Discovering Tenkara DVD Volumes

I ordered the Discover Tenkara Volumes from tenkarabum. Just finished my first viewing of them.

All I have to say is that they make a fantastic collection.

I am fishing my third season, but do not regret buying the introduction volume at all.
Full of history, techniques, and tips from Dr. Ishigaki. The other volumes are both about fishing situations, kebari, and technique.

Go Ishii is awesome and also such a great host joining Paul and John. For those of us who will never be able to make it out to Japan and meet with the apex tenkara anglers, this is such a fantastic substitute. Makes me wish I could fly out there and join up with the cast. They seem like a real fun group of guys.

I highly recommend it. There is a ton to digest and there is a lot of stuff that I will have to view a few more times for it to sink in.

One of the things that Dr. Ishigaki touches on in vol II regarding the vision of trout is really interesting, and suspect it transfers to all fish and fishing techniques. Some of the stuff I have been employing intuitively with striped bass and trout, but his studies really explains the why the things I do work…Solid!


I also have them. If you haven’t seen the Tenkara In Focus Insider videos that are downloadable for a few bucks they are good too. Probably my favorite one that I think most complements the DVDs is the one on the various fly manipulation techniques.

Thanks for the super kind words guys - I know I can speak for John too when I say we really get a buzz when we find out somebody has found our content useful, valuable or just plain enjoyable.

PS - you are dead right about the Japanese tenkara crew; the nicest folks you could hope to meet and really live life to the full. We will never be able to repay their kindness.


I would like to thank you for both for your motivation to seek this information and to share it.

There is so much to meditate on. I dig it.

Maybe you will dig this one too.

Himano introduces John and Paul’s British style of Tenkara Fishing.
てんから釣り・The evolution of British Tenkara fishing,

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Thanks for posting David.

What I dig most about the DVD Series is less about the on stream footage and more about the dialog and the separate philosophies of each angler. There is definitely some common ground shared between them, but each one has a defined and separate voice. I really see this as being the value of collection. I can compare it to a fine artist studying painters from different periods to help develop their own style.

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Please note: This is my own personal review of these products. I have no affiliation or relationship with Discover Tenkara and purchased these products on my own.

About a month ago, I took the plunge and decided to purchase some of the Discover Tenkara premium content from their shop on Gumroad. I have enjoyed their free content on YouTube and Vimeo. In thinking about it, I had a few different reasons for doing so: 1. I wanted to see what all the talk was about; 2. I wanted to support their work; 3. It’s been a very long time since I have purchased any fly fishing or fly tying reading that has interested me. With that, I bought the following:

In Focus Insider: Kura-san On-stream Coaching Video Lesson

Kura-san Top Tactics PDF

Episode 4: In Focus Insider Go Ishii’s On-stream Masterclass

Discovering Kebari: Choosing and Using Flies that Catch Fish (PDF e-book)

Discover Tenkara Vol. 3 DVD: Japanese Kebari Practical Fishing Applications

Thus far, I have enjoyed and found value in everything that I bought. In fact, I have watched two of the videos multiple times already. There are many good fly tying books out there and I’ve read quite a number of them, but I feel it’s been quite a while since I have found one that has pushed my thinking about fly tying further. I will be the first to admit that I certainly am not an expert in fly tying and have never done so professionally; I’ve only tied for myself. This certainly has limitations to my level of growth and I am aware of that.

I’ve never been one to really “match the hatch” and have for the most part only ever been interested in wet flies and nymphs. There was a short period where I was into dry flies, but that didn’t last very long. No offense to those who do, it’s just never been my thing. I think this is part of what initially got my attention with tenkara. I digress.

I would like to focus in one particular item that I purchased, the “Discovering Kebari: Choosing and Using Flies that Catch Fish (PDF e-book)”. This is the first book in a long time that I feel has pushed my thinking about fly tying further. It didn’t teach me any new tying techniques or specific skills when I sit at my vise. Rather, it has pushed me to think about the ideas and dare I say the philosophies behind my flies and kebari that I tie and use. The amount of science they use in explaining things is one part that I really valued in the book. Is it new information in the world of fly tying? I don’t honestly know, because it’s been a very long time since I’ve purchased any reading materials on this topic. Was it valuable to me? Absolutely. It has pushed me to think a little differently both in my tying and how I fish those flies. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, experienced or not. I hope you find as much value in it as I have done.

My only complaint? I wish the book came printed and bound. Call me old-school, although I appreciate the ease and convenience of an e-book, I personally like to hold a book in my hands.

In watching Video 3 I realized; rather, maybe it’s more appropriate to say that I came to accept, similarly to Tadashi Otani, I love to experiment in my tying. Here is what I have been tying in the past month since reading the book. I think some turned out well and others, less so but it’s a learning process and lots of fun too!

Yes, I have tied multiples of all of them. They are not just “one-offs”.


Me too. I like your kebari. Maybe the fish will too.

I usually have a few that always seem to be popular with the fish. Some are are clones of kebari tied by some of the well known Japanese tenkara anglers. Some are old patterns or use body materials that I have seen them tie with on old Tenkara videos. Primary the Weekly Sunday Fishing series of videos.

Otherwise, many of my kebari are experimental ones of my own creation. Just to see what works or does not work. Usually I tie 3 of each pattern. One to fish with that might become lost. One as a backup if the first one is lost. The third kept as a model to use to tie more of the same if it seemed to work well. If it didn’t work well, then the reserve one gets the knife, and I tie something new on the hook.

I recently ordered some TMC Pellet Dub from Tenkaraya. In several colors. I first noticed it on the Tiemco website several months ago. No one yet seems to carry it in the USA. They also make a Pellet Brush Dub, but I did not order any of it.

My son’s cat, KC, is an uncooperative donor of underfur dubbing, which seems to work rather well. And it’s free, or mostly free, sometimes I pay with flesh wound. :frowning:

Thanks for posting pics of your kebari.


Thanks for your kind words David!

That’s the exact same thing that I do. I have three patterns that I have tied a dozen of each of them. At least one of those will always work for me. I only had a handful of days last year that I was completely skunked. But, it was also wicked hot, water was low, and flows had slowed down.

I used to do that, but I stopped. That was partially because I became to lazy to keep cutting the old material off. However, I also decided that if they don’t work, I would save the third to make sure that I don’t duplicate them. That is until I have so many “thirds” saved that I need to purge my fly box like I referenced in the thread about purging your fly box here.

I remember seeing the Pellet Dub just before the holidays last year, but I haven’t broken down and ordered any yet.

Thank you so much for your detailed review and I’m so glad that you’ve found value in our work Peder!

Nice ties - I can see those being smashed by your local fish this season!!

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Hey Paul,

To echo one of Peder’s notes, Do you have any plan to publish a hard copy of the e-book?

Also, I would be interested in a comprehensive collection of all your various videos, both the free and the fee ones. If it were for sale, I would buy it.

I know it may sound like and odd request, but my job has me on the computer all day. I suspect I am not alone in this. I absolutely try to avoid extending my exposure to my computer after hours. To me there is something that is just a bit more permanent about hard copy and I see value in it. Granted, video format(DVD) will never be a stable format forever but certainly more stable than online content. And books…well…books are books!


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Hi, apologies for slow reply Gressak, a crazy couple of weeks of ups and downs…

However, I think I can let slip an exclusive piece of news - which is that I’m in the process of transforming the Ebook into a print book right at this moment.

The critical factor in getting it published will be the successful running of a preorder campaign to cover enough of the costs of producing a first print run.

Perhaps the 10 Colors forum members might do me the honour of taking part in that initial groundswell?


You can count me in for one, likely two copies @Paul_Gaskell.

If there’s anything I can do to help, you already know how to contact me.

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Paul and John earlier today uploaded and update video explaining the development that has forced the kibosh of continued availability of many of their tenkara videos.

I think they will be sought after as other DVDs before them also became no longer available for different reasons. I’ve seen many inquiries by people seeking to find copies of the earlier Tying Tenkara Flies Vol. 1 DVD, that was made by Learn Tenkara. Disappointing to see the DT videos with drawn that have been helpful stepping stones in the development of tenkara culture outside of Japan. :disappointed:

I think they’ve taken the best course ahead available to them to just Press On to what comes next.


Very Professional video explaining their situation.

Growing a company is not easy. The situation of a three way share is also complicated. Although they jest, it could have been easily been the two of them that parted ways. Often the best rock bands break up.

Just to say it, I feel that the third party videorgrapher/edtior is in the right, though its quite unfortunate that things could not be work out. That is business for you.

That footage and editing really sets the DT footage apart. That guy has talent, not to discount that the product is clearly a group effort, and before someone throws a rock at me, consider comparing any fishing videos even on high profile sports channels to the DT footage and its clear the guy has some serious talent. Not to knock Japanese tenkara videos, but they are more like documents than works of art. Those DT videos are beautiful.

I for one found tremendous value in the production quality of the material. It really makes the difference in the ease of my purchase.

I hope John and Paul the best and hope they find a replacement of equal or better talent. Working with that level of talent is a double edge sword. You are blessed to have them, but eventually they may move on. It is just the nature of the industry.

These sort of setbacks fortify. I am hopeful that they can survive this. I don’t see why not, they do have the community behind them.

Since my kebari fishing was oral tradition, these materials are the same as rediscovery for me

”Growing a company is not easy” It has led to confusion in Japan

But I think that this forum is rather like an oral tradition of the past
There is no confusion here

Forums are not perfect either as we all have strange motivations.

True oral tradition is not something that I have experienced…but something I feel is extremely precious.

You are very lucky.


Maybe he was in the right or maybe not. We will never know how a court may have ruled on the case. Because DT has decided to settle the issue, and move on, back to the future, rather than spend time and resources in court. I believe they did state earlier they felt confident, I think that was the word they used, they could win in court. But decided it was better to move forward rather than spend time looking back trying to fix something that went wrong with past efforts.

I can understand that. When I left the company I worked for more than thirty years I was offered separation pay. A fair portion of a year’s income, but to receive it I had to sign a form that lawyers told me if I signed it - I could never sue the company for any reason for damages that might be revealed in the future. I have no desire to spend time in court at all for any reason. Better to just close that chapter of life and move forward enjoying the next chapter of my life. And why shouldn’t they do the same? Paul and John are quick learners. I think the quality of their later videos, filmed by themselves, are of equal quality to the earlier videos. While there is a shadow over the things lost from past work the future looks bright for DT after the clouds disperse. imo. Let’s see, spend time stressing in court or go a fishing? Easy decision about which of the two is more enjoyable. :smile:

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I have not followed the incident. Your post is the only info i know.

I also feel they made the right decision hands down and agree with you.

My note is only that the production quality delivered was a significant contribition. Often those sorts of contributions can be underestimated. I can see both sides of the situation. I work in creative end of film production. Creative contribution is often trivialized but clearly the product would not be the same without it. Once a creative format is established…its easy to say …well that format is comon sense. Not true if there is nothing comparable in the market. I imagime john and paul also influence the format so contribution lines get muddy fast. I do not know the details of the contracts, but i see the request of the third party to be more or less normal especially if he were a co-founder or investor of a startup.

It is a crappy situation all round. I am sure they will work it out and move on.

Although different from the problems of here :thinking:

Japanese fishing gear industry is confused due to decline

There is only disappointment in fishing magazines that are public relations

Even individual websites are affected by that

Close to disgust than disappointment :scream: