Tag Archives: Kebari

A new kebari – the Chukar Kebari

Our first chukar

Last week Lira and I were out pheasant hunting when she went on point and a small bird flew up.  I figured it was a quail since she’d pointed a few quail this year and I knew there were quail in the area at times so I shot.  When she was carrying the bird back I realized she’d just pointed her first chukar and it was the first one I’d shot.   I plucked the bird to roast it for dinner, which was one of the best game birds we’ve eaten, I highly recommend them.   I stuck all the feathers in a ziploc and today finally got around to looking at them and decided to tie some flies and see how they looked.   Thus the birth of the Chukar Kebari.


I decided to go with burnt orange thread for the fly in honor of the chukar’s orange beak and legs.  For the body I used muskrat which has a gray to tan coloration exactly like the chukar.  The hackle is a chukar flank feather tied in traditional reverse hackle style.   I’m pretty happy with the fly, I think it will be a winner next season.    If I can get a few more chukar before the season ends I may make this my fly for next season and see how it goes.  If not,  I have plenty of pheasants for my usual GRHE Kebari.   I love being able to tie all my tenkara flies from birds that my dog has found and I have shot.



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:

One Kebari, Two Kebari, Three Kebari (more?)

When I first learned about tenkara at the Fly Fishing Show I was intrigued by Daniel explaining the one-fly philosophy.   Coming from western fly fishing where my box is full of patterns to match the hatch it just seemed improbable that one fly could be used in most situations and catch fish.   I started tying some kebari for fishing and, like with western fly fishing, tied a few flies in about a dozen different patterns to start with.   As I read more though about tenkara philosophy and thought about it I realized that I had caught most of my small stream fish on a few patterns and decided to adapt these patterns to tenkara.   I scrapped the dozen or so different kebari I had tied originally and settled into two basic patterns which I have used 95% of the time with success.   For a few weeks I thought I might be able to get down to one of these then hit a situation where I absolutely needed a small fly to catch fish so instead of going from two to one pattern I now carry three patterns of kebari with me but have not felt the need for any more.   Right now I can live with three patterns and I have found these to be effective in every creek, river and lake that I have fished over this season.

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Going Small

What I normally fish and what I had to fish today

What I normally fish and what I had to fish today

Today I took a friend out to a spot that a few weeks ago had quite a few trout and quite a bit more water than it did today.   We hit a couple of runs and had a few fish on but for the most part I was seeing fish flashing at my kebari but not really taking it.   I decided to switch to the smallest thing I had in my box, a #16 Takayama Sakasa Kebari that I bought when I originally got my tenkara gear but never used since my usual #12 and #14 kebari always caught fish.

Almost instantly I had a fish actually grab the small fly though it came off on a jump.  We moved up to the next run and I was catching fish pretty quickly with the tiny fly.   My friend had been getting some tugs on a #14 but not hooking up and switched to the #16 and hooked up.

Looking at the situation everything pointed to the small fly.  The water was lower than normal, the fish seemed a bit smaller than the ones I was getting in the same area a few weeks ago (one fish I landed may have been the smallest trout I’ve ever landed on a fly) and there were a hatch of small midges going on and fish were rising to them.

After getting home I tied up another half dozen of the small flies so I’m ready next time.   This was the first time I’ve had to veer away from the two flies I’ve been fishing all season long and stick on something different in order to catch fish.   I guess my two flies have increased to three flies, still not bad compared to the dozens of patterns I had in my Western fly box.