Tenkara Fishing

<(Intro) "Welcome to KSL Outdoors, I'm Adam Eakle. you know with winter upon us, a lot of fly fisherman put their rods away and don't pick them until springtime. but there is still plenty opportunities to get out there and tonight we are going to show you a few techniques and one of them I'm positive you've never heard of before.">

<(Rob Worthing, Salt Lake City) "so there is a nice pool right here, nice slow moving water we can move up through that.">

Rob, Erik and John, look like any other fly fisherman headed out for a nice day on the lower Provo, but..look closer, see anything missing? Notice they don’t have reels attached to their rods. The technique is a traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing, called Tenkara.

<(Rob) "By definition, traditional Tenkara is rod, line and single fly. Suited best for fast moving mountain streams , pocket water, that's where it really shines. It can be fished effectively just about anywhere. but, man on those mountain streams that's where it really produces.>

<(fish) "there we go.">

<(Erik Osterander, Tenkaraguideservice.com) "it was developed by poor fly fisherman in Japan who lived in the mountain streams. They had very little resources, so they came up with a very long rod so you get a good drift. They came up with their own type of flies called Kabari.">

Tenkara has a long history, though little of it is documented. Tenkara type fly-fishing is suspected to have been practiced as far back as 9th century B.C.

<(Erik) "the casting is also different than western fly fishing. western fly fishing you put your thumb up here, you are not going to break the wrist and you are basically all in the elbow right here, right. we all know this 10 and 2, 10 and 2.>

<(Erik) "But with Tenkara, the casting is different, you put your pointer finger up, because you get more control with it. your elbow is static and the cast is all in breaking the wrist.>

Tenkara is about fly-fishing simplicity. Eleven to fourteen foot telescopic rods allow these guys to fish mountain streams in a way that is nearly impossible with western fly gear. Telescopic rods collapse down to 20 inches, and the line attaches right to tip of the rod. They are light and simple, making them ideal for backpacking.

<(Rob) "While backpacking, the two things I enjoy most are fishing the mountain stream on the way up and setting up camp and hitting the alpine lake. that's a perfect combination. it's really nice when you go backpacking you don't have to carry any food. because you are 100% guaranteed to catch your dinner and your breakfast.">

<(Rob) "about 3 ounces a rod, Tenkara is perfect.">

Some of the main advantages are its very delicate presentations with the light line, the ability to hold the line off the water and place a fly over difficult currents with precise casting, and if I can do it, anyone can.

<(Adam Fish) Oh yeah, woo hoo.">

<(Rob) "A big part of the Tenkara philosophy is the simplicity and the efficiency and what that efficiency does is it forces to you pay attention to your skills, to your cast, to getting that perfect drift. paying attention to where that trout is in the river. you have more time to pay attention to all this stuff than you would otherwise. (erik) and for me I don't care about the simplicity, i just catch more fish doing it. To me that's what fishing is all about.">

<(Erik) yeah, he's got some beautiful spots on him. just love how he's like a leopard.>

<(Adam tag) "a different technique, a lot more simple, a lot of fun. i mean it can't be that hard to do if i did it on my 5th cast. (erik) very easy to learn and very effective technique. (adam) we've got more coming up from the river and with Erik and Tenkara guides in a moment, but first tonights quiz question.">

<(adam) "nice little better fish. (erik) "this guy is a bow.">

<(Eric Osterander, Tenkaraguideservice.com) "There are a lot of techniques you can do with Tenkara, it's not just throwing a really light fly. you can huck some pretty heavy stuff and get some stuff really down deep in the water and i've fished a lot of different rivers, from the madison to the Green to small stuff, you know stuff that's only a couple of feet across and i've been able to catch a lot of fish in every single river.">

<(Rob) "that's three in a row, bam, bam, bam.>

Tenkara is great for small rivers and streams with big boulders and small eddies, often called pocket water. These guys say Tenkara is not for every type of fly-fishing, but in Utah, there are plenty of waters it works just fine.

<(Erik) "There is a lot of opportunity to fish here in the winter. all these streams go and it doesn't get cold enough to freeze over, always moving.">

<(Erik) Big Cottonwood is an all time favorite, American Fork is great. there are a lot of them down south that are very good. Everyone knows of Huntington, Huntington is beautiful and is perfect for Tenkara.>

<(erik hit) (Adam) "nice.">

Because your line is often longer than the Tenkara rod, landing a fish does take a little practice. It’s very similar to landing a fish with western gear, rod tip high, use the line if necessary and reach for the fish

<(Erik) "so i've got to hand line fish in, just bring the rod behind me, grab the line, this guy the line isn't very long, pretty calm water, pretty easy to land this guy.">

Another Tenkara way is to make your own net, like this one Erik fabricated out of a local limb.

<(Adam) why go build your own nets and why do that, to be in the spirit of it? (rob) "cause I'm cheap. (erik) i think it's a lot of fun to build your own net, how many people do that. (john) "it's a culture. (rob) It's the same reason, why you tie your own flies.">

<(Rob) It's all part of it. >

Tenkara is a fun way to fly fish, you never know what you might learn or see on the river, makes you wonder how long people have been fishing our local streams.

<(Erik) we've come up here fishing here before and people are sometimes here paying attention to the water and i sit back and take pictures of them right in front of the petroglyph>

<(Rob) "There is a classic thing in the Tenkara community, it's ten colors, the ten colors of Tenkara. every Tenkara fisherman you meet is going to have a slightly different way of doing it.">

<(Rob) so in July of 2012 we will have a meeting of the great minds of Tenkara, we've got a Japanese contingency coming over. people are coming in from all over the world, Europe, NZ. and we are all going to get together in SLC and spend a day teaching each other what we've learned about Tenkara.>

<(Tag) if you want to learn more about Tenkara fishing or go fishing with the guys, just check out their website at tenkaraguides.com. they'll also be at the Wasatch fly tying and fly fishing expo, April 6 and 7th at the South Town Expo. Time now to get some more fishing tips with the guys at Fish Tech.">

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