By Jeffry Gottfried
I have been fly fishing for 52 years. It is a pleasure that I feel compelled to partake of for my mental and physical health, quality of life and overall enjoyment of nature. I seem to have my best days of birdwatching with a fly rod in my hand.
In 2009, I become an early adopter of tenkara. My original motivation was to be better able to manage the on-stream education of 8-12 novice fly anglers in the 6-12 age range. The simplicity and focus on the skills of the angler, as opposed to gear were very attractive.
Before I knew it, I was teaching from 80-130 people to fish tenkara each year in after school and summer programs, often combined with studies of aquatic ecology, insects, native plants, geology, traditional archery, etc. I also had many extremely pleasurable and exciting tenkara trips of my own in Japan, Croatia, Spain, New Mexico and Alaska.
I'm now retired, still enjoying tenkara as much as ever and still acting as a tenkara "teacher" and consultant but not a paid guide. I'm very fortunate to have the additional pleasure of fishing with kids, now adults, that I have taught in the past and even some of their parents.
I want to share with you all, the Tenkara Community, a word that is relatively new to me that seems to sum up what tenkara does for us all, all the sweetness and attractiveness that leads us to do seemingly crazy things to feed our passion. The word is "Nikhedonia," which comes from the word for the Greek Goddess of victory or success, Nike, and the Greek-derived word, "Hedone ''or pleasure.
Nikhedonia is defined as "The elation and exultation of anticipating a success or victory." Now doesn't that just sum it all up! My friends, be well and please feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance to you. Also, please know that I am always seeking fishing opportunities and willing to trade!
by Chris Stewart
I didn't know there was a word for it, but that perfectly describes how my best fishing is always when I am sitting at my vise. My casts are accurate, the drifts are perfect, the fish are willing and the weather is gorgeous.
And you know, even after days when I caught only trees and it started to rain, I know that same nikhedonia will bring me back.
Thank you, Jeffry, for giving us the word for it.
by David Noll
If you ever get to the Driftless Area contact me through Chris.
by Logan Orth
Good afternoon, Mr. Gottfried. Great article! So I have a question for you. In all of the time that you spent tenkara fishing, what is your favorite rod to use?
by Jeffry Gottfried
I have relied on Tenkara USA products starting when they donated the first 12 rods to Educational Recreational Adventures. I have remained loyal to those who saw value in what I was doing. I went on to become an "Authorized Tenkara Fishing Guide" and own many tenkara rods, each of which serves a purpose within the context of the type of fish I'm pursuing, the size of the water, etc. Even though it is too long for many tenkara situations, I love fishing with my 14'7" Ito rod by Tenkara USA when fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout in coastal rivers in Oregon. I also love the Sato, in that it amounts to owning three rods in one, due to the ingenious engineering that allows the Sato to be fished at three different lengths.
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