Traditional Japanese Fly Tenkara 1
amago mark
There are flies I got at various places or tied by myself.
It is interesting that tenkara fly has local color.


Kurobe headstream area Nakashinano Norikura area Nakashinano Shiojiri area Kaga area Hida Takayama area Hida Shokawa area Hida Shokawa area Okumino Itoshiro area Mino Gujyo area Kurobe headstream area Nakashinano Norikura area Nakashinano Shiojiri area Minamishinano Iida area Kaga area Hida Takayama area Hida Shokawa area Okumino Itoshiro area Mino Gujyo area Urakiso Kashimo area Okumikawa area
Image Map of Tenkara Kebari 1


kurobe 1 kurobe 2 kurobe 3
kurobe 4 kurobe 4
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Kurobe headstream area
The flies of commercial fishermen of Kurobe headstream that is in Northern Japanese Alps of 3,000 meter class in the border of Toyama Pref. and Nagano Pref. Three in the left are flies of Mr. Zenichirou Onikubo who kept fishing iwana (char) by the Kurobe headstream for 40 years. The hook was Kaizu No.14. Bantam of black in early season, brown in best season, black-and-white in autumn were used for the hackle each. The body was tied three times by silk black thread and was tied by peacock herl in summer. Shamisen string was used for the eye. The rod length was 3-3.6m. Horse tail was used for the line. After it had become hard-to-find, the nylon line No.3 (0X) that was shortened 50cm more than the rod was used. The right side is the fly with a tail of Mr. Bunpei Sonehara who is last commercial fisherman in Kurobe. He kept fishing iwana for about 10 years in Kurobe until the fishing area was lost by constructing Kuroyon Dam. The hackle was bantam of red brown. The body was tied 3 times by black thickish silk thread. The eye was not attached. The rod length was 3.9m. The furled tapered line of horse tail that is a little longer than the rod was used. The tippet was No.2 (2X) 30cm. These are flies that I reproduced. (References: Shimura, Shunji (ed.). IwanaⅡ Last Commercial Fisherman in Kurobe. Tokyo, Hakujitsusha, 1989. Shimura, Shunji (ed.). IwanaⅢ Sequel Commercial Fisherman in Headstream. Tokyo, Hakujitsusha, 1990.)


Kurobe Tairanokoya Kebari 1 Kurobe Tairanokoya Kebari 2

Kurobe headstream area
Deep in Kurobe that was not able to go since it was managed by Kaga Han (Domain) at the Edo period. But its management (Okuyama mawari yaku) was abolished in Meiji Restoration 1870. So the commercial fisherman Toyama Shinaemon in Taira-mura Shinano (Omachi Nagano) built "Taira no koya (Hut)" and he began iwana fishing and hunting in the next year. Mr. Yasataro Shitaka of Ashikuraji Toyama managed the hut, and performed the commercial fishing from 1917. Mr. Kakuei Saeki of Ashikuraji began to manage the hut in 1948. And he tried to learn the secret of iwana fishing from Yasataro, but was able to ask only how to make kebari. Construction of Kuroyon dam was started in 1956, and "Taira no koya" sank in the dam lake. New "Taira no koya" was built in the position high 100 m in 1963, and after Mr. Satohide Saeki, Mr. Satonori Saeki has inherited the hut now. Traditional kebari of Ashikura Toyama that are used over three generation in Kurobe. These are kebari of Mr. Satonori Saeki that I reproduced. The hackle is brown color or black color rooster. The body is tied together by peacock herl and purple silk thread. It seems that it imitated a fly and a beetle. (References: Ichiko Isojima. "Ashikura guide no keifu". Research bulletin No.11. Tateyama Caldera Sabo Museum, 2011. Goichi Koyama. Kurobe no Yasataro. Ateneshobo, 1991. Yoshihiro Imanishi. The nature story of Kurobe. Houken Corp., 1992.)


Norikura Kebari Norikura Kebari

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Nakashinano Norikura area
The flies of Mr. Makio Okuhara who is a son of commercial fishermen Mr. Yuritaro Okuhara, and fished the stream of Norikura from around 1965 to around 1986, and delivered iwana to Nagawa hot spring Fukinoyu. He opened the fishing-tackle shop at Matsumoto in 1975, and tied the fly that was taught by his father, and was named "Sanpei Kebari" from his shop name, and had sold it. The hook was iseama No.6, the body was tied by cotton thread of black, the hackle was black color of bantam, and about 60cm tippet of No.1 (4X) was attached. I have heard that a fly with an eye was made for Western style fly-fishing since requested. To others, there were many commercial fishermen who played an active part in Norikura, such as Mr. Mitsuo Nomura who was taught how to tie fly by Mr. Yuritaro Okuhara. The flies were given by Mr. Okuhara's wife. (References: Tokado, Hideo. Shokuryoshiden (Lives of Commercial Fishermen). Tokyo, Rural Culture Association Japan, 2013.)


Shiojiri Kebari Shiojiri Kebari Shiojiri Kebari
Shiojiri Kebari Shiojiri Kebari
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Nakashinano Shiojiri area
I got flies that were tied by a local person at the fishing tackle shop in Shiojiri, Nagano. These are traditional flies that have double hackles that are called "Sugippa-maki (Japanese cedar's leaves wrap)", and are used at Kisogawa River upper part, Naraigawa River, etc. In addition to these, I got the pheasant hackle fly of blue-black double hackles and, some flies of single hackle. Moreover, I was able to get a fly of crow-feather that is not an item for sale. The size of a hook is #11 or 12 about in the Western style. (The left 2 hooks are Kuwahara-Tenkara OH Straight No.4 of OWNER HOOKS.)


Iida Kebari Iida Kebari Iida Kebari
Iida Kebari Iida Kebari Iida Kebari
Iida Kebari Iida Kebari
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Minamishinano Iida area
These flies were sold at the fishing tackle shop in Iida of Nagano before. These are the same as above-mentioned Shiojiri kebari and this pattern is reminded of Renegade-fly of Western type. Flies of the upper row are stamped in the package with "Yamame,Iwana-bari Ginrin crystal (Tippet name of Toray)". The hook is Sodegata No.9 (Western hook size #11) and the tippet is No.1.5 (3X). Flies of the lower row has a label of "Banshu Nakayama Mitsuo Shoten's mark No.10 RAINBOW Yamame Iwana". Morioka Kebari is well known as fly of double hackles, and there was also a thing of same pattern in kebari that I got in Hida Shokawa area but it is rare in other area. It seems that both of flies were tied by the request of Iida's fishing tackle shop at Nakayama Mitsuo Shoten in Banshu. The distance of Iida and Shiojiri is about 80km and Kisogawa River upper part and Naraigawa River are not so much distant from Iida and Shiojiri, so I think that this fly will have the same origin as fly of Shiojiri.


Kaga-kebari 1 Kaga-kebari 2 Kaga-kebari 3
Kaga-kebari 4 Kaga-kebari 4
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Kaga area
Kaga-kebari fly's origin goes back until Edo period. Kaga is present Ishikawa Prif. At that time, Kaga Domain encouraged the river fishing (sweetfish) as samurai's privilege, and competed for not only the fishing results but also the making and the beauty of their flies. In the Meiji period (1868-1912), anybody was allowed to enjoy fishing, and selling flies became businesses. Kaga's artificial flies for the sweetfish were displayed at National Exhibition in 1890, and they were praised for their beauty by the people all over the nation. The technique of the traditional craftwork of Japan paint and gold foil is used for small flies. Photo's are the present kebari for Iwana and Yamame that were tied with the traditional craftsmanship by Meboso Hachirobei Co. (References: Digital Archives of Ishikawa Japan. Access 2008. Kaga Kebari Meboso Hachirobei Company. Access 2008.)


Takayama 1 Takayama 2 Takayama 3
Takayama 4 Takayama 4
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Hida Takayama area
These were used at Miyagawa river system of Gifu prefecture. The left fly has black hackle and body of black wool yarn. The other flies are said "Sakasakebari" in Japanese. There flies are tied in reverse hackle. These have hackle of Japanese hen pheasant's breast feather, body of peacock herl and silk thread. The hook doesn't have a eye so the eye is made by silk yarn of blackish red.


Shokawa 1 Shokawa 2 Shokawa 3

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Hida Shokawa area
These have brown hackle or ginger hackle, body of peacock herl or red silk thread.





Shokawa 4 Shokawa 5 Shokawa 6 Shokawa 7

Hida Shokawa area
These all have hackle of pheasant's feather, body of cotton of flowering fern and peacock herl.





Itoshiro 1 Itoshiro 2

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Okumino Itoshiro area
Traditional kebari that were used at Itoshirogawa River of Kuzuryugawa River upper stream. The left kebari has the body of peacock herl and the hackle of white webb. Especially since webb is limp and tends to contain water, it is a material that is not used for dry fly. I think it is a very rare kebari. The right kebari is tied to the hook for ayu of Kitsune No.7, and has the eye of a casting net string, the body of the black cotton thread, the hackle of bantam rooster that is tied thickly and turn the reverse side to the eye side. This kebari was used like Western dry fly that floats on the water surface and don't add manipulation. This fishing method was performed by Mr. Tomoyoshi Kubota of commercial fishermen in 1935s. Kebari to sink and Kebari to float, it is the feature that both are large and have a white hackle. These are flies I reproduced. (References: Fly Fishing Nyumon (Primer of Fly Fishing). Tokyo, The Whole Earth Publications, 1998. Suzuno, Fujio. Yama Ryou (Mountain fishing). Tokyo, Rural Culture Association Japan, 1993.)


Gujo 1 Gujo 2 Gujo 3
Gujo 4 Gujo 4
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Mino Gujo area
These are "Sakasakebari" that has handed down to Mino Gujo area. These are flies that were remade by modern sense. These have neck hackle, body of silk thread. Eye is made by yellow mono-filament. The left fly is traditional fly that has body of cotton of flowering fern that I tied.



Ura-Kiso Kashimo

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Urakiso Kashimo area
Kebari of Urakiso Kashimo-mura(village) of Gifu prefecture side in Adera mountains that is known as a place of production of the hinoki(Japanese cypress) from the ancient times. (By the municipal merger in 2005, it is Nakatsugawa city Kashimo now.) The hackle was tied by hen pheasant neck hackle. The body was tied by cotton of flowering fern. Wire of shipping tag that was twisted together to peacock eye was used to ribbing of the body. The style of coiling wire around kebari is the same as kebari of Maenikko Ashio. This kebari was called "Tenkara" or "Kiji-bari" at Kashimo-mura. This is Kebari that I reproduced. (References: Suzuno, Fujio. Yama Ryou (Mountain fishing). Tokyo, Rural Culture Association Japan, 1993.)


Okumikawa kebari 1 Okumikawa kebari 2 Okumikawa kebari 3
Okumikawa kebari 4 Okumikawa kebari 4
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Okumikawa area
The Oku Mikawa Highlands is located in the southwest of the Kiso Mountains (Central Alps), and is next to Nagano Prefecture, and the tenkara fishing of amago is superior. In the area, the method to hook the trout that is called "Karabari (Hanging hook)" has been handed down. The commercial fisher Eiji Ito of Taguchi Shitara-cho used rod 3.9m, furled tapered line of white horse tail 2m, tippet number 1.5 (3X), and 4.2m in total length. It had a karabari in the tip, and a fly above 10-15cm as a dropper. The hook is Masu No.7. The body use peacock. The hackle is the reversed hackle of hen pheasant. The Karabari is tied only by black cotton thread. In the best season (after May), the method without the karabari was used. The left is fly that I reproduced referring to "Mountain fishing". Two of the centers are flies that I tied referring to Asuke kebari of Yahagigawa river of "Tenkara Fishing". The right is kebari that I tied referring to the kebari of bulbul wing hackle of Asuke rod maker Takeo Suzuki of "Tenkara Fishing". (References: Suzuno, Fujio. Yama Ryou (Mountain fishing). Tokyo, Rural Culture Association Japan, 1993. Yamamoto, Soseki (ed.). Tenkara Fishing Kebari-tsuri no Subete (All of Kebari fishing). Tokyo, Ikeda Publishing, 1989.)


Traditional Tenkara Kebari Pictures (Click On Images.)

Kurobe headstream area Hida Takayama area Mino Gujo area

These are the original pictures of only one by ink and transparent watercolors.
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