テンカラ日記 tenkara diary 28th May 2017

Look, I'm not proud of this, right? But sometimes you've just got to get a bend in your rod, so to speak. Even if this does mean a trip to the trout fishing equivalent of Roxi's Massage Parlour. And when I realize Gary is filming me bending into another stockie rainbow I feel like I've been caught in a brothel with my pants down. To make matters worse I'm fishing the stock pond. Now that really is dirty.

In my defence this is a social meet-up organised by Gary and a lovely chance to hook up with some flyfishing facebook friends for the first time. And it's a cracking day - good company and good laughs. Wild fishing is more my thing, in fact this is the first time in many years that I've visited a commercial trout lake but I just can't resist bringing along the tenkara gear. For 'research purposes' right? I'm curious how well C&R stillwater stockies will take kebari. I'm even more curious to learn how easy it will be (or otherwise) to land a fighting fit Bibury triploid when it has deeper water to run to.

Well I needn't of worried on either of those scores - four fish come to hand with the minimum of fuss. I even suspect one or two anglers interest in this newfangled tenkara thingy has been slightly piqued into the bargain..     
25th May 2017

I found these notes in my 2015 diary, thought they were worth sharing here.. 
I am not an insomniac but I am writing this at 3am. Lousy night, picked up a bug here in Cornwall and stomach cramps are making sleep impossible. So for future reference I thought I would jot down a few observations from yesterdays mini-session on the River Fowey..    

These are:

1) it is possible to be outwitted by a creature with a brain no larger than a pea

2) pound for pound, the pursuit of wild brown trout with a fly is probably only slightly less expensive than say owning a race horse or perhaps taking up motor racing as a hobby ... just saying

3) it's not always a good idea to unhook a fish with one hand while holding an iphone in the other

4) if you snatch your iphone back from the river quick enough no water actually gets in and it will still apparently function normally afterwards 

5) the downside of 4) is that you will most likely drop and lose your fish in the ensuing confusion  - on balance it's probably better to keep a working phone than a fish as after all you can't telephone the breakdown services with a fish when you discover that your car wont start after the long walk back

Apologies if my observations seem a little sardonic, it's probably just my mood..

21st May 2017
Hankering for some 'authentic' trout-tenkara, drifting kebari to wild spotties. So a first foray with Theo Pike's 'Trout in Dirty Places' in search of brown trout (practically) on my doorstep  - the River 'X' in Somewhereshire.

Some things to note: go early to avoid amphibious labradors, it continues to be a cold spring and water levels have been up and down like a courtesan's knickers. So at my ETA of 6.30am I don't expect much fly life coming off. Reports are mixed on head of fish here but it does seem some wild brown trout and grayling are occasionally caught.

Actually, on arrival I'm pleasantly surprised how beautiful this little stretch is, crystal clear, clean golden gravels in a good range of sizes with plenty of nymph life beneath. No fish though that I can spot except good clouds of fry in the deeper margins upstream of the foot bridge. It's great to be out casting a kebari though and  I diligently practice my cast & drifts to any likely looking spot. I'm using the slightly beefy, big-fish-inspired 'Hellbender' which I love for my chub-tenkara but I'm feeling a growing yearning for a Japanese designed tenkara rod with a classic 5:5 action. I can feel a purchase coming on. Got my eye on a Daiwa Ensho LL 3.6 SF. How's that for an acronym?

This beat is a mix of glides and gentle meanders with some heavily wooded sections. I'm regretting leaving my little Eso 2.45 - 2.06m zoom at home and so avoid the woody sections today. At the end of a fishless three hours and not having even seen a trout I have the sneaky suspicion that the trout are hiding in the woods this morning. Note to self: bring the short wand next time.
At the top of the beat I'm surprised to meet another flyfisher and he is equally surprised I think to meet me. He is untangling some western fly gear and doesn't notice me so I call 'hello'. His name is Marco (or is that Mario, sorry it always takes three introductions for a name to stick, although I never forget a face). He seems a gentle soul and an experienced fly fisher and is generous with his info. We chat a while and he tells me he has not seen a fish this time either. I think he is a regular visitor and tells me he seldom sees another angler. The other day trout were rising freely throughout the beat and Marco nearly stood on a good fish when he was getting into the river. 

Well it all adds up to enough to get me wanting another visit, perhaps when air temperature is a little higher. I should definitely explore that tangled jungle section. Perhaps an evening foray if I can put up with those amphibious labradors.



  1. A very enjoyable read as always but I'm not sure that naming specific locations on the internet is a good idea, especially those with pubic access which contain trout, we suffer enough from poaching already in this area and the few local anglers that know and fish this lovely bit of stream surely won't thank you for posting it's location online. I know Theo already named the venue in his book but at least this was only going to be seen by a limited audience of serious anglers but posting these 'secret' urban spots online is an open invitation for all kinds of undesirable attention. Anyway, I didn't intend for this to be a criticism of your otherwise excellent blog and I hope you will understand that my coments are only born out of a concern for my local water - Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comments and feedback. I understand your concerns but must admit that I don't agree. There is already such a lot of freely available information on the internet about this river & particular stretch dating back well over a decade. Not to mention Theo's book (now available as an ebook) the publications of the local conservation association and the Trout in the Classroom field studies carried out here. This is in no way a 'secret' trout location. But in respect to you and local anglers I have removed place names from my little post. Tight lines David.