I have been thinking, for over three years our message has been “tenkara is simple; it allows you to carry less stuff with you. Just a rod, line, spool of tippet, forceps and nippers and then a box of flies. Less stuff”.
I truly love being unencumbered by gear. I love not having to take something (or forget it on an outing) that other anglers may perceive as vital. I love not having to deal with a bunch of gear. But then, I have been thinking: what can we do with that under-utilized capacity that we have of carrying more stuff with us?
So, I’d like to ask you to join me on a mission to carry more stuff on your next outing.
When you go fishing next time, bring with you an empty (or nearly empty) backpack. Line it with a trash bag if you wish. And, as you walk to your favorite fishing spot, along that fishing trail that fills your spirit with goodness, pick stuff along the way and stuff it in your backpack. Heck, just use your vest, all those pockets left empty by the absence of your spare fly boxes, floatant, packs of leaders, box with splitshot can come in very handy.
As you walk, instead of looking at the water – you will reach it in a second – look at the ground a bit, look for faded beer cans that were discarded a long time ago (if you pay attention you will find these EVERYWHERE), look for the crushed plastic bottles, look for pieces of fishing line, and reflective Cheetos bags. When you’re on the stream, look at the branches hanging over the water, there will be some lost tippet in there, maybe even a lure at the end of that. Pick these up, and stuff them in your backpack. When you walk back to your car, take satisfaction in that heavy load you’re carrying in your pack. Rejoice in the feeling of carrying a lot of stuff with you.
Tenkara has opened the doors to remind people how little they can carry with then. But now, I think we can start making better use of carrying less fishing gear with us by actively and purposefully carrying more trash out.
P.s. I probably don’t have to write this, but if you are wondering when the “Carry More Stuff Day” is going to be, it should be noted it is everyday!