Published Jul 25. 2017 - 3 years ago

Dan Pierce, Tenkara Instructor

Watch Dan Pierce explain the traditional Japanese form of fly fishing: Tenkara.

Martin Joergensen


Is tenkara fly fishing?...

With all respect for the tenkara enthousiasts, I wonder if you can call it fly fishing. It is done with a fly and it really is fishing, but it is as much fly fishing as fishing with a spinning rod and a buldo with some flies attached to it. Would you call playing golf so, if you are only putting and only play on the greens? In my opinion making a well placed cast to the other side of the river with a fly rod, is unquestionable part of fly fishing as well.

Martin Joergensen's picture

Fishing with a fly...


This debate comes up ever so often. The article about bubble float fishing that I republished recently has a lengthy comment track about the same subject -

Whenever people talk about Czech nymphing, ceramic nymphs, Perdigon nymphs and even just fishing with a weighted fly, someone will dispute that it's "real" fly fishing.

I usually stay out of the debate. Where does the boundary go? You have to cast the fly with a line? Well, there's no casting in Tenkara or Czech nymphing.
How far to you have to cast? Is a roll cast a "real" cast? Or dapping?
Is a massive, solid saltwater baitfish fly tied with foam and epoxy a fly?
Is a red hook that looks like a blood worm a fly and are you really fly fishing when you fish that?
Is it fly fishing when you troll a large NE streamer behind a boat?

I'm not going to be the judge of all these cases. My personal opinion is that fly fishing is a very wide array of fishing types, and certainly not only when you cast a light fly overhead using a classic fly line.

But the debate is not going to end there, I'm sure.



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