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Hiromichi Fuji is really fun to be with. He has a wicked sharp sense of humor and is very humble and relaxed once you get past the formal introduction part. Love that guy.

Tenkara in Japan has very strict rules. This is where a lot has been lost in translation from Japan to the West.

Tenkara in Japan is very fluid. There are no hard rules or dogma surrounding it. Tenkara is simply a traditional form of fixed line flyfishing practiced in mountain streams throughout Japan.

It has been said there are the 10 colors of tenkara, meaning, that for every 10 tenkara anglers there is a different and unique method being employed.

After my trip to Japan and many hundreds of Skype calls, emails, Facebook messages to my friends and mentors in Japan, I have concluded that there are really 10,000 colors of tenkara.

The way tenkara is looked at in Japan is that there are some basic tools like a telescopic rod with a fixed line attachment at the tip, a line made of what ever material and construction the angler prefers, and some flies. After that, it is pretty much open to the individual’s interpretation.

This leads us to the next and final item.

Tenkara anglers in Japan only use kebari pattern flies. Well, not exactly. Let's define the word kebari. Kebari refers to fly patterns that are native to Japan. They are not match the hatch type representations like we see in other parts of the world. Kebari are all not wet fly or Sakasa (Meaning forward) hackle patterns either.

Kebari range widely in styles. There are dry pattern, wet pattern, and weighted pattern, forward hackle and rearward hackle kebari.

In Japan, tenkara anglers refer to western style flies as “flies” just to keep the confusion down.

Some tenkara anglers choose to use only kebari patterns and some use a large mixture of both western flies and kebari.

To add to that, there are tenkara anglers in Japan who do match the hatch and some that don’t.

Again it all comes down to tenkara is very fluid in Japan. You can and are in fact encouraged to find your own “Tenkara Color”.

Make tenkara your tenkara. Don't worry about anyone else’s opinions, just go out there and experiment and have fun.

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Profile for Tenkara Angler

Tenkara Angler - Summer 2016  

Tenkara Angler Magazine chronicles the tenkara lifestyle through entries about community, destination, tactics, gear, and creative essays. A...

Tenkara Angler - Summer 2016  

Tenkara Angler Magazine chronicles the tenkara lifestyle through entries about community, destination, tactics, gear, and creative essays. A...

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