Tenkara Thursday - Salvation In Tenkara?

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday Thursday.

I was checking my twitter stream the other day and came across this:


It actually wasn't hard to spot, as I not only follow Tenkara USA, but also a few of the re-tweeters.

Now I love tenkara, but a statement as bold as "salvation for the dying fly fishing industry" is something that I thing requires full context that a 140 character tweet can't capture.  I mean (Patagonia founder) Yvon Chouinard probably has a reason for stating the above, right?

So I went to go check out the article, located on page 14 of the 2012 Blue Ribbon Flies catalog.  (Please go read the article, it's quite good, far better than this post).  The quote is neatly summarized in the last paragraph by the following:
"I say it could be the savior of the sport of fly fishing because it is simple, inexpensive, and can be taught to an eight year old in minutes."
Well I guess the reasoning makes sense...tenkara is pretty easy to pick up, and you can catch fish on it.  A dummy like me is proof of that.  I suppose the "inexpensive" is a relative term, but I get that point too.  Rod, line, fly, simplicity, blah, blah, blah...  However, something tells me that the word "could" probably needs to be in bold font and underlined about five or six times.  If not the tenakara zealots readers will latch on to the words "savior" or "salvation," turning the proposition into a definitive statement.

See, there's a lot of things that "could"  be the salvation for the dying fly fishing industry...tenkara being one, but also the continued dominance of the squirmy wormie, Tim Tebow in waders, properly addressing the growing female demographic...or even a remake of a now 20 year old fly fishing film that helped inspire the industry's last period of significant growth...(oh, and I've got a director in mind)....

Skerritt, Bieber, and that dude from Twilight

Okay, on second thought, maybe Mr. Chouinard has it right after all...

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Comments

  1. tim tebow in waders is better than tim tebow on the football field. i am in. thanks for the shootoot mike.

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  2. I have to agree with that sentiment Mike. I think the simplicity is at least part of the reason why Tenkara appealed to me personally. That and I like seeing the guys who just walked out of an Orvis catalog trying to figure out "Who let that guy in here?"

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  3. I watched that movie for the first time this past weekend. It isn't very good.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you sir, for publically saying what so few people are willing to say. It is crap. So many people hold it up on a crappy pedastal...when all it is a phony crap movie. Great book. Turrable movie. Crap.

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    2. Ha! You two are funny. I'm actually not a big fan of the movie either, but it's revered so much couldn't help but not mention it. Actually my favorite part of the flick is the whole hungover Buster and his can of worms part.

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    3. there is certainly no denying in the positive effect it had on the sport by bringing more people to the sport. but, it is crap.

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    4. I can't even figure out why it brought "more people to the sport." All the fishing scenes were boring and they had nothing to do with the plot.

      I kept waiting for the awesome, then brad Pitt died and the crap show was over.

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    5. Side note: this comment reply stuff is the awesome.

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  4. Good stuff. 8 minutes to learn and I'm now on year two of trying to master. I believe its going to take me a life time. And please - no more Justin bieber. In five years he'll be as relevant as the New Kids O.T.B.

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    Replies
    1. Somewhere Jordan Knight is reading this and taking mucho offense to your statement above.

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  5. I love this blog. :)

    Here's what I think about it... it'd be great if he was right. Unfortunately, he's not. Here's why: The cost of a rod (and/or rod and reel) isn't the only cost in fly fishing. I can be fishing for bluegills after spending $100 and that includes a nice(for panfish fishing) rod, reel, accesories, cooler and bait. Most fly fishers I know are at least somewhat visionary - but as Sheldon Cooper says "There's a fine line between wrong and visionary,...unfortunately you have to be a visionary to see it."

    To no one in general I'd like to offer up the real problem with fly fishing these days: "It's the economy, stupid."

    We fix that, we fix flyfishing. Have we forgotten the 80's and 90's so fast? What was different then? There was no tenkara, yet fly shops popped up everywhere and the industry flourished. Did men actually get into fly fishing because of a movie? Maybe. But what allowed them to get in, and get in so deep.......was a good economy. That's what will save fly fishing. And America.

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    1. I don't totally disagree, but Americans have a knack for finding ways of spending beyond their means if they really want something...not to mention the fact that kids are quite persuasive in getting their parents to buy them expensive items. I don't think the economy is the reason, I see far too many people driving BMWs, spending money on a new Taylor Made driver, or kids with Xbox, iPads, and designer clothes. If someone wants to fly fish, barriers to entry, economic or not, are easily overcome. Good discussion point Owl!

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  6. I agree with Owl re: economy...

    BUT...I kind of believe another (potential) saviour of fly fishing could be in the species, i.e., bass & bluegills. Put a lightweight (& reasonably priced) setup in the arms of a kid & get them fishing in a local pond. Indiscriminate feeding fish that can put a bend in the rod = potential new addicts.

    I can attest the joys of smallies on the fly rod has put me much deeper into the addiction of fly fishing than wandering around predominantly fishless, "unexplored" small streams with a 3wt or spending numerous fishless days swinging flies for Atlantic salmon.

    BTW, This whole purity/simplicity/minimalist stuff that keeps popping up w.r.t. to tenkara annoys me (aka, me, the quasi-minimalist/proponent of simple living)

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    Replies
    1. Hey Mat - I'm on board with you in regard to the whole purity angle. Those that confuse minimalism for purity are misguided...either way, you're still pulling fish out of the water by their mouths. Izaak Walton only fished with stick and string because Ross reels weren't around yet. I do think there's something liberating about fishing with less gear, but it doesn't make anyone better, just different.

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  7. dying industry is a very bold statement, sure flyshops are dropping like flies to the internet discount sites, TFO and Echo are murdering sage and G loomis... its just a cleansing of the elite, soon the poor humble blue collar worker can afford to fish again.. isn't that a shame, flyfishing becoming a family sport again-

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