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Tenkara

…from the book “Learning tenkara”

On January 1, 2018
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…from the book.

Learning tenkara is easy. You don’t need the internet to become proficient at this simple form of mountain stream fishing. All you need is a rod, line and fly and the excitement to spend a little time in a great place of your choosing.

I am an early adopter of tenkara (outside of Japan) and come from a long history of fly fishing small streams. I got my first rod from Daniel at Tenkara USA in 2009. I was so excited about this new to me form of mountain stream fishing, I decided to investigate the history of it by traveling to Japan. In 2013 I made my first trip and was excited to see that Tenkara USA was a part of the Japanese interest in spreading tenkara. I saw this in the Japanese media and the friends I was making there, they wanted to know if I knew Daniel. I have visited Japan again in 2016 and I am happy to report that I chose the right path doing tenkara only for nearly 9 years.

In my research of tenkara, I have collected many books on the subject and all of my books have been with the help of Japanese friends. I have been told by more than one Japanese tenkara angler that my collection was larger than any one that they have ever seen. I have had a couple of these books early on, translated to me by my friends. Over the years of collecting tenkara books, I have found that a lot of the books have the same type of content. This is not unusual, fly fishing books written in English fall into the same pattern of describing the stream and the methods that work for taking fish.

In my first installment of my reflections from “tenkara” the book written by Daniel Galhardo and illustrated by Jeremy Shellhorn, I will focus on “Learning Tenkara” from page 113.

“Tenkara is simple to understand and easy to learn, but as with anything simple on the surface, it also provides opportunities for lifelong learning and mastery. As you delve deeper into tenkara, the pages that follow will help you become a proficient angler who will rely more on your technique and experience than on your tackle in your kit.”

Before the book was written, I had already honed in on minimizing my fly fishing, I had written about this on my web sites many years before. Once I decided to learn tenkara, I filtered tenkara through this simplicity and I understood that it was the skill that is important. Reading this in the book, I know that Daniel has focused on what is really important in tenkara, your experience.

The content in this section is dedicated to reading the water and fish behavior. Ever before this book was written, I have read many English fly fishing books on the subject and I am happy to report, this section of the book is filled with diagrams, photographs and “how to” on where the fish are and why they are there.

In my extensive library of Japanese tenkara books, you will also find the same sort of diagrams and text on fish behavior. “tenkara” the book, is a great resource even to me as I read and re-read the contents and apply it to my own experience.

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