by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)
The Slingshot Cast Allows You to Fish Spots Other Anglers Pass By
What do you do when you see a tight, fishy-looking stream or creek, but there just isn’t room to make a traditional tenkara cast? Often, the answer is the slingshot, or bow-and-arrow delivery.
A common complaint for many tenkara beginners is that they spend too much time “decorating” trees and bushes with their flies and not enough time actually fishing. When you first start out, it seems like the rod is too long and the line has a mind of its own. Just how do you deliver the fly when there’s brush behind, overhead, and on both sides?
With the slingshot cast, you can fish where many anglers would say it’s impossible. I won’t go into the specifics of how to deliver the bow-and-arrow cast here. There are plenty of instructional videos on the Internet that will do a better job. If you study the first photo above, however, you’ll get the general idea. Just be careful and learn the proper technique so that you don’t impale a tender part of your hide! No fish is worth accident or injury. You also don’t want to break your rod.
Once mastered, however, the slingshot cast will often become the second most common cast you use, besides the standard delivery. You can use it to launch flies into tight holes in fishy creeks that other anglers pass by. In fact, if you couple the RIGHT tenkara rod with the RIGHT technique, you’ll find a new world of fishing opening up for you.
For example, a couple of weeks ago I fished a Texas Hill Country creek that has lots of nice holes with plenty of bass and bragging-size bluegills. Most of these spots remain unfished because anglers can’t figure out how to get the bait into the water. One particular spot almost begged to have a fly dropped into it. I used the bow-and-arrow cast, with my new Suntech Keiryu Special 27 purchased from Chris Stewart, to pull sunfish out of the water until I got tired of doing it. What fun! Again, the secret is the correct rod and the right technique.
So, if you don’t already know how to do it, study the demonstration videos on the Internet and then practice until you can deliver the fly safely and with confidence. Tell us how it works for you!
Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)
Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin