Do this and that, and that…with tenkara

On August 8, 2013 • Comments (10)

It should go without saying that tenkara fishing is one of my great passions in life. It is my main excuse to get out of the house and enjoy the woods, streams and lakes. But, it is not my only excuse.

A couple of weeks ago Margaret and I went mushroom hunting, a new interest for both of us. The intent was not fishing, but since we’d be near water I brought a tenkara rod and my small tenkara kit along. Just in case. After collecting many mushrooms we hiked back and I spotted a great piece of water. With tenkara it is just so easy and quick to setup that there is no reason for not stopping and fishing. In roughly 1 minute I was fishing. I caught three brookies. Mushrooms were our main reason to get out that day, tenkara fishing just happened to fit in perfectly with it. We took a 15 minute break to fish and then resumed our hike out, finding a couple more mushrooms along the way and cooking a great meal at home.

Before I discovered tenkara, I had to carefully choose my activity of choice for the weekend. It was either fishing, OR climbing, OR skiing, OR mountain biking, OR mushroom hunting. It was difficult to combine activities.

Then, last week, with my tenkara rod in hand and one eye on the stream with the other trying to spot mushrooms along the shoreline, I had this nice realization that tenkara goes so well with anything that it no longer has to be a choice between one OR the other. I was now having my cake and eating it too.

There are so many things that can go well with tenkara as I’m discovering. Every experience outside can be enhanced simply by bringing a tenkara rod along.

Bicyle biking and bike riding with tenkaraFor example, I recently biked to a stream nearby. The tenkara rod fit perfectly on my bike frame, I just strapped it there with two pieces of velcro. It took me an hour to get there, and I enjoyed every minute of that bike ride as much as every minute of my fishing that day. Biking and tenkara go together like beer and a campfire!
Walking your dog and going near some water? Bring a tenkara rod along. Sure, if you’re as “lucky” as I am, your dog may be a horrible fishing dog. I don’t really bring my dog along on dedicated fishing trips, but if I’m taking my dog out for some exercise and there happens to be a pond nearby, you bet I’ll bring a rod.
Rock climbing and tenkaraFor a period of time I was forced to choose between two activities I love when I went out on weekends: climbing or fishing? It was a tough choice. Climbing started getting neglected in favor of fishing, but I missed climbing. With tenkara the two activities are not mutually exclusive. Not many things are as fun as a biathlon of scaling local craigs and getting in the water to fish when it gets too hot.
Backpacking and fly-fishing are made for each other, right? So why did I always feel I had to pass good water when backpacking with a rod and reel? Generally because it took too long to setup.Backpacking and tenkara are absolutely made for each other. Not only because the tenkara gear is minimalist and super compact, but also because it is super quick to setup. Any pool along the way can be fished by quickly setting up the tenkara rod without taking a major part of the day to do so.

Don’t get me wrong, I still head out with the sole intention of fishing an entire day. One of my favorite things in the world is to find a tumbling stream, start casting into its waters and move from one pocket to another after every few casts, covering a mile of its waters in a day. But when you realize that any activity – whether it be walking your dog, foraging, climbing, biking… – does not have to exclude fishing, and that indeed, fishing can be a great complement to most other activities, you’ll feel less pressure to choose between hobbies because choosing between hobbies is like choosing which kid is your favorite.

Comment on post above

Weekend Reading: Magical Mountain Meadow Tenkara

On July 26, 2013 • Comments (9)

by TJ Ferreira

I had one of those magical fishing events last weekend, at least for me that is.  I have been dreaming of fishing what I consider a mountain meadow stream or creek.  I have seen all these pictures of fly fisher-folk kneeling down about 10 feet away from a small wiggly strip of water in a big mountain meadow, and I wanted a piece of that action.

My dream came true this last weekend in the mountains of California.  I googled and read of waters to fish in the Northern California mountains and found some info about a small 10-campsite campground, one with few amenities but with fishing nearby.  The campsite was free, 1st come 1st served. It had no running water but at least it had a bathroom; as my wife was coming along having that was important <grin>.

We left around 10:30AM, drove up to the mountains to a place I had never been before.  I had read some notes on the websites I visited that the roads were not car-friendly, so I drove my trusty 2007 Toyota FJ.  This ended up being a good idea because the roads were very rugged logging roads, off the beaten path, with fairly large rocks and such that a low-rider car would not have faired well or at all.  The FJ cruised over them like butter though.

We got a little lost along the way as the websites were vague on how to get to this campground but in the end, about 5 to 10 miles off-track and figuring I better back-track, I found the site.  We arrive around 1PM, snagged a campsite to park in for the day (only 4 or 5 were taken), and set up shop.

Shop meant my wife had a cooler full of soda, a bag full of goodies, and a good book to read.  Shop for me meant a mountain meadow, tenkara gear, and plenty of brook trout.  At first I was not sure what this creek looked like or where it was exactly, but I followed my senses into a field where I saw some trees, and I figured H2O was present.  Wife and I walked out into the meadow and I said, “hold on, listen…. I hear water dribbling”.  Another 30 feet and I found my sliver of water in the middle of this mountain meadow.

I arrived first and quickly saw out the corner of my eye a few shadows of small trout swimming quickly to get away.  My wife snuck up behind me and I told her to watch the water, and soon enough more trout swam by.

Quickly I felt giggly and told my wife, I am gonna fish!  I practically hopped like a bunny and  went back to the campsite, she setup her shop, I setup mine, and for the next 1.5 hours, I fished like a fool.

Salt & Pepper Sakasa Kebari. Was like feeding candy to a little kid!

I decided to use the Iwana 11’ rod with a line just a little longer than the rod.  About 8.5’ of 3.5# Pink Hi Vis with 3’ of 4X Tippet with a size 14 Salt & Pepper Sakasa Kebari I tied earlier this year.  On my way to the creek I snuck like a thief in the night back to the creek and made my 1st casts.  This creek was super small.  We are talking about 2 feet wide in spots, and on bends little pools maybe 3 to 4 feet wide swelled up.  At times the creek was about 1’ wide with tall grasses poking up through the water to then form a creek again with just water and no grasses blocking my kebari.

Here is a quick video showing the small meadow creek I fished.

Within 2 to 3 casts I caught my 1st brook trout of the day. In fact, this was my first brook trout in California.  To date it has been mostly rainbow trout and a couple browns, but the higher mountain brookies I had not met yet.  Well this last weekend I met about a bakers dozen in 1.5 hours of the mountains finest small brookie family.

This Brookie put up a nice fight!

At one point I was casting into a small pool that had a large spider web spanning its opening where if I wanted to get into the pool, I had to cast the line across the spider web.  My thought was that once the level line or tippet hit the spider web, the web would break.  Amazingly, my tippet dropped right on top of the web and just rested there with the kebari dangling, confused, just inches from the water.  I moved my arm forward and the tenkara fly dropped into the creek.  I dangled it there for a spell to see if any brookies were home.  No brookies were home in that spot but I was able to pull the cast back and left the spider web intact.  How amazingly softly a tenkara rod can present a fly!  This was just so cool.

As I progressed down the creek, it widened a tad in spots and here is another short video of the mountain creek I fished.

It was so much fun casting into a sliver of a creek, catching brookie after brookie, ranging in size from 4” up to about 8”.  My shorts were covered by the end of the day with smudges of mud and my face was rosie pink with a smile from ear to ear.

A little pip squeak went for an Iwana 11′ ride.

Video link of a trout being released back into the mountain meadow creek.

My 1st Magical Mountain Meadow Tenkara Adventure was a treat for sure.  Amazed these little blue slivers of water are homes to schools of brookies and just makes me love California that much more.  The Sierra Mountains are like the Colorado Rockies, just Tenkara Perfect!

Just one last cast honey, really it is!  Glad I did as this trout landed in my net.

Just one last cast honey, really it is! Glad I did as this trout landed in my net.

To top off the day, the skies drew dark and we started to hear some good thunder claps.  We decided to get all wrapped up and head home.  On our way out of the campground the rain started coming down and then it started to hail.  Took a quick video of the hail storm as we departed.  The weather quickly went from upper 80s to mid 60s within seconds.  So cool!

Heading home my wife and I were in need of some nourishment so we stopped for a great New York Steak at the Willo, a popular bar and restaurant on historic highway 49 near Nevada City, CA.  The Willo Bear greeted us to a job well done catching so many mountain trout.

Enjoying a New York Steak at the Willo Bar & Restaurant near Nevada City on Gold Rush Highway 49.

Before the end of the season I will make it back to see my mountain meadow brook trout friends, they can bet on that.  My Salt & Pepper Sakasa Kebari seemed to hit the right spot for their appetities and the Iwana 11’ rod was like a fast Porsche to these little brookies.  They requested I come back soon so they can test drive tenkara one more time.  I will be happy to oblige.

Comment on post above

Tenkara Interactions – “Are you the tenkara guy?”

On July 24, 2013 • Comments (11)

Yesterday afternoon I left the house to run some errands. As I stopped at a traffic light on the way home, the woman on the car next to me started waving. I assumed she needed directions. I turned off the music and rolled the window down.

“Are you the tenkara guy?”, she asked, excitedly.


“My daughter took a class with you recently and has been talking about tenkara all the time.”

Unfortunately the lights turned green and we had to drive off. But I was thrilled that she recognized me or the car and took the time to say hi. I thanked her for doing that. And, yes, I felt kind of famous.


Ten days ago I went for a hike with my wife and our dog. It was our first time on this trail, behind the NCAR building here in town. As it was on a weekend the trail was relatively busy. A hiker was coming down as we climbed up. He smiled, as all other hikers did, passed us, then stopped and turned around.

“Are you Daniel? The tenkara guy?” (I am assuming he asked me if I was the tenkara guy…but I don’t usually carry a recorder)

“YES! You fish with tenkara?”


We chatted for a bit, and then went on our way, hoping to cross paths on a stream sometime.


A little over a month ago I headed to a coffee shop in town, Boxcar coffee roasters. I had heard great things about the place, so I went to check it out. I had to do some writing and needed good coffee to do that. A little past 20 minutes into my writing session a man, about my age, approached me.

“Hey, sorry to interrupt you, but… are you the tenkara guy?”


“I saw the sticker on your laptop, and you looked familiar. I watched a lot of your videos on Youtube…”

We chatted for a few minutes, when our conversation got the attention of the couple that was sitting on the next table. They turned around and asked if we were talking about tenkara, and inevitably, “are you the tenkara guy?”


We talked at length about tenkara, I invited them to an outing I was holding a few days later.


I was completely dazed from some anesthetics after visiting my dentist a couple of months ago. My wife was driving us back home and stopped to get food on the way. I stayed in the car but opened the doors to have fresh air. Then a man came by, startling me a bit.

“Hi, I saw your tenkara license plate…are you the tenkara guy?”


He probably thought I was high on drugs, but I was able to tell him I was just coming back from a procedure and was a bit dazed. I thanked him very much for saying hi and apologized for my state.

Luckily we met again a couple of weeks later at a talk I was giving. I was in much better shape then.


When visiting a local sporting goods store, the clerk saw my tenkara t-shirt and said, “tenkara? Do you work for them?”. “Uhhh….I guess so”, I replied.


Over the last several months, since moving to Colorado, I’ve had about a dozen such interactions. I confess, I absolutely love it. I has made me feel very welcomed to our new home. But, the coolest thing is to see in person through such interactions how much tenkara has grown since I brought it over to the US. These are just the casual interactions that I’ve had the fortune to have, where people took the time to stop and say hi. I am always very grateful when that happens.

Besides my own interactions I know there are dozens if not hundreds of interactions like that happening everyday! My doctor said someone was telling him about tenkara a few days ago; a few weeks ago a good friend of mine said he was grabbing lunch when he overheard three people very excitedly talking about tenkara; my banker said his colleague came to talk to him about going fishing and asked him if he’d heard of tenkara before….

Have you had unexpected tenkara interactions? I love how that networking is happening and would love to know if you have a story like that to share.

Comment on post above

Reduce, reuse, recycle

On July 22, 2013 • Comments (8)

What? Daniel was seen using a non-tenkara fly today? A parachute adams?


Yes, I was seen using a parachute adams fly on my tenkara rod today…actually, I believe nobody actually saw me using it. Here’s what happened.
I went fishing with my friends Dan and Graham today. We heard there were possibly some grayling in the area and decided to find them. Upon arrival at our destination I setup my tenkara rod with a long tenkara line, and kept the tenkara fly from the last trip tied on. Almost immediately I had a beautiful brook trout on. Within an hour I had probably caught 20 brook trout on that one fly, until I lost the fly to a tree.
Reduce: Over the last three years I have greatly reduced the number of fly patterns I feel I need. In fact, it’s now essentially one pattern with 4 variations (the four tenkara flies that we offer on our site, well, one is out of stock). And, since tenkara has helped me stay away from trees more often than I used to, I feel that I have also reduced the number of flies I lose while fishing. And, of course, I reduced the amount of time changing flies, the amount of tippet bits I lose when changing them, and my consumption of materials used in tying flies.

But of course, I still lose the occasional fly. Today’s stream was relatively tight with lots of trees behind me and the inevitable happened when I got caught on a branch and the fly wouldn’t come free. I collapsed the rod, plugged it with my thumb and pulled the line to break the fly off. Then, off the corner of my eye I spotted a section of tippet material on a branch. (As I always do to prevent animals from getting caught) I decided to retrieve the tippet. And, then I noticed there there was a fly at the end of it. Often the flies I find hanging on trees are badly rusted, but this one wasn’t too bad. And, there were 3ft of slightly faded tippet along with it. Maybe all the flies hanging from the trees could allow me to reduce how many flies I take with me even more.
20130722-180644.jpgReuse: Instinctively I went to put the tippet and fly on my pocket, but then I had this thought. Why not just use it? I mean, I just lost my fly and would have to replace it anyway. I’m not a “tenkara-fly-purist” (as some may think) – my philosophy is simply that the fly doesn’t really matter that much and just about any fly will work. While I typically I opt for the simple tenkara flies, which I find to be more versatile and quickest to tie, the time-proven parachute adams was certainly not below me. The tippet wasn’t too bad, a bit thinner than I like, and a bit faded, but there were no knots on it and it would save me from getting more tippet out.

I tied my “one knot” on the tippet and connected it to my tenkara level line. That’s when the title of this post came to mind: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

This was the first time in 3 years that I used a parachute adams. The fly was so easy to spot, with the bright white post, I almost felt that I was cheating a bit. But, it is not about rules, it’s about enjoying the fishing, learning and when possible conserving. On my second cast I connected with a rainbow trout, only rainbow of the day. And, then a brook trout and another one, and another one, and then a take that was stronger and perhaps faster than any I had experienced until then.
I had all but forgotten about the grayling by then. I watched the parachute adams drifting downstream into the calm pocket below me. The natural drift of the fly filled me with anticipation. This pocket of water was slightly calmer and bigger than most I had fished today; it had to hold a good fish.
The take, as I mentioned, was fast and strong, and the strong fight greatly reminded me of the grayling I caught in Alaska a few weeks ago. As I got the fish closer to the surface, it shone brighter than any of the brookies I had caught, and it was more slender than the rainbow. This had to be a grayling.

After the fight I was thrilled to hold another grayling in my hand and snap a quick photo of it to share with you. This marked a sort of Grand-slam today, which was pretty cool especially since it was a grand-slam on a fly and tippet that I found hanging from a tree. In total I caught 8 fish on that fly and section of tippet. The grayling was released to continue its life-cycle.

20130722-180635.jpgRecycle: I could have stopped at reuse but it wouldn’t sound as catchy, would it? So I’ll just point out that flies don’t have to be the disposable items we often think of. You can read this post on “Recycling fly tying hooks” to see what I’m talking about.

Have you found ways to reduce your fly load? Ever reused a fly found on the trees? Or, spent a bit of time recycling fly tying hooks?

Comment on post above

Going deeper for mushrooms and trout my idea of “from heaven”

On July 21, 2013 • Comments (14)

I was inspired by the story written by Sebata-san, Go Deeper Upstream with Skill. I enjoyed learning his story, where Sebata-san describes how he learned tenkara, and also the “secret” of tenkara: ” “Ah ha, I need to slow down by one breath. This is the secret of tenkara fishing”, he says. But, what really inspired me was how we went deeper, and took the time to describes what makes the tenkara experience whole, for him at least.

Tenkara fly fishing with mushrooms and trout

Since I was a little kid I have been a bit of a forager. My parents instilled the interest in “free foods” found in nature by stopping on the side of the road to take fruit they spotted while driving. Guavas were my favorite. But my parents were not much of the wild foraging type though, it was more of a drive-through foraging experience with them. My grandfather, on the other hand, would take me on walks in the woods and show me the use for every plant we came across. Unfortunately the knowledge did not stick; luckily, curiosity did.

Mushrooms were the one thing neither my parents nor my grandfather ever touched. Like most people in Brazil, where I grew up, and here in the USA, my family was afraid of mushrooms and figured it would be best to not touch them.

Sometimes I like to go deeper upstream too. When I found tenkara, I thought it would be a perfect complement to my backpacking trips, and that’s a big part of the reason I fell in love with it. As I strived to remain ultra-light, I figured the 7 oz kit of a tenkara rod, line and some flies could even replace the need to bring much food with me; I would supplement my diet with freshly caught trout. I tried learning about edible plants while living in California, and occasionally would come across something I could use, but on the drier Sierra Nevada we didn’t get nearly as much wild mountain vegetables as Mr. Sebata can find in Japan.

This year I decided to really delve in the world of mushrooms and edible plants. I have been studying every mushroom I find, and joining a local group of some mushroom forays. I have also been trying to learn at least one new plant every time I go for a hike, which is pretty much every morning with my dog. I spend a lot of time outside, so I figured I should learn more about what I can eat should I come across it or should I ever need it.
Today, Margaret and I decided to go deeper into the mountains…to acquire more skill in finding and identifying mushrooms, more specifically with an interest in finding the prized boletes that are coming up now and can be a great addition to meals in future trips.

Mushroom hunting was the primary objective of today’s trip. So, when I came across a stream, I initially didn’t think of fishing at all, we had the dog along (not the best fishing dog in the world) and I was focused on the task at hand. But, then I remembered the stream that I was staring at was a brook trout stream. You see, brook trout are an invasive species to these areas, and even though I am a mostly catch-and-release angler, it’s really not a bad thing to take some brook trout home. There is even a blog called “Eat More Brook Trout”. Plus, if we found some mushrooms most certainly we would go home and cook them, but mushrooms alone don’t make a complete meal. So I armed the tenkara rod and proceeded to catch as many trout as we needed for a complete foraged meal of mushrooms and trout.

Talking of a meal, it’s time for me to shut the computer down and cook today’s bounty. Luckily Sebata-san already wrote the conclusion I’m trying to make with this story:

“Tenkara fishing is very simple, which makes me feel I am a part of the mountains. If you want to submerge yourself deep in nature, it is the best fishing style. But just through the act of fishing, we won’t be able to enjoy real thrill and joy of tenkara fishing. Fishing becomes much more fun by experiencing the joy of being able to be a part of nature and learning something new in nature.”

Comment on post above

In Search of Tenkara, story

On June 7, 2013 • Comments (5)

Slightly over a year ago I wrote about my experience spending 2 months in a village in Japan exclusively to learn more about tenkara. It was published in the Fly Fish Journal. While I wrote about most of my experiences in this blog, I also wanted to write something that could have longevity and encompass my experience as a whole. Today I booked my plane ticket to go back to Japan this August. As I thought about what adventures I’d be seeking I decided to revisit the article I wrote. And, I realized I never had a chance to share it with you. If you’re looking for some reading this weekend I hope you’ll consider reading my story. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it too.

PDF - In Search of Tenkara article by Daniel Galhardo

In Search of Tenkara

article by Daniel Galhardo

I was clinging to mossy rock with half my body under a waterfall. Fifty feet below, the torrent crashed into a small basin sending mist into the air, keeping my companions soaked. Mr. Futamura, watched apprehensively. Next to him, Kumazaki, about 20 years younger than Futamura-san and slightly older than me, preferred to stare at the pool in front of him for any signs of iwana, the wild char found in the mountains of Japan. A fishing rod, small box of flies, spool of line and a spool of tippet were stowed away in my backpack. No reel required.

Tenkara fly fishing in remote mountain stream in Japan

Continue reading

Comment on post above

Tenkara Diaries: Trout, Carp, Bluegills and Bass

On June 2, 2013 • Comments (1)

Tenkara Diaries, May 30th and June 1st 2013
length: 2:57
Music by Takenobu

Tenkara was a gift from heaven, it perfectly matched the type of water I love most: mountain streams. But, there is plenty of good waters very close to home that are not mountain streams, ponds full of bass and bluegill and slow moving water full of carp. So, I decided to indulge and fish several types of water this week, all with tenkara of course!

Comment on post above

Tenkara Diaries, May 23rd 2013

On May 24, 2013 • Comments (1)

A quick, 1 minute video of today’s outing with my wife and our dog.
Watch in HD, click the gear icon and select 1080!

Comment on post above

Look Both Ways Before You Cross The Road River

On May 22, 2013 • Comments (7)

Look Both Ways Before You Cross The Road River
by TJ Ferreira

Remember that old saying that your mother would tell you,”make sure you look both ways before you cross the road”? I have been hearing Ebisu lately from high in the heavens telling me the same thing when I enter a river to go play with trout. He has also told me I have much to learn.

Reading trout waters is something every tenkara angler must learn, and it is something I continue to work on. Learning to read the waters to spot where trout are likely to hold may be the difference between being skunked and catching fish.

I was fortunate to be able to fish with Daniel Galhardo and John Geer of Tenkara USA in Virginia during the Tenkara Summit 2013. I kept an eagle eye on them most the time trying to soak up fishing knowledge as we traversed the river. In the last almost 4 years I have learned a great deal on how to go tenkara fishing but I consider myself still an amateur at best. I know enough now to cast well enough, present a fly well enough, and to stumble on the rivers just well enough to, well…. catch trout. One thing I do know is that I have a long way to go before I can say I really know how to read a river well and that I am a seasoned fisherman.

Don’t get me wrong, I have come a very long way since starting tenkara back in 2010, but it is refreshing humbling to watch those that have fly fished for many years wade into almost any river and immediately start catching trout. When I go out on my solo trips, catching trout is always a bonus and in the last couple of years I have learned enough and fished often enough where I catch at least one trout every trip. It is a wonderful feeling knowing a kebari I tied and a cast that I made is catching many surprised trout where my tenkara rod takes me. But, there is always plenty of room for improvement and that means being humble enough to know one never really becomes a master of something, although some seem to get darned close. Maybe when I get to my 90s I will be decent enough.

For 2013, one of my goals is to keep up with my casting and try to continue to improve. I do well enough but with every 10 really good casts, I always have some bloopers on every fishing adventure. As the day progresses, I am either in a zone and kicking butt or there are days I get too tired and lazy and my casts go to pot. They may be good enough to catch fish but I am striving to do better anyway. My main goal now though is better reading of trout waters. I have a number of books on just this subject and they have been very helpful. Books like Reading Trout Waters by Dave Hughes and The Orvis Guide To Reading Trout Streams by Tom Rosenbauer are “must haves” for any tenkara fisher-person. But… the best place to learn how to read the trout waters is out on the water with friends that have more experience than you where you can watch them with an eagle eye and see what they are seeing.

I was able to use my eagle eye during the Tenkara Summit 2013 and was amazed at how well Daniel and John read the river. Daniel wanted to get some video of me catching and landing a trout and him and John said fish here. I proceeded to connect my line to my rod, telescoped the rod, and started making my way into the river. Half the way into the river I hear the Family Feud Buzzer going off in my head telling me, “hey dummy, why did you not make a few casts to the water you just walked through”? Looking back the odds were slim trout would have been where I had just walked to since the water was real fast, high, and the spot did not look fishy, but… it does not hurt making a couple casts anyway just in case.

I then proceeded to cast downstream into plunge pools and pockets I felt trout would be. I actually officially caught my first trout of the trip in that spot but the water was so fast I had the trout on for maybe 3 seconds before he popped off. I had my taste buds going though after that!

Daniel took a nice picture of me casting into an area trout would be and I have annotated the image to show some great spots where I cast to right away. Looking back at this image though there was a nice “slow water” area above the plunge pools I should have cast first. I was greedy though and went right for the picturesque pockets I felt my best chance of snagging my first brook trout. On this image I have marked it as “Try First” because I never did that day. I just waddled like a bull onto the water and started casting to the prime spots.


Prime spots where trout could be and where I should have tried first before entering the river.


The image I marked up does not mark all spots I feel trout are but you get the idea. The issue I wanted to point out is look first, both ways, and even up and down, before heading into the river. At a minimum, make a few casts to where you plan on walking out to just in case a sneaky trout is there waiting for some good bugs. After those first casts, look across from where you are standing and see if there are any other spots that may hold trout before really working that pristine spot. Of course do this quietly and effectively not to spook off the trout from that pristine spot that first caught your eye.

This blog is not a manual on how to read the water but to signal to you to look both ways before you proceed into the river. Read, analyze, enter, catch trout. Having watched Daniel heading toward some spots he felt trout were he kept casting as he approached that spot. During this time he is talking to John and I watching him as he looked back at us. Next thing we know he has a brookie on board (surprised him too), one of those sneaky ones that wanted to ride the good ship Tenkara Ito. Just went to show that keeping the kebari in the water and making casts to spots that may or may not hold trout, can make you head home that night not skunked. I don’t mind those accidental trout one bit.

If you take anything away from this blog post, keep this in mind. Cast to places you are about to tread on if you think they have any chance of holding a trout, and if you don’t think they do, cast there once or twice anyway. Next, look both ways, and even up and down, to see if there are any spots you can quickly and quietly make a cast to that may hold a sneaky little trout. These spots may reward you with a nice new friend. Most folks probably go right to the pretty water right away yet some of that uglier water may have some of the prettiest trout of the day.

Glad I listed to my mom when I was a kid and will remember to look both ways from now on.

Comment on post above

Tenkara Summits and Bucket Lists

On May 21, 2013 • Comments (8)

by TJ Ferreira

I feel blessed to have attended all 3 Tenkara Summits and #3 in Virginia was a blast. As this blog is being typed, I am just starting to get over a cold that somehow I picked up at the Summit. Seems the art of shaking many hands and talking to so many people can cause one to get the cooties but I am happy to deal with it after a great weekend doing everything tenkara.

As most of you are probably aware Tenkara Summit #1 was in West Yellowstone in Montana, #2 was in Salt Lake City Utah, and now #3 was in Harrisonburg Virginia. All 3 were great fun and now I look forward to future Summits to meet fellow customers and tenkara fisher-folk.

But… I have now added another goal to strive for at Tenkara Summits. The Art Of Putting Checkmarks Next To Trout On My Bucket List.

Continue reading

Comment on post above

Brookies are awesome

On May 14, 2013 • Comments (2)

Yesterday, with the Tenkara Summit behind us, TJ, John and I headed to the Virginia mountains in search of brook trout. Brookies were on TJ’s bucket list. Beautiful fish, and we caught plenty of them.


Comment on post above

Tenkara Diaries, April 28th 2013

On April 29, 2013 • Comments (3)

*Once you click play, click on the gear icon and select the 1080p for best quality!

I went fishing with Steve Schweitzer, author of Fly Fishing Guide to Rocky Mountain National Park (an excellent guide book that now includes a section on tenkara). The fishing turned out to be quite tough due to cold snowmelt. Yet, this tenkara experience was great nonetheless, and we even ran across a tenkara angler on the water.

Comment on post above

Tenkara Diaries – April 26th, 2013

On April 27, 2013 • Comments (9)

A frying pan and a tenkara Grand Slam in Colorado… Armed with a tenkara rod (I was using the Tenkara USA Ito), tenkara line and tenkara flies I went fishing near Aspen, Colorado yesterday. Caught some pretty good fish, a couple in the 20 inch range. You’ll see a tweak I did to my tenkara fly, the Amano kebari during the video, which seemed to produce results.

Comment on post above

Tenkara Colorado Grand Slam

On April 26, 2013 • Comments (5)

Today I started fishing near Aspen, Colorado, after giving a presentation in the area yesterday. In the morning I headed out with a group and caught some beautiful rainbows, mostly in the 18-20″ range. Then, in the early afternoon I hooked into browns (still in the same river), at least one at about 20″.

On the 3.5 hour drive home I stopped in a small stream off the highway to take a break and fish. A few minutes into fishing and I hooked a couple of cutthroats (western slope cutthroats I think). As I walked upstream I came across a beaver dam, cast above it and caught a brookie. As I walked away to farther spot I thought to myself…”wait a minute, I just caught a Colorado Grand Slam! YEAH!”. A quick note, I caught them all on one fly… not just the “one fly”, but the actual same fly (a variation of the amano kebari). I’m putting a new “Tenkara Diary” video together, hopefully you’ll see it tomorrow, but here are the photos:

Rainbow trout on tenkara

Brown trout on tenkara

Cutthroat on tenkara

Brookie on tenkara

Comment on post above

The Wintertime Blues A collaborative fanzine for tenkara and fly fishing

On April 17, 2013 • Comments (6)

If you’re looking for some fun reading over the next few days, Anthony Naples created The Wintertime Blues, “a one-time only project dedicated to collecting creative writing, photos, and art related to tenkara and fly fishing and publishing a one-off collaborative, pot luck dinner, mix-tape and fanzine for tenkara and fly fishing.” TJ and Daniel have a story each in the “fanzine”. Good reading for sure, and a big thanks to Anthony for putting this together. Click below to download the pdf file.
Winter Blues Tenkara writing

Comment on post above