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.