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The 4th Annual Tenkara Fan’s Meeting @ TTC

Posted on | November 12, 2012

The 4th Annual Tenkara Fan’s Meeting was held on the 3ed and the

4th of November at TTC (Tokyo Trout Country).




TTC is located in a remote area of Tokyo, where a section of a natural river is

stocked with rainbows and anglers can fish year around.

An occasional surprise guests such as native Yamame and

Iwana are present in the area.

Many gathered from all over to fish and attend lectures taught by Masami,

Ishigaki sensei, and Mr. Kuragami,

who’s known for his large eyed hooks on his kebari.


The area called “Okutama” of Tokyo is in the mountains sharing borders

with the neighboring mountainous “Yamanashi” prefecture.

The location is actually quite magnificent.

Only an hour and a half away from the city (without traffic),

you’re deep in the mountains covered with trees turning colors

of their leaves to red and yellow by this time of the year.

There are many attractive streams in the area.


TTC is owned and managed by Mr. Horie Keigu,

a pioneer of modern Tenkara who paved the way for the success

and popularity of the sport in Japan during the 80’s and the 90’s.

He went through many legal troubles to make TTC happen,

with hopes to provide younger generations to experience Tenkara,

and transform this ancient tradition into a trend.

As introduced in the Oni website, Mr. Horie established

his style of using western fly fishing lines and a wide range of western flies

along with traditional kebari.



Some has said if there are 10 Tenkara anglers,

there will be 10 different styles and that is true.

Mr. Horie has been producing his line of Tenkara rods for many years.

During the event, he showed me a prototype of his newest rod.

I put on my #1.5 level line, tried it out and I must say I was very impressed.

It does not wobble, has just the right amount of flexibility

and it straightens out smoothly as all great rods should.

I would like to talk about it more once it is ready for market.



So, about the event.   This is an opportunity for anglers to meet

with the grand masters of Tenkara, see them fish in real life and

ask all the questions that accumulated over the season.


I did my demo on the first day and talked about where to find fish,

the approach, kebari drifting and of course casting.

I did my best to keep my lecture as entertaining as possible

but I realized I may need to work on my sense of humor along with Tenkara.

As usual, everyone had a lot to ask me about casting techniques.

It is rather difficult to describe verbally, so I put my hand over each angler’s

and made casts that way.

They were surprised by seeing that their own lines too could make pretty loops

with the kebari landing on water first.

Everyone can do this.  Just requires a lot of practice.




Lastly, I must bring up the very sad news about Mr. Horie.

He was diagnosed with cancer about 6 years ago and was told he

only had 6months left in him.

We all braced for it then, but with his amazing will to live and keep fishing

he just kept going.  At one point many of us believed

he had defeated the illness.


His conditions declined significantly this fall, and he will never walk again

on his feet.

In fact, it was visible he does not have much left in him.

Yet at the event, he showed up in his wheel chair smiling.

Anglers carried him in his wheel chair down to the river to watch Mr. Horie cast,

probably for the last time.  His hands were shaking but when handed his rod,

energy filled up his body and after a few beautiful casts, he hooked a nice rainbow.

I felt like I was seeing a miracle.


I spoke with Mr. Horie before he was taken back to the hospital and he said to me,

“Let’s promote Tenkara globally and make sure we leave something great

for the next generation!”


I shook his hand and swore I will do my very best.


Masami Sakakibara


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