So five metres in to my first Tenkara trip and we're thankfully christened.
My Tenkara Iwana was delivered ten days ago and today was the day it would be unwrapped. Twelve feet of Tenkara is alleged to be perfect for small tree lined streams, so I decided to try a jungle like stretch of the Alyn I've never fished before.
I parked at the upstream end of the beat, and walked the stretch for approx half a mile, digesting the likely looking pools, access points and impassable deep holes. I finally decided on a place to start, so I sat down, poured a cup of coffee and surveyed the low level leafless canopy. Now the Tenkara information I have gathered so far is telling me I should have about ten and a half feet of furled leader, with a few feet of tippet. I would never get away with that length leader under all this foliage, so contrary to the general Tenkara 'rules' on went a seven foot dry fly leader courtesy of Simon at Custom-Furles, onto which went about five feet of mono tippet. NB. Not a fan of flourocarbon when jungle fishing as you tend to lose a fair amount of the stuff in these wooded environments.
The logic behind the small furled leader was really just to use it as a strike indicator. The tungstem beaded brassie on the point would supply the casting weight.
First couple of lobs, casts, flicks(I tried them all) were useless. I was so scared of getting caught up in the canopy that each time I flicked upstream, the leader crunpled in a heap. I thererfore adapted the method of presenting my nymphs upstream, that Simon had shown me a couple of weeks earlier. This is a method that the soft actioned Tenkara's excel at.
Essentally drop your nymphs under your rod tip, let the current take them downstream and below you so they dangle out and rise, then load the rod against the current and flick upstream. The nymph team then shoot upstream in a very low trajectory, straighten the cast out before landing and beginning their drag fee drift back downstream. Then repeat the same and we have some rhythm.
I had only moved about five metres upstream, when the tip of the furled leader hesitated slightly, so I lifted. The Iwana had struck into something that wasn't bottom and a minute or so later 35cms of Alyn Grayling was in my hand. So five metres in to my first Tenkara trip and we're thankfully christened.
My first Tenkara Grayling has a last look at its captor
Two casts later and another of 30cms was trapped.
Alas, these were my only fish for the first hour or so. I worked my way upstream, losing several flies in the low slung canopy as I went. It was only when I decided on using a heavier tungsten peacock pink tagged concoction, nothing to lose here, that I connected with another fish first put in. Unfortunatley this decided to release itself. No worries, maybe its a pink day for ladies...
... and so it was...
...another four of these to the pink tag.