dimanche 28 septembre 2014


About three months ago I did post an article about the dubbing material made from fern fiddlehead fibers known as zenmai with a step by step fly tying sheet of the zenmai dou kebari on an Owner Shinobi hook.

The guenine zenmai dou is tied on golden hooks and I was lucky enough to be offered some by a Japanese friend. A reference I had never heard about: OWNER HERA PROST.

In his letter my friend did write that these were typical shaped for the zenmai dou kebari with wide gap, generously curved bend and barbless point. These hooks have no eye but a small spade so I have no doubt about the strength of ties on these hooks. 
The size I did receive is 8 (号) so I can not really describe these hooks as "heavy wire". I would rather compare them to the Tiemco 100 which can be used for emerges, light nymphs or wet flies not destined to sink like anvils. 

I have been fishing with wet flies long enough to understand that a fly tied with a cock hackle is a wet fly in power. 
Differentiating a wet fly with a wet fly by the use of a cock or of a hen feather is a joke, a hoax in my opinion. If one does not use hydrophobic chemicals any dry fly will dive sooner or later!
Those who know the videos of Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, one of the greatest connoisseur of Tenkara, have certainly understood that the different casting techniques allow to fish subsurface with flies generally considered as dry flies. 

A Tenkara angler understands that he needs to improve his technique instead of switching from one kind of fly to another, that is what teaches us the experience of Tenkara masters such as Dr. Ishigaki or Masami Sakakibara.
At least for me it is clear that it is these veteran practitioners who have something of value to pass on.
It is them who did what it takes for Tenkara not to disappear but instead spread throughout the world.
There is not any master outside of Japan in my opinion, there are sincere apprentices or insincere false experts. 

samedi 27 septembre 2014


We have all followed Daniel's yearly journey in Japan and as he let us know a TV channel made a documentary about tenkara in which he was going to be along with Ishigaki-san.
Today I connected to Youtube and had the good surprise to watch a preview of this TV show. Once again Daniel has the good words to define tenkara and its philosophy.
If only some of the tenkara company managers I know could have even a small part of Daniel's mindset and will to share tenkara would spread faster over here.

lundi 22 septembre 2014


The fateful date of the trout season closure in the first category streams has come so I had to take advantage of a rare thinning to enjoy a little of this part of the river.

In the french fishing regulations streams are divided in two categories:
-The first category includes streams where fishes are at least 90% salmonids.
-The second category are streams with a maximum of 60% salmonids.

I did not expect easy fishing, fall is already here; rainy and windy as always in Normandy. The water level has been abnormally high throughout the season but recent storms have contributed again more to stain the water. So this  last outing on the Sienne stream was quite short.

I am not frustrated that the season closing has already come because I think that despite the incredibly bad conditions we had this year I have lived my tenkara experience to the fullest. 

I will write again about this difficult trout season that has taught me a lot. In the meantime I offer you a video of this last trout season day. 

samedi 20 septembre 2014


I had the opportunity a few months ago to purchase this this book and from the first time I have had it in my hands was rated one of the best books in my library fishing.

Ryutaro Ohno was born in 1953 in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture  and he studied veterinary medicine before becoming an artist; it is the little information that I managed to find about this artist but this is not the most important.

The most important are the works and those of Ohno Ryutaro are fantastic; I spent a lot of time browsing the virtual galleries of dozens of artists in this style but I have seen very few whose works are as striking not only by their realism but also by their lifelikeness. 

The book is 30 x 21 which allows to assess some of these fish in size quite close to actual size. The attention to detail of Ohno Ryotaru is pushed very far and that's probably why these works seem so alive.

The last part of the book describes in detail the process of creating a gyotaku. As often in the Japanese books illustrations are simple, clear and explicit. I do not know if one day I'll try to make one, but at least now I have a clear idea of ​​how to do a gyotaku the way it has to be done. 
This beautiful 80-page book has 56 ichtyogrammes each more beautiful than the others. 

The following video is not Ohno Ryutaro but it shows the basic principle of gyotaku.

mardi 16 septembre 2014


Rest assured, TENKARA ENSO does not switch to german language!
Today's video comes from Switzerland, a very discreet country in all areas including fishing.
I will let each of you make his own opinion about this video, I share it because it demonstrates that Tenkara is spreading across and that is what counts. Some will stay, some will leave. Time will tell.

jeudi 11 septembre 2014


Since I have been fishing Tenkara I have mostly fished with parrallel lines that we, Tenkara anglers, call "level lines". They are a little more demanding to get good casts for a newbie but allow, in my opinion, better drifts because their similar diameter through the length.
However I have nothing against other types of lines and I recently had the opportunity to test a tapered line called "Soft Tenkara" by the Fujino company.

This line is not made of fluorocarbon but of nylon, it is adaptable to more diffenrent techniques than fluorocarbon that is unusable for dry fly fishing. For me who only fished wet flies I thought that using a nylon would rather be an inconvenient but once I fished with this I realized that it made me fish differently because the fact the line is not designed to sink required a different approach. It is easy to keep out of the water which is good to obtain good dead drifts. 

The major problem of fluorocarbon lines is that this material does not take the dye very well and most of fluorocarbon lines have a too light stain. With the Soft Tenkara you have a perfectly dyed line that is clearly visible in all light conditions.

Regarding the casting the line loads the rod very well and one easily get clean accurate casts. I have tried this line with very different rods, from Tenkara Times Try 360 to Oni Type III  and it did give excellent results. 
I think that for anglers who do not dare to try level lines by fear of not being able to cast it properly the Fujino tapered line is a serious alternative. They will get easy and clean casts without major difficulty. 

This excellent product is available in five different lengths from 3.3 to 10 meters. The only downside I see for someone who is used to make his own lines is the fact that the line length is predefined. 
You can purchase this line through the European dealer Tenkara Centre UK

jeudi 4 septembre 2014


It is not yet time to print the balance sheet of the 2014 season but the end is near and one must not miss an opportunity to go fishing and that is what I did yesterday.

The summer was rotten, it is a fact that no one can deny but since a few days the nice weather is back, it is even hot! It does not make fishing easier either. Trouts are not very active on food as they have had time enough to binge during the last two months that where, according to weather records, the wettest since 1959. Just that!

I went fishing a small stream which is very unusual for the area as it looks like a mountain stream: strongly cashed banks, little water, many rocks, waterfalls, etc.

The picture on the left depicts what I have seen when I left the town and started getting closer to the stream. I was sure to spend a good moment in this place.

I did not expect the fishing to be easy and it was not. I think that I am realistic about the status of the salmonids in the area, they are only a shadow of what they were. This situation has made me realize that it was more satisfying for me as a Tenkara angler to catch some wild trouts in these overlooked streams than catching bigger stocked specimens in C&R areas. Unlike most fly anglers I do not let the rods on the rack when fishing gets harder.

The morning was good with a few catches on well marked positions but when the trouts are not hungry it is useless to expect a catch behind each rock. Anyway I do not feel the need to highlight the score as if tenkara was a basketball game, it is much more important to me to learn something every time I go fishing.

I will definitely return to this beautiful stream. The surrounding woods are pretty dense and slow progress on the river allows true immersion. 

It is now 2 p.m, the sun is blazing overhead, the temperature is at its maximum and I decide to leave this heavenly place. 

lundi 1 septembre 2014


A handful of new tenkara blogs have appeared this year in Europe and in the US. It's a good thing. This proves that slowly but surely tenkara is rooting in the western fishing landscape . No offense to some!
One of these new blogs is published by a woman, her name is Melissa Alcorn and her blog is called TENKARA CHICK.

The blog has recently been established but it is already showing a good state of mind in its writings and knowing about the other passions of Melissa I think this blog will get really interesting in the future. It's really good to see that the tenkara anglers are willing to become active members of this community. I sincerely hope that this blog would inspire other females to be active in the tenkara community.