My One Fly season

A box full of my one fly.

A box full of my one fly.

This season I decided to go the One Fly route and see what I could  learn from it.   I decided to stick with me GRHE Sakasa Kebari as my only fly for the year and tied them in #12-#16 in both standard and beaded versions.    A month in was my last update and I was pretty happy with the decision at that time.    Now after 3 plus months with 78 river days I have to say I am very happy with my decision to stick with one pattern all year.   I don’t think the season is quite over but getting pretty close as the rivers are set to rise next week due to the rains that will hit here in the PNW.

 

I was skunked only two days all season and those were a rough day weather and condition wise and today very late in the season so I don’t blame the fly.  On all other days I caught fish and I caught fish on all five of my local valley rivers – the Raging, the Tolt, and all three Snoqualmie Forks plus the Cedar and upper Yakima.  I caught fish from 3″ long to a whopping 17-18″ rainbow on the Tolt one day.   I caught fish that were rising to small bugs on the Tolt,  I just switched to a #16 and kept the kebari on the surface to get them to rise.   I caught fish dead drifting, pulsing, swinging, and retrieving.  Pretty much any and every presentation worked at some point during the year.

The primary thing I learned this season is that presentation, not the fly, matters the most.  If you can get a good presentation the fish will eat the fly.  Granted, these are foothill and mountain streams where trout are not keyed in on a hatch for the most part and are more opportunistic but that is what tenkara was made for and sticking to one pattern works well in this environment.   Still, no matter what the situation was this year I was able to find a presentation method that would get fish to eat the fly.

A nearly demolished GRHE Kebari that was still catching fish.

A nearly demolished GRHE Kebari that was still catching fish.

The other thing I learned is that the pattern I chose was probably way more complicated than it needed to be to still be effective.  I had days where the fly got shredded and all that was left was a few wraps of thread and a bit of hackle and I still caught fish.   To me the rib adds some flash and the dubbing some bugginess but if they will eat a hook that has a few hackles left then maybe those materials are not that important.  This got me to thinking maybe I’d simplify even further next season and just forgo the dubbing and rib and fish a tan Amano Sakasa Kebari to see if it does just as well.   My guess is that it would and would be much quicker and cheaper to tie.

I’m also going to tie a few bigger kebari next season too.   On the Middle Fork especially I’ve seen stoneflies that are 3x longer than my #12 pattern, I’m thinking a big #8 might just do the trick there.  Not that the fish didn’t eat the #12 but come on, you’d be more likely grab the Big Mac instead of the standard old burger if it drifted by.