Near Gujo, on our way up to the Itoshiro river, we stopped at a well known tackle shop run by Hirata-san. Hirata-san is known in the area, and among the tenkara community, for his specialty flies, the mamushi kebari, or snake flies. In his forays, if he runs across a mamushi, a highly venomous snake, he’ll catch it and use the skin to tie his tenkara flies.
While, as I mentioned before, one fly pattern should be enough for successful fishing, different anglers will have different opinions on what works best. Hirata-san thinks the mottled look of the snake skin, along with its slight reflective surface, are highly attractive to fish. At $10 each they are not cheap, but he justifies it by saying that “I’m risking my life to make these flies”. I figured they would be a nice addition to the tenkara museum.