Bringing Japan to the Caldera

There are 3 different recorded accounts of when fly fishing begun. One was in France, the other England, and the final and oldest one is Japan. Early Japanese fishing was a simple bamboo rod with a fly line made out of braided horsehair. These early rods were very effective in the small yet fast mountain streams that are home to fish such as the amago and iwana. This type of fly fishing was later given the name ‘Tenkara’ in 1838. Now adays tenkara fishing has exploded in popularity, reaching every corner of the globe.

Kevin the outfitter from Rocky Mountain Tenkara catches his first fish in the Caldera.

Here in the Valles Caldera the streams often mimic the waters in Japan, they are small full of beautiful trout, and can be fast moving at points. The unique geography of the Caldera does not allow any trees to grow in the valles. Due to the soil composure and short growing season trees are not able to take root, allowing for ideal fishing conditions. This is where I learned how to fish, and it was on a tenkara rod. Streams here are often too winding not allowing for a traditional fly-fishing cast, another reason why tenkara is ideal for the Caldera.

During this summer I have designed a fishing clinic that centers soley around tenkara fishing. The clinics will include a overview of tekara history along with an indepth insight into the mechanics and gear that tenkara includes. After these classroom setting talks participants then go outside and practice setting up a rod and casting. We break for lunch and then drive out to the San Antonio Creek to fish for three hours.

Yesterday we conducted our first clinic. We had three volunteers from the outfitters who supplied the rods, Rocky Mountain Tenkara, and two from New Mexico Trout. There were 17 participants, with me and Ranger Adam leading the program. It was an extremely successful day! There was some talk of lightning and rain possibly canceling the event, but the weather turned out to only be overcast providing a lot of shade.

On these events participants receive an annual fishing license for free and are provided with every piece of equipment they need. I plan on trying to conduct two more of these clinics before the summer is up.

Participant catches his 8th fish of the day on a tenkara rod.

1 Comment
  • Ankara Avukat
    Posted at 08:26h, 05 July Reply

    Your blog is a constant source of inspiration for me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise. Your work makes a real difference!

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