1st Time Out With My Tenkara

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that I had bought my son an awesome new fly rod for his birthday, a Tenkara rod. While it is his rod and he loves it, here’s the truth. Part of the reason that I bought it for him is because I thought it looked awesome. For me, one of the places that I thought it would be great was out on a belly boat in the middle of a lake. For quite a while now, I’ve tired to take two rods with me when I go out to a lake. I’ve got a reel that has some sinking fly line on it, and with the right streamer on there, it’s sometimes hard to make a cast without catching a fish!

But there are always those days where I’m out there with some sinking line, and the fish start feeding off the top. Nothing is more fun than throwing a dry fly on the top of the water and watching a fish come take it, but that’s just not an easy switch to make while out on a lake. So, I’ll usually take two rods out. However, that causes all sorts of troubles. Half the time, I won’t put my second rod together until I get out on the lake, and it’s tough trying to figure out how to put a 7 piece rod together, and feed the line through, while out on lake. Of course then I run into the problem of trying not to cross both lines, and wondering what to do in those times where I have a fish on each rod at the same time.


So, when I saw these Tenkara rods, I thought all my problems would be solved. It’s easy to throw in the pocket of my boat, easy to extend the rod, and no line to feed through the reel. So, as I was heading up to Grand Mesa one day to fish one of their numerous lakes, I threw the rod in with me, and headed out to the middle of a lake. For the first part of the day, I was just fishing with sinking line and some streamers, and was having a blast doing it. By the middle of the day, I had pulled in about 20, but was still waiting to see if I would see any fish start to feed on the top. Luckily, a little after noon, the clouds rolled in and it started raining on us just a little.

That rain was enough to knock some bugs onto the water, and sure enough the fish started rising. I quickly tied on a caddis, and threw my (my son’s) Tenkara out on the side of the boat. I don’t think it had sat there for more than a minute when the first fish hit it. I was holding my other rod at the time and missed it, but quickly picked it up and just a minute later, another hit, and I’d caught my first fish on a Tenkara rod. I was hooked (and so were quite a few fish)!! It worked as well as I could have expected, and maybe better. It was much easier to get the line out of the way when I hooked into something with the other rod, and the simplicity of it was fantastic. I don’t think I’ll ever head back out on the boat without it again – that is if my son doesn’t take it from me first!


Written by Jeff Oetter

I am a Colorado native that grew up going fishing every chance I could. Now I’m a pastor, as well as a life long student! If I’m not working or studying you can find me and my family heading up to the mountains in our Jeep.

We hope you enjoyed this amazing story from Jeff. What are some of first experiences with Tenkara? Have you tried it yet? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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