Big Fish, Small Pond: The Turbulent World Of Tenkara Fly Fishing


Nice catch Karl.

Thanks for the link Karl. Learned some new things, and reminded me that I have yet to use my new spinning rod I got from Chris!

So, the tenkara wars…

I prefer a completely different angle like Japanese style of fly fishing. Where it came from and why.

But this is America.

And this is what people want.

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Interesting read. It kind of makes me glad that I only discovered tenkara fishing in the last couple of years and, found I think I am glad I missed, or at least have been oblivious to that drama, and rarely see any of it here. (Thank You Peder and the 10CT Community!)

There is a western fly fishing forum I’ve belonged to since 2009 that was local until a few years ago and now attracts a regional-national-and even worldwide membership. That community can turn into a circular firing squad over style-tactics, and in threads that start out very innocently but degrade into political rants. The moderators do a good job of controlling it by locking threads and kicking protagonists but they’re not watching each post 24x7 so things can get pretty heated before before the firehose gets turned on.

I really-really appreciate “tenkara”, for what I’ll call its incredibly effective, “direct connection” to the fish along with tactics and techniques from Japanese and western sources that at least for me, have made a bunch of (often outrageously to seemingly unconscionably expensive) equipment unnecessary for salmonid fishing in local small mountain creeks and streams to mid-sized coastal rivers.

Members of the local Fly Fishers International (FFI, formerly Federation of Fly Fishers FFF) affiliate club I belong to used to scoff and mock me during my monthly tenkara fishing reports. In the last year several members of that club and other clubs who attended one of my (if not highly knowledgeable, at least “enthusiastic”) tenkara presentations had later tried and had success using tenkara rods and tactics in waters ranging from the Big Hole to the Sacramento River, even when fishing water that had just been fished!

Finally, I really-really appreciate the Community with its very name and discussions of diverse applications and solutions (Thank You Again Peder, and 10CT Community!), along with articles like this:
Myth Busting Tenkara in Japan | Tenkara Angler
that have encouraged me to both go deeper to learn techniques taught by the “masters”, and to examine whether my fixed-line tenkara and keiryu rods and skills are suitable for me to adapt to the very wide variety of fishing opportunities that I am surrounded by here in the USA’s Pacific Northwest.