August 1, 2019

Colorado 2019: The Tenkara Summit & Breaking In The Ebisu

Saturday... What. A. Day.

After a long, but eventful day of travel and fishing on Friday, it was now time for the Tenkara Summit, presented by Tenkara USA. I think this was the fifth Summit I've attended over the years, each one being an enjoyable mix of presentations, instruction, and fishing camaraderie. This year's Summit was not only a gathering for anglers both new and experienced, but it was also marking Tenkara USA's 10th anniversary of operation. Quite the milestone for a style of fly fishing that was once called a fad!

Note: Jason Klass did a wonderful recap of the Tenkara Summit over on his Tenkara Talk blog, please check it out HERE if you want more specifics around the day's events. This post will simply share a few photos and comments from an attendee's point of view.

TJ Ferreira (L) & John Geer (R) tell stories from their years of Tenkara USA customer service.
It's funny how many different (hilarious) scenarios they've encountered...
John Geer: "Our rods are covered by acts of marmots!"   

Morgan Lyle, author of the book Simple Flies talks about how easy
to tie flies can be incredibly effective when it comes to catching fish.

A panel discussion with (L to R):
Morgan Lyle, Jason Klass, Tenkara USA Founder Daniel Galhardo, Bart Lombardo

There were many vendors in attendance with unique wares to be had.
I picked up a wooden line spool / fly patch from craftsman Dave Burchett.

There was a break for lunch, lawn casting, and fly tying.
My friend Brian Lindsay put on a display of his advanced casting style...

...while Daniel Galhardo provided rod rigging and casting advice to a group of new anglers...

...which then moved to Boulder Creek, that conveniently runs right behind the host hotel!

A few eager anglers even snuck away to try out their rods.

Back inside, Lou DiGena tied some Ishigaki kebari using a unique purple hackle.

Graham Moran crafted his orange, blue, and white Broncos kebari.
I made sure he knew an Eagles green, black, and white version would catch more fish!

The afternoon session's highlight was a half hour screening of The Manzanar Fishing Club.
Director Cory Shiozaki and Writer Richard Imamura provide context to the WWII Japanese internment.

To commemorate their 10th Anniversary, Tenkara USA
revealed their new rod, an re-issue of the cult-favorite Ebisu.

Which I promptly took up to Boulder Canyon following the afternoon session to break in.

The water was a little fast; but I ended up catching 2 on kebari
and 3 on beadhead nymphs in about an hour and a half.

 A quick drive back down the canyon to town to hit the Summit's evening session.

Where there was a night of fly tying and music!
Tyers Marshall Houston (L) & Dennis Vander Houwen (R) exchange stories.

Joe Egry is an amazingly imaginative tyer.

Mark Bolson (L) looks on as John Sachen (R) displays patterns. 

Takenobu provided the musical backdrop.
Anybody who has ever watched a Tenkara USA video on YouTube has probably heard Takenobu.

Last but not least, I wanted to thank Daniel Galhardo & Tenkara USA for naming me one of their "crazy dancer" ambassadors. It was a very unexpected and humbling honor.

In looking back at the past decade of tenkara, it has certainly been an adventure. Without Daniel bringing the telescoping rods & techniques to the U.S. through this original video, who knows what direction my fishing life might have taken. Tenkara has transported me to so many different places across the country, introduced me to hundreds of new friends, all while making me a much more efficient and educated angler. Perhaps that's what made it so easy (and me so eager) to share with everyone through word of mouth, this blog, and Tenkara Angler magazine. No matter the reason, I'm extremely excited to see what the next 10 years (and beyond) of tenkara might bring!


  1. Looks like everybody had a good time. Congratulations on your award. Couldn't go to a better guy.

    1. It was very enjoyable. I don't go to the summits so much for the "classroom" stuff anymore, but I really have a great time with all of the other (like-minded) anglers.

  2. All looks good... but that photo of a guy catching a striped bass on a tenkara rod is really cool. Never thought about that... but certainly would be fun with a school of schoolies!

    1. Ha! There's actually a somewhat funny story around that photo. The two guys speaking work in Tenkara USA Customer Service. People call them and ask them to recommend rods, etc... and they used to recommend tenkara rods for trout in mountain streams & rivers. Not necessarily for big fish or saltwater. Then their boss (on the screen) posted a blog about catching stripers and they had to change their tune. LOL!

    2. We also ran an article on tenkara/stripers in Tenkara Angler magazine a few years back:

      Tenkara Angler Summer 2016: Stripers!

  3. Mike,
    Looks like a fruitful summit.
    Congrats on your award.

    1. Thanks. It was a great time. Saving the (best &) last Colorado post for Monday...