Tenkara USA Summit 2012 Part 1: On the Road to the Summit

I’m a little late to the party, as most folks have long since posted their Tenkara Summit 2012 experiences and have probably moved on. But since my motto is “I have not yet begun to procrastinate” here you have the beginning of my Tenkara Summit 2012 Series. There isn’t much that I love more than a road trip. A Slim-Jim, caffeine, and Jalapeno-Cheddar ChexMix fueled rampage through the Southwest – what could be better? Fishing and roadtripping are twins in my book. One without the other just isn’t the same, so when they get paired up it is pure heaven. The freedom of the road, without any other distractions is akin to time on the stream for me – they are both an exercise in just “being”. So, sure I could have flown directly to Salt Lake City and met my pal Jeff there. But what’s the fun in that? Jeff was on a family vacation in Colorado and New Mexico so I flew into Albuquerque to meet up and then we made the journey up to Salt Lake City and the Tenkara Summit together. That way we got to talk more, reminisce about the old days and geek-out about books, music and movies. So what music on this leg of the trip? Well I know it’s obvious but “The Joshua Tree” by U2 was the unofficial soundtrack for this leg of the journey. Sure, the Anton Corbijn photography from the album cover was shot in California and not Utah, but the parched desert themes, big-sky production quality and nostalgia factor made it a good backing track.

On the first day we got to Moab,UT. We stopped for the night and then did a quick tour of Arches National Park in the morning before heading to the Salt Lake Area. Of course the scale and majesty of a place like Arches NP is so very difficult to capture on film (or CCD sensor). We didn’t spend much time in Arches. But we got a taste of it. I wish that my kids had been here for this, they would have love scrambling around on the rocks here.

We got to our campsite in the Spruces Campground in the Big Cottonwood Canyon sometime in the afternoon, set up camp and then went out for a bit of fishing – finally.   We hit the Big Cottonwood Creek, and I of course failed to take any pictures.  The section of BCC that we fished was moving nicely but was fairly brushy.  I couldn’t get my mojo working and I had my self convinced that there were no fish in the stream.  However we happened upon some other tenkara anglers and they were having better luck.  We bumped into the Tenkara Guides, along with Daniel Galhardo of Tenkara USA, Masaki and the Japanese tenkara contingent which included Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, Kiyoshi Ishihara, Masami Tanaka, and Eiji Yamakawa.  I watched Dr. Ishigaki fish a pool that Jeff and I had just fished through – of course he pulled out a nice brown trout.  Eiji commented that the fishing was too easy with many more fish (compared to Japan).  Fishing was wrapping up so after some arm twisting we were convinced to go out for some pizza with the crew.  The evening ended on a high note as we missed the “curfew” at the campground and found the gate closed.  Apparently the gate closes at 10:00 PM – I have never stayed in a public campground with a curfew.  So we had to park on the road and hoof it into the campsite. We decided to leave the cooler and food at the campsite instead of dragging it back to the truck on the side of the highway, so as a result, I lay there all night worrying that I was going to be eaten by bears (I wasn’t). Stay tuned for more Tenkara Summit 2012 posts…

From L to R: Eiji Yamakawa, Kiyoshi Ishihara, Masami Tanaka, Masaki, John Vetterli, Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, Daniel Galhardo and Jeff Wolford. I regret that I didn’t get a picture of myself with these guys!

2 Comments on Tenkara USA Summit 2012 Part 1: On the Road to the Summit

  1. Great write up Anthony! I am very glad I got to meet you at the Summit, I wish I had some time off around it so I could have fished with you.
    I look forward to reading the other parts!

    • Brian – Yes! great to meet in person. I enjoyed talking with you, but do regret that we didn’t get out on the stream together – that has been my refrain of the summit, not fishing with all the folks that I met.

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