Around January of this year the vision for a tenkara gathering started taking place, now the first Tenkara Summit in the US is only one week away! For more information about the event, or to RSVP, please visit: www.tenkarausa.com/summit
How the event originated?
Last September I had been invited to speak about tenkara at the Ennis Fly Fishing Festival. It was my first visit to Montana. As one would expect, fishing was absolutely great, and it was a tenkara-perfect state. About one week after the festival, Dr. Ishigaki visited California. Still excited about my visit to Montana I showed him many of the photographs of my trip. He returned to Japan, and soon asked me if I could arrange for him to speak about tenkara in Montana. Not being able to match the dates he was available with any existing events, I thought the best way to go about it would be to organize our own, the Tenkara USA Summit.
Who is coming?
At the moment there are about 100 people registered for the event, which is free of charge and being held in West Yellowstone on August 27th. In addition to visitors, we’re counting on the honorable presence of Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, as well as the enriching presence of guest speakers and participants such as Chris “Tenkara Bum” Stewart, Craig Mathews of the Blue Ribbon Flies and our retailer in the area, authors Kevin Kelleher and Misako Ishimura, Ryan Jordan from Backpackinglight.com, Tenkara guide Tom Sadler, and more.
What will be happening there? When?
A detailed scheduled is available here. I’ll kick off the event at 8AM on Saturday, the speakers listed above will give a presentation on their topics.
We’ll have lunch at around 12pm (sandwich buffet will be available at the hotel, a donation of $12 will be requested for those wishing to eat at the event to cover the cost of the lunch). At lunch time we’ll be holding a raffle and silent auction, among some great items there will be an authentic tenkara net from Japan, a complete tenkara gear of rod, line, line holder, flies and and the exclusive UL tenkara net and ebira rod quiver which were donated by Thom Darrah from Trail Lite Design, and more.
Then, guests will be welcomed to drive to a nearby stream for an on-stream tenkara demonstration. This is not going to be a fishout, but rather a great opportunity to see what tenkara really looks like. Most people use tenkara the way they would use western fly-fishing equipment, and may lose out on some of the refinements of the technique, I strongly encourage you to join us for this portion of the event.
Will gear be available for purchase at the event?
This is not a sales event and items will be available but on a VERY LIMITED quantity. Blue Ribbon Flies will be selling our gear at the event, and items will definitely be available for trying out, but do not expect any guarantee to get your gear during the event. If you’re interested in any particular items, or would like to guarantee you have a rod in Montana, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you purchase it ahead of the summit, through our site or Blue Ribbon Flies and later exchange if you saw something that you wanted instead.
In addition, we just received some very cool t-shirts with artwork by Anthony Naples (see first picture on top of this post) to celebrate the event. These will be available for purchase at our table.
Backpackinglight, Blue Ribbon Flies, Tenkara Bum, and other partners may have additional items for sale too.