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Leonardo – sexyloops weekly blog

t.z. | Friday, 15 September 2017

And again – the simplicity “thing”.

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. 😉

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Sportfiskemässan march 17.-19. 2017 – Jönköping, Sweden

… and off to the next show – during the recent Danish Fly Festival not only Lars has recognised my outstanding language and talk somebodies ear off skills 😉 … Ralf Vosseler, a humble and sorted German craftsman of the more serious kind thought it would be a good idea to ask me to help him on his stand at the upcoming Angling Fair in Jönköping in Sweden.

I had to say yes as he offered to pay the beer and let me tie flies … so packing now to drive south again to see a gazillion Swedes pushing through the isles of the big Angling Fair. I have done this show before and the numbers of people are staggering. It´s a lot of fun and the Swedes are very kind people too.

I let you know what has happened in Sweden soon 🙂

Sportfiskemässan (Angling Fair) is the largest fair in Sweden for angling. Here you meet people with common interests to watch the news, try activities, compete, watch boats and book trips. The fair has strong partners in businesses, organizations and schools. Furthermore, the fair has ambitions to increase interest in sport fishing and promote fish conservation.

The fair has grown over the years in terms of both exhibitors and visitors (over 14.000 per year) and is angling industry’s major annual event / industry gathering where “everyone” is coming!

Thomas will be tying flies on Vosseler on stand D:252


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Eventyrlige Flueforviklinger med Konstanse & Stein

Stein Elvestad og jeg ble kjent via facebook rett og slett … og en av grunnene var at han snakket om denne larven her. Han skulle prøve å lage den, og han lurte selvfølgelig hvordan i h…. disse små føttene lages.

Stein er forfatter og skuespiller på Nordland Teater og har skrevet et teaterstykke som heter “KUNSTEN Å VEKKE DØDE FLUER TIL LIVE”. Stykket handler om fluefiske selvfølgelig. Ikke gå glipp av det, og følg med om han kanskje spiller i nærheten av der du bor.

Men tilbake til disse føttene. De er jo så flotte. Det sies at en finsk fluebinder, ved navn Veli Autti, kom på disse. Kjent ble trikset med de sex beina, via de binde-videoer & bøker fra selveste Oliver Edwards, en av mine “helter”.

Denne larven er flott, fisker veldig effektiv og er morsom å lage også. Det har en ganske avslappende effekt når man må skru hastigheten ned og konsentrer seg fullstendig på denne lille dingsen her.

Min kjæreste Konstanse er spesielt glad i denne fluen, siden det er så “meditativt” å lage en sånn en, pleier hun å si. Og siste gang da hun prøvde den mørkegrønne versjonen på en ny krok, en Daichii 1870 “swimming nymph”, da satt jeg opp kamera og filmet prosessen.

Stein likte videoen såpass godt, at han satt seg bak mikrofonen og laget lydopptak på norsk, som forklarer prosessen enda bedre. Og vips hadde jeg lyd-fila i dropboxen min. Så satt jeg foran klippe-skjermen en liten stund og surret alt dette sammen, mens jeg chattet med Stein.  Vi er kanskje litt selvopptatte, men jeg tror nok at vi kan være ganske stolte av resultatet, men det må du nesten vurdere selv.

En  lignende filmsnutt finnes også med engelsk tekst og tale, for de stakkars folk som ikke forstår Nordnorsk, som jeg synes er en utrolig flott dialekt.

Og når vi snakker om språk og stavefeil … at det heter vår-flue i stedet for hår-flue … det forklarer Stein i videoen.

Det morsomme er at Konstanse og Stein er begge to født og oppvokst is Nordens Paris, Tromsø – men de har ikke møtt hverandre enda. Noe som sikkert blir veldig morsomt og hyggelig en dag.

Så håper vi at dere liker filmsnuttene, og har fått lyst å prøve dette selv også. Fluebinding er en av de flotteste sidene av fluefiskeuniverset … spesielt når det er vinter.

Her vil jeg gjerne nevne at vi holder kurs i fluebinding. Det er bare å følge med her på websiden og hive seg på. Hvis det er flere kompiser sammen så kan det settes opp på ganske enkelt vis.



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sea trout flies – VASKEBJØRN

Seatrout flies ..

Red. Red flesh, specifically on trout and salmon, indicates that the fish has been feeding on organisms containing carotin. Same red stuff found in carrots (wonder why rabbits do not have red meat than) never mind.

So there is a myriad of patterns for imitating this type of food. They all seem to work. The variations one finds seem to be mainly based on personal preference … and let´s face it. Once you´ve been standing in the cold sea with the wind & rain in your face for hours without success (we are talking about Denmark here) than one does of course believe – given the angler is able to imagine a take – that this version with feathers harvested by virgins at full moon must be the «thing» itself. The math goes like – at least 6 such flies per angler times the amount of anglers = 1 million patterns multiplied by the years fishing = gazillions

Anyway – all these constructions are based on rather similar principles. A long hackle in open turns for the movement, a trigger or hotspot (mostly red or orange) and eyes.

The pattern today is such a fly. The materials needed are easily obtainable and one does not need much. A grizzly hackle feather of larger proportions, bead chain eyes, a saltwater shrimp hook and seals fur dubbing.

Things are bit different here in Noway of course. We catch fish all the time and getting a seatrout on a fly is dead easy … you just ned a few patterns. One is the so called “Vaskebjørn” (raccoon in english) has it´s name from it´s colors, which resemble a raccoon. No fur of that animal is used in the fly though. I believe name for the fly is also a little wordplay. «vask» means washing and the fly is known to really «clean out» a water 😉 Bjørn means bear.

Anyway – a really good fly, easy to tie and feel free to make your own version so you have something to believe in when feeling really tiny while chucking that even smaller fly towards that big horizon. Believing is catching, you know?

Otherwise just “abide” 🙂

Red. Red flesh, specifically on trout and salmon, indicates that the fish has been feeding on organisms containing carotin. Same red stuff found in carrots (wonder why rabbits do not have red meat than) never mind.

Sexyloops Fly Tying School – sea trout flies – VASKEBJØRN

There is many more videos on this fly on the “net” – speciflicly the ones fom Eivind Berulfsen are very detailed.

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resurrecting dead flies to life

Fly-fishing and tying fluff to a hook one does not only catch fish, it makes good friends. Through my fly tying I met Norwegian, actor, author and director – and of course flyfisher, Stein Hiller Elvestad. He lives in Mo i Rana, a town close to the arctic circle. The climate there is astonishingly mild, even though it is so far north.Stein Hiller Elvestad is an actor, play-writer, director and set designer. He was born in Tromsø and is permanently employed actor at “Nordland Teater”. On top of all that he is a real trout-nut and one of the kindest and most open people one can meet. The specific northern Norwegian humor adds a nice edge to his personality.

Yesterday, on May 25th 2016 his play “The art of resurrecting flies.” (Kunsten å vekke døde fluer til live.) head it´s first ever performance. The world premiere was staged at the Stamsund internasjonale teaterfestival (SIT) in Norway.

The play is a unique autobiographical solo performance, written and performed by the Norwegian, actor, author and director – and of course flyfisher – Stein Hiller Elvestad.

Stein, tell us a little bit about yourself and your flyfishing carrier. How and when did you begin with the «sport» and why is it that you got so drawn into that you even wrote a play about flyfishing?

Fishing has always been a part of my life. I was born in Tromsø and raised into an angling family. And I guess I have flyfishing in my blood as well. Watching my two older brothers flyfishing in the childhood had a strong influence on me. But my first attemts with a flyrod failed. Then theatre became a great part in my life. So it took many years until I got back to flyfishing and got hooked on the passion for it. So I have been flyfishing for seven years now and love it madly.

Since neither Ibsen nor Shakespeare wrote a play about flyfishing, then I just had to do it. Three and a half years ago the idea to combine theatre and flyfishing was born. Inspired by the group Jazz & flyfishing, Lars Von Trier and many of the stories my friends and family told me I started to develop the play. And the artistic director at my theatre thought it was a great concept. And here we are. It is made and ready to meet the world. The art of resurrecting flies is a theatre piece on love, flyfishing and the obsession for the most important hobby in life.

The play deals with the extent of how deep you can fall into the hobby, the passion, the lifestyle and the obsession for flyfishing – and the consequences which follow.

I wrote the text based on my own experiences, documentary material, ancient legends, and collected fishing tales fro friends and family. Through text, music and choreography, I invite the audience to be with me to river and back. In Norwegian I´d say “into the deep”, but I´m not sure how that could be translated.

How did you achieve this? What is the plot of your play?

As you know, I am from Norway, the northern part to be precise – and we are known for our humor. So I approached the topic that way. The story is that the main character, called Peter Simonsen, was sent to the shrink by his ex-wife to find a cure for his fishing madness.

And the shrink is actually a Lars Von Trier look – alike. (the famous danish film director.) But his real name is Ulf Rise. (An anagram for Lucifer.) The play on stage is a conversation between Peter and the shrink, or Lars Von Trier, and through memories and dreams Peters life as a fly-fisher is revealed, from childhood, through lovestory and divorce, he gets sacked, and in his misery he goes fishing. And than unexpected events takes place.

The conversation is enhanced by images from fishing and flytying which are projected on a screen at the back of the stage, as well as live feed from two cameras in front of the stage. I was fortunate to find two very creative fly-fishermen – Håvard Stubø (guitarist with the band Jazz & flyfishing) who wrote the music and Stein Evensen who supplied the graphics and images.

The play became a genuine and dedicated performance made by passionate people. Needless to say I am very happy with the result and so are the critics and the audience.

Thanks you very much for all the insights, Stein. One last question – are there plans to translate the material to other languages?

maybe, yeah ……… well, we have already discussed it, and in the second any invitations are sent from abroad, the story turns into a play in english!

Last – what is your favourite fishing – and where?

My favourite fishing ? Tricky one. I would say – flyfishing, single or doublehanded rod. But if i have to pick one it would have to be dryflies, for salmon and seatrout. Great fun! But I also love nymphing. So, as I said, difficult. Favourite fishing spot is of course some of the rivers close by, like Rana river Saltdal river. But i always dream of fishing other places.

So this summer i will be visiting Gimån, Stavre in Sweden. And The river Driva. Of course, one of the best sides of flyfishing is meeting other flyfishermen and women, and get to know them. You make friends through this passion.

Thanks Stein … brilliant. Good luck with the play and “break a leg”

Kunsten å vekke døde fluer til live “The art of resurrecting flies.”
Director: Audny Chris Holsen
Choreograph: Sigrid Edvardsson
Lightdesign: Johan Haugen
Music: Håvard Stubø
Images: Stein Evensen

Images – courtesy Stein Hiller Elvestad – Nordland Theater – Interview by Thomas Züllich, tzflyfishing & Sexyloops



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t.z. | Friday, 22 April 2016

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.


some variations


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.

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Streamer fishing … well, it´s almost frowned upon. I guess it is because it seems too easy. At least i do … shouldn´t the fish just take that thing?? even if I do not see the fish and let alone the fly?? Well, you can call me stupid … but no worries, I can try to tell you that this thinking has changed of course. Why would I otherwise admit it, right? 😉
I am no tackle freak … can´t be because I have too much other things with me. Warm cloth, coffeepot and other very important things for being out in the bush … chocolate for instance. I mostly use a 4 or 5wt. line when fishing.

So if i “have” to fish streamers like in «no fish rising», «the water is deep and fast» «there must be a lurker in that deep hole» … i reach for the one of the two streamers I have in my box.

So how does one construct a good streamer? There is at least twice as many theories as there are flies. I keep it simple. I like Zonkers made from mink or rabbit fur strips. Mink is better I think as the hair is denser and it does not pick up so much water and weight.

Mink Zonker

Fur strips …. they come in all sorts of colors. I am OK with all of them as long it´s black 😉

– after laying a short thread base tie in the zonkerstrip opposite the hook point

dub the thread – color, material etc. is really up to you
the pic shows claret seals fur

dubbing front to back and ribbing with the thread makes the fly more sturdy

lay the furstrip over the dubbed body and secure behind the hook eye

zonker5 cut off the fur strip and secure with a few whip finishes.

Basically the fly is done. However, it looks a bit boring so I added a few “things”.
Be creative and do what looks good to you – or leave it as it is at that stage.

“head” add ons 

I like long soft hackle collars on such flies – tie in by the tip and wind around.

The feather shown is from the poor lagopus I “met” in 2014.
read the story here

For kicks I covered the head with peacock herl.
I like rather “thick” heads on streamers.

I have not used any weight. I rather fish a sinking line or use splitshot on the leader. That leaves me the choice on how deep I want to fish the fly. Weighted or not — if on needs to go down the fly is never heavy enough anyway. However, if one is after a natural presentation on a sinktip or intermediate line a weighted fly can be too heavy.

I have some streamers with tungsten heads though. The tying is pretty similar for those, just that the hook is pierced through the fur strip so it ride upside down.


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carpet yarn caddis

I went through my notes of the last years and the clear winner was this little bugger. Yeah, one should only believe the stats you doctored yourself of course. 😉 Anyway, it worked wherever I fished it – New Zealand or Norway and other countries.
I am not really sure what it represents. The overall look is screaming “caddis pupa”, but it worked in very different hatches too. Heck, I even fished it when trout were feeding on manuka beetles.

The tie is a bit more complex and not so easy to get right, but let´s give it a go ….

 The material for the “wing-case” is again as in many of my other patterns hair taken from in between the toes of an arctic hares foot. This material is hydrophobic, meaning is does not get wet. The natural color is white or slightly off white. It is very easy to see on the water. It reflects light very very well. So good that it is really hard for an amateur photographer like me to not f… up the exposure. Anyway …

The other materials needed are CDC and carpet yarn … hence the name.

Carpet Yarn Caddis

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 1

This is what you need:
a hares foot,
CDC, Carpet Yarn,
Dyneema thread (Veevus 30D or 50D)

and a hook of course – a Partridge CZ in size 16 (former 22)

The start

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 2
set the hook in the vice and make short threadbase
I higly advise to use very thin dyneema thread
I like Veevus 30D or 50D
This fly features quite some turns of thread
on top of each other, so a
regular thread would build up too much.

The Extended Body

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 4
tie in the carpet yarn

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 5
get hold of the yarn and twist it counter-clockwise
turn it so many times until you feel it “pulling” towards the hook

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 6
– now double the yarn over and hold it with your fingers –
or a needle as shown
I used the needle method so it shows better on the picture
and tie it in without letting go of the two strands

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 8
so when you let go of the yarn it should twist around itself
this stops the yarn from fraying


The Wingcase 

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 10
snip off a clump of the hares hair

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 11
tie over the carpet yarn

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 12
which than looks like this

The CDC hackle

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 13
lay two or three feather on top of each other
and clamp them with two paper clips

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 15
cut one side right by the feather stem

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 17
do the same with the other side

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 18
so you have two clamps with CDC fibres only
one “clamp” per fly

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 19
split the thread with a needle

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 20
and insert the CDC fibers

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 21
twist the thread

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 22
and wind the CDC hackle onto the hook

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 23
secure with a few extra wraps and
let the thread bobbin hang down and untwist the thread

The wing-case

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 24
grap the hares hair and flip it over the CDC hackle

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 25
and tie it down

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 26
snip off remains

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 27
and finish with a knot

Extended_Body_Caddis_SBS 28
done – the CYC