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Japan- Into the Small Streams

The beauty of Tenkara is simplicity. You just need rod, line and flies. That’s it.

I had a chance to fish with a Tenkara master Mr. Sakakibara in a small stream of Japan. He gets as close as possible to the fish like a Ninja and moves his wrist slightly.

The next moment, the fly is a feet ahead of fish, drifting naturally and Japanese beautiful native trout, Amago is rising to the fly. 

He does exactly the same movement every time like a machine.
Every time he moves his wrist slightly, the next moment, the beautiful fish is rising to his precise perfect presentation.

Some people say the origin of the word “TENKARA” comes from “from heaven” in Japanese. The god gave us the way to catch fish or the joy to catch fish.

You don’t need much to catch fish or be happy. You just need a rod, line and flies if you know Tenkara fishing.

How simple is that?

On the very first Tenkara fishing day of your life, it’s quite possible to catch fish. 
That’s Tenkara fishing.
Tenkara Master, Mr. Sakakiara, looking for fish in the water.
Some flies you use up in the Japanese mountain streams.
Japanese native trout, Amago, in beautiful condition, caught using #12 elk hair caddis.

The beauty of Tenkara is its simplicity.

As for me, I prefer to fish with a reel.

As you know, it takes time to be able to cast in western style fly fishing. You need practice.

Some people just give up before they reach the point.

It took me a year to catch the first very sensitive Japanese Yamame/Amago with a western style fly
fishing.

However, I never forget the moment of catching the first Yamame/Amago in my life. All the efforts were rewarded.

It is all about the process for me.
A 2-night, 3-day back country mission up a Japanese mountain stream…chasing Yamame/Amago.
A natural disaster nation, Japan has many dams. Most of them were built in the 1970-80s during drastic economic growth. These dams are supposed to prevent flooding, but unfortunately they block some nice fish. However, it’s a good place to spot trout.
We prefer to fish along the river and camp at the end of the day next to the water. The following day, more of the same.
Japanese native trout, Amago, in beautiful condition, caught using #12 elk hair caddis.
Japanese Char/Iwana prefer lower temperature water compared to Amago/Yamame.
Japanese Char/Iwana react to the flies very actively.

Contributed By

Toshitake Suzuki

Born and raised in Shizuoka, Japan.
Toshi grew up doing all kinds of outdoor sports. He has been taking photos for Japanese outdoor magazines/national TV etc… In 2013, he walked all 9 great walks in New Zealand in 9 weeks fully sponsored by Air New Zealand. During this trip, he was introduced to fly fishing. In 2014 and 2015, he worked as a guide in fiordland national park in NZ. Since then, he has been chasing fish and taking photos of fly fishing scenes.

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