My Singing Tenkara

by Rory E. Glennie
(Vancouver Island B.C. Canada)

Typical Rainbow Trout for Vancouver Island mountain streams.

Typical Rainbow Trout for Vancouver Island mountain streams.

My first tenkara rod was a 13’6” Amago model. I have now become a convert. Until that time I had always fished a favourite mountain stream with my faithful 10’ 4wt. and thought it was just about perfect for the task. Over many years I knew the venue well and had learned stealth in approaching the fish. Most casts were short and precise and the trout usually rose willingly... so, I asked myself, why not tenkara?

On the first outing I got the surprise of my fishing life. The approach, cast and drift of the fly was the same as it had always been. The hook up was fluid and the hold secure. It was when the trout shot off downstream that the surprise came. Under the pressure from a taught line the rod, or perhaps it was the line, began to sing. I had never heard a fly line do that before. There was a clearly audible, sustained, high pitched twing-ing sound; it was much like the noise you hear when a high-tension electrical transmission wire is pegged with a rock. At first it was altogether pleasant and disconcerting at the same time. I did not know if it was a bad sign that the rod was on the verge of impending doom or what. After about the third fish caught I realized that there was no immediate danger of rod failure and began to expect and enjoy the musical serenade.

I now have a 14’7” Ito model to try out. I wonder if that rod will sing and whether it will be in a different pitch than the shorter Amago?

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” - Benjamin Franklin

"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

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


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