Tenkara Uses Simplistic Approach to Fly Fishing for Trout

trout caught using tenkara method

Today’s guest post comes to us from Larry Chandler. Larry is going to give us an introduction to the Tenkara method of fly fishing.

People of the orient have often been depicted as calm, focused individuals in their pursuit of greatness.  Movies, books and legends often describe a man on a mission who has the utmost respect for himself and his adversary as he pushes on his struggle with honor and integrity.  The Tenkara method of fly fishing brings these same qualities to the streams and rivers known to hold beautiful trout, salmon and steelhead.

Rod, Line and  . . . . Hey, where is the reel?

One of the first things that a fly fishing angler will notice about the Tenkara method is the absence of a reel.  Back in the 8th century Japanese anglers introduced the method of using a rod and line with flies, but no reel.  That tradition is still used among Tenkara enthusiasts to this day.

The rods are normally between 11 and 13 feet long.  A unique kind of braided line is attached right on to the rod’s tip.  The line usually measures the same length as the rod and then a leader of 3 or 4 feet will be attached to the line.

Great for Mountain Streams

If you are the kind of angler that likes to go after trout in small streams and mountain streams then you may really enjoy the Tenkara method.  The same kind of trout flies used by fly fishing enthusiasts can also be used with a Tenkara rod and line.

People that have tried this style of fishing claim that they love the simplicity of the technique.  The long rod allows the angler to keep the line from touching the water.  In addition, with a little practice, you can begin to precisely land your fly in the exact spot where fish are likely to be holding.  The motion used to cast the tippet leader is similar to fly fishing methods, making it easy for experienced anglers to pick up this new style.

Light Rod + Light Line = GREAT Action!

The use of the light rods (about 4 oz.) and the light line means the angler can feel everything.  The slightest movement of the fly can be felt almost instantly.  A strike by almost any sized fish will lead to a fight that you may not have encountered before.

And don’t be afraid that the light tackle is designed only for smaller fish. With the proper amount of play anglers can land brown trout that measure 20” or more.

Since Tenkara rods are telescopic they are perfect for taking along a backpack or hiking trip.  The portability, along with small amount of line and no reel, makes it perfect for the angler that wants to try their hand at any stream which might be holding a trout.  If you want to try something a little more simplistic that involves more of your technique as opposed to the gear, get your hands on a Tenkara setup!


Larry Chandler is a content marketer and writer that is currently working with Salmon River Fishing Guide Kurt Schultz.  When he is not working on the latest project he is out playing with his kids

tenkara fishing in action

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