It has been awhile since I last put together a flies article. Here I have compiled a few of my best flies, in terms of results, for your viewing pleasure.
99% of Tenkara anglers can get by with one Tenkara rod but only about 1% can get by with one fly. While I have one favorite rod, I own three. However, when it comes to flies I have a lot. I love collecting flies - the only thing more impressive than my fly collection is my footwear or backpack collection.
The above two flies were hand tied by Kado-san, the Iwana Tenkara and Sansai sensei himself! The one with the hook eye snipped off and replaced with a bright green cord loop is tied with a pheasant feather. Despite how messy it looks the fly drives fish nuts! The other fly is tied with a chicken feather. Both flies utilize a salt-water fish hook (I am not sure about the specifics on the hook, sorry) because (I am told) the wider mouth is easier to hook Iwana's hard mouths with.
Next up are a collection of bead head Wooly Bugger streamer style flies, tied on a size 16 hook. These were tied by the folks at Uratanzawa. As the season changes they update the flies that they sell. So if you're striking out stop by the shack and pick up a few of their recommended flies. The prices are very reasonable (especially by Japanese standards). These flies turned a six hour day with only two bites into a success when I brought two beautiful Rainbows to hand within a few minutes of each other. They worked especially well for the glacial runoff looking waters we experienced after the most recent typhoon.
I have seen several fly anglers using this ultra tiny fly. I found a box of three on the bank of a river earlier this spring. After trying to locate the owner, with no success, I tied one on. 7x tippet barely fits in the hook eye but once I got it tied on it was very fun to fish with. I found that they worked better in very sunny conditions. However, without the ability to strip strike when setting the hook these flies are very challenging to Tenkara fly fish with. Still I had some success with these ultra-tiny flies but do expect to miss a lot of sets, especially if you are targeting Yamame.
Last, and certainly not least a friend of mine recently visited Kanazawa, Japan. Kanazawa is the home of Meboso Hachirobei Company. He was kind enough to pick me up two exquisite Meboso flies! Meboso has been hand making flies in Japan for 20 generations (or 430 years) - they originally started with making needles! You can read all about this incredible company on TenkaraUSA's blog here. The flies are incredibly beautiful!
And here is a video compilation from my recent fishing trip to Oshino Creek. Enjoy!