Tag Archives: Takayama Sakasa 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.