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Good Success with Keiryu

by Jason
(Conway, Arkansas)

I've had good results fishing a keiryu-like technique. I use my Tenkara rod and a fly tied small (#16) on a #14 barbed dry fly standard hook. This leaves a small amount of space to thread on a live nymph or sow bug below your fly.

Flip a rock over and catch a critter(s). I like to add to my sparse arsenal (rod, line, forcep / scissor combo, small home-made Altoid fly box, tennis shoes) a small aquarium net.

Use a gentle cast or just drift it downstream. If the critter flings off you still have a fly. Usually you get a strike every cast.

I carry two fly patterns a Killer Bug and a Sow Bug.

Had a great day on the river last weekend (catch'em every cast) but I got some weird looks. Finally a well equiped dude with a particularly disapproving frown asked what I was using. I gave him a Killer Bug. He took the fly but couldn't hide his disgust when he saw my home-made Altoid fly box and my wet tennis shoes.

Said he hadn't caught anything all day...

Comments for Good Success with Keiryu

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Feb 20, 2014
Keiryu - KillerBug
by: TenkaraBum


I suspect people have been adding a nymph or bit of worm or maggot to their fly for almost as long as people have been fly fishing. It never occurred to me that baiting a fly rather than just a bare hook would save the cast for those times when the bait flew off.

Thank you for giving a Killer Bug to the dude (I almost wrote "the gentleman," but from your account it seems that would not be accurate). I honestly don't know why some people react as he did. I don't doubt that some fly fishermen and tenkara anglers would accept the sneakers and Altoids box, but look with disgust at using bait. And I don't understand that either.

In Japan, keiryu - bait fishing - is much, much more popular than tenkara. I don't see why we are supposed to revere one and shun the other. Oh well, keiryu is welcome here. Thank you for your comment and I'm looking forward to reading more.

Feb 21, 2014
by: TIMMY!Anonymous

" I like to add to my sparse arsenal (rod, line, forcep / scissor combo, small home-made Altoid fly box, tennis shoes) a small aquarium net." Ahh, a man like me, a TRUE minimalist! Great post, carry on!!

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” - Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." -
Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

Beware of the Dogma

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