Exploring Fall Tenkara Fishing in the Northern Rockies

On November 13, 2023 • Comments (0)
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Fall is a beautiful time of year in the northern Rockies, but for me, it’s always been a little overrated in terms of fishing. Yes, it can be a great time to target big browns and colorful brook trout, and it’s just an incredibly beautiful time of the year to be outdoors here. The downside is that the prettiest, bright, sunny days have produced challenging fishing for me. Sunday, Mary and I were faced with one of those gorgeous days when we really wanted to get out and enjoy some of the last bluebird weather before the snow fell but didn’t want to drive too far. We decided to head to our favorite local creek and enjoy the day regardless of the quality of the fishing.

The Joy of Fishing in Serene Settings

It was truly gorgeous out. The sun was shining, and the temperature was perfect. We just needed the fish to bite. Our first stop was in a long meadow run of the creek. This stretch had been very productive for us in the past and was always pleasant to fish. Very few trees to snag your flies on the backcast and some nice, well-defined pools.

Our Tenkara Fishing Setup

We decided to fish the Sato with a 12-foot 3.5-level line. Attached to that were about 4 feet of 5x tippet and an Ishigaki-style kebari. That’s our normal setup for this creek. Our first casts were ignored. Finally, we reached the top of a pool, and Mary had a strike. A few casts later, a small fish came to hand.

Adapting to the Presence of Other Anglers

As we started to head up the creek, we realized that two other anglers were upstream of us. Rather than crowd them, we decided to head to a different stretch of the creek. It has plenty of access and plenty of options. 

As we drove further up the canyon, we saw that probably our most productive stretch was open. We were surprised to see this on such a lovely weekend day (it’s not just our favorite spot), but we were quick to take advantage. The best pools through this stretch are a bit of a walk downstream from the parking spot, so we headed down. We often like to do this: walk down the stream and then fish our way back to the access point. This is a great strategy so long as you can move downstream without spooking fish.

 

Casting in the northern rockies

The Strategy of “One-Rodding”

We finally stopped at the bottom pool in the chain. Rather than both of us trying to fish at the same time, Mary and I often take turns fishing. My friend Fran refers to this as “one-rodding” it. It’s usually easier for us than trying to leapfrog each other all day without spooking the other person’s water. Mary was up first and started to cast her fly into the edges and then the heart of the pool. It’s great-looking water and shady, which should have been in our favor as it was pretty bright out. Unfortunately, no fish were interested in the barely sunk wet fly. We decided to try a black Copper John. It’s a great generic weighted nymph if you want to get relatively deep without adding extra weight. A few casts later, we did catch a small fish on it, but the fishing was pretty slow.

Observing and Adapting to Fish Behavior

We moved up to the next pool and actually saw a nice fish holding in the middle of the stream. Mary made some casts to it. That fish didn’t eat, but another we didn’t see took the fly about a foot away from it. It wasn’t as big as the fish we were casting, but it was a nice rainbow.

Observing and adapting to fish behavior
Of course, catching that fish spooked the one we’d been watching, and no other fish decided to bite, so we walked up to the next pool. This pool is more shallow, so the weighted fly didn’t seem to be needed. We went back to our preferred kebari, and I took my turn to cast. I was a little worried the bite would stay slow. There were quite a few active insects on the water, but no fish rose. That’s an oddity on this stream. Normally, if there’s anything to eat, the fish jump on it. Luckily, a smaller fish did eat my fly, so Mary was back up to bat. A few casts later, she had another rainbow nicer than the one she landed earlier and probably a little bigger than the one we had seen in the previous pool.

The beautiful fish we catched

Exploring Different Fishing Techniques

This seemed to be the end of our action in the chain of pools we liked so well. We decided to walk back to the car, but Mary wanted to fish some flats on the way out. I’ve caught fish out of them before, but not many, and I wasn’t super excited to fish them. Mary suggested that the light on the water there might have the fish more active, contrary to what I normally think about bright days in the fall. It turns out she was right. It was my turn, and a few casts later, I was rewarded with a plump brook trout, which is my favorite small stream fish to catch this time of year. Mary bought me a new camera for my birthday in August that’s rated to take pictures underwater, so I decided to play with it. Underwater fish pictures rarely come out well for me unless there’s a fair amount of light on the water, which there was. I was happy with this image, even if it did come out a little shadowy.

 

Northern rockies fish

Unexpected Success in Bright Daylight

Shortly after releasing that fish, another small brook trout ate Mary’s fly. You can go on several trips on this stretch of water without catching a brook trout, but they get more aggressive in the fall and tend to pick up like this. We do try to avoid fish we see actively spawning on a bed. 

 

Tenkara fishing
On my next turn, I got lucky. Another nice brookie ate, and the light had improved, so I took some more underwater pics quickly. There’s always a lot of luck in getting these to turn out (at least for me), but I couldn’t be happier with this one.

 

A nice brookie

Concluding the Day’s Adventure

After all the char, We landed a small rainbow but eventually fished our way through the good holding water. We were happy with the day, but I really wanted to drive further upstream to where the creek is much smaller and brushier to try out a new prototype rod we’ve been working on at Tenkara USA.

As we drove up, the paved road turned to a muddy forest service road, and we started to see more patches of snow on the ground. This was the first snow we’d seen this year. We live at a much lower elevation, and none had fallen down there yet. This stream stretch had not been productive for me this year. In fact, it seems to have not fished as well in the last couple of years as it has previously. Still, it’s always been pretty water and was perfect for testing out the new super compact rod we’ve been working on.

The road seemed to be getting worse, so when an old favorite spot was available, we parked and walked into the stream. The first little pool looked good, and it was Mary’s turn to fish. The new little rod we were using was perfect for this water. We used the same 12-foot line setup we had with the Sato, and even though the line was about two feet longer than this rod, it was easy to adjust to the shorter rod. 

After a few casts, Mary landed a small brook trout. I also got a small brookie out of the same pool and enjoyed how sensitive the new swelled graphite grip on the new rod was, even when playing with small fish. After that, I was really more interested in taking pictures, so I let Mary handle the fishing. Up to that point, we were happy to get a couple of fish out of the same small pool, but the fishing wasn’t exactly fast. Then something happened. The sun finally went down below the trees, and it seemed like Mary was getting strikes on every cast. Several larger and more colorful brook trout came to hand. We had a similar instance last fall on a creek that had been much tougher fishing than this one. The fishing went into cheat mode as soon as the sun went behind the trees. Fish like these made the extra drive to the upper end of the creek worth it. 

After several fish, things eventually slowed down. We almost left then as it seemed greedy to keep going, but I really wanted to look up the next bend to see what was up. Very quickly, we found fish in much shallower water than were obviously actively spawning. We watched them for a while and decided to leave them alone. It’s very possible that the fish we’d just caught were doing the same, but they were holding in different water, and the fact they started to feed more heavily when the light changed makes me think they were more in pre-spawn feeding mode than spawning mode, but I’m really not sure. We were both hungry and knew our cat Merlin was, too, so we decided to call it a day. A perfect fall day of tenkara fishing on a mountain stream in Montana.

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September Fishing in the Rockies: Tackling Low & Clear Waters with Tenkara Techniques

On September 21, 2023 • Comments (0)
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September Fishing in the Rockies: A Tenkara Guide to Master Clear Streams

Fishing in September

September presents a unique fishing landscape in the Rockies. With summer’s heat transitioning to fall’s first frost, the waters turn low and crystalline, unveiling challenges for anglers. The fish, having experienced a full summer of anglers’ pursuits, have become more cautious. Yet, with the right approach and tenkara gear, September fishing can be immensely rewarding.

On radiant September days, fishing can prove difficult. Fish are extra vigilant and can spot flies and tippets more easily in the translucent waters. Such conditions necessitate tactical strategies:

  1. Time Your Fishing – Early mornings or late afternoons, before the sun dominates the waters, can be optimal. Mid-day fishing? Look for streams shaded by dense foliage or other natural covers.
  2. Casting Mastery – A subtle casting approach is crucial. Ensure the fly lands far from the casting lines, minimizing chances of spooking the fish.

Preferred Tenkara Gear for September Fishing:

  • For Small Streams: The Rhodo rod stands out with its gentle action, making it ideal for light casts.
  • For Larger Rivers: The Ito rod offers extended reach while maintaining a light action, protecting those delicate tippets typical of this season.

3.5 level lines, especially when long, keep you at a safer distance from the fish. September demands finesse in casting. While longer 5x tippets of around 4 feet are my go-to, some seasoned tenkara anglers might opt for shorter ones to ensure perfect turnover. During September’s low flows, bright-colored lines may deter fish. Our furled, tapered lines, especially in muted tones, are often a better choice. For instance, the Rhodo manages our 15′ furled line adequately, while the Ito handles it effortlessly.

Fly Choices:

Almost all our flies are apt for this season. However, if fish appear wary—easier to notice in clear waters—I gravitate towards our tiniest fly, the Takayama kebari. On cloudier days, switching from a subtle drift with the Takayama kebari to pulsing our most massive fly, the Oki Kebari can be productive. This technique mirrors streamer fishing and is particularly effective on vast rivers during cloudy times or at dawn and dusk.

In conclusion, September may present its fair share of challenges, but it’s far from being a lost cause. Sometimes, moments reminiscent of July’s effortless fishing suddenly emerge, especially when the sun retreats. Persistence is key, and the rewards? Absolutely worth the wait!

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The Ultimate Guide to Tenkara Fishing in Montana in August

On August 4, 2023 • Comments (0)
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Summer Fishing

An old guide friend of mine used to say, “The hardest thing about fishing Montana in summer is deciding what to do”. This statement holds true not just for Montana but for anglers across the country. Summer represents primetime for a multitude of fishing enthusiasts, with an abundance of options at their disposal.

The Rocky Mountain Runoff Period

Particularly in the Rockies, we experience an extended runoff period. This is when snowmelt raises the rivers and mountain streams to levels where they aren’t ideal for fishing. However, the upside to this is that as the river levels decrease, the fish are hungry and haven’t seen any fishing pressure for that period. The biggest challenge for anglers is to strategize how to capitalize on this early summer opportunity.

Classical Tenkara Season in Montana

For me, summer signifies the onset of the “classical tenkara” season, characterized by fishing tenkara as it has been practiced in its Japanese origins.
Mountain streams in most of the Rocky Mountain West never fish better than they do in summer once the spring runoff finally subsides until the weather starts to turn in September.

Equipment Selection: The Sato and Satoki Rods

When these mountain streams finally clear up enough for fishing, my preference is to utilize my Sato rod, which performs excellently on small to medium streams. I also recommend our new Satoki rod or our Ito rod for larger freestone streams in the Rockies.

Summer Fishing with Tenkara USA

Tackling Different Conditions: Line and Fly Choices

During summer fishing, I prefer using 3.5-level lines. The wind isn’t as much of an issue in summer as it is during the volatile spring months. Fly selection, especially on mountain streams, is relatively less of an issue in peak summer fishing. Large Oki kebari and Amano kebari flies are my go-to choices, depending on the presence of larger insects. One note, terrestrials can become a big factor as summer wanes. Sometimes a big chunky sakasa fly can still work great, but this is a time of year I may chuck some hoppers, etc.

Fly Presentations and Techniques

My primary fly presentation this time of year is a simple dead drift. That said, experimenting with a pulsed fly or skittered fly can yield surprising results and add an extra level of fun to your fishing experience! If fish are on terrestrials, try to make your sakasa flies “plop” when they hit the water. A little more forceful forward cast can do the trick on this and it usually works best for bank feeding fish.

The Importance of Summer: Prime Time Fishing

The most important tip we can give you about summer is to seize the opportunity and get out there! This is prime time for fishing. Household projects and other responsibilities can wait! Just go fishing and ask for forgiveness afterward! We hope you have a fantastic summer of tenkara in Montana!

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Tenkara USA Spring Fishing Guide: Techniques and Tips for Success

On April 26, 2023 • Comments (0)
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A fish held in the hand above the surface of the water.

I’ve talked about the gear we like for spring, but let’s dive into tenkara fishing techniques for the season. We can break this down into the when, the where, and the how. Keep in mind that the preferred tactics and techniques in the northern Rockies may or may not be appropriate in your home waters. Before I began tenkara fishing, I was a pretty hardcore dry fly guy, and some of those traditions and biases are still in my fishing. Tenkara USA has always tried to prioritize technique over gear, so hopefully, these suggestions will give you some ideas to think about, even if your own findings are contrary to mine.

When to Go Spring Fishing with Tenkara Techniques

Typically in the spring, the best tenkara fishing will not be first thing in the morning. I’ve become an early bird as I’ve gotten older and am usually on my second cup of coffee by 6:00 am, but rarely get to the river much before noon. Spring water temperatures, at least here in Montana, are usually still pretty chilly in the mornings. Both the fish and the insects that get them moving are more active in the early to late afternoons. I’ve actually had good tenkara fishing until sundown. As we get closer to summer, I may go out a little earlier, at least until we get into full-blown spring runoff, but spring fishing is usually an afternoon activity for me. If you’re fishing tailwater and spring creeks that have more constant water temperatures, this may not be as much of an issue.

Where to Fish with Tenkara Techniques in Spring

While most tenkara anglers love to fish mountain streams, most of mine stay icy a lot later than some of the larger rivers. Tailwater and spring creeks offer “spring” conditions earlier than frozen freestones. Historically, a lot of the small streams I like to fish are also not legally open to fishing as early as the larger waters. They’re often closed to protect spawning fish running up from the larger rivers. Most of my spring fishing is on larger water like the Madison and the Gallatin. That’s one reason why I usually use larger rods in the spring, like our Ito or new Satoki rod. Small spring creeks and tailwater can offer excellent tenkara fishing in the early season, so if you have access to those, they may make a great option. Larger waters can be intimidating for some tenkara anglers used to smaller mountain streams, but I’d encourage all of you to be open to fishing larger waters if that’s what’s open and fishing well. It can be done very effectively with tenkara. Remember, larger rivers can be broken up into small rivers if you look closely, as each new seam may be a small river all into itself.

How to Use Tenkara Techniques for Spring Fishing Success

When I head out to the river in the spring, I’m usually hoping for rising or at least actively feeding fish as a reward for making it through another Montana winter. When I get to the water, I usually spend a fair amount of time looking for this kind of activity before I start casting with my tenkara rod. Fish usually come back to the same spots to rise over the year, and I’ll pay special attention to those spots where I’ve found rising fish in the past. If I find rising fish, I usually try to drop in just below them and make a simple upstream cast above where they’re rising, letting the fly drift down to them. This is about as simple as tenkara fishing gets: see fish, cast to fish, hopefully hook fish. Just because fish are rising doesn’t mean I’m not fishing traditional tenkara flies. Our small Takayama kebari can work great during a midge hatch on the Madison, as can other wet flies like a Syl’s Midge or even a small partridge and orange (even when the midges are all black, never did understand that one). If you’re just below rising fish, it’s usually very easy to detect strikes to wet flies “in the wash”. The tenkara line and tippet point to the fly. I find it much easier to detect fish eating small flies with tenkara than western fly fishing for this reason.

I must admit that I do like to fish western dries at this time of year. Kind of goes back to that “reward for making it through another Montana winter” thing again. The fish haven’t seen much pressure yet, so usually general imitations like a parachute Adams or Griffith’s Gnat work great. Later in the spring when Blue Winged Olives make their appearance, I love fishing an olive Sparkle Dun, but the Adams still works great. I fish these almost exactly like the small wet flies. Sometimes I can see dries this small, but often I’m still using the line as a strike/drift indicator. One very nice thing about tenkara fishing is that a waterlogged dry fly that’s not as visible but still fine to the fish can still be fished effectively using the “tenkara advantage” of the visible casting line.

A man fishing, casting the Tenkara line into the river in spring.

Of course, we can’t always see fish working. If I’ve convinced myself the fish won’t be up, I prefer to fish traditional kebari flies, usually some variant on the sakasa style. I really like the Ishigaki and Oki flies we sell this time of year. I’ve had good luck with both dead-drifted flies and active presentations like pulsing (my favorite). It seems that water temperature plays a role here. When it’s cold, the fish don’t seem as likely to chase a moving fly. The sun can also play a role on the waters I fish, especially if brown trout are the predominant species in the water. Less sun is usually better unless that overcast is coupled with a cold front. If the fish aren’t very active, sinking the fly deeply may be necessary. I prefer to do that if I can with techniques like plunging and using the currents of the river to suck my fly down.

Many anglers do find it helpful to use a weighted fly or added weight this time of year. Indicator nymphing can be done very effectively with a tenkara rod. My friend Larry Tullis gave me and some other members of the Tenkara USA crew some tips on the finer points of what he’s termed as “bounce nymphing”. This tactic is effective any time of year, but can really help turn things around when lethargic fish are hugging the bottom. I like heavier rods any time I’m fishing a lot of weight, and our new Satoki is easily my favorite for it. Some of these tactics can get pretty far from traditional tenkara, but can also make for a productive day of fishing that otherwise might not be.

I truly love spring in the Rockies and the tenkara fishing that comes with it. The above suggestions may or may not help you in your home waters. When in doubt, keep it simple and just go fishing. Spring is a wonderful time to be out on the water, (perhaps my favorite) so make the best of it with these tenkara techniques and tips from Tenkara USA!

Conclusion

As you venture out for spring fishing with your tenkara rod, remember that the when, the where, and the how are essential to making the most of your experience. Tailor your tenkara fishing techniques to the specific conditions of your local waters, and always be open to exploring new waters and trying new strategies. With these tips from Tenkara USA, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy a successful and rewarding spring fishing season.

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All About Lines For Your Tenkara Rod

On October 26, 2022 • Comments (0)
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Tenkara rod in the air.Written by John Geer

One of the most common questions we get at Tenkara USA is, “What is the difference between the kinds of lines for my tenkara rod?” or at least some variation on that theme. First off, I want to say that line choice is largely a matter of personal preference. There aren’t a lot of situations where one tenkara line will work and another absolutely won’t, but they all have their strengths and weaknesses. I’d like to discuss our different options, what I like about each, and why you may want to use one over the other.

Tapered Nylon LinesTenkara Tapered Nylon Lines

I’ll start with the tapered nylon lines. These are probably the lines most of our customers start with, as they’re what comes with our starter kit. There are good reasons for that. The tapered nylon lines offer a lot of features that make things easy for new tenkara anglers. First, the nature of a tapered line makes the transition of energy to turn the line over a bit smoother. They’re just a pretty easy line to cast. Continue reading

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Tenkara Fishing Tailwaters

On October 5, 2022 • Comments (0)
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Branches from a tree with a stream in the background.

Written by Martin Montejano

While the summer wains, some of the flows throughout the watershed may start to dissipate. Tenkara fishing tailwaters will often offer more opportunities for fishing during the transition into fall.

Consistent temperatures and flows, especially when regulated by a dam, often provide a great environment for trout all year long. I generally save these waters for later in the summer when the fishing slows down in the rest of the watershed. One of the biggest challenges on the tailwaters in my area is the size of the water. I will admit that I have often struggled to catch fish in the wide, open runs that hold very little tells as to where fish might be. Over the seasons, I have found a few tips that have helped me to catch fish in these types of waters.

Ripples of water.Dividing the water into smaller currents tends to help. After observing flows and currents, it’s much easier to manage a section that you know is within your casting range than trying to blindly fish the entire width of a river. Doing this can help take some guesswork out of where to cast, especially if you can see some activity from fish within the flows.

If you are lucky enough to find boulders or a large pool at the end of some riffles, this is also a great area to float a fly through. Fish in bigger waters still look for the same shelter and food sources as ones in smaller waters.

Areas near boulders and deep pools often have slack water next to them. The calmer water and slower flows present an easier option when trying to find trout in big, open rivers. It also allows for more options as far as presentation. In a previous article, I talked about Gyakubiki, a surface presentation that involves skating the fly towards a structure or bank. This can still be an effective presentation on more open waters while fish may be sipping flies off the surface, but it will still pose the same challenges in setting the hook.

While timing can play a big role in when a surface presentation can be used effectively on larger rivers, a subsurface presentation will often be the best way to entice trout in these types of waters. In a similar concept to the aforementioned Gyakubiki, Yokobiki can be utilized by drifting a fly under the surface, then slowly pulling it toward the closest bank. You’ll want the kebari to sink a bit before it drifts past you, then while holding the rod tip parallel to the water and down current, slight movements of the rod tip back toward the bank will cause the fly to swim sideways across the flows, toward the bank. Setting the hook while performing this presentation can be tricky. The timing of the strike may come while you have tension in the line, making it difficult to get a good set, but just be sure to pull toward the bank and not upstream when a fish does strike.

Man standing in water fly fishing.

In the last article, I talked about utilizing the Leisenring lift while fishing deeper pools. This presentation is still a viable option when you are fortunate enough to find a deeper pocket of water on the river. Sometimes the best way to position when fishing these pools will be to stand upstream and to let the fly dive down in the current, then lift out of the pool. This can present the same issues of setting the hook as Yokobiki had. With standing more toward the center of the river, pulling the rod tip towards the sides will offer better hooksets than if you were to pull the rod tip vertically and back upstream. One thing to note is that the fly will tend to move along the path of the tippet while it is submerged, which may pull the kebari away from the fish’s mouth, so plan your hooksets accordingly.

These wide tailwaters often hold bigger, stronger fish. And with that, a new challenge as you try to bring one to hand! When you have a fish on the end of the line, control will be one of the key things to remember. Keeping the rod tip parallel or closer to the water will allow the fish to stay deeper in the current. Doing this can help prevent the fish from jumping but may also make it more dMan standing in water fly fishing. ifficult to fight your catch. Be sure to switch sides of the rod to play the fish while you’re trying to bring it in, and don’t be afraid to move downstream and toward the bank to bring it into more manageable flows! Be sure to bring a net with you and revive the fish before releasing it back into the river. Good fish handling skills will help ensure a healthy watershed, and others will be able to enjoy fishing the river as well!

While the seasons change and summer turns into fall, and fall into winter, these tailwater fisheries may remain active! Some may even host a run of salmon as they make their way upstream to spawn. Be sure to follow local regulations for the rivers, and be aware of redds that may be present as you fish.

The fish in these big open waters often have more access to a variety of insects, making it difficult to key in on what they may be snacking on. And, with more pressure from other anglers, they can become picky and skeptical of what floats by them. Be sure to try different presentations and approaches as you fish bigger waters.

The previous articles I have written all hold different ways to present the kebari in various situations. Be sure to check out all of them, from “Dry Fly Fishing Season” and “Into the Mountains” to “Familiar Waters” and “Go With the Flow,” as I have tried to cover as many different types of water and techniques as I could and I hope it helps you get out there and enjoy fishing with tenkara!


Martin Montejano is a Northern California-based fixed-line angler. From spring-fed creeks in the mountains to rivers that run through deep-cut valleys, he fishes a multitude of waters in and around the Sierra Nevadas.

You can follow along as he shares his adventures and experiences at @sagehearttenkara on Instagram.

Martin’s favorite TUSA rod is the ITO™ 13′ / 14’7″ (adjustable)

 

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Go With The Flow – Tenkara Waters With Stronger Currents

On August 15, 2022 • Comments (0)
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Man standing in a shallow stream of water fly fishing.

Written by Martin Montejano

The flows on one of my favorite rivers are just about perfect, the fish are biting, and they should be hanging in the stretches of riffles and deep pools until the end of the season! 

While I plan to spend most of my time over the next few months fishing around the boulders and cobbles that line the bed and banks of the river, I will be reinstating a few practices that I’ve found to be helpful on tenkara waters with stronger currents.

Continue reading

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Familiar Waters – Tenkara Techniques

On July 11, 2022 • Comments (1)
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Pink sunset behind a forest stream.Written by Martin Montejano

While the month of June offered great fishing in higher elevation creeks, some of those tributaries’ flows are starting to drop, and the fish are moving lower in the watershed. For the time being, I am back to fishing some of the more familiar waters in my area.

Coming back to the creeks I fish regularly helps shift my perspective from going after smaller fish to practicing some presentations and habits for fishing bigger waters in the next few months. While the creeks don’t often hold big trout, knowing popular holding spots for fish helps me to practice different tenkara techniques.

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Tenkara USA Team Highlight – Meet John Geer

On June 29, 2022 • Comments (0)
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Tenkara is who we are.

Hello! Welcome to the second edition of a little series we’ve put together to help you get to know our wonderful crew. Tenkara USA has always been a tight-knit team of responsive anglers dedicated to sharing tenkara, and while we work with outside firms for some other aspects of our business (such as fulfillment) and count on supporters at events, the team we’re highlighting here is our close-knit in-house staff with whom you’re likely to interact when you reach out. While it’s true that our founder Daniel Galhardo has taken a step back from the helm, our main team is together and we’re happy to help you with all things tenkara.

Man holding a fish.Meet John Geer, Dealer and Customer Services
John Geer brings decades of fly-fishing with him. He works with our dealer network and Tenkara Guide Network, manages our repair department, and supports TJ in customer service.

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Into The Mountains

On June 3, 2022 • Comments (0)
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Written by Martin MontejanoStream in the mountains.

As Spring turns into Summer and the last of the snow in the higher elevations begins to melt away, I redirect my focus to the smaller streams and creeks nestled in mountains. Long drives up windy roads offer gorgeous scenic views leading to quiet and often isolated tenkara fishing spots.

Whether the stream is lined with trees and bushes or winds its way through an open meadow, I always recommend taking a stealthy approach. Extra precautions and planning of your movements while on the water will bring you more success when the streams may be crystal clear. Whenever you can, avoid getting in the water. I often try to stay around the outside of the pools and move through them after they have been fished. Try to avoid crossing the creek if you can, but when necessary, cross in a shallow set of riffles after you have cast into all the spots that may hold fish near where you’re crossing. Doing this will help to mask your movements and avoid spooking fish in nearby pools before you get a chance to fish them.

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Dry Fly Fishing Season

On May 16, 2022 • Comments (0)
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Man smiling while fly fishing.Written by Martin Montejano

Dry fly fishing season is upon us! Watching a trout snatch a snack off the top of the water is just about as exciting as it gets! While rod and reel fly fishing utilizes dry flies, fixed-line fishing brings some advantages when it comes to fishing the surface.

There’s a certain approach I like to take while the activity on a stream is hot and the fish are willing to come up for their food. But, as I imagine most anglers do, I usually start with a dead drift. A gentle cast to avoid spooking fish, followed by a short drift in a seam or foam line may be just enough to get a bite. Be sure to keep the rod tip high and the line off the water if you can, as it may keep a feeding fish from rising to that tasty-looking fly with the weird, bright string attached to it.

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Tenkara USA Team Highlight – Meet TJ

On April 8, 2022 • Comments (0)
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Tenkara is who we are.

Hello! Welcome to the first edition of a little series we’ve put together to help you get to know our wonderful crew. Tenkara USA has always been a tight-knit team of responsive anglers dedicated to sharing tenkara, and while we work with outside firms for some other aspects of our business (such as fulfillment) and count on supporters at events, the team we’re highlighting here is our close-knit in-house staff with whom you’re likely to interact when you reach out. While it’s true that our founder Daniel Galhardo has taken a step back from the helm, our main team is together and we’re happy to help you with all things tenkara. If you’ve ever called us, emailed, or even been to our booth at a fly fishing show there is a good chance you’ve talked with TJ. He’s also super creative and fun to work with, so we thought he would be the perfect person to start this off.

Man smiling in the mountains.Meet TJ – Customer Service & Ops

TJ has been working with us since 2011 and is in charge of customer service, and works behind the scenes helping to make sure products are available for you. His jolly smile and friendly connection with customers help ensure Tenkara USA continues its reputation for terrific customer service!

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No Lines Attached – Become The Kebari – Tenkara Fly Fishing

On March 12, 2021 • Comments (1)
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TJ's fooled trout

TJ’s fooled trout

Written by TJ Ferreira
Sitting at a nice warm spot in the sun, taking a breather next to a very small creek many moons ago, I was watching some flies and bugs. You see, this was one of my solo tenkara trips I often like to take in the warmer times of summer, where I can take all the worries of the world, brush them aside even if for just a couple hours, to play tenkara.
As I sat and watched the flies fly around, I started to think to myself, do these bugs have lines connected to them? Do these flies have some weighted line tied directly to their behinds controlling their every natural or unnatural movement?

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Countdown to Spring Tenkara Fishing

On March 5, 2021 • Comments (0)
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Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 4.28.52 PMHey everyone, happy March. Can you believe there’s only a couple more weeks until the official first day of Spring on March 20th?! The days are getting noticeably longer, and warmer, and that means the big thaw has started or will start soon for many of us here in the Northern Hemisphere.

As far as spring tenkara fishing opportunities go, the name of the game is TIMING. Some of our favorite creeks and rivers are starting to open up and although we’re not quite out of the woods yet for cold dips and moisture, if you time your fishing right you can catch some warm afternoons, and hopefully bug hatches too. It’s also time to get your gear ready.

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Your Guide To Winter Tenkara Fishing

On January 4, 2021 • Comments (0)
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Winter Post2

Your Guide to Winter Tenkara Fishing
Written by Jen Kugler Hansen

While some anglers seem to have gone into hibernation and are sitting at their fly-tying vices this time of year, tenkara anglers have some major advantages to get in the winter fly-fishing game. Ice can bring havoc to fly rods, lines, and reels, but tenkara rods are perfectly suited to handle icy conditions that traditional fly-fishing rigs cannot. Because a tenkara rod uses a fixed line only attached at the tip there are no guides or reels for ice to collect on, which puts us in the driver’s seat.

Winter tenkara fishing can be a lot of fun if you prepare yourself, so let’s discuss what to expect and we’ll give you some tips that will make your next trip more successful.

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