too much information

There is another aspect to the nature/nurture debate, I've decided, and it relates to tenkara. In fact it relates to all fishing. In fact it relates to the very experience of living itself. Which brings me round in a circle. Much like the last fish I caught which swam round and around my waders on the end of my line. Am I losing you? Sorry, it's the mood I'm in. Let me explain.

making sense

This blog was never intended to be a technical endeavour, I'm more interested in writing about what it feels like to fish tenkara, or at least my own way of tenkara. Others are far better equipped than I for the other job. The writings here are mostly my way of straightening out my thoughts and making some sense of the fractal fragments of fishing time snatched on the water. It is very humbling to me that a few people follow, enjoy and learn a little from my blog, and very exciting when I learn that a new traveller has been inspired to journey the tenkara path.

Where does nature/nurture fit? Well, when I travel the short way downstream to where my own tenkara journey began, I can read again my thoughts as they came to me back then, starting out. 

"the simplicity of tenkara has changed my experience of the waterside. Gone are all the concerns over fly lines and reels and how far I can cast. The burden of these responsibilities has been lifted from my shoulders leaving me feeling loose and supple and, well in a way - younger. By this I mean that this feels like fishing as it used to when I was a boy. Before a disposable income and market forces intruded on the fun. So now I am free to travel far and travel light in search of adventure.." 

feeling burdened

And here is the problem. 

I'm starting to feel burdened again. Burdened by information. And it's my fault. You see, when a passion takes hold it's natural for us to want to learn all we can around our subject, read all we can - and there is some excellent tenkara resource out there. 

Pretty soon though our heads are buzzing with information and we are in danger of confusing ourselves on the water with the abundance of theoretical choices available to us. 

T.S. Eliot has something to say about this: "Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?" 

When I was a young boy my father guided me to fish, but allowed me the space to develop my own instincts on the water. After a break from angling of some years I came back as an adult only to be dismayed by the amount of prescriptive directives shouting at me to fish this fly! Buy this rod! Catch more fish! Catch bigger fish! 


So when I came across tenkara it was indeed as if a weight had been lifted. Here is a space I thought, where the child in me could rediscover some wonder and learn to learn again by personal observation and happy accident. 

There are other ways to learn -  by rote, by prescription, by micro-managed direction from experts. 

But for me this lesson is somewhat dry and tastes of little because the thinking has been done for me and the journey is not mine. This dulls the instinct and denies intuition, which I believe to be amongst our most valuable gifts. By treading our own path we can stimulate instinct, embrace intuition and sweeten the taste of success.

I am happy now. I have remembered my father's lesson. He taught me to be my own teacher. After all I'm a nature boy at heart.


  1. David,
    I am so grateful to have found your blog. I look forward to your next postings.

  2. Thank you so much for dropping by Dennis, I'm looking forward too to visiting your TenkaraPath blog. Take care, David.

  3. David - 'tenkara' was always there; it just used to called 'dapping'. It wasn't considered 'sexy' until the mags caught on to a new Japanese name and specialist rods, etc. started to be marketed.

    1. Hello Dodger, after all, fixed line fly is the historic root of all modern fly fishing. The Japanese have refined this to a sublime degree with tenkara but there are now more anglers fishing tenkara style outside of Japan than within. Tight lines and thanks for dropping by :)

  4. So true David, it's funny how we can take something so fundamentally simple and complicate it with our anxieties over the perceived inadequacies of our gear or technique.

    1. I think we often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others!.. tight lines and thanks for dropping by :)

  5. David - thanks alot for writing this blog. I was so fascinated, that I've read all articles in one evening - honestly. Particularily I like your article "too much information" - The world around us is pushing us to "more fish", "bigger fish", "more effective tackle" and so on. They lead us away from the essence of fishing where Tenkara gets us back to - apart from the hype around itwhich will once disappear .
    I am paticularily interested in your non_trout_Tenkara experience as I have to go 2hours by car to the next trout water.

    Best regards

    1. Hello Lutz, thank you so much for your kind feedback, it's great to hear from you. I too live some distance from wild trout so I have spent a lot of time instead with non-trout tenkara. I can honestly say it is everything bit as challenging and rewarding and sometimes more so because of the variety of species and the unique challenges they present. Keep in touch and good luck with your own tenkara adventures. Tight lines, David.

  6. Девид ,мне нравится читать твой блог. Просто и доходчиво. Как тенкара.


  7. Благодарим вас за посещение, я так счастлив, что вам понравился мой блог!


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