Want to know a secret? You can't tell anyone, but I have a technique with tenkara that will not only increase you catch rate but also your excitement meter. Warning those with a heart condition please consult your physician before fishing tenkara in the following manner.
So what has me all excited, you ask? It's simple, summer is here and with that fish get aggressive and many once snow covered waters become accessible. When I was a western fly fishing guide, summer meant one thing big hoppers. Being I am fishing tenkara and my personal preference is to fish it as it was fished traditionally in Japan, I stick with the kebari. This does not mean however that I must give up my top water fun, in fact I would argue tenkara on the surface has been some of the most exciting fishing I've ever known.
First you need some tweaking to your kebari if you want to get the most explosive strikes. I have tried all types of hooks and believe that a streamer/ wet fly hook in size 10 gives the best profile and hook up rate for this technique. Also thread colors that work good are hopper yellow, black, white or a combination of each. For hackle I found that badger or cream are the best. Personally I use the same black dubbing and badger hackle just switch to the larger and longer #10 streamer hook. I like to use level line about the length of the rod with and added three foot leader. This will work best on still waters about an hour and a half from dusk till thirty minutes after dark. On rivers and streams it works all day if hoppers or bait fish are present or anywhere there is shade.
The actual technique is quite simple once you get the hang of it. Cast your kebari as you normally would but unlike other techniques you want to hold your rod high of the water and pull quickly on the kebari, causing it to skate on the water. If you hop it out of the water on occasion that's okay as the fish are tracking it and will usually leave the water precisely as your kebari is landing. This is serious excitement people, and you will miss most fish until you get the hang of it. The trick to this technique is keeping the kebari moving on the surface. Sometimes a quick pause stop retrieve works best other times when the fish are really aggressive a quick pull on top will send the fish into a frenzy. I will be post a few videos of still water and river fishing on top. This is truly a great summer time technique and it will put the excitement in your tenkara.