The history of fly fishing predates the reel.
Long before the invention of the reel on the rod, a line was tied to the end with the fly tied to the line.
Japanese commercial fishers who hiked into the high mountains to catch their quota of 100-150 fish/day to feed the villagers, used a long, bamboo rod, a line of braided horse hair, and a simple fly made of thread and feathers on a hook. In Japan, the art of fly fishing with merely a rod, line, and fly, is known as tenkara (meaning from the heavens).
Some look at this style of modern fly fishing and say, “that’s like cane pole fishing for bluegill when I was a kid.”
Today, we don’t practice this ancient art to feed the village, but rather for recreation; and, indeed, tenkara is a perfect blend of the cane pole fishing of our youth and the sophistication of modern fly fishing.
We love this simple style as it is easy to get started, both in skill set and cost of equipment needed.
Take a moment to watch the videos I’ve collected to get a feel for this simple style of fixed-line fly fishing.