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Choosing Kebari for Newcomers Jim Wright

This article was inspired by previous correspondence with new customers. I help a lot of new Tenkara anglers, as well as those new to fly fishing in general. The single most numerous question is, "What kebari should I choose?" "K" writes ...

"Hi, I posted this question in a forum and I haven't gotten an answer (and I suspect why now that I am reading your website)... but I'll ask anyway.

As a new Tenkara fisherman (and a somewhat new fly fisherman), I've always been told to match the hatch. Apparently that's not necessarily the same in Tenkara, and I guess that you don't necessarily advocate that. I'm looking for a "starter kit" of Tenkara flies but I thought I'd need to get them more regionally in order to keep them similar to the local hatches. Is not matching the hatch a hard and fast rule? Thanks in advance, K"

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Hi K. Thanks for your query. That is a very interesting question and I hope that I have some interesting ideas in response. I do not consider myself any kind of expert, but a student of trout. A laying on your belly in the mud kind of student. With that in mind, here goes.

A lot of folks find choosing flies a subjective topic with hundreds of different opinions, but I do not. Once you

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spend time studying fish behavior including stream trout, as well as "on stream sampling" and examining of aquatic creatures and understanding their role in the aqua-scape, we can clearly see the reason for the approach that I am going to suggest. While it's true that Tenkara equipment and techniques offer a big advantage for close-in (as opposed to distant) fly fishing on streams or ponds and lakes, it's a well established fact that a few well-chosen patterns will up your game considerably. Fish see a lot of the same food items day after day, which vary among watersheds. Offering a kebari or Western pattern of a similar size and coloration of these local "commodity flies", will prove the worth of a bit of streamside sampling.

1. Generally speaking, when fish are feeding upon a specific size and coloration of insect, they may not find interest in anything else for the duration of what is called a hatch. A hatch is the culmination of the life-cycle of many aquatic insects, of breeding and depositing eggs for the continuation of the species. This is what you would call a "Match the Hatch" situation. I say may not find interest, because I have successfully tempted trout with flies other than the ones that are on the menu during a hatch. Something to remember: There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing lures for fishing. There are numerous reasons why a fish might choose to take one of our patterns, and some of them are only understood by the fish. But understanding your quarry is the key to successful angling.

2. However, unless you have a very productive stream, most of the time when

Profile for Tenkara Angler

Tenkara Angler - Winter 2016-17  

Tenkara Angler Magazine chronicles the tenkara lifestyle through entries about community, destination, tactics, gear, and creative essays. A...

Tenkara Angler - Winter 2016-17  

Tenkara Angler Magazine chronicles the tenkara lifestyle through entries about community, destination, tactics, gear, and creative essays. A...

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