By Paul Vertrees
Tenkara Guide, RIGS Fly Shop and Guide Service
It’s autumn in the canyons. I gently raise my right arm, skimming a #14 Kicking Hopper across the top of the surface film in an effort to keep it dry for the next cast. Plucking it up off the water, I move my forearm back and then forward the way I have a million times before, letting my 12-foot Tenkara USA Iwana tenkara rod work its magic. The hopper floats on air and gently lands on a tiny, calm pool on the edge of this canyon country spring creek. Two seconds later a sixteen inch brown slams the hopper and bullets straight upstream into the current. A couple of minutes later I’m holding over a pound of glistening aquatic muscle in my left hand.
If there’s water that’s ideally suited for RIGS’ tenkara floating line, or vice versa, it’s this creek and thousands of others like it all over Colorado and elsewhere. This line is perfect for casting dry fly patterns and terrestrials on slower moving water and big pools. It also does very nicely on bigger water, like the Arkansas River or the South Platte, where there are much larger targets of slow water…”mega pockets” if you will. Additionally, I’ve found this line to be very effective when fishing bushy, dry attractor patterns on high alpine lakes. Because it floats, this tenkara line allows for a very nice drag-free drift, which is fundamental to effective dry fly fishing. I’ve found that by running a rather long tippet in relation to the line (6-7 feet on a 12’ line) I can make the most of fishing gin-clear, slower moving spring creeks where the fish are skittish. The same holds true for the stillwater edges on high lakes for the very same reason. Mountain canyons and alpine basins can be very windy places. Since RIGS’ floating tenkara line is comparatively heavy in the world of tenkara lines, it punches through the wind better than any furled line ever did, and better than a level line as well. Because it has a lot less surface area than a furled line, the floating line has less drag both in the air and on the water. Recently I had time to discuss the specialty tenkara lines, and the floating line in particular, with Tim Patterson, owner of RIGS Fly Shop and Guide Service. I asked Tim why he and head guide and fly shop manager, Matt McCannel, had designed and marketed the tenkara floating line. Tim’s answer was straightforward and to the point. “These lines are consumer-driven. They’re a product of lots of feedback from our customers, from Colorado to Montana, Oregon, Washington, and all over. What they wanted was a tenkara line that could deliver a dry fly to the water very well and provide the best drag-free drift possible. They wanted a tenkara line that could cast well in the wind”. With a team approach to the design and testing, Tim and Matt have continued to test new ideas that have resulted from input from RIGS guides and from our customers. If you’re looking for another tool in your tenkara line toolbox, you should give the tenkara floating line by RIGS a try. Even very experienced tenkara anglers have found it to be highly effective. Former fly fishing guide, tenkara expert, and prolific blogger, Jason Klass, wrote this review, with details about the floating line .
Floating tenkara lines by RIGS Fly Shop and Guide Service. Handmade in Ridgway, Colorado, at Colorado’s only full-service tenkara shop. Check them out!