Being a Tenkara Groupie back in the day ;)
When I walked through the doors into the Kentuckiana Fly Fishing Show and started passing the vendors and retailers I was slightly startled. Tenkara was no where in sight. I wasn't completely in shock, because I have found that when I mention tenkara in Kentucky I am mostly met with blank stares. The awesome guys at The Lexington Anglers shop in downtown Lexington know what tenkara is, but they are professionals.
I also have to admit something. I don't know how to say this, but... I have never attempted reeled fly fishing, or Western fly fishing, or whatever you wanna call it. I fully confess that I am actually a little judgmental and snobby when it comes to Western fly fishing. So who am I to judge when someone doesn't know what tenkara is all about!? Overall, I think we can agree that just do what makes you happy! Reel or no reel.
I changed my mind frame from tenkara to Kentucky fishing. I was going to take this time to learn about the KY community and fishing landscape. They had some good seminars on local fishing spots and resources, providing information about conservation and local fisheries. The booths that interested me were Casting for Recovery, Kentucky Fish & Wildlife Services, Project Healing Waters, and WKU Fly Fishing. Let me repeat that last one... WKU Fly Fishing. Yes, Western Kentucky University offers a class in fly fishing! Crazy. I noticed numerous men over the age of 50 standing at the WKU booth contemplating quitting their day jobs and going back to school! I also learned that WKU will have a viewing of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival on February 21st. If you are in the Bowling Green, KY, area you should check it out!
I had a fun time and hope that next year I might get the chance to introduce a different species of fishing to some KY anglers - tenkara. In closing, I have no closing. So I will just leave you with this kick ass poster I scored: