I finally jumped over my own shadow – and wallet – and invested a substantial amount in photo-gear. So far I worked with a minimalist setup … big word – I used a small camera or later my iPhone for pretty much everything I did. I would say I got pretty far.
I had inspiration moment when I watched my daughter develop her photographic skills. That did build up my confidence that I would be able to make sense of more advanced gear myself.
So I got myself a Canon EOS 700D, several lenses including a 100mm macro lense. Plus two Go-Pro Heros (a 4 and a 5). The plan is to produce a fly tying video tutorial which works together with the articles of the flytyingschool . I also gained some basic knowledge to edit film with Adobe Premiere. Anyway – there are a few things to look forward to in the beginning of 2017. I will try to be quick enough to have the movie ready in march so it can be launched at the Danish Fly Festival.
It is winter and it is dark … which has it´s very own charm. I am tying flies at night …. and work on the above mentioned — here´s a small nymph I find very interesting … “leaving ze house” – small cased caddis larva peeping out of the little housings.
Leaders seems to be on the menu lately. I learned from my old friend Bernie – who sadly passed away this year. That he was pretty old (over 85 or so – nobody really knows) does not ease the loss. I really miss him. He was quite a character.
Back in the days we worked on a leader which allows very precise control. The rivers Kyll and Ahr we fished together in Germany, were small and we did not want the loop to open until the very end of the leader. Otherwise the fly ended up in the bush above – we are talking tunnel fishing here.
the video is a documentary about Bernie
… my first proper flyfishing teacher (nevermind the clown with the microphone)
Generally speaking (in fishing-lingo that is) a leader is the piece of line between the hook and the main line. This piece of line is normally somewhat smaller in diameter than the main line. Various sorts come into play, level line monofilament for bait fishing, wire (for pike and the like), a shock leader for fishing in the sea – and the so-called tapered leader for angling with the fly.
That’s it. There’s not much more to say, is there? Well if it were all so simple you’d not be on this web site, would you?
Presenting the fly to a fish (tossing a hook with fluff around onto or in the water – in simpler language) is a rather complex affair, which should not be underestimated. So let’s look at the problem from the start, the feeding fish in a stream, Mr. fish is looking upstream, feeding. He grabs a bite whenever the big conveyer belt-like flow brings food downstream- either on the water surface or in the water body. Therefore the fish is looking upstream virtually all day.
A rather boring life. Well fish don’t know that, so… However, being in such a position for extended periods of its life imprints some very well-defined patterns in that little fish brain. For instance, the fish has never seen a mayfly with a v-wave in front like a boat, so you (the clever angler) needs to avoid this happening. Sounds simple.
Presenting a fly like that is called dead drift. OK, there are other forms, the famous running sedge or the little bait fish escaping for example, but in imitating all such behaviour one must have good control over the lure.
I guess you start to get my point. Let’s continue looking at dead drift. Drag (that tiny, tiny v-wave), is caused by a taut line. Therefore you need slack line between you and the fly. The trick is to have just enough slack in the line to avoid drift, but enough contact to hook up with fish. The flowing current does not make this any easier.
So that’s the problem in a nutshell. The more natural your presentation looks to the fish, the more you’ll catch, particularly the wild ones.
The system consisting of fly line and precisely matched rod tapers all the way to the end point. At the end of the line a leader is attached.
Casting this system is done with subtlety rather than power, as it is manoeuvered to develop a loop. This loop gains great speed, even when cast with the most minimal power. This power needs to be spent so the fly lands on the water with natural elegance. The more precisely such behaviour is mimicked, the more fish you catch.
Landing a dry fly softly also increases its tendency to float. This allows you to use sllimmer and more natural fly designs. Likewise for Nymphs, which you can drop into the water precisely where you want them. When you can control the amount of slack in the leader and tippet, a nymph can sink without being hindered by the line. The flies don’t need much or even any weight added to them.
There are tapered, furled or braided, and knotted leaders. All have pro and cons. In my opinion the knotted type is preferable for the type of fishing described above. So I looked deeply into this kind of leader.
My very first book on Fly-fishing was “A fly fisher’s life” by Charles C. Ritz – ASIN: B0007EI4CU which had some information about knotted leaders. As this was „an old“ book I smiled arrogantly and went ahead tossing hard-earned money out of the window by shopping for all these fantastic things one gets offered by the „industry“. You guess the outcome. The fishing never really worked. Through contact with some other anglers and reading more in books and the „net“ I frequently ran into advocates of the hand-tied leader.
So I searched for my first book again to look for the detailed recipes for knotted leaders. Charles C. Ritz describes three main parts of a leader.
power transmission – 60% of the total leader length
taper – 20% of the total leader length
Tippet – 20% of the total leader length
The total length is in Ritz’ book is never really more than 2,9m. I suspect this is because of shorter and different action of the cane rods of the time.
From other sources I heard that a leader should be 1.5 times the rod length. I found others advocating a similar ratio so I applied this to the Ritz 60/20/20 system and experimented. With modern rods and lines I concluded that a leader of 1.35 times the rod length worked best for me. I tied a few for some friends as well and the reactions were all more than positive. As this system seems to work for my friends from Lapland to Nevada, that is why I am sharing it with you here.
On to the technical bit. The single pieces of monofilament line are tied together with blood knots, named after their inventor Mr. Blood. These knots are ideal as they provide a perfectly straight connection without any bends and turns. I mostly use Maxima camo for the leader and Stroft GTM for the tippet, but choice of monofilament is very much up to you. If you believe all the hype, you can even use fluorocarbon.
For the connection of taper and tippet I insert a little ring, known as leader ring. The Leader itself is connected to the fly line with a nail knot or similar. Don’t worry about having to change the whole leader often. You won’t have to.
Have fun tying the leader. It’s a little easier with using a Blood-Knot tool though.
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.
Following up on last Fridays panic attack – which was not even a made up story – you were witnessing the actual true «action» that Thursday night in real time. This is Sexyloops in a nutshell. I bravely assume that you might want to hear how it went? well – read on
We had planned to hit the road early on Friday, right when Konstanse was allowed to escape the office. Well, let´s say it almost went as planned and with a short delay of, say 2 hours, we hit that northbound road. We won´t go too much into the story behind, but it´s me who is not organized, ready and done to go. Our realtionship is the wrong way arround, according to general percception. SHE is always packed and rigged right on time … when I than start to pack sort of. I think I have to get my act together eventually.
5 hours later, around 8 pm we arrived at the beloved lake in the midth of the Norwegian woods. It is of course a lake X. We do not tell anybody where it is. So do not ask. It´s too precious a place to be shared. http://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/spot-x
The predominant fish in this lake are Grayling of rather good size. They average around 2 pounds with the occasional 3 to 4 pounds. Besides that one can observe pike in the pretty clear water.
Normally we´d fish this lake in fall, but we were too eager to go back. However, night frost gave us the false hope that we might not be hit by the biblical amounts of mozzies found there in summer. We were, as you might have guessed by now – wrong. Anyway – not too big of a problem. We have learned to deal with them damn bloodsuckers. http://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/dont-panic-its-only-mozzies
So we unpacked fishing gear and bellyboats and went for some evening fishing. We – hard to admit – blanked. The lake was dead as dead can be. We headed back to the camper, which we had «parked» on a high bank. The view from our dinner table was lovely. Northern nights are very special.
We went to bed late and slept rather long. Around noon, after a healthy breakfast we went fishing again. There were very few rises that day – but what a day that was. Sunshine and blue sky. Perfect for Grayling. We paddled around about for six or seven hours and had real good fun. A few grayling were caught, of which we kept 3 for food.
Oh right – I almost forgot to mention … which fly did the fish want? Of course the claret (red) “panic” deer hair and seal. I only used that fly and Konstanse used the one she had kept from last year.
There is something about Grayling and red seals fur. Very funny, but not too unknown a «fact» …..
Some images we took with our cellphones.
can´t get enough of that view
camper (get in touch if you are interested in buying a ququq box)
the fly that worked again – claret red seals fur
night on lake x
note: Konstanse took this video with her phone. We had not planned on making a movie …
While I was paddeling towards her to see what is going on , another grayling took the claret fly
quick release without even taking the fish out of the water