Tom Sadler's blog

Alex Diekmann Peak

Gravestones cheer the living, dear, they’re no use to the dead
Steam rises from the Madison River in Montana (photo: NPS / Jacob W. Frank).

The quote from the song "By for Me the Rain" by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band evokes a sad reference to how our memorials to the departed are tangible reminders to the living of the deeds of those no longer among us.

The song came to mind when I heard Donald Trump had signed the Alex Diekmann Peak Designation Act into law (Public Law 115-122) on Jan. 31, two years after Alex’s untimely death on Feb. 1, 2016. This new law designates an unnamed peak in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness in Montana as the "Alex Diekmann Peak."

They will write songs about you

A tribute to angler and conservationist Alex Diekmann
Tom Sadler (left) and Alex Diekmann.

Regular readers will naturally expect tenkara to be the topic of most of my contributions to this magazine. In this case, I will ask for your indulgence as I offer a tribute to a dear friend and colleague who died recently.

Most readers will not have heard of Alex Diekmann, and that is not a surprise. Alex did not seek the spotlight or recognition; he let his work speak for him. But if you fish in Montana, tenkara or otherwise, you have seen or benefited from his work.

Tenkara Summit 2015

A look at what's coming at this year's summit hosted by Tenkara USA

For the fifth consecutive year, Tenkara USA will host their Tenkara Summit on September 19, at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. The registration is $35.00 and includes lunch.

I attended the first summit in 2010 in West Yellowstone, Montana and helped organize the third summit co-hosted by Mossy Creek Fly Fishing in Harrisonburg, Virginia. I have missed previous “western” gatherings but I know the information and the camaraderie provided will be outstanding.

Tenkara Jam 2015

A lot of tenkara savvy gathers this year in North Carolina
Photo: Tenkara USA

Excuse my indulgence in a little local tenkara cheerleading.

Last October I went to North Carolina for the first Appalachian Tenkara Jam. The Jam was the brainchild of Jason Sparks and Lance Milks who had been mulling the idea of a tenkara gathering for a number of years.

The gathering they had in mind would bring multiple vendors together so participants would have a chance to get some hands-on time with different products. There would also be presentations by tenkara savvy folks who wanted to share tips and tactics they have picked up from experience.

Gathering of the tenkara clans

Tenkara, once considered a passing fancy, has truly become a movement.

Recently I was at the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine festival as part of the Mossy Creek Fly Fishing crew. At the festival, I gave four on-the-water tenkara demonstrations, two each day. At each demo, 30-50 people came down to watch, wiggle the rods and ask questions.

I am giving more and more presentations each year and I’m not alone. A quick scan of Facebook will show you a number of other people giving individual presentations all over the country.

The really exciting thing that is happening is the growing number of tenkara specific gatherings taking place. I have been to a few in the past and they are a great chance to learn techniques and tactics, see a variety of products and network with tenkara enthusiasts.

Tenkara, once considered a passing fancy, has truly become a movement.

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