Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Word On Tenkara And What Happened To My Blog

Somehow, my blog got F'd up. Everything got rearranged without me having anything to do with it. I reconstructed it to something that resembles the original. It's not a virus thing but a google thing. I will work it out. The message will continue but I have to post again my Tenkara comments.

Tenkara- This technique has worked its way into the fly fishing word. It was developed in the mountain streams of Japan for their trout. I have used this technique on and off for the past 18 months. Here are my thoughts and observations.


It is fly fishing, pure and simple! A 12 ft (on average) rod with a mono line attached to the tip of the rod delivers a fly. A 12 ft. rod generally has 12 ft of heavy mono to which 5 or 6 ft of 5 x leader material is attached. Even though there is no reel or standard fly line it is still fly fishing. It is wonderfully basic. Remember that a lot of "high sticking" is done without any standard fly line touching the water. We are all guilty of that!

Tenkara rids us of dealing with drag that comes with using a standard floating fly line. One can pick pockets at leisure and catch trout. It is perfect for mountain streams and pocket water on larger rivers.


LANDING TROUT is not so easy. Check out the standard Tenkara video and you will see an angler hooking a fish, playing it out and then skidding it over the top of the water to a Tenkara net. Two things are obvious: the trout are small (6 to 12 inches) and the Tenkara net is SMALL. Remember, this technique was developed in Japans mountain streams. Small water usually means small fish. Hook a 15 inch Swift River Bow with a Tenkara outfit and you will not be able to let that fish run (the line is attached to the tip of the rod) and you will have to chase it. I have done that fully knowing that a standard reel would have given me a distinct advantage. I have snapped the leader doing that have seen other Tenkara anglers do that and had Dan Trela, the Dean of the Swift, say that he has seen the same thing. What is the remedy? Have someone with a net close by to assist you or be prepared to run downstream with those larger, aggressive trout.

My new wife has caught trout with a tenkara setup. It is perfect in a mountain stream filled with small, beautiful native trout. It may be the best setup for that environment.

TENKARA FLIES - Fagetabotit!!!! Japanese entomology has years to go before it's at a western level. Where are the size 20 BWO, the scuds, the streamers, the basic nymphs?? Those Tenkara flies are so huge and generic that they may only be dependable on small mountain brooks. I'd use soft hackles instead.

Tenkara - It has it's place and it is very enjoyable in that place.



David Burke said...

Ken and others.....

I started fly fishing 2 years ago and love it. I received a novice fly tying kit with a vice and tools for Christmas.

I stopped by the Evening Sun yesterday and picked up the materials to tie San Juan Worms and Pheasant Tails.

What other flies should I start with, being a novice?

What color/s should the San Juan Worms be?


Millers River Flyfisher said...


SJW's are good in red and pink.

Check out the flies that I have on my blog. Most are made for the Swift. A lot of the tying instructions were posted in the first tree months of this year.

So you started tying? Your life has changed!!!!


David Burke said...


My email address is

Thank you very much!