Tuesday, 31 March 2009

In search of Perch

The average size of perch here in the Baltic are anywhere between 800 grams – 1 lb Trust me I know I’ve caught one or two of them last year on the fly…unintentually I might add as they were taken on flies that were initially chucked out to attract a decent sized Pike.

So I’ve decided this year to dedicate a lot more time targeting Perch on the fly. This has meant tying up new perch patterns in earnest for the summer. General consensus through out the forums is one should use jig type flies for perch….Bugger! there lies my first hurdle, I don’t have or use dumbbell eyes on my flies - well very rarely that is……long story but it revolves around me ending up with a hook through my cheek….yes I was a tad over zealous when casting a heavy fly and thought I new better at the time…..twat!

Anyway most of the perch I’ve caught, have been on small Zonker or Minnow patterns anyway. Flies that have had no real weight on the front of them, off course I’ll cover all my bases and tie a selection of smallish (weighted streamers & rock knockers), but have started tying in a Tarpon/Deceiver hybrid pattern fly. I’ve taken the same principle as I would a pike fly, and tied them big, and as I use snap links on my wire traces, I’ve tried to distribute the weight more to the back of the hook with the hope that it gives the fly a more undulating movement through the water. Sure I’m going to catch my fair share of Jacks on these flies but my main aim is to attract perch of 2 lbs and hopefully bigger with them.

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Saturday, 28 March 2009

Mastering Pike on the Fly: Strategies and Techniques - By Barry Reynolds

You know everyone I know bangs on about Ad Swiers “Passion for pike” as if it’s the Holy grail of pike fishing literature. Don’t get me wrong……there’s no question it’s a fantastic read, and I will talk about it next review, but if you are just starting out in the sport or have been fly-fishing for pike and just need a little inspiration, then the best pike fly fishing book available without a question of a doubt - "for me" - has to be, Mastering Pike on the Fly: Strategies and Techniques - By Barry Reynolds This book goes with me where ever I go. Barry truly does understand everything about Pike behavior and is evident by his writings in this book.

It covers all aspects from where to locate pike depending on what season you are fishing for them & what kind of waters you are fishing on? How & where to locate pike with regards to structures & cover. How different water temperatures effect a pikes metabolism, spawning times, as well as feeding habits and what flies to use & how to fish these flies. If you don’t improve as a pike fly-fisherman after reading this book then you should stop, and rather take up knitting instead.

Barry tells me he spends around 100 days a year targeting pike on the fly and has caught 30 pike in excess of 50 inches or 30lbs on the fly & his current personal best now stands at 54” and 37.5lbs. This book truly has been written by a true master of the sport. Thanks Barry for allowing me to use this image of you as well.

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Snap shots link enhancer

Introducing Snap Shots from Snap.com

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profilesAmazon products, display inline videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more. and

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Friday Pin up......After 12 beers!

Mouldychum run a weekly Friday pin up, so I thought I might do something similar except every week you get to decide how many beers it would take you before she would start to look approachable enough to take back to your boat.......for another 6 pack!
We'll start proceedings off with Emily, 22yrs of age. She drives the crane down at our local scrap yard and she says she's up for most things after a few vodkas.

Pike on the fly in Spain (III)

Lucios de Invierno from trasnofly on Vimeo.

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Old Porn video boxes

The idea has been around for some time but had got lost on me until I saw them featured in Dave Edwards blog (Deesox) a while back. Old video cases doubled up and recycled to be used as pike fly cases. Whoever thought of the idea 1st must have been a pike fly-fisherman because old video boxes make the perfect pike fly carrying cases. I spent years looking at over priced, undersized fly cases, yet the perfect solution was staring me right in the face, and was going to cost me practically bugger all as well. Just remember to stick a bit of foam on one side so you have somewhere to stick the hooks in.
I like to fish light….really light! My hip bag has a bottle of juice, my phone, Spare leaders, Traces and my recycled video box with an assortment of no more than ten flies….That’s it! Using these boxes has meant no more carrying 20 or so Jiffi sealed packets around with me filled with flies……which invariably would get squashed all the time and what’s more, using these boxes for this purpose keeps the flies in a better condition.

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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Fly-fishing for big pike - By Alan Hanna

You know there are thousands upon thousands of books, magazines, articles & Blogs all dedicated to fly-fishing for trout & Salmon....God knows why!. Every book store's fishing section is overflowing with the bastards, yet there are only a handful of books written specifically for those that either target pike on the fly or for those maybe interested in taking up the form. Anyway I need to free up space in my sidebar so I've deleted my "Favourite books Amazon widget" and decided to go though each book........(well there are only six of them) for you over the next week or so. The first will be "Fly fishing for big pike - by Alan Hanna.

This was the 1st Book on Pike fly-fishing I ever read and if anyone can be credited with starting me in the sport, then it has to be Allan Hanna. It’s certainly not the best book out there with regards to targeting pike on the fly but the book does cover some aspects of the sport from the tackle needed to where and how to fish for Esox lucius. I have to add though that it was written towards a specific technique of fishing he uses by combining slow sinking intermediate lines with buoyant flies….. If you are able to get it as well, it does comes with a very well presented 96 min video (not sure about the DVD version) called “Fly fishing for Big pike in Ireland” which includes fly tying tutorials, casting techniques, fly line set up, pike recipes and some wonderful pike on the fly footage from Ireland.
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New flies

Had a little time last night so I tied a few more flies for the ever increasing collection. I love using Party wig hair in my flies. Its a little trickier to tie but the amount of volume it gives you with such minimal weight is worth the effort. Not only that its a treat to cast as it has little water retention.

This fly here I took short clumps of the black wig hair and build it on top of each other to make the collar. Trimmed the bottom as you would do if you were trimming a bucktail popper just to free the hook up

Another version of the Ballydoona bomber. This time in red. This works best with Purple Zonker strip tied in behind the head.

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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Zonker strip cutter

Here’s a handy gadget I found recently that you can knock up yourself for cutting your own Zonker strips. All that’s needed is a 5 of old style razor blades & two long thin bolts with nuts. If you are lucky enough to live in a country where whole treated rabbit pelts can bought rather cheaply then this the perfect gadget for all you tight arsed fishermen out their. For a piece of fur the size this chap is using to demonstrate with, costs around 15 euros here which is practically 12 short zonker strips from your local fly shop but with this gadget one can cut 40 to 50 long zonker strips for the same price. This is a huge saving if you’re prepared to put in the time and effort.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Herring or Baitfish immitation tutorial

Run your cotton base to the bend on the hook. Take a small clump of White Flash n Slinky and tie on to the end, then fold over itself and build up the cotton behind the fold. Sorry for the 1st 2 images being taken with a white background

Snip the length short.

Use what was left and repeat the process so that the next piece slightly overlaps the last.

Then tie in several strands of gold & silver fff flash on either side of the hook.

Then tie in equal lengths of light green (any colour will suffice) wig hair so they flow down either side of the fly.

Build up 2 more clumps of White flash n slinky

Then mix a decent amount of mixed gold & silver fff flash onto the top of the hook. Fold over itself and build up the cotton behind the fold…..like so.

Add 2 more clumps of the White flash n slinky

To finish of the fly first tie in a clump of black wig hair onto the top and then a clump on either side of the hook to give it lateral lines.

Trim to finish it off.


Ganmakatsu Sl12s Big Game saltwater hook

FFF flash Silver + FFF flash Gold

Green wig strands

Black wig strands

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Sunday, 22 March 2009

Fishing Doldrums

Except for a few saltwater sorties at the beginning of the year in South Africa, this has to be the longest period I have spent without being able to chuck some fluff in ten yrs and to be truthful I’m starting to get a little ratty and jaded around the edges. Reading everyone else’s antics globally isn’t helping matters either. In fact its even got to a point where I’m hoping & wishing that there is some other bugger out there who is suffering withdraw symptoms similar to my own. Yes!, this blog has brought some respite to the fishing doldrums I am presently experiencing, but its just not the same.

In the past 4 yrs, I’ve been able to find at least one stretch of open water here I was able to chuck some fluff at come the end of February - but this is becoming ridicules. No man should have to endure a 6 month drought of fly-fishing……..should he!

I’ve tied over 120 flies this winter, Cleaned all my lines, sharpened old hooks, sorted out my collection of Spinners & Zalt lures for those none pike on the fly days, Yet I’m sure in 3 weeks time………..”ONCE THE FEKKIN ICE MELTS!” - With my currant mental state being as it is – I’m probably going to be like a rabid dog frothing at the mouth, champing at the bit and will probably fish like a man possessed once the spawning season ends…………..Well that’s what I’m visualizing anyway! I just hope with all this pent up angst being released, that it doesn’t have an adverse effect on my fishing!

I’ve also decided that I will start at the north end of Replot island in Svedjehamn Björköby and work my way down its west coast first, but as you can see by this image, I could be here around Svedjehamn Björköby for quite some time. Having to endure looking at images like this for the past 6 months you can understand what I must be feeling like at the mo.

Click this Banner to learn more about my fishing playground.

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Friday, 20 March 2009

The Ballydoona Bomber

For all of you in the States & Canada that have never heard of the Ballydoona bomber, let alone fished with one, then you don’t know what you’ve been missing. It was the very 1st fly I started fly fishing for pike with, and was designed by a chap called Alan Hanna from Ireland. Its main feature is an off set triangular foam head placed at the eye end of the hook. Anyway this is for all you tight arse pike fisherman out there that like to get creative with cheap ass products found from your local craft shop.

One can use foam from a block off course, which all fly shops will stock, but for a tenth of the price I will be using foam sheets 10 cents ea from my local craft shop.

Take sheets of foam and cut into 30mm wide strips

Then cut the strips into 50mm lengths. Glue these together and wait for it to set

Then cut through the foam blocks at 45 degrees like this. Trim all the edges also at 45’ angles to suite the size hook you are using.

I very rarely use eyes on my heads but for this I bought a meter of this double sided plastic wrapping paper with holographic balls on it and cut 2 out to use for eyes.

Here is the finished product. You don’t have to, but I like to coat my foam heads with some clear varnish just to give it a shiny finish especially with the holographic eyes I have used.

What you tie behind the foam head is entirely up to your own imagination. A longish strip of around 150mm of Zonker fur would suffice, but I also like to tie in plenty of flash and super stretch Floss onto mine as well. Here I have used a strip of artificial fur, a generous amount of Silver Tinsel flash, Gold fff flash, Green super stretch floss and two different coloured green Marabou feathers for hackles. Lastly I also cut 2 strips off the foam 2mm to use for legs.

Simple, easy & above all tight arse cheap to make. And don’t be fooled by what it looks like ……yes! - go ahead and laugh, but this is a killer fly & will catch you tons of fish.

Technique to fish this fly

I have found that the best way to get the most out of this fly is to fish it with a slow sinking intermediate line. Cast out and give the line a few seconds to start sinking. Then strip back with short sharp strips. The line draws the fly under the water but floats back to the surface. The deeper the line goes the longer you can keep the fly under the water bobbing up and down.

Here is Alan Hanna explaining how to tie an Al's Eel as well as some great footage of this fly through the water.

Big pike on the fly from Johnny Saunderson on Vimeo.

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Thursday, 19 March 2009

Action Discs

I came across these while on my recent visit to South Africa. “Action Discs” although primarily developed for bass baits, walleye rigs, salmon lures and trolling flies a number of saltwater fly-fishermen are now using them over there, purely because they are giving the fly more movement when being stripped back. This is evident from the video footage the website has with there “Arctic fox tube flies”.Anyway I bought a packet of the small discs to try out this spring. Will see how they fare once this bloody snow & Ice melts.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Pike on the fly in Spain (II)

Here's another clip of Javier Barros fly-fishing for pike in Spain.

Lucios a Mosca from trasnofly on Vimeo.

Hot Topics

The growing debate over here in Europe within the pike fly-fishing fraternity regarding the use of heavy mono or wire traces seems to be hotting up. The general consensus that I have been reading within most of the pike fly-fishing forums around the world is split down the middle. There are those who have used wire traces since starting the sport……me included, that either wont change a winning formula or are reluctant to try something different and there are those that have used wire traces for many years but have recently………….well in the last 2 yrs that is! changed over to using very heavy mono filament and are full of praises towards its attributes…….Okay its been around for a long time, but if all our top fishing celebrities have fed us this opinion that one should always use a wire trace on the business end of your line then off course you are going to get those that will always buck the system and try something different. I’ve always been happy with a short wire trace especially with the confidence & security that comes with using one but I’m also willing to try other systems as well, especially if its going to improve my days fishing. I suppose this is why I love to fish for pike on the fly due to the constant evolution of the sport.

To be truthful I have mixed opinions on this topic, On one side I’m happy using a wire trace due to the security it affords me, yet it lacks very little memory and so I have to change these traces regularly due to them ending up kinked……Bugger!, yet stiff Mono retains its memory but has a greater chance of being bitten through…….well when I mean bitten through I mean scoring itself against those extremely sharp teeth Mike has, thus chaffing it and ultimately weakening its structure. What is promising to read though from many of these converts is that using a heavy Mono 100 lb – 120 lb seems to last a lot longer……A whole season in some cases……..mmmmm interesting!

Anyway with this in mind I will be using a heavy mono filament trace 120 lb b/strain this year on one of my intermediate lines just to see what all the fuss is about……Am sure that once I hook into 10 kg pike I will be going through all the stresses that goes with the unknown of using a different set up though.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Pike fllies

Seeings it snowed all day yesterday here in Vasa, I decided to tie a few more flies in the afternoon. They might not look like much but I know they will be fun to use.