Thursday, December 29, 2016

I got a new rod for Christmas

I got a new rod for Christmas, now what?

Tenkara is pretty simple - A stick, a string, a fly.

You got the stick, now you need some string.

The good news, most if not all tenkara rods (or maybe more generically:: fixed-length line rods) are pretty versatile in terms of compatibly with many line types/sizes. You are using a relatively long rod to manipulate a fairly short and manageable length of string.

There are at least a couple areas of consideration when it comes time to choosing which type/size of string to use:

- How a line casts
What type/size/shape of fly do you need to deliver (i.e. is the fly wind resistant ?)
What are the conditions ( it windy, Is the body of water large and open or closed in and bushy, am I going to be fishing close in or do I need to extend my cast as far as possible, how long of line do I need to reach the fish, etc)

- How a line fishes (once the fly has been delivered)
Using a surface or sub surface (damp or deep) fly, dead drift or active presentation, what types of active presentation (swing, dap, twitch, skate, lift, etc)

Ask 10 fixed-length line fishers what line they prefer, you'll get at least 15 different answers. Try several different types and see what works best for how and where you like to fish.

It is the right line if it works for you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Why Tenkara?

I was skimming over a fly fishing forum today, one of the topics was “Why Tenkara?”  The original poster wrote about what he thought some of the advantages were of fishing with a tenkara set up, other replies leaned more toward why someone might want to give fixed length rods a try.

I think fixed length line set ups do provide some anglers with significantly greater success and enjoyment, for others, maybe not so much.  It’s always dangerous to make blanket statements, but having talked to a pretty fair number of people, the folks who typically enjoy tenkara the most tend to fall on either side of the bell curve.  Those folks tend to often be beginner fly fishers, or folks such as myself that have been around the block, maybe a few too many times.

In my mind, the primary advantage of a fixed length line set up is that it reduces complexity.  It’s not necessary to spend time astream wondering if perhaps one should have overloaded/underloaded the rod by a step up/down in line weights, or if a 15 foot leader maybe be just the ticket instead of the 12 footer I’m fishing with now.  

For beginners, complexity often means confusion, and a fixed length rod eliminates most if not all the confusion regarding line weights, tippet sizes and the like.  The experienced angler on the other hand has been there, done that.  A fixed length line allows him/her to return to simpler times, along the lines of what was old is now again new.

The other big advantage, it forces a discipline to fish a short controlled line.  This often is helpful to all anglers.  Put a reel on a rod, and the natural inclination is to keep sneaking just a few more feet of line out.  The fishing always seems to look more promising on the other side of the river.  Other than some specialized situations, longer lines are more difficult to control once they land on the water.  This of course leads to less precision when it comes to presenting one’s fly.  A well presented fly always out performs a fly presented less than optimally.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Tenkara line holders

These snell holders work great to store your tenkara lines -

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Golden Rule

"You’ve picked your fly, read the river, and figured out exactly where to drop that fly. You then make a cast to the spot you've chosen, but here’s the kicker: You might be only halfway there, because presentation is half of the entire game. How your fly looks to trout in the few seconds after it hits the water is as important, if not more important, than all the things you did to choose the pattern, figure out where to put it, and then get it there. At the end of the day, fly fishing is all about presentation. So remember this golden rule: You will never beat a large, wise trout into submission."

The author is absolutely right - Presentation is the name of the game.  However he goes on to say, after you've made a good cast with no results, change your fly.

From my perspective, it makes much more sense to change your presentation.  If dead drift doesn't work, skate it, swing it, twitch it, sink it, dap it.  It makes no sense to me to go to the trouble of changing your fly, then presenting it using exactly the same presentation that didn't work a minute ago.

It seems to me, you can make your fly look like it's alive, or act like it's alive.  Best of all worlds - both.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

What flies do I need

It's hard for a new fisher to get started with what flies they should acquire and fish.  It may be helpful to remember a few simple rules -

1. For the most part, fish aren't all that smart.

2. Fish take flies for at least two reasons -
    a. It looks good to eat
    b. It acts good to eat

Alot of folks focus on 2a.  They tend to carry alot of different fly patterns,  If one fly doesn't work, try another.

Some folks focus on 2b.  They carry very few patterns.  The patterns they carry are very generic, the flies look like alot of things.  They believe it's not so much the pattern you are fishing, it's how you fish it. If one presentation doesn't work, they try another (dead drift, skate, twitch, swing, dapple, float it, sink it etc)

Both schools of though work (primarily because of rule #1)

Friday, April 15, 2016