Category Archives: Fly Tying

Tying with hunted materials this year


Four dozen GRHE Sakara Kebari


Our fall season came to an abrupt halt in the PNW this year as our year long drought was quickly replaced by flooding and far too much water.  What is a fisherman to do?  I’ve done a bit of steelhead fishing on lower water days but they seem to last about one day before the next flood hits so mostly I’ve been tying for next season.

Lots of kebari materials here

Lots of kebari materials here

This year I’m again sticking to my GRHE Sakasa Kebari but with a twist – I’m only using feathers from birds I have personally shot.   Luckily in Western Washington Pheasant Release areas one is able to kill hen pheasants as well as roosters.  The hen is my material of choice for this kebari.  I managed  4 hens this season along with about  a 16 roosters from Eastern Washington hunts so I have plenty of tying material as well as dinners.   There will be more hunting over the mountains before that season ends.   Now I need to find some rabbits so I can cover the body of the fly too.


Going deep in early season

Bead Head Pheasant Tail Kebar

Bead Head Pheasant Tail Kebar

The local rivers finally dropped into pretty good shape a few days ago.  My little stretch of the Raging is perfect if only it was open.  The S.Fork was fishable but started filling with snowmelt as soon as Chris Farhrenbruch & I hit the water yesterday and temps soared to near 90.   The S.Fork rose from 352 cfs to 490 cfs within 24 hours, needless to say fishing was tough and we both got skunked hitting quite a bit of water.  Skunking aside, I figured that I had to go deep to even have a chance so I was throwing a Bead Head Pheasant Tail Kebari all the time.

This is pretty much my Pheasant Tail Kebari but with a black bead in place of the peacock herl collar.  I tie these with both tungsten and regular beads to handle various depths in the early season when the fish still don’t want to move much.   I put the bead on the hook, then tie in the hackle first, push the bead up against the hackle and tie the body in behind the bead, finishing in back of the bead.


Hook:   #12-14
Thread: Brown 6/0
Hackle: Pheasant Rump
Collar: Black tungsten or regular bead
Body:   Pheasant Tail fibers
Rib:    Copper Wire


New Kebari Tying Section

kebari-300When winter hit I hunkered down and got ready for tying.   I decided to start photographing and videoing all the kebari I was tying.  I then assembled it all into an iOS app for iPad and iPhone which actually had turned out pretty cool.   Apple, however, did not agree and rejected the app on the grounds that it was just a book.   Oh well, now there is a new Kebari section on the site that contains all the materials, you just don’t get the cool icon on your phone.


Ready to Tie!

The kebari factory is open

The kebari factory is open

After getting my gear ready for winter I decided to clean up my fly tying desk.   This was a larger undertaking than I had anticipated.  I had the entire desk top covered with stuff to tie kebari, saltwater patterns, steelhead patterns and some miscellaneous bright stuff that my granddaughter likes to use.   I put everything away in its appropriate tupperware box, vacuumed and then set out everything I need for what will be more kebari than I will possibly use next season.   It actually isn’t much material wise since I only fish a few kebari.

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Tying the Adams Ishigaki Kebari

The kebari I use second to the GRHE Sakasa Kebari is the Adams Ishigaki Kebari, a fly that combines the ever popular Adams dry fly with the Ishigaki Kebari.   It is a very simple kebari to tie that uses very few materials.   The fly fishes great on the surface even without floatant but also is very effective as a damp swinging pattern.

Materials list is minimal, just like tenkara:

Hook:    Dry fly hook #14-16
Thread:  Gray 6/0
Hackle:  Grizzly dry fly hackle, one size larger than hook
Body:    Muskrat dubbing

Here is the video that I shot as  part of the Tenkara Tie-A-Thon for the Colorado flood victims:

Tying the GRHE Sakasa Kebari

The first in a series of fly tying videos showing how to tie the GRHE Sakasa Kebari.  This is my favorite fly and I usually start the day with it unless fish are actively rising.   It is  a simple reverse hackle fly that only uses a few materials.

Hook:   Umpqua C300BL  #12-14
Threat: Tan 6/0
Hackle: Pheasant Rump
Body:   Hare's Ear dubbing
Rib:    Fine Gold Oval Tinsel

Here are the video instructions on tying the kebari: