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Tenkara Interactions - "Are you the tenkara guy?"

Tenkara Interactions - "Are you the tenkara guy?"

Yesterday afternoon I left the house to run some errands. As I stopped at a traffic light on the way home, the woman on the car next to me started waving. I assumed she needed directions. I turned off the music and rolled the window down.

“Are you the tenkara guy?”, she asked, excitedly.


“My daughter took a class with you recently and has been talking about tenkara all the time.”

Unfortunately the lights turned green and we had to drive off. But I was thrilled that she recognized me or the car and took the time to say hi. I thanked her for doing that. And, yes, I felt kind of famous.


Ten days ago I went for a hike with my wife and our dog. It was our first time on this trail, behind the NCAR building here in town. As it was on a weekend the trail was relatively busy. A hiker was coming down as we climbed up. He smiled, as all other hikers did, passed us, then stopped and turned around.

“Are you Daniel? The tenkara guy?” (I am assuming he asked me if I was the tenkara guy…but I don’t usually carry a recorder)

“YES! You fish with tenkara?”


We chatted for a bit, and then went on our way, hoping to cross paths on a stream sometime.


A little over a month ago I headed to a coffee shop in town, Boxcar coffee roasters. I had heard great things about the place, so I went to check it out. I had to do some writing and needed good coffee to do that. A little past 20 minutes into my writing session a man, about my age, approached me.

“Hey, sorry to interrupt you, but… are you the tenkara guy?”


“I saw the sticker on your laptop, and you looked familiar. I watched a lot of your videos on Youtube…”

We chatted for a few minutes, when our conversation got the attention of the couple that was sitting on the next table. They turned around and asked if we were talking about tenkara, and inevitably, “are you the tenkara guy?”


We talked at length about tenkara, I invited them to an outing I was holding a few days later.


I was completely dazed from some anesthetics after visiting my dentist a couple of months ago. My wife was driving us back home and stopped to get food on the way. I stayed in the car but opened the doors to have fresh air. Then a man came by, startling me a bit.

“Hi, I saw your tenkara license plate…are you the tenkara guy?”


He probably thought I was high on drugs, but I was able to tell him I was just coming back from a procedure and was a bit dazed. I thanked him very much for saying hi and apologized for my state.

Luckily we met again a couple of weeks later at a talk I was giving. I was in much better shape then.


When visiting a local sporting goods store, the clerk saw my tenkara t-shirt and said, “tenkara? Do you work for them?”. “Uhhh….I guess so”, I replied.


Over the last several months, since moving to Colorado, I’ve had about a dozen such interactions. I confess, I absolutely love it. I has made me feel very welcomed to our new home. But, the coolest thing is to see in person through such interactions how much tenkara has grown since I brought it over to the US. These are just the casual interactions that I’ve had the fortune to have, where people took the time to stop and say hi. I am always very grateful when that happens.

Besides my own interactions I know there are dozens if not hundreds of interactions like that happening everyday! My doctor said someone was telling him about tenkara a few days ago; a few weeks ago a good friend of mine said he was grabbing lunch when he overheard three people very excitedly talking about tenkara; my banker said his colleague came to talk to him about going fishing and asked him if he’d heard of tenkara before….

Have you had unexpected tenkara interactions? I love how that networking is happening and would love to know if you have a story like that to share.