Our new Tenkara Flies are Inspired by Japanese Kebari and our home waters in the Driftless
When we first considered offering premium tenkara flies at Badger, there was already several good sources for well-known Japanese patterns in the marketplace. While we admire and respect the historical catalog of regional Kebari patterns, we've always believed that what made them special was that they were genuine; organic to the development of Japanese tenkara, developed on the waters where they are fished. We wanted our offerings to be similar in spirit, so we worked with a good friend and talented fly tier (local guide Ben Lubchansky) to develop unique patterns that were developed and proven right here on the streams and rivers of Wisconsin...
The kebari inspired patterns we kept simple, but used a variety of colors known to be solid producers in the region.
The "Snowcone" comes in a natural Olive drab, Cranefly orange, and a vibrant Caddis green. Featuring a webby hen saddle hackle and a snowshoe hare collar, this is an extremely versatile pattern. It can be drowned and fished wet, or if you keep it dry - it will float straight up and down in a vertical position! These tenkara flies work great with traditional tactics, and are especially effective when skittered across the surface.
The "Crystal and Cloud" is another multi-purpose pattern - but we've found it performs best fished in the film. The spindly legs and crystal flash produce eye-catching, strike-inducing action.
Of course, it wouldn't be the Driftless if we didn't use the color pink, so we are offering the classic "Takayama Sakasa Kebari" pattern as our "Peacock and Pink Kebari".
Being Badger, of course we took things a little further than kebari!
The heavier flies needed to submerge and provide the necessary tension for tight-line tactics, but not be so heavy that they over-powered a fixed-line rod. They also needed to a bold profile. This was accomplished by using full bodied hackles and larger hooks - and leaving out unnecessary materials.
The results were lethal! The "Ittymeaty thingy" streamer is built on a #1 wide gap hook that produces super-clean hook sets, but casts well on most tenkara rods despite its size. Its got a sweet swimming action both on the drift and on an active retrieve. Its hard to beat classic black for versatility - plus we are the exclusive outlet for the white version, get yours while they last!
You've heard us talk about the "Nosedive" before, and we are excited to offer them to you directly. This large profile nymph on a jig hook is a real workhorse - it has moved fish for us in the toughest conditions, in every season, temperature, and condition. It has earned a permanent place in our personal fly boxes.
We are very excited to share these Tenkara flies with you, and we're confident that they will be as productive on your water as they are on ours!