Sep 19, 2010

The Zen View From the Back Seat

While traveling in Utsunomiya, Japan last week I saw something worth writing about.  My mood was hurried and nervous as I worked my way across a strange land to talk business with people I've never met about technologies I'm barely familiar with.  Through the taxi window I spied a sight to bring comfort to my anxious heart.  Certain things are universal, and I'm sure the cluster of fisherman would have felt similar thoughts had our roles been reversed.

What I saw was a group of about twenty anglers in full combat mode as they worked a small riffle.  Their tenkara rods were at least twelve feet long, which I'm sure made combat that much more difficult.  From the taxi it was an odd sight; it looked like a forest of super long rods leaning in the same direction as they searched for the sun.  I wish I had a picture, because there is nothing I can type to properly convey the scene.

Life would be boring if it weren't for coincidences such as the one I experienced two days later.  While riding a commuter train, this time near Akashi, my boss handed me a newspaper opened to an article he thought I'd enjoy.  The paper was The International Herald Tribune and the article was titled "Japanese fly fishing catches on in the U.S."  It's a short read so go ahead and click the link.

To further the coincidence, the article described an angler catching a "scrappy longear sunfish" from Crooked Creek, Arkansas.  As regular readers know well, I'm currently in a half-hearted race to claim the Illinois state record for longear sunfish.  I thought it would be fun to get the record on a fly but a tenkara rod would make it that much more enjoyable.


  1. First off, welcome back. As for your state record, go get 'em. Sunfish on a tenkara rod are a blast. I toss out a size 18 beadhead nymph and they gobble them up! The folks at Tenkara USA have been doing a good job spreading the word on tenkara in America, but I think that NY Times article might just open a few more people's eyes. It was very well written.

  2. I expected you would comment early. It is because of Troutrageous I knew what I was looking at.

  3. Mike is our Tenkara Guru. Ask, and he knows.



Clif reserves the right to delete your comment if he is so inclined, but he is a pretty liberal guy so post away and see what happens.