Welcome to the third issue of Tenkara USA’s official monthly ezine, covering the best stories on the tenkara method of fly-fishing. mounTEN brings forth content created by Tenkara USA over the last 10 years in a fun-to-read format. This month features Ice Shelf Fishing, Bamboo Rods, Iwana Sashimi, a new Up Tenkara Creek Comic and much more. Enjoy!
You can read the ezine in the reader above, or download the full PDF version here.
I’m testing out a new platform to continue “sharing the tenkara story”. A friend of mind recently turned me on to Storehouse. Here’s a short photo story with Mr. Yuzo Sebata. What do you think?
Direct link to Tenkara story on Storehouse
It’s been overdue for sometime, we know. But, I’m happy to announce we finally built up the functionality on our website for you to download the digital version of the Tenkara Magazine.
You can order the 2014 and the 2015 versions online. The 2015 is available in two electronic formats, one is the original layout of the magazine, the other is a narrow layout optimized for reading on a phone or tablet. Either costs $4.00 (print version is $9.00). The 2014 magazine is only available in one electronic format, the original layout, and costs $2.50.
The much anticipated 2015 Tenkara Magazine has arrived!
The second annual issue of the Tenkara Magazine has an incredible lineup of stories, how-to articles, and tenkara photography. This high-quality print publication is intended to continue sharing the tenkara story and features pieces submitted by the tenkara community and curated by the Tenkara Publishing team. And, yes, this issue also has larger font size!
A digital version will be made available in February/March of 2015.
Catch And Release, By Jack E. Williams
Tenkara+ Bouldering, By Daniel Pierce
Mid-River Boulders, By John Geer
Encountering Yuzo Sebata, By Daniel Galhardo
Interview With Yuzo Sebata, By Adam Trahan
First Summer Of Tenkara, By Hannah Williams
Purple Fly, By Michael Agneta
Cooking Trout On A Campfire, By Daniel Galhardo
Grand Slam, By Jen Kugler Hansen
Tenkara+ Saltwater, By Chris Kuhlow
Tenkara And Dry Fly, By Mark Cole
Hemming The Seam, By Tj Ferreira
Tenkara Underwater, By Ralph Cutter
Thinking Outside The Fly Box, By Jason Klass
A Weekend Hike, By Jourdan Arenson
Tribes Of Itoshiro, By Paul Gaskell
Visiting Japan, By Rebecca Milner
The Tenkara Flower, By Daniel Galhardo
Discovering The Fish Of Japan, By John Pearson
Tenkara Journeys, By Dave Southall
Incidents With Tenkara, By Dave Hughes
Fly-Fishing The Enchantments, By Daniel Silverberg
Fish Tales From Wales, By Dyfan Morris
Plus: The Basics Of Tenkara And Tenkara Summit
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?
Hey everyone! We’re working on the 2nd volume of the Tenkara Magazine, which will come out in December. We would like to invite you to submit your stories and photographs for consideration.
WHAT we are looking for: The Tenkara Magazine is a tenkara lifestyle publication designed to inspire people to get outside, to show that fly-fishing can be simple, and to embrace the lifestyle that goes with a life of simple yet rich experiences. While there is a large variety of stories that will be in this issue, the theme this time is TENKARA+, the idea that tenkara can go well with anything (think backpacking, foraging, cooking, kayaking…..). We’re particularly interested in your TENKARA+ stories but will consider other topics you feel could be a good fit. Read some sample articles from the last magazine here.
HOW to submit: write to email@example.com with your draft or images.
NOTE: Please understand that this is primarily a physical, printed publication, and thus we have space constraints. We will likely NOT be able to accept all submissions this time. We will compensate for articles and images we can use
DEADLINE for submissions: September 10
We look forward to receiving your pieces for consideration for the second Tenkara Magazine.
One of the best things about keeping fly-fishing simple and that it allows us to combine fishing with a lot of different activities. That’s the idea behind TENKARA+.
Here’s a very nice article written by Allison Pluda for our Tenkara Magazine (Allison’s awesome photography can be seen on her website: http://www.senecacreekphotography.com/). It illustrates perfectly that there is indeed no need to choose between fishing and other activities you love. Read on! PDF available here.
NO NEED TO CHOOSE
by Allison Pluda
For me, tenkara is more than just a fishing technique I’m trying for a while. Tenkara is a tool that helps me to become more in tune with all of the goals in my life. It’s part of a lifestyle choice— to strive toward making everything in life as simple as possible, to eliminate unnecessary details internally and externally and to rely more on my senses and technique rather than gear. There is a beauty to tenkara that fits into the flow of the river and is compatible with a slower pace and a simpler style of life.
As a photographer, I tend to have details to fuss over and a heavy backpack full of gear and lenses to pack (why do lens caps always want to lose themselves?) before I even head out into the wilds. I used to feel that I had to choose: fish well, photograph well, or be bogged down trying to do both. When I got my first tenkara rod, I found that finally I didn’t have to choose between photography or fishing; I could do both. A small bag of fishing supplies, a box of flies, and a tenkara rod could all fit into my photo bag without weighing me down with gear to the point where I’m moving slower than my old-timer dog.
I take my modest tenkara set-up with me on backpacking trips and on long hikes to shoot the sunrise or sunset, just in case one of those high alpine lakes I stumble across, deep in the Snowy Range Mountains in Wyoming, is holding some little hungry trout I did not expect. When bushwhacking around branches and brush, between trees and over rocky uneven ground, I can easily collapse the tenkara rod, stow it in the side of my backpack and navigate any tricky terrain without missing a beat and with as much grace as possible while lugging a heavy camera bag. When I find my way back out of the brush (after of course snagging a few branches on my myself) I can be fishing that perfect-looking fishing hole within a minute, and with my camera still hanging around my neck.
To me, that simplicity is priceless and allows me to maintain the ease of mind I am striving for in the woods. Of course it’s still a challenge to maintain peace and grace when a fish I really had my eye on swims away into the deep just as I finally get my line untangled after what seems like an eternity. But that is just one of the many mental challenges that fishing teaches you to overcome.
Tenkara teaches me more than just a different style of fishing. It teaches me to be fluid, to adapt, to really feel the flow of the water, to worry less about the gear and more about my own connection with the river. It teaches me that the more in tune with my surroundings I am, the more I can concentrate and clear my mind of cluttered thoughts, and thus the more fluid my casts will become and the more energy efficient and graceful my fishing will become. Ideally, all of this results in me catching more fish as well as gaining a sense of active meditation guided by the river itself. But even if the end result is just a few nibbles, working on improving my tenkara technique always gives me some type of lesson to take home. These lessons that are the reason tenkara has become more than just fishing for me. It is a lifestyle and a philosophy of mind. Lao Tzu once said, “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest
Forgiving Boulder Creek is a story written by Sasha Barajas about her discovery of tenkara and renewed connection with Boulder Creek, which was subject to alarming floods last year. It is a feature story in the first Tenkara Magazine. The story has been receiving great feedback and we thought you’d enjoy reading it. Photographs by Kate Mason
Forgiving Boulder Creek
About a quarter-mile from the hustle and bustle of downtown Boulder, Colorado runs a small creek. In the heat of the summer giggles are frequently heard as children wade in the water and college students aboard black tire tubes float by. This autumn, with several days of heavy rain, the creek grew to monstrous proportions, enveloping the landscape and ravaging our mountain town.
Just one month later the creek runs swiftly within its previously defined banks. Although we have resumed biking, running, and skateboarding along the winding Boulder Creek Path, for many of us our relationship with the creek is still on the bedrocks. Continue reading
This is one of the great articles found in the Tenkara Magazine we recently published. The article was written by Jason Klass, illustrations done by Anthony Naples. Unfortunately we missed a small portion of the article, specifically between technique #4 and #5. So, here is the complete article, which we hope you’ll enjoy and will give you a small flavor for the content in the first magazine devoted to tenkara in the world.
Ten Techniques for Tenkara
One thing beginning anglers often find daunting and mysterious is what to do once they set foot on the stream. They may have confidence that they bought good gear, but how do you actually present the fly effectively?
In this article, I will cover just a few presentation techniques that work well with tenkara. Some are Japanese in origin while others are western (and some are both), but all have been proven highly effective. Learning them can go a long way toward advancing a beginner to a highly skilled angler.
TJ, the man in charge of customer service here at Tenkara USA, is a Volkswagen Bus aficionado. He put together this neat video of him going to visit a pond in his area with his VW bus, in search of some panfish. Even with the VW bus sound it is a very peaceful video. I love how fitting tenkara seemed to the whole thing. The quick setup was fun to watch: drive, stop, setup and fish, pack and go home. Enjoy it.
Here’s the article he wrote for the 2013 Tenkara MagazineI head down a backcountry road in my 1967 VW Westfalia bus and my mind drifts as I gaze out the window. My destination is simplicity and all the beauty of nature that surrounds it. All I need is a nice ride to get me there, and what better than an old Volkswagen.
This gorgeous place that I call home is Grass Valley, a small gold rush city in the California foothills. Today my old VW bus and I are on an adventure, and as we drive down these old winding back roads I have tenkara on my mind. My mission this day in the summer of 2013 is to catch some fish. I’m off to a secret pond a few miles away to do some tenkara panfishing. Normally I prefer the harder-to-catch trout but I’ll tell you, having a bluegill or bass slam my kebari (fly in Japanese) sure is a hoot.
Maybe I am waxing nostalgic as I grow in years but there are a few things in this life that make my ticker beat like nothing else. One of those things is my passion for everything old. Another is the simple way things used to be done. I find beauty in that old stuff and in that old-fashioned simplicity. These old air-cooled VW’s are a simple, effective and fun way to get from point A to point B. Tenkara is a simple, effective and fun way to catch fish. A perfect match. And so Yeti, my Westy VW bus, and I head off to the pond for a couple hours of tenkara.
This pond has many bluegill and bass, and they are a blast to catch on a stick, string and fly. Well to be fair, tenkara gear is a bit more advanced than simply a stick, string and fly. But really other than the updated materials, the concept and its simple nature has not changed much in the centuries since it first evolved in its home country of Japan.
The tenkara rod is a simple yet elegant device, much like the simple beauty of an air-cooled VW engine. The modern tenkara rod is made of carbon fiber and telescopic in design. In the olden days of Japan it would have been an un-split hollow bamboo rod, and its segments could be stored inside the handle when done fishing. Today we just remove the plug from the tip of this 20” cork and carbon fiber handle and like magic out telescopes 11 to 15 feet of carbon fiber beauty that we can tie a line to.
So compact! So light! So effective! So simple!
Line, meet lilian. The lilian is a short cord that is attached to the end of a tenkara rod and it makes for the most quick and easy method to connect a line to a rod. No reels or guides to run the line through or around. Just a simple slipknot or girth-hitch and I can change out lines in a snap—from a super-short 10 foot line to a super-long 20-foot line, they are all quickly at my disposal.
It is a direct connection to the fish. And when a fish takes the fly and the line tightens, the tenkara rod sings to you. Imagine if you will a super-long one-string guitar. The tenkara line vibrates with a fish on the end of it and it actually sings. This harmonic noise not only stirs my emotions, but also heightens my experience when catching and landing a fish. I have never experienced this song with any other form of fishing. My old VW has an AM radio, and although the sound is not high-definition quality, the AM stations do come in from a long way off. AM was an effective way to transmit music long distances years ago and still is today. Like that classic AM radio, my tenkara rod sings to me. These tenkara songs too come from a long way off, and from long ago, from a place I have never visited and yet they seem so familiar. The song is the Song of Simplicity.
My little VW Bus and my tenkara rod served me well on my fishing adventure this day. Within seconds I threw my gear into the back of my bus (my gear equaled one rod, one line, and one vial of 3 flies), and headed to my little pond in the foothills. Within seconds of arriving at the pond I began to catch gill after gill and even one of those more stubborn bass. But too quickly the day was ending and darkness was coming in to take over the light, so I packed up and headed back to my little homestead. As I drove Yeti home I was already starting to daydream of my next trip—farther away next time, to a remote place at a river in the California foothills—with visions of going after a rainbow, a rainbow that is 12 inches long and makes my tenkara rod sing a simple song.
Life can be simple but many ignore this for far too long. An old VW Bus and a tenkara rod have taken my soul back and have made my life beautiful again.
Come share today’s tenkara journey in an old VW Bus and watch a Boy, a Bus, Tenkara!