Kebari & Fly Tying Tenkara Trout & Char

Yoshikazu Fujioka’s Trout and Seasons of the Mountain Village

There are few websites in the tenkara community as revered as Yoshikazu Fujioka‘s Trout and Seasons of the Mountain Village.

Yoshikazu Fujioka's Trout and Seasons of the Mountain Village
Screenshot image courtesy Yoshikazu Fujioka

For many, this is the first Japanese website they encountered written in English covering aspects of mountain life in Japan. The content includes the seasonality of local rivers and fish species, as well as general, but detailed information on tenkara. Ranging from various techniques, equipment, and the flies that accompany it.

Screenshot image courtesy Yoshikazu Fujioka

What I find makes this site truly stand out is the “My Best Streams” section. This is where one finds detailed maps of over 50 local streams, as well as an extensive study of the many kebari patterns associated with the different geographical areas of Japan.

When one conjures an image of a “tenkara fly” they typically envision an iconic reverse-hackle sakasa kebari. Upon reviewing the many pages of regional examples provided on this website, the observant reader will find sakasa kebari are actually in the minority. Over the years, I noticed that it’s not uncommon for Western anglers to take these pages as inspiration, quickly filling their personal fly boxes with a variety of traditional Japanese patterns. I know I’ve tied more than a few.

Yoshikazu Fujioka's Trout and Seasons of the Mountain Village - Kebari Study
Screenshot image courtesy Yoshikazu Fujioka

In addition to chronicling Japanese mountain life, Fujioka-san also references fly fishing (including trips to America), and some beautiful original art that he created, including kebari & trout prints and “Paper Trout” which are unique patterns for folding paper into fish shapes.

One could spend hours reviewing this site by clicking through the hyperlinked index at the bottom of each page. It’s definitely an enjoyable rabbit hole to wander down. If Trout and Seasons of the Mountain Village is new to you we urge you to give it a look!

Editor’s Note: Recently, one of Yoshikazu Fujioka’s traditional fly prints was adapted to bandanas and made available for purchase on Amazon Japan (with shipping to the US) as not only a useful piece of kit, but also a more convenient way to display Fujioka’s beautiful artwork. Tenkara Angler thanks Jonathan Antunez for this hot tip!

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  1. Really enjoyed reading this article and going to his website. I would like to subscribe to his newsletter or postings…all very interesting Tenkara related topics. Could not locate a to subscribe to button..?? Wonder if he has an Instagram feed??

    Ray Kelley
    Ann Arbor, MI

    1. Ray, unfortunately, I don’t think such a service exists as it’s not really a blog with new posts on the regular. I would just bookmark the site and check in every now and then.

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