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Traditional gear vs Tenkara
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Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Traditional gear vs Tenkara on 09/05/2010 07:42:09 MDT Print View

I'm planning a 5 day trip along the North Country Trail in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan the last week of September. The route follows the Black River for the first segment, past numerous waterfalls and some prime brook trout fishing. After that, I head into the Porcupine Mountains and should cross both small streams and larger rivers.

I'm a traditional (but UL) fly fisherman recently tempted by this forum to buy a 12 ft Iwana Tenkara rod. It would be nice to simplify and lighten my gear, but I worry a little about feeling like I'm missing out on good water due to limited range of the Tenkara. So my internal debate is, do I bring my traditional gear to explore this new trail, or go full Tenkara?

I can certainly bring both- base pack weight right now is about 8 lb- but if I'm going to give Tenkara a fair chance, I should probably immerse myself in it. I know it's a question only I can answer for myself, but I'd welcome your insights as I decide.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Tenkara on 09/05/2010 07:57:31 MDT Print View

I encourage you to go with the Tenkara - just the Tenkara! It will force you to get good with the new system quickly.

Tenkara does limit you to relatively short casts - but you will be amazed at just how much control you have of the cast and drift. And I think you'll be amazed at what a difference this makes!

You will see another big difference if you also learn to stalk your prey, and not just boldly walk in and scare every fish for 50 feet! Imitate the heron!

Finally, the simplicity of Tenkara nicely complements the simplicity of UL backpacking!

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Just got it! on 09/08/2010 07:38:24 MDT Print View

Thanks Stephen,
I just got the rod yesterday and, now that I can actually hold it, I'm sure you are right. I can't get over how light it is. One more layer of simplicity to the trip. I'll post some pictures when I get back.