Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Mohonk Kebari

The Trapps, Mohonk Preserve, NY
Many flies are tied with a purpose in mind.  A tier may want to create an attractor pattern for brook trout on a small stream or "match the hatch" for a picky brown trout on a spring creek.  Tying to imitate various life stages of an insect can be a driving factor in designing flies.  Sometimes the inspiration to tie a fly comes from an unusual place.  I love nothing in life more than my wife, children, and family but I have been in love with a special place since I was a child known as the Shawangunks.  The Shawangunk ridge runs in a SW to NE path through the lower Hudson Valley in NY.  The ridge is composed of a hard white conglomerate stone that creates a spectacular series of eastward facing cliffs.  In addition, there are five crystal clear lakes and numerous miles of streams and dramatic waterfalls.  Due to the combination of geology and geography there is unique combination of biological communities present on the ridge, including globally rare plants and animals.  The place is special to me in way that makes it difficult to put into words.  But I try anyway. I could create a blog that would focus on this special place only and I would still not be able to do it justice. 

Early fall view of the Trapps

One special memory of have of being there involves fishing.  There is no fishing allowed in the protected areas of the ridge but on the lower slopes where some of the streams empty a little fishing can be had.  It was on one of those small woodland streams that I caught my first wild brook trout with my Tenkara fly rod (also my first fish with the rod and first time I caught a fish with a fly I tied).  The brookie was only about 6" long but in that setting it was one of the most memorable fish I ever caught.  After that day I wanted to tie a fly that reminded me of the Shawangunks.  The result is my Mohonk Kebari.  The name Mohonk comes from one of the lakes on the ridge.  I never had the chance to fish this fly in a mountain stream but I did try it at a local pond and seemed to be a big hit with the bluegills and largemouth bass.  Looking at the fly reminds me of looking at the white cliffs with the areas of trees clinging to the rock surfaces.  Under water the fly takes on a different appearance.  The white floss over the peacock herl has an unusual bluish color that is appealing.  Whether it will be very effective on a mountain stream or not I don't know.  What I do know is that it is a special fly to me and that not all flies have to be perfect imitations or attractors to be appreciated.

Mohonk Kebari

The Mohonk Kebari
Hook: Mustad C49S
Thread: Pearsall's silk thread green
Hackle: Hungarian partridge
Body: Uni-floss white & peacock herl

Lake Minnewaska with The Catskills in the distance.


  1. Good looking fly. I'm going to a local pond for some bluegill fishing this Saturday, I'll tie one like it and give it a try.

  2. Thanks for the compliment. The first day I tried this fly I hooked 10-11 good sized bluegill and a couple of small largemouth bass. I hope it works as well for you.