To be properly upfront and honest I don’t know if I can give this DVD a very objective review. I’ve met all of the folks involved and can call some friends (I think – or maybe I’m being too forward) and others are more acquaintances. So it’s hard to be completely objective. But nonetheless I’d like to spread the word about this project – just be forewarned that I may be a little biased. On the other hand – I did shell out my own money.
Tying Tenkara Flies DVD Volume 1, is the first DVD produced by the folks at LearnTenkara.com. According to their website the video “is packed with 2.5 hours of video covering 17 different fly patterns, including traditional Japanese kebari, hybrids with Western flies and some patterns that are just plain fun to fish with a tenkara rod.” There is some introductory video from Japanese Tenkara Master Dr. Hisao Ishigaki and Daniel Galhardo discussing tenkara and tenkara flies. There is also a small bit of fishing footage and video of the flies as they appear underwater. For all the details go check out the page for the DVD – here.
To be clear – it is not a “beginning fly tying video” per se. But these flies are for the most part very simple flies. If you know the basics of starting the thread on the hook, and doing a half-hitch, you’ll be able to get the hang of it. The tying instruction is great. The tyers all do a good job of clearly explaining each step of the process. No matter how much I think I know – it always seems like I learn something by watching other tyers. I picked up more than a few nifty ideas from this DVD too. Various tyers are featured, Dr. Ishigaki, Daniel Galhardo (of Tenkara USA), Chris Stewart (of TenkaraBum), Rob Worthing and ERiK Ostrander (both of Tenkara Guides)and Dennis Galyardt. The bulk of the tying instruction is done by Chris Stewart.
And what about the flies? This is not a survey of Japanese Tenkara patterns. A few Japanese patterns are presented – but even these are altered a bit by the western tyers. This is not a criticism – but I just think it’s worth noting that this video is primarily tenkara flies as interpreted by western anglers, and it also includes some “non-tenkara” patterns.
The overall tone of the video is pretty relaxed, but very well executed. You feel like the tyers are sitting down personally with you to show you how to tie flies. My favorite moments are when the filmmaker (Brian Flemming)chimes in from “off-stage” with a question. These always seem to spur some good commentary.
My favorite single part of the video is watching Dr. Ishigaki tie his trademark fly. In spite of being hailed as a “Tenkara Master” Dr. Ishigaki comes across as truly humble and so thoroughly enthusiastic about tenkara. He’s got a childlike enthusiasm and playfulness that is infectious.
So I enjoyed the DVD and learned a thing or two along the way. I know there is Volume 2 in the works, so I just want to put in my two cents and offer a wish list for the next one:
- More different tyers
- More traditional Japanese flies
- More Japanese Tenkara Anglers tying their flies
- More on stream instruction in tenkara techniques
- More back and forth discussion as the tyers tie their flies
God job guys and looking forward to the next.