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.

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"

Feb 21, 2017


Today I brought out the Air Stage 390 with some Mummy Worms. I really like the Air Stage for the kind of fishing that I do most often, which is pond fishing

Continue reading "Seiryu"

Feb 21, 2017

This Just In...

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

Mummy Worms - Natural, Brown and Yellow Effective, clean bait for keiryu anglers. Back in stock.

Feb 19, 2017

Casting Practice: Getting To Know The Diawa Seiryu X 45

I bought my first fixed line rod four years ago (one of the last Soyokaze's). Since then my collection has expanded considerably, although with out much

Continue reading "Casting Practice: Getting To Know The Diawa Seiryu X 45"

Feb 18, 2017

Two Winners: ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Sling Lite and Guide Sling Packs

What do you look for in a lightweight day pack for tenkara or keiryu fishing? Quality? Good price? Durability? I think most of us want functional dependability.

Continue reading "Two Winners: ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Sling Lite and Guide Sling Packs"

Feb 17, 2017

kyotaki 21

Thanks to Chris, I received my Kyotaki 21 in time to use on the weekend I'd wanted to finally wet a line in 2017! But the snowstorm decided otherwise!

Continue reading "kyotaki 21"

Feb 15, 2017

This Just In...

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

Utah Killer Bug Yarn - Whole Ball The most popular color - for one of the simplest, most productive flies. Back in stock.

Feb 15, 2017

An Interesting Hackle

I recently picked up a couple ring-neck pheasant neck-rings as a substitute for exotic feathers on salmon flies. It turns out that the feathers are also

Continue reading "An Interesting Hackle"

Feb 15, 2017

Father and Son First Tenkara Nymphing

We got our first taste of tenkara fishing with a TenBum 36 last summer on the frying pan in CO. Perfect drag free drifts tripled our catch rate on dry

Continue reading "Father and Son First Tenkara Nymphing"

Feb 14, 2017

Micro Fishing Fun

It was too nice of a day to not go fishing. I grabbed my Suntech GM Suikei Keiryu Special 44 and 3 containers of Mummy Worms and headed down to Marsing

Continue reading "Micro Fishing Fun"

Feb 12, 2017

Give Yourself Time

I haven’t told anyone this. In fact, the only other person who knows the story is my wife, Robin. Several years ago I tried tenkara fishing for the first

Continue reading "Give Yourself Time"

Feb 12, 2017

Roaring River State Park: Suntech 27, micro eggs and more

Chris has another hit on his hands with the Suntech 27. This morning I fished it at Roaring River State Park for the last weekend of the winter catch and

Continue reading "Roaring River State Park: Suntech 27, micro eggs and more"

Feb 07, 2017

Its a Shooting Head!

I bought a spool of Sunline #1 line last week. Roughly following Chris' instructions under the title Tenjo Line, I finally got what I was looking for.

Continue reading "Its a Shooting Head!"

Feb 05, 2017

Tenjo Line

Sunline Tenjo LineThe Tenjo Line is the uppermost section of a keiryu or ayu fishing line. It can serve several purposes, but I generally use one for visiblility and to reduce tangles. Thus, I choose a hi-vis line that is a bit thicker than the rest of the keiryu line.

The main benefit of the hi-vis is that it is easy to see and it effectively points to your markers, making them easier to spot at the very beginning of your drift. The main benefit of having a slightly thicker line is that it reduces the chances of tangles at the rod tip.

Continue reading "Tenjo Line"

Feb 03, 2017

Old White Eye and the Spincast Kid

This evening I received a story from a long-time customer, one I just had to pass along.

He was fishing in a popular state park and was doing pretty well, catching little stocker 'bows. Well, you know how it is: in a public place, if you start catching fish, other fishermen start edging toward you. So this kid (maybe 12-13 years old) gets up next to him and starts beating the water to death with a $5 dollar spincast reel.

About this time he's thinking, "I wish that kid'd go away and let me fish in peace. He's not going to catch anything!"

Then guess what happens? The kid hooks - AND LANDS - a monster 7.5 lb largemouth bass that's blind in one eye! Check out the white eye in the photo my customer took.

Old White Eye and the Spincast Kid

The moral of the story? Don't make fun of other fishermen - ever - no matter what equipment they have!


The kid released the bass to fight another day. Blind in one eye or not, it was a healthy fish.

And it did fight another day. Old White Eye got caught again a few days later, this time by a 40-something year old man, who also had a photo taken of him holding Old White Eye.

My customer saw the second photo and talked to the ranger. Same fish.

The moral of the story? If you release Old White Eye you get a photo and a really uplifting story - that continues. If you kill Old White Eye, the story ends.

Feb 02, 2017

Gamakatsu Amago + Mummy Worms

The last time I went to Wilson Springs, I used a beadhead with a 3x 12 hook. I had two trout swallow the whole works. They were good eating. However,

Continue reading "Gamakatsu Amago + Mummy Worms"

Jan 31, 2017

This Just In...

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

Daiwa Keiryu-X 39 Very compact, fairly stiff rod that is well suited for heavy nymphs or bulky, wind resistant flies. Back in stock.

Jan 30, 2017

This Just In...

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

Utah Killer Bug Yarn / Black Killer Bugger Yarn The two most popular colors. Back in stock.

Jan 30, 2017

How to cut your lillian

I have been enjoying Keiryu fishing with thinner and thinner lines. However, I learned the hard way that you need to tie a loop attachment so you can

Continue reading "How to cut your lillian"

Jan 28, 2017

Please Don't Loan Out Your Rod

I confess that I made a horrible mistake a few weeks ago. The whole episode started innocently enough, when I decided to loan my Suntech Field Master 39

Continue reading "Please Don't Loan Out Your Rod"

Jan 25, 2017

This Just In...

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

Kyogi 21BX The 21 shaku (20'8") Kyogi BX (black). The most capable rod short of a salmon rod. Back in stock.

Jan 25, 2017

A day of Firsts (Lesson in depth)

Today was my first-day with my new Airstage 340. Today was my first-day using Mummy Worms. Today was also my first-day ultra light (pseudo) worm fishing.

Continue reading "A day of Firsts (Lesson in depth)"

Jan 24, 2017

This Just In...

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

Large Rod Case, Long Rod Case Inexpensive, light weight rod cases. The Large will hold 4 standard tenkara rods. The Long will hold rods with collapsed lengths of 32-40 inches. Back in stock.

Jan 22, 2017

This Just In...

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

Nissin Royal Stage 360 7:3 Excellent all-around tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Pocket Mini 270 Very light, very compact rod - the ultimate backpacking rod. Back in stock.

Micro Fishing Kit Hooks, line and sinker for the smallest of fish. Big fun in small package. Back in stock.

Mummy Worms - natural color Surprise hit of the year. People I had thought were fly-fishing-only are buying these! Give 'em a try. They catch fish. Back in stock.

Jan 22, 2017

A Twofer

I've been going back to the local winter fishing hole a couple times last week. The fishing there has been really good and really fun. I caught my personal

Continue reading "A Twofer "

Jan 19, 2017

Following Thin, Blue Lines

The intersection of two worlds, the aquatic and terrestrial, is an interesting place. There’s something about visiting the world of fish and frogs that

Continue reading "Following Thin, Blue Lines"

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