Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tenkara Technique 2 - Pull & Pause

Continuing with the techniques used in fishing with a Tenkara rod, the subtle change from the Normal Drift of a fly is to add a little life and hopefully provoke a strike.  I call this the Pull and Pause Technique and is most effective with a wet or emerger fly pattern. 
The theory is that if you see that the fish are lazily ignoring your fly with a normal dead drift technique, then with the addition of something lively in the water you might evoke a hunter prey response and get them to chase your fly.  I briefly touched on something like this in my Normal Drift post a few days ago when talking about fishing a small streamer pattern and adding a bit of a twitch to imitate a struggling bait fish.  The thought here is much the same only now you are trying to simulate the rise of an emerging bug to the surface or a mayfly struggling to get free of the surface tension.
1 - To utilize this technique, first cast up stream letting the fly fall gently on the surface and wait or pause for a few seconds to allow any fish to investigate the new addition to the environment. If you are fishing a wet fly of nymph allow enough time for the fly to sink to the desired depth.
2 - After a few seconds gently pull the fly down stream for 6in up to a few feet.  the length of the pull can very with the conditions.  The speed of the current or fly choice will effect how long you make your pull.  If a long pull does not work for you try shortening it up till you find something that works.
3 - After you have executed your pull, let the fly rest.  The pause in action will do two things for you.  It will allow any wary fish to come up and investigate the little fly that is so active in their stream and it will the fly to drift (or sink if nymph fishing) in the natural way a struggling bug would normally act in the water. 
4 - After a brief pause simply repeat steps 2 and 3 again and again until the fly has drifted down stream.  At a minimum you should get between 5 to 10 pulls out of a cast but this my very depending on the speed of the current.
I have used this technique with a moderate amount of success on gently flowing streams where fish have been holding deep.  I find that it is most effective with the wet flies, emergers, or very small streamer pattens.  As you can guess, the use of this technique with a dry pattern will not evoke as much of a response from the fish because it does not simulate the natural behavior of a true dry fly.  I have however had good results from fishing with emergers and wet flies since the gentle pull the angler gives the fly has the desired response of rising the fly to the surface in much the same way a fly will natural rise.
With fishing a wet, or particularly an emerger pattern, you might find that the majority of stikes are going to occur at the tail end of the drift (i.e. once the fly has past you on the stream).  The reason for this is the natural way a fly will rise to the surface.  Fish might find this rising motion against the current more natural and thus more appealing.
Again, if you find that a Normal Dead Drift is not producing any strikes, this Pull And Pause technique will be an easy way for you to alter you cast and hopefully produce a fish.  For more information of Tenkara rods, flies, or advise check out TenkaraUSA.com or TenkaraBum.com and have fun fishing.


goneflyfishing said...

Keep 'em coming! I think I will learn a thing or two!

Carlos Del Rey. said...

Good technique, surely will are effective with my barbels.

AYearOnTheFly said...

GFF - thanks and I will
Carlos - if you catch a Barbel on tenkara you have got to forward me the pic. I'm sure it would be a good fight.

Jason Klass - Tenkara Talk said...

I LOVE this series! The explanation with the graphic is perfect. Please keep them coming!