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...

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360° Sakasa Kebari
Feb13

360° Sakasa Kebari

If you’ve been into fly fishing for any length of time, you might have heard of a pattern called the “Brook’s Stone“. It was invented by Major Charlie Brooks to imitate the big stoneflies on the Yellowstone River. It’s a simple pattern. Unlike most stonefly patterns, it doesn’t even have a wing case. It’s basically a dubbed body with a few wraps of hackle palmered through the thorax. But that...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Persimmon Silk Cord from Tenkara Bum
Aug05

Persimmon Silk Cord from Tenkara Bum

When I first started tying tenkara flies on eyeless hooks, I thought I had found a goldmine once I discovered that silk bead cord was readily available on eBay in a myriad of colors. It took a little trial & error but I finally found what I considered to be the right diameter (#2) and I’ve been using that ever since. But I recently discovered that Chris Stewart over at Tenkara Bum is selling a silk cord that is not only...

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Sewing Thread Tenkara Flies
Nov24

Sewing Thread Tenkara Flies

When I started tenkara and first learned that many tenkara flies were tied with sewing thread, I was appalled. I mean, anything other than 8/0 Uni thread was sacrilege! And sewing thread was just plain crude. This was mostly because I was used to tying more complicated flies where sewing thread would be too thick. But gradually, as I moved more and more toward fishing simple flies like sakasa kebari, I could see using tying thread....

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Fur-hackled Sakasa Kebari
Nov20

Fur-hackled Sakasa Kebari

One of the main reasons the sakasa kebari style fly is so effective is because the hackle moves underwater making it look alive (click here for an underwater video to see one in action). Like most flies, tiers use feathers for the hackle on their sakasa kebari. This is because the fibers are usually soft enough to provide good movement and they’re very easy to wrap. But I’ve been thinking for a while about using fur for...

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Tri-color Sakasa Kebari
Sep10

Tri-color Sakasa Kebari

To western fly tiers, typical tenkara flies like sakasa kebari might seem boring.  After all, many of them are nothing more than hackle and a thread body.  No wings, no tails, no intricate bodies.  It might seem that if one wanted to fish tenkara flies exclusively, they’d quickly tire of tying the same old thing.  But there’s a lot you can do with just thread and hackle.  And with a little imagination, one quickly...

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