Adam Trahan

In Kauai hunting for wild trout in Waimea Canyon

As a child, I was taught to fly fish on a camping trip in Southern Utah. Early in life I fished other ways, cane pole, bass fishing and charter fishing in the ocean but it was fly fishing that I returned to.

My sporting life started out with my mother introducing me to skateboarding in the 60's. I graduated to surfing in the 70's, hang gliding in the 80's. I continued to fish my whole life because it was just so enjoyable for me to be in the forest returning to my childhood fly fishing. 

As an adult, cross country hang gliding was too dangerous to maintain. I quit flying and I dove headfirst into my fly fishing and writing about it on the internet ultimately focusing on small streams. I meet Yoshikazu Fujioka in 1997 while producing my small stream fly fishing web site.

I progressed to building bamboo fly rods and during that time, I was looking for a taper to make a fixed line split cane rod. A rod maker friend introduced me to Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA. I bought a rod and immediately fell in love with tenkara. Fujioka san told me about tenkara in the late 90's but it took Daniel to get me a rod. 

I started producing shortly after that first rod. 

I began to research the history of tenkara and came upon Sakura, an old family fishing company in Japan. I started importing their rods to help my friends understand the quality of a good Japanese tenkara rod. Many early adopters of tenkara all around the world got their first Japanese rod from me. I began to visit Japan to fish with the experts there.

In 2016, I was awarded the title, "Tenkara Ambassador." I am humbled by this appointment.

Daniel interviewed me in 2014, you can find that interview here.

I choose a minimalist style, my wading equipment is Japanese and so are most of my choices for shore lunch, hiking and camping.

I take inspiration from Soseki Yamamoto, a Japanese author of many keiryu books that include the community, tenkara anglers from all over Japan.

Below are some of my favorite tenkara-fisher articles that I have written or have organized.

I put together collective articles with the best, here are a couple of my favorites.

What I've Learned About Tenkara

One of my favorite things to do is to interview people in the tenkara community. I interview people to learn from them and to pay tribute while sharing the interviews with the community. I started doing interviews early on in my sporting life and continue to this day.

Several years ago, Keiichi Okushi approached me to help him share his tenkara business. We reached the masses and now he has joined me here to co-create tenkara-fisher, the first American ~ Japanese tenkara web site. We detail the past, present and future of tenkara inside Japan and as it travels around the globe.

I love tenkara.

I have many wonderful events to look back on. Many people continue to visit this web site for ideas, to help them with their own adventures in tenkara and that's what makes me happy. I've helped build communities, some in other countries, sharing the history in Japanese tenkara and my own path in it. 

I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful world of Japanese style fly fishing.

I hope you have fun with tenkara-fisher.


  1. Hi Adam. Met up with you on Sunday June 11 I believe you and a friend were coming out of the West Fork Meadow at Baldy. I noticed you were fishing with a Tenkara fly and then noticed you had the entire setup. Visited the website here. Wonderful stuff.

    Saw a comprehensive demo at the Pasadena Fly Fishing Show quite a few years back. Someday I might just trade in all of my bulky traditional western fly gear for a single Tenkara setup. I like simplicity and traveling light.

    Wonder if you had a chance to visit my photo website? Hope to actually do some fishing when this monster heat wave lets up in the White Mountains. Moved up here to escape the heat in L.A. Seems as though it is following me.

    Take care and "tight lines."

    David Behar

    1. David, I couldn't find your card but now I found YOU! First of all, thank you for your kindness on stream, I'm glad we meet and I was able to exchange info. Second, I would like to offer you any further help. I can help you get a good rod from the guy I got my first Tenkara rod from OR, I can help you get a rod from a very old rod company in Japan. OR, we can chit chat or what ever you want. I've looked up "David Behar" and I'm not sure it is your site that I found, can you direct me to it here? Go ahead and post or send to my e-mail on the card.

      Anyway, nice meeting you!

      Take me up on my offer, I can meet you up in the White Mountains and or down here in the valley during the winter for a more personalized orientation or what ever.

      Take care and looking forward to hearing from you AND meeting you again.