As pointed out in my last post I had a fly – The Killer Bug Kebari (KBK). I’d been working on for some time and as normal needed to “run it ragged” before making it available.
I’ve made a few Killer bug Kebari and they have worked pretty well but felt they just didn’t behave properly in the water. As they are in my tenkara ten selection of flies I wanted/needed them to be absolutely right.
The last post “Over the last year I have worked on this pattern with a new weighted hook and a particular hen feather. – this pattern is usually first on my hook and after a little more research will be available on in the shop. Worked properly it is ridiculously effective. I’ve found imitating a nymph at its final part of its nymph cycle as it creates its gas bubble. This takes it to the surface to change to an adult. At this point it is driven to dive back to the river bed then the bubble takes it back to the top. At this point it is often eagerly taken by fish. With the weighted hook it dives so much quicker and seriously works amazingly well”.
The research needed at this stage was pretty simple. People needed to use it and let me know what they thought. My main man was a guy I met around the turn of the New Year called Pablo. He had moved to the area due to working on a PhD in Manchester and needed some fishing time as a way of rest bite. He wanted to learn tenkara. Supplying him with everything he needed to fish tenkara and gave him a set of the tenkara ten he was off. He’s a very serious fisherman! He is out fishing far more than my time allows and has tried all the flies plus extras so I introduce him to the KBK (Killer Bug Kebari).
Catching a fish after just a couple of casts could be a coincidence so we carried on. Sure enough we were having far more interest than normal but could it have been just one of those days?
After many tenkara trips between us in different circumstances be it weather, river flow or time of day, it has proven time again to be a very effective fly.
Testing the KBK
When tying flies I always try the patterns out first. Being within a 2 minute walk to my local river and choosing a spot where you can see the fly. I spend time looking for the way it moves. Will it imitate what it should and inevitably will it catch a fish. This same process happened with the KBK. The first one was as the Killer bug as made by Frank Sawyer but with a reverse hackle. It worked and moved nicely through the water column but it needed to dive the right way.
So started the process of making the KBK (Killer Bug Kebari).
Starting by keeping the body of the fly light and only using the copper wire to tie the hackle in, there wasn’t enough weight to turn the fly downward and make it dive. Playing with various types of weighted hooks, the same types you would use for Ice fishing grubs, you’ll find most are weighted behind the hook eye and they fall rather than dive. At this point I nearly gave up, after trying so many extraordinary variations they just weren’t right. During a spate of research into making a mould that would make the weight at the eye of the hook I found some Japanese hooks that were weighted right at the front of the hook.
This proved to be the right combination and my normal spot where the flies are tested I couldn’t watch the fly as the fish wanted it before I had chance to watch it properly.
The Killer Bug Kebari is now in the shop (click here) in sets of three with three different hackles. When they sell out please use the comments form or message me and I’ll put you on the list for the next batch of the Killer Bug Kebari.
Here is the recipe for the Killer Bug Kebari…
Sechuan super sharp & strong hooks weighted – either size 6 or 7
6/0 uni thread white
Semperfli Chadwicks 477 Substitute yarn – if you’re lucky enough then use the Chadwicks 477 yarn (I have used both and they both work as well)
A hackle from a Grizzle Hen Saddle Cape (I buy mine from Ollys Hackles – excellent quality and great prices)
How to tie the KBK
Tie on your thread just behind the weight and tie in the hackle. Create your Kebari and keep it tight to the weight – it moves better than a loose Kebari!
Tie in the yarn to just past the bend of the hook and take your thread back behind the hackle. Sculpt the yarn back to the hackle making a “grub shape” then tie in right at the hackle base. Carefully fix the thread with varnish. I use a needle bottle to place the varnish right on top of the thread and not go into the yarn or hackle.
How to use the KBK
The technique is simple, on fast flows just let it ride, on slower water raise your tip and let it dive back down. Depending on the depth of the water you can let it hit the river bed then bring it back to just below the film then let it dive again.
As far as your cast goes, you’ll need to be aware of the weighted hook it is slightly different from a normal fly but you’ll get use to it pretty quickly.