Trip Reports

Fishing Tenkara in the Time of COVID-19

Trip Report by Danièle Beaulieu

The world stopped in March 2020 here in Quebec, Canada, well… because, you know why!

This is a hard time for me and my tenkara business because I can’t do any fishing shows, no conferences, nothing as simple as that.

The borders are closed so I can’t go fishing in the United States, no Adirondacks, no camping, no steelhead in Oswego County. I told myself don’t worry Daniele they will open the borders very soon, but it didn’t happen!

What to do? Where to go?

Fishing Tenkara COVID-19 - Daniele Beaulieu - Tenkara Angler

Nevertheless, it was a good time to see what rivers I could fish near home (Montreal, Canada). Well, it was tough and not very productive. I could not take “Berta” (my camper) and camp near a river without finding signs posting private property. So, no access whatsoever to a nice river and if you could find one, the fishing was difficult (that is not an issue because I love a challenge) but it was definitely not the same as my typical New England fishing adventures.

With those experiences over, I decided to visit my sister and childhood friend in the Alberta, home to the Canadian Rockies. I loaded Berta and off we went.

Fishing Tenkara COVID-19 - Daniele Beaulieu - Tenkara Angler - Berta

My first stop was in Petawawa, Ontario to see my other childhood friends so I could introduce them to tenkara fly fishing. We had a blast in the Petawawa River catching bass. They liked it so much that they bought some tenkara rods, how fun is that!

With my journey starting well, I continued on the Trans Canadian route saying to myself, “this is going to be the best fishing experience I will ever have” as I was headed to the Bow River in Alberta.

Fishing Tenkara COVID-19 - Daniele Beaulieu - Tenkara Angler - Falls

But when I arrived, the heat wave and smoke from wildfires took the fun out of it. It was really bad. With no time to lose, I had to make a hard choice. Go fishing or to see my sister and friend that I had not seen for a very long time? Don’t get me wrong, fishing is my life, but family and friendships are more important. So, I decided to stay with them and then try to go fishing later… oui oui

In the end, I was not able to fish a lot, but the view of the Canadian Rockies was candy to the eyes. So many places to visit, so much to do, you must come and see that once in your lifetime.

Fishing Tenkara COVID-19 - Daniele Beaulieu - Tenkara Angler - Mountains

I am planning to return in 2022 on another journey but this time concentrating on tenkara fishing. I will certainly visit British Columbia next time. My friends in Squamish told me that they have great rivers for tenkara fishing!


Danièle Beaulieu began fly fishing in 2000 and tenkara in 2014. She fishes rivers all across Canada & New England, and started a business selling tenkara rods and accessories called TenkaraCanada.net.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2021-22 issue of Tenkara Angler magazine.

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