Middle River Dispatches is a gumbo of posts about fly-fishing, conservation, politics and days afield.

Indulge your curiosity, try tenkara!

In Dylan Rose’s recent blog post on Skate the Fly, Dodging Icebergs and Rocking a Tenkara, he writes about watching Craig Mathews fishing tenkara on the Madison and being intrigued by the whole tenkara thing but not yet convinced.

I’ve yet to get excited about the Tenkara rage. I can’t really place my finger on why exactly. It may have something to do with the fact that it has been described to me as being the “purest form of fly fishing”. That kind of language always makes me vomit a little in my mouth.

Let’s see if I can convince him to indulge his curiosity and keep him from puking on his shoes.

I firmly believe tenkara is not only here to stay but likely to continue to grow at a surprising rate. Everyone I introduce to tenkara quickly becomes a fan and usually buys a rod. In fact one of my early converts is fishing tenkara this weekend on the “Pan.” And doing quite well he tells me.

Tenkara has a couple things going very much in its favor, it is simple to set up and use; and line management is easy, making for killers drifts. Those drifts are what are making tenkara converts out of long time fly-fishers.

As an AFFTA board member and chair of the Consumer Recruitment Committee anything that makes getting into fly-fishing easier gets my attention. Tenkara fits the bill on that score as well.

For the same reasons noted above, beginners actually start fishing sooner with tenkara. The learning curve is quick because casting is simple and then you are in the water teaching the fun stuff.

And tenkara is good for business. If someone quickly and easily gets into fly fishing there is no way they are gonna resist the lure of conventional fly-fishing. After all tenkara is not the be all and end all, it is the beginning of the journey. Sure tenkara is about simplicity, that is what holds its attraction for me, but I already have a closet load of fly-fishing tackle and it is not for sale.

There is a bunch more info in the Fish Tenkara section of this blog. Check it out.

And Dylan, I hope we get a chance to fish tenkara together soon!

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  1. I can’t wait for my daughters to try out Tenkara this spring! What a simple tool to get the youngsters introduced to fly fishing.

  2. Tom Sadler says:

    I am sure they will love it Jeff. For youngsters it is a terrific way to introduce them to fly-fishing. With just a bit of coaching they get the hang of it pretty quickly.

  3. Great post! I’ve learned since writing that post that the beauty of Tenkara lies in its “simplicity” not in its “purity”. I have some little friends in the Cascades near Seattle that will likely see the business end of a Tenkara rig this summer. 😉

    Thanks for the mention, all the best and good fishing.

  4. I have been on the verge of taking the Tenkara “plunge” for weeks now. I have tried to “simplify” my gear for a long time now (chest pack, lanyards, etc) and it seems like Tenkara really fits the bill.

    I guess the only thing to do is wait for the next paycheck…

  5. Tom Sadler says:

    Dylan, Thanks! Yup the beauty is in the simplicity for sure.
    That was the attraction for me. It complements the serenity of mountain streams and meadow ensconced spring creeks.

  6. Tom Sadler says:

    Eben, Sounds like you are headed down the trail to tenkara enjoyment. I think you will find it is money well spent!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tenkara USA, parkrangerstu, Headhunters Fly Shop, Tom Sadler, Tom Sadler and others. Tom Sadler said: Blog: Indulge your curiosity, try tenkara! – In which I try to pique some interest in tenkara fishing. http://ow.ly/1bq4um […]

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