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Backcountry Fly Fishing with Tenkara: Ultralight Style and Simplicity
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Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
Re: Backcountry Fly Fishing with Tenkara on 08/21/2009 07:05:52 MDT Print View

Ryan posted a link to the song above.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Backcountry Fly Fishing with Tenkara on 08/22/2009 00:17:44 MDT Print View

Thanks, Matt! I guess I was too enthusiastic about finding out more on Tenkara to read Ryan's post carefully enough!

I have now downloaded the song and played it several times. If it weren't already BPL's theme song, it would be mine! 'Walk as much of the trails 'til my dying day.' Or, as I have often put it, as long as I can put one foot in front of another--"Look for me in the mountains!"

Thanks, BPL, for making this lovely song available for us members for free!

Gary Burke
(gfburke) - F
What about preparing the fish? on 08/22/2009 10:53:16 MDT Print View

This is really cool, but what about preparing the fish when you catch it? Don't you also need to carry along supplies for cooking/grilling?

Also I have no idea how to fillet a caught fish, I suppose I should learn that. :)

WV Hiker

Locale: West Virginia
Rod case? on 08/24/2009 13:39:56 MDT Print View


You mention in your video that you save the weight of the rod case. How do you carry the rod to protect it then?

Daniel Galhardo
(dwgalhardo) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: What about preparing the fish? on 08/25/2009 01:42:37 MDT Print View

You can use a very lightweight grill if you want. But, for years I have not carried anything special for cooking the fish. Just break a twig from a tree and skewer the fish, just add sea salt on the outside. Check this out:
Trout a la tenkara

The tip of the rod and all are inside the main part, thus no need for a case.

Edited by dwgalhardo on 08/25/2009 01:44:17 MDT.

Michael Donovan
(mpdonovan) - F
How about dry flies? on 08/25/2009 18:48:36 MDT Print View

Ryan. Killer video. Can you tell me anything about how the rod (and the fish) handled on dry flies - and what size flies did you use? Cheers my dear.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
Tenkara vs Carbon Trek Pole on 08/27/2009 09:43:33 MDT Print View

Sorry, my question is from the perspective of an expert novice: I usually go a fishin only a few times a year, but got the bug again this summer and now this article on Tenkara has really caught my interest. My question is this: Why not simply multi-use a carbon (or whatever) trekking pole and tie on a line ala Tenkara style? Would this set-up be as effective? as fun? I am interested in hearing about the differences. I do realize that the Tenkara set-up would give a more "poetic" experience. Mike

Edited by greenwalk on 08/27/2009 09:45:22 MDT.

Daniel Galhardo
(dwgalhardo) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
trekking pole on 08/27/2009 14:56:15 MDT Print View

Hi Michael,

I'm the founder of Tenkara USA. I don't think it's about a more poetic experience, but really the practical aspects of it. Unless you have a trekking pole that extends out a lot to reach, with a very fine tip to both be able to cast, and soft enough to feel pleasant to fish, it wouldn't really be a similar experience.

I'm all for improvising/ multi-use gear, and you may always even break a twig from a tree and fish, and yes, you may tie a line to a trekking pole, etc, but being able to reach farther, cast and play a fish are hard things to accomplish by improvising.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Not a poet! on 08/27/2009 20:46:40 MDT Print View

I just found Tenkara this summer, and have thoroughly enjoyed using my Tenkara rods! There is no way that a carbon fiber trekking pole (which I have) would replicate a Tenkara rod in fishing mountain streams! It's an elegant, simple, and effective way to fish. Kudos to Daniel for bringing this to the USA, and kudos to Ryan for bringing it to us who enjoy the mountains!

If you live in SoCal, PM me - I'd be happy to take you to a local park and let you experience Tenkara fishing directly!

James Rank
(Gravitas) - F
Ready for action on 08/28/2009 06:12:44 MDT Print View

Ryan, thanks for sharing your insight into Tenkara. My rod came in a few days ago (IWANA 12') and I'm looking forward to this weekend when I'll be trying it out in the Catskill Region of NY. The simplicity of it drew me right in.

Edited by Gravitas on 08/28/2009 06:13:42 MDT.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
More on Tenkara on 08/30/2009 06:45:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for your replies re Tenkara. I kinda knew that the Tenkara system would be far superior but I just didn't know why. Now I do understand. So now I must choose the Tenkara model that best suits my needs. Mostly I will use the Tenkara rod in mountain lakes and rivers here in Ireland but will most likley take it alon to other European countries and the U.S. So I guess the most versatile rod woudl be best. Any suggestions? I will study the Tenkara web site too. Thanks again, Mike

Edited by greenwalk on 08/30/2009 06:46:05 MDT.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: What about preparing the fish? on 08/30/2009 22:27:02 MDT Print View

You cut on the "belly" from neck to anus and remove everything not meat (guts, eegs, blood vessels) then cut off the head and tail. Use the gills to keep it from slipping.

Cooking can consist of steaming, frying or grilling. A couple /few minutes on each side for steaming (depending on fish size) is enough. Frying makes more smell and is messier to clean up. Grilling with foil (make a reflector oven) or over a "real grill" is the tastiest.

No matter how you cook, hold the fish open flat while cooking as it makes bone removal easy.

Here's a video link--it's a bit different from the way I do it and works better on larger fish.

Gregory Topf
(notoriousGRT) - MLife

Locale: PNW / Switzerland
Validation on 09/01/2009 00:56:53 MDT Print View

I went down Youngs Creek and the South Fork of the Flathead in the Bob in an Alpacka during the second week in August with a Tenkara Kamame either in hand or strapped to my pack.

I can basically validate all of the findings in this review.

Regarding the main drawback, success was had in landing 15" to 20" fish when it was possible to follow the fish on the upper river - the stretchiness of the line and flexibility of the rod also really help to prevent breakoffs. On the lower river where larger fish have the liberty to bolt in a single direction or get broadside to a strong current, there is not much one can do except say goodbye to your fly and be thankful that you are out there.

For the casting distances that are doable with a Tenkara rod, you can get any fly where it needs to be, and stealthily at that. In fact, the stealth factor needed for close up casting is part of what made it fun, in addition to the pure functionality of the setup.

I took a spey rod onto the Deschutes in Oregon for Steelhead two weeks later. That was definitely the other end of the spectrum.

I heart my Tenkara Kamame.

Edited by notoriousGRT on 09/01/2009 00:57:50 MDT.

Larry Tullis
(Larrytullis) - F - M

Locale: Wasatch Mountains
Tenkara Yamame on 10/15/2009 03:18:06 MDT Print View

I've been using my Yamame, which was recommended as the best model for larger fish, for several months now and can say that it is both fun and effective. I usually use it setup for nymphing. It extends my reach to get good drifts over current tongues. It has landed trout to 21 inches with no problem. It's the system I grab when I just have a short time to fish. The downsides are, limited casting distance, no drag for playing larger fish, more tangles when nymphing, not good for high mountain lakes unless you can find some fish congregated close to shore as they often are at inlet and outlets. If you accept these limitations and choose the water that matches the strengths of the rod, then this is an excellent fish catching system.

George Isiminger

Locale: Southeast
Tenkara rod specifically for backpacking? on 11/20/2009 14:45:15 MST Print View


Didn't I see somewhere where you commented that you were working with Tenkara to design a rod with specific features just for backpacking? If so, what special features would it have and when would you expect it to be available?

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Tenkara rod specifically for backpacking? on 11/20/2009 15:07:59 MST Print View

From Ryan last night:

The BPL Tenkara rod specs: 9'10" length, 7:3 ratio, and get this! 2.7 oz and a 16" collapsed length!

(swimmer1200) - F
March Brown Convertible 3wt or 2wt on 12/19/2009 19:32:54 MST Print View

The rod shrinks on the go so you're not whacking the opposite bank of small streams or getting tangled in the overhang. This is an American rod written up in backpacker, paddler, etc. for being the best small water rod around. Check it out!

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Re: Tenkara appropriate for the novice? on 01/30/2010 20:44:16 MST Print View

I've fished with convention fly gear for years. Tenkara simplifies flyfishing to the extreme. you wont have to learn how to strip line, loop line in your hands, shoot line when casting, reel line properly, palm the spool, not to mention how to attach the four different lines that are used in single conventional fly rig! Tenkara is the same as what i do whenever i teach my kids to cast, i tie the line onto the tip so they dont have to deal with all these other complications. Sounds perfect for beginners. I cant wait to try one of these rods.