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

About Tenkara

I guide for  Mossy Creek Fly Fishing in Harrisonburg, VA.

Please contact them here to book a tenkara trip!

What is tenkara fishing?

For those unfamiliar with tenkara, it is a traditional Japanese method of fly-fishing. It reduces fly-fishing to three basic elements, a rod, a line and a fly. It has been used for centuries in Japan’s high mountain streams. Tenkara is all about simplicity. You focus on the fishing rather than the gear. Tenkara is fishing in a basic form, not a better way just a different way. Appropriate technology. Simplicity. A rod, a line, a fly.

For trout in the mountains I love fishing tenkara!
Here are my suggestions for a good, basic outfit for someone starting down the tenkara path:

If you are mostly fishing mountain streams:SFF Book

If you are fishing rivers and for larger (16”-24+”) fish:

Set Up

Attach the line to the tip of the rod with a trule knot or slip knot. There should be about 12″ of 3x tippet at the end of the tenkara line, add about 12-48″ of 5x tippet to that depending on the conditions.

Because it flexes so much in the upper section especially at the tip, tenkara rods readily protect light tippets. While the rod appears delicate, it has held up exceptionally well under the rigors of fishing, traveling, bush whacking and teaching.

As you will quickly discover, tenkara style fishing gives you incredible drag free drifts. Often 3 and 4 times as long as you might get with a conventional outfit. And those drag-free drifts are one of the most important elements for fishing success.

Where to get the gear

You can buy rods, lines, flies and accessories at Mossy Creek Fly Fishing in Harrisonburg, VA. They are a full service fly shop. Tell them I sent you.

Learn more

Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for tenkara and rod & reel. By Yvon Chouinard Craig Mathews and Mauro Mazzo