Tenkara in Austria
by Dave Southall
(Driffield, East Yorkshire. UK)
As a tenkara convert of 9 months I decided to take my Amago to Austria. I already knew of the massive advantages of tenkara presentation in waters with tricky currents but little did I expect the staggering success I & my tenkara buddy Steve would have on the pocket waters of the Austrian Alps.
Steve shot video footage of me fishing with both conventional & tenkara gear. It was staggering how much more efficient short-line tenkara was. No need to do parachute casts, reach casts or mends & no splashing of heavy fly line; just drop the fly gently on the water, hold the tippet off the water and track the rod with the drift. 'Nudging' the fly into current seams was also simple. Drag-free drifts were easily facilitated.
On our first day on the Zembach near Mayrhofen I fished my conventional 10' #4 weight & had just over 50 wild browns up to 13" in 4 hours. The next day, on the same water, I had 22 fish to just short of 15" in 1 hour 30 minutes on the tenkara.
The highlights of the trip were:
A day on the upper Ziller near Mayrhofen when I had well over 100 browns to 13" in less than 4 hours & Steve had a similar number up to 15". All on size 12 or 10 black or tan Klinkhamers.
2 days on the upper Krimmler Ache, above the Krimml water falls when Steve & I had a combined catch of about 450 to 500 fish (2/3 brook trout & 1/3 browns to 14") on Klinkhamers.
Over the 10 day trip we had a combined catch of well over 1000 fish, with over 800 caught on the tenkara rods.
“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
The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.
Beware of the Dogma