I have a confession to make. I made tenkara up.
Yes, it was a long-running (4 years now), full on hoax…a prank…a made up story.
I mean, seriously, did you really believe something could sit hidden from the public for hundreds of years without anyone finding out about “tenkara” before April 12, 2009? I never imagined that what started as an attempt at poking the fly-fishing industry with humor could go this far. And, I really never thought one of the big companies in the industry would fall for it and start making their own rods too…it is a joke people!
That “one fly” thing…yes, just a light-hearted prank too. Com’on, we all know we need to imitate a bug just perfectly and carry several dozen fly patterns with us to catch fish. All those books on entomology are there for a reason, I just wanted to see who in their right mind would try to use one fly pattern all the time.
And talking about flies, that reverse hackle thing (or “sakasa”)…simple, I tried imagining a fly that would look completely different from all those flies out there. Can’t believe some people actually went for that, I never expected the reverse hackle to become popular.
The cork on the handle of a telescopic rod…well, telescopic rods have been around for a long time, and so have fly rods. We just decided to combine the two and call it “tenkara”.
The 12ft length thing? Also a joke. We all know a 7ft rod is the best thing for a small stream.
Now, what about the name: “tenkara”? It actually really does mean “from heaven”, but is often used along with food stuff (as in food from heaven). Once I visited a restaurant called “tenkara” and thought it was a catchy name. Why else would no one from Japan know what you’re talking about when you mention “tenkara” to them?
Kotsuzake? Yuck! Made up, of course. Bones in Sake? Seriously?
Tenkara nets, with weird angle between handle and frame? Who would’ve thought of a design like that???
All those posts in our blog? I’m a pretty good story teller, with great imagination.
A fad? You betcha.
Thank you all for believing…it was a fun journey while it lasted. But, now I’m going back to using a reel…seriously, how could you ever think it was possible to land a fish without one?