Events Fixed-Line Fly Fishing Tenkara

2022 Oni Tenkara & Tactical Nymphing Schools: The Driftless

On-water instruction takes tenkara to the next level.

Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - Timber Coulee
Timber Coulee Creek – Class is in session

Oni Tenkara Two Day Immersive

It’s been said that casting is the heart of the Oni Tenkara style, and Dr. Rob Worthing of Tenkara Guides LLC wastes no time putting students to work on theirs! Spending time on the grass dialing in the basics builds a solid foundation for the advanced techniques that follow. Each student receives direct, one-on-one instruction.

Once the students have the basics, its time to dive into the deep end – aerial mending with light level line. Now they learn to bend the line with the cast, and how to align those casts in the current to maximize control over the fly. Along the way, the class discusses the “why” behind all of the “how”. The fundamental ideas behind Oni Tenkara are taught as a tool kit that the angler will customize into their own unique style. By the time you hit the water, its game on.

Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - Lawn Casts
Fine tuning casts on the lawn.
Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - Downstream
Practicing downstream techniques

While the morning of the first day was entirely “on the lawn,” the rest of the class was spent fishing on the iconic Timber Coulee creek. Spread out over several hundred yards, each student hit the water to put those new casting skills to work. Rob moved from angler to angler, providing feedback and additional instruction. It quickly changed from “practicing” to “catching”! By the close of the two day class, students were exhausted but excited about what they’d learned. Each had developed a solid grasp of rotational casting, clean drifts, and creative fly manipulation. They couldn’t wait to get those skills on their home water!

Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - Tenkara Cat
Special guest instructor – Tenkara cat! This cat from a nearby farm accompanied us every time we fished his section of Timber Coulee that week.

Tactical Nymphing Two Day Immersive

The second class was focused on concepts gathered at tacticalnymphing.org. As Rob says: “It starts with outlining a set of fundamental fish-catching elements. These elements form the “tactics” in tactical nymphing. To trick fish, the angler uses five discrete tactics to formulate an on-the-water strategy. Tactical nymphing is a way of thinking about your fly fishing. Tactical nymphing is not one particular rod, rig, fly, or method for fly fishing. In fact, it incorporates common elements shared by many different rigs and methods.”

Like Oni Tenkara, this class began with a morning long session covering the fundamentals. Instead of being on the lawn, students gathered around the table to discuss how the tactical nymphing philosophy applies to rigging and fly choices. After lunch, the class got a demonstration of both tight line and suspension nymphing techniques. All students had been part of the Oni Tenkara class, and were able quickly apply those skills to fishing weighted patterns.

Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - Nymphing Group
Riverworks Rod Company owner Jeff Lomino was on hand to discuss nymphing rods
Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - Nymphing Class
Tight-line tactical nymphing demonstration

Day two was entirely on stream. Once again, students were spread out with plenty of room to fish – this time, on deeper water that was well suited to fishing weighted nymphs. Each student was encouraged to develop a strategy for their fishing, explain why they made those choices, and then prove them on some fish! Single fly, double, fly, tight line or suspension, they worked through several plans on the water. Just like the first class, they began catching in no time!

Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - foam line
Working the far foam line off the back of that overhanging branch.

One student even managed to pull a double double – a brook and brown trout, on two flies at once!

By the end of each class, the students were talking about how they would use their new skills when they got home…and making suggestions for “next time”. There is a reason that the previous Oni schools hosted by Tenkara Guides LLC in Utah are 80% full of returning students, and its likely that the Driftless School will be no different. Learning from a skilled teacher in a highly focused environment can be extremely effective in improving your fishing.

If you want to examine your own style in a mindful way and learn practical fundamentals that can be applied to make all of your fixed line angling more effective – these immersive are an excellent choice for taking your tenkara to the next level!

Oni Tenkara Nymphing Schools - Tenkara Angler - Class Photo
2022 Oni Tenkara and Tactical Nymphing Class Picture



Do you have a story to tell? A photo to share? A fly recipe that’s too good to keep secret? If you would like to contribute content to Tenkara Angler, click HERE for more details.

Let's Discuss in the Comments:

%d bloggers like this: