Fly tying photos (#flytying #kebari #flypatterns)

I often see seed pods suspended in air that sometimes look like insects and often look like a sakasa kebari.

I sometimes feel the irony in this as I look up at them and am tricked like a trout thinking it is indeed an insect.

I have wondered if the sakasa pattern may have had its origins inspired by such a pod.

like a ball of midges.


Got a pretty large supply of spindrift yarn recently. Had mainly tenkara flies in mind for it. I’m not the greatest fly tyer but I enjoy it. Still figuring out the “tenkara” flies. I’ve only tied a little bit of them so far. These came out ok but there is always room for improvement. I get better as I go so the last one looks the best of the bunch to me lol. These are intended for panfish and bass so I tied some size 8 and 10. I like the yarn colors though. Got a supply that will last me quite a while lol.


I use Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift wool quite a bit. It is certainly very buggy. I find if you split the yarn and either twist or mix the strands of varying colours you can create some wonderful patterns.


Hends BL550 #12 hook
Uni-thread 6/0 dark brown
Whiting Brahma hen mottled grey dyed March Brown
Copper fuse wire rib
Jamieson’s Shetland spindrift wool, one strand of bracken (231) and one strand of moorit (108) twisted together
Collar of dubbed moorit wool
2mm chocolate tungsten bead



Very nice! Where do you finish your flies when using the yarn? Front, back, or behind the hackle? I tried a few ways and kept having some issues. Still new with them and figuring out the best way to tie them haha. It may have been that I crowded the hackle. What is your favorite color yarn to use? I grabbed 10 or 11 different colors to try out :rofl:


I too am curious, as I am also a new tier. I will often finish just behind the thorax, which seems to be the case above.

I like that spot as it will often create a profile separation as it tightens down.

I dont always add a different thorax color but herl is always a good choice and helps hiding black thread.

I still really struggle with consistency in form. Working on it. I usually binge tie once a year…and every year I have to re-learn where I left off.

I too have been struggling with consistency. I am finding it difficult to hide the thread wraps where I finish the fly. Tried to hide it with dubbing but I ended up crowding the hackle. Finishing at the back with the yarn seems overly complicated. I may be using too large of thread. I’m going to have to keep tying and experimenting. Also need to try some kebari with the stiff hackle.

Try wrapping the thread back through the hackle and finish at the head.
Like this:

1 Like

Hmmm maybe I am leaning the hackle too far forward.

If your hackle is positioned too far forward, you can push it back a bit with a half hitch tool after the fly has been finished.
Or tie them “jun” style.


Thanks for your comment.
If I am tying a fly(kebari) with the reverse hackle as in some of the sakasa kebari patterns, then I always tie off behind the hackle.


Usually I do it immediately after the hackle but before the collar, if I am adding a collar. That way it is usually possible to hide the thread.

A good example of that is this tying:-

Hends BL550 #12 hook
Uni-thread 8/0 pink
Grey partridge hackle
3mm tungsten bead pink
Hends 0.18mm pink wire
Veniards pink glister dubbing collar
Shetland spindrift oyster (290) wool

I always finish off with a wip finish, tied manually, as I feel I have better control over the placing of the whips and avoiding any stray hackle fibres.
If I am tying a fly with the traditional wet fly hackle then I would tie off ‘through it’ and tie off at the head immediately behind the eye. I generally use a whip finish tool in those instances.

However I would say to you to tie off the way you are most comfortable with. No fish is going to know the difference. Remember we tie to catch fish, not people. Quite often the scruffiest looking fly catches the most fish.

These days you can learn a lot from the numerous YouTube/Vimeo videos about.

As far as favourite colour - I have about 22 different Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift wools and am just about to order a few more, including a new Oyster (290). However I have given a lot away!:grinning:


Awesome! I’ll keep practicing. I’ll post the results. I think I am at around 10 or 11 colors for now. Not sure of I’ll get anymore haha.

Did better with some flies tonight. Figured out how to hide the finish with dubbing pretty well. Only question is how do you apply head cement with the dubbing over it? I ended up doing a whip finish under the dubbing with head cement then the dubbing and second whip finish. These are size 6

1 Like

I dont use head cement all the time but i will whip finish twice. If the finish tie is too close to materials…i never use cement.

Most of the time the fly disappears before it can fall apart…snags and such.


Sounds like me :rofl:. Seems like I was on the right track. Thanks a bunch for the info. If your not losing flies sometimes then you probably aren’t catching many fish haha :+1:

I would second what @Gressak says. Don’t worry so much about varnishing the heads. Either do a double whip finish or do multiple half hitches and you’ll be fine.

Unless you want to use the varnish to create a smooth, shiny body or head, it’s a little overrated in my personal opinion. Unless you’re catching fish with really predatory teeth (think pike, etc.), then you’re more likely to lose the fly or kebari before it falls apart or is destroyed by a fish.


I think its been more of a habit. I’ll go forward with out and compare :+1:

I have been enjoying tying recently as I am not able to fish owing to ill health. Hopefully I will be out again in the Spring. However spending time tying is good for my well being.

I regard myself as a ‘fixed line fly fisherman’ so many of my flies, or ‘kebari’ are most certainly not traditional tenkara! I don’t get the opportunity to fish tenkara for trout in fast flowing streams, or rivers. I am restricted to a very wide deep water canal targeting English coarse species species, mainly perch, in the UK. It is a challenge!

Quite often my tying feature a glass seed bead, usually silver lined to add sparkle, or simulate an air bubble.

Some time ago on this forum I mentioned a weighted Morikawa jig hook that I had purchased in the UK. Below are a few of my tyings using that hook.( I reckon it is equivalent to a size 12 )


Nice looking flies.

@davidsr have you tried a baitfish pattern like the minimal dace that chris stewart has info on his site?

From what little i remember about spinfishing perch they often will take small spoons and spinners…baitfish patterns.

A light bucktail fly with a little flash …like two strands of tinsel might do the trick. The dace pattern is nice…but even plain white might be worth trying.

You can weigh the hook body slighly like a copper john for level sink and suspend in current.

1 Like

These kebari are awesome!! I hope you feel better soon and I have really enjoyed the information you have been posting…Thank you .:wolf:

Thanks I will try that. When I used to fish with a spin rod I had a lot of success with jig flies like these

However I now I only fixed line fly fish, using one of my Shimotsuke Kiyotaki rods - I have them in 8’, 10’, 11’, 12’ and 13’ lengths. I don’t drive so can carry a couple (carry length 15”) very easily on Public Transport. Added plus is the wife doesn’t know I have them with me.:grinning:

I am pleased you like my flies. I tie different flies (kebari type) although I am wary of referring to them as kebari, since I don’t really practice tenkara as such.

Here is one of my perch specials