Fixed Line Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass

While the ongoing debate on the definition of tenkara runs hot and cold, (it’s fixed line fly fishing in mountain streams for trout & char BTW 😉 ), there’s no doubting that using your tenkara rod to catch other species can be an absolute blast. This comprehensive article from the Spring 2018 issue of Tenkara Angler does a deep dive into the techniques and strategies the author uses to pursue smallmouth bass.

Smallmouth Bass:
A Marvelous Fish for the Tenkara Rod!
by Bob Long, Jr.

1. Smallmouth bass are NOT Trout – not even close. They’re not supposed to be.

2. Smallmouth bass in American Rivers, Creeks and Streams are most definitely NOT 8 – 10-inch trout living in high-gradient, fast-flowing, mountain streams in Japan, either.

Smallmouth bass are, what they are. Not what they are not.

If you can accept the integrity of those statements, marvelous! Some great smallmouth fishing awaits. If not, it may be useless for you to read further.

“I know what you’re trying to do.” – Neo

“I trying to free your mind. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one who has to walk through it.” – Morpheus.

If those first two lines intrigue, and you intend to get serious about tenkara for smallmouth bass, the first thing I request of you – before rods, lines, tippets, flies – is to curtail or stop using “smallmouth bass and trout” in the same sentence or thought (e.g., “like trout, smallmouth bass are…” or “look for smallmouth in those trout like riffles…,” etc.). If you are willing to do this you will be on your way to a greater understanding of smallmouth bass as the fish they are – where they live, what they do, how they feed, and how to appeal to them. You will be on your way to enjoying greatly increased success for them using your tenkara rods.

Background: I conduct on-the-water, fly-fishing workshops in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan for smallmouth bass in Midwestern rivers, creeks and streams (I am that specific as to fish and location as to keep the minds of workshop participants, and readers focused on the particulars of the task at hand. It helps). The workshops last four-to-five hours (usually 3:00 pm until dark in the summer). Although I feature tenkara rods in the workshops, the lessons therein are applicable for western fly rods and spinning rods too.

“My workshops, though technical and detailed in many ways, seek a playful and unpressured approach to tenkara fishing for smallmouth bass as an action to be lived in, experienced and discovered in real time (while in the water catching fish), not as a craft or job to be mastered or completed over time away from the water. Learning will come, especially if you are catching fish as you go. What I want for you initially is to have fun catching as many smallmouth as possible with your tenkara (or western fly) rods.” – Bob Long

15 - Long cast aren't required with smallmouth. Don't cast farther; wade closer. Tenkara fits this perfectly.JPG

As such, one of the first things I teach is that the rod, line, flies and lures (equipment) are nice, but have little to do with the “Who, What, Where, When, Why & How” of the life of the smallmouth in the waters we are fishing. The WWWWW&H? That’s the good stuff! Know your fish, you can catch your fish – with relative ease. Equipment can be fun, but ultimately, its meaningless to the fish. But the WWWWW&H of each species of fish is of great importance for your immediate and long-term success.

Combine this WWWWW&H knowledge with my fishing system, which I call, “Information + Experience + Interpretation = Knowledge = Fish” and take it to heart, and your tenkara fishing for smallmouth can be marvelously rewarding and fulfilling. You will catch a lot more fish (assuming that is your goal in fly fishing – it isn’t always for some).

The Caveat. Learning to fish from reading (including this) and watching videos has some value, but it is limited. I liken it to trying to learn to throw a football or a curveball from reading articles or watching videos. Can’t do it. Mainly because you can’t stand outside of yourself and see yourself to evaluate yourself. Reading piques the interest, I believe, but long lasting and deep fishing knowledge comes on the water, working with a mentor, teacher, facilitator, experienced friend or Sensei. This is where the lessons and the learning really dig in. That is how humans have been teaching each other for thousands of years.

“Find people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” – Amy Poehler.

And, it will only be your ego that will prevent you from doing this. Don’t let it.

Also, this article is not a preachy/teachy “I know best,” story, but meant to offer possibilities to be considered or explored when standing in a smallmouth river, tenkara rod in hand. I also hope you will resist the urge to consider the following material as either simple or complex, truth or non-truth. Just read it and let it settle in. Or not. It is a start, but only so much will come to you reading words. You gotta get out there.

So, let’s assume you have decided that a tenkara rod and smallmouth bass are for you. If you decide to try this system and give it a consistent use on the water, there are some things you will also need to unlearn. First, that smallmouth bass are NOT trout – period. Can’t state this enough. However, when most of us think of fly fishing in moving water, we are thinking trout (sub-consciously, unconsciously, or by choice). For many fly fishers “fly fishing IS trout fishing.” However, many of the particulars of trout – reading the water, presentations, forage, equipment, flies/lures – hinders your ability to successfully fly fish for warm-water smallmouth over the long term. Many will disagree – vehemently. Understood. But I stand by that statement. (Some of you may now need a moment to breathe into the proverbial paper bag.)

In my workshops I ask if you can stop filtering your smallmouth fly fishing through the lens of trout fishing. Don’t look for similarities or differences. Just look at smallmouth alone. Try to leave trout out of the discussion altogether (yes, it can be done although it may be a challenge for many). I’ll say, “You don’t need a frame of reference from one fish to another to be successful with either,” (e.g., you don’t reference crappie when fishing for bluegill in the same lake or pond, do you? Or reference channel catfish when fishing for walleye in the river they both occupy. So, why reference trout for and about smallmouth when they don’t even occupy the same river or types of waters?). Do we reference trout for smallmouth just because we have a fly rod in our hands instead of a spinning rod? Actually, yes, we do, as that is how deeply ingrained trout are in fly fishing. Let’s try to break that link in the chain.

IF you are willing to leave trout out of the discussion about smallmouth (and that is a big IF – I can feel the resistance rising in many you) you will find your average daily catch rate for smallies going up appreciably. If not, it probably won’t.

Will this letting go be hard? If you feel letting go of trout-think and learning smallies with be easy, it will be easy. If you feel it will be hard, it will be hard. Easy and hard are simply our interpretations of a neutral act: learning. It is neither easy nor hard to learn. How we feel about learning is often a choice up to each of us. Finally, it helps if you let go, for crying out loud, of the joy-killing, “yeah, buts!”

“Ok, that sounds nice, but…”
“I agree with you on that, but…”
“Yeah, probably, but what about…?”

“Always with you what cannot be done.” – Yoda to Luke Skywalker

Some who come to my workshops simply will not make the change. They will use trout tactics almost the whole workshop (and yes, I do wonder why they came). It almost physically pains them to try. They take the “blue pill.” Or they mumble about some kind of magic, secret lures or home-stream advantage when they see me catching fish – often from locations I call out before casting to. It isn’t magic, lures or just home field. It is learned techniques. Available to all.

Here’s my approach for using tenkara rods for smallmouth bass in rivers, creeks, and streams.

Each day I come to the water, I bring a small box with three types of flies, and another with three types of plastic lures and some jigs. I try to come with a fresh mind – even if I was just there yesterday. I need to figure out anew the who, what, where, when, why & how of today:

  • This fish (smallmouth bass – biology, habits, needs, behavior)
  • In this particular river, (each river has similarities and differences, and sections of each river can vary markedly)
  • On this specific day, (season, time of day, weather)
  • Under today’s water conditions (water low/high, fast/slow, rising/falling, clear/stained, cool/warm)

I run this info through my fishing system, “Today’s Information + My Experience + My Interpretation of it = Informed Knowledge.” And thus, an informed course of action to take that day. Where to start, which lures or flies to use first, how to fish them, etc. Are the fish where I thought they would or should be? If not, where else might they be? Adjust. Am I getting hits on this color, shape, size, action of fly or lure? If not, what else, how else? Adjust. And on.

We all do this is one form or another, some do it more in depth than others.

When I get it right, I catch fish. When I don’t, (for a variety of reasons) I struggle and catch fewer.

“Information + Experience + Interpretation = Knowledge = Fish.” And so it is with tenkara rods and smallmouth bass.

5 - Info + Experience = Knowledge.jpg

Equipment Suggestions:

[Side note: Tenkara rods are superb tools for smallmouth bass in rivers, creeks and streams (just having a max cast of 30-feet or less for starters. It really helps with keeping one focused on what’s directly in front of you – no small feat in today multi-tasking world. Love it). For the last three to four years I have used them exclusively when fly fishing for smallies. But they are only tools. Marvelous tools, yes, lots of fun – but just tools nonetheless. It isn’t the rod, it isn’t the line, it isn’t the fly or lure that get fish. It’s you.

As one of my 22-year-old, Harry Potter-loving, fishing friends put it: “It ain’t the wand, Mr. Long, it’s the Wizard.” ‘Nuff said.]

Tenkara Rods. I know and use these. They can handle large smallmouth (up to 21” so far) in current as well as the size flies and lures I use: Badger Tenkara Wisco 2, Daiwa Expert LT 39 and LTH 44, and the Tenkara USA Amago. (all Rods with either 7:3 or 8:2 action), in lengths of 12 – 14 feet. Other rods will no doubt work. I just don’t know them. You need something geared for warm-water, not just “larger trout.” A 20” smallie in current is a way different fish than a 20” rainbow or brown. Get a rod rated for warm-water use.

6 - Equipment are tools, nice, but tools. _It ain't the Wand, It's the Wizard_ - Bob Long.jpg

Furled Leaders. Because of the rocky nature of many smallmouth waters, and the length and weight of the flies and lures I use (up to 3” in length and to a weight of 1/12 ounce or so) I suggest using furled leaders, 12 – 14 feet in length (same as the rod) not level or mono lines. You can go a foot or two longer once you are used to it, but not to start. Remember, most smallmouth fishing is sub-surface. You won’t see many takes, you’ll mainly feel them (although many of my workshops attendees can’t feel them, and I have to say “You had a hit. You’ve got a fish.”). So, a sturdy yet soft, tapered, furled leader that more strongly transmits energy and vibration works best with smallmouth.

Tenkara is not about distance (this you already know). The further you are from your fly/lure the less you feel; the slower you feel it. The less you know about where your fly is down there and what it is doing, the slower your reaction times, the more strikes you miss, the more hang-ups you’ll find. Leaders the length of your tenkara rod, with three to four feet of tippet is fine for most situations. Learn to love the intimacy and sharpness of being so close to your fish – not see it as a potential limitation. Most times one must simply wade closer to a spot, not try to cast farther (discipline).

Delicacy and accuracy of casting are not issues here either. Neither is being able to repeat a narrow range of specific drifts or presentations. In addition, keeping line off the water means very little for smallmouth fishing (as do the concepts of drag, drag free drifts, delicate casts upon the water). Being able to cast your flies, work them purposefully in current, feel strikes, set hooks, fight and land fish are what count. Smallmouth tenkara is not about trout (again, resist the urge to make it so with comparisons). So, furled leaders with tenkara-styled are the way I go.

Casting. Yes, furled leaders and larger, heavier flies/lures will affect your casting motion. Know this, accept this. And, So What? Adjust. The beauty of the 10-to-2, or the graceful casts one gets with tenkara rods and kebari flies, will not be doable nor desirable here. Let that thought go. You need a larger and slower transfer of energy to get your smallmouth flies and lures out and to take pressure off the tip sections of tenkara rods. I have wide, open, looping casts that may look weird to many fly fishers, but they are graceful and pretty in their own way, and effective too. Furled leaders are essential to do this. (I always point out much of this info before and again at the start of a workshop. I have extra leaders with me. I offer them to participants. Some say yes, some say no. Some request them after they’ve seen how I work them while fishing. Seeing is believing. Sometimes.)

Plus, I suggest you get your leaders in bright colors you can see. Chartreuse, bright red, fluorescent orange, bright green. I’ve not found smallmouth to be put off by such things. Period. But seeing where your line is in the air and on the water, can be quite helpful to you. I use Oudachi and Tachi lines from Moonlit.

Note: I have not yet tried the Badger-Lite floating tenkara line, but I will this spring.

Tippet. I use name-brand, good quality, non-stiff, four to six pound test monofilament line (mainly four). I prefer Trilene XL in light green, and Cabela’s No-Vis Fluorocarbon (clear,) but others will do. As long as it’s fresh, quality line, don’t sweat this. I don’t lose lots of flies or lures to break offs or fish. Still, I am careful to grab the tippet or the leader and pull it to break off, not putting pressure on the rod.

Right about now – as I share all of this – I usually ask workshop participants, “How are you doing? What are you thinking? What’s working for you? What isn’t?” So, I’m asking you as you read. Why? Well, because while “Resistance may be futile” to quote the Borg, it is very much part of being human. Work hard to recognize when resistance appears. Work harder to overcome it and make the necessary changes for fishing success. Breathe. Relax. You can do this, because remember, you can go back to your old ways anytime.

Reminder, this is about tenkara and smallmouth bass in rivers, creeks, and streams. Not tenkara for anything else. Ultimately, while a structured approach and attention to detail is rewarded when fishing, I am not offering trout-styled “perfection in concept” or written-in-stone “this is how it must be done” rules. Let go of the notion there is, and you’ll grow. Hold onto them, and your attention is on doing things the “right way,” not seeking possibilities to more effective ways to fish. Still, these are all suggestions, considerations, not directives. I realize, you could reject everything I’m saying, and still happily go about catch fish.

“We humans love consistency. However, nature is anything but. Allow for that.” – Bob Long

Presentations:

This is where people really freak out. I only wade, cast and fish going downstream. I only fish while wading and casting, facing downstream (like “NY, NY,” that was so nice I had to say it twice).

7 - Keep the fly or lure moving. Smallmouth eat lively things - minnows and crayfish.jpg

Here is where words fail. Most really need to see the things I am saying, on the water, to get it. So many of my workshop participants say upon seeing me in real time, “Oh, I didn’t think you really meant THAT straight downstream” or “I didn’t really think you meant THAT close” or “Really? Move the fly all the time? NO dead drifts?” (No, 99% of the time I am giving my fly a little jigging action.) I am often still surprised at how markedly different their interpretation of what they read or even see in a video will be from what I am asking of them. They can be so far off. That is why – teachers, mentors, facilitators, coaches, Sensei.

First thing. Wading upstream, casting up stream, trying to keep control of your drift and maintain contact with your heavier, larger fly, feel takes, prevent snag ups and get a good hookset with tenkara rods is exhausting. You’ll be busier than a one-armed man trying to hang wallpaper in a wind storm. I recommend against it and teach an alternative.

Again, smallmouth aren’t trout. I don’t approach them as such. I never wade or cast up, up-and-across, or across stream when smallmouth fishing – with tenkara or any other type of rod. The road to hell (loss of feel, of flies, snagged lures, missed strikes, tired legs, knees and arms), is thus paved going upstream for me. My casting is across-and-down, down-and-across and downstream. I can go downstream effectively hitting fishy locations, carefully covering specific fishy-looking parts of the water in a 180-degree arc from my left to right, and right to left. Lots of flexibility of coverage. “Oh, I didn’t think you meant really THAT straight downstream.”

14 - Smallmouth bass aren't trout and your Tenkara techniques for them should be more like your spinning techniques than your fly rod techniques for trout.JPG

Yes, I am in the fish’s face. I’m not sure how well the smallmouth can see you from 20-30 feet away, but over the course of time, I’ve found it doesn’t tend to matter. I’ve caught hundreds within 10-15-feet or less of me. Many times, they are only a rod’s length away (I use dapping, flipping or pitching to such fish, not casting).

Wading and casting downstream – tenkara rod in right hand, wading staff comfortably in the left (which supports me and keeps me from taking baths) allows me maximum control and feel of my flies and lures, all done with hand and rod position. With one hand, I can work my fly/lure deep, mid-depth, high, on the surface. I can move it left, right, move it forward or drop it back, or leave it in place for as long as I wish. Move it fast or slow or not at all, just let the current move it in place. You can thoroughly, consciously and purposefully cover water fishing downstream. (I even do this the few times I use surface flies too.)

Fishing downstream has another benefit for the tenkara rod. When it comes time to cast, my line and fly are already tight downstream from me. Little to no slack. I simply pick up the line and fly, bring it up high in the air, swing it behind me, and then bring the rod tip forward (softly, slowly) and put the fly down again where I wish. Using my wrist, arm and upper body I can move, pivot, turn and place the fly anywhere in that 180-degree arc of water. No false casting, seldom a correction cast, light pressure on the upper sections of the rod. As soon as it hits the water, I’m in contact with the fly or lure, ready for strikes (smallies often hit as soon as a fly or lure hits the water or soon thereafter. Most guys still getting situated, finishing the cast and preparing for the drift, and are not ready for that. I’ll see their line twitch, their rod tip bounce slightly. “You just had a hit”).

All of the above can so greatly increase the depth of your ability to put the “Information + Experience + Interpretation = Knowledge = Fish” system to work wherever you go to fish smallmouth in flowing waters.

Flies/Lures:

Yes, lures (small spoons, tiny Japanese crankbaits, itty-bitty, in-line spinners, up to 3” plastics) with the tenkara rod. Another hard pill for many to swallow. But, smallmouth are not trout. So, why not? Don’t switch to trout stuff – little nymphs and 1.5” streamers – just because you pick up a fly rod. Stay with things – or as close to – that you would normally use successfully for smallmouth. They respond to lures far better than they do to flies. Lures have size, shape, color, action, vibration, scent. Flies not as much. This is a big part of the workshops. Easy for some to accept. Hard-to-impossible for others. The Daiwa Expert LT39, LTH44, and the Wisco 2 mentioned earlier have handled these larger flies and lures easily. (There were issues for me with the Amago. Not sure this is recommended for that rod – just maybe larger flies.)

Smallies are aggressive in ways trout are not (not better or worse; just different). Smallies have no feeding lies, seldom holding stations. They are hunters, not grazers. They attack, not wait. They move around; a lot. Once past 6-8-inches they don’t eat little things, but the biggest things they can swallow. Their prey – mainly crayfish and minnows – is sizable, running 3 – 5” (think river crayfish (not pond crabs) to 4”- 5” hellgrammites to medium-sized golden roaches, not crappie minnows, crickets, or bee moth). Crayfish and forage fish can seldom be found or seen dead-drifting helplessly or casually with the current. Crayfish can hold in strong current and hustle any direction. They can also fight back. Minnows swim away and must be chased or ambushed. I suggest the flies and lures you use with your tenkara rods mimic these aggressive actions and tendencies when possible.

“When you feel doubt creeping in, remind yourself – tenkara has no smallmouth in its past. No defining or confining traditions. It is a book in which we are – right here, right now – writing the first chapters. I feel no constraints other than those I might discover along the way. We are free to play and discover what does and doesn’t work for each of us. We are at the forefront. Can you feel that excitement?” – Bob Long

When I use flies, I use 2-4” woolly buggers 95% of the time (black, white, olive, brown/orange). On occasion I’ll use some other concoction I create, like the Fuzzy Creeper (tied on 1/16 oz., size 4 jighead), or on more rare occasions a cork or foam-headed surface fly. Mainly I use 2- to 3-inch plastic lures on 1/16 – 1/64 ounce, thin-wire, (Mustad, Gamakatsu, Matzuo, etc.) custom-poured jigheads I get from guys on the internet (they are usually surprised to know I tie flies on these hooks and use fly rods). I use these because they have sharper points, longer shanks and wider gaps than the usual fly hooks, and that aids my hook setting and fish holding.

For the last three-to-four years I’ve been using Keitech 2” and 3” Swing Impact Swimbaits, Cubby Mini Mite and Mini-Mite 2 lures, and 3” Spring Grubs by Producto lures. Man, I catch a lot of fish with these, all while using my tenkara rods in ways as described above. And as I do, I learn more and more about smallies in rivers, creeks and streams on my tenkara rods.

9 - 2_ - 3_ Lures and Tenkara rods can work well. If it works with spinning it can work with Tenkara.jpg

Does any of this sound or feel like the tenkara you currently know? Probably not. Does it matter? Willing to try something new? I admit, I love using my tenkara rods in new, exciting, innovative and productive ways – learning what they can and cannot do well. I love the casting, the movement of lure and fly as I work the water, the feel of the take, the hookset, the fight. I feel free to create techniques for it and for a fish (the smallmouth bass) and its water that doesn’t exist in Japan.

Still, I am not seeking to create new, highly-structured traditions with my tenkara rod for smallmouth bass in rivers, creeks and streams that are the “right way” to fish. You can try it in whole, in part or not at all. Mix and match with your own base of knowledge. My fishing system of “Information + Experience + Interpretation = Knowledge = Fish” isn’t designed to replace existing ones. It isn’t against anything. It exists for itself and works marvelously for me. Wanna’ try? Let me know.

11 - Bob at Rock Creek with Smallie - Wisco 2 rod.jpg

What’s Your Code?

What’s Your Code?
by Dave Blackhurst

Lately, while I have been on the river I have been reflecting on why tenkara has been so refreshing to me. I know we all like to get out and land a few fish, but why has this style changed fly fishing forever for me?

I work as the art director for a local magazine and recently we did a photo shoot with two local fishermen about different styles of fishing. While I was taking photos of the fly fisherman, I asked him if he had ever heard of tenkara. He mentioned he had and went on to tell me that he owned a tenkara rod but it was just not his thing. However, he asked me a few more tenkara questions, which gave me the chance to share the reasons I put my reels on the shelf.

I went into detail about the style of tenkara that I have adopted (sometimes I feel like a politician on the stump). I let him know the basics about a fixed line, no weight or indicator on the line, perfect drifts and the same fly pattern used year round. When I share the simplified tenkara approach, it initially sounds appealing to fly fishermen tired of carrying gear and loading up for the river. However, as the conversation continues, I realize that for some the gear enhances the experience. I let my friend know that for the smaller streams and rivers I prefer, tenkara works great.

I gave him a few kebari, said goodbye and he went on his way. His approach to our conversation reminded me of where I was several years ago. I wanted a quicker and simpler method to fish mountain streams in Utah. I loved the lighter fly rods and was simplifying my fly box but I felt I could not simplify any more. Magically tenkara came into view. This was the ticket for me. It was everything I wanted.

Tenkara is not magic, but it can be magical if you let it.

IMG_4543

What I have learned after being a snooty, stuck-up fly fisherman — loaded with gear — for more than 20 years is that fishing is fishing. Fish don’t know how they are caught. There are as many ways to catch a fish as there are fish to catch. My respect for all fishing styles has increased. Many friends of mine think tenkara is cool, but don’t consider it fly fishing.

Wherever tenkara fits in the fishing world, I like it.

And my conversion does not mean it’s as simple as a hook and a stick. Recently I read a great article by Jason Klass on tenkaratalk.com that mentioned the general rule in tenkara of 12-12-12 (don’t get these confused with the code numbers from the TV show LOST 4 8 15 16 23 42), 12-foot rod, 12 feet of line and a size 12 kebari.

This is a great rule of thumb but I wanted to figure out what my secret tenkara code would be.

Two years ago I adopted the practice of fishing only one fly. I tinkered on the vise for a few months, trying different sizes, but still lacked the confidence to commit. Eventually, I realized that when my confidence was lacking on the river, I would always pull out a pheasant tail bead head for trout. I took this into consideration and began tying a size 12 pheasant tail with a reverse kebari hackle. I eventually simplified it even more with a size 14 hook, brown thread, green flash and one Hungarian partridge hackle.

Magically (and with a lot of hard work), my one fly appeared.

Next was my line. Many mountain streams in Utah are small. Sometimes I can step over them. The trout are beautiful but the foliage is frustrating. The 12-foot line and rod just would not work in these places. I needed to dial in my tiny creek tenkara code.

I picked up a Rhodo rod from Daniel Galhardo at Tenkara USA. This zoom rod would fish as small as 8 feet and keep me just under the branches. I had my small creek code now — 8-8-14.

Now I just had one final challenge. Find the code for medium-sized rivers that need a bit more line. The whole point of tenkara is to use the longest rod you can get away with. I absolutely love my Sato rod from Tenkara USA. The zoom ability is great for different lengths but at its longest reach (almost 13 feet) I get all I need. Add 13 feet of line and I’m there. Now I had the final piece to my tenkara puzzle. 13-13-14.

These are my setups. I wish I only had one code but two isn’t bad. They work for 90 percent of fishing situations I face in Utah. Figuring out a code does not take long, but it means more time on the river — don’t worry, your spouse will understand … maybe.

Fishing truly is about confidence. Find your code and be confident.

Now grab your tenkara rod and get figuring your code.
Simple right?

IMG_4708

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.

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

Landlocked Salmon on Tenkara Rods

Landlocked Salmon on Tenkara Rods
By Bart Lombardo

Landlocked salmon have always been one of my favorite fish to pursue with a fly rod, so it seemed natural to discover if they can be reliably taken on tenkara rods. Landlocked salmon are a freshwater version of the sea run Atlantic Salmon, living in large freshwater lakes instead of the Atlantic Ocean. In the United States, landlocked salmon were originally found in four lake systems in Maine, as well as the Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain drainage. The Lake Ontario population went extinct over a hundred years ago, but the original range of the landlocked salmon has since been extended to over 175 lakes and 44 rivers in Maine alone. Native populations can also be found in Canada, Scandinavia, and eastern Russia. They have also been introduced to far away places such as New Zealand and Argentina.

It is unclear why these fish choose to live in fresh water. While certain populations seemed to have been trapped by changes in geography over the millennia, others appear to taken to living in freshwater voluntarily as is the case in the four lake systems in Maine. At one time all of these watersheds had access to the ocean before being restricted by dams. Landlocked Salmon will live one to four years in rivers before migrating into freshwater lakes. They return to rivers and streams to spawn in the fall, and they will often follow smelt, their primary forage, into rivers and streams in the spring. It is during these times that I chase landlocked Salmon with a fly rod.

In Maine, where I usually target landlocked salmon, they average 16-18 inches and weigh between 1.5 and 2 pounds. Fish over 20 inches are not uncommon. Combine the size of the fish with their propensity for going airborne when hooked they can be a real challenge to land using tenkara rods.

IMGP0025

If you decide to fish tenkara for landlocked salmon you need to consider your equipment carefully. Rod choices will have to lean in the direction of those that can handle larger fish. Many of the streams that harbor these fish can be quite large so a longer rod is advantageous. I have two rods in my current arsenal that are up to the task.

The Ito and the Amago, both by Tenkara USA, had no problem handling these hard fighting fish. The Amago is a rod that is designed for larger fish. At thirteen feet six inches in length, it is ideally suited for larger streams and small rivers. The Amago has a little more backbone than most tenkara rods, making it an ideal choice for landlocked salmon. The Ito, though not necessarily designed for big fish, proved to be up to the task as well. The Ito is a zoom rod meaning it can be fished at two different lengths, in this case, thirteen feet and fourteen feet, seven inches, making it perfect for larger water.

Of course, these two tenkara rods are not your only options. There are other makers here in the US and Japan that are offering rods that are capable of landing fish more than sixteen inches.

One rod that has been on my wish list for a while is the Tenkara Tanuki 425. Everything I have read about this set up indicates it should work well for these larger fish; it has the length and backbone to get the job done. Another that comes to mind is the Owyhee model by Tenkara Rod Company. I have not had an opportunity to fish it, but it is being marketed as a “big fish” rod. I’m sure there are other tenkara rods out there, that I am unaware of, that would also be up to the task.

The type of line to use depends on conditions, personal preference and the fishing method you are using. Either level lines or furled lines will work well. My personal preferences lean towards level lines because I can easily create the line length I need. In most conditions, I start with a line one and a half times the length of the rod. Under some conditions such as presenting a dry fly, a line length twice the length of the rod can be advantageous.

IMGP0388

When fishing nymphs with a tenkara rod, I will shorten the length of my system considerably. I may use a line and leader combination no longer than the rod itself. One of the advantages of tenkara rods is the extra reach allows for nymphing beyond that of a standard fly rod. In some cases “just because you can, does not mean you should.” On more than one occasion I have hung my flies on the bottom and have not been able to wade far enough out to collapse the rod and grab hold of the line top break off the flies. You should never attempt to break off flies by applying pressure with the rod. Doing this may result in a broken rod. By fishing a shorter line, you can avoid this problem.

Since casting distance can be somewhat limited by the fixed length of the rod and line, a stealthy approach is warranted. By wading carefully and reducing your silhouette as much as possible, you can easily get within casting distance. Fortunately, landlocked salmon are not as spooky as their trout cousins, but that does not mean you can march right up on them. What this does mean is long distance casts are not needed if you can make a stealthy approach.

IMGP0028

Fighting a landlocked salmon will put your skills to the test. This fish loves taking to the air, sometimes tail walking across the surface of the water. I find that dropping your rod tip in these situations usually spells disaster. While the technique may work with western tackle, you never want to point a tenkara rod at a fish. The flex of the rod is your friend when fighting a fish. The soft tip of a tenkara rod will usually absorb the impact of a leaping fish. Lowering your rod tip may result in the fish running and leaving you pointing your rod directly at the fish. The best you can hope for with a powerful fish like a landlocked salmon is a broken tippet. The worst-case scenarios can result in rod sections being pulled apart or a lillian being yanked off the tip of your rod.

With even pressure kept on landlocked salmon, they tire pretty quickly and can be brought to hand and netted. I do my best to discourage the fish from getting into heavy current and running downstream. If this happens your only option is to chase it. You may be tempted to use heavier tippet when fishing for landlocked salmon, but I don’t recommend it. When a big fish gets into fast water, and I can’t follow it, I would rather lose the fish to a broken tippet than put undue strain on my rod.

IMGP0018.jpg

One of my favorite ways to fish for landlocked salmon is throwing streamers at them. Landlocks readily take streamer patterns, as their primary forage include smelt and other baitfish. Fishing a streamer on a tenkara rod is not an ideal situation. Fortunately, landlocked salmon show a preference for feather wing streamers and sparsely tied bucktails. Unlike many streamer patterns, feather wing and bucktail style flies are quite light and are easily presented on a larger tenkara rod. The only difficulty I encountered is setting the hook properly. Lighter tippets and very flexible rod tips can make this challenging. Fortunately landlocks slam streamers so hard they usually hang themselves. I have also started tying some of the most effective landlocked streamer patterns as wet flies and have enjoyed success with them. These smaller patterns are very easy to cast. In addition to streamers and wet flies, swinging soft hackles can be an effective method for taking landlocked salmon. Fished as a single fly or in tandem, soft hackles can be fished upstream or down and across very effectively with a tenkara rod.

Once landlocked salmon return to moving water they take on the feeding habits of their youth and they will readily feed on insect life as well. Traditional nymph, wet and dry flies all work well. When fishing for landlocked salmon in the spring, the fish are in the rivers following the rainbow smelt migration. However, they will also key in on the Hendrickson and Caddis hatches that occur during this time of year. Reversed hackle tenkara flies tied to imitate these two insects can be deadly. Last spring I tied a “Hendrickson Kebari” which worked quite well. Even though it only has one season under its belt I think it will be a keeper. I fished the kebari pattern as a dropper behind a traditional Hendrickson dry fly, and the kebari outperformed the dry fly two to one.

IMGP0023
Emerging Hendrickson Kebari Recipe:
Hook – TMC 101 size 14
Tail: Crinkled Zelon color to match natural in this case a caddis tan
Body:  Brown pheasant tail fibers
Hackle:  Brown hen

Are landlocked salmon another species to pursue with Tenkara? Absolutely! Just be sure to choose a tenkara rod suited for them. If you have a river or stream nearby that holds landlocked salmon give them a try.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2016-17 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.

Have You Ever Set a Hook in Mid-Air?

Have You Ever Set a Hook in Mid-Air?
By John Mosovsky

It was a week since I received my new Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45 Keiryu rod so I was anxious to test it out.  I purchased the rod for its stiffness (54 penny), lightweight (2.8oz), and length.  At 14½ feet, it’s probably the longest rod that I can comfortably manage one-handed.  That’s an important feature since my intention is to use it for Czech nymphing on big water.  Big water where I live is the Lehigh River.  Unfortunately, water flow management on this tailwater is controlled by the antiquated Francis E. Walter Dam constructed in 1961.  The dam was built for flood risk management but recreation became a Congressionally-authorized purpose in 1988.  The Lehigh is a wonderful trout fishery that has overcome a dark history of industrial pollution.  It has the potential to be a blue ribbon trout river if design changes to the dam ever become a reality.  The Lehigh Coldwater Fishery Alliance and the Lehigh River Stocking Association are two organizations that work tirelessly at trying to make that happen.  But I digress!

On August 5th, the Lehigh River water temperature at my favorite spot was 71°F and the flow rate was 320 cfs (cubic feet per second).  A little on the warm and low side so I decided to Czech nymph a colder mountain stream called Mud Run in Hickory Run State Park.  It was running at 60°F.  The air temperature was cooler than normal, registering in the mid-seventies, and cloud cover was thick.  Weather-wise a pretty good fishing day for early August in Pennsylvania.  For the smaller mountain stream, I decided to use my softer TUSA Amago rod (31 penny/13½ feet) with a “short” 11-foot casting line/indicator sighter/tippet and multiple flies (#16 bead head pheasant tail dropper and a #14 bead head, lead wrapped George’s Killer point fly).

2016-09-22 20_39_19-Tenkara Angler Doc - Word

My line to line connections were made with ligature knots and my flies were attached with nonslip mono loop knots.  Both knots are highly recommended by Art Scheck in his book Fly-Fish Better.

20160809_082654
George’s Killer

I was on the stream at 4:00pm and netted two Brookies and a Brownie before deciding to start the 45-minute hike back to my Jeep at 6:00pm.  It gets dark early in a canyon!  When I reached my Jeep I realized I still had a good 1½ hours of daylight left so I decided to drive to my favorite spot on the Lehigh.  I got on the river at 7:20pm, excited to try out my new Suntech rod.  Because of the waning daylight and to save time, I decided to use the 11-foot rig I had on the Amago rod.  I knew the line length was a little on the short side for the 14½ foot Suntech but the flies were still attached and I was pressed for time.

The water I targeted was a swift, deep run with multiple seams and hydraulic jumps leading into a large deep pool.  I started off easy, fishing the near side shallows of the pool working my way upstream along the near side shallows of the run.  The rod performed beautifully!  In no time at all, I landed a few smallmouth bass, a Sunny, a couple fallfish, and a nice rainbow trout.  I caught a few more bass and fallfish before I reached the head of the pool and the swiftest part of the run. A feeding fish in a seam on the far side of the run caught my attention, but it was going to be a stretch reaching over the run to make a presentation to him.  I was already in the middle of the river hanging on to my wading staff, but hey, I had a 14½ foot rod (with, unfortunately, a short 11-foot line).

20160805_192609

(I often catch more fish Czech nymphing seams on the far sides of runs compared to seams on the near sides of runs.  Fish lying in the far side seams have the run between them and us and don’t see or hear us as well.  Part of the beauty of Tenkara Czech nymphing is using long rods to reach overruns and target the far side seams.)

I got within one step of the run’s hydraulics, lob casted the flies upstream into the foaming whitewater and hoped that I hit the seam.  What happened next was a bit surreal.  It was like what athletes say about things slowing done when they are “in the zone”.

My line and flies began moving very slowly downstream in spite of the swift, rushing water surrounding them.  I had hit the seam!  A split second later (well before the flies were anywhere near the bottom) a big rainbow (18 inches?) jumped 3 feet out of the water facing upstream like a torpedo.  I immediately thought that the fish had taken one of my flies even though I never saw or felt any indication of a strike. ALL of my line came out of the water and hung in the air “downstream” of the fish (“downstream” is in quotes because my line wasn’t in the stream at all!).

I instinctively raised my rod to set the hook in mid-air and in doing so turned the fish’s head toward me.  When he splashed down on the far side of the run, he took off downriver.  I tried to keep the power curve in my rod and because of the swift water and short line, the fish was drawn to the surface in the middle (read swiftest) part of the run.  It did a couple flip-flops and somersaults and then broke off!  Gone!  The only way I could have possibly brought the fish to hand was to go for a swim – but it happened so fast, was too near dark, and the water was too swift and deep to entertain such an idea.

If I had been fishing with conventional fly fishing equipment, i.e. rod AND reel, I believe the drag on the reel would have vastly improved my chances of landing the fish.  But then, I probably wouldn’t have had the ability to target the fish’s lie in the first place.  I also believe that had I used the appropriate line length (14½ -16½ feet) for Czech nymphing with a 14½ foot Keiryu rod on big water, I could have turned the fish and ran with him.  I was disappointed but exhilarated; pleased with my choice of Keiryu rod but upset with myself for not using the appropriate line length.  All in all, it was another exciting day on the Lehigh.  Tenkara rocks and rules!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Epilogue

When I teach Czech nymphing, I always tell my students to wait a couple seconds for the flies to sink after making a lob cast and before leading them to control depth and speed.  Not waiting long enough for the flies to reach the feeding zone is a mistake even the pros make.  George Daniel owns up to making this mistake in his book Dynamic Nymphing.  He also emphasizes “The key to allowing nymphs to quickly drop is not to create tension on the rig, but to maintain line and leader control so you can determine if a take occurs.”

In his opinion, this is the key to getting deep drifts with little weight.  I couldn’t agree more.  I was fishing #16 and #14 flies in very swift water when the big ’bow struck.  Granted they were bead heads and the point fly was wrapped with 0.010 lead wire, but that’s not much weight considering the conditions.  The relatively light casting line and tippet also helped.  The beauty of Tenkara!  In their Discover Tenkara tutorials, Paul Gaskell and John Pearson call the nymph sinking phase a kind of “induced take” movement that entices fish to strike.  Very true!  To capitalize on this phase, however, as George Daniel says, the nymphs must be allowed to sink without line tension but at the same time, the angler must maintain line control to detect a strike.  This is a very fine line (no pun intended) to maintain in swift, deep water.

After the ‘bow broke off, I was left standing with the pheasant tail dropper at the terminal end of the tippet.  There was no indication of any tippet having existed beyond the dropper.  When I got home and examined the broken line I could detect an extremely small “tag” coming out of the dropper ligature knot where the terminal portion of the tippet had broken off.  This told me a few things. The dropper ligature knot held, the fish struck the point fly, and the nonslip mono loop on the point fly held.  I can only assume that the line weakened when I tied the dropper knot because I failed to adequately moisten it.  Not a terrible mistake considering the rig held up to a dozen fish and a few snags.  The big one always gets away!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This article was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.

Tenkara Fishing in an Inflatable Craft

Tenkara Fishing in an Inflatable Craft
By Daniele Beaulieu

I am a river fly fisher, that means 95% of the time my feet are in a creek, stream, or river, but this Summer 2016 was awful as the temperature and humidity made the water super hot and very low. It was so bad that the rivers that I fished in were almost empty and the fish were not at the rendezvous, so I decided to take my float tube and my inflatable pontoon out and explore ponds in the Northeastern NY, more precisely, the Adirondacks, that big giant playground where you can have access to many ponds.

The thing about an inflatable craft is that there are a lot of pockets where you can put things, like your water, raincoat, something to eat and much, much more. They are also easy to transport; you don’t need to have a big truck or a carrier on top of your car.

I learned to love fishing that way.

Bass

Tips to Fish in an Inflatable Craft:

You can fish the standard way, that means you cast where you want the line to go. Or, you can fish just by letting the line out in the water and paddle away allowing the line to troll behind you. (Don’t forget to put your rod at an angle if you are fishing for big fish, see article in Tenkara Angler Summer 2016).

Since you will have your oar in your hands in an inflatable pontoon you can fish by placing your rod end underneath one of your legs and the rod tip on the top of one of the inflatable keels.

Don’t forget to always keep tension in the line, that means if the fish is coming to you, step back by paddling away from the fish. Don’t let the fish go behind the float tube or pontoon!

Security Measures to Take While Fishing in an Inflatable Craft:

  • Remember that tenkara rods are an electrical hazard, so be careful if you are in the middle of the pond. If you don’t have time, just throw away your rod in the water, they float.
  • Always wear a life jacket!
  • Have a rope in case somebody has to tow you
  • Have a patch kit in case you develop a hole and you are far from home
  • Do not over inflate in warm weather because hot air expands. Check out your air pressure from time to time

The Float Tube:

Float Tube

  • They are small and lightweight so if you hike trails to reach a pond like many of them in the Adirondacks, it is the perfect choice
  • They are slower in bigger ponds; they should go in ponds about 20 acres maximum
  • You’re seated in the water, so beware of leeches if you are fishing in shorts

The Inflatable Pontoon:

Camo Pontoon

  • They are faster than the float tube
  • You can go in bigger ponds
  • You sit outside of the water so if you are going through a bunch of lily pads it will be easier
  • You can paddle in both directions so it will cause less fatigue
  • You can take them in rivers
  • They are heavy, bigger, and take longer to assemble.

Video Resources:

This article was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.

Conversing in Japanese

Conversing in Japanese
by Isaac Tait

Perhaps you are planning a trip to Japan, or maybe you are just interested in the Japanese language to help you harvest information from the complex Japanese worldwide web. Whatever the reason Japanese is a fascinating, yet distinctly different from the English language to learn. With well over 2,000 characters in three different alphabets called Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji it is no small task to undertake.

While I am hardly an expert, I have put together a little of what I have learned here in Tenkara Angler. My goal for writing this article is two-fold. First, I would like to spark an interest in those, who prior to reading this, may have had little to no interest in the language and perhaps even the country of Japan. Secondly, my overall goal is to assist those with an already developed affinity for Japan and its language get off on the right foot.

I believe that every Tenkara angler should make a pilgrimage to Japan not just for the fishing but to immerse themselves in another culture. Too many of the problems currently facing the “west” today, I believe could be easily resolved with a little perspective, grace, and respect. Something that Japan, its people, and its culture can offer in spades.

So without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Asking Questions in Japanese:

In the English language if you come across a “WH” word it typically indicates that the sentence is a question (e.g. Why, Where, When, What, etc.).

In the Japanese language if a question is being asked the character “か” pronounced ka will be appended to the end of a sentence.

For example –

  • Daijobu desuka? (Are you okay?)
  • Anatano namae wa nandesuka? (What is your name?)

Please Note: desu often precedes the ka, but not always. When it is, the pronunciation is “des-ka” The U is silent.

 Toire wa doko desuka? “トイレはどこですか“. While this is the correct English way of asking the question “Where is the toilet” it is infrequently (almost never?) used in Japan. Instead, they will just say toire “トイレ”  pronounced “Toy-re” with a  question inflection.

Whole and complete sentences are not the norm in Japan, something that took my English speaking brain a while to wrap itself around. In that regard, it is a very efficient language.

Intro to Correct Pronunciation of Japanese words:

A common English mistake is to pronounce the Japanese with English consonants and vowel sounds as it is written.

For example –

Onigiri “おにぎり”. The well-loved rice ball food is very often mispronounced as – “O-ni-gear-ee”

The correct pronunciation is – “O-knee-gee-ree” (make sure to make the ree sound with a hard almost D sound too)

The city where I live 横須賀 (Yokosuka) is often mispronounced “yo-ko-sue-ka”. This is incorrect, it is pronounced “yo-kos-ka” Again the U is silent. The city Asakusa in Tokyo is pronounced “A-sock-sa” Noticing a pattern yet? 9 times out of 10 the U will be silent (especially when it comes at the end of a word) but not always.

I tend to pronounce the U silent first and if I get a blank stare I try adding in a subtle U sound.

Counting in Japanese:

In English, there are very few counters – one, first, single. While in the Japanese language there are hundreds of counters for everything from beer(s), people, paper, and even farts! Knowing all the counters is probably impossible, as some are fairly obscure and hardly used. If you use the wrong counter (something I do frequently) no one will understand what you’re asking. The most important counter to know is the tsu counter as it works pretty well for anything you might need to communicate an amount for.

Here are just a few of the counters that I use regularly.

2016-09-20 22_22_22-Conversing in Japanese (1) - Word

There is a counter for swimming fish, captured fish, deboned fish, fish cut into chunks, fish wrapped for sale in a supermarket, and fish cut into bite-sized pieces – to name just a few (and I won’t list them here, because it’s confusing I think).

Beware of useful phrases that many “helpful” sources will try and teach you. Japanese is not a romance language (meaning it is not based on Latin). Therefore, the language’s grammar and sentence structure is totally different from English. This makes the translation process often times very messy.

Keep your questions/remarks short, simple, and sweet – and you will be fine. Most of the time what you are asking or talking about is readily apparent in the context of the situation.

Scenario:

You are standing next to a river with your Tenkara rod and you ask another fisherman “つりチケットどこですか“ Tsu ri chiketto doko desu ka which when translated literally means “Fishing ticket where is?” However, it is understood to mean “Where can I buy a fishing ticket?” If you tried to ask the question in perfect English but translated into Japanese, you could say something like this:

Doko de tsuri no chiketto o kōnyū suru koto ga dekimasu But, after all that work they would almost certainly look at you with a blank stare, uncertain what the heck you were trying to ask.

The following list is a few helpful words that I use almost every day. These words make most daily interactions go pretty smoothly. Whether it be at the train station, the convenience store, or on the trail if you know these few words you’ll be able to get through many interactions with as little awkwardness as possible.

2016-09-20 22_51_02-Conversing in Japanese (1) - Word

Notes for use                                                     

  • If you accidentally bump into someone Sumimasen (excuse me) will often suffice. If they are in obvious pain, you bumped them pretty hard, or they are much older than you a Gomen’nasai (I am sorry) will go a long way. This is pretty common interaction, especially during the morning rush hour.
  • There is no need to preface Wakarimasen (I don’t understand) with a Gomen’nasai (I am sorry). While it sounds right in English it is a tad too formal for day to day Japanese. Prefacing the (Wakarimasen) (I don’t understand) with a Sumimasen (excuse me) is best.
  • Onegaishimasu (Please) is very formal/polite. I tend to use it when requesting the check after dining – O kai kei onegaishimasu (check please)

Kudasai (please) is more common for day to day interactions e.g. when they offer to bag your food at a convenience store.

The Intricacies of the Japanese Language

One of the more confusing Japanese words that I hear all the time is So-so. My research has turned up that a lot of Japanese people when they say this word, believe that they are actually speaking in English. For example:

“How was work today?”

“So-so”

“How are you today?”

“So-so”

From this, you could deduce that the word So-so would mean more or less okay, undecided, or eh (with a shrug of indifference). Basically what it means in English (which is, incidentally, some Japanese speakers intent).

However, I have also heard the word So-so used in such a manner that it would imply that its meaning is It is! or That is correct.

For example:

“So, this is where we are going to camp tonight?”

“So-so”

“Is that an Iwana?”

“So-so”

Things get even more confusing as the Japanese for So-so would seem to be まあまあ. Obviously, this does not match the pronunciation (if pronounced as it is spelled it would be Maa Maa). To further add to my confusion when I search for the definition of まあまあ it takes me down a whole other path of meaning.

I have been living in Japan for 18 months and I’m still not sure what the word means, because depending on who I ask I get a different answer… So I don’t really say it very much.

During a pleasant day of skiing with one of my female Japanese co-workers, I came to discover another Japanese word: Ne. This word is used as an exclamation of agreement. However, it is a distinctly female word. I was told that if I used it too much when conversing in Japanese, that Japanese men would assume that I learned my Japanese from women (not that this is a negative thing but my friend seemed to imply that it was). I guess it is the valley girls equivalent of ‘like’…

When I first moved to Japan I intended to speak, read, and write very good Japanese by the end of my second year of living here. With that anniversary rapidly approaching it is with a little regret that I feel I am a long way off from this goal. Languages have never been my strong suit, and the Japanese language can be very confusing at times. Still, I have not lost my original infatuation with the language. I love to listen to native speakers and imagine what they are saying based on the context of the situation; their intonation and facial expressions is a lot of fun to absorb.

Slowly but surely with tenacity and grace, I hope to one day hold my own in day to day conversational Japanese. Until that day I will just bask in the cordiality and understanding of the Japanese people while I fumble for my iPhone.

wayama sakai-tori kabuto-tenkara-nagano prefecture-shokuriyoshi-tori kabuto flowers

Authors Note: I have compiled a lot of helpful information, that didn’t fit here, on my site http://www.fallfishtenkara.com/information/learning-japanese/

Alternately, you can navigate to “Fallfish Tenkara” and click “Info” then scroll down to “Learning Japanese”.

I would be remiss if I did not give a hearty thank you to David Walker for his extensive assistance in compiling helpful resources at Tenkara Fisher, which I have utilized in creating this article. His extensive compilation of some very helpful information is a great resource for anglers, of any discipline, planning a trip to Japan or just for the further study of interested individuals. You can find a sampling of his useful information at the aforementioned link above.

This article was originally published in the Fall 2016 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.

Paul Vertrees MWTF Notes & Articles

During Saturday’s Midwest Tenkara Fest presentations, Paul Vertrees made a special appearance via pre-recorded video to outline some lines and detail some nymph rigs that he felt would serve many of the tenkara anglers of the Driftless well.

30168017_10216403051138288_1305512209734800941_o

The video was well received, and Paul even gave Tenkara Angler magazine a quick little shout out, referencing one of the articles he had written for a prior issue.

As a follow-up, I figured I’d whip up a quick post with links to applicable articles in case anybody that attended wanted some additional information. The first two are by Paul:

The second two related articles are by Anthony Naples of Three Rivers Tenkara:

Oh, and should you be in Colorado and want to learn more from Paul first hand, he guides through Royal Gorge Anglers in Cañon City.

tenkarabanner