Today I want to talk about "The Essentials". I took a look at what I thought was important to take and what was not so important to bring along. Sure there are luxury items and my thoughts here are only a suggestion. Your experiences and needs may differ from mine so you might take more or less than I do.
I enjoy the freedom of being able to move quickly from hole to hole. As a result of that I have found that the less I have to carry the better I can maneuver through the brush, around the trail and to the next hole. One of the major advantages tenkara has over the traditional Western style fly fishing is the reduction of gear. In my most stripped down form I can carry everything in my hands, pockets and on my body. It shouldn't take you 10 minutes to get out to the stream because you had to dress up, rig up and make sure that everybody knows you are there to fish.
We’ve all heard it. “Tenkara is just a rod, a line and a fly”. …Yeah …yeah…yeah. This is true but does not apply to the “extras”. I strive to only take what I need that day on the trail I am taking or for that pull off I am stopping at. Beyond the rod, line and fly there are a few things that you will certainly need to have worked out.
I am always looking for ways to life hack or even multipurpose things. Utility is king in keeping things simple. If you have a tool that will do more than one job you save yourself from a redundancy of carrying two things. The main things I need to do on the stream are to cut lines, store flies, spool my line, land a fish safely and finally, have something to remove a deep set hook. Most everything else can just stay kept in your vehicle unless you have indication that you will need it. I leave a lot of items in my vehicle rather than take them with me.
All I really need are good pockets and most fishing shirts offer a good selection of pockets. If you are like me you also really like cargo pants and shorts. Managing your pockets is a skill in itself. Practicing putting things back in the same pocket every time will save you time and sanity.
Here are my "Essentials" and thoughts...
Dennis Vander Houwen lives in Colorado with his patient and supportive wife, talented artist son, a cuddly dog, and a very lucky cat. Dennis is an avid minimalist, wood craftsman, curious tinkerer and learner and most notably a deeply focused tenkara angler.