Send up of the Tenkara Amago (and Tenkara in general)
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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Send up of the Tenkara Amago (and Tenkara in general) on 08/16/2010 20:23:46 MDT Print View

I just got off the South Fork of the Flathead, and besides being able to report that the fishing is justifiably fabled, I think I've finally got a handle on Tenkara and how it works for me.

Since hauling my two-piece Orvis around last year, and experiencing the nuisance that is setting up and breaking down a rod/reel combo multiple times a day, I became very interested in tenkara. I missed out on the first two iterations of the Hane, and took some time to ruminate and research before May rolled around and I got interested in fishing again. Eventually I acquired the Tenkara USA Amago, and have used nothing else this summer. Some thoughts:

-The size, weight, and ease/speed of rigging and derigging makes Tenkara the clear winner for backcountry trips. The Tenkara USA rods are just long enough to be hard to fit in packs. Ryand did his homework making the Hane just that little bit shorter.

-Tenkara is much easier to learn. Another big duh here, but the simplicity is nice for us casual fishermen who don't get out enough to perfect the double haul.

-A sub-point of the above is that Tenkara is perfect for the occasional fisherman. Even on the South Fork, with epic and easy fishing, I just don't care to do it all day. The lightness and compactness of a tenkara kit means that I can bring it along and not feel foolish for only fishing for an hour every evening.

-Tenkara is really fun, especially on small waters. Another duh. I've always found smaller streams and rivers to be more engaging to fish anyway, so I might as well use a good tool for what I like.

-The Amago is a good quiver of one. It isn't the ideal backpacking rod, as the larger extended and collapsed length are less than ideal. However if I only were to have one fly rod period, it would be the Amago. It works just fine on larger western rivers like the Blackfoot.

-The Amago is really fun to catch fish on. The long length and softer action make little fish and big fish very fun to catch and play. The trout below isn't very big, but he had enough fight to have me moving down the bank to avoid a snapped tippet, if I hadn't been able to see him in the crystalline pool the whole time I'd've guessed he was a lot bigger.

south fork trout

So I'm a convert. On the second morning I was eating lunch and drying gear by the White River, full yard sale in effect as the sun had finally come out. A gentlemen and his sun, with external frame packs and big ole western fly rods, came past. The dad surveyed my gear and asked (almost verbatim) "Are you a practitioner of ultralight backpacking?" I didn't really know how to answer the question, and asked why he asked. He pointed to the packraft and tenkara rod as clear signs of clan orthodoxy.

Guilty am I.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Amago on 08/29/2010 09:03:24 MDT Print View

David,
The Amago is one of my favorite Tenkara rods. I especially like it for lake fishing. Here are some pictures of me fishing my Amago on Ptarmigan Lake.

Edited by jasonklass on 08/29/2010 09:15:46 MDT.

Ryan Longmire
(longmire) - MLife

Locale: Tejas
Re: Send up of the Tenkara Amago (and Tenkara in general) on 08/29/2010 14:19:03 MDT Print View

Great write-up, David. Thanks!

I just ordered a 12' Iwana from Jason and can't wait to try it out. I will be taking it to the Uintas to break it in.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
12' Iwana on 08/30/2010 13:52:14 MDT Print View

I too have just started fishing with a Tenakara. After talking with Jason a bit I decided on the Iwana 12'. I just finished a week long trek in the Sierras doing a modified loop on the High Sierra Trail. I caught fish in each stream or lake I fished.

The first time I was able to fish was on our 3rd day at the Kern RIver near the Hot Springs. I had bites right off the bat and had my first fish within a few minutes. The next day we headed up to Colby Pass. Halfway up we stopped for the night and I fished a nice creek. More fish. The next day we went over Colby pass and swam and ate lunch at Colby lake. More fish. The last day I was able to fish was by the bridge at the Roaring River. I started late and had a bunch of bites, brought one fish in, and lost one.

All in all, the Tenakara was just perfect for where I was. I was and am totally clueless as to what fly to use. That is my next goal. Nonetheless, I still caught fish and enjoyed my time doing so. It will be part of my backpacking from now on. If I saw a bit of time in the morning I could just set up my rod and be fishing in a minute. It was great.

Jacob Smith
(Wrongturn) - MLife

Locale: The Soda
re: on 08/31/2010 06:14:54 MDT Print View

Picked up a BPL Tenkara Hane last week before doing my research, and realized it isn't really best suited for the small trout small stream fishing I'm currently doing, so I just bought an Ayu from another member, and ordered an 11ft Iwana from Jason.

Looking forward to trying out the Iwana on Big Wilson Creek this weekend or next.

Edited by Wrongturn on 08/31/2010 06:15:34 MDT.