Fulling Mill Hooks
May10

Fulling Mill Hooks

I have to confess, I’d never heard of Fulling Mill hooks until I saw them on Anthony Naples’ site, Three Rivers Tenkara. There are a million hooks out there today and I’ve tried a lot of them–not just for tenkara, but for many other applications as well. I usually don’t get too excited about hooks because most of them are just doppelgängers. But these seemed somewhat unique, so I asked Anthony to send me...

Read More
Rediscovering the Teeny Nymph
Apr11

Rediscovering the Teeny Nymph

It’s funny how easy it is to forget good fly patterns. I was recently reminded about a good pattern that I had fished years ago with a rod and reel but had forgotten about since starting tenkara fishing–the Teeny Nymph. This pattern was invented by venerable angler Jim Teeny in 1962 originally for for trout. But since then, it’s proven itself as an effective fly for a multitude of species including steelhead, bass,...

Read More
Tying with Zenmai
Feb02

Tying with Zenmai

I first heard about zenmai a few years ago in a blog post from Tenkara USA. What is zenmai? It’s a fuzzy fiber that grows on sprouting fern plants in the spring and Japanese anglers use it as dubbing material. It might seem strange to use vegetation as a tying material, but it actually makes quite good dubbing. One thing I really like about zenmai is the color. It’s a beautiful carmel/brown with some light and dark...

Read More
Parrot Hackle Flies
Jan30

Parrot Hackle Flies

To me, tenkara anglers are an intrinsically “outside the box” breed. We don’t fish with reels, we reject the prevailing notion that more gear catches more fish, and lets’s face it, our flies look…well…strange. Even stranger are the materials we experiment with. I’ve seen tenkara flies tied with everything from snakeskin to fuzz from a fern (and even junk just laying around the house). I think...

Read More
OttLite for Fly Tying
Jan21

OttLite for Fly Tying

A harsh truth all of us who tie flies have to inevitably face is that our eyes aren’t getting any younger. I remember as a teenager tying size 28 midges in my parents’ basement simply by the ambient overhanging fluorescent lighting without any problem. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself needing supplemental lighting. My eyes are OK (according to the optometrist) but they’re clearly not what they...

Read More
The Caribou Captain
Jan09

The Caribou Captain

The other day, I found myself thinking about a forgotten fly introduced to me by its creator, Gordon Wickstrom. I can’t remember how we first met, but I do remember our meandering chats in Boulder coffee shops talking fly fishing history, fly design, language, and how Garrison Keillor is a great storyteller but should never, ever, be allowed to sing. True to his thespian and literary background, Gordon always spoke with...

Read More