UK Tenkara Dry Fly Fishing
by Dave Southall
(Driffield, East Yorkshire, UK)
A while back I mentioned how impressed I was with tenkara for winter grayling in the extreme cold we had in the UK last winter. Well, now I've had time to give it a good go with the dry fly.
In the past I often fished with a 10' #3 rod and little more than a 15' leader & tippet, holding most of the leader/tippet off the water to reduce drag. The longer tenkara rods (12' Iwana & 13.5' Amago) have proved ideal for this style of fishing. Even in the desperately low water we've had in Yorkshire with this summer's drought, tenkara's close approach has proved its worth: so much so that when I recently introduced Stuart Crofts (one of the UK's top flyfishermen, who has fished for the England Rivers Flyfishing Team and is an Orvis Endorsed Guide) he was so impressed with the presentational possibilities that he decided to buy a 12' Iwana.
I like to use a line plus tippet combination the same length as the rod, even though this means fishing very close. It allows me to keep all but a few inches of tippet off the water and facilitates the most delicate, drag-free presentation. It has allowed me to make some surprisingly good catches in very challenging low, clear water conditions. The only drawback I've found of the fixed line is that when using 7x tippet recently whilst fishing a size 24 CdC IOBO Humpy for some very fussy midge-feeders I was broken off by one of the few large stock fish which are put into my local small stream in which I usually catch lovely wildies up to 13".
For wild (unstocked) fisheries with pocket water and fish up to about 14" tenkara can't be beaten for presentation.
“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