Tenkara is a specific style of fishing that has taken the industry by storm in recent years. Dubbed ‘trend-kara’, anglers have become fascinated by this simple style of fishing; so much so, in fact, that it has become a real trend. Tenkara is a simple Japanese method of fly fishing that only involves a line and a rod - no fly reel needed. Tenkara rods are easy to travel with and work well in backcountry settings when you have limited space in your pack. These telescoping rods pack down to as little as 15 inches and extend at a moment’s notice so that you can minimize setup time and spend more time fishing.
Obviously, Tenkara rods are also limiting in some instances on the water. If you’re fishing larger rivers, it’s impossible to cast long distances. While these rods do have extended reach, they’re not meant to cast long distances. Also, if you hook into a large fish that runs downstream, you don’t have a reel to play the fish on which means you have to chase after it on foot. That being said, this style is perfect for small mountain streams, backpacking, and fishing in remote areas.
Tenkara fishing necessitates specific flies. These flies are designed specifically for Tenkara rods and are easy to cast and present in the backcountry or small stream settings. While our Tenkara fly selection is somewhat limited at the moment, check back often because we’re always adding new flies to the category. One popular pattern we carry is the Tenkara USA Ishigaki Fly. This fly is used by renowned Tenkara angler and authority Dr. Hisao. He has fished this fly almost exclusively for the last 10 years and has caught more fish than ever before. This fly embodies the simple spirit of Tenkara where more emphasis is placed on the skill of the angler than it is on hatches, bugs, gear, and more.
Another useful Tenkara pattern is the Oki Kebari Fly. This fly is a larger pattern that’s used when targeting trout in faster-flowing water or when larger bugs are present. The forward-facing hackle ensures a lively appearance underwater and this fly is hard for mountain trout to resist when presented effectively. This is also a great prospecting pattern when trout are likely to react to a larger fly but the angler isn’t sure there are fish present in the stream. Use this fly in technical situations or whenever fish are eating larger insects either underwater or in an emerging stage.
The third Tenkara fly we carry is the Takayama Kebari Fly. This fly is the smallest of the Tenkara USA selection and imitates midges and smaller insects. While classic western trout angling often necessitates a fly that’s significantly smaller than a size 16, this is about as small as Tenkara anglers use. This is a great fly for picky or pressured fish or scenarios when fish are rising to the fly but not taking it.
Regardless of which Tenkara fly you’re looking for, we have a handful of different patterns for a variety of Tenkara angling scenarios. Tenkara can be really convenient and incredibly fun but it helps to have the right flies for every situation. Plus, every product we carry comes with a price match guarantee so you can be sure you’re getting the best products at the lowest prices in the industry.