The easiest way to keep fly-fishing simple may be to look back at the original practitioners of tenkara, a method of fly-fishing that hails from Japan.
One reason we have successfully introduced tenkara outside of Japan was because of the promise that fly-fishing could be simple again. By way of tenkara we were able to clearly show how simple fly-fishing could be.
Yet, people sometimes will try to reinvent the wheel. So much that even something as fundamentally simple as tenkara can be made complicated again.
When I started Tenkara USA I decided to stick to my instincts and introduce tenkara as it is practiced in Japan. This was more pragmatic in reason than for a need to stick to “tradition”. The reason I have stuck with introducing tenkara as I have been learning it from anglers in Japan is that from the beginning I have thought of that as the easiest way to keep it simple. Tenkara can be the simplest form of fly-fishing.
If you look at tenkara anglers in Japan, they are using lines specifically designed for tenkara because they cast well and eliminate the need for leaders (something complex in itself). Go from line to tippet and be done. No need for taper formulas. Tenkara anglers in Japan also don’t use highly specialized flies that do one thing well, they use suggestive flies that work in a variety of situations. Even the casting, something western fly-anglers want to complicate over and over again, is kept way simpler by the tenkara masters of Japan. No need do do fancy casts or 15 minutes of instructions on different casts as I have learned. Just use a good overhead or sidearm cast for heaven’s sake! These are just a couple of examples.
So, there is that, the reason we stick with introducing tenkara as it is practiced in Japan.