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Free Tenkara Lessons

by Les Albjerg
(Caldwell, Idaho)

I introduced my friend Jon to Tenkara this week. He is excited. He hadn't been fishing in 20 years, and he caught a nice sunfish on his fourth cast. Jon asked me, "How can I learn more about this? I sent him to the TenkaraBum website, and then I sent him to the video series on YouTube "Tenkara in Focus Series." This series of videos is produced by John Pearson and Paul Gaskell.

Those names may sound familiar if you have spent time on this site as Chris offers their "Discover Tenkara DVDs" and some of their downloads that cost money.

These half hour shows are free. There is an implicit advertising going on for the ones that cost money. That said, there is a lot of great content in these videos.

John and Paul are from England. They are passionate about Tenkara. They have spent a lot of time and money to learn this art of fishing. They are also both trained and have worked in the field of fish biology and conservation. What I am saying is I don't sense that these guys are out just to make a buck (pound).

There is usually a bit of history taught, at least one fishing lesson, some discussion of equipment rational, interviews with expert fisherman. These are high quality videos. You can't beat the price either.

Just one example of what I learned in the last video. During the interview of the fisherman, they were talking about the "one fly" concept. This limitation has always rubbed me the wrong way. He said, "rather than thinking of manipulation and presentation of one fly to catch fish, I believe that I can catch fish on any fly if it is presented properly." That concept changed my thinking radically.

Coming from a history of "match the hatch" to this kind of fishing does cause some frustration at times. "Any fly" means that I can continue to enjoy the variety in my fly box, while at the same time not be changing flies every two minutes to find the "right fly." This lesson helped me in Texas realizing that with little sunfish I needed a little fly, I went to the smallest fly I had and with manipulation I caught a lot of fish.

I am a YouTube junkie, so I have been a little hesitate to share these lessons. However, this is good stuff. If you are out there trying to learn this fantastic way of fishing without a mentor, here is some great free video mentoring.

Simply go to YouTube and type "Tenkara in Focus" in the search box and enjoy.

I have not bought the DVD series yet, but I have bought some of the downloads Chris has offered, and they are worth the price in my opinion.

Comments for Free Tenkara Lessons

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Jul 01, 2017
Free Tenkara Lessions
by: Karl Klavon

Great post Les! And thank you for the U-tube information. It will be most helpful.

On the you can catch them on any fly pattern thing, when you are having a many day, try changing fly patterns on every 5th or 10th or so fish. It would probably be best to stay in the same pattern size range to start, but you can vary size as well when you want to try a size variation.

For sure some patterns may produce better than others at times, but not usually to the extent that only one fly will work on any given day.

Like you, I would also find it boring to tie and fish only a single fly pattern. Flies are just too much fun to get that restrictive in my view. So give constant fly changes a try and please let us know how you do with it....Karl.

Jul 02, 2017
Free is Good!
by: John Evans

As the old saying goes, free is good! I used to have a college professor who said, "There's no reason to starve in the middle of the wheat field," meaning that we should take advantage of the learning opportunities all around us.

I've thought some about "one-fly" vs. "many flies," and I wonder if we don't give enough merit to the weight and size of the fly as opposed to the pattern. For example, on many days and in many locations, any fly that bumps along the bottom of the water column is more productive for me than one that rides in the top film. Also, smaller flies often seem to catch more fish. Thus, as Chris Stewart has suggested, I find myself using a handful of flies . . . not one and not many.

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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