This evening my local fly fishermans club,Fluegruppa, had invited tool maker and rod builder Jostein Stulen. He talked about the process of making a splitcane rod and showed us the tools he uses,many of wich he has designed himself. His rods and reels are truly works of art. He does not sell any of the rods. He is simply a true craftsman and a master of his trade. He is a perfectionist and his rods proves that. I just wanted to present some photos from this event…
This reel is designed and crafted by Jostein.
The rod to the right is an imaginary fly rod. Josteins idea is that if one were to make a fly rod in Norway a thousands years ago,with the materials available this would be it.
Goby,or kutling in norwegian,is an important food source for the sea-trout here in Scandinavia. There are about 2000 species of these in the world. These are small fish,and normally they are up to 10cm in lenght. They are abundant and the fish eats them willingly. Imitations of these small fish do not have to be very sophisticated. This one is basically a zonker style fly,made with a mix of spun squirrel and opposum dubbing. I find the most important feature of this fly is weight. It needs to be heavy and sink fast. By using lead/tungsten wire combined with materials that draws water you will achieve this easily. I will go fishing today,and maybe if I am lucky there will be some pictures in the next post…
“Maybe your stature as a fly fisherman isn’t determined by how big a trout you can catch, but by how small a trout you can catch without being disappointed” John Gierach
I found this John Gierach quote on the great http://howsmallatrout.wordpress.com/ blog. This image shows a grayling,not a trout, but the quote is still valid. I hooked this after a very long and intense day of fishing with no sign of fish. It is the smallest grayling I ever caught,but it looks fierce,almost like a tarpon…
The other night I was at a very interesting presentation on sea-trout fishing. The man responsible was sea-trout/sea fishing expert Asgeir Alvestad,a well known figure in the norwegian angling community. He shared his wast knowledge and experience on this subject. One of the things was the color chart pictured below. The color chart is based on many years of catch records,both his own and a lot of other anglers. This is off course no final thruth,but it gives the angler a good hint on which color to choose in different water temperatures. The chart shows that on low water temperatures white is the preffered color of the trout. During the winter the predominant food of the sea-trout is smaller fish. That means herring,sprat and goby. Asgeir also advices anglers to fish the flies real slow in the winter.
Check out Asgeirs blog: http://www.eu.purefishing.com/blogs/no/asgeir-alvestad/ (Norwegian)
The pattern below will be my choice for the rest of this winter,an all white baitfish imitation. I intend to tie it in many sizes and different hooks,sometimes I might throw in some kind of flash material as well. I will then carry Pantone markers in red,blue,yellow,green,brown and black,then just color the fly when needed. I use a short shank hook and eyes of different sizes and colors. Large saltwater flies tends to be tied on short shank hooks,especially the ones with eyes. When there are eyes on a bait, the fish goes for the eyes in about 70% of the hits. So,out of pure laziness this will be the one fly until the sandworms appear. Maybe I´ll call it The Pantone General…
The Pantone General
My secret weapon…
“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back,and who knows if the fish that you caught isn´t someone else´s gift to you” Lee Wulff
This image is part of a series on fly fishing and fly tying that Staffan Lindstrøm produced some years ago. I will present some more of them in later posts.
When mayflies,and other aquatic insects, hatch they shed their nymph/pupa skin in the process.They also have small airbubbles surrounding them when trying to break the surface film. This can often be a very important trigger to the fish. I think the key is to just give the fish a small hint of this element. The whole point is not to make it to firm and compact. I see a lot of flies tied to please the human eye,and not the eyes of the fish. The old skin is translucent and often it still carries small silvery air bubbles in or around it. Personally I think the best method is the one deviced by G. LaFontaine on his Halo Mayfly Emerger. To create this illusion he simply winds a few strands of antron down the hook shank. Be sure to wind them loosly,and never use to much. This has worked well for me in various hatching situations. The second method that I use is just a small amount of cdc hanging behind the actual pattern.
LaFontaine´s method using antron yarn.
Alternative method using a few fibres of cdc.
“Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration.” Sir Izaac Walton