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Without a reel, tenkara fishing really catches on in Maryland
Without a reel, tenkara fishing really catches on in Maryland

Rob Lepczyk hadn't been in the Gunpowder River for more than five minutes on a late September morning before he felt a tug on his line. The 26-year-old Sparks resident yanked at the long rod before gently guiding the small green-and-white trout with brown spots, now flopping on the end of his line, to the water's surface. After examining his catch, he tossed it back into the river. Lepczyk, a guide at Great Feathers fly shop in Sparks, didn't need a high-tech reeled fishing rod to make the catch. He instead prefers to fish tenkara, an ancient Japanese style of fly-fishing that uses a telescopic rod, typically about 12 feet long, with no reel. Attached to the end of the rod...

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