Tenkara is a style of fly fishing that originated in the mountains of Japan, over 500 years ago. It is fly fishing in its purest, simplest, most elegant form. It uses a telescoping rod, line, and a fly. Unlike western fly fishing, Tenkara does not use a reel.
It starts with a telescoping rod that extends to about 12’ on average. The rod collapses to under 2’ and is easily packable for travel or hiking. At the end of the rod tip is a short line called a Lillian. The Lillian is used to attach a casting line to the rod. The casting line is usually the length of the rod and may be as much as two times the rod length.
The casting line is a tapered, furled line or a level line (fluorocarbon). Tippet, a thinner mono line is attached to the end of the casting line and is usually 2 to 3 ft in length. The fly is then tied to the end of the tippet. Casting is done by a simple wrist motion, stopping at 12 for a quick pause and then returning to 2 o’clock and is easily learned. Tenkara is an ideal style of fly fishing for those that want a more simplistic, minimalist way to fish. It’s perfect for anyone that may have been intimidated by all the gear involved in western fly fishing.
It is also a great place to start for the hiker or outdoorsman who may not have considered fishing before but has a love for nature.
What inspires us… Red Brook. Red Brook is a spring-fed, cold water stream in Massachusetts. It spans 4.5 miles and is home to the famous “Salter” brook trout. Salter is the regional term for the anadromous trout that hatch in fresh water, travel to the sea and return to the freshwater brooks to spawn as adults.
Red Brook is part of the Theodore Lyman Reserve and is a popular fly fishing spot (catch and release only). It is one of the few remaining Salter fisheries on the east coast of the United States and should be treated with care. It survives today because of the efforts of the Lyman family and the work of The Trustees, the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition and many volunteers from Trout Unlimited. Their work has inspired many others to work to restore similar fisheries across the United States. Please join us in supporting the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition and Trout Unlimited.
Bill Holleran / Co-founder Denver Gibbs / Co-founder