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.

Sep 21, 2018

Fly Spoon Rod - The Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45

Tis the time for Rod reviews I guess. I notice that Chris has the Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45 back in stock. I just read through the official review,

Continue reading "Fly Spoon Rod - The Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45"

Sep 20, 2018

This Just In...

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

Suntech Genryu Sawanobori 45 Very light, very stiff rod for "lantern fishing" or tight line nymphing. Back in stock.

Medium Rod Case Light weight semi-rigid plastic rod case that fits most tenkara, keiryu and seiryu rods. Back in stock.

Daiwa .4g Vega Spoons Very small, light weight spoons that you can cast with a fly rod or tenkara rod. Three colors back in stock, three new colors.

Sunline level line, sizes 3 and 4.5 Flourescent orange, a bit stiffer than Oni Line, 50% more line for just one more dollar. Back in stock.

Sep 20, 2018

Comparison: Shimotsuke Kiyotake 240 v Nissin Airstage Hakubai 240

Back in March I purchased a Shimotsuke Kiyotake 240 rod on ebay for a ridiculously low price. It sounded ideal for fishing the narrow, tree-shrouded urban

Continue reading "Comparison: Shimotsuke Kiyotake 240 v Nissin Airstage Hakubai 240"

Sep 16, 2018

This Just In...

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

Dr. Slick Spring Creek Clamps and Angled Nippers Two critical items. You really do need more than the oft-repeated rod, line fly. Back in stock.

Sep 16, 2018

Rocky Mountain National Park

I was in the park Sep 1st - 9th and fished Fall River, Moraine Park (Big Thompson), Glacier Basin (Glacier Creek) and Wild Basin (N St Vrain). I caught

Continue reading "Rocky Mountain National Park"

Sep 12, 2018

Back to Shoal Creek

Kansas City has built a lot of paved walking trails, many of them along small creeks. This is where I go tenkara fishing. This is the Shoal Creek Trail

Continue reading "Back to Shoal Creek"

Sep 07, 2018

This Just In...

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

Killer Bug and Keeper Kebari Two of Kiwi's proven fly patterns. Back in stock.

Sep 06, 2018

Great Keiryu Story!

Chris - Nice to hear a Keiryu story! I am also loving seeing one of my favorite rods the Suntech Keiryu Sawanobori 63. One of the problems with this

Continue reading "Great Keiryu Story!"

Sep 06, 2018

Keiryu Trip Report 9-2-18

OOPS - I just realized my last keiryu fishing trip report was from last January!

In my defense, this has not been an awe-inspiring year. The weather has been either too cold or too hot, the water has been too high or too low. Excuses? Of course -- but most trips did not yield much to write about. Plus, of course, with spinning, baitcasting, micros and tenkara to write about (or at least struggle to find something to write about) there just hasn't been much time for the simple worm on a hook.

Willowemoc Brown Tout

Continue reading "Keiryu Trip Report 9-2-18"

Sep 03, 2018

This Just In...

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

Handmade Wooden Bait Boxes A necessary item for keiryu fishing. Back in stock.

Sep 03, 2018

Take a Boy (or Girl) Tenkara Fishing

One of the most enjoyable times fishing this year was taking a nine year old out fishing. James' Dad texted me today, James had fun and really likes your

Continue reading "Take a Boy (or Girl) Tenkara Fishing"

Aug 31, 2018

This Just In...

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

TenkaraBum Traveler 39 Three position zoom go anywhere rod! Back in stock.

Nissin Zerosum Oni Honryu 395 and 450 Big fish rods designed by a master. Back in stock.

Aug 28, 2018

Bighorn question

I am wondering if those of you with more experience than I have can chime in on the following: I am going to be fishing with my wife on the Bighorn for

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Aug 27, 2018

Hairline Fishing - A Little History

Sub-ultralight fishing is not new nor a Japanese invention. It goes back a long way in Europe, principally in France even before WW2. According to

Continue reading "Hairline Fishing - A Little History"

Aug 25, 2018

Scouting and Fishing

Yesterday was supposed to be spent looking for elk. If you look at picture number two, I carefully walked to the edge of the ridge and low and behold

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Aug 24, 2018

Honryu to Hillsdale

I was looking forward to my second Oni School in a few weeks and I realized I didn't own an Oni rod (you don't have to have one). But never one to let

Continue reading "Honryu to Hillsdale"

Aug 24, 2018

This Just In...

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

ZimmerBuilt Sling Lite, Chest Pack and Strap Pack Nicely designed, well made packs designed specifically for anglers. Back in stock.

Aug 22, 2018

Love it

First time out with my TenkaraBum 36 today, and I caught 5 Rainbows in under 45 mins using nymphs. My drifts never looked so good! So much fun .... only

Continue reading "Love it"

Aug 22, 2018

Oni School

I'll be "out of the office" September 13-15, attending the second session of this year's Oni School, organized by the Tenkara Guides in Salt Lake City and held on the Provo River.

This will be my third time attending the Oni School. If you have never been to the Oni School, I highly recommend that you go. Masami Sakakibara (Tenkara no Oni) is probably the most skilled tenkara caster there is. At the school he gives hands on, one-on-one instruction.

Hands on Instruction

It WILL help your casting. Oni is also one of the best with respect to reading the water - not so much for where the fish are (that's easy) but for how the current will affect the drift of your fly, and for where to cast so that the current takes your fly to where the fish are.

The first time I saw Oni fish, I was surprised at how much time he spent fishing downstream from where he was standing. Everyone is always taught to fish upstream, but at times (more often than you would think) the best presentation will be from a position upstream and to the side from where the fish are. Oni is the master at getting in the right position before making the cast - and that is something you will not learn anywhere else. No one else even mentions it.

Downstream Presentation

There is a huge amount that you can learn from Oni, but you'll also learn from the Tenkara Guides themselves (when Oni is helping another angler, or when the class breaks up into small groups). They're pros and have more stream time than most people, and have spent years sharing ideas and tactics. (Three heads are better than one.)

If you enjoy tenkara fishing and want to improve, there's no better way than to attend the Oni School.

One other advantage is that there will be a bunch of different rods there to try out. Everyone brings a rod (or several) and lots of people cast each other's rods. It is a good way to try a bunch of different rods. I won't sell rods there, but I'll have all three TenkaraBum rods, all three TenkaraBum Traveler rods and both Tenryu rods with me.

Rob's brown trout on TenkaraBum 40

Contact erik@tenkaraguides.com to see if there's still space available. I think there is, but contact ERiK.

Aug 20, 2018

This Just In...

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

Kid's Tenkara Rod (Shimotsuke Tenkara Gen 270) Low priced, modest quality rod that is ideal for kids. Back in stock.

Shimotsuke Kiyotaki 18 Inexpensive six foot micro fishing rod. Back in stock.

Nissin Flying Dragon 530 5.3 meter carp rod that collapses to 22". Back in stock.

Daiwa Seiryu X 54 Soft sensitive 5.4m seiryu rod for bigger water and modest fish. Back in stock.

Size 2.5 and 3 orange Oni line Light, highly visible level fluorocarbon line. Back in stock.

Daiwa Floating tenkara line, 7m Long floating line for lakes or large rivers. Back in stock.

Daiwa Vega .4g spoons - Lemonade and Horizon Light weight spoons that can be cast effectively with a tenkara rod, keiryu rod or fly rod. Back in stock.

Aug 19, 2018

Great day Micro fishing with Nissin Air 240 and Sasuke

I caught about 40 or so micros, ranging from bluegills to stonerollers, minnows, gobys, and shiners. These rods performed beautifully. The littlest nibble

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Aug 16, 2018

Red Wiggler Round-Up

It has been an interesting year and a half. For the past 18 months, I have been experimenting with Red Wigglers. My adventure began with treating them

Continue reading "Red Wiggler Round-Up"

Aug 16, 2018

The Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 240 Revisited

This past year I’ve purchased fewer tenkara rods but used the ones I have more frequently. Along the way, I’ve identified some favorites. Among my preferred

Continue reading "The Nissin Air Stage Hakubai 240 Revisited"

Aug 15, 2018

This Just In...

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

Kiwi's Tenkara Flies Killer Bug, Black Killer Bugger, Keeper Kebari, Royal Sakasa Kebari, Ajari's Dark Kebari. Back in stock.

Nissin Oni Honryu 450 Premium big water, big fish tenkara rod, designed by the master himself. Back in stock.

Shimano Pack Tenkara 31-34ZW Zoom rod with short collapsed length for backpacking. Back in stock.

Suntech FMX Keiryu Stiff 45 Works well as a short keiryu rod or long, beefy (32 penny) tenkara rod. Back in stock.

Medium, large and long rod cases Light weight and adjustable for length. Excellent value. Back in stock.

New Half Moon tanago hooks (loose) Tiny hooks for those who want to snell them themselves. Back in stock.

Micro fishing kit - hook, line and sinker (and float). All you need to get started (except for the rod, of course). Back in stock.

Aug 13, 2018

Tenryu Fly Rods

Tenryu Fly Rods? Why not? Tenryu is known for excellent quality rods. Their Furaibo tenkara rods are truly excellent. Their spinning and baitcasting rods are the nicest I've seen anywhere.

This article is very nearly a reprint of the write up I did for the few Tenryu fly rods I imported early this year. I am seriously considering importing not only more rods but also more of the Tenryu fly rod models. If you would be interested in one of the Tenryu fly rods, please contact me.

Tenryu StreamWalker Fly Rod

Continue reading "Tenryu Fly Rods"

Aug 03, 2018

Showing What it's Made of!

I had a great day of fishing yesterday in my new hometown with a couple of fly fishermen in the area. We live in an interesting place in Eastern Kentucky

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Jul 29, 2018

A day of trial and error

A week or two ago I went fishing at Rose Canyon Lake on Mt Lemmon. It is a fishing spot about 1 hour and 45 minutes from my house and sadly the closest

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Jul 29, 2018


This morning my student/friend and I fished a familiar stretch of my favorite river. He went down first on the “good” side (long outside curve) of the

Continue reading "A NICE DAY WITH THE NISSINS"

Jul 28, 2018

End of Summer Sale

Karasu 400 - 20% Off

Sale limited to rods in stock.

Discover Tenkara set out to make the best 400 length tenkara rod on the planet. A number of tenkara anglers in Japan, which has institutional knowledge of tenkara rods going back hundreds of years, think they achieved their goal.

If you've wanted one ever since they were introduced, but just couldn't quite pull the trigger, now's your chance. It's probably the last chance you'll ever get to buy this rod at this price. Quantity is limited.

Discover Tenkara Karasu 400

Continue reading "End of Summer Sale"

Jul 27, 2018

Golden Shiners and Killies

I went to my favorite creek again and had another many fish day while using my Shimosuke Kiyotaki rod. I was able to hook and land a variety of fish including,

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Jul 24, 2018

This Just In...

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

Medium Rod Case Light weight and adjustable for length. Excellent value. Back in stock.

Varivas Tippet 5X, 6X and 10X tippet. Back in stock.

3/8" Nakazima Floats Inexpensive, easily adjustable microfishing floats. Back in stock.

Dinsmore #10 shot Very small, light weight shot for microfishing. Back in stock.

C&F 2 in 1 Retractor Much better design than a simple zinger. holds two tools and has a magnet to hold a fly while you change tippet. Back in stock.

Jul 23, 2018

I'll be away for two weeks...

... from Monday, July 30 through Friday August 10.

Nothing will get shipped from Monday, July 30 through Monday, August 13. If you will need any gear before mid-August, please order it NOW. Other than tippet, which I should receive today or tomorrow, anything out of stock now will remain out of stock until mid August.

I *think* I will have some internet access at least occasionally, so I may be able to answer some urgent emails (eventually). For routine stuff I will try to respond when I return. Please don't send "Did you get my order?" emails. If you got a receipt from PayPal, I got your order.

If you wait until I return to place an order, you will have two weeks worth of orders ahead of yours, and it will still take me almost two weeks to get to it.

At least for the next three weeks, be careful and don't break any rods!

Jul 22, 2018

Maximizing Fishing Opportunities

I was bemoaning to Chris yesterday that I was on-call all weekend (I work in the medical field) and couldn't go fishing. His response was, Being on call

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Jul 16, 2018

This Just In...

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

Small and Large Rod Cases Light weight and adjustable for length. Excellent value. Back in stock.

Owner Smallest Snelled tanago hooks Excellent hook for catching smaller micros. Back in stock.

Daiwa Figure 8 Tool Great tool for tying knots and also holding small flies. Kind of like a Ty-Rite tool but much, much better. Back in stock.

Jul 16, 2018

Red Shiner

Fishing Shoal Creek in Kansas City north. I was using my Kiyotaki with about 8 feet size 2.5 line and 3-4 feet of 8X tippet and a brass wire bodied nymph.

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Jul 16, 2018

Those Carbon Fiber Tubes

Like many tenkara anglers, I started with a couple of “brand X” rods of modest price and eventually caught quite a few fish with them. I still have these

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Jul 13, 2018

Bent Pin Flies

Bent pin flies will not win any prizes. They won't get you an invitation to tie at the International Fly Tying Symposium. They will catch fish, though. They're about as subversive as the Overhand Worm and are a lighthearted jab at proper fly dressers the world over (or at least the stuffier ones).

We know that tenkara flies were once tied on hooks made by small family shops whose main business was making sewing needles. You can indeed make a hook from a needle by heating it and bending it and cooling it. You can. But you can also just bend a pin and go catch fish.

I have caught fish on flies tied on bent pins for years. I have yet to have a fish get away because it straightened the pin. I'm sure a big enough fish could do it, but so far it hasn't happened.

bent pin

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Jul 09, 2018

First time with the Kiyotaki

Being newly retired, I have decided to combine walking for my health and my love for fishing. I’ve been using a cheap “tenkara rod” on my hikes, though

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Jul 07, 2018

Blown Away!

I really enjoyed my two days of solitude in the mountains. However, I was literally blown away. The wind just didn't let up. It was blowing 20-40 miles

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Jul 04, 2018

Sale Ends Today!

The 20% off sale on the Suntech TenkaraBum 36 ends today! Tomorrow the price goes back to $230.

Suntech TenkaraBum 36

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Jul 04, 2018


Imagine that you and your family are just sitting down to a scrumptious supper. Everyone is starving, and the meal spread before you includes all your

Continue reading "Stealth"

Jul 04, 2018

Two Days In Nirvana With A New Rod

I bought a Suntech GM Keiryu Special 27 last year just before the Tenkarabum Traveler 27 was introduced, and finally got to try it out July 1 and 3.

Continue reading "Two Days In Nirvana With A New Rod"

Jun 27, 2018

This Just In...

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

Suntech Kurenai Long 61 If you are looking for a long, light, fun rod, they just don't get any better than this one. Back in stock.

Medium and Long Rod Cases Light weight, adjustable, semi-rigid rod cases. Back in stock.

Sunline size 3 and size 4.5 tenkara line The first fluorescent orange tenkara line. Extremely visible - particularly early and late in the day. Back in stock.

Killer Bugs Kiwi's version of Frank Sawyer's original. Still a killer after all these years. Back in stock.

Power Isome - small brown Biodegradeable, digestible "rubber" worms that smell like blueberries? And fish eat 'em? Oh, yeah!. Back in stock.

Jun 23, 2018

A Genuine Micro Fish

The other morning I just caught the smallest fish I think I’ve ever caught so far. It’s a baby chub or dace, I can’t tell. Just over the size of a penny,

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Jun 23, 2018

First time micro fishing

I recently had the opportunity to fish on a farm creek in upstate NY. There was very limited casting room for my ITO rod and I was almost ready to give

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Jun 21, 2018

Four Rods - Four Meters - Forty Fish

It was a beautiful sunny windless morning. I needed to get out fishing! Rather than take just one rod, I took all of my rods that can be fished at 4

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Jun 20, 2018

Smallest Largemouth Bass Ever, Ever!

Well, bass season just started a few days ago and I think I already have beaten my old record. This is hands down the smallest largemouth bass I’ve ever

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Jun 18, 2018

Karp Kebari

Chris - Thanks for sharing a quick report on your Maine trip. However, that chewed Keeper Kebari looks sick! I felt the need to show one that is ready

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Jun 17, 2018

Maine Vacation - 2018

My Maine vacation this year was not what I had expected. Most of the time, the wind blew like crazy. Most of the time when it wasn't blowing it was raining. It turned out to be a spin fishing vacation rather than a tenkara vacation.

This will be a fairly quick and dirty trip report, partially because the trip didn't turn out to be a tenkara trip but mostly because I'm still behind on my shipments, and I think that should take precedent.

I did get in a little tenkara fishing and the Keeper Kebari again proved to be an outstanding smallmouth bass fly.

Almost Time to Change FliesAlmost time to change flies.

Continue reading "Maine Vacation - 2018"

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

"Study to be quiet." - Izaak Walton 1653

"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


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

Beware of the Dogma