Even before my commitment to become a Tenkara angler, I learned you didn't need much in small stream fishing. I've been writing about it all along. I have even tried casting a fly line with my hand, yes, it does work but no, not better than a rod. I have a friend who is an author/fly angler and when I offered to introduce him to Tenkara, he says when he wants to go fishing in a "minimalist" style, he leaves his rod at home and puts his reel in his pocket and casts the line with his arm.
That's one way to do it.
But I could not have said it better than Daniel, all you need is a rod line and fly
which I think is a little decadent. But if you think about it, Tenkara is too in the face of Western fly fishing.
You just don't need a lot of equipment to be successful in catching mountain stream trout even when you are new to Tenkara or fly fishing. A lot of gear can confuse some people, they get lost in the choices and in order to catch fish, you have to be fishing...
I'll describe my Tenkara equipment, what I use to fish, it may help some of you or it may seem foolish. I've asked a few people that I know to detail their "minimalist Tenkara" kit as well. They knew exactly what I was asking for.
To the left of my rod (Tenkara USA Ito) is my every day carry for fishing and to the right