Big Fish, Small Pond: The Turbulent World Of Tenkara Fly Fishing


Nice catch Karl.

Thanks for the link Karl. Learned some new things, and reminded me that I have yet to use my new spinning rod I got from Chris!

Interesting read. It kind of makes me glad that I only discovered tenkara fishing in the last couple of years and, found I think I am glad I missed, or at least have been oblivious to that drama, and rarely see any of it here. (Thank You Peder and the 10CT Community!)

There is a western fly fishing forum I’ve belonged to since 2009 that was local until a few years ago and now attracts a regional-national-and even worldwide membership. That community can turn into a circular firing squad over style-tactics, and in threads that start out very innocently but degrade into political rants. The moderators do a good job of controlling it by locking threads and kicking protagonists but they’re not watching each post 24x7 so things can get pretty heated before before the firehose gets turned on.

I really-really appreciate “tenkara”, for what I’ll call its incredibly effective, “direct connection” to the fish along with tactics and techniques from Japanese and western sources that at least for me, have made a bunch of (often outrageously to seemingly unconscionably expensive) equipment unnecessary for salmonid fishing in local small mountain creeks and streams to mid-sized coastal rivers.

Members of the local Fly Fishers International (FFI, formerly Federation of Fly Fishers FFF) affiliate club I belong to used to scoff and mock me during my monthly tenkara fishing reports. In the last year several members of that club and other clubs who attended one of my (if not highly knowledgeable, at least “enthusiastic”) tenkara presentations had later tried and had success using tenkara rods and tactics in waters ranging from the Big Hole to the Sacramento River, even when fishing water that had just been fished!

Finally, I really-really appreciate the Community with its very name and discussions of diverse applications and solutions (Thank You Again Peder, and 10CT Community!), along with articles like this:
Myth Busting Tenkara in Japan | Tenkara Angler
that have encouraged me to both go deeper to learn techniques taught by the “masters”, and to examine whether my fixed-line tenkara and keiryu rods and skills are suitable for me to adapt to the very wide variety of fishing opportunities that I am surrounded by here in the USA’s Pacific Northwest.


I am so glad you posted this. I knew there had been some kind of beef but I wasn’t sure who would be the best person to spill the tea.

I feel a little guilty that my incessant Looky-Loo emails to Chris help keep him trapped inside his apartment.

I only wish I could have gone to war for him in someone’s random comment section.

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I, personally, am a bit tired of the “Japanese expert” conversation. I think that phrase has been an American term that was created for general credibility and is ego-driven why the people that use it, often used in a pretentious manner.
I had a recent convo with a friend who is well known in the community (will not name names) who reported they were surprised how poorly a Japanese expert fished, and the status was mostly an American-made adjective.
The think the pompous term needs to be given up.
Let people fish and talk about it.

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I am not too sure what your point is either. To be honest, part that I react to is your periodic returns to the forum to tell the group that there is nothing that interests you here, you are not learning anything, you only learn from experts in Japan, etc.
Maybe any of the personal opinions that are negative towards the group and their non-pure, non-tenkara should be kept to yourself. Those comments serve to irritate the group and make you simultaneity feel better (more superior).
I think you have a lot to offer, when you are in positive mood and speak in a non passive-aggressive manner.

People always talk about Passive Aggressive like it is a bad thing. I say thank God for the Passive! Life would be a lot harder if we were all aggressive all of the time.

What Your Tenkara means to you is the important thing, whether it comes from Japan or not matters little in the total scheme of things. It’s Your Fishing, do what ever brings You the most pleasure. Let the neigh sayers howl at the moon all they please, while their laments roll off of your back like rain drops on a duck’s back. We all have our own Private Tenkara, and that is as it should be. Embrace freedom and reject Tyranny in all its many forms. I do not know what is right for You, just as you do not know what is right for me. Live and Let Live is the true Essence of 10 Colors Tenkara.


I admire your colour when you are not dismissing others colours.

I feel that being assertive is a healthy alternative to passive-aggressive vs aggressiveness. It’s not a buzz term, it’s an actual term that describe behaviour.
I am done arguing, as it’s a waste of time and energy. Enduring personality profiles will not shift from anything I type in this forum.

Friends, let’s get closer to fishing. Why waste our lives arguing? More respect for each other.


Please note if this topic continues in this direction, I will be forced to lock it down. Let’s keep the focus on tenkara and fixed line fishing.

Any member who violates the terms of use will receive one written warning. Continued violations and you will be banned.


I think it’s about respect of diversity.

Any continued conversation, Adam, we can continue in private messages. I would appreciate if this forum was kept respectful and without drama, so we can continue this as adults in private.