|and a monk from America to use it.|
I want to like tenkara fishing. I really do. In the right conditions it looks like it could be a lot of fun. From small mountain streams, sunfish on lakes, even hulking one out like the guy spanking BC steelhead in that old Japanese TV show (I can’t find the video, but I will) I think it’s awesome. I still act like a kid and hack off a willow switch and tie some tippet and a fly to it when I’m out messing around or camping. I get the simplicity, I get the appeal.
I don’t get the marketing strategy of Tenkara USA. There seems to be a cultish mysticism of eastern mythology mixed with a far flung western purist/idealist notion that leaves such a horrid taste in my mouth that I don’t want to be associated with it. I’m not against anyone else doing so, more power to you if you love tenkara. Just don’t turn your nose up at me or try and hold your telescope stick above my head. If you want to be a real purist get rid of the rod and line and start noodling or training cormorants..
Ah trained cormorants, the most zen like and simultaneously bad ass way to catch fish.
Fad or fixture I don’t wish to apply myself as a “trout bum turned trout mystic”, that is if I labeled myself a trout bum.* I just want to have the best time I can with what I have. I don’t wish to buy into mysticism, which is what I feel like I’d be doing if I bought gear from Tenkara USA. They mean well over there and I wish them success, I have just had too many dealings with sports kooks of all stripes, including looking in the mirror on a daily basis. I don’t want my chocolate in your peanut butter.
That’s not to say I’m not a purist in some way myself. By all means, I have statutes that I fish and hunt by, as we all do. I don’t fish redds, I don’t hunt a covey to death, and I sure as fuck don’t roll on Shabbos. In truth I have no true superstitions, no processes of belief or faith in intangibles that set me up for either false vindication or flagellation. I try to bring a positive attitude into nature with no expectations on the outcomes of my experiences within it. I do have routines that I occasionally stack up to my success or lack there of in the field, such as “did I eat breakfast?” or “did I clean my shotgun before hand?”. You know, measurable and sane things.
I’ll continue using my willow switches, fancy “western rods” with overpriced reels, and getting into the zen moments that only a redneck from the boonies can find his version of god and tranquility in.
Good luck, Tenkara USA.
* I don’t call myself a “trout bum” because I drive a car, own a computer, have a few jobs, and am just barely motivated enough to crank out an almost weekly blogpost.. the “trout bum” thing will be discussed at a later time, because it’s too juicy not to marinate and roast.