Questions and Answers

On November 2, 2014 • Comments (89)
By

Tenkara FAQ questions and answerPlease ask any questions you may have about tenkara. It doesn’t matter if it’s been answered before, if you’re not easily finding it, I’ll be happy to answer it here. Ask away!
Of course, feel free to continue calling us at 888.483.6527 or emailing us at info@tenkarausa.com

Comment on post above


Ebbs and Flows – Tenkara Fishing Tailwaters

On October 5, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

landscape

Written by Martin Montejano

While the summer wains, some of the flows throughout the watershed may start to dissipate. Tenkara fishing tailwaters will often offer more opportunities for fishing during the transition into fall.

Consistent temperatures and flows, especially when regulated by a dam, often provide a great environment for trout all year long. I generally save these waters for later in the summer when the fishing slows down in the rest of the watershed. One of the biggest challenges on the tailwaters in my area is the size of the water. I will admit that I have often struggled to catch fish in the wide, open runs that hold very little tells as to where fish might be. Over the seasons, I have found a few tips that have helped me to catch fish in these types of waters.

waterDividing the water into smaller currents tends to help. After observing flows and currents, it’s much easier to manage a section that you know is within your casting range than trying to blindly fish the entire width of a river. Doing this can help take some guesswork out of where to cast, especially if you can see some activity from fish within the flows.

If you are lucky enough to find boulders or a large pool at the end of some riffles, this is also a great area to float a fly through. Fish in bigger waters still look for the same shelter and food sources as ones in smaller waters.

Areas near boulders and deep pools often have slack water next to them. The calmer water and slower flows present an easier option when trying to find trout in big, open rivers. It also allows for more options as far as presentation. In a previous article, I talked about Gyakubiki, a surface presentation that involves skating the fly towards a structure or bank. This can still be an effective presentation on more open waters while fish may be sipping flies off the surface, but it will still pose the same challenges in setting the hook.

While timing can play a big role in when a surface presentation can be used effectively on larger rivers, a subsurface presentation will often be the best way to entice trout in these types of waters. In a similar concept to the aforementioned Gyakubiki, Yokobiki can be utilized by drifting a fly under the surface, then slowly pulling it toward the closest bank. You’ll want the kebari to sink a bit before it drifts past you, then while holding the rod tip parallel to the water and down current, slight movements of the rod tip back toward the bank will cause the fly to swim sideways across the flows, toward the bank. Setting the hook while performing this presentation can be tricky. The timing of the strike may come while you have tension in the line, making it difficult to get a good set, but just be sure to pull toward the bank and not upstream when a fish does strike.

In the last article, I talked about utilizing the Leisenring lift while fishing deeper pools. This presentation is still a viable option when you are fortunate enough to find a deeper pocket of water on the river. Sometimes the best way to position when fishing these pools will be to stand upstream and to let the fly dive down in the current, then lift out of the pool. This can present the same issues of setting the hook as Yokobiki had. With standing more toward the center of the river, pulling the rod tip towards the sides will offer better hooksets than if you were to pull the rod tip vertically and back upstream. One thing to note is that the fly will tend to move along the path of the tippet while it is submerged, which may pull the kebari away from the fish’s mouth, so plan your hooksets accordingly.

These wide tailwaters often hold bigger, stronger fish. And with that, a new challenge as you try to bring one to hand! When you have a fish on the end of the line, control will be one of the key things to remember. Keeping the rod tip parallel or closer to the water will allow the fish to stay deeper in the current. Doing this can help prevent the fish from jumping but may also make it more difficult to fight your catch. Be sure to switch sides of the rod to play the fish while you’re trying to bring it in, and don’t be afraid to move downstream and toward the bank to bring it into more manageable flows! Be sure to bring a net with you and revive the fish before releasing it back into the river. Good fish handling skills will help ensure a healthy watershed, and others will be able to enjoy fishing the river as well!

While the seasons change and summer turns into fall, and fall into winter, these tailwater fisheries may remain active! Some may even host a run of salmon as they make their way upstream to spawn. Be sure to follow local regulations for the rivers, and be aware of redds that may be present as you fish.

The fish in these big open waters often have more access to a variety of insects, making it difficult to key in on what they may be snacking on. And, with more pressure from other anglers, they can become picky and skeptical of what floats by them. Be sure to try different presentations and approaches as you fish bigger waters.

The previous articles I have written all hold different ways to present the kebari in various situations. Be sure to check out all of them, from “Dry Fly Fishing Season” and “Into the Mountains” to “Familiar Waters” and “Go With the Flow,” as I have tried to cover as many different types of water and techniques as I could and I hope it helps you get out there and enjoy fishing with tenkara!


Martin Montejano is a Northern California-based fixed-line angler. From spring-fed creeks in the mountains to rivers that run through deep-cut valleys, he fishes a multitude of waters in and around the Sierra Nevadas.

You can follow along as he shares his adventures and experiences at @sagehearttenkara on Instagram.

Martin’s favorite TUSA rod is the ITO™ 13′ / 14’7″ (adjustable)

 

Comment on post above


Go With The Flow – Tenkara Waters With Stronger Currents

On August 15, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

martin1

Written by Martin Montejano

The flows on one of my favorite rivers are just about perfect, the fish are biting, and they should be hanging in the stretches of riffles and deep pools until the end of the season! 

While I plan to spend most of my time over the next few months fishing around the boulders and cobbles that line the bed and banks of the river, I will be reinstating a few practices that I’ve found to be helpful on tenkara waters with stronger currents.

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Running On The Fly: 28.3 Miles, 11,000 Feet and High Alpine Tenkara Fishing

On August 4, 2022 • Comments (1)
By

Photo: Kristin Robertson

Photo: Kristin Robertson

Tenkara Community Submission Written by Sean Jansen

I’ve been fascinated by the combination of activities. Just picking up my fly rod and going down to the local lake or river doesn’t excite me anymore. But combine a 5-mile hike into the wilderness to an unfished stretch of stream and the bags are packed. I’ve been fortunate to backpack and fly fish, hike, cast, stand-up paddle to remote shores, and even use a bicycle to cruise the local highway to access remote stretches of river. But one sport I haven’t been able to combine with fishing is trail running. I run daily after work, on the weekends, and between casts. It’s my therapy. Never did it occur to me to combine it with fly fishing, until now.

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Familiar Waters – Tenkara Techniques

On July 11, 2022 • Comments (1)
By

Photo by Martin MontejanoWritten by Martin Montejano

While the month of June offered great fishing in higher elevation creeks, some of those tributaries’ flows are starting to drop, and the fish are moving lower in the watershed. For the time being, I am back to fishing some of the more familiar waters in my area.

Coming back to the creeks I fish regularly helps shift my perspective from going after smaller fish to practicing some presentations and habits for fishing bigger waters in the next few months. While the creeks don’t often hold big trout, knowing popular holding spots for fish helps me to practice different tenkara techniques.

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Tenkara USA Team Highlight – Meet John Geer

On June 29, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

Tenkara is who we are.

Hello! Welcome to the second edition of a little series we’ve put together to help you get to know our wonderful crew. Tenkara USA has always been a tight-knit team of responsive anglers dedicated to sharing tenkara, and while we work with outside firms for some other aspects of our business (such as fulfillment) and count on supporters at events, the team we’re highlighting here is our close-knit in-house staff with whom you’re likely to interact when you reach out. While it’s true that our founder Daniel Galhardo has taken a step back from the helm, our main team is together and we’re happy to help you with all things tenkara.

John GeerMeet John Geer, Dealer and Customer Services
John Geer brings decades of fly-fishing with him. He works with our dealer network and Tenkara Guide Network, manages our repair department, and supports TJ in customer service.

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Into The Mountains

On June 3, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

Written by Martin MontejanoIMG_5751

As Spring turns into Summer and the last of the snow in the higher elevations begins to melt away, I redirect my focus to the smaller streams and creeks nestled in mountains. Long drives up windy roads offer gorgeous scenic views leading to quiet and often isolated tenkara fishing spots.

Whether the stream is lined with trees and bushes or winds its way through an open meadow, I always recommend taking a stealthy approach. Extra precautions and planning of your movements while on the water will bring you more success when the streams may be crystal clear. Whenever you can, avoid getting in the water. I often try to stay around the outside of the pools and move through them after they have been fished. Try to avoid crossing the creek if you can, but when necessary, cross in a shallow set of riffles after you have cast into all the spots that may hold fish near where you’re crossing. Doing this will help to mask your movements and avoid spooking fish in nearby pools before you get a chance to fish them.

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Dry Fly Fishing Season

On May 16, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

Daniel Galhardo photo by Jeff RueppelWritten by Martin Montejano

Dry fly fishing season is upon us! Watching a trout snatch a snack off the top of the water is just about as exciting as it gets! While rod and reel fly fishing utilizes dry flies, fixed-line fishing brings some advantages when it comes to fishing the surface.

There’s a certain approach I like to take while the activity on a stream is hot and the fish are willing to come up for their food. But, as I imagine most anglers do, I usually start with a dead drift. A gentle cast to avoid spooking fish, followed by a short drift in a seam or foam line may be just enough to get a bite. Be sure to keep the rod tip high and the line off the water if you can, as it may keep a feeding fish from rising to that tasty-looking fly with the weird, bright string attached to it.

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Tenkara USA Team Highlight – Meet Faith

On May 2, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

Tenkara is who we are.

Hello! Welcome to the second edition of a little series we’ve put together to help you get to know our wonderful crew. Tenkara USA has always been a tight-knit team of responsive anglers dedicated to sharing tenkara, and while we work with outside firms for some other aspects of our business (such as fulfillment) and count on supporters at events, the team we’re highlighting here is our close-knit in-house staff with whom you’re likely to interact when you reach out. While it’s true that our founder Daniel Galhardo has taken a step back from the helm, our main team is together and we’re happy to help you with all things tenkara.

FaithMeet Faith Clauson, Special Projects
Faith has been an integral team member since 2013 and jumps on whatever special projects come her way. She smoothly supports our operations in a way that allows more and more people to be reached by tenkara. Faith is delightful to work with and we’re so happy she’s a part of our team!

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Tenkara USA Team Highlight – Meet TJ

On April 8, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

Tenkara is who we are.

Hello! Welcome to the first edition of a little series we’ve put together to help you get to know our wonderful crew. Tenkara USA has always been a tight-knit team of responsive anglers dedicated to sharing tenkara, and while we work with outside firms for some other aspects of our business (such as fulfillment) and count on supporters at events, the team we’re highlighting here is our close-knit in-house staff with whom you’re likely to interact when you reach out. While it’s true that our founder Daniel Galhardo has taken a step back from the helm, our main team is together and we’re happy to help you with all things tenkara. If you’ve ever called us, emailed, or even been to our booth at a fly fishing show there is a good chance you’ve talked with TJ. He’s also super creative and fun to work with, so we thought he would be the perfect person to start this off.

MeetTJMeet TJ – Customer Service & Ops

TJ has been working with us since 2011 and is in charge of customer service, and works behind the scenes helping to make sure products are available for you. His jolly smile and friendly connection with customers help ensure Tenkara USA continues its reputation for terrific customer service!

Continue reading

Comment on post above


Signs of Spring

On March 19, 2022 • Comments (0)
By

springflowers

Written by Martin Montejano

The days are getting longer and the weather is warming up. It’s almost that time of year where the transition away from colder days breathes new life into nature. Along with that, we move closer to those afternoons of watching a trout snatch a fly off the top of the water, inciting the excitement that we all seek. While we may not be there just yet, we keep our eyes on the creek, ready and waiting to cast some kebari onto the water.

Continue reading

Comment on post above