Perhaps I’ll find the energy to write up more than a few thoughts on the first Tenkara Summit but for now the photos will have to suffice. I will say this: it was amazing beyond all my expectations. I went in thinking I’d be shown new techniques and fancy equipment. To be sure, I did see those things but it pales in comparison to the personal interactions I had.
For instance, as I pulled into my parking spot I noticed two men that looked like Craig Mathews (of Blue Ribbon Flies) and Yvon Chouinard (of Patagonia). I got out and tried to play it cool by saying, “Good morning, gentlemen.” They both said hi in return and I told Craig that I looked forward to his lecture later on in the morning about fly-fishing in Yellowstone. Then I turned to Yvon and asked, “You’re the guy that makes clothes, right?” Like I’m questioning it for some real reason. The man’s reputation precedes himself…and it goes far beyond clothes. His passion for the environment is probably why a lot of people buy Patagonia-emblazoned stuff–the techniques and sourcing are some of the most progressive in the industry. Then again they’re just made with such quality that you can’t help but wear his stuff with pride.
Both founded 1% for the Planet, a collection of business that pledge to give 1% of sales (not 1% of profits) to environmental groups across the globe. It’s the idea that business, in and of itself, is a destructive force, and if it exists then it must somehow close the loop.
But that’s not tenkara related. I said all of that to say that these are huge people in the industry–both in fishing and in environmental conservation–yet they didn’t look at me cock-eyed for a second when I engaged them in conversation. This would set the tone for the Summit. Everyone, from Daniel Galhardo to Dr. Ishigaki seemed honed in on creating the best experience for the attendees.
I hope that some of these images (I hope to add more later) convey the atmosphere of the inaugural Tenkara Summit and, most importantly, I hope you enjoy.