Video: Tying a Zenmai and Hen Pheasant Soft Hackle

Zenmai Watage is a very traditional body dubbing material for traditional Tenkara Kebari (flies). This natural dubbing material is harvested from the Zenamai fern or Japanese royal fern (Osmunda japonica). It is a cotton-like material that covers the you fern shoots. The young zenmai fern is also a popular Sansai(Mountain plant) – and is eaten like the fiddlehead ferns of America.
Flies dubbed with this are called Zenmai-dou flies.
You can use this material just as you would a poly dubbing or fur dubbing. You can simply twist it on the thread like any other dubbing. It is a natural material and so it will vary in color and texture and you’ll probably find it a bit more difficult to deal with than a synthetic polydubbing. But it does dub fairly easily if you work with small portions. I also like to utilize a dubbing loop method when using it.

Please note this is 100% natural material and so it will vary and will contain occasional bits of leaf or other plant material.

The Syndicate 201BK Competition Grade Wetfly/Nymph Hook is the hook used in the video.

Zenmai Soft Hackle

Of course zenmai can be used for all sorts of other flies too

zenmai flies