dimanche 30 novembre 2014


For the second article of this series I am going to deal with river tenkara fishing that I divide in two different techniques: upstream and downstream fishing.
On most of the rivers I fish there is a lot of vegetation on the banks but I do not choose my fishing technique only on this factor. Before I start fishing I always take the time to observe the interesting spots, to analyze the current(s) and the visible signs of fish activity if there is any.

Upstream fishing is more productive on most of rivers I fish so I will start with this technique.

I cast fully upstream and try to make my kebari drift in the spots where I think there are trouts. Targeting the swift currents between rocks is often a good idea. I generally wade slowly along the bank not to alert fishes.
When the kebari starts drifting down the stream I slowly lift my rod and cast back when the line is back in front of me. This technique is simple and allows a fast prospection of spots you suspect to shelter trouts. They are opportunistic predators, their choice is probably "eat this bug or it's gonna be eaten by someone else". Do not fear to cast many times on the same spot until a trout moves. Casting upstream allows you to stand out of fishes filed of vision.
I do not use patterns weighted with metal beads or lead wire because I have experienced that heavy kebari do not drift but sink and I have the personal conviction that it makes a radical difference in the eyes of a trout. Since I have stopped fishing with bead headed nymphs I very rarely catch any chub or minnows in trout streams like I did before.
I indifferently cast a 4 meters level line size 3 or a 4.50 meters tapered line even though the tapered line are more visible in low light conditions.

Once again, if you have chosen a low quality rod you will not cast as easy as with a good rod and you will be more limited in your choice of line and line configuration.

With a 6X fluorocarbon tippet that has a length equal to 25% of the line I can pretend to easy and effective dead drifts with my kebari. If you use this configuration of line/tippet ration (75/25) with a well balanced rod and still have difficulties to cast effortless I advise you to switch to a smaller and lighter fly pattern and shorten your tippet a bit.

A good tenkara rod can cast any kind of line but most of cheap rods can only decently cast one kind of line (generally furled) because they are not designed to be versatile. If you purchase your first tenkara rod always try to know what kind of line it was designed for. Do not trust a salesman who explains you that this rod is for fishing on dry flies and the other one is for nymphing.
Real tenkara rods are designed to be used with different kind of lines (furled, level, tapered) and not with specialized fly patterns.

The second technique is cross-stream and downstream fishing. I mainly fish cross-stream because most of the rivers where I fish are winding and generally the straight parts are overfished and overcrowded. I like this technique because it is based on approach and discreet progression along the stream.
My fishing is I think very simple: I only let the tip of my line on the water surface and let the tippet (and kebari) sink. This allows to let the current make your tippet and kebari drift naturally.
If your line sinks it is more difficult to obtain good dead drifts because the current will exert its force on several elements (line, tippet, kebari) with different diameter and density. 
Since I have been fishing tenkara I am learning to use the stream current to make my kebari sink and obtain good dead drifts. The effort is really worth.

Downstream fishing is for me a  good way to prospect wider spots and it is a good technique to present a kebari to many potential trouts in no time. It is not my favorite technique but it is a good exercice to train casting long light lines. 
One of the main difference between upstream and downstream fishing is that in downstream fishing I slowly drop my rod as the line goes downstream. This allows to make the kebari drift longer and get more chances to catch a fish. 

jeudi 27 novembre 2014


I am going to post a series of articles about some of the common questions I am asked by readers about the tenkara gear choice and how it is, in my opinion, possible to use these pieces gear at their best. These writings are based on my personal experience of tenkara and you might have different viewpoints about tenkara rods, tenkara lines or tenkara techniques but...it is my blog!

I am starting today by small stream tenkara.

To fish in small streams it is better to choose the rod that is long enough to cast properly your kebari to the fish without getting snagged everywhere at every cast. What I like in small stream tenkara is that I have to observe and chose the best possible spots where to cast from and get the best hooks setting possibilities. I wade as few as possible to remain undetected as in the small streams where I fish trouts are not numerous and generally very spooky.

I never fish on dry flies on small streams just because it has become really unproductive on most of the small streams where I fish. The density of insects has dramatically decreased through the years and there are no more important hatches that make the trouts look for their food on the water surface. A these touts are not very mobile I had to adapt to their feeding habits and fish sub-surface.

I cast short, my level line is the length of the rod and is light
(号 3). This level line size is the one I use the most, I feel confident with it and it is the best suited for the delicate presentation required in the shallows streams I fish.
My tippet is made of 6x fluorocarbon and its length is a bit under 25% of the line length. It might seem short but it is exactly what I need to properly cast, present and sometimes manipulate my kebari in streams that are rarely more than one foot deep.

I did start tenkara with the fly fisherman's habit of using several tippets spools but with experience I have kept only the one that had the best strength/casting ratio.
I have never used tapered leaders for tenkara because I do not trust them and I think that the more there are different elements to make a line the more it is difficult to make it drift properly.
My personal preference for small stream tenkara is for traditional patterns, especially the Yellow Takayama Sakasa Kebari.

Having tested several rods I have definitely adopted the Oni type 3.
It has a soft action, incredible casting abilities and fits better with my idea if small stream tenkara. The other rods I did try were good rods but were too limited for line choice and really too stiff for my taste, the Oni type 3 is the kind of rod you have to try if you want (or like) easy and delicate casting with light lines.

Delicate presentation is absolutely needed in the small streams I fish and I have experienced that all rods are not created equal. As for me a good tenkara rod is the one with the greatest versatility on casting. I want only one rod able to cast any line I have in my pack when I go fishing may it be a light level, tapered or furled line. 

Small stream tenkara is an exciting technique and a very good way to improve your technique in every aspect of fishing: approach, observation, casting, sasoi. It is a very rewarding fishing style because it is really questioning for one's skills. 
I would like to add as a conclusion that small stream tenkara can also any angler to really improve his fishing in wider streams and that is why I will always try to encourage tenkara anglers to experiment small stream tenkara. 

vendredi 21 novembre 2014


After long years of absence in my boxes I will start again using my version of a nymph known worldwide for being so effective that its name is the "killer bug". 

This pattern was named by its creator, Franck Sawyer, an English bailiff on the Avon river who needed a highly effective to exterminate the graylings as this species was considered as parasite by the Army officers who owned the fishing rights on this stream.
It is now possible to find a very good substitute to the original Chadwick 477 yarn used by Sawyer on a few tenkara tackle websites and that is the reason why I will have this pattern back in my box.
A good killer bug yarn has, in my opinion, to have as characteristic not to be uniform color and to have a great translucency when wet for a bit of "realism". The skin of real nymph is not made of plastic or rubber, it is extremely thin and translucent. 
When I started long years ago to tie the killer bug it was the exact Sawyer's pattern but then I decided to tie it with a copper wire head. Tying this way allows to have a wet nymph on which you can see literally see the guts when it is wet.

I will not use any other weight on my killer bugs than wraps of copper wire. It gives me really light nymphs (0.005 oz for size 10!) which are compatible with my tenkara gear so I will not experiment the horrors of existential questions about the compatibility of this rod with this line, this line with this pattern, etc! 

I have always liked tying flies and I am still tying a lot,  not only for my web shop but also for the pleasure of having some to offer to friends of mine. I have realized a few days ago that I have tied so much in the past two years that the jaws of my Dyna King are totally slick! 
Now I have the good material to tie this pattern the way I like the vise is not going to be resting soon!

I had a little bit of time yesterday evening so I did a tying video of this excellent pattern, perhaps will it motivate you to make your vise heat up...

mercredi 19 novembre 2014


Last year I did purchase a bamboo box that unlike the C&F Design I had before was compatible with my Zimmerbuilt strap pack and I have to say that it did fit perfectly. It is nothing fancy but very common and I had the opportunity to buy it very cheap.
But after several weeks of use I did find a cons: slit foam panels. I understand the use of these high density slit foam panels when you absolutely need to keep your dozens of nymphs patterns classified to be able to change the pattern used to catch as many fishes as possible in a competition for example, I understand the use of this kind of device for anglers who want to stick to the "match the hatch" conception of fly fishing but this is totally useless for a tenkara angler who is a one fly adept or one who is convinced that the main characteristic of fishes in their feeding process is opportunism.

One day, back home after a tenkara outing I ripped the foam panels from the box and put back my hanful of takayama sakasa kebari in it.
A few weeks ago while talking about custom kebari boxes in a tenkara forum a friend of mine invited me to get in touch with Richard Setina,  an American craftsman known for his beautiful custom kebari boxes.

Within a few mails I and Richard conceived my box. After a few days Richard sent me pictures of a trial version of what would my custom kebari box and the result was amazing! Even hot off the tools it was absolutely awesome.

With such a beautiful rendering on a raw piece I instantly gave Richard my agreement to purchase this box. I had to wait for two weeks before the box was produced and finished but I was sure that it was really worth. It is made of cherry and maple, I like this two tone look, more than I would with an uniform appearance. Its beautiful finish is made of tung oil, I can feel the grain of the wood and this feels really better than the cold and smooth feeling of a synthetic varnish. 

I did ask Richard to make it with four compartment which is more than enough for me who has lost the bad habit to carry full boxes of patterns I never use. 

I am convinced that this time I have my definitive kebari box, it perfectly fits my needs and my idea of what is the best possible kebari box. It is simple, beautiful and functional. 
I do not think that I will post anything else about boxes in a very long time because it is probably the last box I buy. 

lundi 17 novembre 2014


I have met Yuu Cadowachi on facebook a few months ago and I have to say that every time he releases a new tying video I am amazed by the simple beauty of his ties.

I am really pleased to share some of his videos today, they are really worth.

Yuu-san edits a blog that I invite you to visit by clicking here

We are monday so I wish to all of you the best possible week! 

samedi 15 novembre 2014


The video I share today is a part of a post from the Tenkara Friuli blog which is a very interesting publication with very good articles and videos. The editor of this blog is like me an Oni rod aficionado and a very good connoisseur of the Japanese tenkara scene.

This video shows in details the tying of a very interesting sakasa kebari for sasoi as it seems that this fly can literally swing in the water.

Watch this video and make your  opinion!

dimanche 9 novembre 2014

Dripping Cave Tenkara

I have just watched this new video released by Brian, editor of Tenkara Elevated blog, and I have liked it enough to share it on my own blog!
This simple video demonstrates brilliantly that tenkara fishing is more effective if the angler does not bring useless complications in it.

mardi 4 novembre 2014


Since the salmonid fishing season is closed in most of European countries and in Japan the number of tenkara fishing videos released on the web has drastically decreased. Hopefully our American tenkara fellows still have the possibility to go fishing and share their videos with us.

Today's clip is released by Paul Gibson. You only have to click on the arrow and enjoy...Enjoy!

lundi 3 novembre 2014


A new tenkara project is online: the Tenkara Chat. It was created by Matthew, a tenkara angler from Arkansas, USA and the aim of this project is to give tenkara anglers worldwide to discuss any topic related to tenkara.

I have added a portal to the Tenkara Chat on my blog. You only have to enter a nickname to join in.

It is really cool for me to see that some people want to be active members of the tenkara community so it is a pleasure to open this portal on my blog.