I’ve been asked by several people to make a video showing the basic steps on how to tie a sakasa kebari so here it is. I chose a very simple pattern for the demo but you could easily substitute a lot of different materials to create a wide variety of patterns.
Author: Jason Klasshttp://tenkaratalk.com
Jason is an avid fly angler and backpacker. As a former fly fishing guide originally from Western New York, he moved to Colorado and became an early adopter of tenkara which perfectly suited the small, high altitude streams and lakes there. He has not fished a Western-style fly rod for trout since.
Thank you. That was helpful.
Thanks Jason, this is great. I just did a Fly Tying 101 class at my local Orvis (Arlington, VA) and I’m psyched to get started on some of the recipes you’ve got on the site. This is such a good resource.
That’s great Alex. Tying your own flies is a great way to form a deeper connection with the sport. Let me know if you have any questions or need any help.
Now watching this for the third time … it really is a fantastic resource. No questions, but if you’re taking requests, it would be great to see how you tie a Japanese Hammer. I’m intrigued by that fly.
Thanks Jason, it always helps me to see how someone else ties a fly. After reading your post about fishing Tenkara rather than fly fishing with a Tenkara rod do you plan to spend more time fishing Tenkara flies this season?
Yep. I have been since the fall. I’m still learning but so far it’s going well. But I won’t completely give up dry flies. They’re too fun!
Are you fishing mostly Western dry flies or something like a Japanese gujo? Also, are you matching hatches? I ask because I’m a lazy bastard and will always fish a general attractor if I can get away with it. For me that usually means a TenkaraBum CDC & Elk or an Orvis beetle pattern.
I don’t match the hatch much anymore. Last year, I used Japanese Hammers exclusively for dry flies (except for some hoppers in the fall) and then sakasa kebari the rest of the time. Like you, I prefer to fish attractors.
Jason, I can’t tell much differance in the amount of fish I catch, and it sure cuts down on how many flies you carry. I have cut down to one dry pattern (cdc & elk) and I still fish some killer bugs. I can’t go cold turkey. But if I don’t plan to fish Tenkara style I never will.
Hey thanks Jason–need to get back into tying again–your video kind of gives me the itch!!!!
Jason,That was a great instruction. I hope my old shakey hands can do it. I have never tied a fly before but you made it look pretty easy and I think I’ll give it a try. Thanks
Thanks Eddie. Sakasa kebari are a great way to get into fly tying since they’re easy to tie and don’t require a lot of materials.
Great video, I hadn’t tied in over 2 years and it has gotten me started again. I had forgotten how relaxing it is. Thanks
Thanks for the link to the video. This is great and I can’t wait to get into the fly tying game.
Jason, thanks for the intro to Tenkara flies. I’m not sure I’m ready for Tenkara fishing just yet, but I would like to tie some tenkara-style flies and add them to my flybox. I fish small streams in Colorado mostly so my question is how do I fish them with my traditional fly gear? My favorite rod is a 8’6″ 4-weight with a braided leader and tippet appropriate to the fly I’m using, usually 5-6x. With all the trees and bushes so close to the water where I fish I don’t actually do a lot of traditional casting other than short ones or roll casts to get my fly into the “fishy” water. Would I fish tenkara flies basically the same way I would fish my caddis or BWO or would I do anything fundamentally different? Do tenkara flies work all year round or are they better at certain times?
If you’ve already answered this question on your blog just reply with a link and I’ll check it out.
You can fish them the same way you fish your western flies: dead drift, swing, etc. a my favorite way is to pulse them like this:
Because it makes the fly swim like this:
I find though that this technique works better in summer and fall when the water is a little warmer and the fish are more active. Hope that helps.
Thanks for an excellent demo. Do you ever varnish the whip finish or do you consider it not necessary?
Hi David, thanks. On most trout flies, I don’t bother using varnish or head cement. I think just a simple whip finish is durable enough. I usually lose a fly to a snag long before it ever has a chance to unravel. But on some flies, like streamers or saltwater flies, I always add head cement, epoxy, or some other glue to the head for durability.