Here’s the second in what (I hope) is going to be an ongoing series on Casting Around, Tenkara Fly Angles. The first angler featured in the series was Rob Lepczyk with his Dr. Ishigaki inspired kebari.
This time we go international with Christophe Laurent.
Hook: Maruto Kanta 号8
Eye: black silk thread
Tread: black 6/0
Body: peacock herl and zenmai
Hackle: Cock saddle
Here’s what Christophe has to say about this pattern:
I discovered the use of zenmai dubbing in an old book about tenkara by Soseki Yamamoto titled “Tenkara Fishing. Kebari tsuri no subete” or “Tenkara Fishing. Everything about kebari fishing”. The idea of tying flies with materials picked up in the countryside was not not new to me because I was taught about this by my father and grand father who were anglers and hunters and were used to use fur and feathers from game as fly tying materials. But the idea of fern was very interesting to me so I tried. My tie of the zenmai-dou is very simple and compared to the way it is often tied in Japan I have only modified the location of the peacock herl that I tie behind the hackle to make it more durable.
I really like tying this kebari and fishing with it because it perfectly matches my idea of the
“perfect” tenkara kebari: I can use it as a dry, emergent or wet fly (even though Tenkara has helped escaping from the narrow categories of western fly fishing so I do not use this kind of designation anymore.)
Christophe grew up in Normandy, France and started fly fishing at the age of 12 with his father. He discovered tenkara 4 years ago through a Masami Sakakibara video on internet. His says that his tenkara style is true to the most basic principle of tenkara fishing technique: rod, line, kebari. And that on his local streams, in others areas of my France or in Japan it has proven to be efficient.
Editor’s Note: Though we may not have the true zenmai fern here in the United States. We do have ferns that produce a suitable fern “cotton” that can be used for this fly. The one that I am familiar with is the Cinnamon Fern. The fiddleheads and the young ferns of this variety are covered with a fuzz that can be collected and used as dubbing. You can’t use the scaly, flaky stuff that you see on many other ferns. I’ve found cinnamon ferns in southwest PA in the spring and in a few minutes you can collect a season’s worth of the cotton. Here’s one of my fern-cotton flies tied with fibers collected from the Cinnamon Fern.