Last weekend was my first time. Someone I know showed me how. It was so simple. It was so intimate. It was so fun. And now I’m addicted! What could it be, you ask? Tenkara.
Some say it was going to be just a fad. From experience, I can tell you, it’s here to stay. Tenkara! This simple method of fly-fishing from Japan, helps both beginners and advanced anglers enjoy intimate fishing without complexities. Yes, Tenkara rods are long. But using only a light-weight braided line and a bit of tippet, the long Tenkara rods provide the best method to deliver that fly to waiting trout on small streams with heavy vegetation. Yet, Tenkara can also be used on urban ponds and alpine lakes off a standup paddle board to target small mouth bass, sunfish and more. Tenkara is a precise fly only presentation method without a lot of line drag.
Tenkara is not just for small fish. Just because there is not a reel doesn’t mean you can’t land a 15″+ chunky Brown Trout or a feisty Rainbow trout or a death-rolling fat Whitefish. You can control a running fish with rod angle, currents and following the fish. Tenkara rods allow you to “feel” when a fish is about to run and when a fish is getting tired. With Tenkara, I “feel” more connected with the fly and the fish on the end of my line. Go ahead fish for a ‘Big One’. I’ve done it, and so have my kids!
Oh, did I mention, Tenkara style of fishing is also a great way to introduce kids to fly-fishing. Why? Easy. All you need is a rod, line and a fly. Tenkara lacks the complexities of traditional western fly-fishing: less line management. If there’s too much slack, just lift the rod. It’s also easier for kids to land a fish once hooked – just lift the rod and the fish will come.
Our local newspaper went fishing with us and wrote a great article, “A New Kind of Basic”, on Tenkara fly-fishing. Our shop staff and Tenkara ‘Guru’, Brad Hansen has shared his passion for Tenkara fishing with myself, my kids as well as shop customers looking to find more adventure. Brad has already conducted a few Tenkara clinics since spearheading the inclusion of TenkaraUSA by Daniel W. Galhardo in our rod offerings at CrossCurrents Fly Shop. If you are interested in learning more about Tenkara fishing, please stop in our Helena shop and ask for Brad. You can also cast us a line to sign up for our next Tenkara Clinic.
Try it out for yourself. G.F.T – Go Fish Tenkara!