Covid-19 Announcement

INTERNATIONAL: Shipments to Europe and Canada are still slightly delayed but are getting back closer to normal. Shipments to Australia are still much slower than normal.

DOMESTIC: Many deliveries are taking about a day longer than normal. A few deliveries are taking a lot longer than normal. If you are planning a trip, please order well in advance.

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge


Combined - Terry Farmer (14" fish on #32, and 2.5" fish)
Largest Fish - Terry Farmer (14" fish on #32)
Smallest Fish - Nob Li (1.75" fish)

The Challenge

Winter is a time for small flies. The Tenkarabum Winter Challenge takes the idea of the 20-20 club, catching a 20" fish on a size 20 fly and adds a wrinkle! Catching large fish on small flies is a challenge in and of itself, but the TenkaraBum Winter Challenge takes it a step further - actually two steps further.

If a large fish on a size 20 fly is a challenge, how about a size 32? The Tiemco 518 size 32 is the smallest fly hook in production. I've got 'em. If it's a bigger challenge, and surely it is, there should be a bigger pay-off - and sure enough, there is.

Tiemco and Varivas midge hooks

Daiichi 1110 sizes 20, 26

Daiichi 1130 size 24

Daiichi 1140 size 22

For the TenkaraBum Winter Challenge, you add the size of the hook to the length of the fish (in inches). A 20" fish caught on a size 20 hook scores 40 points. However, a 10" fish caught on a size 32 hook scores 42 points! To win big you gotta go small. Largest score wins. Keep in mind the that the fly doesn't have to be small, just the hook.

That's only "Largest," though. "Smallest" brings the Micros into the Midges 'n' Micros aspect of the challenge. The score for Smallest is the length of the shortest fish in inches (hook size is not part of the calculation for the Smallest fish and it is not necessary to use the same hook size for Largest and Smallest - any fly hook size 20 or smaller qualifies). Smallest score wins.

The Combined score is calculated by subtracting the score for your smallest fish from the score of your largest fish. For example, the largest fish an angler submits is an 18" brown trout caught on a size 30 hook. His score for Largest is 48. The smallest fish he caught during the contest was a 4" brookie. The Combined score is 48 minus 4 = 44. A score of 44 might win, but then again, it might not. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Consider also that the largest fish could be a largemouth bass and the smallest could be a mosquitofish. This is an equal opportunity contest. Non-US anglers are welcome to enter (even from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, etc. where it isn't winter).

Soft hackle tied on Tiemco 518 size 32

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge Rules

Start - Finish

The Challenge begins at 12:01 AM, eastern time, November 1. Entries must be for fish caught after that time.

The Challenge ends at 11:59 PM, eastern time, March 31. Entries must be received by that time.


Any fly tied on any fly hook size 20 or smaller. Tanago hooks and/or bait do not qualify.


Add the length of the fish in inches to the size of the hook used to catch it. A 16 1/2" fish caught on a size 22 hook scores 38 1/2. Highest score wins.


Measure the fish in inches. A 3 1/4" fish scores 3 1/4. Use any fly hook size 20 or smaller. Hook size doesn't count in scoring. Smallest score wins.


The Combined score is the score for your largest fish MINUS the score for your smallest fish. With the above two examples, the Combined score would be 35 1/4. A contestant must submit at least two entries to be eligible for the Combined challenge.


Largest: One package of Varivas 2300 #30 hooks

Smallest: One starling skin

Combined: One Package of Tiemco 518 #32 hooks

Subject to...

Everything is subject to change without notice.

Please complete the form below to submit your entry.

What Other Anglers Have Submitted

Click below to see other entries.

Next challenge? 
Okay -- Congrats to the winners. So what/when is the next Challenge? Nature abhors a vacuum.

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge - Thanks! 
It was indeed a challenge. I broke and/or straightened quite a few of those 32's trying to land fish. Also broke a few learning to tie tiny flies with …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge - 20" Brown Trout No. 22 hook 
Joshua McCullough (age 16) Caught this beautiful brown trout measuring 20" from the Fryingpan River, Colorado on Thursday, February 6, 2015 using a midge …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge - 21" Brown Trout, #22 Hook 
Caught a 21" Brown trout on a size 22 Midge parachute. Observed taking size 20-24 naturals on the surface in very calm water by the bank, and believing …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge
Size 20 hook, 2 cutthroat @ 14 inches and 1 bull trout @ 12 inches
I hooked these guys this morning on the Elk River in Elkford BC. The smallest hooks I could buy were the size 20 dry fly hooks from Mustad, so I tied …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge
12 inch Rainbow, #32 UKB
By mid afternoon of my Roaring River expedition the action had improved considerably. Having caught some fish, I decided to rig up the 32 and see what …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge
2 inch Ozark Sculpin
#26 bead head Utah Killer Bug
I played hooky on Friday and went down to the Roaring River Trout Park near Cassville, Mo. This was my first outing in quite a while. I had lots of plans …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge - 14" Rainbow - 2.5" Bass Size 32 Hooks 
Finally got on the board! There's quite a learning curve with size 32 hooks. "Easy Does It" is the rule for tying, hooking and landing fish with these …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge 5" fish on a size 20 hook 
Why do I want to switch the kebari when a size 16 black killer bugger is working? Because this challenge is not over yet. I felt a little bit guilty …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge 8" rainbow on a size 20 SJ Worm 
I just received a Nissin starter kit (360 7:3). The rod is stiffer than I thought (this is my first tenkara rod), so I had no idea. I quickly tied a …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge 12.5" fish, size 30 hook 
This is a bigger fish than my last one, but unfortunately, it was caught on a bigger hook. It only scores 1/2 point better. Caught on a "squirmy wormy" …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge - 10" fish, #32 hook 
Tied a pink San Juan worm with a #32 hook. Didn't hook every fish that hit it, but I did land a few. The worm is 1.25" long and the hook really is a …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge 2.5" Bluegill #22 
Caught down on Big Fossil Creek #1 2.5" bluegill #2 3.5" longear #3 4" longear all caught on #22 soft hackle

TemkaraBum Winter Challenge
2 1/2" #30 egg pattern
Small fish & small flies, it was fun, I guess a minnow counts when you are micro fishing. Used my 4' Daiwa Tanago rod, it was a hoot.

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge
13 1/2" #30
Caught several trout this morning on the #30 fly this morning, had a couple hooked up that were probably 16" but they got away :) Biggest was this 13 …

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge 4" trout #20 hook 
Wanted to get an entry on the board for "smallest" fish.

TenkaraBum Winter Challenge 8" trout #20 hook 
Just kicking things off. I'm not going to participate officially, but wanted to get a score on the board

TenkaraBum Home > TenkaraBum Winter Challenge

“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

Currently processing orders that were received Aug 14.

Back in Stock Notification

To be notified when a specific item is back in stock, please use the Back in Stock Notification form.

To be notified when new items are added to the shop and when any out-of-stock items are back in stock please use the
This Just In... Signup

Leader Board


Terry Farmer 46 (14" + #32)
Alan Luecke 44 (12" + #32)
Tim Homesley 43.5 (13.5" +  #30
Ryan McCullouch 43 (21" + #22)
Chris Stewart 42.5 (12.5" + #30)
Joshua McCullough 42 (20" + #22)
Christopher 34 (14" + #20)
Terry S. 28 (8" + #20)
Nob Li 27.75" (1.75" + #26)
Brian Cooper 26 (4" + #22)


Nob Li 1.75 (1.75")
Alan Luecke 2 (2")
Tim Homesley 2.5 (2.5")-tie

Brian Cooper 2.5 (2.5")-tie
Terry Farmer 2.5 (2.5")-tie
Chris Stewart 4 (4")
Terry S. 5 (5")
Christopher 12 (12")
Joshua McCullough 20 (20")
Ryan McCullough 21 (21")


Terry Farmer 43.5 (46 - 2.5)
Alan Luecke 42 (44 - 2)
Tim Homesley 41 (43.5 - 2.5)

Chris Stewart 38.5 (42.5 - 4)
Nob Li 26 (27.75 - 1.75)
Brian Cooper 23.5 (26 - 2.5)
Terry S. 23 (28 - 5)
Christopher 22 (34 - 12)
Joshua McCullough 22 (42 - 20)
Ryan McCullough 22 (43 - 21)