[dropcap]T[/dropcap]enkara is the Japanese form of fly fishing with a fixed length fly line. Fixed line rods are used in trout streams to drift flies along mountain streams. Tenkara is well suited for this type of fishing. While tenkara can be practiced everywhere it isn’t always Tenkara. Using a Tenkara rod to shoot poppers under blackwater stream cover for redbreast isn’t really tenkara, but it is fun!
Somehow tenkara and tanago has become synonymous with microfishing. Tanago fishing is actually fishing for tanago, a type of bitterling in Japan. This is comparable to pike fishing, carp fishing, or catfishing. It’s just fishing for a particular species of fish. Somehow, anglers began trying to catch smaller and smaller fish. As such, we just started using the terms to generally describe micro fishing.
In the grand scheme of things it is a bit of semantics but when you get down and dirty they aren’t the same. Tenkara is fly fishing for small trout in small mountain streams with short rods and fixed fly line lengths. It isn’t microfishing. It can be used to micro fish just as it can be used out of a kayak to throw a pop bug under trees. It’s very effective at that but that isn’t Tenkara either, catching a hundred bluegill on a pop bug with a tenkara setup.