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

Oni Blog

Thinking after coming back from Tenkara Oni school in UTAH in America

Posted on | July 26, 2016


We are happy this year too to be able to have an Oni school that was
planned by Tenkara guiders LLC and Eric John.
First we would like to sincerely thank those two organizers and the
Our only regret was that we could not meet Rob this time.
Also we really thank FLY Ninja Grant who showed us western
flyfishing techniques and Sun Dance Resort which cooperated
for our event.
We were very happy to know that so many people now enjoy
Tenkara just as one of conventional fishing methods even
in the country.
Acceptance of Tenkara which is my beloved sport to American fishing
culture can be greatly attributable to Tenkara USA, Tanuki, Bum and
other Tenkara gear manufacturers and dealers. Without them, you
cannot enjoy Tenkara. In this sense, I would like to thank all of them.
It was a bit surprising that some American fishermen didn’t know
we have bait fishing for stream fishing in Japan.
With bait you can catch fish easily, because you have what you want
to eat. Of course some bait fishing techniques are quite profound,
but you can definitely catch your fish on the first day when you start f
ishing; therefore meat fishermen use bait fishing without hesitation.
Ayu or sweet fish fishing is also true of this. Fishermen of such fishing
also does not practice catch and release. Since native ayu do not exist
any longer in most of Japanese rivers.
They released stocked fish and fish side by side and eat them. It is still
considered a Japanese summer pastime.
I still do not take any interest in this as it does not have any fishing
What I think is beautiful are those native fish that live in streams.
What surprised me when I was there was that different rods were
sold depending on the size of nymphs; rods for small nymphs and
rods for big nymphs.
If you buy rods according to the fly size, you may have to have so
many rods. That was not thinkable.
All you need is actually the casting technique that can be done for
any fly size.
Oni Rod TYPE I designed had no problem with beadhead flies both
when I cast and my wife cast.
We cast well without problems and also caught well.
In fact I caught a 14 inch brown on beadhead and my wife also hooked
one. How to use the rod is more important.
On the first day of school, fishing with my students, I caught more than
they. Why?
While the students hit the surface with tippet, which is normal to western
fly fishing, it is important to let your fly land on the surface softly and
quietly even when you use a heavy fly like bead head; fish might escape.
There are some techniques for that. I would like to show on YouTube
one day.
For fishing, there is no boundary in techniques between western
and Asian.
Fish behaviors are the same everywhere; so are the techniques.
Even we have difference preferences on flies, unless we use them properly
we cannot catch the game.
It is not just simple like dropping a fly on the water.
You actually have to be more sensitive on where to put, which current
to use. These thoughts all change the odds of catch.
I am sure that those who attended my class should have understood
my casting method and where I choose to put a fly in the water.
Flies are important; if you care too much, it will end up just like western
fly fishing.
What matters for Tenkara is not fly pattern but how to drift it, where to
put it and how to make it attractive.
I understand you may want to show your fishing identity but Tenakra
does not have boundaries. It works anywhere in the world.
You may find it interesting both Tenkara and Japanese chivalry are
the same. If possible, we need to leave a lot of fish to next generation
by practicing C&R.
On the last day of our American trip, we were taken to a river with a lot
of browns over 40 centimeters.
There are a lot of tall plants like reeds and the wind was blowing; ling
can be easily tangled.
Under the circumstance, if you use Oni Honryu 450 or newly released
395, both of them are long enough and easy to handle big fish because
their length can prevent the line from tangling with plants.
I used a recommended bead head fly. The fishing style ended up almost
like a bait fishing but it was easy as you can use SASOI or teasing just in
front of fish and they cannot resist to bite it.
Yet, as quite a few people were fishing and most of them were using the
same bead head, hooking was shallow; fish were probably very cautious.
That’s why I changed the fly to KEBARI. Different fly was flesh to fish
and more effective. Soon brown looked up, and I caught it near the surface.
It was such a fun. They jumped onto the fly on the surface. Really exiting.
Sometimes you should use a different fly from what other fishermen use.
They might bite it. Using a different fly is also an effective option.


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