It’s a happy coincidence that I don’t worry too much about fly selection, and that I’m also not particularly good at tying flies. Fortunately, most the fish I encounter seem to keep low minimum standards for what they’ll eat, which is the only bar I’m looking to jump over with my tenkara kebari tying.
I’d put good money on my flies never winning any beauty contests. Usually I have to superglue them to give them a chance of holding together. I don’t whip finish in public anymore after a tragic mishap during a fishing club meeting in 2019.
(I cannot discuss the ongoing investigation, please contact the Tenkara Angler legal team with further inquiries.)
As a result, I’ve boiled things down into a basic pattern that is low effort on the vice but helps me make things happen on the water. The last year or so I’ve fished it all over the country and it’s slowly becoming my main pattern.
The “Good Enough” Kebari
#10 Barbless Dry Fly Hook
Coats Dual-Duty+ Jeans Thread, Khaki
Assorted Dyed Medium-Stiff Hackle
Glue it shut, or weld it, or whatever it takes
The idea behind using the dry fly hook was twofold, I figured it would help keep the profile thinner – and I happened to have them. While the #10 does present an easily visible profile, It stays relatively slim around the body to host the thicker cotton thread. The thread gets heavier when wet, giving me a little more heft on the pattern without bulking it up.
I like a little weight on the fly to help maintain line tension, and the longer profile helps keep it visible. The varying colors of hackle allow some adjustment for visibility in different water & light conditions. So far I’ve observed no difference in catch rates between the hackle colors.
For tactics, I like to fish kebari with movement. Sure, I almost always open with a dead drift, but if they didn’t hit that, I’m putting action on the fly next pass.
Some are more Sakasa, some more Jun, some more Futsu. Some are hackled mid-hook and others closer to the eye. I’ll probably tie some on some smaller hooks too, eventually. They come out how they come out, they fish how they fish. Which so far, has been pretty good all over the country.
Good enough, at least!
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