Monday 23 January 2012

Tenkara Yorkshire style

I dont know if you can remember the 1980 hit "Turning Japanese"  well Yesterday on a windswept Yorkshire stream it happened to me .  Fishing as a guest of a devotee of the style.  I fished reel less and fly line less with a 13ft tenkara rod in conditions that were described by my host dave Southall as "challenging" Looking at the coloured water and feeling the "breeze" , for those of you that dont understand English weather and in particular Yorkshire weather a breeze can mean anything that isnt physically uprooting trees. 

Been shown how it should be done

The few hours were spent rod sharing,  a way of fishing that allows far more conversation  than is usual when river fishing. A good thing when a new technique is been explored .  The method is extremely simple although the action of casting with the ultralight fixed line took some getting used to.  The sensitivity and control that the technique offers was plain to see from the first cast.  The ability to hold all your line of the water and allow a completely natural drift with absolute control and concentrate solely on presentation was different to any method I have ever fished before.  It is a method that harks back to times of Stewart when he fished the Yorkshire rivers 100 years ago with long rods and tapered horsehair lines and no reel.  Now the rod weighs a few ounces and the line modern nylon.

The control that the method offers to me demonstrates many parrallels to that recent development of pole angling in coarse fishing.  Increased sensitivity and control exact placement and the ability to place, hold or even work the bait / fly whilst also minimising or even eliminating drag. 

The downside today was the "breeze" which always seemed to blowing downstream and therefore was catching the line and pushing through the tippet faster than the current.  Today we both blanked several fish were connected with but all released at distance.  But that did not spoil a pleasurable and educational day. 

I enjoyed the few hours immensely and look forward to the next time I am invited to turn Japanese .  I am not sure that I will ever turn to the style in any substantial way.  But I can see distinct advantages that it offers,  I have to say that wind is probably one condition that the style doesnt handle that well.  Saying that I have been promised another day when coditions are more clement so watch this space..

Saturday 14 January 2012

First trip of 2012 and its going to be a good year.

Was down my local beck today . Was agreeing the sites where I will be doing the invertebrate monitoring this year .  It has been a lovely day clear and sunny but very cold.  The beck is very low in fact its a worry as the flow is something like mid summer levels.   The water is also crystal clear however that did allow us to see that the brown trout have been busy with the scars of redds everywhere.  Even though we werent fishing at the time just being down by the water looking at the wildlife and listening to sound of the stream had a positive effect and seemed to help to break the gloom that winter spreads.


Anyway as I had my waders on I decided I would have a couple of hours after the grayling.  My trips down there earlier in the winter had been fruitless and was worried that the otters etc had cleaned out the fish in the low clear water.



Anyway after a couple of hours I had nearly worked through the last pool with the little size 16 goldhead shrimp, the line darted away and a little 9 inch grayling came to hand , It was great to see they are still there. Then next cast into the same table top size area and the line twitched and a gentle strike met solid resistance.  Afer a brief struggle I had a lovely cock fish in the net 17inches from nose to fork of tail,  a lovely fish for this beck. 

Finally as I clambered out of the pool this little bunch of snowdrops caught my eye,  seeing them makes me realise spring isnt far away . Its going to be a good year ...

PS sorry about the poor pics.  Camera was left in the car so the phone had to be used.....


Reasons to be cheerful part 3

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