Colorado Angler Says ‘Tenkara’ Is The Way To Fly Fish

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Photo: Tenkara Fishing
Daniel Galhardo, author of the book "Tenkara."

best times to fly fish in Colorado, since insects are hatching and are swarming rivers and creeks. That provides ample food for fish.

Photo: Tenkara Fishing 2
Author Daniel Galhardo, right, has some fun fishing with Mr. Yuzo Sebata, middle, in Japan.

But traditional Western fly fishing may be difficult for some to master. Colorado angler Daniel Galhardo of Boulder says there's an easier way. It's called Tenkara, and it originated in Japan. He discovered the style of fishing when he visited the country in 2008. His new book, "Tenkara," explains the technique's history, method, and increasing popularity.

He spoke to Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.

Read An Excerpt:

Simplicity is a choice. It is easy to make many things in life complex, but these complexities don’t usually add to our experience. Even when we learn that we don’t truly need a lot of flies we can choose to carry multiple fly patterns with us “just in case”. We can carry multiple line weights and change them any time winds change. We can carry accessories to indicate the presence of fish when we could have kept an eye to line to do that. It may seem like carrying additional items in our fishing kit will make fishing easier or more effective. Often it does not.

Tenkara shows us there is a different way of thinking about fly-fishing – and often about life too. It shows us we can leave the unnecessary behind. But, we must choose to do so.

For centuries tenkara was practiced in Japan as a means of securing food. When it was no longer necessary (due to the creation of fish farms) or feasible (due to the damming of rivers and reduced fish stock in streams) to catch mountain trout for a living, the method survived in the hands of a few who continued enjoying it partially as a sport and partially to bring a couple of fresh fish home.

I was not the first person to see tenkara being practiced in Japan and I was not the first Westerner to fish with a tenkara rod. But, for whatever reason tenkara had not found its way outside of Japan in any meaningful way. When tenkara came into my life, it inspired me and I started sharing its simplicity with friends. I realized this simpler way to fish could open the doors to fly-fishing for a multitude of people. I wanted to share tenkara with the world.

[Tenkara] has opened doors for the adventurer interested in fishing while in the backcountry. And, it has showed the experienced angler there is a different way of thinking about fly-fishing, a simple way to fly-fish.

reprinted from tenkara by Daniel Galhardo. With permission of Tenkara press an imprint of Tenkara, L.L.C. Copywright (c) 2017, Daniel W. Galhardo