Catching Steelhead on Tenkara Rods (No Reel)


With the right rod, what about bonefish?

Bonefish landing on the Zen Kyojin Tenkara fly rod. Quick and fun. Xcalak, Mexico, 2020. YouTube.

A lakerun Steelhead is a different beast to a Searun Steelheadā€¦but this is still very cool.

Jonathan, thank you for your input. Locally, we have a land locked shad population and the same holds true with the as it does with the steelhead - the fish out of the ocean are much stronger than the landlocked verities.

But still, those are big strong fish to be catching on a T-rod. And after the angler got the Wasach Rod and a little more practice, he was able to bring those bid steelhead to hand and release them Solo in under 3 minuets, which is a feat a rod and reel angler would have a hard time equaling because of all the line the fish can take off of the reel they can not take out on a Fixed Line Rod.

The video of Karin Miller (Zen Tenkara) landing a bonefish can be found on Tenkara Anglerā€™s Big Fish Rod Review farther down on this boardā€¦Karl.

This illustrates what I was talking about. Karl.

She has zero control of this fish and her technique is of little help. I would dig seeing a full video of her hooking up and landing one. Can you link one in this thread? The flat in this video would need to settle some timeā€¦hours maybeā€¦ hard to sayā€¦before she would get another shot.

Then this one below with the appropriate circus music. I find it entertaining how she tries to fight this fish and has little concept on not hand lining such a green fish. Great instruction of what not to do though.


Oh here it isā€¦hahahaha.

Looks like fun but not really graceful or efficient.

I do dig how happy she is and I guess that is what counts for her and others that want to chase big fish around. Her fish may have been around the size that I caught on my trip. 3-4 lbs. They are soooo strong, but they are the small schooling fish. The 8-15 fish are the big fish.

I do dig feeling the power of bigger fish so I tend to strip them in, so I understand the thrill she and others are after. I just am not into splashing around like that like a wounded animalā€¦hahaha.

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G, we are watching the same videos but coming up with completely different conclusions. I see Karin as a highly positive force in the Tenkara Community, taking Tenkara where it has never gone before. She is optimistic, dedicated, infectious and not concerned about looking silly while being pulled across the flats by a run away bonefish. You sort of feel like she has lost her marbles, I take it. But, they are her marbles to loose.

Neither you or I or anyone else gets to decide what is the right way to have fun for anyone else - that is their decision to make. If you donā€™t like what Karin is doing, You can fish any way you like, as I am sure you will. I guess the one thing we can agree on is we can continue to disagree in a good natured way. If you want to look elegant, you might consider taking ballet lessons. For myself, I prefer to fish. At my age, there is nothing I can do that looks elegant any longerā€¦Karl.


Boy, me too! Also, elegant was never my strong suit! :smiley:


I never said she wasnt having fun. Try to revisit my entries. My notes are on efficiencies. Running across a flat like that is not efficient and not an advantage. When I say graceful I am trying to note the complete lack of control.

Read the comments section of the video, where she hooks and lands that fish. Karin even notes she caught 30 on a western flyrodā€¦got boredā€¦and pulled out the fixed line. That explains why she doesnt care to wake across the flat. Consider doing the same thing in a river, you would be ending the day.

I suspect she might do this a lot. Find fish on the chew by other means, then try fixed line. It is what I did too.

What i found is what I said in the other thread. You can target big fish but there is zero advantage accept increasing challenge. Conversion and hook to land ratios are poor on big fish and fixed line.

Big fish are also relative to species and tackle. That bonefish was not big and the type that are easier to convert. Her rods are stout i would be curious to know what size tippet she uses.

Yes I do find what she is doing amusing. I do respect her as well. Anyone having that much fun has to be a good egg. Would I fish with her? Probably not, she is too loud and dramatic. I like to keep a low profile.


I am no ballerina either.


Here is her quote in the comments. Looks like I was not alone thinking it was a bit much to watch.
She handled herself with grace in her reply and I feel it is a fair point. Part of my point is, even she knows fixed line is not everything in this world.

All that said I recently had a looooooooong conversation with a close friend about tenkara and trout. He used to be a devoted tenkara anglerā€¦probably the most passionate of all of us. Over the last few years he tinkered with spinning, bfs, and now back to flyfishing. He was trying to convince me to use a flyrod and reel for trout! I 100% believe his points why it is better as he is a 1000 times more technical than I am.

Just the same, for the foreseeable future I will never use a flyrod and reel for trout. I just enjoy fixed line for trout, end of story. It is not a matter of being right about something or a method of being better. I am a believer that it is what we enjoy that matters.

What this thread is about is a conversation with different views.

It is ok for people to use other angling methods as much as it is to be a die hard. Although Karin is not my angling idol, I do appreciate her. It seems she also likes to use other angling methods on occasion. I feel it can round us as anglers, but there are equally great master anglers who only fish one way.


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