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Tenkara Flies

Tenkara Flies

Tenkara flies are a type of fishing fly used in the Japanese method of fly fishing known as Tenkara. Tenkara is a traditional Japanese fly fishing technique that has gained popularity around the world due to its simplicity and effectiveness, especially for small stream and mountain stream fishing. Unlike Western fly fishing, Tenkara doesn't involve a reel; instead, it relies on a long, telescopic rod and a line attached directly to the tip of the rod.

Here are some key characteristics of Tenkara flies:

1. **Simplicity:** Tenkara flies are typically simple and sparse, with only a few materials used in their construction. They are designed to mimic aquatic insects and other small prey that trout and other fish species feed on in mountain streams.

2. **Fixed Line:** Since Tenkara doesn't involve a reel, the line is directly tied to the rod tip. This means that casting is done primarily by extending the rod and using its length to present the fly to the target area.

3. **Reverse Hackle:** Many traditional Tenkara flies feature a hackle wrapped forward from the back of the hook toward the eye, which is in contrast to Western-style flies where hackle is wrapped backward from the eye. This reverse hackle gives Tenkara flies a distinctive appearance and action in the water.

4. **Kebari:** The term "kebari" refers to the fly used in Tenkara fishing. Kebari can vary in size and color to match local insect hatches and fish preferences. They often have a simple thread body and hackle, and they may incorporate other materials like feathers, fur, or foam.

5. **Imitating Local Prey:** Tenkara anglers often tie or choose flies that imitate the specific aquatic insects and other food sources found in the waters they fish. This attention to matching the hatch is similar to the approach used in Western fly fishing.

6. **Versatility:** Tenkara flies are versatile and can be used for a variety of fish species, not just trout. They are effective for catching panfish, bass, and other freshwater species.

7. **Minimalist Approach:** Tenkara fishing emphasizes a minimalist approach to gear and fly selection. Anglers typically carry a few key flies and rely on their skills in presentation and technique to catch fish.

In summary, Tenkara flies are a fundamental component of Tenkara fishing, designed to mimic natural prey and used with a simplified, fixed-line approach. The choice of fly can vary based on the specific conditions and target species, but simplicity and effectiveness are key principles in Tenkara fly design and selection.

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