but the fish were very willing to rise & not as spooky as I would have expected from such a tiny, relatively unfished stream.

My Nissin Pro Spec 2 Way 10' 3" to 11' 9" 7:3 rod proved to be ideal for the river size (mainly 8 to 15' wide) & fish size (5 to 11"). A conventional rod & line would have been pretty useless due to drag problems or the splash of even a 2 weight line.

I had takes from every likely looking holding spot: pool tails (if deep enough), undercut banks, rock ledges, small troughs in ultra shallow water & pool heads. In one pool I hooked & landed 8 fish! It often amazes me how in pocket water streams fish can remain unspooked if they feel secure in their own isolated pocket.

Most fish fell for a size 14 Scarab (a foam beetle pattern so named after a French angler was convinced that the only reason I'd caught fish from the pool (on an Austrian stream) that he'd blanked in was my choice of fly, not better presentation.

I only saw one person in 5 hours (a walker near the access point). I walked up the path for the first mile, then started fishing where the path left the riverside. I then fished up the next 3 miles: wonderful wild fishing, with just the Curlews & Wagtails for company.

These waters are preserved for syndicate members but can be fished by anyone being guided by Paul Gaskell or John Pearson, the UK's only Tenkara USA endorsed guides, at

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662


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The fish are slippery when wet.

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