Let’s talk tenkara!

Jason KlassIn this ongoing series, Jason Klass hosts casual conversations with tenkara anglers around the world to explore the most interesting and esoteric facets of our rich sport.

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Episode 4: Anxiety-Free Fly Selection

Tenkara Podcast on Choosing Flies
Jason Spark's signature pattern: the Gnarly Fly

A boxful of flies is a beautiful thing, but it can also be a little intimidating. How do you decide which one of all of those pretty creations to tie on?

My guest Jason Sparks is a veteran angler, accomplished fly tyer, and the Managing Editor for Community Development at Tenkara Angler, the world’s premier tenkara website. And he has some interesting answers to this question.

Fly selection doesn’t have to be scary and we offer some practical advice to help you develop your own strategy.


  1. Excellent show. First off: excellent mic work (either choice of mics, distance from mouths, experience with mics), excellent sound quality and eq. (no reverb or hollowness).

    Excellent pacing to show – for however long it was – I wanted more, or another episode. Speaking at just the right pace – not too slow or fast. Just a comfortable amount of speaking over each other, then one would back out to allow the other to finish or expand on thoughts. Great continuity of thoughts, plus looping back to previously stated themes or ideas to repeat, tie in or expand on ideas.

    Philosophically, it rang my bells, ticked my boxes, tied into my fishing life as an explorer, discoverer and adventurer, creating my own fishing, fly fishing and for the last 12 years, Tenkara paths (with the help of many kind and generous others I met along with way).

    Advice and thoughts were both practical as well as open to (non-judgmental) exploring, evolving, and growing in one’s Tenkara fishing. I took thousands of kids (age 8 to 12) fishing over the years and your thoughts and words were the message I (and my staff) sought to give to the kids as we helped them catch fish; information may get you started, but your experience becomes [your] knowledge. Be open to what the river is telling you as opposed to the books.

    I guess I feel buoyed as it felt as if I were listening to kindred Tenkara spirits having coffee before heading out to the river discussing how Tenkara (and fishing & life) can, or might be instead of how it should or must be. Apologies if the comment ran long.

    • Bob, wow, thanks so much for this feedback! This really made an otherwise miserable day much brighter.

      “I guess I feel buoyed as it felt as if I were listening to kindred Tenkara spirits having coffee before heading out to the river discussing how Tenkara (and fishing & life) can, or might be instead of how it should or must be.” This sentence perfectly sums up exactly what I was going for with these podcasts and I’m ecstatic that you got the concept. I tell people it’s like eavesdropping on a convo between two tenkara anglers at a coffee shop. It really means som much to me to know I’m not far off the mark!

      This really made my day because sometimes, I don’t know if my readers and now, listeners are always on the same wavelength. It’s indescribably rewarding to know that someone really does out there.

      • Jason, you are one of the early people I read when I first started my Tenkara journey in 2011. Not sure when exactly I first read you, but it was around that time. Of course, I noticed the way in which you wrote, your sense of humor, your sense of exploration and an openness to life’s varied paths. I also noticed your lack of judgment about these things and willingness to offer viewpoints outside the parameters of what “Tenkara” (and life as much as I could discern in your writings) should or must be. Heavenly it was to read. You and Chris Steward gave me hope to pursue Tenkara, and – by your simply writing – encouraged me to follow my “I Did it My Way”, Sinatra-esque sensibilities and leanings with this form of [fly] fishing. My Tenkara Rods for Smallmouth practices thank you. I look forward to hearing and reading more. Please forgive any mis-spellings or errors in punctuation. I can be my own worse editor and spell checker.

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Tenkara Talk
Jason Klass, Author
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Based in Denver, Colorado U.S.A. (MST)

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