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Tenkara and Hydrotherapy

by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)

Undisclosed Location on the Sabinal River

Undisclosed Location on the Sabinal River

If you think this blog entry is written tongue-in-cheek, you’re right. As I’ve noted before, recreational fishing is for fun. If you don’t believe me, just watch a kid with a cane pole in a creek. When I go fishing, but I don’t want to tell someone exactly where I’m going or what I’m doing, I just say, “I’m taking hydrotherapy.”

Hey, who hasn’t been caught in a sudden downpour while standing in a river? Yes, I know that a carbon fiber tenkara rod conducts electricity and that you need to put the rod away when lightning is around. You don’t want to be in the river in an electric storm. But, is there any experience more exhilarating than standing in the water, when water is also falling from the sky in a gentle spring shower? Sometimes it happens that you get wet from the top and bottom.

Small waterfalls and tenkara are something special. I don’t know of any experience more relaxing than wading in a free-flowing stream, next to a waterfall, with a fine tenkara rod in your hand. Angling just gives you a good excuse to be there.

And who hasn’t had a once-in-a-lifetime fish just about in the net, the camera all ready, and then he shakes the fly with one final lunge? All you can say is, “You got me!” It helps if you smile while you’re saying it. The water and the tenkara rod make it okay.

Sometimes you just have to take off your waders and boots and plop down in the water, as photo number one suggests. I learned a long time ago not to take my fishing too seriously. As I get older, flowing water around arthritic knees feels truly wonderful.

Hydrotherapy makes you feel 10 years younger and subtracts 10 pounds. Guaranteed. Dipping your toes in the water is the top excuse I know to grab your tenkara rod, a box of flies, and head to the local creek. Hydrotherapy is one of the best medicines known to man.

Feeling stressed? Go fishing. Better yet, go fishing with a tenkara rod.

Comments for Tenkara and Hydrotherapy

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May 19, 2018
Thanks John
by: Les Albjerg

I am behind on a lot of things because of my bad shoulder that is now much better! I am going to go fishing for an hour or two today! It is much too nice out.

Since you are a pastor, I remember calling a fellow pastor in LaCrosse several times to see if he was in when I pastored a church 40 miles north of him. Three times in a row his secretary told me that he was out on visitation. He invited my family down for a barbecue in their back yard. As I pulled up to the house I noticed the boat in the driveway and the name painted on the back was "Visitation." H'mmmmmm I always wondered how many times he was just fishing!

May 19, 2018
by: John Evans

My hunch is that a light tenkara outing will aid your recuperation . . . Happy angling!

May 21, 2018
by: Les Albjerg

I was hoping to get out this weekend, but graphite and lightning don't mix!

I tied up a few kebari. I modeled 5 after Chris' Nightmare Kebari written about in his Trip Report 4-28-18.

I enjoyed a few hours of sunshine and made up lines for the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou. I thought the Fujino White Tenkara 4 meter line would be perfect for the Becchou. I was wrong. It says right on the rod, "level line." I found that size 3 is a little light for my style, and 4.5 is a bit too heavy. I need to order some 3.5 or 4.0. I have a couple of furled lines that it cast well.

I had the TenkaraBum 40 out too while making and testing lines. I'm not sure if it because I am so familiar with the TenkaraBum 40 or it really is such a versatile rod. I think it could cast a clothes line well!

It was fun just thinking about lines and concentrating on getting the right line. The Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou really performs with the right line. The flex profile is much different than the TenkaraBum 40. I enjoy feeling the rod load and unload. Both the TenkaraBum 40 and Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou are awesome rods. The beauty of the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou is only surpassed by its performance.

That said, in my book, the best bargain out there is the TenkaraBum series of rods. When I get the chance to talk to people about rods, I point them to the TenkaraBum rods.

Now I need to get out and catch a fish with the Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou. It isn't a rod that I want to do brush busting with for obvious reasons.

May 22, 2018
Rod hydrotherapy
by: Hoppy D (SD)

Les, you had better send that Tenryu Furaibo TF39 Becchou over to me so I can give it some hydrotherapy while you continue to mend your shoulder. I don't want it to end up being a "Closet Queen" like the Benelli was. :-)

May 22, 2018
Fishing is happening today!
by: Les Albjerg

Hoppy - The Becchou is going to be fished with today! I have a staff retreat and it is going to be at Eagle Island State Park. The Boise River runs right through the park. I'm going fishing afterward. I have the Becchou in the car. Kebari tied with feathers from pheasants shot with the Benelli that I still have. Over the weekend I made up lines. I am still very happy that I bought the Becchou. I love functional art. I did debate long and hard over the Becchou or the SST. One of the biggest problems I have is I am spoiled by the TenkaraBum 40. I'm leaving it home today. Hoppy have you had the chance to fish the SST yet?

May 22, 2018
Well played, Les.
by: Chris Stewart

Les puts the "b" in subtle.

Hoppy, I'm sure Les is just as concerned as you that rods do not become closet queens. If the SST needs to get out and stretch, and if your weather has not cooperated, in a very understated way I think he's offering to take it for a walk and let it enjoy the fresh air and rushing water.

A true gentleman and a testament to the fine people that tenkara brings together to help one another.


May 22, 2018
A master of subtlety
by: Hoppy D (SD)

"I appreciate subtlety. I have never enjoyed a kiss in front of the camera. There's nothing to it except not getting your lipstick smeared."

~~Hedy Lamarr

Well, Chris, Les isn't smearing my lipstick, and he isn't going to get his hands on my SST. No matter how subtle he is!! :-)

Have a great day on the water, Les! Work that Becchou!!

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

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

Beware of the Dogma

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