All of a sudden, the terrifying shortage of purple starling (the key ingredient of the Punk Rock Sakasa Kebari) seems to be over.
A couple weeks ago we also found some at the site AO Feathers ($8 each), which sends you this sticker with your order:
We didn’t order any God or family — just feathers. From AO, we got the UV Purple and the UV Pink starling skins. The UV purple is a little on the blue side, but the pink is very much hot pink.
And we’ve been tipped via email that purple starling is also recently back in stock here, but we can’t confirm that.
But, instead of buying an already dyed skin, you could always dye your own starling skin. I finally took the plunge last week and honestly couldn’t believe how easy it was. I used Jacquard acid dye and, following very simple instructions, had a purple-dyed starling skin cooked up in about 15 minutes. I’m starting to look around for other things I can dye now (I have my eye on a hank of horsehair).
Finally, yet another celebrity endorsement has come in for the Punk Rock Sakasa Kebari. As you may know, previously Chris Stewart has raved about the fly, and Daniel Galhardo has caught fish on it himself right here in Montana. And now none other than Ryan Jordan — BackpackingLight founder, tenkara guide — has written to me that he’s been fishing the PRSK for months! Ryan says:
I wanted to drop you a short note to let you know that the PRSK has been a STAPLE for my clients this year. I don’t know if you thought it was goofy when you first tied it, but when I saw the purple, I got pretty jazzed. Purple is a major trigger, something the guides have known about for years.
I’ve been tying mine with a bright green UTC Ultra 140 thread with a tiny bit of sparkly olive dubbing near the thorax (two turns, maybe) (UTC shimmers nicer than silk, and the flies last longer) and natural purple starling, but I’ve added a black tungsten bead at the head, just to get it deeper. This is what I use for caddis hatches.
The other version I’ve been tying uses the UTC 140 body and one turn of hackle, no bead. I’ve coated the body with a thin layer of epoxy. This refracts light and makes the body look thinner. This is what I use for mayfly hatches.
If I’m not fishing streamers, I could easily use this as a one fly. It’s been a spectacular fly for me and my clients.
Yes, Ryan Jordan, I did think it was goofy when I first tied it. I still can’t believe that it has become a standard fly for so many tenkara anglers, or that I am now a (very part-time) commercial fly tyer, providing PRSKs for LearnTenkara to sell here online. (You can get a half-dozen PRSKs here. If you’d rather tie your own, you can get all of the necessary parts — Daiichi 1250 hooks, Olive 6/0 thread, purple starling — at TenkaraBum.)
Now if I could only get Dr. Ishigaki to start fishing the PRSK…