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Our Founders

Ruben Garza

Ruben, has been a fishing addict for over 35 years! In that time he has fished every style of fishing which is commonly used in North America. While he loves catching fish any way he can, since picking up his fist Tenkara rod, all of his other gear has been collecting dust.


At first, Tenkara fishing was just a new way for Ruben to pursue his hobby, but he quickly realized that Tenkara is not just easier, but one also usually catches more fish! Ruben immediately delved into the Tenkara lifestyle and began trying out rods and gear from all of the major US brands. However, with every piece of equipment he held, he couldn't stop thinking about how to make it better.


Wasatch Tenkara Rods was born from that strong desire to ensure that the rods he casted-the rods our customers cast-are the best quality the world can provide. Once Ruben determined he was going to provide such rods, he spent the next 5 years in research and development; testing everything from the carbon fiber used, to the feel of the rod sock, and came to our first rod, the wonderful T-Hunter.

Nathan Sutherland

The earliest memory Nathan has of fishing is when he sat under the railroad bridge on the Weber River with his father. He was 4 years old, it was sub zero temperatures, and he watched the rod snap. Since then, he has fished all over the United States. Like most, he fell in love with Tenkara as soon as he held a rod.

Nathan started Tenkara because he was tired of the high cost of western fly fishing. However, it instantly became much more. From the first moment he picked up a Tenkara rod, he has been on the river relentlessly. Just as Tenkara was a natural evolution from fly fishing, so was the evolution to Wasatch Tenkara Rods. Nathan saw the time and energy Ruben had put into developing the best rods on the market and knew he had to help.

After retiring from the military and learning to code, Nathan brought tech knowledge and the ability to put the rods through the rigors one would expect on a military mission. With these skills, he helps ensure that our rods are better than we say they are, while at the same time making it as easy as possible for families to come together and enjoy the tight lines and good times. 

Our Ambassadors

Kelly Walker

Kelly grew up in Lehi UT. His family loved to camp, hunt, and just be outdoors. After high school he joined the US Army and served for 9 years including a tour for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004.

After his military service he began a career in the construction trades as an electrician. Over the years he has
enjoyed his work and loves building things. He is now a project manager with JT4, managing construction projects for the Air Force’s Utah Test and Training Range based at Hill Air Force Base Utah.


Kelly grew up fishing and hunting but only got heavy into fishing in June of 2020. He quickly learned how to read rivers and streams and learning fish habits. He began western fly fishing in September 2020 and quickly fell in love with the art of fly fishing. He quickly proved to be an effective fly angler and proponent of our waterways, fish species, and the sport of fishing.


Kelly joined Wasatch Tenkara Rods in November of 2020 as a field product tester helping to test the revolutionary T-Hunter WTR rod. He picked up Tenkara fishing very quickly and soon made a name for himself as an effective Tenakra angler.


Today, Kelly is continuing his work to help test new rod designs, promote the Tenkara style of fly fishing, and teaching others about Tenkara and how to effectively apply Tenkara to his local waters of Northern
Utah.

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Dillon Hill

Dillon started fishing when he was 2-3 years old He learned almost everything from his dad, who used to be a guide at Wild Country Outfitters.

He excells at reading rivers and identifying bugs in order to locate the fish he targets. Dillon fishes for everything from trout, carp, tigermuskie, steelhead, panfish, catfish, and bass. He grew up fishing the Henry’s fork up in Idaho and can work stubborn fish to always bite!

Dillon ties his own flies and loves to teach others. Fishing is his life passion and he constantly works to share it with anyone who wants to listen!

His goal this year is to land a big Sturgeon!

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Greg Shafer

Being born and raised in rural Pennsylvania fishing was like a 6th sense. I fished most of my life using spinning gear and had a little passion for the sport. That all changed when I picked up a fly rod.

A dear friend, that is no longer with us had tried for over 20 years to get me to try fly fishing. I had no interest for many years as the stigma that followed most of the fly fishing world was not my cup of tea.

Once I buckled and netted my first wild Brook trout, I was hooked on fly fishing. Spending the next couple years learning all I could from being streamside, my passion for fishing continued to grow.

I had to share what Terry had shared with me that day he handed me a fly rod. I began telling friends and family how exciting fly fishing was. Within 2 years I had over a dozen people hooked on fly fishing. I shared my passion and knowledge to whoever would listen and to some that didn’t care to listen.

Fishing Lake Erie tribs often, I seen a fellow fisherman using an extremely long rod with no reel… this intrigued me. Since that day I now have found my true passion!  Tenkara has taken me on a new journey.

I was Introduced to Ruben of Wasatch Tenkara, who helped me
get started on the proper gear for targeting specific fish. Picking tenkara up quickly I began to explore more and more and sharing my excitement with anyone that seemed interested.

All free time is now spent hiking into wild trout streams away from the noise that clutters our lives. Sharing this new passion and adventures with others is something that brings great joy to me. Making new friends along the way, who share the excitement only fuels my passion for fishing.

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Derek Catchot

From Derek:

"I was born and raised in Pensacola, Florida. My Papa taught me how to fish at a very young age on the Gulf and bay and it has stuck with me my entire life. I moved to Pennsylvania in 2009 and now at age 38 live in Erie, in the northwest corner of the state. I started fishing locally in the mountain wilds, but eventually moved to Lake Erie in 2018 after being introduced (and instantly addicted) to steelhead fishing in 2015. Erie is known as the heart of “Steelhead Alley”, one of the most frequently toured and visited areas for steelhead fishing in the world."

Our Retailers

Angler's Den

From their site:

"Our staff here are Anglers Den is committed to offering our customers personal service – the kind of service we like to receive ourselves when we're on the other end.

Anglers Den offers many up-to-date products for both the beginning fisherman and the most advanced angler. We carry all the products and brands that you have grown to love as well as products that you cannot find at the big box stores.

If we don’t have it, we will do our best to find it and get it for you. At Anglers Den, we still offer our customers small-shop ambiance. If you have questions, our knowledgeable staff will take the time to provide you with answers.

If you are looking for a fishing report on a bulletin board, you won’t find one. Our staff can provide you with a firsthand fishing report of the most local waters as well as fishing out of state.

We love to fish. Fishing is our passion. We live our passion, and we love the satisfaction of sharing the knowledge that we have learned through the years. When it comes down to a love for fishing, we are just like you. Come see what we mean."

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Morgan Fishing Co.

From their Instagram:

"We are in beautiful Morgan County. Situated between multiple blue ribbon fishery lakes plus amazing rivers and mountains. We’ve got what you need!"

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Fisherman's Haven Bait & Tackle Shop

Fisherman's Haven is an excellent Bait and Tackle shop located on Lake Erie in Pennsylvania. They are a dedicated fishing retailer and have been an amazing partner to WTR.

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Our Affiliates

Tenkara Angler

From their site:

"Tenkara Angler is the fixed line fly fishing community’s hub for smart information and entertainment. Our tenkara blog covers angling lifestyle, destination, tactics, gear, art, as well as wonderful creative essay. As a primarily “community-sourced” publication, this is your resource for all things tenkara and fixed-line fly fishing.

We would love you to contribute an original article, essay, or photograph for publication consideration. If you are interested, please check out the online submission information HERE."

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Skiddy Fishing

From YouTube:

"I am a die hard fisherman but no pro by any means! Any species of fish are fun but I prefer Trout and Char.
Video postings are currently weekly on Wednesdays so click that subscribe button to stay in the loop! I have recently become a big fan of Tenkara fishing and will be producing many videos with various rods."

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