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

Tenkara Summit

Last month I traveled to West Yellowstone, MT for the first Tenkara Summit. More than 100 hundred people showed up to hear presentations, talk tenkara and see an on-stream demonstration.

Here is part of the write up by Daniel Galhardo on the Tenkara USA blog:

Originally we had expected, optimistically, that about 70 people would show up. The conference room was setup to accomodate 100 people, but that was not enough. Over 100 people showed up yesterday. People came from 23 different states, and from 3 different countries specially for the Summit (well, they did come to fish in Montana…). I’d really like to thank all those who came and helped make this an extraordinary event; it was the best crowd ever. Thank you!

The Tenkara Summit had the presence of special guests Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, the leading authority on tenkara in Japan; Chris Stewart of tenkarabum.com; Craig Mathews of Blue Ribbon Flies who gave a very passionate presentation about tenkara in Montana and showed some great clips of large fishing being caught; Ryan Jordan of backpackinglight.com as well as ryanjordan.com; and Tom Sadler who spoke about the advantages of using tenkara as a guide and as a way to introduce new people to fly-fishing so they can continue conserving the environment in the future.

Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, "Tenkara King"

Dr. Ishigaki is known as the “Tenkara King” in Japan. His presentation was a wonderful insight into the world of tenkara. He is a warm and charming story teller lacing his presentation with witty anecdotes of his tenkara exploits.

Chris Stewart, Daniel Galhardo and Dr. Ishigaki, share a panel discussion.

Ryan Jordan of Backpacking Light

Craig Mathews talks Montana tenkara



It was a special honor to part of the summit and to learn from fellow tenkara enthusiasts!

One personal highlight was to have lunch with Craig Mathews and Yvon Chouinard. Those two were the reason I got started with tenkara so it was a special treat to spend time with them both at the summit.

Dr. Ishigaki showed his tenkara chops during an on-stream demonstration.

gearing up for some fishing


Watching Japan’s Tenkara King put a tenkara rod through it’s paces was fascinating. It was also reassuring to see that my on tenkara technique was not so bad.

Tenkara King does his thing

Double team tenkara




  1. Even though I’m no guide I’m grateful for your insight at the summit. I hope to see you next go around!

  2. David, Thanks for your nice comment. Please don’t hesitate to check in if I can be of help. Really like your blog.

  3. It was great to meet you at the Summit, Tom. Already looking forward to next year’s. Are you coming back to Montana anytime soon?


  1. […] HT Tom Sadler at Dispatches from Middle River […]

  2. […] for my getting me started on tenkara and it was a treat to spend some time with him at the tenkara summit last […]

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