Archive for September, 2014

“Work in progress” (26th September 2014)


As I said in my last entry, I did not want to get too deeply into the subject of Tenkara due to my lack of experience, but what I have decided to do is to follow my own advice and try the art of Fly Fishing for the other interest of this Club of ours – The Coarse Fish.  Despite pounding the table top for quite some time about the fact that most, if not all fish (game or coarse and salt water) will rise or can be taken on the fly I personally have never actually tried this.  Again, as I have previously mentioned Arthritis and advancing years have had their toll and as I can no longer negotiate river banks I have decided to open up my horizons, and to this end I will now use my “whippy sticks” and odd-ball plastic lines to chase such things as the Roach, Perch, Chubb and so on.  This is not such a great problem when it comes to some of my Trout gear, just a change of target, and the addition of some lighter gear, namely a #2/3, 6 foot Snowbee rod and Snowbee Classic 2 reel and suitable line for lighter quarry such as Roach and Rudd from our smaller waters on Hulme Hall for instance and the mid range kit for Chubb, Carp and such like where I can get at the rivers.  The other direction is of course Pike, which I have been reliably informed I can use my Salmon gear – with a slight adjustment of the terminal equipment, such as wire trace to combat the mouth full of Shark like dentures.  This I have found is now made to a standard that you can knot, much like any other line, not the steel wire I found when I was younger and spinning for the Pike back in the late ‘40s and ‘50s.  Having done a short, self taught course in Pike Fishing, and read a bit of the more up dated information on this fish, I find that to my surprise, is quite delicate when it comes to it’s treatment after being landed, and it is no longer treated as a pest – as it was back in my youth, but seen for what it is in the natural progression of things, a “controller”, there to keep the balance right, not only of the overstocking of the rest of the occupants of its surrounding area but of it’s own species.  Quite a “wake up call” for this Old Codger I can tell you, only goes to show you are never too old to learn.


My intention from now on is not so much to convert from one type of fishing to another but to merge them as far as it is possible to do, not only from Game to Coarse, but to try to use the Tenkara type fly – (reverse hackle, remember) as well as any standard trout patterns, in conjunction with my Western type Fly Gear to attract the likes of Roach, Rudd and so on.  So if you come across this Odd-Ball on a water near you try to ignore or at least amuse him as far as possible, but most of all be aware that he will from time to time be throwing as much line behind him as he is doing in front, it’s the nature of the sport, I, in return will try not to catch you in my back cast.  Or if you find him casting Salmon gear on some still water somewhere, it is not necessarily “The Old Codger” who has lost either the plot or his marbles (though, of course, this may well have happened in the natural progression of things) it will be me trying for the Pike.  Bear with me Kev, there may be use for any fly rods you have tucked away, I’ll keep you informed.


The other revelation I have found is the Fly used for Pike on the Fly – it can be anything up to 5 or 6 inches long, hence the need for the “slightly” heavier Salmon rod, (understatement of the month I think).  So having supplemented my Library with “Fly Fishing for Coarse Fish” by Dominic Garnett, invested in a video on Tenkara Flies by Dr Hisao Ishigaki the only thing left is to get out there and put my theories into practice, bearing in mind that one of my legs is heavily bandaged at the moment I may need something a little more substantial than my slippers on my feet.


Note for Ernie, Pete and Dom – you spent years carrying the gear for a certain fat, idle cretin and missing out on Competition scores yourselves as a result, you don’t fancy a repeat performance do you?  What was that, speak up, I’m going deaf as well – Oh! “F……………ck off” I thought you might say that.


No matter what method you use, let’s keep the sport going and encourage as many youngsters as possible to join us, preferably into the Club but at least into the Angling fraternity.


Tight lines and all the best





Right, pin back the ears, I have for some time been attending various meetings, The Fly Dressers Guild, G.A.I.A. and so on, only to find that there is an ever increasing interest being shown in the traditional method of fly fishing in the foothills of Japan.  The method is called Tenkara and is used on small fast flowing mountain streams.  The tackle consists of a telescopic rod (it collapses into itself much the same as a telescope) there is no reel, a loop at the end of the rod to attach the line to; this is usually about the same length as the rod, leader and fly.  The fly differs to some respects to our standard fly in as much as they are mostly reverse hackle, that is to say the hackle points forward over the eye of the hook, or where the eye should be, in Japan the hooks are blind and in most instances do not have a spade end to them, this then is the first task of the fly dresser, to attach a silk eye to the hook.  Most of the ‘Masters’ of the art in Japan very rarely go out with more than one or two flies, this has a tendency to reduce the amount of gear you are not carrying even further, the fly being a representation rather than a copy can therefore represent anything.  From what I have gathered from those around me who are into this method, they are using it as a back up – when all else fails put down our traditional Loops or Sages, and unfold the Tenkara rod, and try that.  After all it can be folded away and stored in a belt pouch and hardly noticed when not used.

I do not intend to go any further into the intricacies of this method of fishing since I have little or no experience in it, but should any of you wish to follow up on it I will be more than willing to put you in touch with some-one that does.  My interest remains within the fly dressing aspect of the sport. The flies are, as I have said reverse hackled, and normally ‘wets’ and sparsely dressed – ring any bells – North Country Spiders for instance.  Using the same dressings as our standard spider and just reversing the hackle will give you a perfect Tenkara fly.  I admit there are several patterns from Japan which are favoured by the Japanese, I will not attempt to list them since their pronunciation is almost as bad as some of my Welsh Border flies.

What I have noticed whist I have been sourcing information on Tenkara, is that the Japanese method of coarse fishing is not all that dissimilar in that the rod is made from bamboo canes (straightened and with the nodules smoothed off) a similar line set up, but with float and bait much the same as we do.  At the end of one of the videos there is a short clip of what appears to be a fishing competition, this is set up in a say 1.5 or 2 acre lake with a three sided pontoon jutting out into it, the end pontoon being about the same length as the two side ones.  The ends of the two sides are obviously anchored firmly to the bank, and parallel to each other, accommodating about 150 to 200 anglers.  This video is about 15 minutes long and if you are not interested in rod making this may bore the living daylights out of you but if you “fast forward” to about the 12 min. Point you will see the competition I am talking about.

More soon.