Tenkara Fishing Blog

The Tenkara Fishing Blog is a mini journal about tenkara. It will let you know whenever any new pages on TenkaraBum are uploaded or if there are significant changes in existing pages. It will also help keep you up to date with what's new in tenkara fishing in the US.

Jun 24, 2017

Many Mini Fish in Texas

To begin I want to thank John Evans for pointing out how easy it is for an out of State person to fish their State Parks. I just got back from a business

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Jun 21, 2017

Summer Hours

Nothing like going on vacation with a bunch of retired guys to make one start thinking about retirement. No, I'm not about to retire, but I am old enough. I'm also old enough to realize that life (at least what's left of it) is too short to work six days a week.

Starting tomorrow, TenkaraBum will be on Summer Hours, working a five-day week. Most weeks, one of the off days will be a weekday. I suspect that sometimes both off days will be weekdays. I also suspect that Summer Hours will be extended to Winter Hours as well.

Jun 20, 2017

Trip Report Maine 2017

Although much of my fishing on this year's Maine smallmouth trip was testing spinning rods for my Finesse-Fishing.com site, I did get in some fixed line action. I found it very interesting to compare fixed line and conventional fishing.

For the last few years I have done very, very well fishing with tenkara and keiryu rods on my Maine fishing trips. This year, though, I had a sneaking suspicion that my baitcaster or spinning rods would be more productive. After all, that has to be why a Japanese tenkara angler replied, when asked about bass fishing with a tenkara rod, "why would you want to?"

Suntech TenkaraBum 40

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Jun 18, 2017

Daiwa 53M

I had been fishing for a while with 43M and wanted to start fishing with the larger version 53M. It was hard at first to get used of the extra length and

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Jun 16, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

TenkaraBum Tactical Nymphing Sighter .010" Slightly thinner diameter for even more stealth. New item.

Nissin Sasuke Micro fishing rods that can handle small sunfish and trout. 4 foot and 5 foot lengths. Back in stock.

Suntech Kurenai HM54R Two handed version of the light, sensitive Kurenai. Back in stock.

Owner New Half Moon and Smallest snelled tanago hooks Much more convenient than snelling the tiny hooks yourself. Back in stock.

Nikko Sashi The small plastic maggots I had called Nikko Maggies. Excellent for micros or small sunnies when you don't have live bait. Back in stock.

Jun 16, 2017

A Few Thoughts on Rod Handles

One subject tenkara and keiryu anglers enjoy discussing is the shape and construction of rod handles. In looking over my rod rack, I see that four types

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Jun 14, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Gamakatsu Amago hooks Eyeless and barbless. They have an unusual shape, but that shape helps to keep fish hooked even though the hook is barbless. Back in stock.

Jun 14, 2017

Black Hills Brookies

One of my favorite fish is the brook trout, and yet here I am stuck smack dab in the one part of the country where brookies are practically nonexistent.

Continue reading "Black Hills Brookies"

Jun 02, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

0X tippet Equivalent to size 3 tenkara line. Very stealthy when combined with the Tactical Nymphing Sighter. Back in stock.

Tenkara Radically Simple Ultralight Fly Fishing The first English language book on tenkara and still one of the best. Back in stock.

Jun 01, 2017

High River Keiryu

I received my Fine Mode 450 Tuesday. Evening thunderstorms delayed fishing until Wednesday. Being the wettest spring on record, the river has been the

Continue reading "High River Keiryu"

May 31, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Kids Tenkara Kit Just what you need to start your kid(s) tenkara fishing. Kid-sized rod, line, tippet, flies and fly box - all included. Back in stock.

ZimmerBuilt Sling Lite Slightly smaller and lighter than the Guide Sling. Still holds lunch, a light jacket and your gear. Back in stock.

ZimmerBuilt Water Bottle Pocket Attaches to the sling strap and holds a water bottle. Don't get dehydrated! New item.

Ebira and Ebira Plus Very light weight rod quivers to hold one or two rods, plus a pocket for your gear. Back in stock.

Tenkara Creel If you are on the trail and catch fish for dinner, you will need something to carry them in. The Tenkara Creel was designed just for that. Back in stock.

May 29, 2017

Suntech Field Master Suguru Long

The Suntech Field Master Suguru Long is a nice keiryu rod - light for its length and rated for 4X tippets. It is similar to the Suntech Kurenai Long in that it has a longer than normal collapsed length - 41 3/8 inches. However, if you do not backpack in to your fishing spots, and if you do not take multiple rods with you on the stream, the longer collapsed length may not be a disadvantage. It definitely yields a couple advantages.

First, with fewer sections, the rod is light for its length - or perhaps more accurately, light for its length and tippet rating! Suntech makes a few very light keiryu rods, but other than the Kurenai Long and the Field Master Suguru Long, the light rods all have lower maximum tippet recommendations.

Suntech Field Master Suguru Long

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May 26, 2017

Tactical Nymphing Sighter

The TenkaraBum Tactical Nymphing Sighter gives you more options to customize your sighter than you'll get with any other sighter material. With just one package you get seven possible color combinations, so you can always fish the best sighter color combination for the water and lighting conditions.

The photo below is a reasonably close representation of the TenkaraBum Tactical Nymphing Sighter. To be a bit more precise, the photo shows one possibility for how you can cut the sighter to fit your own preferences.

TenkaraBum Tactical Nymphing Sighter

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May 25, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Daiwa Enshou LT39SF Excellent tenkara rod for larger fish - the last one I will ever have. Back in stock.

Kids Tenkara Kit Kid sized rod, plus line, tippet, flies and fly box. Back in stock.

"One Fly" Tying Kit™Takayama Sakasa Kebari Illustrated step-by-step instructions plus materials required to tie 25 Takayama Sakasa Kebari. Back in stock.

May 24, 2017

Quality Counts: A Review of the Tenryu Furaibo TF39

Is the Tenryu Furaibo worth its price tag and worth having? I think all tenkara fishermen have enjoyed the photos of these beautiful rods, but then we’re

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May 24, 2017

8 meters of Red Wiggler fun!

I just had to have a long rod. I was able to buy a special order 8 meter Suntech Fieldmaster from Chris a number of months ago. I have plans for this

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May 22, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Medium Rod Case Light weight, inexpensive rod case for most tenkara, keiryu and seiryu rods. Back in stock.

May 19, 2017

History of Japanese Tenkara Rods

Misako Ishimura will give a presentation on the History of Japanese Tenkara and Fly Rods on Saturday, May 20 at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum.

Registration (free): Wulff Gallery 9:30AM

Presentation: Wulff Gallery 10:00AM - Noon

Lunch: Wulff Gallery Noon

Tenkara Casting Workshop by Misako Ishimura: at the pond 1:00PM ->

Tenkara Fly Tying by Chris Stewart: Wulff Gallery 1:00 - 4:00PM

Museum closes: 4:00PM

Some tenkara vendors will be present, including TenkaraBum and Dette Trout Flies.

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center is on Route Museum is on Old Rte 17 between Livingston Manor and Roscoe, NY

Miyoshi Shiozawa, Chairman of Tenryu, was originally scheluded to give the presentation. Mr. Shiozawa's wife passed away earlier this week. We send Mr. Shiozawa and his family our deepest sympathies.

May 16, 2017

Nissin Flying Dragon 5.3

I had the opportunity this past weekend to fish at Boxwood Gulch, a private ranch known for extremely large trout. When I told my guide that I would be

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May 15, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Nissin Zerosum Tenkara 6:4 360 Excellent full flex tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Keiryu Starter Kit Keiryu rod and rig. Just what you need to get started. Back in stock.

Keiryu Starter Kit (rod extra) Keiryu rigs and line holders. Allows you to upgrade the rod from that included in the starter kit. Back in stock.

Keiryu Rigs Tenjo line, main line, tippet, markers and split shot. Everything you need but the rod and the bait. Back in stock.

May 15, 2017

TiF - Tenkara no Oni Review

I wish I had seen this video when I first started Tenkara fishing last year. THIS IS A MUST HAVE!, in my opinion. The training wheels came off today.

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May 13, 2017

First fish.

There was a time when the world of fishing was new to me. A time when everything was fresh, like the smell after a spring rain. That feeling is inexplicable

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May 12, 2017

TiF - Tenkara no Oni

Tenkara Master Masami Sakakibara is best known for his casting. That isn't the half of it. Casting is critical, no doubt about it, but casting skill is actually only a small part of what makes Tenkara no Oni a master.

This premium download is the best video footage of Tenkara no Oni that I have ever seen. I am going to watch it over and over. There is just so much to observe and so much to learn. I know I can't absorb it all the first time (or the second, or the third).

The accompanying PDF has even more to offer, and together with the video presents the best insight to date of what it is that makes Masami Sakakibara the master he is.

The video and PDF bundle is $26, and it is the best $26 you can spend if you want to take your tenkara to the next level.

This summer it will be ten years that I have been fly fishing with a fixed line - had this bundle been available back then, I would be years ahead of where I am now.

Tenkara in Focus Insider Bundle 6

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May 11, 2017

Nissin Kyogi 12

I spent the morning one hand fishing for carp. No that isn't a typo. I was not fishing with the Kyogi 18 or 21 with missing sections. This is a rod

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May 10, 2017

Up A Creek

The other day I got an idea for a low-cost trip that led to one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had tenkara fishing. My adventure was no rival

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May 05, 2017

A Surprise

I haven't been doing too much noteworthy tenkara fishing of late. Mostly just alternating between the 4wt and Sagiri depending on the mood of the moment.

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May 01, 2017

Rattlesnake Flies

I was inspired by the Mamushi Kebari to tie some rattlesnake flies. I am not sure if I would fish with a fly that costs almost $20.00. Thanks to some

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Apr 29, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Cortland Indicator Mono Opaque White Stealthy sighter for indicating strikes but not scaring fish. Back in stock.

Apr 28, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Mamushi Kebari Tied with the skin of the most venomous snake in Japan. New item.

Marufuji Micro Fishing Kit Complete kit with float, line, marker beads, microshot, tanago hook, one spare hook and line winder. New item.

Owner Pro Markers Pre-cut hi-vis keiryu yarn markers in several colors. Back in stock.

Owner Super Yamame Eyeless hooks Great shape for either kebari or bait fishing. Very sharp! Back in stock.

One Fly Tying Kit Minimal Dace Very simple, very effective bucktail you could fish with any fixed line rod. Back in stock.

Apr 26, 2017

Trip Report - 4-22-17

Saturday was an interesting day. I confirmed my expectations regarding Cortland's Indicator Mono and Suntech's new Field Master Long, but I got a huge surprise fishing ajing jigs.

Ajing is fishing for aji, a Japanese salt water fish that people catch with ultralight spinning gear, jigs and small plastic minnow-like "worms."

Even though the surprise came when I was spin fishing and this trip report is on the TenkaraBum site, there is a definite connection. Stay with me.

C'ultiva JN-85 jig head and C'ultiva Pinworm

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Apr 21, 2017

In Praise of Panfish

All anglers thrill to the excitement of catching a beautiful rainbow trout or landing a lunker largemouth bass. We love to share those photos and stories,

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Apr 20, 2017

Cortland Indicator Mono

Cortland Indicator Mono Opaque WhiteCortland Indicator Mono is extremely visible, opaque, white or brightly colored nylon mono. It makes a great sighter for European nymphing and it will make great sighters for tenkara anglers who use them.

I have chosen to carry the Cortland Indicator Mono because I am convinced there will be a fusion of tenkara and European nymphing. This new and as yet unnamed discipline will not replace either tenkara or European nymphing. It will be a new style of fishing that will exist between the two well established methods and will blend elements of both.

Cortland Indicator Mono will be in the thick of it.

Continue reading "Cortland Indicator Mono"

Apr 18, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Utah Killer Bug Yarn This is the yarn used in the justifiably famous Utah Killer Bug. Back in stock.

Fujino Tenkara Midi Soft Tapered Line Fujino's Midi tapered tenkara line now comes in a Soft formulation and taper. Casts nicely and is quite visible. Back in stock.

Apr 17, 2017

Confessions of a Neophyte Keiryu Fisherman.

I find it interesting that Chis posted an article on Keiryu fishing just before I finished writing my thoughts as I have embarked on this type of fishing.

Continue reading "Confessions of a Neophyte Keiryu Fisherman."

Apr 17, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Rod Cases Medium and Large rod cases. Light weight and inexpensive. Back in stock.

Nakazima 1/2" Ball Floats Popular size, just sufficient to suspend a BB shot. Back in stock.

Apr 13, 2017

Keiryu Lines

Keiryu fishing is becoming increasingly popular in the US.

TenkaraBum.com has been offering keiryu rods since 2012. Up until recently, though, most have been used for tenkara fishing. That is changing and more people are using the rods as they are used in Japan (or at least, closer to the way they are used in Japan), with extremely light lines, markers, split shot and bait. Some do use heavily weighted artificial nymphs instead of split shot and live bait.

With the increased interest in keiryu fishing, I have been getting more and more questions about the construction of keiryu lines. I have hesitated to write a page on keiryu lines because the way I make them is not the way they are generally made in Japan.

Continue reading "Keiryu Lines"

Apr 12, 2017

Tenkara in Focus Update

The Tenkara in Focus Episode 6 premium download has gotten even better. Paul and John have added two new PDF files that reveal Takahashi san's nymph patterns, including the one with which he caught 121 fish at the highly pressured Itoshiro river.

If you have already purchased the download bundle, you can download the two new PDF files for free. If you have not yet purchased the download, time is of the essence. The price will go up 15% next week.

(You do want to know what fly he used to catch 121 fish, don't you?)

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Apr 12, 2017

Not a Story

Nissin Sasuke is a great little rod with more backbone than I thought. I use it to fish a small 15ft wide creek near a spillway where water falls out of

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Apr 12, 2017

The First Rainbow

Yes, I am a preacher, but this is not an article about Noah, the Flood, and the rainbow God set in the sky. Instead, it’s a brief article about how older

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Apr 12, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Daiwa Keiryu-X 24 The shortest of the Keiryu-X series, this rod is for surprisingly good sized fish in surprisingly small, narrow streams. Back in stock.

Sunline Tenjo Line The uppermost section of a three-section keiryu line. Extremely visible fluorescent green points to your yarn markers so you can spot them as soon as your bait or fly is in the water. New color replaces discontinued item.

TrailLite Tenkara Creel If you keep a fish or two while camping or backpacking, you'll need something light and compact to carry it in. Back in stock.

Nakazima 5/8" floats Sometimes you will in fact get a better drift with a float than you can with a tight line. Back in stock.

Apr 06, 2017

Nissin Sasuke ninja!

Recently received my Nissin Sasuke! What a nice little stick! Haven't gotten to try it out yet. Can't wait to Ninja mode and give it a try! The Lillian

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Apr 05, 2017

Catskills Tenkara Event

The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum is getting phone calls about a tenkara event June 2-4.


Last year I had planned an event for that weekend, but then realized that I really am a hermit and not an event organizer and last September I cancelled the event.

However, there IS a tenkara event at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum on May 20! Come hear the Chairman of Tenryu talk about the history and production of tenkara rods and fly rods in Japan. The event is scheduled to open at 9:30 and his talk will begin at 10. In the afternoon, Misako Ishimura will give a casting workshop.

I will be around to tie a few flies and will have a table where you can buy one of the excellent Tenryu tenkara rods (plus lines and a few accessories).

Other vendors are welcome (but so far none have signed up). If you are a tenkara vendor and want to have a table to sell tenkara gear (or lessons or guided trips) at the event, contact me.

Apr 05, 2017

Bull Trout Encounters!

Just for you Phillip! In Idaho you are not allowed to target Bull Trout. They used to call them Dolly Varden trout which is a much nicer name in my opinion.

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Apr 04, 2017

Tenkara + Kayak = Fun!

The only kind of angling I enjoy more than tenkara and keiryu fishing is tenkara and keiryu fishing with a kayak! Light, compact fishing gear and

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Apr 03, 2017

Winter Nymphing

With winter technically over, I've started to to reflect on how my fishing improved and what I can do better next time. This was my second winter fishing,

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Apr 03, 2017

Finding All the Fishes

I had a lot of fun with the Streamer Challenge last summer and fall. I want to thank Chris for organizing and officiating the contest. First, I'm lucky

Continue reading "Finding All the Fishes"

Apr 03, 2017

This Just In...

New items and out-of-stocks that are back in stock.

Wader Gaiters It's almost time for wet wading! The Wader Gaiters provide a bit of "wet-suit" insulation and worn over waders will protect them from thorns, hooks, and sharp rocks when kneeling. Back in stock.

Wide Eyed Hooks Just the hook for people who find it a little more difficult each year to thread the tippet through the hook eye. Good hook for kebari and great hook for the Overhand Worm. Back in stock.

Apr 03, 2017

Spoiled Rotten!

This is a review of Tenkara in Focus Episode 6 Premium Download. First off, thanks Chris for offering this download. It was worth every penny. Paul

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Apr 01, 2017

Tenkara in Focus Downloads

Tenkara in Focus downloads provide additional material and insights not contained in the Tenkara in Focus free episodes. Paul Gaskell and John Pearson travel to Japan to learn from the masters and from accomplished Japanese tenkara anglers. Luckily for us, they take cameras so we can "look over their shoulders" to see what they saw and learn what they learned.

In their latest premium download, which accompanies their free Tenkara in Focus Episode 6, they bring us an on-stream lesson from Shin Takahashi, in which he fishes various weighted flies, either lightly weighted with copper wire or more heavily weighted with a tungsten bead head. He even fishes for a while with split shot on the line.

His fishing style is not referred to as "tenkara," but is in fact a blend of tenkara techniques and Euronymphing techniques.

Anyone who has ever thought that a tenkara rod ought to be great for fishing nymphs (only to be told "that's not tenkara") should watch this premium download. Takahashi san catches fish in difficult conditions, and you can too.

Episode 6 Premium Download

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Walk softly and carry a long stick. - Teddy Roosevelt (almost)

Tenkara has no strict rules. Enjoy tenkara in your own way.
- Eiji Yamakawa

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin