mercredi 30 mars 2016


The last weekend has not been devoted to tenkara fishing because of a violent weather event so I did spend a little bit of time with other activities related to my passion; I started reading an awesome book about which I shall publish something later, and I finally realized a tying video of one of my favorite kebari pattern: the Zenmai-dou.

I posted on this blog in July 2014 a detailed fly-tying sheet and some readers asked me if one day I would make a fly tying video of the zenmai-dou... This is now done!

I hope that you will like this home made video and perhaps will you want to try this kebari as in a tenkara fishing experience it is good, and even advised, to walk off the beaten path.
It is always a pleasure for me to promote these traditional patterns that are the result of a long evolution in the perspective to keep it simple and effective.

vendredi 25 mars 2016

Yamato Kebari

The water level is still high on the streams I usually fish in the early season, a little bit of patience is needed for the trout season really starts. The spring seems to be starting very slowly, the temperatures are still pretty low and with the hard rains we had last month it is not surprising that trout are not active on food at all. But when they are hungry again the fishing will be good.

Meanwhile I tie enough kebari to cover the entire season as I intend to live this new tenkara fishing season to the fullest as soon as the conditions will be good. I recreated last year while preparing my journey to Japan an old wet fly that was very often used by the anglers who taught fly fishing several decades ago. I have always seen this pattern tied with a hen chicken feather as hackle but tying these a few days before leaving to Japan and out of time to get supplied I decided to switch to something I had available: cock saddle. 

If my peers favorite hooks for tying trout flies were "Tortue" hooks I replaced them by what I had on hand ie Tiemco 3769SP-BL size 12.

I tried, and I think I have succeeded, to interpret this old wet fly pattern and make a modern version. I intentionally  do not use the term "invent" because I think that in the universe of fly tying  inventions are extremely rare and I do not pretend to compare myself to Skues.
Tied on a hook considered "for wet flies and nymphs" this very light tie does not really enter into such limited categories because if one practices tenkara as it has always been practiced in Japan, with the line off water,  he can easily control the diving of the kebari.
This kebari who until then had no name is now called "Yamato kebari" because during my stay in Japan is knotted with it to my bottom line that I was capturing several specimen of this variety of char.

In many ways the Yamato Iwana reminded me of the brown trout of my small streams, they are not very mobile, preferring to wait that the current brings them food. They are very subtle and difficult to spot on sight. Fortunately I have been lucky in my fishing experience in the Japanese mountains to get advices from some of the best connoisseurs of these magnificent fish.

The yamato iwana above was caught thanks to the advices of Masami Sakakibara in a very tiny spot. I also got a beautiful yamato iwana on the Sho-gawa with the help of my friend Kazumi Saigo.

If you want to try this pattern on your favorite streams, you may like this tying video I have made.

dimanche 13 mars 2016

Trout season opening 2016

During the weeks preceding the day of the trout season I like doing outings on various streams of my  area to see what winter has made of them. The winter that just ended was soft at temperatures but very wet. It has rained a lot during the last weeks before the awaited date and it was therefore without haste that I did the final preparations for the opening of the trout season.

The last evening before the opening was dedicated to kebari tying and preparation of the backpack; knowing that the water level was very high on any of the many streams of the area still I prepared two rods. Their use for the opening day was undoubtedly going to very little but it can not do them wrong to get in the outdoor! 
I reached the edge of the stream on which I have done the season opening for many years, it was hardly day and I could hear nothing but the raging stream. I approached and realized that its condition was the one I had expected: the water was a uniform and opaque grey. There was not the slightest chance to catch a trout here.

I went upstream reviewing all the spots where I usually take the first trout of the season and it was all the same show everywhere: grey water, high level.  Many spots were inaccessible as the ground is so soaked and soggy  I would be in the mud down to the knee after three steps.

I continued this exploration and arrived about ten o'clock near the place where all the years I settle for the snack. Again everything was wet, the bonfire made more smoke than flames but I would not have exchanged my place for anything!

The fog which was very thick in the morning dissipated and the sun came out, it did not heat the atmosphere but it animated the surrounding woods. Knowing that I was not going fishing I took the time to eat at my favorite strain overlooking the creek and then quietly take the path that would take me back home.

It was long years since I had experienced a trout season opening day with fishing but the trout and fishing passionates  are dependent of weather conditions so rather than rail against bad fortune is better to try to enjoy this symbolic day of season opening from a different perspective. One never loses his time in the woods, along a stream even if you can not fish there, there is always something to observe. In a few days the spring comes, then I have some wonderful opportunities to spend days on the edge of a stream and catch some trout. It's just a matter of time. Patience is a virtue...