Tenkara Presentation: Pulsing Your Fly

The Pulse. It’s an easy and effective tenkara fly presentation that is a simple modification of the Dead Drift. The Pulse utilizes the unique reverse hackle design of the Sakasa Kebari fly to maximize movement. Without the pulsing motion this fly pattern is very effective but with it, the Sakasa Kebari becomes a highly productive attracter pattern. In moving water and in combination of opportunistic feeding, the Pulse can be deadly.
So how is it accomplished? You start by doing a Dead Drift and casting your fly 4-6ft above where you think a fish is. With your line kept off the surface of the water, you drift the fly by the fish in a delicate fashion, creating no disturbance on the surface of the water to achieve a “drag-free” drift. But, rather than simply following your fly through your swing with your rod tip, you will now add a small, slight and delicate up and down motion by simply tapping your casting hand index finger on the handle or blank of the rod. Depending on the sensitivity of your rod, you my also do a slight up and down movement with your wrist – emphasis on small and slight. Very little effort is requires to achieve “fly action”.
When this up and down motion is added to a Dead Drift, the fly’s hackle pulses and becomes “alive”. The slight motion loosely imitates an insect in the water and attracts the attention of fish. The effect is very convincing and this presentation typically produces high catch rates. It’s easy, takes little effort and is a great way to cover water that you’ve already covered with a Dead Drift but may not have gotten much action. Before moving to another section of the river, pass the fly through one more time but add the pulsing action. You may be pleasantly surprise by the sudden interest you get by trout. This tenkara presentation is best used when fishing upstream but can also be used when fishing downstream. The difference is that since the current will be moving against the fly, it will reduce hackle movement and minimize pulsing action because you’ll be attempting to move the fly against the current. So effectiveness downstream will depend on water flow.

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