Tenkara on the River Wharfe Yorkshire

by JEREMY BOWDEN
(Warwick England)

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.

Comments for Tenkara on the River Wharfe Yorkshire

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Dec 14, 2012
Agreed
by: Anonymous

The "simplicity" often touted is deceptive. The approach, to me, takes away the concentration needed on long fly line, reel use, and fly selection, and places attention on the actual fish, water environment, and angling. For me, this is the most important part of this approach and I choose equipment and techniques that I don't have to think about so I can put full attention on the take and landing.

Your comment about focussing on the coming strike indicates that you went directly to a similar focus.

Dec 19, 2012
You'll not regret it
by: Dave Southall

Glad you enjoyed your first experience of trenkara. You won't regret it. It is an amazing way to achieve first class presentation of both dry & wet flies.

It is particularly good on pocket water with lots of complex currents & for grayling which are easier to get close to than spooky brown trout.

Although tenkara is simple there is a lot to learn about subtle forms of presentation, particularly the application of movement to the flies.

All the best with your new experience.

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