Tenkara plans for 2020

I’ve asked this a few times over the past few years and there are always interesting responses.

We’re now well on our way into 2020, whether we like it or not. For those who live in the northern hemisphere, Spring is anywhere from a couple of weeks away, to several months away. Some may have year-round fishing and are already enjoying the New Year; while others, fishing doesn’t start again for a couple of months.

  • What are your plans for your tenkara for the year?
  • What do you hope to do?
  • What do you hope to learn?
  • Do you want to change anything about your kit? If so, what?

For those who live in the southern hemisphere, Autumn is likely soon to begin and maybe some great fishing is in front of you. Or maybe a seasonal ban/closing happens within the next few weeks or months.

  • How have your plans for the past season gone for you?
  • What did you do (especially that you haven’t shared yet)?
  • What did you learn?
  • Did your time on the water this year push you to change your kit?

Well most of my plans fell thru last year because of medical issues. Those issues are now gone, I’m still recovering and will be 100% soon.
This years plans:
Fish bass in Florida for a week in March.
Go to the White River in Arkansas in April to fish trout.
in May I will Co host the 5th annual Great Midwest Tenkara Campout in the driftless area of SW Wisconsin. (everyone here is invited, go to Tenkara Wisconsin FB page for details).
Utah for a week in early June, mostly for hiking the slot canyons but I will have a rod with me.
Oregon for the Tenkara Bug Out in mid June.
Camping in the sand counties for a week in July.
Camping in the sand counties for a week in August.
Plus various weeK day and weekend trips to the driftless.


2020 is going to be an interesting year for Mrs Brian & I. We’re going to pay off our mortgage and need to spend some time and money fixing up some things before we sell and buy a new home. But our plans also call for some more travel as a couple in 2020. She is not an angler but likes going to places where I can fish because they are beautiful!

  1. I will continue testing my GM53 in saltwater for Sea Run Cutthroat (SRC). After the speakers chairman of a Fly Fishers International club on the other side of the state saw my presentation at the 2019 State Fly Fishing Fair he asked me to give an “Introduction to Tenkara” presentation to his club next month.
  2. I hope our travels allow me to fish in SE WA, NE OR, ID, and possibly UT. I didn’t get out backpacking in 2019 and I want to change that in 2020.
  3. I hope to learn how to use a fixed line rod to catch SRC from saltwater beaches. I want to learn more advanced casting-fishing techniques; ex. how to hook and land fish from prime lies under low hanging brush just off of stream banks.
  4. No new Tenkara rods this year. I got no response from two attempts to commission Chris Zimmer to build me a custom sling pack so I am trying an ambidextrous tactical sling pack that I hope will improve on the ergonomics of my 15 liter Patagonia pack. Initial dry-land impressions of fit, form, and function look very promising.
1 Like

Being far north, I am stuck with winter for a few more months. I have a bunch of snow shoveling to do when I get home from work tonight.

  • What are your plans for your tenkara for the year?
    Our family will be spending close to a month in Waterton, Alberta this summer, which is a good base camp to varied fishing. I am hoping to fish a bunch of small, bushy streams that no one else bothers with that hold rainbow, cutthroat, and brook trout. The streams hold small fish, but I am rarely motivated by the size of fish. There is a tail water section of a highly populated (but not overly fished) brown trout river that I think a larger Tenkara rod would be great for. I would also like to try fixed line fishing from a float tube or kayak (if I can find an Ascend H10).

  • What do you hope to do?

Fish as often as possible and be grateful for every moment of it.

  • What do you hope to learn?

Improve my casting. Focus more on stealth, taking things slowly, and observing before diving in.

  • Do you want to change anything about your kit? If so, what?

I want to add a small stream Tenkara rod. I am leaning most towards the Esoteric 206/245, based on its ability to cast for its length and price point. I was considering the Dragontail Muzuchi, but had heard non-positive comments about casting at its shortest length (length I was most interested in). I am excited to utilize my new Zimmerbuilt Sling Lite and Handy Pak folding net.


I hope to catch fish in Montana and possibly Oregon for the first time. I’d like to complete the Wyoming Cutt Slam and the Nevada Native Slam. And if I do make it to Oregon, I’d like to try some salt water fishing with the tenkara rods.


2019 was a great year, except for the fishing time missed with my buddy TG, who had health issues.
2020 however is going to be exceptional. I will be able to fish in 9 states plus Italy and Spain. The start is The Great Midwest Tenkara Campout in May, which I cohost with my buddy TG followed in June with the Tenkara Bugout. July/August is for fishing out West and the Oni School. Sept/Oct is for travel to Europe and hopefully backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail. My goal this year is to acquire proficiency with 6, 7 and 8 meter level lines.