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..


Sabsman said...

I take my hat off to you Andy, trying out that method with the wind the way it was the weekend must have been 'interesting'!!!

It is a method I would certainly like to try just to see what it feels like when you hook a decent fish.


Eric Roberts said...

Very unique and intriguing technique - bet it'd be great for small stream trout fishing.

The Jassid Man said...

Sounds both nice and challenging. Hope you'll enjoy it more in the future. Perhaps without any "breeze".
Have fun going japanese,

Kiwi said...

I became a tenkara convert in late 2009 and have never looked back. I probably do 95% of my fishing now a days only with my tenkara rods. It IS the perfect method for small stream trout fishing but it can be so much more than that. I and others have been able to use it on larger rivers for trout as well. I have also spent time using it in shallow warm water ponds for bass and bluegills and have even used in saltwater tidal estuaries for blue fish. When fishing for trout North Country Spiders are perfect to use. Try it some more and I'm sure you'll find yourself ordering a rod.

Unknown said...

Nice piece. Wonderful countryside too?

Esoteric Tackle said...

It's wonderful to read comments on Tenkara in the UK. I think the technique has a growing following. Soon there will be a UK suplier to rival Tenkara USA.