mercredi 31 décembre 2014


The time has come to thank you all of you to follow and read my blog and send to you my best wishes for the new year!
Tenkara Enso will be back soon!

samedi 27 décembre 2014


Continuing the sort of the fly tying materials I have accumulated over the years I have found back some chenille I thought I had exhausted long ago. An opportunity for a new fly tying sheet!

1) Fix a Tiemco 3769 size 10 hook in your vise and wrap the tying thread dehind the eye to make           your kebari a neat head.

2) Select a partridge flank feather, remove the fluff then stroke the fibers against the grain. Catch the feather by the tip with tight wraps of tying threads then trim the excess above the eye.

3)  Take hold of the feather in vertical position and gently bend the fibers forward.

4) Wind the partridge feather around the shank and keep all the fibers facing forward after every             turn then catch it in with tight wraps of tying thread. Trim the excess of bare stem.

5) Catch in a peacock herl behind the partridge hackle and wrap it around the tying thread. This               simple tip will make the peacock herl thorax stronger.

6) Wrap the peacock herl around the shank to make your kebari a thorax then catch it in with the             thread and trim the excess. Do not forget to unwrap the peacock herl from the tying thread before       cutting off. 

7) Catch in some chenille by tight wraps of tying thread and trim the excess. 

8) Wind the chenille around the shank then catch it in by wraps of tying thread and trim the excess.         Finish your kebari with half hitches then cast off the tying thread. 

Your chenille kebari is finished!

samedi 20 décembre 2014


The Tenkara Style shop organizes a photo contest on their Facebook page and you are all invited to participate!

The rules of his photo contest are very simple:

-Post your picture on the tenkara style FB page before January 15th. Do not forget to identify  yourself in your post.
-On February 15th the photographer whose picture will have won the most "likes" will be the winner!
 This person will receive a 25€/30$ fly tying materials pack.
-Competing photographers do not have the right to vote but are allowed to share the contest album      on their favorite networks.

Good luck ya'll!

jeudi 18 décembre 2014


There are on the current fly tying markets hundreds of tools but most of what is offered is of poor quality, imported from Asia at low prices and sold in hundreds of shops under different names. I will not waste a line here to write my opinion about these fly shops policies.
I have always been told that "a good worker always has good tools" and that is probably why I always try to be an intelligent customer favoring quality over quantity. 
Tying flies does not necessitate a lot of tools so I think it is better to work with a few premium tools than collecting unusable or unreliable ones. 

I own two different hackle pliers but I think that the time has come to keep only the best of them. 

The older hackle plier of mine is the Stonfo P.M that I did purchase a few years ago to replace an antique hackle plier that was so relaxed it could even not keep closed. 
The plier is made of steel which is not of good quality and it has traces of oxidation; it still can pinch feathers stems but there is some rubber coating on only one of the two jaws and this makes this hackle plier almost barely usable for midge feathers whose stems is super thin. The spring which is supposed to ensure the constant tension of the feather when it is wrapped around the hook shank has unfortunately relaxed too much. It is, to me, one more fault of this tool: because of the weak spring I have to remove the trim bag from my vise to use the hackle plier. I do not use it anymore. It is sold around 9 euros, it is not a bad tool but it is not a long-term investment. 
Being unsatisfied by this one I decided to invest about 20 dollars in a C&F Design hackle plier because I had already experienced their excellent bobbin holders and I was sure not to be disappointed with the CFT 120M.
This model was designed to work small feathers for small flies (The M in CFT 120M is for Midge) and even though I do not tie a lot of midge kebari I did chose this product because of its small size that allows me to keep my tim bag in place. 
The tip is really narrow and slightly curved outward and that detail makes the difference with straight jaws: one can pinch super thin feathers stems without cutting it. Instead of a metal spring like most of hackle pliers the CFT 120M has its two parts linked by a rubber band that extends up to two millimeters. It really minimizes the risk of feathers breakage. The C&F Design tool is shorter than the Stonfo, 65 mm against 95 mm, it is made of high materials so it will work perfectly for long years. 
The CFT 120M is a little bit more expensive than the Stonfo but its price is justified by its perfect functionality and the very high quality of the materials used to produce this awesome tool. 

lundi 15 décembre 2014



A few days ago I was lucky enough to chat with a old fisherman of my area and I was really pleased to note that he did share my pragmatic approach to fly tying and agreed with me that real fishing flies had not been designed by the fly tying materials industry neither the fly tying celebrities who mainly tie showcase flies but by anonymous tiers who tied their flies with the materials that they could find easily around them. I think that it was the same everywhere in the world before fly fishing became an industry and Japan was probably not an exception.

When I go fishing I always carry a ziplock plastic bag that I use to collect all kinds of furs and feathers, I did not start this habit. My grand father and father already did the same decades ago. The fly tying stuff they ever bought were hooks.
I still have to wait several months to go back fishing in streams, like many European people, so I start getting ready for the next trout season. The time to open my material collecting bag has come and today I did take guinea fowl feathers.

The tie I propose you today is a variant of the famous Takayama sakasa kebari and my goal with this fly tying sheet is to make you add a ziplock bag to your tenkara gear!

1) Having fixed a Owner Kuwahara (size 3) hook in your vise, wind the 8/0 tying thread around the shank to make a neat head to your kebari. Cast off excess thread.

2) Select a guinea fowl feather and prepare it by removing the fluff from the stem then stroke the fibers against the grain. 

3) Catch in the feather tip with tight wraps of tying thread than trim the excess. 

4) Take hold of the feather with a pair of hackle pliers and maintain the feather in vertical position.         Gently bend the feather fibers towards the hook eye. 

5) Wind the feather around the shank and make sure all the fibers are facing forward after every turn.
    Catch in the feather stem with tight wraps of tying threads then trim the excess.

6) Behind the guinea fowl hackle catch in a peacock herl and wind it around the shank. Do three or         four turns as you prefer then secure the herl with tying thread thread and trim the excess of herl. 

7) Build a body to your keabri by tight wraps of tying thread. When the body has the shape you like secure the tying thread with three half hitches and cast off thread.

Your kebari is finished and ready to go fishing!

jeudi 11 décembre 2014


Contrarily to what some seem to think Tenkara did not resurrect, or not thanks to them, but there has been a transition area between the end of commercial fishing and the rise of Tenkara as a hobby.
One European country has been ahead of others in the rediscovery of ancient fixed line fishing techniques. Italy is probably the only European country where fixed line fly fishing techniques never extinguished and that is probably why the Italians have been pioneers in western Tenkara.

For those unfamiliar with these videos I think that they were the very first released outside of Japan about the fishing technique that brings us together on this blog: TENKARA.

mardi 9 décembre 2014


From time to time we hear or read about the "ten colors" of Tenkara and I think this expression is a bit intriguing for many but it really sums up the field of freedom that is tenkara.
Japanese tenkara is not the european fly fishing community which is divided in various sects generally busy in sterile controversies.
Fly tying is not an exception to the tenkara freedom and on can find that kebari go from ultra simple to highly sophisticated.
Yesterday tying my fly tying materials I did find back a bag of various quills and it just made me say "why not"!
It has been a long time since I have used quills in my tying as I have been using thread much more during the last seasons so I have tied a handful of quill bodied kebari.

I have always categorized the quills I used in two categories: those from fly shops generally dyed in bright colors and those from any bird that I find when hiking or fishing and it can be turkey, raven, magpie or even seagull!
It has never mattered to me that a feather is from a rare or common bird and I am sure that trout do not give a f#@k!

I propose you today a simple step by step fly tying sheet of a turkey quill bodied kebari. 

1) Insert a hook in the jaws of your vise. I did use a Tiemco 3769 size 10.

2) After winding the tying thread down the shank to the bend catch a quill fiber by its wider part by
    tight wraps of tying thread then wind the thread back towards the hook eye.

3) Wind the quill fiber around the shank on about 3/4 of its length then catch it in with tight wraps of     tying thread. Trim the excess of quill fiber.

4) Select a partridge flank feather, remove the fluff at the base and stroke the fibers back against the       grain.

5) Catch in the feather by the tip then trim the excess (above the hook eye). 

6) Take the feather by the stem with a hackle plier, position it vertically and gently bend all its fibers        towards the hook eye. Wrap the feather around the shank. 

7) After two or three wraps around the shank catch in the stem with tight wraps of tying thread then       remove the excess.

8) Build a neat head with tying thread, finish with several half hitches and cast off the thread. Your         kebari is ready to go fishing!

Now you have until the next season to season to tie some more!

lundi 8 décembre 2014


Many people seem to have a strange idea of what is a tenkara rod and while they should ask themselves how to keep their rods in best possible condition for years they wonder what might happen if they break it.
The myth of rod breaking trouts has a bright future coming! A good angler treats his gear with respect and does what it takes to keep it in perfect condition for years, a bad angler believes in the myth of rods breaking trouts!

As a fisherman, tenkara blogger and tenkara tackle shop owner I always highly recommend to the anglers to be very careful in the maintenance of their rods. Treated well a tenkara rod will have a very long lifespan. You may have noticed but there is almost not any tenkara web-shop to address this issue, yet most never miss an opportunity to qualify themselves as "specialists" and even "experts".

Masami Sakakibara alias Tenkara-no Oni has a simple and effective method thoroughly clean up a tenkara rod. He had the good idea to share a video on this topic. This is very useful so I hope that you will be a lot to watch it and follow this good example.

dimanche 7 décembre 2014


Perhaps some of you remember the manga that was boradcasted at the end of the 1980's but probably not many of you have heard about the 2009 motion picture directed by Yoijro Takita adapted from the manga.

I hope that you like original version movies. Perhaps the manga readers will recognize on which manga volume this story is based.

vendredi 5 décembre 2014


If winter is considered by most anglers as the worst area of the year it is for salmonids a good season devoted to breeding.

mercredi 3 décembre 2014


I still have to wait about three months before I can go back to my favorite trout streams so my free time is all about tenkara forums, fly tying, preparing blogs posts and watching tenkara videos like these ones:

dimanche 30 novembre 2014


For the second article of this series I am going to deal with river tenkara fishing that I divide in two different techniques: upstream and downstream fishing.
On most of the rivers I fish there is a lot of vegetation on the banks but I do not choose my fishing technique only on this factor. Before I start fishing I always take the time to observe the interesting spots, to analyze the current(s) and the visible signs of fish activity if there is any.

Upstream fishing is more productive on most of rivers I fish so I will start with this technique.

I cast fully upstream and try to make my kebari drift in the spots where I think there are trouts. Targeting the swift currents between rocks is often a good idea. I generally wade slowly along the bank not to alert fishes.
When the kebari starts drifting down the stream I slowly lift my rod and cast back when the line is back in front of me. This technique is simple and allows a fast prospection of spots you suspect to shelter trouts. They are opportunistic predators, their choice is probably "eat this bug or it's gonna be eaten by someone else". Do not fear to cast many times on the same spot until a trout moves. Casting upstream allows you to stand out of fishes filed of vision.
I do not use patterns weighted with metal beads or lead wire because I have experienced that heavy kebari do not drift but sink and I have the personal conviction that it makes a radical difference in the eyes of a trout. Since I have stopped fishing with bead headed nymphs I very rarely catch any chub or minnows in trout streams like I did before.
I indifferently cast a 4 meters level line size 3 or a 4.50 meters tapered line even though the tapered line are more visible in low light conditions.

Once again, if you have chosen a low quality rod you will not cast as easy as with a good rod and you will be more limited in your choice of line and line configuration.

With a 6X fluorocarbon tippet that has a length equal to 25% of the line I can pretend to easy and effective dead drifts with my kebari. If you use this configuration of line/tippet ration (75/25) with a well balanced rod and still have difficulties to cast effortless I advise you to switch to a smaller and lighter fly pattern and shorten your tippet a bit.

A good tenkara rod can cast any kind of line but most of cheap rods can only decently cast one kind of line (generally furled) because they are not designed to be versatile. If you purchase your first tenkara rod always try to know what kind of line it was designed for. Do not trust a salesman who explains you that this rod is for fishing on dry flies and the other one is for nymphing.
Real tenkara rods are designed to be used with different kind of lines (furled, level, tapered) and not with specialized fly patterns.

The second technique is cross-stream and downstream fishing. I mainly fish cross-stream because most of the rivers where I fish are winding and generally the straight parts are overfished and overcrowded. I like this technique because it is based on approach and discreet progression along the stream.
My fishing is I think very simple: I only let the tip of my line on the water surface and let the tippet (and kebari) sink. This allows to let the current make your tippet and kebari drift naturally.
If your line sinks it is more difficult to obtain good dead drifts because the current will exert its force on several elements (line, tippet, kebari) with different diameter and density. 
Since I have been fishing tenkara I am learning to use the stream current to make my kebari sink and obtain good dead drifts. The effort is really worth.

Downstream fishing is for me a  good way to prospect wider spots and it is a good technique to present a kebari to many potential trouts in no time. It is not my favorite technique but it is a good exercice to train casting long light lines. 
One of the main difference between upstream and downstream fishing is that in downstream fishing I slowly drop my rod as the line goes downstream. This allows to make the kebari drift longer and get more chances to catch a fish. 

jeudi 27 novembre 2014


I am going to post a series of articles about some of the common questions I am asked by readers about the tenkara gear choice and how it is, in my opinion, possible to use these pieces gear at their best. These writings are based on my personal experience of tenkara and you might have different viewpoints about tenkara rods, tenkara lines or tenkara techniques is my blog!

I am starting today by small stream tenkara.

To fish in small streams it is better to choose the rod that is long enough to cast properly your kebari to the fish without getting snagged everywhere at every cast. What I like in small stream tenkara is that I have to observe and chose the best possible spots where to cast from and get the best hooks setting possibilities. I wade as few as possible to remain undetected as in the small streams where I fish trouts are not numerous and generally very spooky.

I never fish on dry flies on small streams just because it has become really unproductive on most of the small streams where I fish. The density of insects has dramatically decreased through the years and there are no more important hatches that make the trouts look for their food on the water surface. A these touts are not very mobile I had to adapt to their feeding habits and fish sub-surface.

I cast short, my level line is the length of the rod and is light
(号 3). This level line size is the one I use the most, I feel confident with it and it is the best suited for the delicate presentation required in the shallows streams I fish.
My tippet is made of 6x fluorocarbon and its length is a bit under 25% of the line length. It might seem short but it is exactly what I need to properly cast, present and sometimes manipulate my kebari in streams that are rarely more than one foot deep.

I did start tenkara with the fly fisherman's habit of using several tippets spools but with experience I have kept only the one that had the best strength/casting ratio.
I have never used tapered leaders for tenkara because I do not trust them and I think that the more there are different elements to make a line the more it is difficult to make it drift properly.
My personal preference for small stream tenkara is for traditional patterns, especially the Yellow Takayama Sakasa Kebari.

Having tested several rods I have definitely adopted the Oni type 3.
It has a soft action, incredible casting abilities and fits better with my idea if small stream tenkara. The other rods I did try were good rods but were too limited for line choice and really too stiff for my taste, the Oni type 3 is the kind of rod you have to try if you want (or like) easy and delicate casting with light lines.

Delicate presentation is absolutely needed in the small streams I fish and I have experienced that all rods are not created equal. As for me a good tenkara rod is the one with the greatest versatility on casting. I want only one rod able to cast any line I have in my pack when I go fishing may it be a light level, tapered or furled line. 

Small stream tenkara is an exciting technique and a very good way to improve your technique in every aspect of fishing: approach, observation, casting, sasoi. It is a very rewarding fishing style because it is really questioning for one's skills. 
I would like to add as a conclusion that small stream tenkara can also any angler to really improve his fishing in wider streams and that is why I will always try to encourage tenkara anglers to experiment small stream tenkara. 

vendredi 21 novembre 2014


After long years of absence in my boxes I will start again using my version of a nymph known worldwide for being so effective that its name is the "killer bug". 

This pattern was named by its creator, Franck Sawyer, an English bailiff on the Avon river who needed a highly effective to exterminate the graylings as this species was considered as parasite by the Army officers who owned the fishing rights on this stream.
It is now possible to find a very good substitute to the original Chadwick 477 yarn used by Sawyer on a few tenkara tackle websites and that is the reason why I will have this pattern back in my box.
A good killer bug yarn has, in my opinion, to have as characteristic not to be uniform color and to have a great translucency when wet for a bit of "realism". The skin of real nymph is not made of plastic or rubber, it is extremely thin and translucent. 
When I started long years ago to tie the killer bug it was the exact Sawyer's pattern but then I decided to tie it with a copper wire head. Tying this way allows to have a wet nymph on which you can see literally see the guts when it is wet.

I will not use any other weight on my killer bugs than wraps of copper wire. It gives me really light nymphs (0.005 oz for size 10!) which are compatible with my tenkara gear so I will not experiment the horrors of existential questions about the compatibility of this rod with this line, this line with this pattern, etc! 

I have always liked tying flies and I am still tying a lot,  not only for my web shop but also for the pleasure of having some to offer to friends of mine. I have realized a few days ago that I have tied so much in the past two years that the jaws of my Dyna King are totally slick! 
Now I have the good material to tie this pattern the way I like the vise is not going to be resting soon!

I had a little bit of time yesterday evening so I did a tying video of this excellent pattern, perhaps will it motivate you to make your vise heat up...

mercredi 19 novembre 2014


Last year I did purchase a bamboo box that unlike the C&F Design I had before was compatible with my Zimmerbuilt strap pack and I have to say that it did fit perfectly. It is nothing fancy but very common and I had the opportunity to buy it very cheap.
But after several weeks of use I did find a cons: slit foam panels. I understand the use of these high density slit foam panels when you absolutely need to keep your dozens of nymphs patterns classified to be able to change the pattern used to catch as many fishes as possible in a competition for example, I understand the use of this kind of device for anglers who want to stick to the "match the hatch" conception of fly fishing but this is totally useless for a tenkara angler who is a one fly adept or one who is convinced that the main characteristic of fishes in their feeding process is opportunism.

One day, back home after a tenkara outing I ripped the foam panels from the box and put back my hanful of takayama sakasa kebari in it.
A few weeks ago while talking about custom kebari boxes in a tenkara forum a friend of mine invited me to get in touch with Richard Setina,  an American craftsman known for his beautiful custom kebari boxes.

Within a few mails I and Richard conceived my box. After a few days Richard sent me pictures of a trial version of what would my custom kebari box and the result was amazing! Even hot off the tools it was absolutely awesome.

With such a beautiful rendering on a raw piece I instantly gave Richard my agreement to purchase this box. I had to wait for two weeks before the box was produced and finished but I was sure that it was really worth. It is made of cherry and maple, I like this two tone look, more than I would with an uniform appearance. Its beautiful finish is made of tung oil, I can feel the grain of the wood and this feels really better than the cold and smooth feeling of a synthetic varnish. 

I did ask Richard to make it with four compartment which is more than enough for me who has lost the bad habit to carry full boxes of patterns I never use. 

I am convinced that this time I have my definitive kebari box, it perfectly fits my needs and my idea of what is the best possible kebari box. It is simple, beautiful and functional. 
I do not think that I will post anything else about boxes in a very long time because it is probably the last box I buy. 

lundi 17 novembre 2014


I have met Yuu Cadowachi on facebook a few months ago and I have to say that every time he releases a new tying video I am amazed by the simple beauty of his ties.

I am really pleased to share some of his videos today, they are really worth.

Yuu-san edits a blog that I invite you to visit by clicking here

We are monday so I wish to all of you the best possible week! 

samedi 15 novembre 2014


The video I share today is a part of a post from the Tenkara Friuli blog which is a very interesting publication with very good articles and videos. The editor of this blog is like me an Oni rod aficionado and a very good connoisseur of the Japanese tenkara scene.

This video shows in details the tying of a very interesting sakasa kebari for sasoi as it seems that this fly can literally swing in the water.

Watch this video and make your  opinion!

dimanche 9 novembre 2014

Dripping Cave Tenkara

I have just watched this new video released by Brian, editor of Tenkara Elevated blog, and I have liked it enough to share it on my own blog!
This simple video demonstrates brilliantly that tenkara fishing is more effective if the angler does not bring useless complications in it.

mardi 4 novembre 2014


Since the salmonid fishing season is closed in most of European countries and in Japan the number of tenkara fishing videos released on the web has drastically decreased. Hopefully our American tenkara fellows still have the possibility to go fishing and share their videos with us.

Today's clip is released by Paul Gibson. You only have to click on the arrow and enjoy...Enjoy!

lundi 3 novembre 2014


A new tenkara project is online: the Tenkara Chat. It was created by Matthew, a tenkara angler from Arkansas, USA and the aim of this project is to give tenkara anglers worldwide to discuss any topic related to tenkara.

I have added a portal to the Tenkara Chat on my blog. You only have to enter a nickname to join in.

It is really cool for me to see that some people want to be active members of the tenkara community so it is a pleasure to open this portal on my blog.

vendredi 31 octobre 2014


A few weeks ago as I was hanging on the web I did go back to the Owner co. website and I came by chance on a hook that immediately caught my attention. A hook whose name means "bent corner" and whose shape exactly matches what I was looking for.

This hook has a micro spade, a good feature to make the tying easier and stronger. In my opinion the two basic qualities of a kebari are to match the "taste" of fishes and be strong enough to survive multiple takes. I am not a collector looking for artistic quality to his ties, I am an angler and my kebari are not destined to spend their career in boxes. 
The Ikkaku chirashi is a fine wire hook with a short shank, a typically generous curve, a very wide gap and a laser sharp short point. 
Many tenkara newbies complain to miss a lot of fishes because of their bad hook setting and every time one of them asks me advices about that my answer is always the same: fish with wide gap hooks! 
One should know that this type of hooks, just like the Shinobi and the Micro X from Owner, are not tenkara hooks but are designed for Ayu fishing, a traditional live bait technique in which hook setting absolutely needs to be efficient. 

Here is a comparative picture of the Ikkaku Chirashi with two commonly used hooks in Europe: 

As you see it is not always good to trust the size number printed on the labels!

If you are interested by these hooks you can purchase some here if you live in Europe; I invite overseas anglers to get in touch with my friend Keiichi Okushi of

Meanwhile I invite you to watch a tying video of my favorite fly: the Takayama sakasa kebari. 

mercredi 29 octobre 2014


Since I have been practicing tenkara I have used several different line spools and I will share today my definitive opinion about some of them.

This post only reflects my opinion based on my experience of using these spools, it is therefore possible that other tenkara anglers have different opinions about these products.

The Tenkara Pyrénées spool accompanied me often. This cork spool is very light and strong but as I do not wear waders anymore I realized that its thickness is too important for I keep it in the pockets of my pants. The major drawback for me, in addition to the thickness, isthe axial hole which is too small to allow a secure locking of the spool on the handle of my favorite tenkara rods. 

The styro-foam spool...I had purchased 8 of these in a clar plastic case on e-bay and I must say that for the super cheap price I did pay I had what I deserved! The 8 spools were destroyed in 8 outings. I always put my spool in my pants pockets and these ones were quickly so squeezed that they had become unusable. I personally think it is a shame that more and more tenkara tackle shop sell these to their customers at high prices when this is ultra cheap on wholesale and low quality. Avoid this #rap!
Eclectic Angler is the only company to offer a 3D printed spool that I like for its small dimensions (only 48 mm in diameter!) and light weight (0.34 oz)! It is deep despite the small diameter but on the other hand the axial hole is quite small, at least too small for I can lock it on the handle of my favorite tenkara rod. It is exclusively sold on the Eclectic Angler website for 10 US dollars. 
The Raji Leica spool has the advantage of an incredible strength and convenience. It is not thick (13 mm) and lightweight (12.5 grams). One can use a tiny metal rod to hang the fly but in this case I advise not to try to put the spool on the rod handle. This spool has many notches and very dense foam so there are a lot of possibilities to manage your fly and your line. Like many other tenkara line spools you will have to write on it to identify the line stocked. All in all this accessory is very good quality and not expensive. 
My favorite spool! The Meiho Shibamaru is very convenient with many notches to manage your fly and your line. It is not deep but one will stock a 20 ft line (level or tapered) without problem. This spool is incredibly strong, only 14 mm thick and pretty light (0.61 oz). It is sold in packs of two including stickers to identify the line stocked on the spools. I also like this spool because I can "lock" it on the handle of my favorite rod; that is how I carry my line when I go fishing or when I walk from a spot to another.  

Tenkara is a rod, a line and a fly. A good spool in my opinion is convenient and strong. It is the product that will avoid replacing cheap and bad quality accessories by other cheap and bad quality accessories. 
This post is based on my experience with one of the rare useful accessories in tenkara and you might not agree with my choices. It's your right!