Guest Post by: Chip Self, Student.
Tenkara. In Japanese it means from heaven.
And standing in the Provo River on a day that was 103 degrees, maybe it was. The swish and swoosh of fly lines. The brilliance of the water where the sun glints. The simple geometry of the rod arcing against a trout. They all added to the effect.
Holding the trout did too, because nothing about it wants to be held. But in that moment you learn more biology than in semester’s worth of classes. And all the stuff that Hemingway and Jesus and Norman Maclean and Izaak Walton say about fishing becomes real.
But heaven means more when suffering is involved. Ours came when trees caught our flies and knots didn’t want to get tied.
Fortunately, our teacher, ERiK Ostrander, was there. He had the patience—OK, I’ll say it—of Job as he orchestrated our experience. All of us were new to Tenkara, and his enthusiasm, patience and expertise all helped us all persevere and have a great time.
In English, people say Tenkara means fly fishing made simple. There is no reel. You don’t mend the line. Rod is all one piece and telescopes down to a foot and a half. So, yeah, it’s simpler than traditional fly fishing. All the fun, none of the pretension. All the beauty, less of the complexity.
Give it a try. At the very least it’s a great way to cool off when it’s 103 degrees.
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