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.

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

Continue reading "Trip Report - 4-22-17"

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,

Continue reading "In Praise of Panfish"

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?)

Continue reading "Tenkara in Focus Update"

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

Continue reading "Not a Story"

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

Continue reading "The First Rainbow"

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

Continue reading "Nissin Sasuke ninja!"

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.

Continue reading "Bull Trout Encounters!"

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

Continue reading "Tenkara + Kayak = Fun!"

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,

Continue reading "Winter Nymphing"

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

Continue reading "Spoiled Rotten!"

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

Continue reading "Tenkara in Focus Downloads"

Apr 01, 2017

This Just In...

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

ZimmerBuilt Slings and Packs Most had been out of stock. They're all back now, the Guide Sling, Sling Lite, Chest Pack, Strap Pack and Micro Pack. Back in stock.

BW Sports Fishing Backpack Not as light weight as the ZimmerBuilt slings, but it holds a lot more stuff (I fit in chest waders, wader gaiters, sunglasses, camera, net, lunch, vest, and if I'm going by train, my iPad). Back in stock.

Mar 31, 2017

This Just In...

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

Ajari's Dark Kebari - Kiwi's take on Ajari's Dark Kebari as seen in Discover Tenkara's Discovering Kebari: Choosing and Using Flies that Catch Fish and the Discovering Tenkara DVD Vol.3 New Item.

Mar 28, 2017


Temps are up and the snow is melting here in Montana. That means high flows and dirty water. I wanted to get out anyway, so I headed out to the Big Hole

Continue reading "Runoff"

Mar 27, 2017

This Just In...

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

Black Killer Bugger Yarn The almost black yarn used to tie Black Killer Buggers. Back in stock.

Utah Killer Bug Yarn The yarn that allows you to tie very effective Utah Killer Bugs. Back in stock.

Partridge Feathers Very useful hackle feather for soft hackled kebari. Back in stock.

Daiwa Figure 8 Tool Knot tyer, hook holder, as extremely useful too. Back in stock.

Stonfo Tippet Rings Very useful in constructing keiryu lines. Back in stock.

Mar 25, 2017

Steelheading on the Salmon River

When looking over the huge selection of rods that TenkarBum carries, I would encourage everyone to spend some time checking out the carp rods and the Kyogi

Continue reading "Steelheading on the Salmon River"

Mar 21, 2017


Thanks to a late cancellation, I will have a vendor's table at the Sowbug Roundup!

Unfortunately, I will not be there Thursday, but my table will be open for business on Friday after my tenkara presentation that morning, and all day Saturday.

If you are planning to attend the Sowbug Roundup and if there is a rod you'd really like to get "hands on" or take outdoors and lawn cast, let me know this evening or Wednesday morning.

At this point, I can only bring what will fit in a suitcase, so if there's a particular rod you'd really like to see, speak up!

Mar 20, 2017

Sowbug Roundup 2017

For the last 19 years, fly tyers from around the world have converged on Mt. Home AR to tie flies, tell lies, socialize and help the North Arkansas Fly Fishers raise money for their environmental and philanthropic activities. Each year the NAFF allocates $10,000 for scholarships to students majoring in the fishery or environmentally related fields.

I couldn't get a vendor's booth (there is a waiting list!) and since I was hoping for a booth I didn't sign up for any of the tying slots.

However, I will give a presentation on tenkara Friday morning at 9:30. If you're in the area, stop by.

I will be out of "the office" Thursday through Monday. Shipments will resume Tuesday, March 28.

Sowbug Roundup

Mar 19, 2017

Keiryu Flashback

I was looking through my fishing log books and ran across a forgotten entry dated December 30, 1999. I was soaking bait with a spinning rod off the

Continue reading "Keiryu Flashback"

Mar 17, 2017

Rock Creek Week

I joined a couple of friends at a Forest Service cabin on the uniquely named Rock Creek last week. It was a wonderful time. Andrew is an experienced

Continue reading "Rock Creek Week"

Mar 17, 2017

This Just In...

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

Suntech Grayce II 52NP Absolutely beautiful, quite capable keiryu rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Royal Stage Tenkara 6:4 360 Very nice, moderately priced full flex tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Fuji PTC-10 Smaller diameter rod cap that fits the narrower rods. Back in stock.

One Fly Kit - Takayama Sakasa Kebari Probably the iconic kebari in Western eyes, although only one of several kebari used in Takayama. Back in stock.

Mar 16, 2017


What do you do when you see a tight, fishy-looking stream or creek, but there just isn’t room to make a traditional tenkara cast? Often, the answer is

Continue reading "Slingshot!"

Mar 15, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nakazima Ball Floats 1/2" Perfect size for tungsten bead head nymphs or relatively small split shot. New Item.

Nakazima Ball Floats 3/8" Smaller float for micro fishing. Back in stock.

Mummy Worms - Natural Can't keep these things in stock! Very effective, clean, easy to use keiryu bait. (Works well with a tenkara rod, too). Back in stock.

Post-Apocalyptic Fishin' Kit Just what you need (whether you need it or not). Back in stock - but only one.

Mar 13, 2017

Circle the hooks!

It was a perfect day today! There was no wind and it was in the mid-60's. I forgot my camera, and left the phone in the car so no pictures. I have really

Continue reading "Circle the hooks!"

Mar 13, 2017

Mummies in Mexico

The annual winter trip with friends to Isla Mujeres, Mexico provided an opportunity for some saltwater keiryu fishing. Like many much anticipated fishing

Continue reading "Mummies in Mexico"

Mar 11, 2017

A Cautionary Tale

I would like to remind everybody to tell a family member or friend where you will be fishing and when you plan on returning. And please carry the 10 essentials.

Continue reading "A Cautionary Tale"

Mar 10, 2017

Nikko Maggies

Nikko Maggies are scented, biodegradable artificial maggots. They are very effective for panfish and for micros when you don't have live bait. I have tried a lot of things for micro bait, and while the best seems to be the smallest speck of earthworm you can cut, some people do not like to cut up worms. Even if that doesn't bother you, sometimes you just don't have a worm to cut.

Ben Cantrell took some of the Maggies on his recent trip to Mexico. He said "They worked great when we didn't have any live bait. Which was 90% of the time. Seriously, they worked really well."

Nikko Maggie on tanago hook

Continue reading "Nikko Maggies"

Mar 09, 2017

New Eye Material

Lately, I've been tying up some flies in the Victorian style - silk, feathers, and eyeless hooks. Traditionally, the eyes on salmon flies were made of

Continue reading "New Eye Material "

Mar 06, 2017

A Pond

I checked out a spring pond near the Big Hole the other day and fished it again today. The pond is pretty darn cool: crystal-clear and full of trout. Smart

Continue reading "A Pond"

Mar 04, 2017

Guadalupe Bass: A Tenkara Natural

The Guadalupe bass (Micropterus treculii) is a smaller, distinct species of bass found in the Edwards Plateau Region of Central Texas and its related drainages.

Continue reading "Guadalupe Bass: A Tenkara Natural"

Mar 03, 2017

This Just In...

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

Kiwi's tenkara flies- Killer Bug, Black Killer Bugger, Royal Sakasa Kebari, Partridge Orange Sakasa Kebari Effective flies, well tied. Back in stock.

Squirmito Squirmito, squirmy wormy, whatever you call them, those things catch fish! Back in stock.

Mar 02, 2017

That feeling when you lose a nice fish.

Much better in full screen mode!

The rod was the TenkaraBum 36

Mar 01, 2017

Easy Lillian to Line Connection

I really like the way the Nissin Pals SP Pro twisted Tenkara Line connects to the Lillian. I have never liked the girth hitch or the slip knot method.

Continue reading "Easy Lillian to Line Connection"

Feb 27, 2017

Great Lines

I have purchased 2 Nissin PALS Fuji Style SP Pro Tenkara Lines, one in 6 meter and one in 4 meter. I fished the 4 meter today with my Suntech Genryu Sawanobori

Continue reading "Great Lines"

Feb 24, 2017

Discovering Tenkara DVDs

Imagine embarking on a quest to learn the truth about Japanese tenkara flies. After traveling halfway around the world, pushing deep into the interior, fording streams, climbing steep ravines, you finally arrive at a mountain hut. The man you had come to see, sitting cross-legged on a grass mat looks you in the eye and says "the fly doesn't matter."

That's not what happened. Not at all. When Paul Gaskell and John Pearson made the trek to Japan they learned the fly does indeed matter. Not only are there are many different tenkara flies, different flies were designed to be fished in different ways.

Watching the Discovering Tenkara DVD series is like going to Japan and hanging out with tenkara masters - without leaving home.

Discovering Tenkara DVDs

Continue reading "Discovering Tenkara DVDs"

Feb 24, 2017

The Stream Climbers

My Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45 arrived yesterday. So what is with this funny name Sawanobori? I looked it up and according to Wikipedia it means, Sawanobori

Continue reading "The Stream Climbers"

Feb 24, 2017

Lower Madison

It was raining in Butte the other day, so I decided to check out the fishing east of the divide. Ignoring the severe wind alerts, I drove out to the mouth

Continue reading "Lower Madison"

Feb 23, 2017

Clear Fork river, Ohio

Took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and fished the Clear Fork of the Mohican River in North Central Ohio. I grabbed my Zerosum 360,6:4 had

Continue reading "Clear Fork river, Ohio"

Feb 23, 2017

Catfish Come Calling

I read a lot about tenkara rods for trout, and carp rods for carp, but not much is said about tenkara or keiryu rods for catfish. That’s understandable.

Continue reading "Catfish Come Calling"

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