Tenkara Grasshopper Central

My thoughts on becoming a Traditional Tenkara Fisherman

My thoughts on becoming a Traditional Tenkara Fisherman

by July 19, 2012 5 comments

Over the last few months I have been reading all the Facebook posts related to Tenkara that I could during the time leading up to my wedding. Unfortunately, as I said in some previous posts I was not able to fish much. But, my creative juices were sparked and my interest in traditional kebari was reignited.

I believe that my style has been that of a hybrid Tenkara fisherman rather than a traditional Tenkara fisherman. That being said, I am considering putting the time in at my bench the rest of this year and filling a box with all kebari flies. I like the simplicity of the style of tying that the kebari has going for it.

All the patterns that are out there now in some ways might get a little overwhelming for some but if you are new to Tenkara  the advice I can give you is don’t freak out. Western fly patterns are much more numerous at this time and they will continue to expand as time goes on.

I have looked at the boxes of a few of the people that I have fished with and the simplicity of each and every box is amazing to me. So my goal for the future is to get into the kebari tying and maybe a little less of the western fly patterns. Although, I do love a take from a fish on an Elk Hair or even a dry spinner imitation.

The challenge for me now is to choose which kebari that I would like to start with and then add to as time progresses. I love the Ishigaki kebari for it’s beautiful looks and simplicity and I do have a small stable of them in my box even as we speak. I also have a few killer bugs stashed in there and they do produce very well at times.

Now what I need to do is get out there and find the patterns that I want to tie start having some fun. Who knows I might even think about organizing The Colorado Tenkara Kebari Tying Summit here in Denver.

I would love to hear everyone’s opinion of their favorite kebari so please feel free to post a comment here. As I start tying more of the flies I will post pictures of my progress here and on Facebook.

Tight Lines

Photo credit: davidklor via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

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5 Comments so far

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  1. tenkara ambassador
    #1 tenkara ambassador 2 August, 2012, 12:35


    Glad to have found your fine blog. Keep us posted on whick kebari becomes your go-to.

    Reply this comment
  2. tenkara ambassador
    #2 tenkara ambassador 31 July, 2012, 23:49

    The more you read the blogs, like TenkaraUSA, the more you realize there really is no "tenkara" fly. The wide variety of fly being tied by Japanese tenkara anglers suggests that the sakasa kebari might just be used by a subset of Japanese anglers such as the esteemed Dr. Ishigaki. I think the takehome message is: simplify, but don't necessarily reject patterns that have worked for you for years. Just carry fewer patterns and pay more attention to presentation. That is truly the beauty of tenkara.

    The Tenkara Ambassador

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  3. Howard Levett
    #3 Howard Levett 19 July, 2012, 20:30

    Comment from an Ignorant soul: won't traditional flies work? Thanks!

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  4. Howard Levett
    #4 Howard Levett 19 July, 2012, 20:30

    Comment from an Ignorant soul: won't traditional flies work? Thanks!

    Reply this comment
  5. Kiwi
    #5 Kiwi 19 July, 2012, 20:27

    My three favorite flies to have with me at all times are 1. A Fran Betters' Usual (a dry fly that is extremely versatile and simple to tie). 2. A Killer Bug (also simple to tie and works everywhere). 3. A Royal Sakasa Kebari (one of my first experiments combining a traditional western fly with the advantages of a sakasa kebari….it has worked great with brookies and browns and bluegills). I'm a little biased on the last one. Ultimately, I think any sk, size 12, that has just a little attraction point but not overpowering will work. Karel Lansky, Jason Klass, JD Smith, and Anthony Naples all have some great sk's.

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