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Tenkara USA Flies

Freshwater anglers in Japan are known to have been using flies to imitate insects by using silk, fur and feathers, at least as long as 430 years ago, but this art probably goes much farther back, possibly as long as 5th or 6th century. As tenkara fly fishing puts a lot of emphasis on the presentation of flies rather than accurate imitation, tenkara flies have developed to be very effective at catching trout while remaining simple and versatile patterns. We worked with tenkara fly collector and expert, Mr. Yoshikazu Fujioka, to come up with a series of flies that represent traditional tenkara patterns of various regions in Japan. And we are also featuring the simple, yet elegant fly pattern taught to us by renowned tenkara angler Dr. Hisao Ishigaki, the Ishigaki Kebari. Ishigaki-san, Fujioka-san, domo arigatou gozaimazu!

Because flies are normally chosen based on the pattern, size and color needed for the situation, we have decided to offer our flies in a set of 3 flies in a vial containing the pattern and size you choose. Our flies come in a glass vial that can be used to store your flies, study insects on the stream, or even serve to collect and exhibit your flies, though we really recommend you fish with them. Notes: kebari is the Japanese word for fly, and sakasa is the Japanese term for the characteristic reverse hackle.

Prices are for a set of 3 flies in a glass jar as pictured at right.

tenkara_fly_oki.jpg Tenkara USA Flies - Oki Kebari
Many tenkara anglers in Japan favor larger tenkara flies, even for trout in mountain streams. With faster flowing waters, larger flies give fish a good opportunity to see it and the potential high energy intake is too much for them to resist.
Particularly effective for when the water is flowing fast, or for when the bugs are bigger, this size of tenkara fly should be in every angler fly box. Their forward-facing hackle also ensures a very lively fly underwater. This tenkara fly can be a very effective "secret weapon".

tenkara_fly_ishigaki.jpg Tenkara USA Flies - Ishigaki Kebari
Traditional Dry Fly
These are the tenkara flies used by renowned tenkara angler, and leading authority on tenkara in Japan, Dr. Hisao Ishigaki. For the last 10 years, Dr. Ishigaki has used this one tenkara fly pattern exclusively, and has continued catching as many fish as he ever did. The Ishigaki Kebari (Ishigaki fly) fully embodies the simple spirit of tenkara fly fishing, where more emphasis is placed on the technique of the angler, not on the gear he uses.

tenkara_fly_takayama.jpg Tenkara USA Flies - Takayama Kebari
The Takayama Sakasa Kebari is the tenkara fly that completes our set of 4 flies. Offered in size 16, it's our smallest tenkara fly. Unlike in Western fly fishing, where a lot of people believe a super small fly is necessary, tenkara anglers hardly ever go any smaller than a size 16 for their fly. The size 16 fly will be handy for those days when a fish is rising to the fly but not taking it, or in waters with a little more pressure and pickier fish.

tenkara_fly_amano.jpg Tenkara USA Flies - Amano Kebari
This is the only tenkara fly used by Mr. Katsutoshi Amano, a name readily recognized by tenkara practitioners in Japan. Like most tenkara masters in Japan, Mr. Amano sticks with one fly pattern, and his entire box is filled with the same exact fly - same size, same color. This tenkara fly comes alive when underwater, especially if pulsated.
Mr. Amano's favorite way to fish it is to cast slightly upstream and do a 4-count up and down motion following the fly downstream. He fishes it under the surface, and when the fly is pulled up its hackle opens up, when relaxed the hackle closes.

dvd_tenkara.jpg DVD - Discovering Tenkara
Join the Discover Tenkara Team together with Japan’s foremost tenkara expert – Dr Hisao Ishigaki – for a look at the fundamental elements of this beautiful and effective fly fishing tradition. Born in the mountain streams of Japan, tenkara is now a global pastime attracting novices and seasoned fly anglers alike.