Japanese have been using the Tenkara Rod for hundreds of years and was virtually unknown to the outside world. The word tenkara translates as “from heaven” or “from the skies.” It was developed by ancient Japanese anglers and even used by restaurant owners and inn-keepers as an easy and effective way to provide table fare. When these professional Japanese fishermen convened for ritualistic contests, the object of the tournament was to actually see who could catch the smallest fish. In this culture, outsmarting the largest and most aggressive fish to lure the smallest and weakest to the fly was paramount. Kebari, as tenkara flies are called, consist of a few basic patterns of wet flies intended to be versatile, and this ancient technique matched the action of the flies, not the flies themselves.
Tenkara Fly Fishing – The Return of Simplicity
[vc_row full_width=”” color_scheme=”” parallax=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Is fly fishing simple? Yes, it can be. Tenkara fishing has exploded on our scene for its simple approach to the basics. Tenkara fishing is a combination of the latest fly fishing technology with the “back to the basics” approach to high-sticking and dipping.
The technique is fundamental in that there is no line or reel. The leader is connected to the tip of the telescoping rod by the lilian. The fly is then dipped, swung and drifted in close proximity to the angler.
These days, there are several companies making Tenkara rods in all lengths and strengths. The big draw of Tenkara is the fact you can telescope these rods down and travel with the minimal amount of gear and tackle – perfect for backpacking creek angler.
During this last season on the South Fork of the Snake River, I witnessed more than a few anglers plying riffles with these rods and seemingly having a blast!
Tenkara spans a wide range of uses, and as one of the Orvis 101 casting instructors for Three Rivers Ranch, I have developed a use for this technique with those who have never picked up a fly rod. It gives those students a real feel for the purpose of the cast. It can also help with moving to a traditional fly rod with reel and line management.
The Driggs Fly Shop carries Patagonia and Tenkara Rod Co. fly rods. You will find Patagonia’s Tenkara rod in the Boise Fly Shop. Both fly rod manufacturers offer wonderful options for beginning and veteran anglers. There are rods that range from very small “noodles” of under 7 feet, to two-handed sticks over 14 feet capable of casting further and landing quite large fish. One great aspect of this endeavor is the cost – these setups are relatively inexpensive and broken sections of rod are easily replaced at home. Patagonia even offers their Simple Fly Fishing Kit, which includes line, leader, flies, guides and a book which helps bring all of this into prospective.
If you are interested in venturing into this exciting and painfully simple way of fly fishing, please contact any of our shops and the knowledgeable crew will be able to assist you in finding what you need! Thanks and happy fishing from the Crew at Three Rivers Ranch![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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