Tenkara Grasshopper Central

“Karel’s Catchumall” Pattern A guest post by Denver Dobbins

“Karel’s Catchumall” Pattern A guest post by Denver Dobbins

by April 18, 2013 5 comments

To all my valued readers and in particular Karel Lansky. Mr. Denver Dobbins sent me a post recently and I decided that it would be enjoyable to have a little fun with Karel. Thank you Denver for such a funny post.

I have the great fortune of getting to spend next weekend up at Estes Park for a romantic getaway for me and my girlfriend. She has already been so kind as to give me leave anytime I want to go fishing on the Big Thompson.

I’m new to fly fishing of any kind, much less Tenkara. My only real experience was a recent fishing trip with three Masters of the art: Graham, Karel, and Daniel. Wanting to give myself any advantage I can over the trout on Big Thompson, I tapped into the experience of that first day and decided that I’d tie a bunch of flies that I know to be successful. And on that day, there was one fly that shined far and beyond all others, so that’s they fly I chose to tie.

I opted to take some pictures along the way so that I can share this winning design with the masses. So without any further adieu, I give you the pattern to “Karel’s Catchumall”.

First off, this is Tenkara fishing, and we need to take that seriously. For that reason, only Amago Tenkara hooks are used.

Amago Hook

Amago Hook

Next we tie a loop eye on using a No. 2 silk beading thread.  They don’t use mono / backing loops in Japan!

Silk Beading Thread

Silk Beading Thread

Then we tie on an appropriately sized dry hackle and give the hook a traditional reverse hackle.  Fishing anything other than reverse hackle isn’t REALTenkara.

Tying in the hackle!

Tying in the hackle!

Now I make a loop with my thread and secure the loop to the thread with the bobbin. I use my hackle pliers to manage this loop and create a gap. I then wax it liberally with sticky bees wax.

Making the dubbing loop.

Making the dubbing loop.

Finally I feed pieces of Nutrafin Max Betta Color Enhancing (See footnote) flake food into the sticky waxed loop, winding the loop as I went to lock the flakes sandwiched between the threads of the loop. Then I wrapped the filled and twisted loop around the body just as one would wind on dubbing, and secured it with my bobbin and whip finished the thread.

NutraFin Betta Food Dubbing

NutraFin Betta Food Dubbing

These beauties will catch fish like you would not believe!


Karel's Catchumall Original Design by Karel, tied by Denver Dobbins

Karel’s Catchumall
Original Design by Karel, tied by Denver Dobbins


Karel will swear to you that you MUST use “Tropical Fish” blend of Nutrafin Max, but rumor has it that he shows the newbies a “Tropical Fish” labeled container filled with the “Betta Color Enhancing” blend. Well played Karel, well played.

Author: Denver Dobbins
Approved By: Tenkara Grasshopper

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5 Comments so far

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  1. Dick
    #1 Dick 27 November, 2016, 07:42

    What happened to the original flybox? Liked that it was useful and informative and miss it among the blurry photos here. Please bring it back.

    Reply this comment
  2. Denver
    #2 Denver 18 April, 2013, 22:16

    Sorry buddy, I can't let you catch ALL the fish. 😉

    Reply this comment
  3. Chris Stewart
    #3 Chris Stewart 18 April, 2013, 20:12

    Apparently you don't have any secrets, either.

    Reply this comment
  4. goneflyfishing
    #4 goneflyfishing 18 April, 2013, 18:38

    trade secret is out, thanks buddy (oh right, i don't have any buddys).

    Reply this comment

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