Jason Klass MAY 2023
FEATURED ANGLER PROFILE
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: I’m originally from Western New York where I grew up fishing freestone streams for trout and the Lake Erie tributaries for salmon and steelhead. I moved to Colorado for graduate school and fell in love with the mountains so I stayed. In addition to fishing, I also enjoy all the requisite Colorado outdoor hobbies like hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, and of course (my absolute favorite), tying flies! Even if every stream in the world dried up, I would still tie flies.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN FISHING TENKARA OR FIXED LINE?
I’m often referred to as a “tenkara OG” since I was part of a handful of early adopters in 2009 who not only passionately embraced the technique, but were earnestly committed to fostering its growth in the U.S. Since then, I’ve used tenkara exclusively for trout.
FAVORITE PLACES TO FISH: Rocky Mountain National Park. In one day you can fish several completely different types of water: medium-grade freestones, slow, meandering meadow streams with undercut banks, fast-flowing pocket water, and lots of alpine lakes. All of which are against gorgeous backdrops of stout pine forests, glowing aspen stands, rolling meadows, and snow-capped mountains. And there’s always a good chance of having some interesting wildlife encounters. To me, it’s almost as if RMNP were specifically designed to give the tenkara angler an all-around picture-perfect experience. Coincidentally, it’s where I tried tenkara for the first time so it also hols quite a bit of nostalgia for me.
FAVORITE FLY: Ichiban Kebari
This is my version of a Takayama-style sakasa kebari. The red silk body is highly visible to trout and triggers a predatory response. The peacock herl adds iridescence and provides contrast forming a clearly defined “target” for the fish. The pheasant hackle is very supple and gives lifelike movement to the fly underwater. And the glass beads not only help it sink, but add flash. By using two small beads instead of one large one, it pushes the tying point back the hook shank to the ideal distance from the eye for a proper sakasa-style hackle. The Ichiban Kebari incorporates all of the most effective attractor characteristics from the most successful fly patterns into one, highly versatile, easy-to-tie fly. It’s my signature pattern and on the stream, before I even think about which fly to try, I’ve already tied on an Ichiban.
FAVORITE ROD: Oni Type 1
I own one of the originals that Oni assembled himself back before they were being mass produced. It’s so light and crisp in the hand it almost feels like it has some kind of magical anti-gravity superpower. And the fast tip recovery fits my casting cadence perfectly. I also own a Type one with a bamboo handle that I only bring out for special occasions.
FAVORITE FISH: The one on the end of my line.
FAVORITE BOOK: Walden by Henry David Thoreau. His overall philosophy runs parallel to the core ethos of tenkara. If Thoreau were alive today, he would be a tenkara angler.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of that which is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope." - John Buchan
TENKARA WORDS OF WISDOM
Tenkara is so diverse and vast, it affords us limitless number of different paths you can take with it. Don’t worry if “your tenkara” doesn’t match someone else’s. Find your own path.
Amanda Hoffner APRIL 2023
FEATURED ANGLER PROFILE
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: When I am not fishing I enjoy lounging around my house and playing with my black cat, Vega. She enjoys watching tv with me. If I am not watching tv and spending quality time with my cat, I am tying flies and attempting to learn new patterns. As of September 2022, I opened up an Etsy shop that I sell my flies out of and enjoy spreading the word about tenkara through my flies and Instagram. My girlfriend’s name is Rachael and she is an avid hiker and nature/bird photographer. I moved away from the Northeastern US because she has a job as a watershed manager at a Riverkeeper organization in Charlotte, NC. She has inspired me to want to be more Earth conscious, travel more and get out of my comfort zone in the Eastern US and start to venture out of this mountain range and hopefully to the West coast as well!
I have a habit of leaving kitchen cabinets open and lights on in rooms when I leave. This may be due to some undiagnosed ADHD, but time will tell with that. Depression has been a part of my life for a while ever since my brother passed away from suicide in 2014 and I have found myself grounded in my nursing career and tenkara ever since. This has allowed and encourage further exploration of my heritage as a half Japanese woman and who I am as a human.
TENKARA HISTORY: Started the summer of 2020. That was when I consistently started using my tenkara rod.
My favorite book isn’t a fishing book, but is a children’s book. It is a book that I learned about in my AP French class in high school. It is called “The Little Prince” and has since been made into a cartoon and can be streamed somewhere on the internet I am sure. It is my favorite book because of all of the life lessons that can be taken away from it for children and adults. I even have a tattoo of the fox and the boy on my arm.
My great grandmother used to say “never take yourself too seriously” and I tend to remind myself of that when I start to get frustrated or otherwise not laissez-faire throughout the day either at work, on the stream, or wherever I might be!
SOME WORDS OF WISDOM
Ideally, I would love to be fishing a mountain stream with a weightless kebari, any and every day of the week. But my style of fishing isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea…and that is ok!
Handle fish properly and do what you love for “your style”.
One of the things that draws me to tenkara is the simplicity in bringing you closer to nature and the fish…
I have a deeper appreciation for nature because of tenkara and I am only growing closer to the world around me because of it. I am so thankful for this.
Don't forget where tenkara has taken you or what it has brought to your life as a result.
Aldo Menghini March 2023
FEATURED ANGLER PROFILE
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: I am 59 years old and I live in an ancient and beautiful city in Central Italy, Ascoli Piceno, founded 1600 years before Rome!!!
I have been working for almost thirty years in a composite material company (carbon, fiberglass, Kevlar, etc.).
I am Married, have a daughter and two female cats…I'm surrounded by women!!! In addition to fishing, I play tennis and I am passionate about books, I like to read horror stories (Stephen King and H. P. Lovecraft are my favorites) and ufology books.
I also have a fishing library of about 150 books
I can't stand people who talk too much: we should talk less and reflect more.
TENKARA HISTORY: After 35 years of fly fishing, I met Tenkara and I have never left it. My first fishing trip was with Daniel Galhardo: unforgettable.
Every fishing season I choose a “One Fly” and I fish with it all year round.
FAVORITE PLACES TO FISH: Rivers and Apennine streams in Central Italy, places very similar to the Japanese rivers where tenkara was born.
FEATURED ANGLER PROFILE
AKA: "Sageheart Tenkara"
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF: I've grown up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Over the past few years I’ve been exploring more of our local area as well as all of the scenery that California has to offer. Fishing has been a catalyst in that aspect. When there’s no fishing to be done in an area, there’s always a hike that takes you to some gorgeous views. Outside of fishing and traveling, I enjoy producing music as well as dabbling in a little bit of graphic design. I used to brew meads and ciders fairly regularly, but that has fallen to the wayside a bit since my interest in exploring has grown. I hope to return back to that hobby soon.
TENKARA HISTORY: I'm currently in my fourth year of fixed line fishing. I was introduced to it by a friend and from that point on it's been the style of fishing I enjoy most.
FAVORITE PLACES TO FISH: The little pocket of the Sierra Nevadas that I live in is littered with so many great streams. There's one fork of a watershed in particular that is my favorite, but I would prefer to keep it less known.
FAVORITE ROD: The rod I spent the most time fishing last year was the River Peak Kiwami 380. I like the action of the rod, and the ability to easily cast a 2.5 level line with it. But, the Nissin Zerosum Oni Honryu is my go-to rod for fishing my favorite river.
FAVORITE FISH: I love the feisty ambition of brown trout.
FAVORITE BOOK: The Tao Te Ching. Everytime I read through it, it seems that different pages or concepts stand out. Maybe it's what is relevant to my perspective at the time, but the book resonates with me and helps me to keep abalanced mindset.
FAVORITE QUOTE: "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin / Talmudic saying.
BEST TENKARA ADVICE: Fishing should be fun, but you make it what it is. Fish the way you want to fish, there are no rules in the sport. Enjoy your time on the water and in nature!
FEATURED ANGLER PROFILE
FAVORITE ROD: Today it is the Tenkara USA Sato, though (soon) it may switch to our new Tenkara USA Satoki that I had 1st hand design and creating of with the rest of the Tenkara USA team. We just introduced Satoki at the end of 2022.
FAVORITE FISH: Smaller mountain stream Brook Trout
FAVORITE BOOK: "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step by Step Procedures for the Complete Idiot" ...I love the book for the fun cartoons, fun pictures, and the way the story is told by John Muir, the author
BEST TENKARA ADVICE: Don’t over complicate tenkara... stop measuring… stop over analyzing… stop being so scientific about it… JUST DO and You Will Enjoy!
Featured Angler Profile
Each month we feature a member of our tenkara community and let them give us a little insight about themselves through a profile dossier.