Friday, 22 April 2016

canal tenkara / 1


"Familiarity breeds contempt," or so they say. Quite who 'they' are I'm not so sure, but
until a couple of years ago I certainly took my local Grand Union Canal for granted. Although I live right by it, being a man-made waterway it held little interest for me, growing up as I did fishing the lowland rivers and streams of southern England. Or so I thought. But then a much wiser fisherman introduced me to the potential of the canal by generously sharing some of his expert knowledge of its trophy perch populations, their locations and habits. I caught some big perch on conventional fly tackle and became a canal convert.   

So now, happily I see the Grand Union through new eyes and wonder why it took me so long to wake up to its charms. The canal holds a diverse range of species from mighty carp to tiny gudgeon but can be very moody. Narrow, but a hundred miles long, it is in fact a massive body of water. Fish location is an art in itself and can involve a lot of walking and searching, perfect water I think to explore with tenkara. 

This fits in as a very welcome diversion while I wait for my local rivers to reopen on 16th June.

There is not much of a hatch coming off the water yet, and the water clarity is low so I don't have much confidence in nymphs or dries unless I can put them right on top of the fish. So I look to an adaptation of a San Juan Worm style pattern that will have plenty of action and perhaps lure some of the fish species that are often found in the lower water column - fish like perch, bream and that fabulous micro species the gudgeon.
It will have to work hard so I call my new pattern 'the enterprising worm' - its designed to be fished in a variety of ways - jigging, gliding or even statically, and its here that I think it might really score with tenkara. At rest it stands on its tungsten bead head with the buoyant tail pointing straight up. The merest twitch of the rod and the tail comes to life. I will post a step by step for this pattern if it turns out to be the fish catcher that I hope it will, but in the meantime swim tank testing (in the kitchen sink) goes well and I really can't wait now to test the worm out for real..    


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