Tenkara Angler - Winter 2019-2020

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Winter 2019-20 tenkaraangler.com


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Photo: Bill Holleran 1

From The Editor

Time to hit the reset button... Before I begin with the usual foreword, I wanted to apologize for the delay in the release of this issue. In keeping with prior releases, this should have been originally published around New Year’s Day… However, some real-world obligations really condensed the free time I had to edit this magazine. I know you understand, so let's move on… With a new year brings a clean slate for everybody out there. Are you looking to pick up some new fixed-line skills? Perhaps do a little tenkara traveling? Or just refine and upgrade your gear? (If it’s the latter, be sure to check out the back of this issue and visit all the great retailers that are considered “Friends of Tenkara Angler”). I need to find a way to escape to the mountains and chase more trout. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but with proper planning it can be achieved. I have three trips scheduled, some more tentatively than others. The first in May is for the 5th Annual Driftless Tenkara Campout. Luong Tam will be also offering a Tanuki Bootcamp that corresponds with those dates. You won’t miss him; he’ll be the guy in orange.


The second in July will be to meet up with some friends in Colorado for a long weekend of camping & fishing in the Rockies. Most will be people I’ve only met online, but never in person, so I’m looking forward to making a more personal connection to each. Finally, August will take me to Utah, for the Oni Tenkara School, hosted by the Tenkara Guides. I really want to become more of a student of traditional Japanese tenkara and have been procrastinating on this class for quite some time. I look forward to learning whatever I can from a true tenkara master, Masami Sakakibara. Hopefully, there’s a lot more fishing and personal growth to fill in the gaps. If you have ideas or plans that you’re excited about making for 2020, reach out and share them via the Tenkara Angler social links below. Would really enjoy comparing notes for some additional inspiration.

Michael Agneta Editor In Chief @tenkaraangler

Do you want to contribute to the next issue of Tenkara Angler?

Tenkara or conservation-themed articles, essays, fly tying recipes, gear reviews, tips, tricks, & photography are all fair game!

See www.tenkaraangler.com for more information


Notable Absence by David West Beale The fish in this picture is a stand-in for the one I want to show you. Oh, so badly want to show you. It's similar, the scenario is similar. A wild brown trout from the same river catchment, caught by me, accidentally and out of season, while fishing tenkara for in-season grayling. There the similarity ends. Because the trout I want to show you is about five times bigger.


It out-smarts me before I can get a photo. This is a shame because out of season or not, it's the biggest wild brownie I've ever caught, by any method, and an absolute monster for the river in question. A yard long, scaled from my net, if mere numbers could do justice to such a magnificent fish. And the problem is, it's way too big to fit into my scoop net, which up until just now seemed quite a big scoop net.

In all honesty I'm not even sure I can claim I've caught it all, as it stays in my net only momentarily, half in - half out, before flipping swiftly back into the river, snapping the 5-pound tippet as if mere formality. It looks for all the world like a torpedo with spots as it runs past my waders, showing me who really is boss in this river. Today it isn't me. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAA

On closer inspection I see that the point fly in my grayling team has snagged in the mesh, allowing the trout to snap its short, taught, fluorocarbon leash. My little barbless kebari was only lip hooked though, so most likely shed in that same instant, or shortly after. Anyway, I didn't actually touch the fish, and even if I did it would still be out of season, so I guess it doesn't count. But there again, my friend fishing with me says it was in the net, so it does count after all, close season or no. My ego is feeling fragile, so I'm inclined to believe him. All of which leaves me with a number of burning questions, not least of which is that I can't actually work out if I'm happy or sad. I think that writing this might be a kind of therapy to help me find the answer. Happy that I connected with such a rare creature and successfully played a fish of this size to the net with tenkara. I'm pretty sure too that I got the job done faster than many western anglers would, comprehensively dispelling the myth that tenkara is by

default harder on the fish than running-line tackle. It's worth noting though that I'm fishing with the Hellbender, a big fish rod from DRAGONtail Tenkara that has proven its worth time and again. Nevertheless, this was a powerful fish and smart with it, boring deep and making several runs towards the rapid water in mid-channel. This would surely have parted my line with the weight of water-drag alone. Except that I've read the advice on fighting big fish with tenkara, I've even deployed it once or twice myself before (though not quite at this magnitude) and guess what? The advice is sage, it works. So, I step back and take the fish away from the area where it was first hooked, I apply side strain to turn each run it makes for heavy water because I know if it gets there I'm smoked. I allow my fish to cruise around in the calmer slack water for a while instead of piling on the pressure, and this seems to calm it right down. With the lightest grip of a 'soft hand' I can now draw the fish to my net. All the above goes so smoothly that I'm lulled into a false sense of security, so that now I am already planning my hero shot in self-congratulation. Except Fish has different ideas. And looking back I can't help thinking that Fish was just biding its time. Oh well, I guess you don't get this big by being a dumb-ass.


Idle Hands, Bigger Fish


One Season of Lessons from the “Oni” Kebari by Jonathan Antunez

They say that the Devil will find work for idle hands to do. Whatever demon possessed me to tie up a few Oni Kebari this past winter, had plans to hook me up all season on some much bigger fish than I was used to. It was very late Spring 2019 in the Colorado Front Range. The winter had blessed Colorado with an unusually large snowpack and all the tail-water rivers were still bursting at the seams with this abundance of water. It’s a time of year I normally skip fishing. However, after a month of abstinence and no end in sight, it didn’t take much to persuade me when invited by a


good friend to fish on the Big Thompson River. I brought my Oni kebari, just in case. Lesson 1: Runoff and Big Bugs Runoff offers a very unique opportunity in trout fishing. It removes at least 80% of the river from your fish finding equation. The center flow is

much too fast for a trout to feed in comfortably, so all your fish are right near the edges. This high flow also makes the larger Oni kebari the perfect fly to use, as it mimics the larger prey items, like stoneflies, that these fast currents dislodge from the bottom of the river.


I learned that it is absolutely vital to use a casting line either the same size as the rod or shorter. Bringing a big fish rod that can put pressure on the fish is also essential. Once hooked, a trout will try and dive for that faster current to escape. The shorter casting rig will give you a smaller arc to play the fish. You want to try your darnedest to keep that fish in the slower water, but if he does manage to get past you, you’ll have to move quickly to swing him back into the shallows if possible. The first fish I hooked on the Big T was a real dandy, but I never got him to the net. My casting line was longer than my rod and suffice it to say, I wasn’t ready for this trout’s devious machinations.

My flies were a Size 10 and a 12 Oni kebari in dark colors; Black 6/0 UNI Thread on a 2x long dry fly hook, a male Pheasant feather for the reverse wing, Wapsi Superbright dubbing body in black and peacock. I returned many times to the Big Thompson in the weeks that followed, and those colors seemed to work best in the murky water. I had some amazing days and was completely sold on big hackled kebari from then on. Lesson 2: The Frying Pan and the Green Drake Hatch Having heard all the legends of the dry fly fishing Mecca that is the Frying Pan River, your go-to fly probably wouldn’t be a size 10 nymph. Thanks to the infamous Green Drake that hatches in August, using big Oni kebari is not only possible but a very good idea; especially in the aforementioned peacock color. In a river like the Frying Pan, that gets a lot of pressure, it can never hurt to try and match the hatch, even though it’s not commonly


a focus in tenkara angling.

Lesson 3: Digging Deep for Big Browns

Dead drift was producing fish, as was upstream sasoi. But swinging the fly in slower water was the real winner. It was while I was swinging the Oni that a sizable rainbow took up the chase behind it. In my head I remember warning myself not to set the hook until the fish closed his mouth, so I waited for the right moment. Mouth closed, hook set, fish on, and then off to the rodeo!

It was one of those Fall days you wish could last forever. The big browns were moving up from the lower reservoir to begin their fall spawn. Thankfully, they weren’t bedding down yet, but many had staked a claim in every deep pool. The only thing really messing up my drifts was the wind. So, I switched to the heaviest level line I had, extended my tippet to 4 feet, and tied on an even bigger Size 8 Oni.

I had to chase that fish about 3 holes downstream till I finally had her to the net. What a beauty! Oni kebari were really sealing the deal. I had never fished one on the swing, but they work just fine when big bugs are hatching and scurrying to the surface.

The goal was to run this fly as deep as possible, so the wind had less of a chance of moving my setup. This is where tossing the fly upstream of the plunge pools really saved the day. The challenge was detecting the strikes at that depth, as they weren’t always



obvious. Most of the time it was only a subtle bump or hesitation. A small pulse is enough to determine if it’s a fish, a second hook set will seal the deal. Thanks to the enticement of the Oni kebari, it quickly became a magical day of pulling one large brown trout after another until I ran out of daylight.

There is one thing that I know for sure about Oni kebari: They attract bigger fish. For that, they have earned a permanent spot in my fly box. If you haven’t tried them yet, perhaps I can be the little devil that entices you to tie a few this winter. I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.


One Fine Day in September:


An Epic Trip on the Three Forks of the Boise River by Diane Kelly-Riley

“I want to see if we can fish all three forks of the Boise River,” Conrad told us. Two days before, he had picked up his new to him yellow Toyota FJ Cruiser. Fall 2019 had been splendid in Idaho; we avoided the summer wildfires and smoke that had plagued the northwest in previous years and the snow had not yet started to fall. I was visiting Southern Idaho from my home in Northern Idaho on what’s become an annual tenkara fall fishing trip with my


good friends, Conrad Estrem and Ti Macklin. We fished the Owyhee River in Oregon the day before without much luck, so three forks it would be. All three of us have fished tenkara for several years. Conrad is the most experienced of us, but both he and Ti have numerous tenkara rods and they tie their own flies. I have only two tenkara rods and graciously accept any flies that they give me. The Boise River originates in the

rugged Sawtooth Mountain Range of Idaho. The Sawtooth Range has fiftyseven peaks with elevations more than 10,000 feet. According to the US Geological Survey, the Boise River is a tributary of the Snake River system. The North Fork of the Boise River is 50 miles long; the Middle Fork runs about 52 miles in length by the remote town of Atlanta, Idaho and joins the North Fork to form the Boise River south of Idaho City. The South Fork is 101 miles long beginning in the Smoky Mountains and Soldier Mountains of the Sawtooth National Forest. It joins the other forks as an arm of Arrowrock Reservoir. The area has a mining history with several remaining remote towns like Atlanta and Rocky Bar. North Fork: Home of the Clown Car of Fishing Holes We started out early from Boise driving up Highway 20 along Mores Creek through Idaho City over Mores Summit to a place below the North Fork Trail where Conrad fished often. He had caught so many fish there that he bought a counter to keep track. Ti and I laughed. Neither of us had ever caught so many fish that we couldn’t keep track. But the spot Conrad took us to did require a counter; between the three of us, we caught 77 rainbows over the course of about an hour or so! Conrad caught 37 and Ti and I split the other 40. It was a great place to work on tenkara techniques; Ti fished with her aptly named Sawtooth rod from the Tenkara Rod Company; I fished with


my Tenkara USA Sato; and Conrad used his Oni Honryu 395. We used an assortment of flies, mostly soft hackle kebari that Conrad had made. I even used flies made by Toshirou Todoroki, a Japanese tenkara angler and fly maker, who my college-aged son met while on a semester study away in Japan. Everything that we threw at the fish worked like a charm! The fishing hole was a clown car like no other! Every time we cast a fly; a fish struck! Middle Fork: On to Atlanta We left our sweet fishing hole and headed to the Middle Fork of the Boise River. Conrad, Ti and I found a beautiful spot along the river to fish and we continued to use soft hackle kebari and tried emergers and nymphs. Ti landed a sizable whitefish on the Middle Fork and that was our only catch on this section of the river. While we were fishing, John, the mail carrier, (who also drove a yellow FJ Cruiser) stopped to check out Conrad’s new rig. We originally planned on backtracking to get to the south fork, but John encouraged us to go to Atlanta, Idaho and take the James Creek road over the pass to Featherville. Atlanta is at the end of the road; it’s a former mining town originally founded by confederate sympathizers during the Civil War who thought confederates had won the war. Today, the town is a gateway to the Sawtooth mountains and is home to a vibrant artist community. For more information, see Idaho Public


Diane with a North Fork rainbow Photo: Ti Macklin

North Fork trio!


Ti fighting a fish on the North Fork


Television’s Outdoor Idaho segment on Where the Road Ends. We drove on to the town of Atlanta for burgers and then headed over the mountains and were rewarded with stunning views of the Sawtooth Mountains. South Fork: New Fish Landed with Tenkara In the afternoon, we headed to the South Fork of the Boise River near Baumgartner Campground. On the way, we saw remnants of other mining towns like Rocky Bar, Idaho, current population 8. Once in the river, we noticed Kokanee in the water, freshwater salmon related to sockeye salmon. Kokanee never migrate to the



ocean, but like other salmon, they spawn and then die. Their red bodies were visible in the clear water of the South Fork. Conrad and I used streamers to entice the fish. Conrad had switched over to his DRAGONTail Nirvana rod and landed one! The kokanee’s body was battered as it was near the end of its life; its teeth still sharp (even though it was missing a few). A bit later Conrad hooked into an even larger fish than the kokanee. His rod bent into a tenkara power curve and he landed a bull trout. Bull trout are threatened species under the US Endangered Species Act. The one Conrad landed was vigorous and

Conrad lands the bull trout


healthy. Catching these two species would have been eventful on regular western rods, but they were even more exciting to land with tenkara. The sun began to set, and we headed back to Boise through Mountain Home, Idaho. It is indeed possible to fish all three forks of the Boise River in one day. Each fork of the river had its own feel and provided a unique experience. We were rewarded with beautiful

scenery, camaraderie, and one of the best days of fishing in 2019!



‘Look at All the Fish in Here’:

Ed Van Put and the Japanese Rod Adapted from Tenkara Today by Morgan Lyle

Ed Van Put with one of the Daiwa keiryu rods he purchased in 1998.

In 1998, Daniel Galhardo, who would one day introduce tenkara fishing to the western world, was still a teenager in Brazil. But a decade before the launch of Tenkara USA, a few American fly-fishing luminaries had gotten wind of Japanese fixed-line trout fishing and were quietly experimenting on their local streams. One of them was Dave Hughes, the author of many wonderful fly-fishing books. Another was Yvon Chouinard, founder of the worldwide Patagonia


outdoor gear brand and longtime surfer, climber and fly-fisher. And another was Ed Van Put. Ed is a fixture in the fly-fishing culture of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. He is the author of two wonderful books, The Beaverkill and Trout Fishing in the Catskills. Before he retired, his day job was fisheries professional for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In that role he

advocated for rules that required New York City to release cold water from their reservoirs on dammed Catskills rivers, which created some of the best trout fisheries in the country. Equally if not more important, Ed convinced many landowners in the Catskills to sell easements to New York State so that anglers could legally access the trout streams on their lands. Many miles of exquisite fishing are available to anyone with a fishing license, thanks to his efforts. Along the course of his career, Van Put came to know as much as anyone, and more than most, about trout and trout fishing, particularly in his home region. When former president Jimmy Carter came to the Catskills to do some fishing, it was Ed who guided him, sharing his knowledge of the local streams. Paul Volcker, chairman of the Federal Reserve during the presidencies of Carter and Ronald Reagan, also once engaged Van Put’s services. Tagging along with Volcker was Seiichiro Otsuka, the Japanese ambassador to the United States. They had such a good time that the ambassador hired Ed again, in June of 1998, to take him, his wife and his son fishing. “He spoke flawless English, he went to school in America, had stayed with people in Minnesota, and was the ambassador to this country and his office was in Manhattan,” Van Put recalled. “He fished traditional western


tackle, was as good as any flyfisherman I knew with western tackle.” The fishing party proceeded to Beaverkill Falls, a picturesque pool on a privately owned stretch of the river to which Van Put had access due to his longstanding connections. At one point, the ambassador “said he wanted to go get a Japanese rod,” Van Put said. “And he came down with two or three rods, made out of telescoping graphite and fiberglass, and from 12 to 18 feet, and he was catching one fish after another. And the large graphite rod -- he said, ‘Here, you try it,’ and I just dropped the fly in the water and moved it a little bit and I caught a rainbow trout.” His first time fishing a fixed-line rod was revelatory for Van Put. At the end of the trip, Ambassador Otsuka gave Ed a keiryu rod made of fiberglass. The novelty and the effectiveness of the Japanese “mountain stream rod,” as the ambassador called it, captured Ed’s fancy for the early summer of 1998. Ed was taken by the intimacy of the gear. Even more than in regular flyfishing, the rod and line felt like an extension of his arm and hand. Its primitive design reminded Ed of the way famed 19th century naturalist John Burroughs fished as a boy: “they would cut a willow, tie a piece of line onto it and that's how they fished. At the end of the day you threw it away.” No doubt many of the Japanese



Pine Creek, a tenkara-perfect trout stream in the Catskill Mountains where Ed Van Put fished with the 'Japanese mountain stream rod.'

shokuryoshi, or commercial stream fishermen, fished the same way, halfway around the world, during the same era. Burroughs’ rod was willow, while the Japanese version was bamboo, but either way, it was all that was needed to catch trout in mountain streams. During the weeks after being given a rod by the Japanese ambassador, Ed’s fly rod collected dust; he went on a fixed-line fishing binge on some of the very streams Burroughs fished as a young man. “It was kind of nice, because I likened what I was doing to the way Burroughs fished,” Ed said.


Ed fished keiryu style, with 12 feet of 5x tippet instead of a casting line, but instead of bait he used a size 12 Royal Coachman wet fly, with a split shot to help it sink. The Japanese rod odyssey culminated in July, with two great days on Trout Brook. Ed, who keeps careful notes on his fishing, then paused to tally his success. “Here I added up, six days, I caught 76 rainbows, 43 brook trout, and 12 brown trout, a total of 132. So that is like 21 fish a trip. I mean I was going crazy,” he said with a laugh. He credits the stealth of tenkara for his success. “With fly line, when that


Ed Van Put began tenkara fishing more than 20 years ago, but still does most of his angling with a fly rod and reel.

line comes down, there’s a disturbance,” he said. “However insignificant it can be, it’s still a disturbance, it’s an unnatural thing. But this split shot, you just lower it into the water. Sometimes you don’t even cast it. It’s sneaky!” In the late ‘90s, tenkara rods were unavailable for purchase in the United States. Ed contacted Daiwa, which agreed to sell him a batch of six, to make it worth the trouble of shipping overseas. He kept two and gave the rest to his sons and co-workers. Like Dave Hughes and Yvon Chouinard, Ed Van Put never fully

converted to tenkara. His trout rod of choice continues to be a 4-weight fiberglass fly rod. But sometimes in the early season he goes out with his Daiwa keiryu rod and delights in the way it reveals the bounty of the “little rivers” of the Catskills. “I think my most enjoyable part of this rod was learning how many fish are in some of these streams,” Ed said. “I had fished them all with a fly rod, but never, ever caught what I caught with this rod. Never. Like I said, to me it was like doing a fishery survey. You say, ‘holy Christ, look at all the fish in here.’”


Where I Was Then – and Where I Am Now


by Nick Pavlovski

As I have been taking my fixed line fishing more seriously over the last eight months, I’ve been reflecting on my equipment and my techniques that I employed in the past, compared to what I use and do now. I’m sharing them here as some readers may wonder if they should try (or acquire) some of the same things I decided to experiment with. “Start Off With Dry-Dropper Until You Can See What The Fish Prefer” A very sound piece of advice, which I stumbled on after three months of fly fishing in general. I was wondering why, as Autumn rolled on and Winter


was nearly on me, I was getting less and less takes each session on my dries. I had been fishing with dries only, because that is what tenkara seemed to be all about to me at that time. Somehow, I conveniently and repeatedly ignored Daniel Galhardo stating that kebari can be fished both on the surface as well as subsurface! When I began adding a nymph, tied onto the dry fly hook bend, I started netting fish again. But then, I read somewhere (I think it was Discover Tenkara’s free tutorials) about rigging the following way: nymph on the bottom of a length of tippet, surgeon’s knot forming a small

dropper loop about two feet above, and then attaching the dry fly to that small loop. All of a sudden, the frustrating problem of lost nymphs due to tippet sections sliding off my mashed-barb dry fly hooks was solved. Is Your Nymph Really Doing Its Job?

prevented the fly breaking surface tension effectively.

I was enjoying a fish-filled session one early Summer day when I suddenly saw both of my freshly-cast flies, the dry on its dropper loop and the nymph further down, floating towards my left leg.

All went under the scalpel and were re-tied with some lead wire (and less wraps of hackle), and now all sink well. Taking Too Long To Get On The Water

I finished the drift, then checked everything with the nymph.

When I started out with tenkara, I would rig up my level line, tippet and flies the night before a trip. So, when I arrived, putting on waders and then getting onto the water didn’t take long.


Have I spilled some floatant on it? ‘Don’t think so’. Had the nymph hooked onto something buoyant? ‘No, the barb is clear’. Was it just a one-off, then? ‘Could be…’ I re-cast. The nymph floated again. Then I realized. I had lost the previous nymph in a deep run ten minutes earlier. And, it was a different type of nymph! What I had on my tippet now was a new pattern I had tied up. As it was based on a similar pattern to the lost fly, I thought it should sink the same as it. Well, they didn’t; the glass bead I had used was probably a blend of glass and plastic, not pure glass, and the very thick collar of hackle

At home next night, I set up a basin of water and tested the new nymphs, they wouldn’t consistently break surface tension and sink each time. The one I had tied on riverside was, unluckily for me, the worst of the lot, too!

Somehow, I then fell into the bad habit of loading the car the night before, but not pre-rigging my rod and spare lineholder. I then found myself losing at least ten minutes each session in getting onto the water and then standing mid-stream, awkwardly cutting tippet, tying knots and trying to securely attach my level line to the rod lillian whilst the currents buffeted me and made me fumble… Last month, browsing Jason Klass’s Tenkara Talk blog, I read about he saves time by pre-rigging. At first, I dismissed it, but then later in the day, began thinking more and more about what I’d been doing when I arrived at my fishing spot and realized he was right. I had stopped pre-rigging


because I had become lazy, and in my head I decided the amount of time spent was the same, so there was no real difference when I did it, but there was. I pre-rigged before starting to drive to the river – before the start of the session. I began pre-rigging again, and now I’m getting extra fishing time. Minimalist Fly Fishing


I used to be more minimalist. I used to only take one rod onto a river, with one spool of tippet, a pair of nail clippers to cut tippet, one box of flies, a couple of Band-Aids to deal with any cuts. But then I began adding stuff. I’m in my mid-40s and fish alone. I was a workplace Designated First Aid Officer. I began to think about what would happen if I got hurt whilst fishing. A couple Band–Aids became a dozen, of differing sizes. My partner urged me to get an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) because of the near-misses I’ve had stumbling on slimy boulders and sliding off wet half-submerged logs - it is often the second thing I pick up and put on after parking the car, after my waders. Carrying a rod in one hand only soon became carrying a rod in one hand and a re-purposed walking stick-nowwading pole in the other. Masami Sakakibara carries a second rod when he fishes? I’d better too! Thanks Zimmerbuilt, now I carry a second rod nearly every session,


strung across my back. One small fly box became two small fly boxes when I began adding nymphs on dry-dropper rigs to help cope with late Autumn and early Spring fishing. One bumbag with two ammo packs became a full fishing vest with multiple pockets and space for a three-liter hydration bladder in its back compartment. I got told about a wonderful secret fishing spot, but the person added at the end, “Lots of Tiger snakes and Eastern Brown snakes through there…” Both of those are extremely venomous, so the first aid kit got two snakebite limb immobilization bandages added to it (tripling its volume), with an extra two added to the boot of the car. OK, I’m not minimalist. But I feel, for the most part, a whole lot safer. It’s Not How Big Your Tool Is… Size 12 flies. Stimulators, preferably with peacock herl bodies and blue and white barred rubber legs. Served me well for a good while. But joining a fly fishing club, and learning more about trout munchies showed me how limiting that was. And getting refusal slashes from fish meant I had to widen my choice. I won’t do “one fly”, but I do try to severely limit what types and sizes of flies I carry. I tie my own now, too.


I mostly carry my own Stimulator, in cream and orange with orange and black barred legs, sizes 14 and 16. Size 18 Klinkhammers, in brown. PHDs in cream, size 18. Elk hair caddis, 16 and 18. Size 16 and size 20 nymphs. I went smaller fly sizes. They won’t stand out in a hatch, but in three years of fishing, I’ve never been in a hatch, so no loss (I mostly fish starting just after dawn until mid-morning). I’ve been hooking more fish because the

smaller fish can seize small flies as easily now as the big fish can, and I’ve even caught tiny minnows who took a liking to the size 18 Elk Hair caddis. Good fun. Losing Flies I lose flies on tree branches overhead. Amazingly, during my first session (with borrowed gear) in March 2017 I didn’t, but once I got my own tenkara rods, I began to. I look at photos of the


creeks and rivers American tenkara anglers fish in, and many of them seem to be wider waterways with foliage back from the bank (apart from Tom Davis, who loves fishing along horribly overgrown smaller creeks).


The creeks and rivers I fish have branches hanging a good few meters out over the water, and if the width is only 6 or 7 meters total, then that can mean only a clear meter overhead to cast, and of course the fish aren’t in the very middle.


So, I was losing flies back then and still lose some now. But I don’t lose as many, and I try pretty hard to retrieve them (after all, I tied them and I’m on a tight budget -even a small loss is a nuisance!). “Fish The Lightest Tippet You Can” I started out with 5X tippet. That was what starter kits came with and that’s what others seemed to use (and promote). But the trout in my favorite river were small, and they were never going to bust off a piece of 5X in good condition. So, I bought 6X. I could see and feel the difference, and now cunning trout could bust it when the river was running hard and fast. I later bought a Tenkara Times Watershed 300Z for smaller waterways, and decided to up the ante. 2 spools of 7X joined their 5X and 6X siblings. Last year I was browsing the interwebs and read that Trouthunter


had, in their new Evo line of nylon tippets, an 8X. Ka-ching!, and two spools of 8X were in the mail. Now, a confession. The 8X has been in the boot of my car for a whole year and has yet to be wetted, but it will this Summer, even if I must force myself to use it. 6X remains my ‘go-to’ tippet unless I’m fixed line tactical nymphing. 7X is now for open creeks, as it too easily busts off when I get



to the amount of fallen timber from the last bad bushfires making traversing its length dangerous (even with plenty of good studs on your boots) - and also, there is a much more open and easily fished river only three or so kilometers away. With so little comparable fisher traffic and exposure, the trout are more reckless with their attitude to flies and I became adept at using all my equipment and becoming skilled in techniques and tactics of tenkara and fixed line fly fishing in general. As things in my personal life changed, I began to get whole days to myself, rather than just Sunday mornings. The next season I began to tire of fishing the same handful of beats (on rotation to fight off growing malaise). Inspired by old blog posts and fishing reports gleaned from extensive Google searches, I began to try other rivers, and even try creeks.

flies in trees – and I guess the 8X will be only for open, very shallow, populated-by-minnows creeks. Location, Location, Location… I became fairly fixated on just fishing the same river, over and over, for one season. I fished it because it’s usually only fished by fly fishers (a very small subset of fishers here) and then only fished by a small subset of them, due

Now, I count three small rivers as my favorites that I can reach in a two hour drive, plus a number of creeks three hours away and then a couple more rivers and creeks four to five hours away. With more expeditions planned over the next four months (our Summer), expect that list to swell. Spending Money Does ‘minimalist’ also apply to spending money on tenkara? If so, I’m failing completely! All donations are gratefully accepted ^_^


In With the Old & Out With the New


by Jack Harford

Well, 2019 has just finished and it was an interesting year of fly fishing with both tenkara rods and some conventional setups. One of the most interesting things has been the diversity of flies that have come off the vise and then hit the water. This has been a year where the “new” flies and styles of flies have been some of the “old” flies and styles. It has been enjoyable to learn some of the old winged wet flies, soft hackle flies, and streamers. It seems that a lot


of the fly fishing world has become enthralled with new versions of flies and the new materials that are often extra bright, extra UV, extra shiny, or extra-large. With the move to the extra big streamers has come the need for extra big and extra stiff rods, new species-specific fly lines, and an assortment of new articulated shanks and hooks. And there is a lot of good to be said about those who have chosen to push the limits of the fly fishing world and boldly go were no one has gone before.

However, this is not the direction my fly tying and fishing took last year. I don’t really see myself as a nostalgic type of fisher or fly tyer. If I were, my only fishing as a youth was with a cane pole and red & white bobber with a can of worms or a Zebco 33 with a Mepps spinner. Historically, I have not been the type of person who relishes the status quo for the sake of tradition. Nevertheless, I have found myself drawn to flies that were popular one or two or more centuries ago. There is something of mysterious beauty in those flies.


A couple of years ago, an unexpected urge came upon me to learn more about Salmon Flies that led me to the book “The Hair-Wing Salmon Fly” by Fulsher and Krom. There is something particularly American about these flies. Many of the first fly tyers on this side of the pond had been serious salmon fly tyers back in England and the old world. However, when they came to America, many of the exotic materials used in the full-dress salmon flies were not available in this country. The resourceful ones then created new flies with the materials using like squirrel tails, black bear fur, calf tail, and skunk for the wing. They called these new flies “Hair-Wings.” What they found was that these new hair wing flies were not only easier to tie but were also more effective and less expensive than their full-dress counterparts. Here in Indiana, smallmouth bass have eaten several of

these flies. The next venture into the older flies began with the reading of “The Soft Hackled Fly” by Sylvester Nemes, (pronounced “Nemish”). Nemes is a lover of history and has been called by some the “Soft Hackle Evangelist.” These traits are reflected in the way he uses historical documents to lift and praise the prowess of the soft hackle fly. Of course, Syl’s book is written for the edification of the trout anglers, but quickly I found that the soft hackle flies and a tenkara rod are dynamite for bluegills, panfish and even some bass. They also were effective on the tenkara trout trip to Hatchery Creek in Kentucky. The venture into the soft hackle flies opened the whole world of subsurface flies in a new and interesting way. The early fly fishers on the European stage and even Japan were wet fly fishers and the dry fly in its historical context is a rather recent innovation first becoming serious sport around the 19th century. Soft hackle flies and the winged wet flies conveyed by Bergman in his encyclopedic “Trout,” were a whole other realm of the fly fishing world that I had not ventured into. Winged wet flies are not the easiest to tie and it takes some practice to get the wing feathers to set properly on top of the fly. They sure are beautiful and offer a feeling of accomplishment when things work right. These flies might be considered old fashioned, but they still work.


A good source for info on fishing wet flies for trout is the video “Wet Fly Ways” by Davy Wotton. Davy guides on the White River in Arkansas and shares flies and knowledge with his clients. Not having a lot of trout water nearby, the local pond and creek were the testing ground for winged wets and some larger bass wet flies.


More recently, I tried tying a couple of New England streamers pretty much in the Carrie Stevens style. These flies use extra-long hooks up to 9XL and feature a beautiful feather wing and often a shoulder of Jungle Cock eye. I happened into a Carrie Stevens class taught by Ian at Flymasters and

learned a little more about how to tie these pretty streamers. Sometimes in looking for the newest innovation or “improvement” in the fly fishing repertoire it is easy to miss older flies, rods, and techniques that worked in years past. However, most of those methods and flies still work today for those willing to make an investment in them. I am anxious to try a few more of these flies in the new year and see what they can do, maybe you can too. Tight lines and have a safe, productive, and happy holiday season and try something old.

Wet Fly Ways: Available to stream on Amazon.com https://amzn.to/37xZoJ3


Supervisor Fly

White Miller Fly


The Brook Trout That Wore Sandals


by Bill Holleran

With winter now upon us, it makes for a great opportunity to reflect on a great trip to the White Mountains of New Hampshire this past summer. I took Friday off work and headed up to meet some friends for some camping and some fly fishing. There were only four of us going on this trip and we all had different schedules, so we were all arriving at different times. Reminds me of the movie Swingers, where they all take separate cars. I headed up early Friday morning to meet my friend Frank in Lincoln, NH. The plan was to head straight to a


favorite spot where a hiking trail meets a tributary to the Pemigewasset River and use the tenkara gear. Craig was heading up earlier to the North Conway area to try his luck on the Saco River. Jeff was working in the morning and planning on meeting us for dinner. Frank and I met at the Visitors Center in North Woodstock, put our gear in one car and drove north on Route 3 to a small trailhead. Gearing up we knew it was going to be a hot day as the temperature was already in the low 90s. We hit the hiking trail around

9:30am and made our way to the brook. This was Frank’s first time using tenkara gear and his first-time fishing for brook trout, so we were excited to say the least. After setting up and going over some of the basics of tenkara, we hit the stream and started climbing across some rocks and boulders to get to a good spot. The sun was extremely hot and the glare off the rocks and water was blinding. Polarized glasses were a must. The water was crystal clear and still cold. It made the day more enjoyable. I love wet wading on a hot day. At our first stop I dead drifted an orange attractor fly between two rocks and saw a flash as the fly made its way along a fast seam. The brook trout had come out of hiding and crushed my fly with lightning speed. I set the hook and landed him quickly. I was surprised at the size of this fish because the water level was low, and these fish are natives that don’t often grow more than 6-8 inches in length. We took a quick picture and released him carefully back to the water. Happy with my catch, I collapsed my tenkara rod and went over to help Frank with his technique. He was picking up the tenkara method quickly. Frank has been bass fishing his whole life but was new to fly fishing. As we made our way downstream, he had several strikes by some small but fast brook trout. If you blinked, you missed them. In a short time, Frank got his first brook trout.


It was a small, beautifully colored fish. These brook trout truly amaze me. They are by far the prettiest fish I have ever seen, and they survive in some of the harshest conditions. Fishing these small mountain streams where the fish can be on the small size reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite authors, John Gierach, “Maybe your stature as a fly fisherman isn't determined by how big a trout you can catch, but by how small a trout you can catch without being disappointed.” We had hiked quite a way downstream before we realized we had better head back to the car so we could try and meet Craig for lunch. The heat was getting to us as well and we decided to make our way to the road and avoid


climbing over rocks and boulders to get back to the lot. At the lot we met a guy from the Great Lakes region and shared some fishing stories with him. I think he was wishing he had his fishing gear when we showed him some pictures from our morning. In the car we started driving south, watching for cell service to kick in so we could call Craig. We couldn’t get a hold of Craig, so we just pulled into a local sub shop on our way to the campground in Campton, NH. After lunch we checked in at the campground which is located right on the Pemigiwasset River. Thankfully our sites were located between several trees that provided a lot of shade because this was going to be a recordbreaking heat wave. We set up our tents and Craig joined us soon after.



Craig got set up and we finally cracked a cold beer. Nothing better after fishing all morning in 90+ degrees. We made our way down to the Pemi River on foot to scout it for fishing later. To our surprise the water level near the campground was low and was filled with kayakers and tubers. So, we decided to go to a different location before dinner. We headed back to the camp site to have another beer and look at our maps. After a little rest, we decided to try the Swift River along the Kancamangus highway. The Swift parking lot was very full, but most people were hiking and or looking for waterfalls. We only saw a couple other anglers. We walked a little way down the trail and decided to

climb down to the river. The climb down was steep and we had to hold on to trees and each other to get down safely. Another scenario where I was happy to be using a collapsible tenkara rod. On the river we spread out and gave each other some room. It didn’t take very long to get into some nice brook trout. Even on a hot day like this the brookies were aggressively chasing flies. After several fish it started to get dark, so we decided to call it a day and go to dinner. I had made tentative plans to check out my old friend Rich’s restaurant, but it was on the other side of the Kancamangus highway in North Woodstock, so we needed to hurry. I had found, through the magic of Facebook that a high school friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time had opened a restaurant called the Rustic River Kitchen. So, we hopped in the car and made our way to North Woodstock. When we arrived at RR it was slammed with customers. I saw my friend Rich behind the bar, and he yelled to me that he’d be right over. Even though the place was busy, Rich and his team did a great job moving people in and out. We got a seat in no time. We ordered some drinks and finally got a call from Jeff who was driving up from the south shore of Massachusetts. He had finally made it through Boston traffic and was on his way to the restaurant. Jeff arrived and we ordered our food. The chicken, broccoli, and ziti were excellent. The restaurant finally slowed down


and Rich came over to say hello. Talking to Rich was just like old times. It didn’t feel like that much time had passed. Rich brought us out on the restaurant deck to show us the river right below us. He told us stories of how the previous owner had a house in this location and used to catch trout and clean them with river water right where we were standing. If you’re headed to the White Mountains region, stop by Rustic River and let Rich and his team take good care of you. It was getting late, so we thanked Rich and headed back to camp. We got a little fire going, had some beers and talked about where to fish on Saturday. After much discussion we decided to try a spot that Craig had found on the Pemigiwasset river. He found a nice hidden place where we could park and get easy access. We were looking for some distance in our casts at this location, so I brought along my Orvis Recon 10-foot 3-weight fly rod. Walking to the river we spotted some animal tracks in the sand. Most of the tracks looked to be deer but then we spotted some good size bear tracks. We joked that if we caught any fish, we’d be handing them over to our furry friends. On the river we all spread out and Craig took Frank with him to help him with his fly casting and show him some things to look for on the river. The spot we were in was slow moving except for one section that had a nice flow with riffles and some good size rocks. After fishing a deep slow


section and getting no takes I decided to head up stream. Along the way I stopped and talked to Craig and Frank who had just missed landing a good size rainbow. Frank was excited and really enjoying fly fishing. I made my way past them so I could fish some of the faster water too. I was drifting and stripping a streamer, varying speeds trying to mimic baitfish. Craig started to make his way over to me and while talking to him I felt a strike. I set the hook and decided to strip the line in because I had a lot of line out at my feet. I brought the fish upstream, keeping pressure on. When I brought it close, Craig assisted with the net. It was a decent size rainbow trout.



After several more fish we decided to go find Jeff who was downstream using his spinning gear. Frank stayed behind because he had to go home for a family event in a few hours. Craig and I met up with Jeff who hadn’t had much luck, probably due to all the kayakers that were entering the water. He made the best of it and went for a swim. Jeff, Craig, and I decided to head across the Kancamangus Highway again and find some brook trout streams that were ideal for the tenkara method. We stopped in North Conway to see Steve at North Country Angler. Steve has been very supportive of Red Brook Tenkara and has our gear in his shop. We talked to Steve for a while and he gave us some good suggestions for flies and locations on an unbelievably hot day. So, we took Steve’s advice and headed north to higher elevations hoping to find cooler waters. After a short drive we found the spot and parked the car. Another short hike through the woods and we were on the water again. The river was nice and cool and some of the pools were deep. I gave Jeff one of our demo rods and showed him how to use it. It didn’t take him long to feel comfortable with it, so I left him to head further downstream. I made my way around a couple bends and found some fast-moving water entering into a deep pool. I climbed across some rocks and got to the other side of the river to get better access. I cast a small bead head

upstream and let it drift into the pool area. I saw a couple flashes but missed the strikes. It looked like some small brookies were chasing my fly. One more cast and I anticipated the strike and set the hook. It was a pretty small brook trout and I had him in the net very quickly. I like to use the net to protect the fish most of the time. This time it wasn’t the best decision. The little brookie slipped through the net and was now back in the water near my feet. Looking down I realized he had somehow hooked the fly to the back of my water sandal. So now I had a fish on the line that ran through my net and was connected to my sandal. You couldn’t make this stuff up! I quickly shed some gear and was able to unhook my sandal and then get the fly out of the brookie’s mouth. Amazingly, the trout was fine and went back to the pool. I took a photo because I figured no one would believe this story.

I spent a little more time in this spot and decided the heat was too much, so I headed back up to meet Craig and Jeff. When I came around one of the bends, I saw a guy jumping off the rocks into a big pool. It was like something out of a Mountain Dew commercial. I caught up to Jeff and Craig and we all decided to call it a day. It was way too hot, and we were tired. Walking out of the forest towards the car felt like we were entering a sauna. We drove back to camp and started to prepare dinner, the usual camp food of burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, and potato salad. Later that night we got the fire going and the beer and stories were flowing good. It’s the part of the trip that really makes it worthwhile. Obviously, a day of fishing in the White Mountains is the greatest escape but hanging with your buddies around a campfire, drinking good beer, and making fun of each other is a close second. Can't wait for the next trip!


Tenkara Rod Weight & Flexes by Karin Miller


When fly anglers talk about their fly rods, they use a set of terms to describe the rod. This usually includes the rod's length and the rod's weight. You'll hear fly fisherman say they have a 7’ 3-weight or a 9’ 5-weight, etc. The rod's weight has nothing to do with how much the fly rod actually weighs, but rather is connected to the size of the fly line designed to be cast on that particular rod in order to achieve proper load, best cast and fly turn over. Generally speaking, if the rod is a 5-weight, you should use a 5-weight fly line with it. Although you can size a fly line up or down by one for specific reasons or preferences, in most cases you use an 8-weight fly line on an 8weight fly rod and match it directly. The larger the fish or fly pattern used, typically the heavier the rating your fly line and fly rod should be. A 3-weight to 5-weight covers most trout fishing but when targeting steelhead or permit, a heavier rod (and line) like an 8-weight to 12-weight would be more appropriate.


What About Tenkara Rods? In the tenkara world of fly fishing, anglers speak a slightly different language. They describe their rods by length and flex, not weight. Flex refers to the action of the rod and where, on the total length of the tenkara rod, the flex is the deepest. Rod flex can be described as the percentage of the tenkara rod that is stiff, to the percentage of the rod that flexes. A tenkara rod with a 5:5 flex means that about 50% of that rod is stiff and about 50% of the rod flexes. A tenkara

rod with a 7:3 flex rating means that about 70% of the rod is stiff and about 30% flexes.

What's So Important About Where It Flexes? The flex point of a tenkara rod impacts how it casts and its action. A tenkara rod with a 5:5 flex will be softer and cast slower than a tenkara rod with a 7:3 flex which will be stiffer and require a faster cast. Thus, anglers talk about the action of their rods as being slow, mid-action, or fast – soft or stiff. The action of a tenkara rod, however, is not just about personal preference but also affects hook sets and the rod’s "backbone", which give it more or less fighting power. Flex also affects the distance you can cast and the type of flies you’ll be able to throw efficiently. Of course, other factors influence this as well, primarily what material the tenkara rod is made from, how it’s wrapped, wall thickness, taper – in other words, its specs or dimensions. But you can read more about that here ("It's All About The Blank", Fall 2018 Issue of Tenkara Angler). People who come from a traditional western fly fishing background understand what a rod’s weight infers, but not a tenkara rod's flex and this can cause confusion when choosing a tenkara rod and understanding the rod’s capabilities. A flex ratio tells the customer very little about what the rod can actually do or the types of species that would be appropriate to target on the rod. And since rod flexes aren’t standardized but rather subjective, flex


ratio numbers leave a lot of room for opinion and interpretation.

So How Do We Get The Information We Need From A Simple Flex Profile?

The “penny measurement” is another method that some tenkara anglers use to obtain information on a rod’s flex profile. It involves filling a plastic bag with X number of pennies to make the rod bend or flex to 1/3 its length. While this system does provide an idea of how flexible the rod is, it still doesn’t “rate” the rod’s capacity. As tenkara anglers evolve and experiment more with their rods to target different fish species, it would be helpful to have a sense of whether or not their particular rod would handle the quest they’re seeking, or whether the rod is doomed to break, given the task. How, where and for what you’ll be fishing should determine the type and “weight” of fly or tenkara rod you choose. Using the right tool for a job increases the rate of success and often makes it more pleasurable: When hiking into backcountry for native trout in heavy tree and brush-lined micro-streams, a lighter, shorter rod would be preferred. Fishing sinking flies or heavy nymph patterns on dense Kevlar or sinking lines? A beefier, stiffer rod will enable you to lift heavy submerged setups easier from under the water. Throwing longer lines or bigger flies on a lake or in saltwater? You’ll need casting power and a rod that’s more wind resistant and able to turn over big flies by delivering more energy. Dry flies and traditional kebari patterns require casting delicacy instead of power and speed.

The answer is we don’t. Tenkara and fixed-line fly anglers are only provided with a portion of the information they need to make informed choices. An approximation on where the rod bends deepest doesn’t tell us diddly about what the rod was designed to do. When you consider that even within a traditional fly rod weight category, there are flex profiles, meaning a 10’ 6weight may still be considered soft or stiff, tenkara rod specs are greatly lacking.



The missing link here is that although tenkara rod manufacturers provide customers with a flex ratio, and even if they have a penny measurement, that still only gives anglers an idea of what the flex profile for that rod might be, not its weight category. The angler still has to guess at what the rod could or should be used for. As the tenkara world evolves and anglers explore using them for a variety of species and scenarios, knowing a weight category would be helpful. Then having additional information about a rod flex and action, such as stiffness, rate of recovery and where the rod flexes the deepest, would be like adding toppings to an ice cream sundae and certainly would provide a more complete picture for the angler. In recent years, the fly fishing industry has actually steered away from using flex profiles and “actions” to describe their rods. Instead of describing a rod as being fast or slow, they’ve begun to

use more specific terms like “stiff butt”, “progressive taper”, “soft tip”, and “mid-flex” which provides anglers a more accurate descriptions of rod characteristics.

Will The Tenkara Industry Follow Suit? At least one company is. Zen Tenkara has assigned FRAE (Fly Rod Approximate Equivalency) Ratings to all their tenkara rods. Through extensive testing and on-the-water trials, Zen was determined to provide weight category equivalencies to their rods, so anglers understood their products better. Providing a weight category and rod and reel comparison, gives anglers a better idea about what a particular rod should or should not be used for. Zen also provides a flex ratio so that anglers understand the flex profile of each rod and can better match their own casting preference or style and choose a rod with a specific action and characteristic best suited for their personality and particular fishing needs.

Will Other Tenkara Companies Follow Suit? That remains to be seen. Adding a FRAE Rating to a tenkara rod does make it more user friendly to the greater fly fishing world. It provides more information to the consumer and offers a better sense of what a tenkara rod can do and what type of fishing it’s best suited for. It's not a direct translation but an approximate comparison to regular fly rods in order to help anglers understand the rod's capacity and use. The flex profile is additional information that helps anglers better match their casting style and preference with a specific action. Using similar terms to describe rod characteristics should bring the fly fishing worlds closer together. And in an industry that until recently had many reservations about this fixed-line method, a unified language could help improve understanding, remove barriers and offer consumers the ability to make a more educated choice when considering a tenkara rod.




Winter Reader Photos

Some quick hits from readers out and about with their tenkara rods

“For me, this picture sums up the joy of tenkara. My daughter's first tenkara fish. Grayling Creek near West Yellowstone, MT. The rod is the Tenkara Rod Co. Mini Sawtooth." - Bob Everest



“Yesterday on the last day of the season here in the Driftless I took my sister Barb out in SE Minnesota. Using my Zerosum 360 with a hopper and a Tanuki 375 with a San Ron Worm Barb landed 7 browns and a rainbow. I couldn't even begin to count how many she lost but for her first time out it was incredible. Life is good!" - Dave Noll



"Pics from tenkara fishing

days in September 2019... all photos by Nina Niedermair" - Bernhard Niedermair



"Somewhere in North Carolina..." - Anthony Naples


"Tenkara Power" - Ari Tonteri


Friends of Tenkara Angler











Contributors & Credits

This issue of Tenkara Angler Magazine was made possible by the extremely generous contributions of the following members of our tenkara & fixed-line fishing community.


Bill Holleran

David West Beale

has a background in engineering and loves fly fishing & the outdoors. As the owner of Red Brook Tenkara, his motto is “no reel, no problems!”

Lives in England, UK, where he fishes for anything that swims with his fly rod. You can follow his adventures at tenkaratales.blogspot.com.

Karin Miller

Jonathan Antunez

Is the owner of Zen Tenkara. Since its start in 2012, Zen has looked to push the traditional, established boundaries in an effort to “define American Tenkara.”

An avid angler, fly tyer, and student of Japanese tenkara, Jonathan practices traditional techniques in the cold, mountain waters of Colorado. Instagram: @the_trout_conjurer

Nick Pavlovski

Morgan Lyle

started tenkara and fixed-line fly fishing in February 2017. He has uploaded videos of some of his older trips over at his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UC2fgn2TYlHco9VtWlof8LnA He’s currently interested in becoming a better fixed-line tactical nympher.

Is the author of Tenkara Today and Simple Flies: 52 Easy-to-Tie Patterns That Catch Fish. He has written dozens of articles for American Angler, Fly Tyer, The Drake, and other magazines. Morgan does most of his fishing in fresh and saltwater in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

Jack Harford

Diane Kelly-Riley

is the editor of the Armchair Angler, a monthly newsletter of the Indianapolis Fly Casters. He began fly fishing as therapy and spiritual practice of engagement with nature. Jack has tied flies at the Sowbug Roundup and several other shows. He is enjoying the philosophy and lessons learned from tenkara.

Diane Kelly-Riley lives and fishes in northern Idaho.

Additional Photo Contributors

Anthony Naples, Ari Tonteri, Bernhardt & Nina Niedermair, Bob Everest, Dave Noll, Tod Olsen


Photo: Ari Tonteri




News & Notes From Around Social Media Ratskin Canoe fly tying, beer drinking, something or other is now on YouTube. Horizontal video fans need not apply...

Is that a possum in your pocket or are you just a fan of nocturnal American marsupials...? Luong Tam (Tenkara Tanuki) was recently featured on the Cast and Spear podcast...

If you enjoyed Morgan Lyle's story about Ed Van Put, you must grab a copy of Tenkara Today... There's far too much great used gear in Facebook's Tenkara Trading Post to ignore, don't miss a killer deal...

Gink & Gasoline explores the new Orvis Pro Approach wading shoe, headed to shelves this spring...


Winter 2019-20

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