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Tenkara-holics Anonynmous

Tenkara-holics Anonynmous

by October 25, 2015 2 comments

Life brings challenges to each and every person in this day and age. Some challenges are far more irksome than others, causing those facing such obstacles to contend with them in definite ways. There are the good ways and the bad ways to cope with such issues. Addictions are considered by many to be negative ways of coping and in ninety percent of situations I agree with this sentiment.

In my humble opinion, drugs and alcohol are poor coping techniques, not just because they do so much damage to the individual consuming said chemicals, but also to those who surround them, be that friends or family. (In no way am I passing judgement on anyone in this post so please follow me a little further. By the way, I love a good scotch or beer, alone or with friends.)

I have faced many challenges in the course of my sojourn in this mortal realm. I admit some of these challenges have been extremely devastating and appeared to be almost insurmountable, on the other hand, there have been some that have seemingly been nothing more than minor bumps in the road. I have been thinking hard about what I am about to say and it is not an easy thing to admit. I am sharing this with you all because support is the best way to follow the correct path.

My name is Graham Moran and I am Tenkara-holic!!! I eat, sleep and breathe tenkara! And I have lost track of how many days I have been fishing tenkara!!!”


There, I said it! Hmm…

Interesting! Nothing feels as though it has changed! Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah…

I hope I have come to the right place as I was looking for the “Twelve Steps to Becoming a Better Tenkara Angler” support group and not the “Twelve Steps to Never Touching a Tenkara Rod” grumpy group. If I have found the Better Tenkara Angler group I am super excited and thank you for listening to me.

How do I know I am a tenkara-holic?

Well the answer is really quite simple yet long-winded so please endure my story if you will for a brief moment. Some things may be odd or even unnecessary to cover but from what I understand of addictions the odd and “unnecessary” can be sometimes the most interesting.

A glaring example of my addiction is the number of tenkara rods that I have in my quiver. Not that I believe this to be a problem as I relish each and every encounter with a new tenkara rod. To a tenkara-holic like myself, touching a new tenkara rod and waving it around is probably similar to a drug addict or alcoholic wanting to go on a new drug trip or a bender.

For me, holding each rod tells me not just how that rod will perform on the water but it will also tell me a little something about the creator of the rod, Additionally, each rod, no matter the material it is constructed from ultimately and intimately, leads us back to a time when tenkara was fished using bamboo rods rather than carbon fiber. These are my reasons for new and different rods. And as long as there are new rods to try I will continue to search for the next best rod, although I may already have it.

Additionally, I am a certified gear whore, meaning I love outdoor gear in all of its iterations, be that camping gear, ski gear, and in particular, fishing gear!!! I started out as a bait fisherman as a child fishing with my grandfather and there was nothing better than getting new lures and other things at the beginning of each season.

Having spent an immense amount of time slinging lures, which by the way I do from time to time, it all fell apart and I grew up! Well, not really grew up per se, more like I graduated from lure and bait slinger to fly fisherman!!! In no way did becoming a fly fisherman slow down my passion or greed for more gear. In fact, it gave me a reason to search out new items like new rods, reels, and the ever-present gadgets and doodads to put on or in every available nook and cranny of a fly fishing vest.

Let me be blunt here, choosing the right vest was no easy feat either.

How many pockets do I need?

Zippers or snaps?

Where do all the gadgets and doodads go? Can I get to them easily?

So many problems to solve to get a vest!

I solved this first world problem by ultimately ending up with five or six vests and a Rubbermaid tub filled with vests and random crap I never used!!! Oh well!!!

And then it happened one day while perusing my tub of accumulated crap. A voice came to me, as if it were coming from the sky above, I heard one word,


In that moment, I gained clarity about my problems I had been facing with my attempts at successful fly fishing. Turning from my tub of doodads, I smiled at my pet unicorn Norbert, kissed his horn for good luck, and started on my quest for a simplified form of fly fishing.

Apparently, that kiss worked because not too long after I made the discovery of the perfect solution to my problem which came in the form of a Tenkara USA advertisement printed in a main stream fly fishing magazine. Within seconds of reading the first few words of the advertisement that my search was at an end. The image in the ad was one of Daniel Galhardo, the head guru behind Tenkara USA demonstrating his style of fly fishing somewhere in California. The image was one of beautiful action in repose.

I was ecstatic to find out that there was a form of fly fishing that was truly simplified and that even an uncoordinated nut case like myself could quickly learn this thing known as tenkara. I had to thank the Great Almighty Fisherman in the Sky that someone else had gone and broken things down and fulfilled the requirements of my search.

For me the search was brief yet I have still not found the end of the trail I started so long ago. To this day I am still finding my tenkara and will remain on this path the rest of my life. Because of the over-riding philosophy of tenkara, my need and desire for more doodads and gadgets has decreased dramatically, yet has not come to an end. I am a born and bred gear head now and forever no matter how simple things get.

A third indicator of my addiction to tenkara is the fact that I own and run this tenkara-centric blog you are presently reading. I have been operating my blog almost as long as I have been fishing using the tenkara style. This blog has allowed me to share my experiences with others in so many gratifying ways.

Running a media outlet like TenkaraGrasshopper has only cemented tenkara into my lifetime role as a tenkara-holic that tenkara is constantly invading my thoughts. Not that these thoughts should be construed as negative, on the contrary, they are some of the most creative and useful thoughts I could have. Many of these thoughts have morphed into posts here on the blog or in a few random magazines. Some are still waiting in the wings for the right time to become a feature to share with those who may or may not have an interest in tenkara and my feelings for this amazing experience.

In closing, let me say again….

My name is Graham Moran and I am a tenkara-holic!!!

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2 Comments so far

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  1. Bill
    #1 Bill 30 December, 2017, 09:29

    what a wonderful discovery and discussion of Tenkara addiction! Having just found Tenkara, I can already feel the addiction coming. I do believe wabi-sabi and tenkara will put me on the right path in life. Thank you for sharing

    Reply this comment
    • Graham Moran
      Graham Moran Author 30 December, 2017, 09:55

      Bill, I am glad that this helped you out. The first step is accepting the fact that you have an addiction. The second step of being a tenkara-holic is feeding that addiction. One is spending more time on the water fishing. The other is adding more tenkara stuff to the collection. Hiding new acquisitions from the significant other can be the hardest but also worth the risk. And also remember, tenkara is for life. Quitting is for quitters!!! Tenkara and tight lines my friend.

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