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Tenkara in a warm water enviroment

by BKCooper
(FT worth , TX)

I know there are a few people here that are from Texas. Now here there are no real high gradient streams at least in my part of Texas, but there are plenty of ponds and creeks around. I use my tenkara rod pretty much wherever I go but I use it different than what others would. I find that I slap down quite a bit of line and keep my rod tip down a lot. If I don't the wind will pull my fly pretty fast and not allow the fly to stay at the depth I want it. Looking for suggestions because I do find keeping my rod tip up helps with hook ups but that ever present wind plays havoc with me. That and length of cast especially on ponds. Also when fishing ponds how do you retrieve your fly? Curious to here some personal anecdotes form some fellow warm water tenkara fishermen.

Comments for Tenkara in a warm water enviroment

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Oct 31, 2017
Wind Fishing
by: Les Albjerg

BK - One of the nice things about living in Idaho is I have both worlds to fish in. The Treasure Valley is full of ponds and slow warm water streams, and up in the mountains, I have the cold water opportunities. What I have found in my ponds and slow streams is to fish a long rod. I only fished my 8 meter rod 3 times this year, but it was fairly windy on the Snake River and the smallmouth bass were cooperating. There comes a point where the wind moves the rod too! In my experience, I have found a 4.5 meter rod and the wind is about the right length. I love my Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45 in the wind. I bought it for the wind. The Kyogi rods work well in the wind. As Chris says, "Use the longest rod that you can." A couple of times I used a small float strike indicator so I could keep the line off the water and still manipulate the fly. It was really blowing hard, and this trick worked. I fish a heavier line in the wind as well. I have found that a 4.5 level line really cuts the wind well. The best bet is a longer rod and a shorter line. The TenkaraBum 40 fishes well in the wind as well. Finally, try to use the wind to your advantage. If possible try to fish with wind to your back. I have found a short cast with the rod held high, and letting the fly drift with the line off the water works well. Once it is all the way out, work it back. I have caught fish on the drift as well as the retrieve. Quartering wind can be used in a similar fashion. We have a lot of wind in Idaho too. I used to complain, now I ask "How can I use the wind to my advantage." Last, Fluorocarbon leader is a must in the wind. It is stiffer and sinks better than mono.

Oct 31, 2017
Simple, Partial Solutions
by: John Evans

Hey, B.K.,
As a fellow Texan, I offer two simple, partial solutions. The first is obvious--If it's a pond, I just try to locate myself so that the wind is at my back. That helps a lot. Second, when the wind is up, I've identified a couple of hidey-holes, along creeks, maybe in a hollow, with wind-breaking brush on the banks to cut the breeze. So, again, location is a key. Wind can always be a problem, but just think about location. Try to identify some places or locations where wind is less of a problem, and this will cut down on the "frustration factor."

Oct 31, 2017
by: Martin

The suggestion putting the wind as much as possible is probably the best solution. I use a floating line here in Oklahoma. Being a little heavier helps in casting and keeping the line down. I also use the wind to help drift the fly. I primarily fish with some type of indicator so that makes the action of the fly work pretty good.

Oct 31, 2017
Level Lines
by: Les Albjerg

Martin - If you have never tried the level lines from TenkaraBum, you are really missing out on one of the BIG advantages of these rods. I had some floating lines designed for Tenkara rods and they don't compare to a good level line.

You can teach an old flyfisherman new tricks! Being able to set the hook with a flick of the wrist rather than hauling all of that fly line off the water is what I call "instant fishing gratification." Strike detection with a tight line and these sensitive rods is beyond compare.

Level lines also cut the wind much better than a floating line. I have relegated my floating line to just fishing poppers for bass. Level line is also cheap compared to floating lines. Using a small indicator float when fishing on top if needed, or regulating the depth with Dinsmore #10 shot gives me complete control over the fly whether in a pond or on the stream.

I have bought some furled lines, but I keep going back to the level lines because of their simplicity, and versatility. For the wind they are hard to beat.

Nov 01, 2017
by: Herb S.

BK, keiryu rods such as Les's Sawanobori 45 or my similar Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 cast much better than Tenkara in the wind and are designed for a wide range of lines from heavy to very light. You might try a very thin line with a weighted nymph or an unweighted fly with split shot. Light lines, 6# test or so, cut the wind, not only when casting but while fishing. Keep the rod low, side casting and holding the rod down while retrieving from the side. I've been using Stren Gold for some visibility and have been experimenting with clear fluorocarbon lines in light pound tests for detecting bites strictly by feel. Chris sells light tippet-size lines just for keiryu. Keep the line tight as possible.
Wind is a problem everywhere, a challenge to overcome! Good luck and
Happy fishing,

Nov 03, 2017
PS: Floats
by: Herb S.

Another thought is to fish with a float/bobber. Chris sells some nice ones, by the way. The weight of the float, as with a weighted fly or split shot, helps get the rig out there. Markers, which normally work well, catch the wind like sails since they are up in the air, but keeping the rod tip low, even at or below the water line, gets the line below the wind. Of course, the bobber is going to move with the wind, but if it's a side wind you can "drift fish" like you would in a river. Another way to skin a cat(fish).

Happy fishing,

Nov 11, 2017
My Two Cents
by: Jay Guarneri

You can learn to cast in to the wind surprisingly well. I lived in Kansas up until a few months ago, and I got pretty good at casting 20 foot size 4 lines into 20+mph headwinds. A longer or stiffer rod helps (but isn't necessary), and you need a longer, faster casting stroke. The real key is to stop your forward cast (with a good solid stop) lower than you would otherwise, so your line cuts down through the wind instead of fighting it directly. It also helps to use slim, dense, or weighted flies if you can.

As for the retrieve, I found it most productive to fish flies that I would "strip" back on windy days. Buggers, streamers, and clousers are the go-tos. Let your line stay in or on the water if you need to, but keep line tension at all times. One of my most effective tactics was to throw a clousered leech pattern and just slowly, steadily drag it back. I got a lot of panfish, bass, catfish, and walleye with this presentation. Sometimes you'll get a solid strike; often it will just feel a little heavier, so set the hook if you think something's "fishy." If you see a jig fisherman doing well, try to copy what they're doing as best you can.

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