I participated so far in two Tenkara fly swaps, one being the first "completed" American Tenkara Fly Swap with folks from the TenkaraUSA forum. If you were to be correct though about the "first" part, the first "initiated" Tenkara fly swap would be the one from Tenkara Fisher's web site and the associated forum (this link might only work if you are a member of the forum).
As with the swap from TenkaraUSA, I am highly impressed with the overall quality of flies, particularly since some of the Tenkara fishers out there just began fly tying as an extension to their Tenkara addiction. I wish sometimes I would have come up with a certain material and color combination; I don't really consider myself being very creative.
From the growing number of posts and members on both forums it looks like the Tenkara bug is spreading like wildfire in the States as well as in other countries across the globe. I have seen people contribute and read posts from various countries in Europe such as France, Germany, England, Denmark, Italy but also from more exotic locales such as South Korea, Russia, Croatia (yes, also part of Europe), South Africa, Australia, New Zealand. Looks like we're onto something here.
Anyway, this post is about the swap and the flies. I do not think I have the all the origins or fly tyer information but where I do, I would like to offer proper credit. Should you be the tyer of one the flies without credit (aka "unknown", please let me know in the comments section or drop me a line through the link at the bottom.
So, without further delay, here is the group picture of the original Class 2011 of the Tenkara Fisher Fly Swap, group picture:
And here are the individual contestants:
Anthony Naples - Steelers Sakasa Kebari
Arson (and yes, he's a firefighter...):
WOW! What great work of art and craftmanship those flies represent. And if you think I will keep them stacked away in a dark and dusty box, you are wrong!! I am planning to fish all of those flies and hope to land many fish on them.
PS: and if I haven't mentioned it yet, THIS IS THE YEAR OF TENKARA!