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Snake Skin kebari: Updated with pics! 6-3-12

Your experiments and findings on tenkara fly-patterns and fly-tying.

Snake Skin kebari: Updated with pics! 6-3-12

Postby statikpunk » Sun May 20, 2012 7:28 am

Daniel has reported on some anglers in Japan using snake skin on their kebari. this time of year the snakes are thick around my neck of the woods, and while generally speaking I leave them alone and they do the same. I wanted to try this material. so when I found this bull snake that was being dispatched by a raven on the road to my fathers house I quickly jumped out and finished it off with a .22 revolver I keep around for just such occasions. from that point on it was a simple matter of skining the snake, a slit up the belly and peel it off like a sock. Preparing the skin is easy just scrape what remaining fat and meat is on the skin off then stretch and tack it to a piece of wood large enough, in a couple days it will be dry and be preserved. I figured there was no need for gory pictures since the process was so simple but being a fan of "waste not want not" I did get lunch out of the deal.
Image
IMAG0355 by statikpunk, on Flickr
with garlic salt and pepper it was actually not to shabby, if a bit chewy :P

anyway once this skin is dried, it cuts just like paper, I cut myself some very small strips and proceded to tie up a couple of flies, the scales do give a shiny translucent reflection to the fly that the fish may like, I did try these flies this weekend and they didn't seem to catch fish any better than a normal black body that I use, but my streams are not totally up to par yet. more testing will have to be done before I come to any conclusion, but regardless of effectiveness I do like the fact that I am using materials from my local area to catch my local fish, much the same way that the original tenkara anglers did years ago, and this year after bird season I will be making sure to collect my own partridge brests for local hackle. if anything at least using local products saves some money :)
P.S. I have sent some of the skin to Jason Klass so be prepared for a more professional use of a very interesting material on his blog
here are some pics of a couple I tied on size 10 hooks...
Image
P5150141 by statikpunk, on Flickr
Image
P5150138 by statikpunk, on Flickr

UPDATED: 6-3-12
so an update on the snake skin kebari experiment with suprising, and exciting results. this weekend me and the GF hiked up to island lake in the Ruby Mountain national forest. this little lake is only a 2 mile hike so it gets hit with a lot of pressure and the brookies are warry. we started in the afternoon and we actually passed three other fly fishermen on their way down.
Anyway long story short, the lake was still mostly frozen over and the few fish that were cruzing the open edges had been fihed pretty hard. I fished my old standby kebari patterns as well as a couple others and I was getting a lot of rejections from the warry fish. so on a whim I tied on my Snake skin kebari. The first cruizer I cast to rejected the fly initially then came back and rejected it again very quickly then turned around and hit the fly hard. And that wasnt the only fish I caught, after tying on the snake skin kebari my luck immediatly changed, and with little fly manipulation got very few rejections for the rest of the evening. my other kebari are tied axactly the same as the snake skin ones only with just a thread body, so that leads me to think there might be something to the snake skin. other advantages of the snake skin that I noticed is that it is essentially raw hide so it makes for a very resilient fly, fish after fish and it held up very well, actually protecting the thread that normally would have gotten pretty ravaged after a few fish. Also when wet it sinks very well. Anyway stay tuned for more updates on the snake skin project and enjoy soem photos from the day.
Image
223 by statikpunk, on Flickr
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189 by statikpunk, on Flickr
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196 by statikpunk, on Flickr
Last edited by statikpunk on Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Snake Skin kebari

Postby adirondack-jim » Sun May 20, 2012 4:49 pm

Lunch and tying material, looks like a winner...
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Re: Snake Skin kebari

Postby kkortemeier » Sun May 20, 2012 6:58 pm

Very cool.
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Re: Snake Skin kebari

Postby Jason Klass » Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 pm

Matt, BTW, I got the skin, thanks! Have been thinking about what I want to tie with it and will post soon.
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Re: Snake Skin kebari

Postby statikpunk » Mon May 21, 2012 5:35 am

jasonklass wrote:Matt, BTW, I got the skin, thanks! Have been thinking about what I want to tie with it and will post soon.


wow that was quick for good ol' snail mail! take your time, Im very interested to see what you come up with.
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Re: Snake Skin kebari: Updated with pics! 6-3-12

Postby statikpunk » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:22 am

Updated! 6-3-12, check original post for more details.
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Re: Snake Skin kebari: Updated with pics! 6-3-12

Postby adventureR » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:03 am

I read a while back about a guy in Tenn. making crankbaits with toad skin on them. They were supposed to be quite good for catching fish. I figured the snake skins would work too, but he said the snake skin would rot and get smelly. There's something about the natural stuff that can't be copied. Maybe it's a reflection or texture, or smell that has alot of appeal. Either way Snake Skin Kebari are pretty cool. A few days after you posted this my Boston Terrier got hold of a snake. She beat it up good, but I was able to rescue the snake. It survived but first thing I thought while carring it to a tree to rest in the sun was if it doesn't make it Snake Skin Kebari. The Snake had a very pungent musky smell.
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Re: Snake Skin kebari: Updated with pics! 6-3-12

Postby adventureR » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:24 am

Image Snake!
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Re: Snake Skin kebari: Updated with pics! 6-3-12

Postby Darrin Terry » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:11 am

That is a cool snake! A black & speckled kingsnake! I've caught a few kingsnakes as a kid here in California. They've always been easily handled compared to some of the others we used to catch. Garter snakes were always a bit bitey, and gopher snakes were among the nastiest at first but calmed down within a couple of minutes and would usually stop striking once they figured out you were not trying to harm them.

During a 5th grade class campout some of the kids caught a racer snake. We received a visit from reptile expert of some sort who brought a kingsnake with him. He put the two snakes, which were about the same size, together and the kingsnake proceeded to kill and eat the racer snake. Very interesting. Especially for 5th graders. :D 8-)
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Re: Snake Skin kebari: Updated with pics! 6-3-12

Postby statikpunk » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:40 pm

adventureR wrote:I read a while back about a guy in Tenn. making crankbaits with toad skin on them. They were supposed to be quite good for catching fish. I figured the snake skins would work too, but he said the snake skin would rot and get smelly. There's something about the natural stuff that can't be copied. Maybe it's a reflection or texture, or smell that has alot of appeal. Either way Snake Skin Kebari are pretty cool. A few days after you posted this my Boston Terrier got hold of a snake. She beat it up good, but I was able to rescue the snake. It survived but first thing I thought while carring it to a tree to rest in the sun was if it doesn't make it Snake Skin Kebari. The Snake had a very pungent musky smell.



I have been using the original fly that I tied, so it has been wet and dried and wet and dried, and I havent had any problem with smell. or at least it doesnt smell any worse than me after a day of fishing :P
like I said I will have to fish more, to really get a feel as to whether its making a difference or not, but in small lakes, it sure seemed to have made a difference.
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