April 24 2011
Misako Ishimura is the co-author of the book Tenkara – Radically Simple, Ultralight Fly-fishing , and she agreed to give us an interview, sheding a bit of light on her background and connection with tenkara.
Misako, you have greatly contributed to helping introduce tenkara to the United States. I think it was some type of sign that you were working on the “Made in Japan” exhibit for the Catskills Fly Fishing Center and Museum right at the time I was working on launching Tenkara USA. Almost exactly one month after Tenkara USA launched, the highlight of your exhibit was a demonstration on tenkara by Dr. Ishigaki who came from Japan for the event. Now, 2 years after tenkara was first introduced to the US, you worked with Dr. Kevin Kelleher on a book which will open the doors to fly fishing for many people.
TUSA: Can you tell us how you first discovered tenkara and how long you have been practicing it?
Misako: I started to research Japanese fly fishing history in year of 2000 because many anglers from the other countries at FIPS Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships have been asking me about Japanese fly fishing. During my research in Japan, I discovered tenkara. It gets my interest since tenkara is the way to catch beautiful Japanese trout. Every time I’ve been to Japan, I collected information about tenkara little by little. Finally I had a chance to learn actual tenkara fishing from Dr. Ishigaki in the mountain stream in Gifu prefecture in June, 2008. Since then, about four years, I have been practicing it.