Thursday, 12 May 2016

horses for courses

Fishing for wild brown trout is a trip out that is still more than a week away. My local streams being trout-free are closed now until mid June and the local canal has become muddy and unproductive. For all these reasons I am feeling an attack of cabin fever hovering overhead, so to fend of the fisherman's blues I am indulging in some much needed therapy - dreaming up new fly patterns.. 

I am very interested in chasing coarse fish species with tenkara and kebari and my angling friends will know that I have in the past been slightly obsessed with catching trophy perch on western style  fly tackle. Big perch are powerful bucket-mouthed predators but can be suprisingly tackle wary and takes when they come are often very subtle. Last year I worked hard to adapt a western fly approach that would have the sensitivity to give reliable results and I enjoyed some success. Then discovering tenkara and the incredibly subtle presentations it makes possible I was quick to see its potential for trophy perch. Big perch are for me an autumn and winter pursuit because I find it too difficult to locate them during the warmer months, post spawn.   

So for now it's just tying and dreaming but September will come around quick enough. The top fly in this photo is my first attempt, tied on a size 4 Varvivas dropshot hook. I like the wide gape which helps I think in connecting with a big fish given that cavernous mouth. Really this fly is a scaled up version of a traditional sekasa kebari and it has everything a perch should like in a fly - some nice pulsing movement of those big soft hackles, a red trigger zone and some sparkle from the peacock herl body. There is a  problem however - I suspect the soft tip of the average tenkara rod will struggle to set this size and gauge of hook. So I am playing around with the idea of converting part of an old split cane rod to make a highly specialist tenkara perch tool. The cane can easily cast this fly and also tiny dries with ease once you get the casting stroke right and it seems happy with tippets down to about 6X. The tip is decidedly more snappy and quite capable of setting these heavier hooks while the planned finished rod length of around only 6ft will keep the weight right down. More of this in a later post..

Another coarse species I am interested in pursuing is the roach and here a much finer approach is called for. With a much smaller mouth than trout, here a scaled down size 16 kebari is more in keeping. Roach are not often given to chasing the fly so a light pattern that can be fished 'on the drop' should work. I tied this pattern (the lower fly in the photo) with a white hackle so that I can see it more easily as it drops through the water column when I am fishing clear water canals. The beauty in this photo I caught with western fly tackle and I am looking forward to my first roach on tenkara this summer..



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