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Questions and Answers

On November 2, 2014 • Comments (14)

Tenkara FAQ questions and answer

Please ask any questions you may have about tenkara here. It doesn’t matter if it’s probably been answered 100 times before, if you’re not easily finding it, I’ll be happy to answer it here. And, if it hasn’t been answered before it may just become a new blog post too. Ask away!
Of course, feel free to continue calling us at 888.483.6527 or emailing us at


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Why do rivers bend?

On November 25, 2014 • Comments (0)

I spend a lot of time in streams of different types. My favorite thing about stream fishing is all the curves they present, that makes it so that every few steps there will be a different view. Yet, I admit, I don’t think I ever wondered “why do rivers bend rather than go straight?” Yesterday I ran across this cool little video that answers the question I never asked but probably always wanted to know.

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This week’s most popular question:
Black Friday Tenkara Sale?

On November 24, 2014 • Comments (0)

The most popular question we have been receiving via email this past week has been: Are you guys holding a Black Friday Sale on Friday like you did in the last couple of years?
Tenkara on sale Black Friday

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Interview with Dave Hughes, PART 2

On November 22, 2014 • Comments (0)

by Adam Trahan

This is a continuation of the abridged interview by Adam Trahan with Dave Hughes on the subject of tenkara.
Part 1
Complete conversation here

Adam: I went through the phase of researching as much as I could from known Japanese masters and through Daniel and Dr. Ishigaki, I began my own training (from afar) of a tenkara kebari “one-fly” approach. I settled on a simple Takayama Sakasa Kebari and used it everywhere varying only the size. I caught fish; more fish than I’ve ever caught on the streams that I had been fishing with lite line fly rods for many many years.

It was crazy.

When I went to Japan, it was still hard to leave the comfort of my little Wheatley fly box filled with my knowledge of the different hatches and fliess that go along with it only to take a odd looking fly box that had only one style of fly. I caught fish all over Japan too.

“What is your approach to fly selection on a small stream? With your tenkara rod, are you just using the same flies or are you in Japanese Fly Fishing mode?”

Dave Hughes: I’m where you were with your little Wheatly: I have a small-stream fly box that I use when “western fly fishing”, and I carry the same box when tenkara fishing. It has a narrow selection of dry flies, nymphs, wet flies, and streamers that I’ve found effective on small streams over many years…now many decades…of fishing them. I’ve never tried to narrow my choice beyond keeping my burden light…my goal out there is to please the trout, which have difficult lives, and I’d like to give them a bit of pleasure.

One fly I’ll add, and its history and description are more thorough in my book, is a Saito-San Special. It’s a parachute pattern, rust brown body and blue dun hackle. I first encountered it when fishing with Megaku Saito, bamboo rod builder under the name Old Crab, near his home in Furukawa. He outfished the heck out of Masako and me. He loaned us a few of his flies–he only used the one, like a true tenkara fisherman, though we were not fishing tenkara–and we caught yamame and iwana on it as well as he did…almost as well.

When I brought the fly home, it outfished my old Royal Wulffs and Elk Hair Caddis here as well as it did there. I’ve been using it ever since.

Another small stream fly that catches lots of trout for me, tenkara or otherwise, is Chuck Stranahan’s Brindle Bug, a parachute dry…it’s on the web, or better yet, order them from Chuck; he’s on the web, too. It’s a great fly in size 12, and if trout only nibble at it without taking, then it’s stout enough to support a size 14 or 16 beadhead nymph of your choice…yes, I do that, too, tenkara and otherwise.

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Interview with Dave Hughes, PART 1

On November 20, 2014 • Comments (1)

by Adam Trahan

This is a two-part interview conducted as a conversation by Adam Trahan of Both parts in our blog have been abridged.
For complete conversation please visit this page.
Part 2 will run on November 21, 2014

It has been 20 years that I’ve been fly fishing with light fly rods in small streams. During that time, I have searched out as much information as I could; I have an insatiable desire for it. Dave Hughes is always at the forefront when referencing books on small stream fly-fishing. I was pleasantly surprised to see Daniel had met Mr. Hughes and had done some tenkara fishing with him. I was equally delighted in understanding that Dave Hughes has been into tenkara longer than the American introduction that Daniel brought to us.

Adam: Mr. Hughes, thank you for taking my Interview, may I call you Dave?

Dave Hughes talks about tenkaraDave Hughes: In my youth I commanded 35 men on a communications site on the Mekong River…it’s not a small stream; I didn’t fish it. One day one of my men–Carter, I remember–came up and said, “Sir, you know what we call you behind your back?”

“No,” I told him. It caught me by surprise. I’d been working them pretty hard, and expected the worst.

“Dave,” Carter said.

I laughed. “That’s what my friends call me,” I told him. If we’re friends, you can call me Dave.

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New tenkara hat and shirt designs now available

On November 18, 2014 • Comments (0)

Our new tenkara hat and shirt designs just arrived and we’re psyched to now have these on offer for you. This year we have been focused on trying to figure out our brand and we have been fortunate to have run into Jeremy Shellhorn, who’s helped us find a unique look to share.
The trucker hats are very comfortable and have fit on every head that has tried them so far. It features the Tenkara USA “Te” mark on the front and a dark underbill to keep reflection off your eyes. Get it here. 

Tenkara trucker hat

“Tenkara fishing is very simple, which makes me feel I am a part of the mountains.” – Yuzo Sebata

The shirts are based on the 2014 Tenkara Summit shirt design by Jeremy Shellhorn. The artwork will be a classic; it embodies the tenkara ethos in its simple line drawing with you, as the angler, becoming one with the mountains. Get your shirt here. Tenkara line drawing shirt

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Tenkara Fly Tying Video Series, coming soon

On November 18, 2014 • Comments (0)

This winter we will give you plenty of fly-tying related stuff to do. Right now we are finalizing a great series of fly-tying videos, which will be released weekly starting on December 2nd. Stay tuned.

Tenkara Fly-tying video series

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Cold Weather Fishing Tips

On November 15, 2014 • Comments (0)

Last Sunday my wife and I sat outside for lunch, I was wearing a t-shirt and was very comfortable. On Monday morning it was 65 degrees out; by lunch time temperatures had dropped to freezing. It was shocking to see how fast the thermometer continued to drop the rest of the week. Wednesday night Boulder experienced temperatures of -11 degrees (Fahrenheit)! I thought fishing was over for a while. On Thursday I headed to Saratoga, Wyoming to give a presentation to the TU group up there. My wife thought I was crazy when she learned I was taking waders and boots; I didn’t disagree with here, and I didn’t exactly expect to fish while on my short visit. But, I saw some nice water  that was still open (much of the North Platte, where I was fishing) was frozen over at that time. So, I waded up and headed out before coming home. I learned a few valuable things while fishing in Saratoga. Here are some cold weather fishing tips:
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Tenkara Magazine coming soon

On November 11, 2014 • Comments (0)

We are on the final stretches of putting the Tenkara Magazine together.
Tonight I’m doing some late night editing. It’s my first time going thru most of them, it’s turning out absolutely great. There are some very fine pieces and photography in this issue. I can’t wait to share the content with you all.
How appropriate to relive time around a campfire in Japan with Mr Sebata by editing and interview with him by the fireplace?

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Scott Hunter of Vedavoo on Tenkara

On November 10, 2014 • Comments (1)

Scott Hunter created his company, Vedavoo, at around the same time we were starting Tenkara USA. He learned to sew and soon realized there was good demand from tenkara anglers for packs that would fit their needs, and his designs fit. I have been fortunate to get to know Scott through the Fly Fishing Show tour, which we both attend in the winter months. Scott just released the first issue of their ambassador publication, Torch. I was delighted to see his piece on tenkara in it, which he kindly let us republish below. Check out their publication (This is an exclusive publication intended only for their “Torchbearers”, but Scott let us share it with the tenkara community. Little secret: some sweet discount codes in there).


By Scott Hunter, founder/CEO of Vedavoo
I’ll be the first to admit it.  I was that guy.  I thought tenkara was a fad… and never saw myself without a reel mounted firmly to the butt of my rod.

Scott Hunter of Vedavoo tenkara fishing

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Save the Date: Tenkara Summit 2015

On November 6, 2014 • Comments (0)

Save the Date: the Tenkara Summit 2015 will be held in Estes Park, Colorado on September 19th, 2015.
More information, schedule and registrations will be posted on the event page:
Tenkara Summit 2015 - Estes Park, Colorado
After looking around at all the possibilities for a place to hold the Tenkara Summit next year we have decided to hold the Tenkara Summit in Colorado, literally at the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a very central location with very easy access from many parts of the country. There is incredible fishing right on the property as well (YMCA). We will be hosting and participating in other events throughout the country throughout the year, this will be our main yearly event.

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