Well, I over exaggerated my poor fish cooking skills a little bit. I’m not quite as bad at it as I described it. I’d probably be better at cooking fish if I did it more often.
Tenkara is often described as just - rod, line, and fly. Again that is over simplified, It’s - rod, line, fly, + a small bag of some kind (or a vest) with a spool of tippet, a box of flies, maybe an extra spool of line of a different type or length. Plus sometimes waders.
I like to keep my fishing that limited. At least most of the time. Keeping fish requires more gear to be carried, and the effort to kill and clean them. For me fishing is more about being out on the stream and in the woods, and more about fishing than catching. Though I do not like to be skunked, I want to catch at least one on each outing. Often I have fun just doing what I call - the Joy of Casting, trying to make each cast look beautiful and perfect.
From that attitude, maybe using a TAG hook and seeing if I can also get the fish to grab the fly, but not actually be hooked, might still be satisfying. And proof my technique is effective.
That being said, something that has been on my to-do list, and not yet done, is to try shioyaki, salt grilled fish. I’ve read that fish are very tasty made that way.
However, that is going far beyond the point of fishing with a TAG hook, and doing no harm at all to the fish.
I could really appreciate something like the tag hook when I fish places with a lot of Blue Gill, Sun fish, etc. While they can be fun to catch, often I prefer to not catch them, and try to snatch the fly away before they take them. They have small mouths, often swallow the hook, which is difficult to remove without harming them, or impossible to remove when they swallow them deeply. They often seem faster at taking the fly than their bigger cousins; bass, crappie, fallfish, perch, or trout that I see in the water ( or know are there because I caught one earlier) and would prefer to catch.
And who knows, it might be interesting to find out if fishing with something like a TAG hook would be nearly as much fun as actually landing the fish. Since most of the time I fish C & R, I could appreciate that feature in early spring or late fall when both the water and air are cold. No need to get my hands wet and cold to release the fish.
I never fish when it is below freezing, but many people do. I’m almost certain that in one of the Underwater Oz DVDs he mentions that fish are easily harmed when taken out of the water in below freezing air temperatures, their gills can be frozen rather quickly. Which may either later kill them or stunt their growth. To avoid that one would have to keep the fish in the water and your hands in the water to release them.