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Tenkara fishing in Texas, a new podcast episode is up

On February 27, 2018 • Comments (0)
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A new episode of our podcast, the Tenkara Cast, is now available through your favorite podcast listening app, or right here on our website. This time Daniel chats with Chris Johnson about tenkara fishing in Texas.
Tenkara in Texas podcast

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Interview with Jeremy Shellhorn

On February 20, 2018 • Comments (0)
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Most of the time when I am interviewing or having a written conversation with a person, I ask them for a couple of paragraphs to tell me who they are. I meet Jeremy at the 2017 Tenkara USA Summit and he and his wife are super nice, like all the people that I have meet in Tenkara USA. I knew he was an artist and a family man but beyond that, I did not know much about him. So I asked him if he would pen a brief “about me” so that I could develop a deeper understanding of his interests to develop our Interview.

What caught my attention in his response was not the things that I thought I needed, it was an actual fishing moment describing resting a pool. He brought me there with his words.

I’m excited to have a chance to share a conversation with Jeremy with you as he is an interesting and aesthetic loving individual.

Adam: I’m not sure I discussed the process of these Interviews with you Jeremy so I will do it here. I write the thing in one single whack and send it to you. You fill it out and send it back. When I create the document, I think about the subject and then bring out his or her interests and hopefully get them to build a picture, a interesting inner view of who they are.

Your answer to my request about fishing, spooking a pool and then sitting down and drawing, waiting for the pool to resume it’s peace struck a cord with me. I was taken to one of my own streams, I have been fishing it for 50 or so years. There are distinct pools that always have dinks flitting about chasing flys on the surface. If you approach too quickly, they scatter for the undercut or the log. But if you sit down, have a drink, check your fly, lay back and relax for about 10 minutes or so, the trout slowly come back to their feeding and playfulness.

“You have obviously been fishing for a while so let me thank you for taking this interview and sharing with us a little bit about you.”

Jeremy Shellhorn: Thanks for interviewing me. Yes, I guess I have been fishing for most of my life. I am glad my Dad took me when I was young. My family has always encouraged me to pursue the things I love to do…fishing and design. I am very very fortunate.

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Interview with John Lawrence Geer

On January 28, 2018 • Comments (2)
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John Lawrence Geer

Interview with John Lawrence Geer

I’ve known John for a little while now, I met him through social media. Recently, I joined Tenkara USA as a writer and contributor. At the 2017 Tenkara USA Summit, we shared some time together. Having met him in person, he is a super nice, knowledgeable about fly fishing and tenkara. In short, I look forward to the next time we meet and I hope I am able to do a little fishing with him. So with that and without any more introductions, I want to get into the interview.

Adam: Hey John! I know this might be a stretch for you (the interview) but I appreciate you doing it. Outside of Tenkara USA, I want to tell you that the pictures you post tell a thousand words. You are an experienced fly angler, a tenkara fisher and your story is worth telling, even if it’s just a little slice here.

Let me begin with a thank you for accepting my invitation. I appreciate it and I’m sure our community will enjoy getting to know about you.

“Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?”

John Lawrence Geer: Hi Adam. Thanks for interviewing me and the nice intro. I grew up fishing in southern Illinois on strip pit lakes and farm ponds. We’d took most of our family vacations when I was younger to fish in Missouri on their trout parks, which are basically spring creeks managed as put and take fisheries, and then the large warm water fisheries there when I got older.

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Interview with John Gierach

On December 8, 2017 • Comments (2)
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Adam: John, thank you for allowing me this interview.

I’ve read your new book; “All Fishermen Are Liars” and I really enjoyed it however I would like to start the interview with a question on an older book of yours. I’ve spoken with a lot of people that are into Tenkara that know nothing of this book of yours and I would like to make them aware of it. I think it is a great way to look at fishing a small stream and even a good introduction to fly-fishing.

“Can you tell us about your book, Fly Fishing Small Streams”?

John Gierach:Fly Fishing Small Streams” was published by Stackpole Books in 1989 and is still in print. It was essentially a second installment of my earlier book “Flyfishing the High Country” (Pruett, 1984) for those who didn’t have 14,000-foot continental mountain ranges in their backyards. Small stream fishing wasn’t unheard of in the late 80s, but at the time it wasn’t considered sexy enough to be covered by the fishing magazines. Everyone wanted to catch 20-inch trout in big water in Montana or fish for steelhead and salmon; fishing for ten-inch trout in little creeks was considered kid’s stuff.

I’ve since been accused of popularizing small stream fishing and I’m certainly not blameless, but I think it would have happened anyway. As your readers know, it’s just too much fun to have stayed a secret for long.

Adam: I really like it and still pull it out from time to time to reference or lend it out. In the chapter, “The Comforts of Stuff” you describe your time searching for the “all around fly rod” and then the specialty rods for small streams. I enjoy the parts you wrote on the lite lines of 1 and 2 weights. It is this natural interest that you have that probably brought you to Tenkara rods and fishing that sort of equipment, I don’t know, maybe you could comment on that.

In my own experience, the search for a rod that will deliver a fly with such delicacy yet have so much control over it that brought me to Tenkara. The simplicity is sort of “anti comforts of stuff” but it is all fishing.

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Interview with Mike Willis

On October 15, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Interview with Mike Willis

by Adam Trahan

I asked Mike to sit for this Interview with me based on a small group of anglers that I have been following from afar in social media. Over the years, we have had conversations on our interests centered on tenkara. I know Mike has an interest in bicycle moto cross like Christophe’ Laurent and I. Like many anglers that I meet, we all have varying interests but Mike and I seem to be on the same page on many fronts.

Adam: Hello Mike! Hopefully this Interview will not be awkward for you as we have had some discussions about how I manage the process. Actually, it may help you with your own development in that skill having been the target of it. We have had some conversations about my Interviews and you and I have similar interests.

Anyway…

With many of the Interviews that I do, the story of how we get into fishing and ultimately tenkara is always interesting. I would like to start our Interview that way.

“Mike, how did you get into tenkara?”

Mike Willis: Sup adam?! Sup Tenkara-Fishers?!!!

I found tenkara in September of 2012. I was searching the internets for information about western style fly fishing and looking to buy a new rod. I’d recently bought a house next to a bigtime western fly fisher and he’d been after me to expand my quiver from a 7 1/2′, 5wt. L.L. bean special and the ultralight Ugly Stik I kept in my trunk. My fly fishing experience to that point had been a trip to the west walker river and a couple float tube excursion to mountain lakes – all with my neighbor, Doug. Doug has been fly fishing most of his 65 years. He’s fished all over the world, and he knows his poo. Doug and I would often have long conversations about the sport, but when I’d ask what I should get for my “next” rod, he’d always reply with, “Well, what do you want to fish for? Where are you going to fish? How much do you want to spend?”
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Interview with Thomas “TJ” Ferreira

On October 7, 2017 • Comments (0)
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TJ

Interview with Thomas “TJ” Ferreira

by Adam Trahan

I already have meet TJ (online) from my own web site and Tenkara USA circles. He is a super nice guy and I want to start off by apologizing to him because this Interview was delayed. I had planned to ask him because he is such a nice guy and really enthusiastic about tenkara. So I did ask if we could do the Interview and not kidding, the next day I got a letter asking for a couple of writing projects. The detail of finishing those projects was that they needed immediate attention in order to time the different parts to get done. I had to ask TJ if we could delay his Interview. As I thought, “No problem Adam” and all those projects got done and here I find myself pecking away, thinking about TJ.

So, TJ, I apologize that it took so long, thank you for your patience.

I’ve have been wanting to do this interview with you since I found out a little bit more about you on Facebook. You are a VW bus enthusiast! Still! I dig that. Some of the best times I’ve ever had on the road have been in my 1971 bay window, VW microbus. So let’s just start from there.

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Adam: “So what is in the stable? What kind of buses do you have?”

T.J.: Hi Adam… hope equally you don’t mind that my answers to this interview come slowly. LOL.

My stable of VWs has changed over the years but today I own 3 Volkswagens. 2 older Air-cooled and 1 Water-pumper. My 1st VW is a 1960 Single Cab. I still have this but between money and laziness and time, it sits in my garage after I pulled the engine and started brake work. That was like 8 years ago . I have other running VWs that I soaked my money into instead so figure the 1960 Single Cab may not run again until I retire (yeah right!) and have time for a full restoration. My next VW is my favorite… a 1967 Westfalia Camper. I enjoy driving this one to local VW shows and to our local VW clubs Ice Cream socials. Then the granddaddy of them all is a 1987 Syncro Vanagon Camper. This is a 4×4 camper that VW only made a few of. This is the one that gets the most money and time. We camp in this yearly and take it on 2-week camping trips. Nice to have more comfort in the dual beds and more room to get around. I have owned more and over years sold them to get what I have now. It seems to be a never-ending cycle but I think I am now locked into these 3 and hope to have them forever. I would not mind though getting a Karman Ghia convertible one day. Oh and another VW Thing. Oh and a… you get the picture. LOL
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Tenkara Guide Spotlight: Daniel Pierce II

On January 25, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Dan Pierce

In this installment of the Tenkara Guide Spotlight, we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Pierce II of our Tenkara Guide Network. Daniel Pierce has been a great help to Tenkara USA and the north eastern tenkara community for some time now. Dan guides classic trout waters in his home state of Maine, wild places with beautiful native book trout, landlocked salmon, and smallmouth bass. Besides guiding, Dan is very active at teaching tenkara at area events and can usually be found in the Tenkara USA booth when we are in New England.

Besides tenkara activities, Dan works as a middle school counselor, enjoys spending time with his family, and bow hunting for deer and turkey, all of which influence his fishing and guiding. Dan genuinely enjoys sharing the outdoors with others, as his responses below will support.

What types of environment do you guide tenkara anglers and how long have you been guiding?  About how many guide trips and tenkara guide trips do you do in a season?

I guide in the great state of Maine.  The number of days I guide changes year to year and depends on the weather but it is usually 20-25 days a year of guiding with clients and then a few tenkara classes through out the year.  I work full time as a school counselor at a middle school and started guiding when people asked at fly fishing shows where they could find a guide in Maine.  I saw an opportunity and jumped on it!  People come from New England to fish in Maine with me because of the native brook trout we have here and because there are so few tenkara guides in New England.

Daniel Pierce tenkara guide Maine

Do you guide only tenkara or also western fly-fishing (or spin fishing)? 

I exclusively guide fixed line fly-fishing which has given me my niche in Maine.  Maine has a number of outstanding fishing guides but only one tenkara guide!

What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of guiding with tenkara?

Tenkara is great for people who are new to the sport of fly-fishing because there is a quick learning curve if you have someone knowledgable with you.  I have found tenkara to be a great “add on” activity to recreational guiding here in Maine.  Disadvantages would be sometimes people don’t fully understand the limitations of tenkara fishing.

What are your favorite Tenkara USA rods for guiding on your favorites and are your personal favorites different that what you guide with?

Ever since I got the Rhodo and Sato, I have never looked back.  There are times I still fish my Amago but 95% of the time both guiding and fishing on my own, it is one of those rods.  The rods are well made and reliable which is why they are my go to rods.  Between the two rods I can effectively fish a rod between 8 and 13 feet.

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What types of rigs do you fish as far as terminal tackle, i.e. single dry fly, indicator rigs, dry dropper, etc. ?

Especially when I am guiding, I do not get very technical with rigging.  Many of my clients are looking for simplicity and effectiveness.  For this reason, we rig with level line, tippet, and a single fly.

Has there been anything about fishing and guiding with tenkara that has been a surprise to you compared to your initial impressions of the fishing method?

My biggest surprise was the effectiveness of this method of fishing and the range and variety of fish I have been able to target with tenkara.

11781688_966302743391924_2565133519501835744_nAs a guide, what are your thoughts on using few (or one) fly pattern?

So we come to the question of fly choice.  I generally guide people who are interested in being outside, learning something new, and hopefully catching fish.  For this reason, I fish very few fly patterns.  From 2011-2014 I fished one fly; a black hook, black thread, grey turkey feather sakasa kebari.  Early in 2015 I started to mess around with killer bugs AKA ( UKB, Sawyer’s, Crane fly larva).  I now fish a sakasa kebari 3 different colors and a killer bug in 3 different colors, although 9 out of 10 flies I tie on is a black sakasa kebari.  My general philosophy is the more time my fly is in the water, the better chance I have of a fish seeing it.

Do you have a favorite fly? What is it?

Most people would think spring in Maine means early season fishing, when really it means turkey hunting.  The two spring male wild turkeys I shoot each year  will give me enough feathers to refill my fly box for the season and beyond.  I started using turkey feathers in 2011 and have exclusively used them for my sakasa kebari since then.  The feathers are a blackish grayish color that have an unbelievable amount of action and turn almost translucent when underwater.  So my favorite fly is a simple one; TMC103bl size 13, black thread, turkey feather sakasa kebari.

Do you have a fly fishing or tenkara based online blog?  What is the URL?

No blog yet but keep your eyes open!

Do you have an social media presence for your services?  What are your Facebook or other social media accounts names?

You can find me on Facebook.com/Mainetenkaraguide and on Instagram @Mainetenkaraguide.

 

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Tenkara Guide Spotlight: Jim Mitchell

On January 18, 2017 • Comments (0)
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Jim Mitchell Tenkara on the West Fork Bitterroot

This is the first installment of a new series of blog posts we’d like to bring to you. The Tenkara Guide Spotlight will bring some of the experience and knowledge of the professional guides in our Tenkara Guide Network to the spotlight so we can all learn from tthem. You’ll see a diversity of tackle preferences and techniques used and hope this will help you in finding your own tenkara.

We start the series with Jim Mitchell, a full time fishing and hunting guide form the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana. Jim is a consummate professional and a super nice guy. I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with Jim a few times, and always find it an enjoyable and informative experience. His to the point answers give a nice glimpse into the thinking of a professional guide.

 

Where do you guide tenkara anglers and how long have you been guiding?

I started guiding in 2001 and became an outfitter in 2009. I guide float and wade trips on Rivers and Small streams in Montana.

Do you guide only tenkara or also western fly-fishing?

I guide Western and tenkara fly-fishing.

About how many guide trips and tenkara guide trips do you do in a season?

I guide about 150 client days per season 10 to 20 of those are tenkara

A cutthroat caught on one of Jim's secret streams.

A cutthroat caught on one of Jim’s secret streams.

What would you say are the advantages and disadvantages of guiding with tenkara?

A few advantages to tenkara are the simplicity and a drag free drift. One disadvantage is casting distance on big rivers and that is irrelevant when tenkara float fishing from a raft.

What are your favorite Tenkara USA rods for guiding on your favorites and are your personal favorites different that what you guide with?

My personal and guide rods are the same the Amago and the Sato.

John Geer of Tenkara USA with a rainbow caught on a trip with Jim.

John Geer of Tenkara USA with a rainbow caught on a trip with Jim.

What types of rigs do you fish (i.e. single dry fly, indicator rigs, dry dropper, etc.) ?

I fish single dries, dry dropper, double fly indicator rigs and nymphs without indicators. The one thing I have not tried is streamers

Has there been anything about fishing and guiding with tenkara that has been a surprise to you compared to your initial impressions of the fishing method?

The freedom. It’s nice to leave the big bag of flies and equipment and just take a small pack with a few essentials.

As a guide, what are your thoughts on using few (or one) fly pattern?

It’s fun to do at times, but I am not a one fly guy.

Do you have a favorite fly? What is it?

A prince nymph for the nymph. A Purple Haze for the dry.

Do you have a fly-fishing or tenkara based online blog?  What is the URL?

It’s a hunting and fishing blog, but I don’t update it often.
https://montanahuntingfishingadv.com/blog/

Do you have an social media presence for your services?  What are your Facebook or other social media accounts names?

Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/montanahuntingfishingadventures/
Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/mthuntfishadv
Twitter, mthuntfishadv
Instagram, montana_hunting_fishing_adv

Tenkara guide Jim Mitchell with Daniel Galhardo in Montana

Tenkara guide Jim Mitchell with Daniel Galhardo in Montana

 

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Conversations: Japan with Adam Trahan and Adam Klags

On November 2, 2016 • Comments (0)
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adam-photos

This blog entry is a transcription from the Tenkara Cast podcast episode “Conversations: Japan with Adam Trahan and Adam Klags.” We have had many requests to have the podcasts in this format and are happy to present the first one here. The podcast episode may be found here

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Tenkara Cast: Simple flies

On September 14, 2015 • Comments (1)
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Listen to our newest episode of the Tenkara Cast, a very fun conversation with Morgan Lyle, author of the book Simple Flies. I really enjoyed this conversation where we talk about his book project, as well as the philosophies of simple flies and simple fly-fishing.

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Tenkara with Hans Florine

On July 7, 2015 • Comments (0)
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Hans Florine is best known for his rock climbing career, which includes setting the record for the fastest ascent of El Capitan (climbing 3,000ft of vertical rock in 2 hours and 23 minutes…in a place most people take 3 days to climb).
Last year I got to meet Hans, someone who’s greatly inspired my own interest in rock climbing. He was interested in teaching his young son how to fly-fish and realized tenkara would be a great tool for that. A couple of weeks ago he came to Boulder and we connected for a morning of fishing followed by an afternoon of rock climbing. Here’s a short video I made of him talking about where tenkara fits in with his climbing lifestyle.

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David Letterman got a tenkara rod

On May 18, 2015 • Comments (1)
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David Letterman talks about getting a tenkara rod for his birthday and describes the method in a piece for Rolling Stone Magazine. How cool is that? So, if you’re fishing in Montana this summer and see a tenkara rod being waved around, stop by and see if it is Letterman fishing.
David Letterman on tenkara for Rolling Stone magazine

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Ovis Podcast with Tom Rosenbauer

On May 12, 2015 • Comments (1)
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A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the Orvis headquarters in Vermont. It’s always fun spending time with those guys and in that area. We got out and fished a couple of times, including floating the Battenkill river with Shawn Combs at the helm of his drift boat, and me swinging a big streamer on tenkara flies! Yes, you heard that right!!! With fish seemingly sleeping and little activity I put on a big bright gigantic streamer at the end of my line to see what would happen. The next day I sat down with Tom Rosenbauer to chat about tenkara and that experience.

You can listen to our conversation at the Orvis podcast here. The tenkara portion starts at 27:45

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Orvis is now selling a tenkara kit with the Sato rod
This was the second Orvis podcast on tenkara, you can listen to the first Orvis podcast on tenkara that Tom and I did here.

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Women love tenkara

On January 14, 2015 • Comments (1)
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It is no secret that women love tenkara. Over the weekend the Fly Fishing Show had its first Women’s Fly-Fishing Showcase in Denver. It featured a presentation on tenkara given by Sasha Barajas and Allie Marriott, and we got a chance to speak to Judy Cole, a tenkara angler from Leadville, Colorado.

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Interview with Dave Hughes, PART 2

On November 22, 2014 • Comments (3)
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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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