Article by Bill Holleran
The 2nd annual White Mountains Tenkara Campout (WMTCO) was a huge success! We had 53 campers from 9 different states attend a weekend of camping, fishing, learning and overall fun.
Our niche community is growing each year. So much so that the state of New Hampshire’s Fish & Game rewrote their rules to include tenkara in the definition of fly fishing. This means that tenkara is now legal in “Fly Fishing Only” areas. Great news for those of us who like to take our tenkara rods everywhere we fish. Not a big deal for those that only use tenkara in remote wild brook trout waters that aren’t FFO.
The WMTCO team is starting to plan the 3rd annual event for early June 2024. The details will be published soon. To make our event even better, we are inviting tenkara vendors, writers, and guides to join us. So, if you would like to teach, give a presentation, guide some beginners, or donate gear now is a good time to contact us so we can include you in our plans.
So, what happens at the WMTCO you ask? Well, here is a rundown of last year’s event to give you an idea, but keep in mind that next year’s event will be even better.
2nd Annual WMTCO Details:
On Thursday, the volunteers headed to the campsite to set up the event and do some fishing and scouting on their own. Friday, the campers started to arrive at the site and register for the event. At registration they were presented with an event t-shirt, key chain, wristband, stickers, and more.
Friday evening everyone went to Ledge Brewing for a social hour in a private room. Ledge brewer Cody Floyd is a fly fisher and we are grateful for his support. After a few beers and food from Libby’s Long Dogs food truck we settled in for some presentations. First up Nate Camp and I gave a tenkara master class covering as much as we could in a short time. Then Amanda Hoffner (Lady Tenkara Bum) talked about wild and native brook trout. Steve Angers from North Country Angler spoke about the area, flies, and techniques, and answered all sorts of questions from our campers.
After the presentations, we moved on to the free raffles. Every camper received a raffle ticket that was good for all kinds of gear that was donated by our generous supporters including, Tenkara Angler, DRAGONtail, Tanuki, Timber & Fins, Seiyu Institute, North Country Angler, Red Brook Tenkara, and Tenkara Rod Co.
Later, we headed to our campsites and made plans for Saturday. In the morning, we had stations set up on the lawn for anyone that wanted help. The stations covered all sorts of things like casting, landing, tight line areas, and presentation techniques. We were supposed to do this teaching on the water but decided to move it to the lawn, due to lightning warnings.
In the afternoon we had fly tying for people of all levels, led by Nate and Amanda. Others went off in small groups to fish for wild brook trout in one of New England’s most beautiful regions.
Saturday evening, we had a pot-luck BBQ dinner run by chef Nate and Sean Coffin. All the campers chipped in and made it an awesome time.
This event turned out to be epic because of the many volunteers and campers who pitched in at every step of the way. Special thanks to Amanda Hoffner, Nate Camp, Sean Coffin, Scott Haskell, Steve Angers, and Dan Pierce.
Hope to see you at next year’s event!
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