Tenkara Memes Round 4
Dec17

Tenkara Memes Round 4

With all the snow and cold weather, cabin fever is taking its toll–driving me slightly mad you could say. So I felt compelled to put together another set of tenkara memes. This is the fourth one. You can see past ones here, here, and here. Enjoy!                            ...

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Sparse Vs. Heavily-dressed Flies
Dec14

Sparse Vs. Heavily-dressed Flies

I got an email today from a reader who had the following comment: “While crawling around the web researching the subject, I ran across some Japanese websites, and noticed the flies they have seem to be more sparsely tied than the American versions. Is there anything to this?” It was an interesting observation–though (I think) not entirely true. If you research tenkara flies (both traditional and modern), you’ll...

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My Tenkara Rig
Dec11

My Tenkara Rig

Quick post today. I’m often asked about my go-to setup for tenkara so I thought I’d just list it out. After years of testing and refining, I think I have finally come up with the combination that’s perfect for me. Rod For about the last year and a half, I’ve fished almost exclusively with an Oni Type I rod. Mine is the old school one (back when Masami Sakakibara assembled them himself) with no markings other...

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Tenkara Christmas Contest
Dec06

Tenkara Christmas Contest

This year, Tenkara Santa wants to give you some neat stocking stuffers! He’s giving away a nice little package of tenkara gear, including the following: 1. A wooden fly box hand made by Boulder Artisan and avid tenkara angler Dave Burchett. 2. A 13′ horsehair tapered line made by me. 3. A cork line spool from Tenkara Pryenees. 4. A 4-pack of sakasa kebari from Tenkara Times. 5. A tenkara “Catch & Release”...

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Transitioning to Tenkara Flies
Nov25

Transitioning to Tenkara Flies

When I first started fishing tenkara, I didn’t give much thought to traditional tenkara flies. The initial allure was really the tenkara rod itself and by default, I assumed that I would just use my standard patterns like the Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulator, Bead Head Hare’s Ear Nymph, and so on. And I did. And I caught fish. That was enough to convince me that the rod worked, but eventually, either romance or guilt got to me....

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Moonlit Flyfishing Oudachi Tenkara Line
Nov22

Moonlit Flyfishing Oudachi Tenkara Line

  I’ve tried many furled tenkara lines and most of them are pretty similar: a single-material, single-color, line that tapers from butt to tip. But the new Oudachi line from Moonlit Fly Fishing is a whole different animal. The Oudachi is billed as a “nymphing” line and I’d say that’s accurate.  First, rather than a consistent butt-to-tip taper, this is a “weight forward” line, similar to...

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Occam’s Razor
Oct12

Occam’s Razor

At my neighborhood Starbucks, they used to have this fancy dispenser for those cardboard sleeves you slide over your to-go cup to prevent you from burning your hands while holding your $6 drink (probably to avoid a lawsuit). It was a clever design–a plastic box with two rows of sleeves spring-loaded like a Pez dispenser. The idea seemed to make sense–pull out one sleeve and the ones behind it are pushed forward to make it...

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Tenkara Swag
Oct05

Tenkara Swag

I don’t know what it is about trade shows or conferences, but they always seem to turn people into zombies scouring the convention center floor for freebies like vultures circling over road kill.  I’m no exception. And at this year’s Tenkara Summit, I managed to snag a few gems. The first was a Summit poster designed by Anthony Naples of Casting Around.  I’ll have to find a place to hang this in my fishing room...

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The Oni Weight Debate
Oct04

The Oni Weight Debate

On his excellent blog, Tom Davis posted a picture of an X-ray of the handle of an Oni rod.  The X-ray appears to show some kind of insert near the butt. This sparked much speculation that the Oni rods are only so light in the hand because there is weight added to the butt of the handle to counterbalance the tip. I asked Tenkara no Oni directly if this was the case and he said no weight is added.  I tried to share this on social media...

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Tenkara Summit 2014
Sep28

Tenkara Summit 2014

I just returned from the 2014 Tenkara Summit in Boulder. This only the second Summit I’ve attended but I was amazed not only by the turnout, but by how strong our community has grown.  We may have our squabbles on social media from time to time, but at the Summit, it’s pure camaraderie with people trading stories, swapping flies, and having a good laugh over drinks. These gatherings really make me feel proud to be part of...

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Tenkara Symphony
Sep14

Tenkara Symphony

Imagine listening to a symphony where the conductor put their baton back on the podium in between every motion they made with it. With the music stopping each time the baton is laid down, it would be painful to sit through. There would be no flow and the piece would probably take twice as long to play. When I look back on my early days of fly fishing, I now see that I was that conductor–conducting a terribly disjointed and...

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Tenkara Minus
Sep05

Tenkara Minus

You’ve probably seen the meme “Tenkara +” going around social media. It’s the idea that tenkara compliments other outdoor hobbies such as “tenkara + hiking”, “tenkara + mushroom hunting”, “tenkara + mountain biking”, etc. While the portability of tenkara gear certainly lends itself well to being combined with other activities, it got me to thinking about the concept of...

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Christmas in September
Sep04

Christmas in September

Apparently, in the Tenkaraverse, Christmas comes in September. In the last 3 days, I’ve received as many gifts from fellow tenkara anglers. The first, was a beautiful tenkara-inspired watercolor I posted about a couple of days ago from John Vetterli of Tenkara Guides. Then, today I got a couple more surprises in the mail.  One was a tenugui from Masami Sakakibara. According to Masami: A tenugui  is a...

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Painting by Kiyoshi Ishihara
Sep02

Painting by Kiyoshi Ishihara

Today, I received a painting in the mail by Kiyoshi Ishihara. Ishihara-san is a prominent Japanese tenkara angler and a member of the storied Harima Fishing Club (of which, I’m probably the most deadbeat member in the club’s history). It was an extraordinarily generous gift from another very prominent tenkara angler back here in the U.S.–John Vetterli of Tenkara Guides. This watercolor is very simple-scorning...

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4 Reasons to Fatten up your Flies
Aug22

4 Reasons to Fatten up your Flies

When I first started tying soft hackle flies, the conventional wisdom was that you should make the body as slender as possible. I practiced a lot to achieve perfectly smooth, anorexic bodies that were literally no more than a few silk strands thicker in diameter than the hook shank. They definitely worked great and were beautiful ties. But something seemed amiss. If “thinner was better”, why did more robust flies like the...

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Tenkara T-shirt Collection
Aug13

Tenkara T-shirt Collection

I had a philosophy professor in college that wore exactly the same thing every day: black pants, black shoes, a black t-shirt, and navy blue socks. Halfway through the semester, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to ask, “why blue socks instead of black?” Everything else was black. He told me that his wife does all his clothing shopping and one day she bought a bunch of socks for him thinking they were black, but were...

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Persimmon Silk Cord from Tenkara Bum
Aug05

Persimmon Silk Cord from Tenkara Bum

When I first started tying tenkara flies on eyeless hooks, I thought I had found a goldmine once I discovered that silk bead cord was readily available on eBay in a myriad of colors. It took a little trial & error but I finally found what I considered to be the right diameter (#2) and I’ve been using that ever since. But I recently discovered that Chris Stewart over at Tenkara Bum is selling a silk cord that is not only...

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Three Rivers Tenkara
Jul24

Three Rivers Tenkara

A testament to tenkara’s continuing growth in the West, another new gear company has just entered the market. Online retailer Three Rivers Tenkara officially opened their e-doors on July 19th, 2014. The company was started by renowned blogger and avid tenkara angler Anthony Naples of Casting Around. Anthony was one of the earliest adopters of tenkara in the U.S. and is one of the most creative, insightful, and knowledgable...

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The Tenkara Cast: Episode 1
Jul22

The Tenkara Cast: Episode 1

Anthony Naples of Casting Around and I recently teamed up to start a new tenkara podcast series called “The Tenkara Cast”. In this first episode, we talk about a variety of topics that were submitted by friends and followers on social media. We had a great time doing the podcast and are planning on making it an ongoing monthly series so if there are any topics you’d like to see covered in the future, please leave a...

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Discovering Tenkara DVD
Jul21

Discovering Tenkara DVD

Whenever I see a new “introductory” tenkara video come out, I usually end up doing a lot of fast forwarding or make it about halfway through before calling it quits. Having fished tenkara for 5 years now, anything geared towards a beginner is usually focused on things I already know, so I get bored pretty quickly. But even though this DVD’s tagline is “An Introduction to Tenkara: Basics &...

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