Tenkara on the River Wharfe Yorkshire
by JEREMY BOWDEN
Had my very first go at tenkara recently fishing the Wharfe in Yorkshire famous for its fabulous wild trout population and some large grayling.
Stephen Cheetham of Fishing with Style guided. He is an excellent guide and instructor and his many years fishing the Wharfe were needed as the river was rising fast and made fishing difficult.
What struck me at first was the incredible lightness of the style, it has a simplicity to it that is deceptive. It is very easy to feel you need to force the line out but once I found a rhythm it became easier and I found my whole focus was on the anticipated take of the fly.
I didn't catch any grayling but had a dozen of so out of season wonderful small wild brown trout. The takes were far more subtle than I imagined and added to the whole lightness and tranquility of the style.
I did wonder what would happen if I encountered one of the larger brown trout and as if to prove a point I hooked one just under 2lbs. Easy to deal with using traditional tackle but a real panic when you realize there isn't any spare line to give!
It would have been an easier fish to deal with had I not been chest deep in a fast flowing river at the time.
This is just when you are grateful to have a guide. Stephen provided expert advice on dealing with such a large fish by a complete beginner. Not sure who was more relieved when it eventually came to the net.
I had my doubts before I went, I don't now and would recommend finding a guide and having a go.
I have no doubt that the simplicity is very deceptive and that the learning will continue for years but what a wonderful way to fish.
“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