Monthly Archives: September 2019

Tenkara Today

coverIntroducing Tenkara Today, my new book about the rise of Japanese fixed-line fly-fishing in America. It explains how tenkara tackle works, and tells the story of a movement that has left its mark on outdoor recreation in the United States and across the western world.

I had been a fly-fisherman for 25 years when I first encountered tenkara in 2009. It was exotic: a very long, very light telescoping rod with only a rod’s length of line, attached directly to the tip — no reel. I soon learned tenkara fishermen didn’t fuss very much over what fly to use. I also learned that tenkara was a great way to catch trout in streams.

Inexpensive and easy to learn, tenkara caught on. A small company called Tenkara USA was the first to sell tenkara gear outside of Japan. Others followed, and a niche industry took hold, catering to both veteran anglers and people who had never fly-fished before.

Tenkara Today profiles Daniel Galhardo, the young immigrant who gave up a corporate career to launch Tenkara USA, and Chris Stewart, the Colorado-born New Yorker who became the top importer of Japanese tenkara gear for the American market. The book will introduce you to Ed Van Put, the renowned Catskill Mountains fly-fisher who had an epiphany with a tenkara rod given to him by the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. in 1998; to Karin Miller, who got the cold shoulder from the fly-fishing industry when she went into the tenkara business; to Tenkara Guides LLC, the first American outfitters dedicated to fixed-line fly-fishing, and anglers of all stripes who have come to love the simple, graceful pleasure of fishing with a tenkara rod.

Ed Van Put

Catskills fly-fisher Ed Van Put with a Daiwa rod he started using in the late 1990s, when tenkara was virtually unknown in the U.S.

You’ll also learn how to choose a tenkara rod, how to set it up for fishing, when and where to fish, and what to do when you’ve caught a fish (and you will catch fish.) And you’ll see how] tenkara can fit into your outdoor life, whether you’re a die-hard fly-fisher, a cyclist, climber or hiker whose adventures take you near mountain streams, or a city dweller with a park pond nearby and some time to spend along its shore.


Tenkara Today is published by Stackpole Books and has a cover price of $24.95.