If you fish tenkara, you’ve no doubt seen the looks or heard the epithets. “Hey, mister, how’s fishing with that cane pole?” “Where’s your reel?” Once when walking with my rod “folded” another angler asked, “Did you break your rod?” I answered, “No, this is my rod,” and he walked on with a quizzical expression.
In the year I’ve been fishing tenkara on Spring Creek, I have yet to encounter another tenkara fisherman, but on my last outing one angler asked, “Is that one of those Japanese rods?,” and another actually recognized my Iwana as a tenkara rod.
I must admit that at first I felt a little selfconscious fishing tenkara, but as soon as I proved to myself (and perhaps others) that I could catch fish as well as the traditional fly fishers (and sometimes better (in pockets inaccessible to western fly rods) the embarrassment quickly faded.
But I’m still hoping to meet another tenkara angler on Spring Creek. It’s lonely out there.