My whole life I have been a fisherman. I remember in the 60's, drawing pictures of traditional salmon flys and later that decade, I was introduced to small stream fly fishing. I also dreamed of flying since as early as I remember. I bought my first hang glider when I was 16 years old and by the time I was in my 40's, I was flying cross country. This is a dynamic form of foot launched flying and as I got deeper into my career as a cardiovasular technician, I could no longer dedicate the time and energy to it. Many of my close friends died doing what they loved and so many of them were better at it than I was. I would start up again, realize that I was risking everything just to fly. 

I needed to have something I could get my teeth into so I dove head first into fly fishing and I was finally able to quit soaring. My family was relieved and I really started to enjoy the outdoors in a little bit different way. You can see some of the pictures of my hang gliding below.

In 1997I meet Yoshikazu Fujioka while making "" This was my web site on fly-fishing small streams. Fujioka san was making his fly-fishing site, "Trout and Seasons of the Mountain Village." This is the date that I initially learned about tenkara.

In early 2009, I began a project to make a long, fixed line split cane rod to simulate the fishing I had done as a child. Tom Smithwick, a fellow rod maker suggested that I buy a tenkara rod and introduced me to Daniel Galhardo. I bought a rod and went fishing and began to understand what Fujioka san's tenkara was all about.

For a myriad of reasons, I quit fly fishing in 2009 to learn a deeper meaning of tenkara.

In 2010 I created Tenkara-Fisher to detail my experience just as I had done with my fly-fishing site. For fourteen seasons I emersed myself into the Japanese world of tenkara while practicing it at home and as I travelled.

I went to Japan on two different occasions fishing with many experts there. I wanted to understand where tenkara came from and how the fishers there practiced it. I found western fly fishing wherever I did tenkara.

In 2013, on my first trip to Japan, I was introduced to the alps and the streams there by an expert fly fisher Satoshi Miwa. We used an old tenkara stream guide book, "To Fish the Valley of Mystery" by Soseki Yamamoto to understand that environment. Miwa san wrote a story about our trip, "American Tenkara Fisher, Japanese Fly Fisher." Miwa san, from that opportunity went on to translate and help introduce other experts within Japan and Europe to Japanese tenkara.

On my next trip, in 2016, I was hosted by Keiichi Okushi, a life long headwaters fisher that does both tenkara and fly fishing. Keiichi san introduced me to Yuzo Sebata. Sebata san has written many books where he also includes western style fly-fishing. We briefly discussed fly-fishing in our background while Sebata san helped me understand a deeper meaning of Keiryu fishing and he particularly focused on his specialty of Genryu.

Western fly fishing and Japanese tenkara are often fished parallel and in the same stream by the same group.

It is my intent to detail this camaraderie and my experience on this focused page about fly fishing.

Tenkara-Fisher will remain focused on tenkara.

After interviewing many many Japanese tenkara experts, studying my historical tenkara books, following trends in magazines and constantly following the Japanese HP on tenkara, I found that fly fishing was intertwined with tenkara.

In 2023, I will lift my restriction and will use a fly rod for limited engagements such as dry fly fishing for wild trout. I understand the difference between the two but more importantly, I will honor both.

For 14 years I have studied Japanese tenkara from a historical aspect through fishing all over Japan with the experts there. I continue on with that research today.

I've learned tenkara is similar to western style fly-fishing but is also very different. I choose to practice tenkara as the Japanese style fly fishing method.

Here I will detail my experiences fly fishing, I'll reach back in my history, but I will mostly detail what I'm doing now and what I look forward to.

The fact is, I am a tenkara & fly fisher but I prefer tenkara.

Tenkara-Fisher will continue on it's path as a focused tenkara content blog. 

The Tanago and Fly-Fishing pages will contain all of my content on this subject at one page. There will be no steady stream of individual stories on anything else. For either fly-fish or tanago (micro fishing) I will simply update the page where all of the information on that discipline is contained.


I used a 1-weight for most of my streams. At one point, I owned 5 different one weights from different makes. I liked a light line as it gave me a more connected feeling when I was fishing. I enjoyed using drys, wets and nymphs as well as emergers and terrestrials.

A Sage 356 LL is my favorite dry fly rod for small streams. I started using one in the mid 90's and at five foot six inches, it casts under the first limbs of trees that line the stream. Extremely accurate, I am able to cast ten to fourty feet with ease. I usually built my rods from a blank. I will detail my return to this rod twenty five years later as I purchased a gently used one and replaced the reel seat to one more of my liking.

I just purchased a Winston Pure 6'6" 3-weight that I use as my primary small stream rod. It is magically sweet, accurate and aesthetic. I will definitely improve my game with this rod.

I'm a large arbor reel guy. I've been one since helping Loop. I now follow the Danielsson Engineering versions as he is the original engineer that developed the large arbor reel. Hardy has also embraced the large arbor configuration, I choose a petite Hardy reel as well.

1-weight Steffen 180 - Hardy Ultraclick 2000 reel

3-weight Sage 356 LL - Danielsson "Midge" reel

I use a Scientific Anglers Amplitude Textured line for my dry fly fishing along with SA fluorocarbon knotless tapered leader terminated in a Stonfo tippet ring.

I use knotless tapered leaders terminated with Stonfo tippet rings.

I use Seaguar GrandMax FX fluorocarbon tippet, it's the best and that is super important.

I use "Slow Jet" super glue

I spliced the leader butt directly into the fly line for a seamless connection that pulls through the tip top effortlessly and presents on the water without disturbing the meniscus. That technique can be found HERE and HERE. A couple of tricks, use 400 grit sandpaper to sand the leader butt to a slight cone so that it threads into the braided butt past the coating for a seamless, hingeless joint. Use Knot Sense to coat the joint. Remember, the weakest link is your tippet, it's a strong joint, it's not going to pull out.

I used to use a Orvis Chest pack and decided on using it again because it worked to carry my small kit. There are a few images of me using it here. I found a new old stock one on eBay and will detail my stock list in a future installment here.

My Wheatley Fly Boxes will happily come back into play and I will also detail their contents here.



In the 90's I helped Loop develop their North American team. I had been using their reels and found them the best then as I do now. I meet with Loop at the Salt Lake City Sportsman show finally closing the gap. A few years later, Loop parted ways with their principal engineer and designer. I no longer use Loop reels choosing to follow the principal designer of the reel and his company, Danielsson Fly Reels.

G.Loomis NRX 9' 5-weight

I use Scientific Anglers textured fly lines.

I use knotless tapered fluorocarbon leaders terminated with Stonfo tippet rings.

I use Seaguar GrandMax FX fluorocarbon tippet.

In progress: I am building a Euro Nymphing Rod 5 piece - 12' 3-weight from a blank. I am still deciding on the configuration of this rod. I have a beautiful stacked bamboo insert for the reel seat with a fighting butt. I purchased premium cork and will shape a straight cylinder grip. The blank is a beautiful dark olive green. I think premium snake guides with three Fuji SIC stripping guides slightly pulled toward the free hand. I'm a Danielsson traditional reel enthusiast so this rod will get a "Dry Fly" and the fly line? I will configure a custom one once the rod is complete. Probably a clear compound monofilament configuration line ala tenkara, not following a EuroNymphing recipe, creating my own line as I did in the nineties for my 0-weight rod.





I have an online log of my adventures, you can find it here: beach-fisher


Rod Making


Before I started making bamboo fly rods, I was considering making my own graphite blanks. I had a friend who made his own rods and sold them, Mark Steffen. His blanks rivaled some of the best fly rods in the world. Mark helped me understand the process and allowed me to take some pictures during our time together. I built several fly rods from his blanks, nearly all weights from 1 to 10 and used them from my favorite little streams to the Colorado River and beyond to the Sea of Cortez. I've caught some of the prettiest little jewels to my largest catches, big sea trout.

Hang Gliding

In short, I am a soaring pilot. I used to fly hang gliders, paragliders, ultralight and was learning to fly sailplanes. I could not devote the time and effort to stay current and in top condition to fly. Cross Country hang gliding is a dangerous sport and I finally stopped and replaced it with fly fishing. I enjoyed the outdoors with fly fishing, and I continue to this day.