Southcoast Flyfisher

   Tenkara which means " from heaven" or "from the sky" is a simple form of fly fishing practiced in Japan.

   It originated in Japan at least 200 years ago.

    The first western reference to tenkara fly-fishing was in 1878 in a book called "Diary 

of climbing Mt. Tateyama" written by Ernest Mason Satow, an able linguist and British diplomat during the early modernization of Japan.

   Tenkara fly-fishing originated with professional fishermen in the mountain streams of Japan who found it an effective method of catching the local fish, YamameIwana and Amago.

   Originally the rod was simply a bamboo/cane rod, which was cut and treated, but unlike contemporary western bamboo rods, they were not "manufactured" (i.e. split and glued back together). Unlike in the western fly-fishing tradition where anglers used heavy wooden rods, in Japan anglers always used bamboo, which is readily available and very light. Because of its light weight, Japanese anglers were able to use very long bamboo rods and reach as far as needed without the need to develop reels for the short rods developed in the West.

   Although it is used in the West on streams and rivers to catch trout and similiar species, it is also used on ponds and lakes and other bodies of water for bass, panfish, and even salt water species.