Monday, 19 April 2010

Level line attack

After analysing last Sunday's drag woes, an order for some level Tenkara leaders was placed on Tuesday. After picking them up from the local sorting office on Friday (missed the initial delivery), I made cut a couple of lengths to match the Tenkara's 12'. The level lines currently available from TenkaraUSA look a garish pink when coiled on their spools but once unwound and fitted they give a more non fish scaring pastelised appearence. Believe me, having a leader you can see helps when your casting in the confines of treelined streams. A few practice casts on the lawn Friday evening and things were set for trialing on Saturday morning.
Now a busy family schedule on Saturday mean't I had to sneak out to Llay road bridge early. I arrived on the river bank at 07.00 to a ground frost and zero degrees C. Mmmm! This mornings mission was to test the dry fly presentation with the level leaders, so on went a #20 olive parachute and into the water I ventured.
Simon's custom furles turn over for fun, and flatter a my poor technique, however the 10lb level flouro leaders are not as forgiving. The first couple of lazy casts never really got beyond a crumpled heap around the rod tip. The level line really needs you to utilise the Tenkara's dynamics. A very short casting arc is required where the 'flick' tip powers the leader forward after a good stop. Simply put 12 till 2 and stop. Taking an upstream approach, once the fly and leader had landed I proceeded, to lift the rod tip to raise as much line off the water as I dared. With the still conditions this morning, I could lift approx 15' of line off the water without inflicting any drag on the fly. Fantastic. So walking upstream I negotiated the various pools and runs I faced. I could present the dry amazingly drag free where the canopy allowed. One thing now became apparent was the fact that I was probably using too long a leader, so I simply snipped 18" off and refastened to the rod tip. This simplified things, and enabled casting in the close confines simpler and quicker.
An hour passed and, not that I really expected any in the cold, no rises. So I reset with a #16 parachute and a PTN 3' below. The last two pools produced a small 6" brown in each.

The #10 level line made dry fly presentation very delicate and very simple. The early morning conditions were very still and I do feel that any semblance of a breeze will test me with this setup. So, the #15 line is setup and in reserve.

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