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  1. #1

    Default My tenkara nymphing experiment

    Generally, I have been a fairly boring fisherman. The vast majority of the time I simply use a woolly bugger, and most of the fish I have caught (trout, bass, whatever) have been caught on that, or occasionally a Clouser minnow. But I got to reading about the nymphing craze, and thought about giving it a try. Initially I was put off by the confusing complexity of the equipment (indicators, sighters, French leaders, bobbers, slinkies, Czech, Euro, etc.) and the apparent difficulty of the technique, especially having to watch like a hawk for barely perceptible strikes; my mind tends to wander and I don't pay that close attention (using streamers, I am more used to feeling the strike when the rod is almost pulled out of my hands). Nevertheless, after reading a lot of websites and watching videos, I decided to give it a go, as simply and cheaply as possible, using a tenkara type rod.

    For line, I have been using a size 4 fluorocarbon tenkara line (bought on a 30-50 m spool from one tenkara company or another). However, my research suggested that it would be best to use the lightest line possible, in order to minimize as much as possible the inevitable sagging of the line, so I cut a piece of 10 pound test nylon monofilament (cheap stuff that I use on spinning reels), about 10 feet long, and attached it to my 13 foot keiryu rod; I was concerned that it would be difficult to cast that light a line, but it didn't prove to be a problem.

    For a sighter, I went with the backing sighter idea that I had read about. I connected two pieces of differently colored fly line backing (yellow and white; I didn't have any orange) to make a total length of about 10 inches or so. I wrapped it around a pencil, colored in about a third of it with a black permanent marker, thus creating a barred sighter. I tied a perfection loop on each end, and I attached it to the monofilament using a loop-to-loop connection. I attached about 3 feet of 5X tippet to the end of that, again using a loop-to-loop connection. Finally, I tied on some kind of nymph from my fly box (I'm embarrassed to admit I'm not exactly sure what it's called, maybe a Copper John or bead head Prince) and my nymphing set up was ready to go.

    Well, the proof is in the pudding and so I went over to the local stream and caught a few brook trout. I made casts about 45 upstream, and slightly led the rod tip ahead of the sighter until it was about 45 downstream. The light line was not as difficult to cast as I thought it would be, though it is pretty short (quite adequate for this small stream) and I don't know what would happen if I had made it longer. The sighter was very easy to see (it was a gray overcast day). One downside of the whole arrangement is that the depth is not readily adjustable; one of the pools I fished is probably 5-6 feet deep, and if I wanted to hit the bottom I would have to change to a longer tippet (I am kind of lazy about that).

    Overall, a good experiment. I will probably continue to try this out at the small stream I frequent, though at bigger rivers and the lake I think I will stick with streamers for now.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My tenkara nymphing experiment

    Congrats on the brookies and the new mono line setup! Sounds like it works for you. I have tried a dacron backing sighter with my keiryu rods but I feel it does sag too much creating more slack than I want for tight line nymphing. For me, 15lb. Amnesia in flourescent green is the perfect sighter contrasting with bright orange flourocarbon level line. When throwing weighted nymphs, I just sort of lob the rig out there quartering 45 degrees upstream.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My tenkara nymphing experiment

    Thanks for the tip about Amnesia. I have heard of that, but I wanted to try first with stuff I already had around the house. I will give that a try next.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Lakeville, Conn.
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: My tenkara nymphing experiment

    Well done. Before you know it you will be trying my patented technique, Tenkara Euro-Mopping.

  5. #5

    Default Re: My tenkara nymphing experiment

    I got some Amnesia, 8 lb test in red and yellow. I made a two color sighter about 16 inches long, and attached the red end to a Hi-Vis yellow size 4 level line, and attached about 4 feet of 5X tippet to the other end, to make a total length of about 14 feet (my rod is about 13 feet). I also got an assortment of Czech nymphs from Big Y. I took it to my local stream; we have had a lot of rain recently and my little stream was a raging torrent. I couldn't get to some of my favorite spots (I don't do any adventurous wading when I am alone) but I gave it a try anyway. With the Hi-Vis line I didn't really need a separate sighter, but the Amnesia section (which indeed is very easy to see) served as a good depth gauge. The first fly I tried was basically a tiny jig, with an upturned hook; great, it won't snag on the bottom. Well, I promptly lost that one in a tree. Then I tried a little green and reddish brown thing (I don't know the names of these Czech nymphs). Didn't catch anything, but it was good practice. (I think I jinxed myself by bringing a camera.)

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  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Lakeville, Conn.
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: My tenkara nymphing experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by gpwhitejr View Post
    I also got an assortment of Czech nymphs from Big Y... The first fly I tried was basically a tiny jig, with an upturned hook; great, it won't snag on the bottom. Well, I promptly lost that one in a tree.
    That's known as a cancelled Czech.

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