Tenkara

Brookies and tenkara ... like PB&J.

I noticed the comments on the tenkara feature that ran in the summer issue of TROUT, and wanted to thank all of you for your interest. I'm a fairly recent tenkara convert, but, on the whole, I've found it to be an effective way to chase backcountry trout. Just last week, while fishing in southern Colorado in preparation for a tour TU is doing for the 2011 version of Best Wild Places, I put the tenkara rod to work on a headwater creek loaded with some very respectable brook trout.

There's something about tenkara and brookies that go together like peanut butter and jelly. I've tested my tenkara accumen against bigger fish, and while the result has been exciting and surprising, I'm more comfortable with my tenkara rod on small water. The photos in this post are just the lastest victims in my ongoing tenkara rampage. Enjoy, and thanks for reading TROUT, and for your interest in helping TU protect, reconnect, restore and sustain our priceless coldwater fisheries habitat.

--Chris Hunt

Tenkara's latest victim.

Comments

 
said on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

I have been fishing/teaching/guiding tenkara for the past three years through Educational Recreational Adventures, a non-profit organization that offers science/environmental education,outdoor skills training, environmental restoration opportuniites and adventure. We have exposed at least 300 young anglers to tenkara/fly fishing. Using tenkara, children as young as 5 have been able to successfully catch wild cutthroat and rainbow trout on flies, mostly dry flies.
Last February, I took 7 ten-year olds to the Metolius River and they proceeded to catch 8 rainbow trout on size 18 blue-winged olives. No one had told them that the Metolius is an unforgiving river that is very stingy about giving up its trout.
Tomorrow, we are doing a tenkara workshop at the Summer Japanese Immersion (no pun intended) School in Sheridan,Oregon. August 14-19, we will be conducting out Fly Fishing and Freshwater Ecology Camp at Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center . A similar program for adults will be held at Opal Creek on August 26-28. Both of these programs will offer opportunities for fish with all of the tenkara rods currently available in the US.

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said on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

I've been fishing with a Tenkara rod for two years - not exclusively, because Tenkara doesn't replace traditional fly fishing with a rod, fly-line and reel - it adds a new dimension, Intimacy. With Tenkara your fishing for fish that are generally no more than 20 feet away. Most often you could touch the water surface above the fish with your rod tip. Stealth and finesse are key to Tenkara fishing. Your likely to see the fish you're after - and the goal is to induce a strike, see the take, and guide the fish to your net. As Daniel Galhardo said, " it's just a rod, a line, and a fly. Simple" - and I add, Intimate.

And, there's another benefit. I'm a lefty and this spring I jammed a finger on my left hand and couldn't fish with a traditional fly rig. I fished Tenkara right handed and didn't miss a day on the water.

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said on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Tenkara is plain fun. Here, in New Mexico, we don’t have lots of “big water”. The Tenkara rod fits perfectly on small streams like the Pecos near Santa Fe where the summer flows seldom exceed 100 cfs. I have also found the rod and the style of fishing a wonderful tool for teaching beginners about drag on a fly. I’ll let a student drift a dry fly over a fish a few times with a conventional rod (and the usual drag on the fly) and when he does not get a strike I hand them the Tenkara rod and tell them to float the fly over the fish. Inevitable the fish will strike the Tenkara fly. It is very effective way to demonstrate that ever a very small amount of drag on a conventional float make a big difference to a fish.

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said on Monday, August 29th, 2011

I started fishing with a tenkara rod this year and find it a very relaxing and enjoyable way to fish. There are very limited trout fishing opportunities around here so I mainly use it to fish for bluegills, crappies and some bass both from shore and from a tube. The utter simplicity of the gear makes fishing from a tube much easier and more fun.

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said on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

James... you hit the nail on the head. DRAG is what makes Tenkara unique, especially on small water with lots of conflicting currents. Stan, I noticed that, too... I'm a righty, but I fished the Rapidan earlier this spring and found I was almost as good southpaw as I am with the dominant hand.

I'll admit, when I first looked at tenkara, I thought it was more restrictive. In many ways, it's actually more liberating. Thanks for the comments, guys... keep 'em coming.

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said on Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The Tenkara IS just like the DANCING FLIES used by the people of what is now The Great Smoky Mtn Ntl Pk in East Tn...Only that there are no catfish that far up and the waters of those streams can hardly be considered soupy. It is in the South, I give you that much.

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said on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

My fishing partner, Tillie Arizmendi and I are recent converts to Tenkara fishing. We use two different Tenkara USA flyrods,the Iwana and the Amago. We have caught trout in small streams, big rivers, big lakes and small ponds. If you try Tenkara, you will find yourself spending more time fishing, as your set up is simplfied. If you try Tenkara, you will find that it is comfortable to use either hand becuase there are no worries about line control. You will also find that smaller fish will give you bigger thrills because of the challenges in landing your fish. We love our Tenkara rods.

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