The following is the final 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! To see the first two posts, click here & here.
Part 3: Reflections
Article by Amanda Hoffner
So, not only did I begin tying my own creations within the past year routinely, but I was also able to increase communication with other tiers across the United States and Italy! This has brought me so many more ideas and made me realize how much more I have to learn. Being able to network and communicate with these anglers and tiers has brought so much more pride to what I do as a tenkara angler and pushes my passion more to continue to spread the good word about what we do on the streams.
The challenges I faced with the swap involved being able to organize myself to keep everything neat and tidy. Just as we tie, there is a way and art to this swap master business. There needs to be creative moves that encourage tiers to get involved and want to participate. Which is something I struggle with since I consider myself less creative and more of a “do-er”. Also, being an amateur tier myself, I was challenged to whip out a few patterns of kebari. I believe I am a decent sakasa kebari tier and have pushed my creative limits and abilities to tie more futsu and jun kebari.
This experience has truly increased my want and drive to be a better tier and also increased my want to learn more about the kebari in terms of presentation and why someone chose a certain hackle color or softness/firmness, etc. Whether it be because it “just looked right” or they chose firmer hackle to fish in faster water, I hope this allows for others to also increase their knowledge and reach out to the people that tied these kebari to pick their brains as well in order to learn about their mindset while tying and why they chose what they did. If there is one thing I have learned fishing tenkara, it is that there is an intent and purpose to everything. From the motions in your arm when you cast to the way you tie on the hackle onto the kebari… everything has a reason. Tenkara is about intent and I intend to dive deeper into tenkara.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed being swap master of this Winter 2022’s kebari swap! I didn’t know what to expect, but I was not expecting this much participation. I want to thank EVERYONE who participated in this winter’s swap. From notes, to extra kebari, to yarn, and a trout counter, the little gifts in A LOT of the packages I received encouraged me in this kebari swap journey I was on. Thank you for welcoming me into the community and I look forward to possibly running another swap with maybe even more than 35 tiers (so I can giveaway the leather wallet)!!
Some Fun Facts:
- Most kebari entered were sakasa kebari (Next time specific numbers will be recorded.)
- 1 package was lost in the mail (Hopefully, it will be found in time for the next swap and it was okay since it was his second and third dozen tied for the swap)
- 2 dozen kebari came all the way from Italy! (Unfortunately, one package did not make it in time for the swap, but he will receive kebari since there were extras tied)
- 3 participants bought kebari to join in the swap because they don’t currently tie (and I think we can get more participation next time in this route) Thank you Ana Echenique, Santin Bjorklund, and Elle Fox for opting to buy!
- 4 people did not want kebari back in return
- 5 people tied multiple kebari for the swap
At last, the final kebari and their tiers with details about what I enjoyed!…
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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