Discussion: From “matching the hatch” paradigm to “one fly philosophy”. 1-st issue by Ron Giesecke.

Tenkara angler Ron Giesecke

It didn’t take me but a few minutes after careening off onto Tenkara Trailhead to figure out that any adherence to traditional approaches - at least from the leader downward--would create certain constraints by default. Personally, I currently maintain that Western fly-rodding will never leave my purview, but what if it did?  What if -I took the leap, donned the obligatory sackcloth and ashes, furled the horse-hair and went all entomologically monochromatic and stuff?

First of all, I don’t see where matching the hatch (and by default, leaving the Church of One Fly) would in any way have me running with a wheel in the sands of apostasy.  But, putting myself in the shoes of a purist: Is it possible to tweak the Kebari fly enough to match predominant hatches without violating forward-hackle doctrine and simplicity?

As of this writing, I am still working through the entire calculus of that question.  Keeping the flies dark, a little segmented dubbing and a couple of biots off the back render a stonefly that, with some complementary soft hackle replicating legs, should work most swell. Size them downward, and midges almost tie themselves with their simplicity.

Caddis patterns have yet to reveal a core approach outright to me.

But then again, many of the flies in standard play today are not exactly entomological doppelgangers, either. Most implicate quite a few bugs in the courtroom of trout thought, without ever exactly naming a defendant. In Mike Mercer’s book, Creative Fly Tying, he acknowledges the sheer irresistibility and longevity of the Prince Nymph alone (and no, he does NOT explain the tying sequence in his book) has presented over many years.
Yet, unpacking the elements of such a fly, about the only real organically-cogent part is the peacock hackle, which creates a muddle of gill/color/life movements and such.  I mention Mercer, because he went with a theory that said one may light up these trigger features in literal neon fashion, and still maintain a productive heritage.  He proved this with his Psycho Prince nymph.

tenkara fly psicho prince kebari
Maybe it’s because that’s one of the last flies I used on my Tenkara rod, but I decided that the spirit of the Copper John with the truth of the Psycho Prince might look cool on a Kebari fly. And I was right. I went with the type of copper wire wrap that strategically culls from itself to create the ribbing, the rest a fait accompli. I simply wove in the two primary (and LOUD) characteristics; Orange Ice Dubbing and the Spirit-River “electric banana” stuff for a wing.  No bead head here, but I have done so successfully.

This is, of course assuming that fish temperaments in the West match those of the chalk-streams of Europe. But I’m also aware that somewhere, somehow, the DNA of the famous McCloud River’s wild trout has made it ‘round the globe. And I KNOW those fish go bat-crazy over this fly. So I assume the ones in your neck of the woods might as well.

So matching the hatch? Um, well . . . not so much.  Matching other things that never matched the hatch in the first place? Methinks that while the possibilities may not be endless, they are, at least voluminous.