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  1. The Downstream Drift

    The Downstream Drift

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    Location:
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    So how many of you guys are interested in Tenkara?

    I have been fishing a Tenkara rod since the beginning of trout season and have really enjoyed this style of fly fishing. It has taken all of the added gear, multiple fly boxes, and extra casting work out of my fishing. This technique has also brought way more fish to hand than traditional western fly fishing has ever before.

    Just a rod, a line and a hook.

    Fly tying has become way easier as well. No longer do I worry about matching an exact hatch. I tie one traditional Japanese sakasa kebari pattern in three different colors and this has proven to be plenty of flies to carry with me. The technique relies simply on presentation. Trout have been fooled with a generic imitation of a bug presented perfectly with every cast.

    Now on to the next challenge, a Tenkara rod for steelhead. I have found a 15ft Universal Tenkara rod that is designed for steelhead fishing. A 15ft rod, no reel, and a fixed 20ft length of line. I'm excited!

    Just a rod, a line and a hook.
     
  2. Bull Market

    Bull Market

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    Location:
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    I heard the presentation on Ask About Fly Fishing Internet Radio http://www.1shoppingcart.com/app/?Clk=4753482, but I'm still a bit skeptical. Since I'm big into streamer fishing for both browns and steelhead, and I'm into the night fishing with waking flies (2-foot browns, etc), I just don't see how Tenkara would give me an advantage.

    It also seems, from visiting his website http://tenkarausa.com/, that you may catch more fish, but they would definitely bring your "size average" way, way down. That is more fish, but smaller fish. Have you experienced that?
     

  3. boomer_x7

    boomer_x7

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    I for one would like to see that
     
  4. The Downstream Drift

    The Downstream Drift

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    Location:
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    The rod I am trout fishing now is a 12ft Fountain Head Caddis rod. It is rated as a sub-zero weight fly rod. When I bought it I was told by the rod maker that a 15" fish is about the max for this rod. I have since landed up to an 18" fish on it.

    The model I have is really designed for smaller fish (sub 15") but Tenkara USA has one model that is much stiffer and will handle 20" trout. The issue is that these rods will not cast heavy flies such as hexes or mice. Therefore, Bull, you wouldn't be able to use it for that purpose. They will work for swinging small streamers in a smaller creek but the bigger patterns you most likely throw will not work with this technique.

    All in all, you are correct. The number of fish caught does go way up due to an almost perfect presentation but the size of the fish caught will generally be much smaller than with traditional western fly gear. For some, this may be an issue but for me it hasn't really mattered. I'm a catch and release trout fisherman anyways so size really isn't a priority anymore. (Kind of an odd statement for an angler still in his mid thirties. :D)

    Tenkara is all about things being simple. I now carry a small fly box, a spool of 6X tippet (the largest my rod can handle), hemos, nippers, and a tamo (a Japanese net). Everything but the net fits into my pockets. No more carrying a pack or wearing a vest. For a guy like me that used to have to carry everything but the kitchen sink with him on the river this is a wonderful change of pace.
     
  5. Bull Market

    Bull Market

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    Location:
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    Thanks . . . I'm still a bit intrigued. There are times that I just like to get out and catch a bunch of trout. I'm heading out with a friend this Wednesday morning just for that purpose. When the urge hits me for quantity, I'll head to a brook trout stream, that is lined with brush and only 15 to 25 feet wide . . . casting essentially straight upstream with dry flies, or dangling soft hackles downstream. His website shows alot of "pocket water" and boulder type fishing, with plenty of room for backcasts, etc. How would Tenkara get along on a typical brook trout stream?
     
  6. The Downstream Drift

    The Downstream Drift

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    Location:
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    Well, I have been fishing my 12ft Tenkara rod on Paint Creek down here in Oakland County. It is a very small stream with lots of cover and no room for a traditional backcast. Once you figure out the casting it isn't a problem at all.

    It would seem like it would be tough to cast this long of a rod on a tight creek but you can always shorten the amount of line used to match the length of the rod. Alot of my casting is either a shortened steeple type cast or a bow n' arrow type slingshot cast.

    One benefit to this rod also is that I can cast it when it is collapsed down to nine feet. The thing to remember with doing this though is that you have to extend the rod once a fish is hooked in order to use the rods full power. If this isn't done the rod could break easily.

    Remember though, Tenkara is not dapping. It is more like swinging a wet fly while adding a pulsing type of action. This is something that trout just seem to not be able to resist.

    And as a side note, if you fish with others often I would not suggest a Tenkara rod. It seems to be the best way to "out fish" your friends and make them not want to fish with you anymore. :cool:
     
  7. Bull Market

    Bull Market

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    Thanks. I'm going back to their website to check out more videos (and prices). You know how your mind works . . . you start playing with the possibilities . . . visualizing yourself in the movie . . . and before you know it, you've GOT to do it! It becomes your newest obsession. Like you, I've caught enough trout over the years, and release (virtually) everything that comes to net. I seem to be more interested in expanding my horizons and maximizing my enjoyment. Perhaps Tenkara fits. Thanks, again.
     
  8. JO_EZ

    JO_EZ

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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Downstream,
    About 12 years ago some crack head helped me focus on flyfishing by myself less and bobber fishing with my 2 year old son more by stealing all my flyfishig gear from the back of my truck. This year that son, now 14, went and baught himself a fly rod with his lawn mowing money and I just had to get re-equipted myself.

    In the process of re-aquainging myself with it, I came across Tenkara and have been very facinated with it. If I hadn't just bought a new rod, I would be tempted to get a Tenkara pole instead.

    Our 7 year old daughter is a real fisher-gal and wanted to try casting with my rod. It was a bit too big and clumsy for her. So, I took an old 10' crappie pole and rigged it Tenkara style. It doesn't cast like a dream, but she can flick a blue gill popper out there pretty good with it. She can 2-hand cast it with out worrying about the line or reel. Now, she has a box with a couple of flys and a hand me down fishing vest from her brother and feels like one of the pros.

    It would be a fun challenge on our small, brushy creeks. Between roll casting and the sling shot cast, I think you could make it work in tight quarters.

    Have you run into many others trying it out in Michigan? Seems like there is a little resistance here.

    I don't know if adding another set of tackle and techniques to an arsenal that already runs the gammut from Big Lake trolling to flyfishing counts as simplification, but I will probably try to "simplify" things with Tenkara at some point in the future.
     
  9. The Downstream Drift

    The Downstream Drift

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    Location:
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    By being less than 4 ounces in weight a Tenkara would be perfect for your daughter to catch panfish with. My boy (seven years old) has become pretty good at throwing 14 feet of line on my 12 foot Tenkara rod. It has also been a great tool for my girlfriend to use since she seems to get confused with a western rod that requires line control with her left hand.

    If you are interested in trying out Tenkara look at the Fountain Head rod company. They sell the Caddis model I have for only $50.00. This was perfect for me considering I didn't know if I would like the technique or stick with it.

    You probably won't find many Michigan guys fishing Tenkara. I have only met two others here in Oakland County. Of course, I talked three or four other guys into trying Tenkara since I have had mine. It's kind of funny how a guy with a $700 Sage rod will quickly hang it up when he is out-fished by a guy with a $50.00 Tenkara. :lol:
     
  10. putzy

    putzy

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    Location:
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    You know if you talking about this and keep catching all these fish when we go your going to have to explain to wife why I bought another rod!


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  11. The Downstream Drift

    The Downstream Drift

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    Location:
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    Putzy, maybe I'll just upgrade and sell you the rod I have now. That will keep the cost down and, hopefully, your wife happy. :lol:
     
  12. putzy

    putzy

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    Location:
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    That will work


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  13. twohats

    twohats

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    Location:
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    You got me interested. So with a little research I ordered an Iwana 12' from Tenkara USA :). I will be trying it out on the Huron river and a local pond.
     
  14. The Downstream Drift

    The Downstream Drift

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    Location:
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    What kind of line did you purchase for it? They make a furled weight forward line that works very well but I have been using a simple section of 20lb mono for a main line. I then connect a short section of 6lb mono and then my 6X tippet. It works pretty good and is cheap to change out when needed.

    I highly suggest getting on of the Tenkara line spools to keep your line on. With this tool you can keep everything pre-rigged (including your fly). This has made fishing a Tenkara very, very simple.
     
  15. twohats

    twohats

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    Location:
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    I ordered the HIgh-Vis flouro #3.5 level. Thank you for the tips. Its should be here on Tues. So I hope to be on the river with it the same week.