Tenkara Art: Deer and Green

Tenkara Art: Deer and Green . . .

Deer and Green: an American kebari (image copyright 2015 by ron P. swegman. All rights reserved.)

Deer and Green: an American kebari
(image copyright 2015 by ron P. swegman. All rights reserved.)

The Deer Hair and Green is a soft hackle kebari tied with an American or Western oriented hackle. The recipe includes four-strand floss, French tinsel, and deer hair. Eastern brook trout are attracted to this pattern in size 14 through 18.

A large portrait of a small kebari lends a illustrative slant with a faded, marbled, impressionistic effect, the way the eyes perceive the soft blur of a pattern set in clear stream water. Colored and other pencils on acid-free paper in natural light remain my medium and process.

— rPs 03 23 2015

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On Parade

On Parade . . .

Green Guarantees (c. 2015)

Green Guarantees
(c. 2015)

Green Guarantee

Color conveys the general feel of this fly pattern. Warm in a rustic and pastoral way. Of course, fishes. The small shiner or chub minnow here meets adequate imitation. Unweighted, this one serves well under the controlled twitch of a tenkara rod along seams of current following fast water. Weighted, this pattern oriented forward can dart along submerged walls of stone or weed. Most of the freshwater fishes find such presentations interesting.

— rPs 03 17 2015

Postscript: You can read more about the Green Guarantee in my second book, Small Fry: The Lure of the Little. Links to online purchasing options are available on the tool bar to the right of the screen. Or visit the website of The Whitefish Press: http://www.whitefishpress.com/bookdetail.asp?book=87

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Bare Months Bluegills

Bare Months Bluegills . . .

Bare Months Bluegills by ron P. swegman On the Water 03 2015

Bare Months Bluegills
by ron P. swegman
On the Water 03 2015

The March 2015 issue of On the Water features my story “Bare Months Bluegills”

Bluegills can be difficult to find and fish for during the bare months, those slivers of time when the ice may be off the water and leaves are still off the trees. Elements of conventional and tenkara fly fishing are included in the piece. My personal tenkara pond fishing technique, which includes elements of high stick nymphing and the Leisenring Lift, are described along with useful nymph patterns that can coax reticent panfish to strike.

— rPs 03 09 2015

Postscipt: The website of On the Waterhttp://www.onthewater.com/

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For Short

For Short . . .

Theodore Gordon and Deer Hair Cahill Sakasa Kebari (photo taken 03 01 2015)

Theodore Gordon and Deer Hair Cahill Sakasa Kebari
(photo taken 03 01 2015)

“Deer Hair Cahill Sakasa Kebari”

Testaments of all faiths have in their spirit the sense of a letter from one to another. Letters “Of and To” are “For and From” as well. A blog in a sense is such a form. When standards are held up, when the focus is on a subject rather than an “I,” a post can be a literary act of sharing with conviction most commendable.

The level of Art is reached at times in any endeavor. The epistolary word, being of high standard, demands much from an author to become Art. Theodore Gordon’s mayfly patterns are canonical, so is his correspondence with G.E.M. Skues and Frederic W. Halford, written when he was nestled in the ‘kills of New York, read still a century after composition.

Gordon remains a compelling figure for contemplation when engaged in the sport of fly fishing and the craft of fly tying. Readers now are individuals never to be connected to the man in real time or place in the physical sense. We may never fish with him, although tethered we are by Gordon’s active mind talking from the page printed in his own careful words.

Gordon and his thoughts on the artificial fly are well known. Another fly fisher of New York, Daniel Cahill, goes more unsung, perhaps for the simple reason he did not write, although his surname stands attached to another of the canonical Catskill patterns. He was a brakeman for the Erie Lackawanna railroad and a fly tier during the late 19th Century. His Light Cahill and its variants, a staple imitation of the pale Stenecron (Stenonema) mayfly, endure as surely as those of Gordon, although the man’s actual voice, from mouth or page to ear and mind, may be silent.

Gordon and Cahill, mayfly and trout: all four have combined along one tenkara path to form a pattern I find works when trout fishing during the warm months of May through August. Shaded runs, a calm evening, or when the sun lets go of the water during the middle of a morning. A trout rising at such a time on a ‘kill might find such a basic pattern effective fished wet or dry.

I combined the deer hair I have kept close this tying season with 6/0 olive, tan, black, or white thread and bodies of yarn, feather, floss, tinsel necked with a standard peacock herl thorax. One with an angora rabbit fur body resembles a very impressionistic Light Cahill.

Deer hair is employed for the hackle rather than feather. This is a sakasa pattern, one that holds a Japanese traditional tenkara hackle orientation. The trick with deer hair folded forward is to retain a soft and parse head, which I half hitch at the rear base of the hackle. Scissors, bobbin, and thread are all the tools most necessary. Visual aids, if or as needed, of magnification 1.0 to 5.0 times can help on the details when hooks are on the smaller end. My preferred size for this pattern, based on satisfactory catch rates, is a 16.

“Has the pattern a name?” or “What do you call it?” has been asked. I reply in conversation: “(Swegman’s) Deer Hair Cahill Sakasa Kebari or Deer Hair Cahill Sakasa Kebari, for short.”

Size 14 to 18 hook
Angora Rabbit for Body
Peacock herl for thorax
Deer hair for hackle
6/0 thread for wrap

All the Tools Most Necessary: Tenkara Still Life (photo taken 03 02 2015)

All the Tools Most Necessary: Tenkara Still Life
(photo taken 03 02 2015)

Deer Hair Cahill Sakasa Kebari: a mouthful for fish . . .

– rPs 03 02 2015

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Tenkara and Trichoptera

Tenkara and Trichoptera . . .

Olive Tenkara Trichoptera Larva (ties 02 17 2015)

Olive Tenkara Trichoptera Larva
(ties 02 17 2015)

“The architect in the stream.”

One could make the case that bugs are in my blood. My paternal uncle, Bernard G. Swegman, has worn several hats over the course of an academic career that includes published papers on caddisflies, the trichoptera. i

Caddis patterns are a pillar of creative fly tying and effective fly fishing. The caddis dry fly can be like potato chips to an eager trout. The nymph and emerger must offer a flavor that overcomes the texture of their exterior cases self-constructed from sticks and pebbles and mortar. Yes, to me, the caddis is an architect of a stream insect.

Besides trout, wet caddis imitations make an excellent start pattern for the smallmouth bass and sunfish found in the freestones of the Mid-Atlantic region. Green sunfish, redbreast sunfish, and rock bass all take the nymph swung by structure and drifted along current seams.

One tenkara trichoptera of my own I like to swing along rock ledges and other deep bank areas. A simple larva pattern, not unlike a Poopah pattern, the body of this one appears more straight and sinuous on account of ultra chenille instead of dubbing; I also employ a standard wet fly hook that extends the ribbed tinsel body just a bit.

A tenkara rod’s greater length allows me to high stick this fly in areas open overhead where exposed clay banks are often found beside meadows. Smaller sizes 14 through 18 in olive, tan, or gray all lure fish with the olive coaxing more specimens to net on an average day

Olive Tenkara Trichoptera Larva

Size 14-18 Mustad 3906 wet fly hook
Olive ultra chenille for body
X-SM French tinsel for rib
Peacock herl for thorax
6/0 Green UNI-thread for wrap

– rPs 02 17 2015

i “Occurrence Of An Intersex Individual Of Psychomyia flavida (Trichoptera)”
B G Swegman Entomological News 89: 187-188 (1978)

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Angling Art and Manhattan Kebari

Angling Art and Manhattan Kebari . . .

I Found Fishing Writer's Block:  mixed media (copyright 2015 by ron P swegman. all rights reserved.)

I Found Fishing Writer’s Block: mixed media
(copyright 2015 by ron P swegman. all rights reserved.)

My fishing jacket’s front zippered pockets are reserved for light litter storage and occasional gifts. The latter may include tackle, lures, and sometimes flies found over the course of an outing on the water. One pond trip in 2014 brought to my gift pocket a green pencil snapped in two and a small red and white bobber. Arranged this week with a small amount of imagination created a new sculpture – “I Found Fishing Writer’s Block” – visual metaphor rendered in the medium of found fishing objects, photographed.

More conventional material creation has included my attempts at kebari. The patterns I call “kebari” for I fish these patterns in subtle variation with my Ebisu and Yamame telescoping rods in the streams and stillwaters I explore on this east coast of North America.

Some pumpkin yarn came into hand from my friend, Brian. Time seeing this material go unused was spent in contemplation, which incubated tying ideas influenced first by the color found to varying degree in Dave Whitlock’s Squirrel Nymph, Safet Nikosevic’s October Caddis, and Brian’s own Cinder Worm pattern. My results this February have so far included:

Swegman’s October Caddis; a nymph

Swegman's October Caddis Nymph (tied 02 06 2015)

Swegman’s October Caddis Nymph
(tied 02 06 2015)

Size 12-16 Wet Fly Hook
Deer hair for tail
Pumpkin dubbing for body
Peacock Herl for thorax
6/0 Green Thread for wrap

This pattern in various colors has lured stream trout and fallfish as well as bluegills in ponds.

Swegman’s Sunfish; a weighted hair wing streamer

Swegman's Sunfish (tied 02 06 2015)

Swegman’s Sunfish
(tied 02 06 2015)

Size 6 Streamer Hook
.030 Wire for weight
Deer Hair for tail and wing
Pumpkin dubbing for body
Peacock herl for thorax
6/0 Green thread for wrap

This pattern is effective on black crappie and largemouth bass when the fry of bluegill and yellow perch are available as forage.

I for my record state no idea here presented is new. The colors and silhouettes, however, have been shaped by experience and conditions unique to this tenkara reporter on multiple seasons spent using both conventional and tenkara fly fishing tackle.

– rPs 02 06 2015

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Beside the Book (The Tufted Titmouse Sips) 01 2015

Beside the Book
(The Tufted Titmouse Sips)
01 2015

There is a quiet brook in New York City where songbirds sip on the clear day after a storm. Sky spreads deep blue, frosted by feathers of cirrus cloud. Breezes make murmur within the mesh of tree branches above. All else remains quiet but for the birds in song and conversation. I have encountered the blue jay, cardinal, tufted titmouse, downy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, black-capped chickadee, slate-colored junco, red-breasted nuthatch, red-tailed hawk, Cooper’s hawk, song sparrow, house sparrow, and rock dove.

Tenkara this January has become the art of fishing for feathers used in my fly tying. Plumes of pheasant, starling, partridge, and peacock are present beside my vise where I spend time tying a kebari, sketching a hook, writing a book in a natural light heightened by the bright white of fresh snow.

– rPs 01 30 2015

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