This is the beginning. The beginning of a journal talking about ideas and experiences that I have as I have, and continue to, move through my process of learning Tenkara.
So, when I began this journey over 4 years ago I inadvertently put a telescoping Tenkara rod into my Amazon box thinking it was something else (let's not talk about all that right now - ok). Then, when it arrived and I took everything out of the packaging, looked it over, there was a moment of discovery.
I was like Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, there's no place to attach my fly reel? Fast forward into marriage, a kid, a demanding self-employment situation, and going through a pandemic all while needing an escape; I began to hyper-focus on Tenkara and found one.
Now, just to be clear in case you missed it, we're in Texas and we don't have a lot of trout streams. They have introduced some trout in certain cooler rivers in Central and West Texas but for the most part we're warm water species here. And even though Tenkara isn't made for warm water, it does just fine at catching a lot of fish! The rod I originally purchased was quite a bit more than what I was used to spending on equipment because I tend to destroy equipment. So, I sold a few things that I hadn't used in a half a decade then I purchased my rod. It has been quite the journey.
I've been fishing for a long time, I have chased big fish my entire life, not all over the world or anything, but whenever I went, I went to catch the biggest fish possible. Since fishing the Tenkara way, I am catching all size and types of fish. This year chasing fish using the Tenkara system has just been amazing. I set some personal goals and challenged myself a bit. It has certainly been a blast and I've not felt the need to pick up any of my "traditional" rod and reel fly gear.
It feels like an eternity has passed since I began using this way of fishing. I have caught more fish this year then I have caught probably my entire life previously. Well over 400 fish, actually caught 120 fish in a week. I count the small ones too, a fish is a fish! They are all a blast! That includes multiple species of bluegill, Largemouth bass, Guadalupe Bass, channel catfish, needle nose gar, freshwater drum and crappie. I am hoping to round it out with a carp, bowfin and Rio before years end.
The point is it has been an incredibly enjoyable year. Full of experiences with friends and family, sharing Tenkara with them as well. I am still catching big fish, but I am catching more fish. I have caught my personal best bass and crappie on Tenkara and plenty of species I did not catch consistently before. This has left all of my other rod and reels collecting dust because I am not as successful all the time in comparison to Tenkara.
Recently, I asked a friend of mine who is a die-hard, rod and reel bass fisherman, if he would rather catch somewhat smaller fish all the time with an occasional big fish mixed in, or would he only rather catch the bigger fish sometimes? His response is the response, I would think, I would most typically get. He would rather catch fish more consistently, that's the fun part. Wouldn't we all?!
Look I'm not saying that Tenkara will replace those typical rod and reels in every condition or for everyone. I am saying that it feels like I have no reason to fish those other systems. I will keep mine in hopes that my daughter may one day want to use them; kind of like a gateway drug for Tenkara fishing. That's kind of where I'm at, and I hope that through your journey you have as much success and enjoyment with Tenkara. As always if you have any questions feel free to cast us a line or comment. The response is delayed we're probably fishing! Tight lines!