Tenkara – no – Oni — Masami Sakakibara’s World of Tenkara —

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Finally trout season started in Japan!

Posted on | April 14, 2016

Trout season has just arrived at last.

Usually March 1st is the opening day here in Japan.

It’s still cold; Tenkara fishermen’s games like amago,

iwana char and yamame land-locked salmon are still inactive in the early season.


The best time for Tenaka fishing is May and June.

That’s when light-purple colored wisteria is flowering. Therefore,

wisteria is sometimes called the flower of Tenkara.

Let me talk about Tenkara fishing in the time when the seasons change

from winter to spring and the temperature gradually increases.

Mountain streams are still as cold as around 10 degrees Celsius for water temperature.

Even under such a condition,

if you dare to enjoy Tenkara fishing, you have to locate sunny spots.

Fish are likely to stay in as warm and calm areas as possible.

Fish usually stay under the rock or beside the bottom rock in the sun,

or if it’s a warm day they are even in the riffle where they usually hold during the primary season.

You should put your fly softly aiming at the place where the current is weaker.

For Tenkara, you do not put your line on the surface in order to softly present

your fly and also because you do not want to frighten fish.


During the colder season, fish tend to stay deeper under the surface

because they are feared of predators including fishermen.

So, I usually fish by putting the fly where the current hits rocks and so on and

creates a whirlpool and let it sink under the surface.

This technique is a bit difficult; I’ll explain it with a video clip.


In this fishing trip in the cold season, I managed to make amago jump

onto the fly after appealing about seven times or so by sinking it and

letting it drift like this.

The fish bit the fly firmly as it tried to dive after jumping.

It was such a joyful scene to see. This is the Japanese Tenkara.
What is important for Tenkara fishing is how to make the fly swim,

how to show the fly to fish and how to make fish feel like eating it.

These result in a successful fishing.

We have to learn how to choose current and how to make the fly attractive in order to lure fish..

Consequently, I do not consider flies too much.

What counts more is how to make the fly drift naturally.


In addition, fishing rods that perfectly suit you are also important.

Unless you can precisely present the fly wherever you want, you cannot have better odds for catching.

Casting is what fishing is all about.


This perspective made me build my favorite Oni rods which are easy to cast.

I designed rods that everybody can cast if they follow my casting techniques.

There seem to be some copy products, but they are totally different though they look similar.

But this tells that Oni rods are supported by many people and some want to copy

these for their attractiveness.

Still, copying other products is completely illegal and illegitimate.


Even they can make the cosmetic similar, they cannot copy our rod actions.

Oni rods are summarization of my techniques.

I would like more people to use my rods because I am certain that they will enjoy Tenkara more.


2 Responses to “Finally trout season started in Japan!”

  1. Christophe Laurent
    April 14th, 2016 @ 10:32 PM

    Very nice report of your tenkara outing and good advices about tenkara gear and techniques.

  2. Oni
    April 15th, 2016 @ 8:06 PM

    Bonjour Christophe Thank you. Enjoy Tenkara.

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