Welsh Tenkara Virgin
by Simon H
A work trip to South Wales gave me a chance to visit my brother. He is the reason I started fly fishing all those years ago. He has tried my tenkara rod out before but not in the right place or conditions to see the benefits for himself. A small river flows 10 minutes from his front door, so with the tenkara in my back pocket and flies in my coat we set off.
The river is about 15 – 20 feet across, the pool I decided to fish had a strong flow right through the centre with back eddies on the far bank. With trees all around and behind the only way to cast was a type of steeple cast stopping before the fly touched the surface so as to keep the leader out of the flow.
We started with a dry as a fish had risen a few times. The bow and arrow cast demonstrated the fly sitting in the back eddy - one very impressed brother! Unfortunately the fish did not agree. With the rod handed over with two weighted PTNs, Gareth my brother took his first steps in tenkara. He took a while to get the idea of lifting the rod to keep the leader free of the current, on the third cast as the nymphs made their way downstream a trout decided to christen this new tenkara virgin.
As the rod bent over the smile on by brother's face grew, he hoped that I had not seen him go to pull in the line, first thing he said after landing the fish was "I've got to get one of these!"
Making our way upstream casting to eddies that would be impossible for a normal fly rod resulted in another 2 fish in the net and 1 throwing the hook. This demo of tenkara went better than could be imagined. I have learnt that if you are demonstrating tenkara, try to make sure the water that you use will show off the benefits of the rod and technique.
“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