Here’s a one-minute time-lapse of the Tenkara USA booth at the recent Fly Fishing Show in Somerset. If you want to see why we were one of the busiest booths at the show, please come by one of the shows listed below.
February 7-8: Winston-Salem, NC
February 15-16: Lynnwood, WA
February 21-23: Pleasanton, CA
March 1-2: Lancaster, PA
March 13-16: Salt Lake City, UT
March 21-23: Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Rendezvous, Denver, CO
March 28-29: Wasatch Fly Fishing and Tying Expo, Salt Lake City, UT
This weekend we held the first Tenkara Tie-a-thon to help victims of the devastating Colorado flood. The recent floods have swept homes, displaced thousands of people and took a few lives right near the Tenkara USA headquarters (which, luckily, was mostly untouched). The Colorado community has been super welcoming to Tenkara USA. we are at home here, and we wanted to help in some way. We also wanted to engage the community for support. It’s one thing to send a check out, it’s another thing to send a check out and have hundreds of people sending their thoughts and moral support to those affected.
So, we proposed that for every fly the community tied and shared a picture of this weekend we would donate $1 to help flood victims. As we expected, the tenkara community showed their support en masse. According to our tally, 701 flies were tied and pictured this weekend (and 12 videos, for which we’re giving $5/ea., were made). That’s $761 going to flood victims this week on behalf of the tenkara community. The donation has been sent to United Way’s Foothills Flood Relief Fund. Thank you all who contributed for your show of support.
How much fun would it be to have a bunch of tenkara anglers show up in mass with their tenkara rods in hand at a tenkara-perfect mountain stream that is practically in town and full of trout? It would be like taking-over the stream for a day, with a bunch of 12 to 13ft long tenkara rods waving about, attracting the curious looks and questions of passers-by.
That’s the premise of a casual gathering I’m proposing for Saturday, August 3rd on Boulder Creek, in Boulder, Colorado: The Tenkara Takeover – Boulder Creek. This is the first event of what I hope may become a tenkara tradition across the country, where tenkara anglers may hold their own “takeover” of popular streams.
If you’re anywhere near Boulder, Colorado, please join me on August 3rd to fish Boulder Creek. No RSVP required, and this is a free event. This is a casual outing and tenkara anglers are encouraged to fish up and down Boulder Creek at their own pace. Show up anytime, fish as late as you can. We just want to see as many tenkara rods there as possible. There will be some giveaways, some tenkara instructions if you desire, and likely free beer afterwards at Upslope Brewery.
– At 9AM I will be across the street from the first very large parking lot in the Canyon on the North/Right side of the road going up (by the footbridge for the Boulder Canyon Trail, and near and “The Dome”, the parking area across the street is huge and can’t be missed). I will assist anyone who may have questions about rigging and then do a short clinic on the water. I also plan on having some free giveaways like shirts and hats.
– Fish all day, until whenever you want
– At around 3 pm anyone interested can head over to Upslope brewery on 1898 S. Flatiron Court, Boulder, CO. we may be hooked up with some free beer by a brewery that supports local trout stream conservation!
– If you’re up for it, fish some more in the evening!
* I will have some demo rods if you or a friend wants to join but doesn’t have one.
Boulder Creek is the stream near Tenkara USA’s new home and it would be great to see the community coming together there. Other anglers may hate us or may be very curious, I sure hope it will be the latter.
*** In case they hate us, I also suggest bringing a plastic bag and pick up any and all trash we see there.
Just got on the road for the 6-hour drive back to Anchorage, Alaska, from 3-days of fishing with veterans of Project Healing Waters. I’ll be writing a full trip report shortly and put a video together, but in the meantime wanted to share a photo of one of the many grayling caught in this trip with our tenkara rods, lines and flies. Phenomenal.
Every event needs a good photographer. We have been very lucky to get professional photographers to attend all of our Tenkara Summits and memorialize the event in superb photos. This year we counted on the presence of Justin Ide. Justin was a participant at the event and is a professional photographer who offered to capture the moments at the 2013 Tenkara Summit. If you’re looking for a professional photographer, look no further: justin Ide Photography. Enjoy the slideshow below.
On May 11 and 12 we’re holding the 3rd annual Tenkara Summit (registrations now open), this time in Harrisonburg, Virginia. This is promising to be a great event, with phenomenal fishing all around.
To celebrate it Tenkara USA is giving out a free trip to the Summit. This will include: one round-trip ticket from/to your home within the Continental USA, 2 nights in the hotel where the Summit will be held, free attendance (a $100 value) and a tenkara rod!
How to Participate?
To get a chance to win you’ll need to create a video about tenkara. The video must be new (shot, edited and uploaded after this post went up). It should be uploaded on Youtube or Vimeo, and a link to it must be entered in the comments for this post. By posting the link on the comment section you grant Tenkara USA the rights to share the video online through its blog, Facebook and Twitter pages, and other online medium.
Video must be uploaded by April 10th. Winner will be selected on April 20th.
How to Win?
We’ll select the winner by allocating 10 points based on the criteria below. The main way to win the free trip will be based on number of views of your video, which carries 6 points.
1) Number of views* (6 points, video with most views gets 6 points, others will be “graded” on a curve)
2) Over 2,000 views (1 point)
3) Featuring Tenkara USA gear (1 point)
4) Conservation message (1 point)
5) TUSA Staff Favorite (1 point)
1) By submitting video link to this contest, the user who submitted the link attests he has full copyright ownership of said video, and has the explicit authorization from those who appear in the video to use their image.
2) User who submitted the video grants Tenkara USA a royalty-free, irrevocable and unrestricted right to share the video through any channels Tenkara USA sees fit.
3) Winner agrees to communicate promptly with Tenkara USA to ensure any flights and hotel room are booked by no later than April 25th.
4) Contest entry dates end on April 10th at midnight PST. Winners will be chosen on April 20th.
5) Flights are for domestic, continental USA flights only. No international flights.
6) User must be 18 years old or older to enter the contest.
7) User may submit up to 5 videos.
The goal of this contest is to help bring awareness about tenkara to new people.
However, you do not need tenkara equipment to participate. So long as you talk about tenkara (perhaps what has made you interested in it), then it’s okay. Also, keep in mind if you also talk a bit about conservation (perhaps stream cleanup, Tenkara with John Gierach and Ed Engle) there is an extra point in there.
by TJ Ferreira
What a great couple of months! The experience at all of the fly fishing shows these last couple of months left me thinking of adopting the name TJ “Kebari” Ferreira, or TJ “FLY” Ferreira.
As some of may know, Tenkara USA had a booth at almost all of the Fly Fishing Shows throughout the USA, and for the first time we also had a booth at the International Sportsman Expo held in Sacramento, CA. All in all we attended 6 of the 7 Fly Fishing Shows and 1 ISE show. What a whirlwind tour for myself, Daniel, John, and our guest helpers. We really enjoyed being able to spread the joys of tenkara to the masses.
If you do not like a long blogs, you can stop reading here knowing we all had a great time. But… if you would like to come on a little trip with me, hop in my 1967 VW Bus for a little ride, a little chat, and lets get this tenkara peace pipe smoking!
At these shows we helped spread tons of tenkara cheer and the Tenkara USA booth was reportedly the busiest of booths at the shows we attended. Tenkara is becoming more popular every day, and most people are just “getting it” now and helping spread the word. Take a look at this fun video Daniel shot at the Somerset show.
The word fad is so 2011, it is no longer associated with tenkara for the 99%. Many folks have learned that tenkara is a unique fun way to fly fish. Because of that tenkara continues to stir so much interest, and our booth was always hopping with many people wanting to check the gear out.
Having just ended our main trade show season last weekend in Pleasanton California, I thought it would be nice to re-cap my experiences as seen from this little “kebari on the wall” named TJ. 😎
If you are not familiar with the Fly Fishing Show, it is a series of fly fishing specific expos held every year in various states east and west starting the 1st week of January and winding down at the end of February. For 2 to 3 days every weekend we called places like Denver, Marlborough, Somerset, Winston-Salem, Lynnwood, and Pleasanton our home. Pheww! What a busy busy time.
To start at the beginning, soon after all the Christmas wrapping had been taken out to the recycle bin and our brains de-fuzzied from all the excess drinking on New Years Eve, John and I headed to Denver, Colorado to man the Tenkara USA booth from January 4th thru 6th.
Ironically, just when Daniel moved near Denver, he had to miss that show, instead going to Brazil for the holidays. John and I did the fun deed of getting the show season started. Not only was the show tons of fun, I finally was able to meet fellow TUSA employee John Geer for the first time.
We are a very modular company, working from many different locations throughout the world. Very unique, very cool, and I must say very effective. 😎
I should lead into this blog post a little by saying I am not an avid flyer. As a child I flew all over the place. I was raised in Rhode Island up until I was 7, then my family moved to Northern California, where I have been since. For a few years after the move we often flew back and forth; but as I aged, that flying thing became less and less.
The last time I had to fly in a plane was about 6 years ago when I purchased a 1967 VW Camper Bus from, amazingly, Colorado. I found out that my 1st time back on an air-o-plane in a very long time would be to Denver once again. That trip had me picking up an old 60s Volkswagen Bus and driving it by myself back to NorCal like a hippie. Water drenched bandana on my forehead keeping me cool on an 4th of July weekend, super hot, in an old toaster oven VW Bus. Fun but a crazy trip it was!
This time though I was flying out for something a little different, to a Fly Fishing Show, both business and pleasure at the same time. So off I went, this little kebari being cast around to play tenkara for the weekends.
John and I hit it off right away. Since I had been working with him virtually for some time, it felt like I already knew him well. I quickly found out he and I shared much in common and often spent time after the show laughing at this sillyness we call life.
A unique thing we do at Tenkara USA is invite passionate local tenkara anglers to volunteer in manning the Tenkara USA booth at the shows. For Denver, we had Jason Klass of TenkaraTalk fame and good friend Jim Lionberger. Another Colorado local, Graham Moran (Tenkara Grasshopper) showed up for a little while to say hi and answer a few peoples questions.
My one gripe at Denver (as well as many other Fly Fishing Shows) was the ridiculously low ceilings, which made casting at the casting ponds a bit difficult. The rafters above them were kebari- and line-stealing beasts. One really needed to cast a bit sideways when we were showing tenkara enthusiasts how to cast a tenkara rod. It made for semi-real small-stream situations, however, unlike most streams, we had a low canopy covering the entire area, and instead of flexible branches we got caught on rigid metal beams. But we made it work.
I forgot to mention before that at most of the shows we were supporting our dealers, such as Rigs Fly Shop in Colorado, Fly Fishing Specialties in California, and Mossy Creek and the Bear’s Den out East. At shows like this where we have a dealer, Tenkara USA does not sell product direct but ushers customers to our dealers booth to buy all the goodies. Needless to say we sent oodles of customers to them to buy their tenkara gear and we enjoyed working with them the whole show.
After Denver I flew home to get ready for the ISE show in Sacramento, CA. The ISE is a HUGE outdoor show where anything hunting and fishing related is promoted. This show had it all. Daniel was now back in the fold, fresh from Brazil. He, Masaki and I ran the ISE Sacramento booth. There we had Justin Chaussee help us at this show. Justin is a cool local dude that I hope to fish with this year since he is near where I live. Of course, since I told him about my secret spot on the Bear River last year and he went in and caught all my trout, I need to have him show me one of his secret spots now so I can, well you know! hehehe
ISE was a great 4 day show from January 10th thru 13th, and since these are all-day and later-night shows, the 4 of us were pooped by the time this show was over. The crowds were massive and we introduced many to tenkara that may have never experienced it since some were hunters and probably not attending fly fishing-only shows. I look forward to attending this show again next year.
After this show Daniel flew back east to Marlborough MA. for the Fly Fishing Show back there to help a local dealer run their booth. This show was held January 18th thru 20th at the Royal Plaza. At this show we did not have our own booth but Daniel was there in a supportive role. Daniel often does casting demonstrations and tenkara seminars at all of these shows so in Marlborough he was busy often showing the masses what this tenkara thing is all about.
After the Marlborough show it was time for Somerset NJ, from January 25th thru 27th. This is the biggest Fly Fishing Show of them all and in attendance was Daniel, John, myself, and two guest helpers, Lance Gurney and Ed Baldridge. What a blast I had at this show. Shared many laughs with all the guys, had tons of foot traffic and customers at this show, and enjoyed good vittles and beer with the guys after the show. One thing to note, DAMN was it kkk-cold at this show. It snowed one day with all days down in the teens at night and barely getting above freezing during the day.
At this show I shook so many hands and spoke to so many people that I came home with my 1st nasty flu of the year. We did learn the lesson and bought a huge bottle of hand sanitizer that now travels with the booth. Took me 3 weeks to get over it. Still, it was worth it, as I had a great time. We had two dealers at this show, Bear’s Den and Mossy Creek Fly Fishing. We alternated sending and walking customers down the aisle to their booths to equip them with all needed to get started tenkara fly fishing. Both dealers did very well and had great shows from what we hear.
If you are back east, do attend the Somerset show. It is the largest of all the shows, very well attended, and I bet you go away with a huge smile on your face. Lots of good info to go around at that show and I now have more tenkare folks I can call friend because of attending that show.
Luckily after Somerset I had a couple weeks to rest. The Lynnwood, WA show would be my next. This nasty flu knocked me out but luckily for me Daniel and John were handling the Winston-Salem NC show from February 9th thru February 10th. The guys tell me it was a great show and Mossy Creek was at that show also as a dealer supporting our customers.
On February 16th thru 17th, Daniel and I headed to the Pacific Northwest for the first return of the Fly Fishing Show to the Seattle area. The show was smaller than all of the other shows but nonetheless busy for us. Often we were situated right next to the casting ponds at these shows so we could easily escort customers wanting to check out our fly rods so they could cast for a few.
In Washington Daniel and I were helped by Craig Hardt and Lex Story. Not only did we have fun at the booth all day spreading the tenkara love, we enjoyed a night at a local Korean BBQ where Lex showed off his culinary skills cooking the meat to a perfect melt in your mouth temp. These two guys rocked-it in the booth and I look forward to seeing them again up north. Since we had no dealers in Washington, the 4 of us sold Tenkara USA gear at our own booth. Daniel’s little iPad with credit card swipe on it was worked, and worked hard it did. Washington embraced tenkara and we are excited about how tenkara will spread up north.
The show season now had an end in sight for us. I returned home back to Cali for the upcoming Pleasanton show. Now my travel would be by car, driving to Pleasanton instead of flying. The flight back was a little sad, but a bit happy at the same time. It had been sooo long since I flew, being frisked at every airport (I swear, really, I have nothing in my pocket TSA!), it became a little adventure for me on each trip. Now I feel like an old pro at flying, and little TJ Kebari looks forward now to the Summit being held back east so I can fly once again and be a kebari on the wall at the summit.
Pleasanton is probably my favorite show… well at least tied with Somerset. I enjoy Pleasanton because this was the 1st Fly Fishing show I did with Tenkara USA last year and has a little sentimental value to it. The Pleasanton show just ended this last weekend, held February 22nd thru February 24th at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Great 3-day event, just tons of customers being sent over to Fly Fishing Specialties once again. This time we had, and really realized that we needed 6 people to help at this show. Along with myself, Daniel, and Masaki, we had customers Troy Meadows, Trevor Segelke, and Austin Smusz help us man the booth.
If you have never manned a trade-show booth before, as much fun as it can be, it can still be quite a bit of work. One must keep on their toes ready to answer questions and show customers what tenkara is. All the guys did a great job on this and we had so many customers going away with smiles on their faces loaded up new rods inside their new Tenkara USA Backpacks we gave out at the show.
It was amazing that at Pleasanton, Fly Fishing Specialties told us after each of Daniel’s casting demonstrations or tenkara seminars, people would flock to their booth and form a long line to buy Tenkara USA gear. If I was a fly fishing dealer, that would tell me something! You just do not see lines forming at these shows to buy other gear but yet with tenkara, it is an all new ballgame and folks are just seeing something in tenkara that brings back the joy of fishing into their lives. Needless to say the Tenkara USA booth at all the shows is swamped most of the time.
As I write this blog now the early 2013 shows are all over for us, and now we rest up for the Tenkara Summit coming in May. What I can take away from this experience is how much passion tenkara enthusiasts are injecting into the world of fly fishing. Just yesterday I had a call from a new customer I met at the Pleasanton show that had many kind things to say about us. I showed him all our rods at the show, sent him away with one of our informative catalogs/booklets, and he promised me to give me a jingle sometime this week. I received that call yesterday and I remember this person very well, super nice guy, and I felt he left our booth super charged about about fly fishing. During this call he purchased an Ito with all the trimmings and ended the call with “this tenkara has really got my fly fishing juices flowing and I look forward to fishing the gear soon!”.
Tenkara moves me, moves Daniel, moves John, and moves so many thousands and thousands of people worldwide. I am so happy to be a little kebari hanging on the wall at Tenkara USA. From this little kebari to all you little kebari out there, enjoy the ride with us and thank you all for making tenkara take off!
AND, A NOTE FROM DANIEL: A HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS! We could not have made the shows the success they were with your passion and energy. We were extremely lucky to have so many hugely talented people volunteer their time, their valuable weekends, to spend time with us. This moves me, in big ways. Your energy and self-less devotion to tenkara was inspiring and energizing. I look forward to connecting with many of you again soon.
The last four days that the ISE show in Sacramento were BUSY! It really felt like this pretty much the whole time at the ISE Show in Sacramento.
Most of the people coming by had “fly fished once before a long time ago…”. Many said they didn’t take it up because there were too many things to learn, and so we had the perfect answer for them: tenkara!
We were there for 4 days, for a total of 34 hours. In the segment above we introduced 7 people to tenkara for the first time. Now, if the segment above is 1/4 of a minute, just multiply the segment above by 8,160 times and you get an idea for how many interactions we felt we had this weekend. Yes, we introduced a good number of people to a a simpler method of fly-fishing this weekend.
Phew! Day 2 of the ISE Sacramento show is behind us, and 2 more days ahead. As TJ wrote about it on facebook “busy, busy, busy”…
Here’s a picture of the booth today. It was packed a big deal of the time and that was fun. At 1:30pm I did a presentation and at 6:30pm a casting demo. If you’ll be coming by in the next couple of days, I’ll be doing a presentation at 5:30pm on Saturday (and I’m guessing a casting demo at 6:30) and a presentation at 2:30pm on Sunday. Hope to see some of you there, and thank you all who stopped by to say hello and to learn more about tenkara.
We’ll be attending several of the Fly Fishing Shows in the next two months. We’d love to see you coming by our booth if you’re near any of these locations. Additionally we’ll have presentations and casting demonstrations at each one of these shows. Looking forward to meeting as many of you in 2013 as possible:
January 4-6: Fly Fishing Show in Denver, CO
January 10-13: ISE in Sacramento, CA
January 18-20: Fly Fishing Show in Marlborough, MA (Daniel Galhardo will be at the Bear’s Den booth for this one and doing presentations and demonstrations)
January 25-27: Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ
February 9-10: Fly Fishing Show in Wiston-Salem, NC
February 16-17: Fly Fishing Show in Lynnwood (Seattle), WA
February 22-24: Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, CA
We just received the artwork from Anthony Naples for the 3rd Annual Tenkara Summit, which will be held in Harrisonburg, VA on May 11 and 12. We’ll count on the support of the Mossy Creek Fly Shop to carry the event on. Anthony’s artwork this year is designed to reflect the bluegrass feel of the area with tenkara embodied in it.
Registrations and further details will be released in coming weeks – for now, just mark your calendars. For your planning The event format will consist of two days, with day 1 being clinics and presentations, we’ll request a $25 registration fee which will include lunch. Day 2 will consist of free demos /get together in the morning and optional $75 lunch and guided clinics in the afternoon.
Update 11/26: Mossy Creek Fly Fishing and Tenkara USA continue to talk and nail down more specific details about the 2013 Tenkara Summit. We’ll have the exact location for Day 1 figured out on our next call on December 14th. Day 2 will be held at a neat day-use area on the Dry River, with optional afternoon trips to several streams in the area. We have established that there will be a $25 fee for day one, which will include lunch and entertainment in the evening. Following the last Summit’s format, Day 2 will consiste of free demos and get together in the morning, with optional guided trips in the afternoon which will cost $75 (includes lunch).
SAVE THE DATE:
TENKARA SUMMIT 2013
May 11 – 12
More details to be announced and registrations to open soon.
Based on numerous requests and the very active tenkara community around the Appalachians, the 3rd Tenkara Summit will be held in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Harrisonburg is likely the most central location for the tenkara community on the East coast and it boasts of hundreds of miles of tenkara-perfect waters all around it. Tenkara USA will be counting on the support of Mossy Creek Fly Fishing, a current Tenkara USA dealer and one of our most passionate advocates, for hosting this event.
As always, the purpose of the Tenkara Summit is to bring together tenkara anglers and to share knowledge about the Japanese method of fly-fishing known as tenkara. While we may make tenkara gear available for sale for the convenience of those attending, the Tenkara Summit is generally a non-commercial event.
Following this year’s format, this will be a 2-day event, with the first day being mostly indoors with presentations, tenkara fly-tying, demonstrations, videos, music and more. Day 2 will be held outside in the mountains just outside of Harrisonburg (about 20 minutes drive), with demos and fishing. Those wanting to stay around a bit longer will have access to lots of water to keep them busy for several days. We will be charging a reasonable attendance/lunch fee to reserve spots for this event.
More details to come soon. Meanwhile mark your calendars, the Tenkara Summit will be happening again.