Quick facts

- Website launch date: April 12, 2009
- Based in Boulder, Colorado (started in San Francisco, moved to Boulder in 2012)
- Fully independent US-based company; not affiliated or part of any other tenkara companies.
- Founder: Daniel W. Galhardo
- About Daniel: born in 1983 in Brazil (American citizen since 2011). Daniel moved to the US in high school, stayed here for college, then trout and eventually for his wife. Daniel worked in international banking prior to founding Tenkara USA.

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Now in its third printing!

Our Story

Tenkara USA is the first company to introduce tenkara rods outside of Japan. Founded in 2009 by Daniel W. Galhardo, Tenkara USA is a fully independent company, based in the USA. We strive to provide the tenkara gear and knowledge needed for people to enjoy simple fly-fishing.

Daniel Galhardo Tenkara founderIn 2007, Daniel discovered tenkara while researching the history and culture of fishing in Japan. In 2008, he visited Japan for his first time and saw tenkara in person. He returned to the US with a tenkara rod in his bag and started enjoying tenkara on backpacking trips. The method was simple and effective; yet, there was no information in English on tenkara. Daniel decided he wanted to share tenkara with people, it would make it easy for people to take-up fly-fishing and experienced anglers like himself were sure to enjoy its minimalist nature. He realized that to share tenkara he could have written many articles and books about it, but if people didn’t get a chance to experience tenkara for themselves it would not spread. Thus, Daniel set out to create a business designing tenkara rods, tenkara lines and tenkara flies and putting them in the hands of people.

In March of 2009, after several months of hard work creating the business and a month before Tenkara USA officially “opened doors”, Daniel left his nascent career in international banking to dedicate himself full-time to creating Tenkara USA. There were many challenges ahead with introducing a type of fishing that doesn’t target the largest fish around and went against the grain of the established industry.

Tenkara has been called a fad, and was initially dismissed by the industry. But, it’s probably not an exaggeration to say that tenkara has since created a small revolution in the fly-fishing industry. Tenkara has proven it is here to stay.


Interactive tenkara timeline

Tenkara USA X Japan


Part of what makes us unique is our connection with Japan. Tenkara is a method of fishing that comes from Japan with a long history. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but rather to share the tenkara story. We believe the easiest way to keep tenkara simple is to look at the Japanese tenkara anglers and what they have to teach us.
We have been fortunate to connect and be taught by the most respected anglers in Japan. We also count on their support in the development of our products. Daniel goes to Japan and spends time fishing and sharing what he learns. That provides insights into tenkara that one could not get otherwise, and helps in the development of our product as well as the instruction we provide. For posts about Japan, visit our blog

Why we exist

It is possible to make many things in life complex. We can choose to carry multiple fly patterns with us. We can carry multiple line weights. We can carry accessories along. When we don’t know any better,  it may seem like the burden of carrying additional things in our fishing packs (in addition to the burden of then having to think about those additional things) will add value to our fishing and make it easier.
Often it does not. We exist to tell people that fly-fishing is much simpler than it seems. We exist because we believe that with more people taking up fly-fishing the more closely they will connect with their environment and help take care of it. We exist because we want to share the fun of tenkara by making the best tenkara rods so you don’t have to think about them. We exist to share the tenkara story.
The tenkara story tells us we can leave many things behind.  And, after we know that we can leave stuff behind, what we then do is simply a matter of choice.

Photos and Logos

Visit the Google Drive links below to download our best photographs and logos. High-resolution images should be available. If you have seen other images that you are interested in but are not available on the link, please let us know. We have a large portfolio of photographs to share.

You may use the images available here in your media publication (blogs & magazines). Please attribute  photos to “Tenkara USA”. (*Images may not be used without permission by other businesses in the fishing and sport industries. )

We’d appreciate it if you could let us know what image you are using, in what publication and date of release. Please email us at info@tenkarausa.com

Tenkara in the Media

Here's some recent coverage of tenkara in the media.

  • SGB Media interviewScreen Shot 2018-07-10 at 4.41.18 PM

    SGB Media interview

    Teresa Hartford at SGB Media, the main outdoor industry publication, spoke with Tenkara USA founder, Daniel Galhardo, about tenkara, its introduction to the US and the...

  • tenkara on Colorado Public Radio NetworkDaniel and tenkara on Colorado Public Radio

    tenkara on Colorado Public Radio Network

    Today I had the pleasure to speak about tenkara and my recently released book with Nathan Heffel and Ryan Warner at the Colorado Public Radio (an affiliate of NPR). As I...

  • Peak Gear Award – Sato KitPeak Gear Award Tenkara

    Peak Gear Award – Sato Kit

    From Elevation Outdoors: Why It Won: Tenkara makes fly fishing a new experience for anyone who tries it. The cast is simple to learn (and some longtime fly anglers on...

  • America’s Most Trout Friendly Companies by Trout...image2

    America’s Most Trout Friendly Companies by Trout...

    Tenkara USA was named one of America’s Most Trout Friendly Companies by Trout Unlimited. Our strong commitment to contributing to environmental organizations that...

  • Baltimore SunBaltimoreSun Tenkara

    Baltimore Sun

    Read story here “Forget about ‘Western’ fly-fishing rods. The new rage around the area is tenkara fishing.” “The most significant advantage...

  • Men’s Journal GearTenkara in Men's Journal

    Men’s Journal Gear

    “While tenkara is great for fly-fishing beginners, it can be a revelation for the enthusiast and an opportunity to get away from the overpacking...

  • Kudo Award – Fly Rod and Reel...Kudo Award by Fly Rod and Reel

    Kudo Award – Fly Rod and Reel...

    The Tenkara USA Rhodo, an adjustable tenkara rod we released earlier this year, just received the “Kudo Award” from renowned author and tenkara angler Dave Hughes...

  • Denver Post, June 8th 2014Tenkara clinic in Colorado

    Denver Post, June 8th 2014

    Tenkara “fad” hitting its stride in Colorado’s high-country streams, writes Scott Willoughby on his second piece for the Denver Post...

  • Dave Hughes “Trout from Small Streams” (Book)Dave Hughes Tenkara in Trout from Small Streams

    Dave Hughes “Trout from Small Streams” (Book)

    Dave Hughes’ Trout from Small Streams has been a popular book since 2003. In its second edition, release in 2014, Dave updates the book with a 21-page chapter...

  • Ask About Fly Fishing.comAsk about fly fishing tenkara

    Ask About Fly Fishing.com

    On June 4th Daniel participated the internet radio show Askaboutflyfishing.com. Roger Maves and I talked about “Tenkara’s Evolution”. We started...

  • Blue Ridge Outdoors: Tenkanyoneeringrappeling and tenkara fishing

    Blue Ridge Outdoors: Tenkanyoneering

    A fantastic piece by Graham Averill on a tenkara plus canyoneering trip out in North Carolina. “And thanks to the streamlined gear and telescoping rods, tenkara...

  • Boulder WeeklyDaniel Galhardo shows a trout to tenkara girls in Boulder

    Boulder Weekly

    Boulder Weekly, our home newspaper, covered tenkara on May 1st, 2014 as tenkara takes Boulder by a storm. The Tenkara Girls group is also featured in a photograph...

  • Men’s Health: Tenkara, Manliest Hobbies on Earthtenkara-manliest-hobby

    Men’s Health: Tenkara, Manliest Hobbies on Earth

    Too good not to share. Tenkara was named one of the “10 Manliest Hobbies on Earth” by Men’s Health magazine! Sure, considering how many women are taking up...

  • High Country News / Adventure JournalTenkara on High Country News

    High Country News / Adventure Journal

    Daniel Galhardo and Tenkara USA covered in a story by Tienlon Ho on High Country News and Adventure Journal. “The basic tenkara cast looks a lot like a Western...

  • John Gierach, All Fishermen are LiarsGierach-tenkara-fishermen-liars

    John Gierach, All Fishermen are Liars

    Does John Gierach tenkara? Yes! He does. At least some of the time. In his latest book, All Fishermen are Liars, Gierach recounts the story of Daniel coming to visit and...