Tenkara Presentation at the Fly Fisher’s Club of Colorado

Tenkara Presentation at the Colorado Fly Fisher's Club

Tenkara Presentation at the Colorado Fly Fisher’s Club

Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of giving a tenkara presentation to the Fly Fisher’s Club of Colorado at their monthly dinner. The event was held in the prestigious University club of Denver and if you’re wondering why I wasn’t wearing my signature baseball cap and Jeans, it’s because the club has a strict dress code. While it felt weird to hold a tenkara rod in my hands while wearing business attire, it was a great night.

I first explained a little of the history of tenkara and passed around some examples of tenkara gear I brought. As you might expect, the gear was a big hit.

Tenkara Gear

Tenkara Gear

Fly anglers of all types love gear!

Fly anglers of all types love gear!

Checking out some tenkara gear during my presentation

Checking out some tenkara gear during my presentation

Then, we moved upstairs to a large banquet hall to do some casting. The hall was set up for a large Thanksgiving dinner the next day. If you think casting under overhanging branches is a challenge, try casting while not snagging very expensive looking chandeliers and china! There was a good chance I’d be washing dishes that night to pay for damages, but somehow I managed not to break anything (mostly by kneeling and using a shorter rod).

Tenkara casting in a banquet hall will test your skills!

Tenkara casting in a banquet hall will test your skills!

The group had a lot of interesting questions and seemed to be pretty enthusiastic about trying tenkara. One question I found especially thought provoking was about retrieving line when landing a fish. I need to experiment with the idea more but I have never heard of anyone doing this and it might lead to an interesting (and easier) new technique for bringing in fish with a long line. More on that later.

A delicious dinner!

A delicious dinner!

The club has a total of 35 members, so I thought the attendance of 20 people was a pretty good turnout. I’m starting to really enjoy giving these presentations and seeing people get excited about tenkara. It’s also a great way to dispel a lot of myths about tenkara (that it’s dapping, etc.) right off the bat so people can experience it without any preconceived notions.

A club member checking out an 11 ft. Tenkara USA Iwana

A club member checking out an 11 ft. Tenkara USA Iwana

If you know of a group in Colorado that would be interested in a tenkara presentation, contact me or put me in touch with the right people and I’d be happy to do it free of charge.

Author: Jason Klass

Jason is an avid fly angler and backpacker. As a former fly fishing guide originally from Western New York, he moved to Colorado and became an early adopter of tenkara which perfectly suited the small, high altitude streams and lakes there. He has not fished a Western-style fly rod for trout since.

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  1. Thanks for doing that presentation. Glad it worked out, sorry I missed it by just a week!
    About the line retrieval, have heard that suggestion more times than I wish, in the enmity just goes back to that simple old adage: it can be very simple if one focuses on learning the technique.
    Think about adding a running line and a way to pull a long line and you will quickly realize that if one had spent a little more time learning the technique it would remain WAY simpler.

  2. But Daniel, how can you comment on a technique that hasn’t been described yet? Maybe you have indeed heard of it and it’s been tried but you don’t know yet how I’m testing and modifying it maybe. I think you might find my final results interesting as a fellow “long line” user. :)

  3. Jason,

    You look like a professor giving a lecture with your glasses on. I will have to get you to my club early next year for a presentation. We do have a meeting tomorrow night if you want to hang out with some crazy flyfishing fanatics.

    BTW, our dress code is jeans, fishing shirts, and ball caps :)

  4. Very cool presentation. Did you practice catch and release on the expensive china or did you bag those for later enjoyment? 8-). Tj

  5. Because Daniel thinks he is the only person in the world that knows anything about Tenkara. If its Tenkara, he’s “been there, done that”. Thanks for being the self-appointed ambassador of Tenkara and all, but there is more to this pastime than just T-USA. You didn’t really expect to help unleash Tenkara on the US and then expect to control all aspects of it did you? Give up the control freak stuff and let the new ideas flow. Quit trying to squash every idea that doesn’t fit into some mental old Japanese Tenkara handbook that you have. You can see it on every Tenkara website out there…you’re over the top with how things should be done according to DG of TUSA. Opinions are great, but man, open up to some new ideas. You’re trying to squash this one before we even know what it is.

  6. I kept some flatware as my speaker’s “fee”. 😉

  7. Hi Joe,
    Count me in. And I like that dress code!

  8. Interesting. One of your audience is a friend of mine. I worked with him when we were fellows at the the University of Colorado Medical Center. It was good to see him at your presentation!


  9. “One question I found especially thought provoking was about retrieving line when landing a fish.”

    For instance, When fishing with, say 25′ total of line and tippet, how do you land the fish?

    “…a technique that hasn’t been described yet?”

    With a line longer than the rod you “grab and transfer” until the fish in near enough to net.

    What am I missing here?

  10. Hi Greg, I don’t want to describe it until I’ve had a chance to experiment with it and see if it works. I will post the results.

  11. You are right. I read it too fast (and on a quick break in my long drive last night) and thought it was about passing the line through the rod. Looking forward to learning it.

  12. I get a kick out of Jason and his attire. Always Mr. Suave.

    It’s like he’s stepped right out of a novel or articles from a blog that I read (http://www.artofmanliness.com). My wife thinks I’m nuts for dressing the way I do sometimes.

  13. Hey Jason,
    I’m glad your having as much fun doing presentations as I am. I have to say though I think I’ll leave the stuffy dress clothes to you…lol.

  14. We meet at Red & Jerry’s, 1840 West Oxford, corner of Santa Fe & Oxford at 6:00 PM.

  15. Thanks Joe. I can’t make this one but let’s talk about the next one maybe?

  16. My guess on the interesting line retrieve when landing a fish is twirling or spinning the rod in your hand to wind the line around the rod and progressively shortening the line. Just as you’d reel in line on a spinning rod as you bring the rod back down after taking ground on a fish, instead you take ground and spin the rod as you lower it again.

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