Kebari & Fly Tying

2022 Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Kebari Swap: What’s in a Swap?

The following is the first of three entries written about the recent Winter Kebari/Fly swap held by the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Facebook Group. Amanda served as the “Swap Master” and provides a bit of “behind the scenes” in each post as well as shares a few flies by the 30+ participants!

Part 1: What’s In A Swap?

Article by Amanda Hoffner

When I was approached by Jason Sparks to be the swap master of this winter’s kebari swap I was looking for stuff to do involving tenkara. It was January and I had decided not to take a college course and concentrate on work. I had just moved to the greater Boston area at the beginning of the year too and would be away from friends. This swap allowed me to increase my reach to more minds who involve themselves with tenkara.

Jason has been a great mentor during my time as the swap master. He has increased my knowledge of swapping kebari in general and maintaining good time management and increasing exposure to the swap to get more people involved.

With that being said, the swap involved everyone tying 12 identical kebari, outlining their supplies list, and including a self addressed/paid envelope to get the kebari safely back to them. The timeline for the swap included it being run for over a month with tying ending on February 28th and (hopefully) with kebari in my hand by the end of the next week. This will have the kebari packs sent back out to the tiers by mid March and ready for the Spring tenkara fishing to begin! I made sure to contact each tier and making sure they know I received their kebari.

Networking with these tiers has been an eye-opening experience. I had never really been involved in any fishing community, let alone the tenkara community, before these past few months and only began fishing tenkara full-time the past few years. I have had the opportunity to join a close-knit community called the Fixed Line Freaks based on Instagram in August of last year and that was where I was obtaining and acquiring most of my tenkara and fixed line fishing information. That is when my tenkara identity, LadyTenkaraBum was born.

When I noticed a post on Instagram by Tenkara Angler to submit pictures and articles to the print magazine, I was intrigued and wanted to add my content of the adventures I go on. My girlfriend is a nature and travel photographer currently based in Georgia and has taken me up and down the east coast and southern United States taking pictures of our adventures and of me fishing. She accompanies me on most of my adventures and I would say pushes me to explore even more often than I did before we had met. 

With that, and because of her gnarly photo skills, I was chosen to be on the cover of the Winter issue of Tenkara Angler magazine! This really has increased the attention I have received in the tenkara community on Instagram and Facebook and I am excited to learn and grow as a tenkara angler.  Expectations are increasing, but I am here for the challenge of being involved in the tenkara community and being a positive contributor to the group.

Back to the fly swap, when it came time to split up the kebari I was unsure how it should go down. I didn’t know whether to make some boxes the same or make sure all the tiers get 12 different kebari with no return packs the same. There were even some tiers who have tied extra dozens… while some who don’t want any in return. Maybe there will be more than 12 kebari in return!

With that being said, here are the first 11 kebari to showcase (in alphabetical order by tier) with my first impressions of each. You can see why the decision on how to split them out was made difficult by all of the great flies!

2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Kintsugi Kebari by AJ Moore
Kintsugi Kebari by AJ Moore (@kebarikaiju)
Love the double wraps of wire around the buggy body.  The green against the grey is very intriguing.
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Hot Spot Futsu by Amanda Hoffner
Hot Spot Futsu by Amanda Hoffner (@ladytenkarabum)
My futsu contribution to the swap, all about the red hot spot!
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Arakawa Kebari by Arran Kerr
Arakawa Kebari by Arran Kerr (@Appalachian_AF)
I love a good Jamieson spindrift buggy body and the ribbing of the peacock hurl sets it off!
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Fugly Soft Hackle by Arthur Urban
Fugly Soft Hackle by Arthur Urban (@fuglyflies)
The beadhead on the jun was really neatly tied.
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Ginger & Orange Futsu by Cross Derriso
Ginger & Orange Futsu by Cross Derriso (@tuscaloosatenkara)
Really nice wraps of hackle around an olive body.  So crisp!
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Partridge & Orange Kebari by Darin Hissam
Partridge & Orange Kebari by Darin Hissam (@tenkara.wv)
Interesting to see the wire underwrap under the sakasa! I will have to try this out!
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Jute Fly by Dennis Ford
Jute Fly by Dennis Ford (@df1210)
Really great to see jute used, how buggy it looks, and love seeing how it looks when this kebari gets wet!!!
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Futsu Delux by Don Lux
Futsu Delux by Don Lux (@don.lux)
The Futsu Delux is an outstandingly tied kebari. Super skinny body and nicely pinned down hackle. Nice tapering!
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Brahma Hen Sakasa Kebari by Henrietta Foster
Brahma Hen Sakasa Kebari by Henrietta Foster (@henriettaphoto)
Really neatly tied sakasa with peacock herl.  A staple in my fly box for sure.
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - Gnarly Fly by Jason Sparks
Gnarly Fly by Jason Sparks (@jasonsparks25)
Got to handle the gnarly fly and boy is it gnarly.  For being gnarly it surely is neatly tied hmm…
2022 Kebari Swap - Tenkara Angler - New Yeller Feller by Jeff Cole
New Yeller Feller by Jeff Cole
The name you gave your kebari is so great!  I love how the grizzly hackle really stands out against the yellow body.  Really nice.

Amanda Hoffner, a half Japanese angler from Pennsylvania, began her tenkara passion when researching fly fishing methods from Japan. She can be found deep on a blue line in the Northeast of the United States fishing for native brook trout. Her Instagram name is @ladytenkarabum.

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8 comments

  1. Outstanding job Amanda. I’m happy just to be able to participate (and of course I want people to tell me they caught fish on one of my flies. Is there anything better?)

    1. Hey Darrell, possibly. It just depends who the Swapmaster is and their communication preference with participants. I’d note, while this swap was supported by Tenkara Angler, it was the primary idea of and hosted by the Appalachian Tenkara Anglers Facebook Group, (not Tenkara Angler).

    2. hey darrell,

      as the swap master, I mostly dedicated my time on instagram and was able to keep up with both places. as michael said, just depends on the swap master. if youre on instagram though and want to add me, then we can chat there! my handle is @ladytenkarabum. If I run the next one, I will surely be able to accommodate your kebari.

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