Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci
It is. No kidding. But it takes rather much to find that or these few elements which do the job. The quote implies that the chosen simple solution is more than just an activity, it has to solve a problem. “Do the job”, if you so will and prefer a simpler, more direct language.
Sorry for the repetition – I thought it was the easiest way of getting my point across, even though I repeat myself. But though – who doesn’t?
So let´s talk a litt about the fly I would like to fish more. Like??? — say what? Can´t you just do what you want? – well, I often “preach” the simplicity concept but when by the water I become nervous. What if that thing is actually too simple? Honesty, it feels odd to use a fly which just took 5 minutes max to make. Anyway … here is what happened ….
This late summer I had to trial use almost all of my dries during an evening hatch. I tied them on all – mostly pretty complex flies, like Klinks and the like. Nothing.
Finally I managed to remind myself of what I´m preaching. Use the simple things. I tied the Li-fly on and whammm … It was a huge trout. So big and powerful, I could not get to my hand. The last what I i saw of him was a big salto mortale including a rotation lengthwise. Quite a display in the in the late summers midnight air. F*ck, I screamed rather loud. I´m afraid I woke up most of the village on the other side of the lake with my cursing. Anyway – I granted this artistic display with a very professional LDR (Long Distance Release) Paul has taught me.
… and of course it was the last Li-fly in the box …. typical.
Li-flua (flue = fly) because it is tied with Jurassic hare´s hair and seals fur. The hare is from North Norway, a place the local refer to as Li or Lierne. It´s a take on Gunnar Bingens “dyret“. or shipmans buzzer or or or … I just gave it another name to make things more complicated. 😉
So nature has to really prepare the animals living under such circumstances. They need real high outdoor clothing. The area I fish in summer is that cold. They hit minus 40 and below every year. This created a very special breed of hare …
Ice. Snow. Cold. That is what one thinks when hiring the word “arctic” – the record in Norway is minus 50 or so C. That is technically speaking damn cold. Unimaginable cold. I was in minus 27. That was cold. But minus 30 and below is really way too much for me. Call me a wimp if you will.
The hares of Lierne grow really big. I call them “jurassic hare” … the T-Rex of the “Lepus” family. They are very strong and fast and have very good meat. This is why the people up there hunt for them in fall before the temps get too harsh.
Really tough men these hare hunters. Hard shelled and soft hearted amazing human beings with a real good sense of humor. However, when I presented them with the request for hare feet they laughed. They couldn´t see the connection to fishing. It took a few years until they started to take this serious and were so nice to keep the feet for me. They are of course compensated generously for their efforts.
The hare feet are huge. Twice or three times as much material one normally finds. The fibres are really long too. I use it for a lot of flies. It floats well and has a very interesting shine to it. – by the way – you can use thesearch function on sexyloops for “hare” so you find all the patterns.
Since I also had few front feet I dared to dye them. It worked really well. Thanks to all the good advice from the “seals fur guru” Claus Damsgaard Jensen. Thanks again for all the help.
Drop me a note if you are interested in some of the feet. I have few “on stock” now. This is really special stuff.
Norwegen und Schweden werden immer beliebter als Reiseziel für Fliegenfischer aus dem südlicher gelegen Europa. Die Anreise ist in kurzer Zeit machbar und einmal in Schweden angekommen reist es ich deutliche entspannter als auf den überfüllten Strassen der Heimatländer wie z. B. Deutschland, Frankreich, Italien und Spanien.Das Angeln, insbesondere das Fliegenfischen ist ähnlich entspannt. Fast überall gibt es befischbare Gewässer. Wer zudem gut zu Fuss ist une eine kleine Wanderung nicht scheut hat die Chance auf fast «unberührte» Natur zu stossen. Wer zudem das Fischen mit der «Trockenen» liebt kommt hier voll auf seine Kosten. 95% meiner Fischerei in Norwegen und Schweden ist auf Trockenfliegen und Schwimmschnur basiert.
Eine 8 bis 9ft rute in Klasse 4 bis 6 ist wohl die gängigste Wahl. Zielfisch in Norwegen sind vorwiegend Forelle (ørret) und Saibling (røye). Wobei es auch wirklich genügend Möglichkeit gibt auf grosse Äschen (harr) und auch Renken (sik) zu fischen. Eine Renke auf Trockenfliege klingt sicherlich exotisch für einen Angler aus der Alpenregion, ist «hier oben bei uns» aber gar nicht ungewöhnlich.
Neben Flüssen und Bächen sollte man die Seen, insbesondere die kleineren – nicht vernachlässigen. Es gibt fast an allen guten Gewässern Boote zu leihen. Auch hier ist die Fischerei mit der Trockenfliege ein gute Wahl.
Hier meine Fliegenboxen. Wie man sieht ist Rehhaar und natürliche und gedeckte Farben stark vertreten. Als Dubbing verwende ich entweder Seehundfell (lässt sich wunderbar färben) oder Hase.
Flyfishing for Trout & Grayling in Norway – Norway as well as Sweden are increasingly popular destinations for Flyfishers coming from the more southern parts of Europe. Travelling is not to complicated and far, and once arrived in Sweden driving is much more relaxed than on the crowded roads of for example Germany, France, Italy or Spain.
Fishing, specially fishing with the fly is likewise relaxed. One finds good Walters pretty much everywhere. The ones not shy of walking a bit into the mountains will find solitude and seeemingly untouched nature. The dry fly lovers are very lucky here too. 95% of my fishing in Norway and Sweden is done with a dry fly and floating lines.
A 8 to 9ft rod for a 4 to 6wt line is the most Como choice. Target fish in Norwegian freshwater are trout( ørret) and arctic char (røye). Not to forget the chance to fish for big grayling (harr) and whitefish (sik). To catch whitefish in dry-fly sound pretty exotic for an angler used to fish in mainland Europe and the Alps, but is absolutely common in «up here».
Besides small creeks and larger rivers one should not forget the lakes. Pretty much all better ones hava boat to rent. And even here the fishing with dryly is very rewarding.
Here´s my fly-boxes. As you can see, I am pretty fond of deer hair and natural, not very bright colors. As dubbing I mostly choose seals fur (can be died in a ll sorts of colors) or hare´s fur.
Summer is here and with higher temperatures the ants starts swarming. Ants are fascinating creatures. For one they actually are able to build functioning societies. … that sentence alone can spark a whole set of books and endless discussions. But do not be afraid … this is just about fly tying. 😉
Ants do feature a very characteristic silhouette with the three round bits forming their head and body. There is many ways of simulating this. One is to fix a piece of round foam onto a hook. many like this. I tend not to have many things rubber and foam around the house, but I have plenty of deer hair in my fly tying kit.
So the elements to imitate are – the silhouette, the legs and maybe the wings of the flying type. So here is what you need.
Deer hair, preferably dark or black. Black is hard to get I found. It is dyed black of course. If you are into making you own stuff you could stain it yourself. Veniard sells specific colors for dying fly tying materials.
Dubbing – black or reddit brown depending on the coloration of the naturals you find where you fish.
The legs can be imitated with hackle or with deer hair. Rubber legs do a good job too.
Panic. Real panic. First proper fishing trip after month. It will still be cold, but what the heck. We´ll get out and fish our favorite lake the coming weekend. Excitement all around — where´s my stuff? Flies, that coffee cattle, and – yes coffee. Need to take that Whisky … sleeping bags, coffee … socks, waders, bellyboats, insect repelleant, headlamp, socks. Wool socks … really important. Tippet material. Rod, lines and reels … the net – why is the net in the kitchen?? Never mind … sunglasses. Have I packed the socks? yeah – checked twice. Oh don´t forget to send out the fly order which came in yesterday … the guy needs it to fish with his son … and yes – what else. Flies. Where is my flybox? Uhhhh – found it. Fxxxx meeeee. This thing is almost empty. Geeez … what now? It´s 23:03 already. Have a beer dude. Chill. hahahahaha … the beermat says – “Keep calm and tie flies” – yeah right. OK – let´s go. Where´s the stuff? Hooks … which hooks. Gosh, fab – the new Barbless Klinks came. Thank you Partridge, god of bent metal needles known as flyhooks. Perfect … another good zip form that beer.Beer on a thursday … nice … thursday? Aaaaargh … whatttttt? Friday – Paul´s waiting for the FP. OK, get the camera and another beer ….
Chill man ….
That – “I have to write an FP” feeling ….
panic, deer hair and seal productions
proudly presents: last minute tying
One can actually be quick and last minute. I tend to take my flytying kit along for weekend and longer trips. I seem to always have run out of flies right before. I give them away or am busy tying orders. But I really like these last minute panic flies. They seem to catch best. Must be that fish like fresh flies best. 😉
This Fridays SFTS is about another flytier I admire. His name is Hans Weilenmann. I have met him in person on several occasions, mostly on fly fishing shows where is sat hours after hours tirelessly explaining his flies to the audience. His very calm and extremely patient attitude – mixed with a real good sense of humour makes listening and watching him a real pleasure.
Hans and I agree that the biggest development of or for of fly tying was, and still is the internet and digital photography. The opportunities of learning from each other and sharing information have exploded. It has become really amazing … and Hans played a big role right in the beginning of this development. He was one of the first publishing, not only his own – but other fly-tiers work. His website was one of the first places showing high quality closeups of flies. Hundreds if not thousands. He has put a lot of effort into that website and I visit it often to look what´s and even more who is “new”.
Hans is also known for the “CDC&Elk” pattern. A rather simple pattern, but that is the genius behind. Tying simple but effective flies, Please refer to the attached video for the tying instructions.
Hans, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a “why” person. I like to understand what makes things work, what makes people work. And, I am always looking for the better mouse trap. A way to improve what is already working, but which I believe can be made to work better, more elegant, more effective. This drives, in part, my enjoyment in both flytying and flyfishing.
I like simplicity and elegance in flies. Both in the final product, the fly itself, but also in the steps to get from a bare hook to the finished pattern. Each turn of thread should serve a purpose. If you cannot explain why it is there, most likely it shouldn’t be there to begin with.
What is your favourite type of fishing?
My favorite type of fishing is prospecting a medium size stream or river for trout and grayling. I am a running water addict, who lives in a country without gradient. This both means I do not get to enjoy river fishing as often as I would like, as it typically involves travel, but it also makes for absolute focus and dedication when I am on a fishing trip. There is always a river somewhere…
When did you start flyfishing?
I have been a keen angler from the age of six, but flyfishing came later, at 18. To fast track I joined the Casting Club of Amsterdam to get familiar and more comfortable, and to explore, the ways of the flyrod and line.
How long do you tie flies?
*smile* At times it feels like I have been tying forever, and other times I sit down to tie like an eager freshman. It really never gets tired. I am into my fifth decade of tying as we type.
Who are you influences?
That is not an easy question to answer, and at the same time it is. I will start with the latter – the fish and the materials are my influences, each invite me to expand, innovate, refine and refresh.
This is not, however, how you intended your question – so I shall try to address it as you meant it. Flytiers the world over, past and present, have influenced and inspired my tying over the years, often in small and subtle ways – and I am grateful to all out there. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, past and present, and continue to walk in their footsteps.
Paul and I would like to thank Hans for his great contributions to the fly tying an dfishing world.
I hope we fish together soon.
Todays SFTS is about the “beast” – Gunnar Bingen´s “dyret”. It was originally meant serving as a caddis emerger, but has proven it´s overall usefulness in many other occasions. To me this fly together with the snowshoe emerger and the shipment buzzer are what my flybox for trout fishing is build around.
I got to know Gunnar and his patterns pretty early on when fishing in Norway. I met Gunnar for the first time on a fishing show in the Forestry museum in Elverum. It must have been 7 years ago. He is one of those fishermen you meet and instantly have this – “That guy knows what it is about” – feeling. He is certainly not a man of many words, but one look in his calm eyes and one does not question at all what he´s doing.
Gunnar was born 1958 in Hamar, Norway and now lives in Haugedal not far from his birthplace, close to the famous Rena river.
His father, a fly-fisher and fly tier, took him under his wing in all aspects of the sports. So Gunnar can not even remember when not having fished with the fly.
I recently had a conversation with him and asked him a few questions. His answers were typically Gunnar – short and precise.
Gunnar, tell us what your favourite type of fishing is: I have tried most of the fishing method of the inland, but my favourite is dry fly fishing, anytime late evening when the big trout come close to the bank to pick caddis.
When did you start flyfishing? Fly fishing has been from day one, since I was old enough to be with my father in smaller rivers. We used bamboo rods and fly lines not much longer than the rod, and a meter of leader and two flies. A very effective method for trout in small rivers when casting behind and in front of rocks. This way I really got to know the rivers.
Do you remember your first self tied flies? My father was busy tying all these years. So as a kid I tied a lot of weird creations, but I got more serious in the mid eighties.
Who are you influences? My father of course, otherwise it has Staffan Lindstrøm and Paul Krågvold.
What is the story behind the “dyret” (beast)? It is quite simply a mixture of Superpuppan and Devilbug, Superpuppan “lacked” something in some situations, Devil-bug was efficient but fragile so I ended up blending the two.
Dyret by Gunnar Bingen
pictures by Gunnar Bingen
feel free to visit Gunnars Facebook profile for more fly patterns
… image below shows the original “design sheet” from yesterday, meaning 1991 …
The tying of the “dyret” is very straight forward and simple.
A small clump of deer hair covered with dubbing of your choice and palmered with a cock hackle feather, colour ad lib.
I personally do not clip the hackle under, but I have seen many who do so, Gunnar included.
Here is the “original” step by step from Gunnar:
stack a small clump of deer hair in a stacker
tie in the deer hair at the bend of the hook
fix the deer hair to the hook as shown and …..
.. tie in a a hackle feather by the bend
cover the thread with dubbing and …
… cover the deer hair under body with it.
Palmer* the fly with the hackle. *Palmer referes to covering a length of fly body with hackle in a 30 to 45 degree open turns.
tie off and snip off remains, and trim the head.
hi-vis version for the evening (or the elder fishermen)
all pictures above by Gunnar Bingen (c) Many thanks from Paul and me to Gunnar for sharing his work with us.
The DHC is maybe the most fished dry fly pattern ever. The famous deer hair caddis. It´s not exaggerated to say that one can get away with fishing only this type of fly in various sizes and colours almost exclusively. It represents all and everything ….. However, tying with deer hair takes a bit of practice before one gets it right. It pays off to learn the pinching loop.
I little blast from the past. I took these pictures many years ago. My tying has hopefully advanced since, but it was a start of sharing fly tying with other via the internet. So give this a try yourself. I know the fly on the pics look far from super nice or perfect. But it catches like mad, that I know.
Deer Hair Caddis
standard dry fly hook
lie a thread base and form a dubbing loop with thread
This we have not doen before.
Basically it is making an extra loop with the the tying thread.
I have since learned to split the thread. It´s easier I think.
spinn seals fur in the dubbing loop
wind the seals fur on to the hook counterclockwise
secure this by ribbing the body with your tying thread clockwise
snipp off the dubbing loop remains and secure with afew wraps
snipp off a few fibres of deer hair
and measure the length you need
trade hands and snipp off the deer hair hold the hair over the hook as shown
and bring the thread
up between you thumb and the pinched material
amd down on the other side
This creates a loop areound the material which you hold (pinch) between your fingers.
Repeat the process three or four times.
let go of the matrial just a little bit by stretching your fingers.
Than pull down on the loop you have woven around the material 3 / 4 times.
this sets the deer hair wing nicely in place
secure with afew wraps through the deer hair head and finish with a whip finish
Following up on the emerger article from last Friday – here is the “foam hare klink” – the fly is an example for the use of fur fibres as hackle – or hackle substitute if you so will. It´s always interesting to practice all sorts of techniques. I have in later flies replaced the foam with fur fibres from the artic hares feet.
The Foam Hare Klink
Set the hook in the vice – I used a big Partridge Klinkhamer extreme.
The large size is chosen so the tying steps are easier to see.
fix the thread
cut a 3mm wide strip of foam
and tie in as shown
dub the thread
use the “reverse” dubbing technique
rib the body with the thread
use darker dubbing for the thorax
tie it around the foam post in a figure of 8 manner
turn the hook in or with the vice
split the thread
choose some longer fibres from a hares mask
and insert them into the split thread
twist the thread
and wind this “hackle” around the wingpost
nice and soft hackle
now whip finish under the hackle onto the post
if you like you can color the post a little bit so it´s also visible in glary conditions