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Tenkara Style

Tenkara is best known as a Japanese method of fishing.  The appeal of tenkara fishing is its elegant simplicity.  Just a rod, a line(no reel), and a fly. The long rod allows for precise placement of the fly on small pools and allows for holding the fly in place on the other side of a current.

Tenkara is a method of fly-fishing well-suited for hill country stream fishing and for anyone looking for a simpler way to fly-fish. It is the ideal setup for backpacking and particularly effective for fishing "skinny water."  

But, tenkara is not just about catching fish. It is just as much about bringing moments of peace and introspection into your life. 

You could be a tenkara angler if...

  • You love the idea of ultralight, highly simplified fly fishing.
  • You would enjoy carrying all of your fishing gear in a sling pack.
  • You would like to catch a 10-inch Guadalupe bass on a 2-oz. rod.
  • You love to fish the little no-name creeks of Texas.
  • You favor casting simple, lightly-weighted flies over bulky streamers.
  • You want a direct connection to the fish.
  • You would like to cast into tight spots where the fish hang out.
  • You would enjoy less line and no reel to manage.
  • You want an easy introduction to fly fishing.
  • You're on a modest budget.
  • You "get it" when it comes to meditation. 

John Evans - THCFF Tenkara instructor and mentor

John Evans is an outdoor author and educator. His articles on hunting, fishing, and camping have appeared in such magazines as Field & Stream, Southern Outdoors, and Texas Sportsman.

He, with his wife, Robin, is an active member of THCFF. John was one of the early practitioners of tenkara in Texas and has extensive experience on our local rivers and streams. 

John especially enjoys participating in the THCFF mentorship program and introducing others to tenkara angling in the Texas Hill Country.

How to get jump-started with Tenkara

Getting started is the hardest part. Everyone learns differently.  Sure, discovery is fun but sifting through a ton of conflicting online info is boring and a time drain.  So it's easy learn incorrectly or get frustrated and bored.

Finding an experienced teacher to jump-start your adventure is the key.  A mentor will ask the right questions and teach specifically to your needs.  This keeps you from picking up bad habits lets you focus on learning correctly.

The THCFF's tenkara mentoring program is tailor made to each student.  Best part is it's open to anyone wanting to journey into tenkara fly fishing. Ask about mentoring.

You are a shoo-in Tenkara fanatic if

  • You failed "fly line management" in school.
  • You have no idea what "double-hauling" means.
  • You enjoy starting arguments about what is, and isn't, fly fishing.
  • You have never understood the purpose of a reel.
  • You like people asking why you're casting a "cane pole" that way.
  • You enjoy waving a long stick while standing in the water.
  • You think less gear is actually better.
  • You enjoy casting a rod that weighs less than a candy bar.
  • You like people's eyes to bug out when your little 20-inch stick becomes a 12-foot fishing pole.
  • You think your fishing gear should cost less than your first car.
  • Your fly box full same pattern flies fits in your shirt pocket.
  •  You think vests went out of style with 3-piece suits.

The Flies of Tenkara

A blue winged olive (aka B.W.O.) is a broad name given to the genus batidae. It is often used to describe mayflies with a olive thorax and abdomen, bluish wings, and sized #18-22 hooks.

The Dun stage of a blue winged olive hatch spend long periods of time on the surface of the water drying their wings prior to flight.

This makes dry fly fishing a b.w.o. hatch a favorite of fly fishers. 

Quick Learners

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Texas Hill Country Fly Fishers
PO Box 3002
Fredericksburg, TX 78624

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