Showing posts sorted by date for query tenkara jam. Sort by relevance Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by date for query tenkara jam. Sort by relevance Show all posts

July 10, 2018

Tenkara Tuesday: 2018 Tenkara Campout

Fall in the Appalachians. Endless trout water. Camaraderie. What more could an angler ask for?

With the Tenkara Jam on hiatus for logistical reasons, this year's East Coast tenkara "event" will be a bit more informal in nature (which honestly isn't a bad thing), but undoubtedly fishy as heck.

Centered around Davidson River campground in North Carolina, this is a loosely organized gathering over a long weekend where everybody is on their own timetables and are just encouraged to grab their tenkara rods and go out and fish... and there's a lot of water in the general area in which to do so.

Per Jason Sparks: "Seriously, this is a snapshot of the public access waters for this watershed.
The campground is near where the red lines culminate on the right. It is silly awesome waters."

There's also been some early chatter that there will be some fly tying/swapping going on, as well as interest in some evening communal campfire meals (and I'm certain tons of story-telling). It's going to be one of those events where I'm certain you'll get out of it what you put in.

Photo: Davidson River Outfitters

Southern Appalachian Brook Trout  |  Photo: Pisgah Outdoors

I've got my campsite reserved... and I'm no camper, so this should be an adventure for me. Hope to see you there!

For more information on the Tenkara Campout, check out the event page on Facebook HERE.

For more information on the campground (& to make a reservation) check out their website HERE.

For more information on tenkara in the Appalachians, check out the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Facebook group HERE.

November 5, 2017

In Lieu of Fish

This time of year is always a tough one. Daylight savings time signals the onset of shorter days, and those shorter days (and colder temperatures) mean fewer opportunities for fishing. In certain states with specific fishing seasons, one may not legally be allowed to even pursue the species of their choice.

So what is the winter angler to do?

Typically, I end sneaking out a bit to fish locally (as living in Northeast Florida does have certain advantages - we get cold and frost, but don't ever have to worry about ice over). And also usually find myself acquiring more gear than I actually need in "preparation" for next year.

That said, for someone who prefers fishing for trout in mountain streams that require multiple hours of travel to reach, those opportunities pretty much dry up in my neck of the woods come the end of Fall.

So in an effort to be a little more productive with the "offseason," think I'm going to change the routine up a bit this winter... and by writing it down here, I hope to keep myself honest.
  • Tie more flies - this one is pretty common winter pursuit, although I rarely do so. I just don't really enjoy fly tying, but I figure if I can tie 2 or 3 a day, every couple days, I should have plenty in reserve by Spring.
  • Practice casting - I'm a competent caster with both a fly rod and a tenkara rod, but not what I'd consider above average. Practice makes perfect, so this is an opportunity to hone those skills, particularly accuracy. I'm pretty fortunate to live across the street from some rather large community sports fields, so I might even be able to stretch my distance on the 8-weight. 
  • Read - I'd like to become a better-educated angler. Over time, you tend to pick up things through trial and error, however, there is a ton of great books out there I've never read. And I don't mean stories or fiction, I'm talking more technique - specifically on approaching small streams and/or salt marshes. Any suggestions?
  • Plan ahead - I've done a horrible job scouting fishing locations ever since I moved to Florida. The majority of my trips are haphazardly thrown together at the last minute, which usually means familiar (nearby) water and predictable results. Coming up with new places to fish and a plan on how to attack them just never happened. The devil's in the details.
  • Get fit - Or at least a little fitter. I turned 40 this past year, and the realization that my body doesn't work the way it used to is finally starting to set in. My metabolism is slower, I have more aches & pains, and I guess my dream of playing in the NBA is effectively over. Erik Ostrander had a great presentation at the 2017 Tenkara Jam on fishing fitness that was a real "a-ha" moment for me. I've already started riding my bike on the weekends, but need to pivot on my diet and overall exercise habits. Doing such can only extend my window to capably boulder-hop in the trout streams of Georgia & North Carolina in pursuit of native brookies.
So that's my plan. Really hope I can keep with it. Heck, two or three would be far more productive than the past few winters.

Would be curious to hear what you all do during the winter months. If you're lucky enough to live near a trout stream, or even in an area that has a good winter fishery, I hope a little bit at least involves getting a line wet (frozen guides notwithstanding). But maybe there's something worth adding to the list above, I'm certainly open to suggestions.

October 15, 2017

Cool Stuff: Art of Jeremy Shellhorn

There are so many creative types out in the fly fishing community. Whether it is fly tyers, rod designers, photographers, videographers, authors, you name it, it seems as if those who enjoy pursuing fish with feathers also love to flex their creative brain muscles.

One of the favorite items I left with from the recent Tenkara Jam in Boone, North Carolina (full post upcoming) was a mini "zine" created by Jeremy Shellhorn. You may know Jeremy as the designer of most of Tenkara USA's artwork and graphic treatments, as he is mentioned frequently on their blog and social media. Jeremy also happens to be an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at my wife's alma mater, the University of Kansas - so Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Jeremy (right), manning the Tenkara USA table at the Tenkara Jam

I thought I'd share a few photos of the Tenkara zine. The magazine itself is only a few pages, so I don't want to photograph the whole thing cover to cover.

I've always enjoyed the aesthetic of Jeremy's work, and if you do too, you can see more examples of it over at Tenkara USA, or his tumblr site Getting the Drift.

September 8, 2017

Tenkara Jam Update

A notable update for those considering attending the Tenkara Jam in Boone, NC at the end of the month, per the organizer, Jason Sparks:


Tenkara Jam has been changed to a single day expo event this year. Changes are heading to the website now to reflect this change. Vendors and Presenters are aware. There will be a FULL SATURDAY of schedule speakers and plenty of time with your favorite company. On Sunday, we will gather for outings around the fine waters of Boone. This will still be a fantastic gathering.  Now we hope it is easier for many more to attend for a serious day of tenkara fun.

The registration fee has been greatly reduced and is still as lean as ever. I will process refund differentials this weekend to those already registered. I am working on refreshing website content now for the .com"

End of day, I'm really looking forward to the Jam. It was phenomenal last year, and I actually like this format change to allow more time for fishing! It's a win-win. So if you're thinking about making the trip... go register, you won't regret it.

Hope to see you there on September 30th!

August 22, 2017

Tenkara Tuesday: Looking Back & Ahead At The Tenkara Summit

Bug Outs and Summits and Jams, oh my!

While the 2017 Tenkara Jam was mentioned in the prior post, it would be negligent of me to not also mention the upcoming Tenkara Summit hosted by Tenkara USA.

This year's Summit will be held in Colorado over the weekend of September 16 & 17 at the Estes Park Events Center. Having attended several different tenkara gatherings over the years, I hold the Summit in the highest regard; the content is phenomenal, the turnout is solid, and it's an absolute blast to attend. This year will be my fourth Summit (of the six total) and it can't get here soon enough.

While daydreaming about fishing in Colorado again, I took the time over the past weekend to look back at some photos and memories from prior Summits. If you've never attended one, the 3 videos below should give you a little flavor for the event.

2012: Salt Lake City, Utah. After missing the first Summit in 2011, this was my first adventure in traveling for fly fishing. The Tenkara Guides of Utah played a huge role in hosting this very well run gathering. I even got some one-on-one time with Dr. Ishigaki on stream - not only observing the fly manipulation techniques of a Master, but also noticing that we both had the same orange waterproof cameras!

2013: Harrisonburg, Virginia - the Summit comes East! Japanese fly fishing meets Moonshine and Bluegrass... literally. Looking back, this was the precursor of the Tenkara Jam we can now enjoy annually. My only regret regarding this event was opting to go on my own on Sunday rather than fishing Mossy Creek with the many of the attendees. From what I heard, Mossy was pretty epic!

2014: Boulder, Colorado. This is when I learned everything they say about outdoor recreation in the Rockies is 100% true. I also had the pleasure of fishing (or grabbing some beers) with so many of the different tenkara-folks I had met online over the years - far too many to list them all. And the bugling elk in Rocky Mountain National Park... it was so cool.

Unfortunately, I missed 2015, also in Estes Park... and there was no Summit 2016...

All of that being said, if this piques your interest, it's definitely not too late to register for the 2017 Summit should your schedule allow for it. Tenkara USA's official website is located HERE, with a ton more details including a list of speakers and a general overview of activities. Hope to see you there!

For more details and info on prior Summits, click HERE to view all prior "Tenkara Summit" tagged posts.

August 18, 2017

Who's Ready For The 2017 Tenkara Jam?

It's back...

Yep, the website's been updated and registration is now open for the 2017 Tenkara Jam in Boone, North Carolina. If it's anything like last year's Jam, it's a "must attend" if you can make arrangements to be in the area on Saturday, September 30th and/or Sunday, October 1st.

Not only does the preliminary line up of speakers and vendors look fantastic, but the facilities appear to be a huge step up over last year's event as well. Plus, registration not only gets you admission to the event, but food too! With the Jam a little over a month away, it seems like everything is coming together very quickly.

Personally, I'm going to try my darndest to get there, just working out some last minute details to make sure my schedule can accommodate it. I attended "representing" Tenkara Angler magazine last year and would really enjoy doing that again.

Would be nice to fish in North Carolina again too!

January 30, 2017

For Sale: New T-Shirt, Old T-Shirt, Random Gear...

Time to make like a carnival barker because the deals in the T! Store have never been hotter!
Just wanted to bring a few additions to your attention today...let's make a deal!

First off, Tenkara Angler swag was added to the store over the weekend in the form of tees and stickers. I had several people ask about Tenkara Angler t-shirts & hats at the Tenkara Jam, so we decided to move forward with a new, limited run "Tamo T-Shirt" in collaboration with the guys at Six Waters Co. They did a great job on the design, don't you think?

The super-soft tee comes in every color of the rainbow, given your rainbow is monochromatic heather blue. The first print run was limited, but at the time of posting, all sizes were still available, and I'll toss in some free TA stickers as well. The tees fit relatively true to size, my XL fits fine (I'm 6', about 210).

So in with the new...and out with the old...

The ever popular Troutrageous! Tenkara Sasquatch tees are now on clearance. I have a few random quantities leftover in sizes Large and XXL only. Originally $20, if you're Cinderella and shoe fits, you can have a tee for the steal of a price at $10.  I mean they're "CARF Approved" so that's gotta mean something, right?

Finally, I've been going through my gear, and just found a bunch of stuff that's in great condition, but I just don't use much anymore. Rather than go immediately to eBay, I've posted those items at the bottom of the T! store under the section, "Garage Sale" Maybe there's something that interests you, maybe not. Either way, some good deals to be had on gently used fishing gear.

Check out the T! Store HERE

So that's that on this final Monday morning of January.
Hope you're all ready for an awesome week.

December 31, 2016

Troutrageous 2016 Year In Review

2016 was kind of an interesting year. Probably not one I will put on a pedestal, but not a horrible one either. Yeah, some things didn't work out the way they were supposed to, (draw your own conclusions with that statement), but in keeping with my "glass half full" outlook on life, there were a lot of super rad things that happened too.

The blog published 112 posts and went through a few identity changes, (probably not done with that yet). I don't think that's too shabby in terms of conjuring inspiration coming from a guy that is probably doing less and less fishing each year. But it's all about quality over quantity, and there was a ton of quality in 2016. Below are a handful of my favorite posts, those that summarize the year at a glance.

2016 started out well with the annual trip to chase shad on the St. John's River with Captain Rich Santos. Not only did we get into some shad, but I also caught my first "Sunshine Bass" hybrid. Rich is an excellent guide, and an equally capable photographer. I was happy he took so many photos to document the outing.

As a family, we did our fair share of exploring Florida. We're still relative newcomers, so there are plenty of things to see and do right in our own backyard. We visited a ravine, a lighthouse, went to Bass Pro, a wax museum, and even hopped on an airboat! Florida's beaches are great, but there's just so much more to see and do.

May was a fairly busy month, and believe it or not, I actually got a lot of trout fishing in! The month started off with a weekend in north Georgia chasing down some small stream rainbow trout. I really like that part of the Southeast, I need to make a point to get back more often. The end of May was just as good with a flight out to Wisconsin for the Midwest Tenkara Fest. The camaraderie was superb and the fishing was even better! Absolutely love the Driftless.
Wandering Back To The Driftless Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3

As I mentioned earlier, we adventured in Florida a little bit in 2016 as a family, however, we didn't stay in-state for our July summer vacation. Instead, we headed West, and did a nice multi-day bus tour of several of our National Parks. Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, & Grand Teton were the highlights, with several fun and interesting stops in between. The sights were absolutely unbelievable!

Not all of the year was spent traveling. Two of the more popular posts I wrote for the blog had nothing to do with fishing trips, vacations, or anything like that. In the first, (which I'll admit is a bit of self-pity post), I lamented the lack of trout in my Southern locale. The second simply highlighted the tenkara rods that I own/fish, because everybody likes a gear post.

Finally, October brought the Tenkara Jam in Cherokee, North Carolina. It was quite possibly my favorite fishing trip of the year because I not only got to pursue the wild trout of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park while it was in its beautiful fall colors, but I got to represent Tenkara Angler magazine at the Jam, really the first time the magazine went "on the road" to an organized event. I caught fish, saw old friends, made new ones... It was just awesome.

Now there were plenty of other things that took place on the blog in 2016, but in the interest of time, (I feel I've already overstayed my welcome), I'll leave it at that. I hope all of you are able to look back at your 2016s and pick out all of the fun, happy, and awesome moments too. Even if you didn't catch all the Pokemon fish, I know you had fun trying.

Happy New Year!

November 6, 2016

Totally Random Gear Review: Fozzils Solo Pack

I don't really do that many product reviews on the blog anymore, especially unsolicited ones, but I thought I'd share something I received in my Cairn box last month (Cairn is one of those "gear of the month clubs"), that I've actually given a fair amount of use in a short period of time, and am pretty pleased with the results.

The Fozzils Solo Pack - Cup, Bowl, & Dish

This folding "tableware" is kind of unique. What looks like a flat piece of plastic cardstock... transforms into a three-dimensional object by folding the pre-determined crease lines and utilizing the plastic snaps in the corners to hold its shape.

Specifically, the "dish" has become my waste bin as I'm tying flies. 

I brought this with me to the Tenkara Jam because it stored flat (I actually slid it inside my satchel among my Smoky Mountain fishing guidebook and sample Tenkara Angler magazines), and then once at the event, used it to store my snipped thread, clipped feathers, and other stuff while I was tying up flies. 

Heck, even back at home it's become a somewhat permanent fixture at my tying bench. Plus, the fishbone graphic on the bottom is just sort of fitting when it comes to this application.

I'm not going to lie, I haven't really used the bowl or cup yet, but the idea that I'm getting so much use out of the dish in a somewhat unintended way kind of made me want to bring it up on the blog. The fact that if you're actually a backpacker or camping type, and can use these for their intended purposes too, well that's a total win-win.

If you're interested in picking up the set, check out They'll run you about $15. I'm sure you can also Google "Fozzils" and find them at a retailer of your choice as well.


The Fozzils folding tableware set featured in this product review was purchased through my monthly Carin box. I currently hold no association with Fozzils and did not solicit them, nor was solicited by them for this review.

November 4, 2016

Tenkara Angler Magazine - Winter 2016-17 Call For Submissions

Can you believe it's November already? I certainly hope October treated you well, because before you know it, we're going to be looking December right in the face!

With that being said, I just realized that I never officially opened up submission window for the Winter 2016/2017 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine. Honestly, the window is always open, but a post every now and then seems to help bring it back to everyone's stream of thought.

Anything is fair game - fishing reports, essays, poetry, fiction, photography, art, whatever - as long as it's tenkara or conservation related. Being winter, many anglers begin to turn away from the water to focus on fly tying, so some fly tying content would be fantastic.  However, similar to prior issues, the tenkara community will eventually craft the contents of the issue. 

(And don't forget, if you are a company that submits content, please don't hesitate to also submit an ad for your services, inclusion is the least I can do).

If you are interested in contributing, I’ve outlined some simple parameters for content submission on the Tenkara Angler website HERE.

The deadline for content submission will be December 9th, 2016, with the target publishing date toward the end of that same month.

For those of you that are new to Tenkara Angler (perhaps you were introduced to the magazine at the Tenkara Jam), the Fall 2016 issue can be found HERE. The contributions continue to get stronger with each new edition, I would sincerely love to have you as a part of the next issue!

October 25, 2016

Tenkara Tuesday - 2016 Tenkara Jam

After last week's post that really wasn't a true recap of the 2016 Tenkara Jam, I thought it probably right to do a complete recap for those that are interested, but weren't able to attend. And for those who don't care about the Jam, well, this will be my last post about it, I promise. :)

The Tenkara Jam was held on the 15th & 16th of October, in Cherokee, North Carolina. Cherokee is a pretty interesting mountain town, one that borrows from it's Native American heritage, but mixes in quite a bit of tourist kitsch. It's also a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which means excellent outdoor adventure opportunities, including fly fishing.

Attendance of the Tenkara Jam was pretty impressive, particularly on Saturday. I believe organizer Jason Sparks posted on Facebook in the following days that over 170 people attended the event. That's a lot of people! And while many were already experienced in the dark art of tenkara, there were probably just as many newcomers, interested in learning what the fuss was all about.

The Jam Crowd

I was at the Jam not only as "fanboy," but because I wanted to promote my other endeavor, Tenkara Angler magazine. To say that it was well received is an understatement. It was really cool to meet several of the magazine's contributors that I had only communicated with via email or social media. It was even cooler when somebody came up to the table and said, "wow, I didn't know there was a tenkara-only magazine, how do I subscribe?" By the amount of business cards and stickers I handed out, I'm pretty sure it was a mission accomplished.

Tenkara Angler magazine table

However, I wasn't the only vendor at the Jam. There were many purveyors of tenkara goodies in attendance. I'll run you through a few highlights below:

Daniel Galhardo, Tenkara USA

Some prototypes (left) and current models (right) from Badger Tenkara

Anthony Naples of Three Rivers making a sale

TenkaraBum's booth was amazing

The extremely personable Luong Tam of Tanuki

Riverworks Tenkara's new product line - available for pre-sale now

Was happy to see Drew and Lars from Tenkara Rod Co. at the event

Chris Zimmer and his packs - a crowd favorite

Streamside's Mike Moline

Oh, and I can't forget fly shops Rivers Edge Outfitters & Trekka Outfitters as well as the main Jam table, where Jason Sparks' beautiful family was selling jars of tenkara jam, Boone Barrs, fly tying vise stands, and David Taylor's fantastic antler carvings.

But no, that's not all...the presentations were all top notch as well...

As you may be able to see from the flyer above, there was quite a bit on the agenda, and I have to say despite having mountain streams a stone's throw from the event hall, each presenter kept the room's attention with extremely entertaining content.

Jason Sparks kicked off the first day with opening remarks and an "intro to tenkara" of sorts that got everybody up to speed on the basics. Jason's energy is amazing to witness. I often refer to him as a tenkara evangelist, but not in an over the top way.

Jason Sparks

He was followed that morning by the Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association (and more importantly, tenkara guide) Tom Sadler, Anthony Naples of Three Rivers Tenkara, Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA, and Rob Worthing of Tenkara Guides, LLC.

Each brought a little different perspective to the table. Tom's presentation was a mixed bag about everything, borrowing from his experience as a tenkara guide, as well as his encounters with other tenkara anglers and fishing personalities over the years. Tom is a fantastic and relatable speaker, should you have the opportunity to listen to him speak, take it.

Tom Sadler

Anthony focused on creating and defining your own tenkara, blurring the boundaries of what you might think to be acceptable and blazing your own trail through experimentation and self-discovery. It's one of those things that really appeals to me as an angler. There is no right or no wrong, there's only what works for you. 

Daniel's presentation featured a humorous video showing how it only takes one "crazy person" and a few early followers to start a movement. He also gave a few tips on simplifying your fishing in the name of reducing frustration and finally, presented Jason Sparks with an Ambassador award on behalf of Tenkara USA, a very nice touch.

Daniel congratulating Jason

Rob's "Advanced Casting" talk was perhaps the highlight of the first day. Borrowing from well-established sports training techniques combined with motion capture software, Rob broke down not only the motions required to become a more skillful caster, but showed us how in real-time through the use of video.  It was kind of like watching a football analyst diagram a play on TV using the "telestrator."

Rob Worthing

Day two was much of the same, simply with different presentations.

Chris Stewart of TenkaraBum opened up the day's schedule with a walk through all of the species one can pursue with fixed-line fly fishing rods. He started with examples of tiny fish such as shiners, slowly building up to some serious fish like carp, catfish, and musky. Tenkara may have originated in the mountains of Japan in pursuit of trout, but Chris showed how the same general set of tools can be evolved to attack much different angling situations around the world.

Chris Stewart

Luong Tam's (Tanuki) presentation about tenkara rod design and manufacturing was pretty interesting. He recently visited the factory in China that produces his rods. He was able to take many pictures, some video footage, and even passed around samples of raw carbon fiber. It's amazing how much of tenkara rods are actually still made by hand, with machine assistance (of course).

Dan Dutton

Finally, Dan Dutton spoke to ways to minimize fish mortality while catching (and releasing) your quarry. Some of the statistics he threw around were quite astonishing. Tips on improving fish handling were discussed, we were all introduced to the phrase "caudal peduncle," and I think left the Jam all a little more aware of and educated on this subject.

After that, the formal portion of the Jam concluded and we were free to mingle, or simply go fish!

I know I wrote a lot above, and truthfully, could have written a ton more, but in the interest of keeping this blog post somewhat readable, I'll just stop here. In retrospect, the 2016 Tenkara Jam was a fantastic weekend of tenkara camaraderie, chock full of new friends, gear, and educational experiences. I really can't wait until next year, wherever the venue.

Plus, the fishing and surroundings weren't too shabby either.

October 24, 2016

Fishing Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A week removed from physically being there, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has all but consumed my thoughts. The beautiful fall colors, the whisper of the trout streams, the ability to be amongst the crowds, yet still find the serenity of escape, are all haunting me (in a good way) as this Halloween month comes to a close.

Looking back, thought I'd share a few photos and highlights from the trip. There was so much water, I probably could have fished there each day, every day for a year and not fish it all, however having "base camp" in nearby Cherokee, NC, these were the spots I visited. 

The following spot runs right alongside the road as you head north through the park, past Smokemont Campground. A small footbridge passes the stream, and with a short walk, you can be totally removed from sightseers and picture takers. I went to this event after day one of the Tenkara Jam, as it was nearby and there was not a lot of daylight left.

I managed two small rainbows, and lost probably five or six more. Picking apart the pocket water took some time and before you knew it, I had lost track of the clock to the point where I was forced to wade back to the car downstream in the near dark. Not advisable.

Day two of fishing after the Jam took me back to a place a bit further away that I had first fished with Owl Jones & his buddy "Milliam" in 2012. It's nice to see that Mother Nature has reclaimed some of its roadside charms.

I found it to be a wonderful stream that fished far better this year than four years ago. It required a fairly long hike in and a lot of rock hopping, but it was totally worth the "inconvenience." Several rainbow trout greeted me in the lower stretches, before gradually changing over to brook trout as I gained elevation.

The final day of fishing was the best. Unfortunately, I needed to work from the hotel room a bit too long in the morning which wasted some hours I had intended to be on the stream. However, once I was able to get my affairs in order, it was certainly worth the wait.

Quite simply, the fishery was on fire, and utilizing my orange and white road kone kebari like a dry fly through the shallow runs and pools, I was able to bring many a fish to hand. As before, the fish were mostly rainbow trout, with some brook trout mixed in for good measure. I found it strange that I didn't encounter any brown trout during my three days of fishing, but I can't say that I minded, or that they were missed. 

After an experience like that, it's very difficult to leave the Smokies without a smile on your face. I'm now only faced with the dilemma of figuring out when to go back.