Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Bark-Eater

Whiteface Mt from Copperas Pond, Adirondacks NY
 If you read through my blog on a regular basis or are coming to it for the first time it will be apparent that I'm very fond of certain things or places.  Among my favorite outdoor places to visit and spend time hiking and fishing are the Adirondacks in upstate New York or the Shawangunk ridge in the Hudson Valley.  I am also just a wee bit obsessed with Tenkara fly fishing and fly tying.  One of my favorite past times is to create new versions of Tenkara style flies known as sakasa kebari by combining them with characteristics of American or European flies.  In Tenkara there are other types of flies that are used besides sakasa kebari.  Some of which are recognizable to the traditional western fly fisher.  Lately, I have decided to branch out and experiment a little with some of these other types of Tenkara flies while trying to keep to American themes or color schemes.  Therefore, I decided to try my hand at tying a Akiyama Kebari with materials and colors used by Fran Betters in many of his Adirondack flies.  First things first, an akiyama kebari is a type of fly that is tied with nothing more than thread and a stiff hackle.  The hackle is wound all along the length of the hook shank except the back two thirds of the hackle is clipped close to the shank  This results in a fly with hackle similar look to a Catskill dry but with a body of stubble.  That much hackle provides for excellent flotation.  The fly that I have tied looks a lot like an Ausable Bomber that has been scalped of it's white calf tail and been given a close "hair cut."

Ausable Bomber
 I call this new fly a  "Bark-Eater."  Legend has it that the name Adirondacks is an anglicized version of a derogatory word used by the Kanien'gehaga (Mohawk) to describe Algonquian peoples who lived in and around the Adirondacks....ratirontaks-"they eat trees" or "bark-eaters."  From my point of view I think the name is suitable.  Being all twiggy and stick-looking, I don't think this fly looks very meaty but it's not my opinion that counts.  I hope that trout find it appealing and I can't wait for an opportunity to try this fly out.

The Bark-Eater
Bark Eater (Akiyama kebari style)
Hook: Mustad R50-94840, #14
Tail: Woodchuck
Thread: Uni-Thread, hot orange 6/0
Hackle/Body: #12 grizzly, #12 brown


  1. Looks like it could be a great high country and brookie fly! Did you just trim the full body hackle to show the body?

  2. Karel, Yup! just trimmed the hackle on the back two thirds and Brookies are what I had in mind for them. It's a very simple fly.

  3. Very nice indeed ! I've always been fascinated with Fran's creations and your "clipped" version with the orange tags at each end should be good triggers. I'll have to try a couple.

  4. Thanks Mark, I plan to post about it after I give it a few tries.

  5. Anyone who has fished the Bomber can attest to its fish taking abilities.

    That Bark Eater looks to be a pattern to do some brookie eye opening. I may tie a few and work them.

    Its a good looking fly