August 6, 2012

Tenkara Summit 2012 overview

As most of you are aware, Tenkara USA and Tenkara Guides, LLC sponsored the second Tenkara Summit recently in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was held July 28-29th, Saturday and Sunday. I was able to attend the main meeting on Saturday, but I could not attend the live, on the water, demonstrations held Sunday. I will attempt here to give you some idea of what the Summit was and my overall impressions (hopefully without boring you too much).

The didactic portion of the Summit was held at the University Guest House Douglas Ballroom.  The University Guest House is located on the Old Fort Douglas grounds.

The venue was excellent. There was plenty of room for the participants to mill around and talk to each other, the presenters, and vendors. The ballroom was an excellent room for the the presentations. Two large screens flanked the speaker's podium giving every seat in the room a nice view of the presentation. The chairs were comfortable; they even had flexible backs with a nice rocking motion.

The ballroom

Daniel Galhardo opened the meeting right on time and after a few quick introductions and some minor technical issues turned the podium over the to keynote speaker, Dr. Hisao Ishigaki.

Dr. Ishigaki speaking

Dr. Ishigaki presented the history of tenkara in Japan and provided us with some of his personal experiences and tenkara anecdotes. He speaks little English so his scripted presentation was translated in real time via an interpreter.

Following Dr. Ishigaki another Japanese guest, Mr. Kiyoshi Ishihara spoke about Yamamoto Soseki, a well known (at least in Japan) tenkara fisherman who wrote prolifically on the subject. Soseki published many journal articles and books on tenkara.

Mr. Ishihara presenting

After this presentation there was a break. In each on the corners of the ballroom were set tables for various clinics and demonstrations: fly tying, line making, knots, and a items for a silent action. Outside was a casting clinic overseen by Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA, and Erik Ostrander of Tenkara Guides, LLC.  The casting clinic was held in a landscaped grass trench surrounded by trees. It was a nice venue for this.

Mr Tanaka tying kebari

Daniel Galhardo teaching ...

... and still teaching.
Erik Ostrander using his wizard skills to manipulate the line

After lunch: more presentations. The first was by Brian Flemming of LearnTenkara. He showed some beautiful images of tenkara in the USA and spoke about a tenkara documentary he is working on. Next, a wonderful presentation on Conservation of Native Species by Tim Hawkes of Trout Unlimited. For a lawyer he seemed like a really nice guy! And finally, a presentation of Tenkara in Utah by Erik Ostrander. No specifics were given as to the rivers per say with exception of the Green River. It was more of a generalized overview of the geology and hydrography of the Intermountain West and why tenkara works so well here.

Vendors for the Summit included Tenkara USA, Tenkara Guides LLC, LearnTenkara, Zimmerbuilt, Kevin Kelleher, United Wildlife Co-op., and TrailLite Designs.

Summary: All in all I enjoyed the Summit. I am not so interested in the Japanese history of tenkara as I look at tenkara as a tool and not so much as an absolute technique, but I guess it was nice to hear from some of the Japanese tenkara anglers. I could have done fine without those presentations however.

The demonstrations of fly tying, knots, and line making were good. I did learn some useful information particularly from Rob at the Tenkara Guides LLC table. The line making demo by Eiji Yamakawa was interesting as well, although I'll likely not make my own twisted lines.

The casting clinic was fun. Daniel was perfect in teaching casting to those of various skill levels. He is such a good teacher. Erik demonstrated more advanced casting techniques. It was fun watching him guide the line through the air without any effort. He makes me look like a troll wielding a club!

The best part of the Summit was meeting the people. As you can imagine, Daniel Galhardo from Tenkara USA is a real gentleman; such a nice guy. I felt he was genuinely pleased to see me and all of the participants, and it seemed that he took interest in meeting us all. He was a great host.

I really enjoyed talking to Chris Stewart of TenkaraBum. He too was amazingly personable to someone as new to tenkara as I. I wish I would have had a chance to fish with him.

Erik, Rob, and John of Tenkara Guides LLC were very friendly. Jason Klass and TJ of Tenkara USA were there and wonderful to talk to. Paul Gibson of is a great guy from Idaho that I need to fish with sometime. Chris Zimmer of Zimmerbuilt, Kevin Kelleher, Ashley Valentine were also very nice. And ...... well, you get the point, they were all great folks. That includes the participants. Tenkara anglers are really nice people.

So, I liked the Summit. It could have been a little more specific regarding certain topics (less history, more techniques), but I really went to meet the people -- and in that I was not disappointed!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.