Yvon Chouinard is a surfer, kayaker, falconer, climber, and fly fisher. He owns the company Patagonia and is the author of Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel. He lives in Ventura, California, with his wife Malinda.
I was 20 minutes late. Los Angeles traffic had exceeded expectations: My two-hour drive took four and a half. The invitation had hit my inbox earlier that morning: “Join Yvon Chouinard, author of our latest book, Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel, as he reads from and signs the book, answers questions, and maybe even demonstrates some tried-and-true casting techniques. Space is limited.”
Finally, the book that ships with the kit, “Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel,” is a good primer to fly fishing for those with very limited background.
“Simple Fly Fishing” uses the simplest of all fly fishing methods, a pole with a line on the end, to illustrate how to control the fly without the complexity of modern equipment getting in the way. Getting the fly to the depth where the fish are feeding and imparting motion to the fly is critical. This is where the tenkara excels. You will catch fish using simple methods and knowledge, in an elegant and artful way. This is fly fishing at its most basic, and like kayaking without a paddle, it brings you closer to the simple truths of the sport. When you pick up (or go back to) a rod and reel, you will be a more complete angler. I believe you will also enjoy your time on the water more and, to Mr. Anderson’s point, catch more fish.