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Trisha Hudson has taken to fly fishing tenkara like no other newbie. Hudson photo.

Steve Hudson’s books are different, and his Tenkara 101 will pull you into an orbit of learning that is satisfying

 By Skip Clement

If you want to know what you need to know to participate in the subject activity of fly fishing tenkara style, it is all there. Tenkara 101 is teve’s his twentieth-something book on fly fishing, fly tying, hiking the Appalachian mountain streams, and more. Not even one is disappointing.

He stays on point. You never read Hudson and say, Huh?

It’s easy reading, but his writing is not prose or fiction like Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane, or Ernest Hemingway. Instead, Hudson’s books are how-to and take it to the bank: reliable, thoroughly researched, well illustrated (he’s a capable illustrator), and never clumsy explanations here and there. It’s clear, everything.

I’m glad to call him a friend – spend a day with him and leave better informed about a life of fly fishing and fly tying. Oddly, he never mentions his absolute pleasure, teaching.

Bream Buster novitiates tying their copies of a favorite Steve Hudson fly. He looks on with care—and pure enjoyment teaching others. Hudson photo.


I have watched him glow when a kid or a grandmother in his tying class has that tell-tale breakthrough moment—tying a perfect fly – a match of the instructors in shape, proportion, the right colors, and materials volume. Everyone knows genuine happiness; the whole class feels the success as Hudson beams.

The title of his book, Tenkara 101, is wrong

The book is the Tenkara companion for the intellectually curious, beginners, and advanced. You take it with you; it never gets to sit on a bookshelf. 

The steps to perfection

The book is a roadmap for how to fish tenkara in freshwater and saltwater and tie kebari flies. It covers how the system works, casting, fly presentation, using the length adjustment advantage, rigging, and meeting conditions that do come up and how to ameliorate them easily without making a mistake.

Tenkara 101 has everything (everything is the right word) you need to consider when getting into tenkara or advancing your tenkara skill and knowledge.

There are rod types and lengths, line, the Lillian, knots, kebari flies, care of the rod, fixing the rod, value of rod extensions and length, and how to make the right decision.

Fly fishing Tenkara

Most importantly, a reader learns how to fish tenkara in small streams, large rivers, ponds, and large lakes. And everything that you need to be aware of with regard to your tenkara equipage.

Getting your companion into fly fishing

Hudson’s wife, Trisha, is new to fishing tenkara, but in just a year or so, she
passed any of Steve’s kind classifications, which suggests that it is okay. Trisha is good at fly fishing in the tenkara style because she’s coordinated, quick to learn, and ‘into’ it – a perfect match for tenkara’s temperament requirement.

Steve thought it might be an issue teaching his spouse. It didn’t turn out that way. ‘Trisha, ‘ he said, ‘listens to instructions. She’s a quick study and patient. More importantly, she loves to go fishing.’

Trisha is looking for giants in small places, and finds one. Hudson Photo.

NOTE: The two trouts she has brought to hand using Tenkara are near IGFA record sizes, but the International Game Fish Association has yet to embrace Tenkara – too bad.

See link on recent tenkara info from Hudson . . .1

See link on recent tenkara info from Hudson . . .2


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