Purity

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.
Signed,
– Dionysus
* 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. 
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6 responses to “Purity

  1. I don't get tenkara either and I am Ok with that. I think it was created by people that want to complicate an already complicated thing by trying to deconstruct and simplify it. Fly fishing was never meant to be simple, and anyone who uses that word to describe it is in need of a more accurate thesaurus. I imagine the tenkara craze was adopted in the states mainly by japanophiles with gas station samurai swords displayed over their beds or anglers fast on their way toward fly fishing technoid burnout. Lets face it- a rod, a line, and a fly is on par with using a clear plastic bobber with two split shot and a muddler on one end and a snoopy spincaster on the other. It is what it is, but it ain't fly fishing, rather just fishing with a fly.Japanese flies on the other hand can be pretty dang nifty.

  2. I simply don't understand how my life is so much more complicated because I can retrieve line with a simple reel versus having to do all that nonsense with raising and playing a fish on a long, fixed, line pole. For people who are so fuckall desperate to tell me how Zen monk they are, it sure seems like alot of wiggling about.

  3. So, yeah. Totally caught stalking, but that’s okay because I was here for something else anyways. I hate the fucking douchebag that owns Tenkara U.S.A. Any interview i’ve seen him in he comes off as king douche #1. They claim simplicity, but for a price. Their shit ain’t cheap and neither is Patagonia’s foray into this trend. You want simple? Go buy a fucking eagle claw or the entry level cabelas shit. Way cheaper, and when a fish takes you more than 14 feet, your line will keep going and you can actually land a fish that would have broke you and your “specialty tenkara fly that costs $7.50” off. People are dumb as fuck for buying into this shit. I’m only pissed I didn’t come up with it.

  4. I’m a hunter, not an angler. I also do a fair bit of backpacking around our less known wilderness areas out where I am. Anyway, I’m sitting by this stream with my buddy, and I’d love a trout but I’ve never been motivated to get fishing gear. Anyway, my friend pulls out this telescoping rod and line setup…tenkara (not tenkaraUSA, fwiw)…it’s 3.2 ounces or something and he just goes to town on some small guys. I have to admit , there was part of me that loved that light little thing. I thought about this blog. I’m wracked with cognitive dissonance.

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