The Heraclitus-fly Approach
Apr18

The Heraclitus-fly Approach

I’ve mentioned on many occasions that I don’t adhere to the tenkara “one fly” approach simply because I would quickly get bored tying the same pattern over and over again. To me, fly tying is as much fun as fly fishing and the monotony would ruin one of my favorite aspects of the sport. So, since I started my tenkara career, I’ve been more of an “any fly” angler, tying on whatever strikes my...

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4 Reasons to Fatten up your Flies
Aug22

4 Reasons to Fatten up your Flies

When I first started tying soft hackle flies, the conventional wisdom was that you should make the body as slender as possible. I practiced a lot to achieve perfectly smooth, anorexic bodies that were literally no more than a few silk strands thicker in diameter than the hook shank. They definitely worked great and were beautiful ties. But something seemed amiss. If “thinner was better”, why did more robust flies like the...

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Tenkara no Oni’s Flies
May14

Tenkara no Oni’s Flies

I just got a care package from Japan from Masami Sakakibara (a.k.a. “Tenkara no Oni”) which included some of his flies. His patterns are simple, but very versatile and buggy looking. I’m not sure of all of the materials, but thought I’d share some pictures of the flies one of the greatest tenkara anglers in the world fishes with.         I’ll probably frame these the way I did with my...

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Mismatching the Hatch
Mar27

Mismatching the Hatch

As a beginning fly tier, one concept was thoroughly drilled into my brain by the cronies at the local fly shop: match the hatch. The “goal” of fly tying was to imitate specific species of insects and the more realistic the fly was, the better it was. It made perfect sense. The trout are eating something that is this particular color, is this certain size, and has this many tails. Why wouldn’t I want to imitate it if...

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Maribou-bodied Sakasa Kebari
Mar07

Maribou-bodied Sakasa Kebari

The more I fish tenkara the more I’m starting to think about flies in terms of “paradigms” rather than “recipes”. Instead of specific patterns like anĀ Oki Kebari or Takayama Kebari, I’m starting to think more in terms of the general characteristics a fly has such as movement, silhouette, attention point, and size. One of the things that really sold me on tenkara early on was the versatility and...

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