Fly & Tenkara, Think like a fish- fishing techniques

Tenkara- the experiments begin

So, my Tenkara rod has finally arrived from the states… Tenkara is a style traditional japanese fly fishing… It involves using a long flexible rod 11-14ft. Traditionally these were bamboo, nowadays long graphite telescopic poles. It is a fixed line technique, your fly line is connected directly to the end of the rod via the lillan, a piece of string connected to the rod. The fly line is usually roughly the length of the rod… Unlike traditional flyfishing, fly lines are light. Traditionally made from horse hair, now they are either furled monofiliment or simply a length of 10-15 pound flourcarbon… Connected to your line is a length of light tippet material no heavier than 4lb, given the delicacy of the rod tip…Thats it, a long pole, a fixed length of fly line a tippet and a fly, no reel, no guides. Simplicity and the ultimate in finesse.

Tenkara is primarily a small stream salmanoid fishing technique… Its a technique designed for catching small fish… As of this moment, thats about all i know, its all from google… Here is a link with a little more about it

And here are a few pictures, sorry about the quality, but you get the idea, the tip is ultra light, it packs down into something incredibly small and extended its long (12ft)… As it stands, i will no longer have to leave my fishing gear at home when i head off on trips, the rod, a length of line and a few flies and I will able to take at least one, somewhat limited outfit with me wherever i go, and thats the major appeal to me….

Now my rod has arrived, I’m about to begin my own Tenkara experiments… However, i don’t get up into the small trout streams around all Melbourne that regularly (that may change)… So while it will still occasionally be used in similar environments to where this technique was forged and pioneered hundreds of years ago in japan, I’m planning on using this technique in some very different environments… In estuaries and bays chasing mullet and garfish on bread flies, on the South coast chasing small bream in amongst the snags, testing out my stealth skills on the flats chasing whiting and┬áharassing┬áLake Berley Griffen’s small redfin…

Over the coming months I will update how my little tenkara experiment goes… I’m not sure what I’m up for… As it stands, I’ve never fished a fly in my life… Its going to be a steep learning curve… One thing is for sure… It should be fun!


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2 thoughts on “Tenkara- the experiments begin

  1. Sounds awesome, Hamish! Elegant simplicity at its best. I love the idea of taking it out onto the flats and catching mullet and garfish…the amount of times we’ve been out there and that is all we’ve seen, you should be able to turn those sessions around!

  2. Maybe we say goodbye to that nervous wait at the carousel for our rod tubes! Did you find a supplier who would sell outside USA or did you use an agent to get your Tenkara rod? Amazing that no dealers have cottoned on in OZ.? I’ve never caught mullet or garfish very close, but getting an extra few yards by tying on at the handle and using a haul should help. Regards, Owen

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