Kids tenkara

With fishing opener happing this week I’ve decided not to fish but volunteer for the fly fishing for kids school. They do only traditional western fly fishing but I’m thinking of taking a few Tenkara rods. The risk of course is these are my own personal rods and if anything happens I will have bear the cost to replace. I feel like it’s worth it but would like to get opinions.


I volunteer as an adult ghillie for the Northwest Youth Conservation Fly Fishing Academy. It’s a week-long resident camp where they learn a wide range of basic fly fishing skills, knowledge of outdoor ethics, the importance of conservation and resource stewardship, and an awareness of the sport fishing opportunities in the Northwest. The kids are each given a good fly rod & reel, along with a bunch of accessories and spend time every day getting casting lessons and practicing with a western rod. I’m going to bring my Tenkara rod to the daily fishing sessions, but I don’t know how appropriate it would be to distract them from the standard curriculum.


Tough call depends on the child.
How old are the children?

I recently took two 9 yr olds my daughter
and her friend and they were fine.

Try one at a time…tops two…any more would not be managrable.


The biggest risk, by far, is this: any rod laid on the ground in the presence of children will get stepped on. If you can keep them from laying the rods down you won’t have much of a problem.


Tyson, Brian, and others,
Thank you for taking the time, energy, and patience working with our next generation of anglers. If we want to ensure the waters and woods remain important then we must get this generation involved. I taught biology/life sciences for 37 years and it really does make a difference. Have fun teaching them and let your enthusiasm become contagious. It is so cool to see them get involved and spread it to their friends.


When he was 7 I got my sone a cheap $5 8’ fiberglass telescoping rod that handled 10’ of line (and tippet) just fine. He caught his first trout on that rod on a hike in Rocky Mountain Natl. Park, and he has loved fishing since.

My son did a class like this with TU last Spring, and he learned a lot. When it came to the on-water days he brought his Tenkara rod, and caught quite a few more fish than the kids with western gear. He let other kids try his rod, and they started catching fish. I think that it would be great if they could incorporate Tenkara into early fly fishing because nothing hooks kids like hooking fish!

Broken rods is a real risk, and that’s probably the most important thing to figure out.

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