Jason Klass tenkara fishing on the St. Vrain, Lyons, Colorado
In 2009, I picked up a tenkara rod for the first time. And never put it down.
After more than two decades of fishing with a fly rod and reel, and teaching others as a guide and casting instructor, I immediately recognized the advantages of tenkara and had an epiphany.
Since then, I’ve not only fished tenkara exclusively for trout, but it’s become my lifelong passion!
And I owe it all to the company that started it all: Tenkara USA.
Tenkara USA was the company that first introduced tenkara to the U.S. market and sparked an entirely new industry that’s spread throughout the West.
They’re the oldest tenkara company in the U.S. and remain a gateway for countless fly anglers who want to get started in this traditional form of Japanese fly fishing.
I recently caught up with my friend and veteran angler John Geer on a Skype call. John is the Dealer Services Manager at Tenkara USA and has a similar background as mine–with extensive experience in both the mainstream fly fishing and tenkara industries.
John has keen insights on anglers’ motivations for getting into tenkara because he gets feedback from customers and dealers every day.
In this episode, we discuss the reasons people like us, with a history and investment in conventional fly fishing, find tenkara irresistible.
See what the key differences and similarities are, which skills and gear are transferable, and why (from a western fly angler’s perspective), tenkara is a highly effective tool you should definitely consider adding to your arsenal.
This is my story. But it’s also the story of thousands of other fly anglers who’ve discovered that tenkara is not only highly effective, but also extraordinarily rewarding. The more direct connection to the fish forces you to rely on your skills rather than your gear. And somehow, every catch becomes just a little more meaningful.
Ready to get your feet wet?
There’s a lot of misinformation about tenkara out there today, but Tenkara USA remains a trusted source for educating yourself with lots of articles, how-to videos, and podcasts to guide your learning curve.
Their customer service staff are true tenkara anglers with lots of experience who are passionate about the sport (like John and me), and they’ll help make informed decisions about which rod might work best for you.
And don’t forget to join their Facebook group, Tenkara Anglers, with 9,000 members who have tons of experience to share and absolutely love to help!