This post is in no way meant to bash Tenkara USA. I love Tenkara USA. I love what they have done to promote the sport in the United States and beyond. And I use a Tenkara USA rod.
The point of this post is to highlight the history of Tenkara in North America, not to mention my home state of Montana!
This year marks ten years since Tenkara USA started promoting the sport this side of the Pacific Ocean. Happy ten year birthday to Tenkara USA!
However, the introduction of Tenkara, unsurprisingly, goes back further than 2009. I came across a great post by Tenkara Fishing that points out professional Tenkara fishing came to the USA as early as 1990.
Tenkara Fishing reports:
In 1990, Yuzo Sebata, a humble Japanese tenkara fisherman visited the United States and introduced tenkara to the famous western rivers. His introduction was documented by putting together a video of his visit. The Toshiba EMI Fishing Video, “The Yellowstone Series” follows Sebata san while fishing tenkara in America for the first time on a professional scale. The video was available for purchase in 1991. At that time, his visit was two weeks of filming and two weeks of touring the area fly shops and meeting with many local anglers to spread the word of tenkara.
If you have a chance to purchase the VHS film, or even watch it, I highly recommend it. I also urge you to explore the fishing of Sebata san. In your search, you will find his recipe of living in the mountains with many tips for your own mountain backpacking trips.
I highly recommend reading the entire post, which features some awesome photos, too.