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Late summer trip in Norway

The summer is coming to end here in Norway and the fall season started with a bang. We went for a weekends fishing trip to a lake in Østfold. The lake was very nice and so was the weather. The conditions were fantastic and we managed to trick a few fish to our flies. Not as many as we´d liked, but it was good enough for a healthy breakfast.

Konstanse went for mushrooms and quickly filled her basket.

 

 

Sunday morning was picture perfect so we used this opportunity to take a few pics of the new love – the Lawson Hammock. We heard from many that they are afraid to fall out of a hammock or even have experienced this with standard hammocks, we (as in me and myself) decided that Konstanse should try to turn the hammock upside down.

See for yourself what happened. Here´s a short video clip on how to roll back and even sleep on your side.

 

You find the Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock and the LightSaver by PowerFilmSolar in our shop.

 

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Lawson hammock tenting on Sommarøy

Maybe that was the furthest north such a tent has come so far? 69°38’5″N, 18°0’46″E – I used the Lawson Blue Ridge Hammock during my last 6 week travel in northern Norway and Sweden. Simply fantastic. It normally is hung between trees. However, some places did not have trees like this spot on Sommarøya (summer island) north of Tromsø. Not a problem. I used it like a normal tent than. – Check http://shop.tzflyfishing.no/ for more information and ordering. #motorcycle#motorcycles #bikelife #instabike#motorbike #photooftheday#instamotogallery #bmw #bmwmotorrad#norway #scandinavia #freedom #nofilter#travel #traveling #GSA #GSAdventure#makelifearide

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Leader Design

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.

  1. power transmission – 60% of the total leader length
  2. taper – 20% of the total leader length
  3. 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.

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leaders for trout fishing

t.z. | Friday, 4 September 2015

I dug out an older text I wrote quite some years back. I recently heard from a quite respected flyfisher from Ireland that he found my artcile in 2007 and it was an eye opener to him. I think this text should be in the s-loops archives.

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 adding 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 – 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 can guess the outcome. The fishing didn´t quite work out for me. 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.

1. power transmission – 60% of the total leader length
2. taper – 20% of the total leader length
3. 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 (I think it was Paul actually) 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 used Maxima or Stroft for the leader and Stroft for the tippet, but choice of monofilament is very much up to you. If you believe all the hype, you can even use fluorocarbon.

Here is the leader recipe for a 9ft rod – I like to start with 0,50 or 0,45 with a 5wt line

1. power transmission – 2 pieces – 116cm 0,45 and 106cm 0,40
2. taper – 20% – 4 pieces 19cm each stepping down 0,35 – 0,30 – 0,25 – 0,20
3. Tippet – 20% – 80 cm – 0,18 to 0,12 depending on fly choice

And this is what I use mostly nowadays on my 4wt HT

1. power transmission – 1 piece – 200cm 0,40
2. taper – 20% – 2 pieces 30cm each stepping down 0,30 – 0,20
3. Tippet – 20% – 80 cm – 0,18 to 0,12 depending on fly choice

For the connection of taper and tippet insert a little ring, known as leader ring. The Leader itself is connected to the fly line with a nail knot. 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.

there is a discussion on the board about leaders – http://www.sexyloops.co.uk/theboard/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1721

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The 5 Fly Casting Essentials

Essentials of fly casting by Bill Gammel – presented by Carl McNeil
watch these vids for better understanding the fly cast … and if you like these vids get a DVD from Carl. Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no

Introduction

Essential 1, Eliminate Slack line

Essential 2, Timing

Essential 3, Vary the Casting Arc

Essential 4, Power Application

Essential 5, Straight Line Path of the Rod Tip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Bg6njFSKv4

BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE – tzflyfishing.no

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STORING YARN 

 

Some yarns can just be the ticket. Like this green yellow olive something I got from Staffan Lindström. It is perfect for extended bodies like the one on this sedge emerger. (Tied on a CZF hook size 16).

However, these tiny amounts – a few yards are good for a lifetime – are difficult to store. I found this to be a neat trick… just wind the yarn around a clothes peg and hey presto, you save hours untangling!

Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no

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DUBBING IN A STRAW 

Is your tying table cluttered and are you drowning under dubbing?

A nice method of organising dubbing (self-made or shop-bought) is simply to stuff it into clear drinking straws – thanks to Mike Connor for that tip – and then keep the collection in a mug. This has the great advantage of being extremely handy as it means you can hold your dubbing supply in the thread hand (right hand for right hand tiers). It also makes touch dubbing very easy and blending various colours becomes a piece of cake.

This means no more mess on the table, amazing! OK … dream on, maybe not quite but anyway I found it to be a nice thing.

Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no

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GNATS ON A STRING 

Do you ever have a problem changing a fly whilst fishing in the dark?

I found this to be an ever increasing issue – so found a way to ease the struggle!

Insects hatch in the evening when it gets dark, and then fish really start feeding on them. That‘s at least what one keeps hearing.

So what do you do to change a fly?

Have you ever been eyesore? I mean really having trouble seeing that little hole on the fly where the tippet is supposed to go? It never occurred to me during daytime of course. It is always the case that in the evening with a low sun those fish are set out to only take the smallest flies …and even smaller.

For these moments I have a simple, actually a very simple solution. Just thread your flies on a tippet material loop (make sure you thread both ends through the eye of the flyhook.) Add a little paper clip which stops them from escaping and the flies can now easily be transferred from the storage-loop onto the tippet on your leader. Just take away the paper clip, bring your leader through where the clip was before and push the fly from one loop to the other. Move it up the leader until that loop opens and you can take the tippet out and put the paper clip back. Very simple.

The pre threaded flies can be stored in a compartment of your box, or you can attach the string in a foam flybox with a security pin or something similar. I leave that up to you.

Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no

Illustration (c) Caroline Züllich.

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YOU CAN LEAVE YOUR HAT ON… 

Every Flyfisher knows the problem…

Where to put the flies during and after fishing?

The spectrum of available containers is immense. Starting with the old bakelit boxes over the aluminium ones with small compartments, to the sturdy and waterproof plastic versions, which even withstand being rolled over by a tank. One can really develop a container fetish… nothing wrong with that.

My fetish is minimalism: one rod, one line and as little equipment as possible in the fish basket or backpack. Beware – no west, which just attracts gadgets one very hardly uses, if at all.

However, something must be worn on the head. A cap with a brim is ideal. The brim shades well for unobstructed observation of the water surface. Wet flies should be dried well. The ideal place is open air and facing the sun. The angler’s head, better said the cap on it is the ideal spot. Direct application of hooks to the caps fabric does have quite a destructive effect though. Holes can not be avoided on the long run. Debarbed flies tend to fall out and barbed ones get very stuck.

A fishing buddy made me aware of a door / window stopper tape to be used for self-made flyboxes. The tape is actually a rubber tube with a P shaped profile and used for air-tightening doors and windows. It looks really nice on the hat. It does stick quite well to most caps I tried it on. However, a drop of super glue does generally fix it.

Now you only need to fix the flies for the days and you’re ready to go. If you get really bored you might want to fix several hats for different waters or fishing situations …. but that would be too far, wouldn’t it?

Enjoy & tight lines – www.tzflyfishing.no