Saturday, 31 October 2009

Got Wood

Its taken me about 2 years of hard searching in the forests for ......'what I think' is the perfect piece of wood to present my flies on. I'm having an Aluminum and glass stand made for small flies but I far prefer to use natural products.Even the backing material is made from Hemp. Anyway I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot more of my new WOOD from now on!

Friday, 30 October 2009

Wig hair streamers

Wig hair streamers tied onto tubes. click for larger view. Here's the tutorial for them. A mate in the States tied some slightly smaller ones up recently for targeting Stripers (Sea Bass) which were very productive. These range in length from 170 mm - 220 mm.

Tools of the trade

Tools of the trade, Like his long nose pliers but his wire cutters fall way short,I mean what happens if the barbed hook hasn't gone through a pikes mouth. How do you get the short handled wire cutters down its gob without slicing yourself to bits?

Catch n release

Unless the fish is damaged beyond hope or you ain't going to take it home for the table,then All Pike or any fish for that matter should be released back.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Action shots

Summer is just a memory now...........But what a season it has been!

Fly Candy

Another bucktail buzzer tied Hollow fleye stylie!

Readers fish porn

Harmen-Jan Captain of the Dutch 4 team sent some pike porn he had over the weekend.Thanks for this Mate

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Bucktail baitfish streamer

Here is another great tutorial from Németh István tying a Bucktail baitfish fly streamer. Its all in Hungarian but is an easy tutorial to follow. I featured Németh earlier in the year on PikeFFArticles tying his version of a feathered fur streamer
Click the link to visit the tutorial.

Kössünk valamit... Baitfish Fly part. 1/4 from visionflyfishing on Vimeo.

Kössünk valamit... Baitfish Fly part. 2/4 from visionflyfishing on Vimeo.

Kössünk valamit... Baitfish Fly part. 3/4 from visionflyfishing on Vimeo.

Kössünk valamit... Baitfish Fly part. 4/4 from visionflyfishing on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Barbed vs debarbed hooks?

It a hot topic that gets written about on the forums a lot by the looks of it. Personally I’ve used barbless hooks on my flies for some….10 yrs now. The last 2 years though and especially this season I have alternated religiously between barbed and barbless hooks to see what results would bare fruition, and I can honestly say without a question of a doubt that barbed hooks have done more damage than barbless.

Now I don’t condone the use of barbed hooks, and I understand why some prefer to have them. If you’re a 9 to 5’r and can only manage a few hours during the week or a days fishing over the weekend, using barbed hooks probably offers you that added security to maybe catch that one or two fish for the day, but employing this method opens you up to more problems eradicating the hook once you have him on your mat. Some of you are probably saying, “Aaah! but that’s why we carry along a pair of wire cutters Si”, Okay fair dinkum, but tying materials and hooks these days aren’t cheap and with the amount of time & effort we spend in tying up our flies why would you want to cut the bloody hook in half with a pair of wire cutters anyway….It doesn’t make sense to me!!!!!!!!! I can guarantee you that many pike fly-fishermen don’t carry wire cutters with them and are quite prepared to just yank & pull the barbed hook free from the hard bony interior of a pike’s mouth. Thus ripping the hole bigger and in some cases shredding skin, gristle and muscle in the process. Its hard enough trying to get a pair of long nose pliers down a 2 kilo pikes gob without bashing its teeth trying to extract a hook, “So can someone please tell me how easy it is to get a pair of short handled wire cutters down a pikes mouth …especially without not only damaging yourself, but also to the pike in question. I can also guarantee you that 95% who carry wire cutters use these short handled versions purely because long handled are extremely hard to find in any hardware store, let alone cost an arm and a leg!!!!.

Now those that use barbed hooks might argue the fact that barbless have more freedom to move around once it has pierced its way through thus making the hole bigger. Well this might be true but I also believe the way we fight our pike once hooked plays a big part in how much damage a hook can make. Like so many other species, pike often breach themselves violently thrashing their heads from side to side as they tail walk across the surface trying to eradicate the un-wanted hook from their mouths. This is where much of the damage is caused either with barbless or barbed hooks, yet if you fight a pike correctly you can control him to an extent that he doesn’t need to jump out of the water. One can feel and see when this is going to happen and so one can either lower his rod tip slightly , or let a short bit of line out between your stripping hands fingers.

Fishing celebrity extraordinaire…(Not!) John Wilson in the UK, often can be seen on his fishing programs purposely trying to get the pike to tail walk across the surface with comments like “I just love it when they do that” & “Is he going to tail walk for me” followed by that irritating stupid laugh of his…….”John if you ever read this mate, then you really need to reassess the way you play a pike me old son, especially on national television. There’s no need to do this. Not only are you adding more pressure to an already stressed out fish, but you’re giving the hooks more opportunity to punch their way through a pike flesh which in turn leads to more damage. “Textbook fucking error in my eyes”.

I have to admit that this season whenever I’ve used barbed on my flies I’ve had this niggling feeling at the back of my mind that I hope the pike is hooked in an area of its mouth where I can eradicate the hook easily. Having that worry hanging over me in some way has spoiled the experience for me a tad this season…... As I mentioned earlier I don’t condone the use of barbed hooked flies, I just know what has done more damage to a pikes mouth this season here on the Baltic and I definitely wont be using them again.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Feathered fur streamer tutorial

Step 1

Take 6 Olive Chinese neck hackle feathers and tie 3 on either side of the hook shaft at the back near the hook bend so they are splayed facing outwards

Step 2

Make your 1st dubbing loop and place a 50mm length of brown raccoon fur zonker strip between.

Step 3

Snip of the leather strip and push fur as close to the cotton as possible.

Step 4

Twist fur onto the loop. Wet fingers and run through fur getting rid of any loose strands

Step 5

Wrap dubbin loop around the hook shaft pulling back the fur with each turn.

Step 6

Take clumps of 3 Ostrich hurl feathers and place around the hook shaft leaving the bottom free.

Step 7

Tie on 3 medium grizzly saddles to the top and sides

Step 8

Repeat steps 2;3;4;5;6

Step 7

Now take 6 thin long grizzly hackles and place around the top section of the hook

Step 9

Make one last dubbing loop and place a 60 mm length of yellow Raccoon fur between, snip leather off and spin onto the loop. Then wrap around the hook shaft. Whip finish and place a dab of head cement over the front. Stick on some eyes if wanted.


Thread: xx strong white 75D

Hook/Tube: Gamakatsu SL12 big game saltwater hook/Eumer tube
6 Olive Schlappeen feathers
Raccoon zonker fur - Brown
3 x medium Grizzly hackles
6x thin long Grizzly hackles
Yellow raccoon zonker fur

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Pike on the fly in the Netherlands

Here's a set of 4 videos revolved around the lads at Dyckers blog in the Netherlands. Although they target a number of other species they love pike on the fly. They sell some amazing EP fiber streamers on their website if you're looking to expand your fly box. Click the links to visit their stunning site.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Foam frogs legs

Here's an alternative way of for frogs legs That give of a fantastic kicking action in the water.Take a 2mm - 4mm piece of foam and cut a shape out similar to this one I have used here.

These measurements are around the lengths you should be using.

Fold the feet over and place a small blob o superglue in the fold.Hold firm for a few seconds and the legs are formed.

Place a hook up turned in the vise and stick legs onto bend of hook with some superglue,then tie on securely with cotton. Whip finish and snip away. I then build a body of bucktail on the underneath of the hook. One can add front legs but at its a popper I don't bother. I have a few of these legs in a box if they get ripped to shreds which I just super glue on.

This fly is probably more suited for Bass but I've caught pike with it as well.You will miss plenty of hook ups due to the foam legs but every now and then one will stick.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Fly Candy

Another bucktail buzzer tied hollow fleye stylie!

Mono vs wire

Another aspect in the sport which gets talked about within the forums is the use of wire vs heavy mono leaders when fly-fishing for pike. Since the very first day I started chucking fluff at mike, I’ve always used a wire trace. Purely because all the websites at the time stated that this was the best line of defense and offered the pike fly-fishermen the most amount of the security. However, the downfall with using wire traces is that they lack any memory, and become terribly kinked after just a few fish. Believe you me when I say I’ve used every possible type, make, brand & scenario one can think of over the years. Lets take for instance this year. I’ve replaced no fewer than 52 wire traces, which if you do your math, equates to a shit loada money, I’m throwing away. Granted I use what ever I can salvage from the old wire traces on my doubles – being the tight arse I am… not all is lost! but its just not cost effective enough.

Anyway the use of heavy mono leaders by many pike fly-fishermen has made me sit up and re-assess my set up….especially from my shooting head to the fly. So for the last 2 seasons I’ve been using a heavy 60 lb mono filament on one of my outfits. At 1st I had some trepidation, but I have to admit that having religiously alternated each day between a 60 lb mono leader and a wire trace I can honestly say that I have been very impressed with how the mono leader has stood up to the rigors of these Baltic pike, as I‘ve only replaced 12 the whole season.

Those that do already use mono leaders probably think that a 60 lb mono is a bit of an over kill, and in truth It probably is, but its stopped that nagging feeling I got when I used something smaller like 30 – 40 lb mono, to a point where I can now relax completely during a sessions fishing. Another reason why I’ve become a convert is that its drastically improved the movement of my fly as well, which “I feel” has improved the overall presentation of my fly. The more I fish with a heavy mono leader the more I’m glad I persevered through all the worry at the beginning and looks like I’m not going to be digging into my pockets as often.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Fly Candy

This is one from a set of 6 Bucktail buzzer baitfish I tied using the "Hollow Fleye technique" yesterday for an order.

Alter ego's

No!...This is not one of the girls I've been interviewing for the restart of popular "Friday pin up after 12 beers" slot....although if you'd seen any off them then you'd have to agree that this snap shot wouldn't be out of place. Actually this is the culmination of 5 days of chatting with Alex over at "Fat guy fly-fishing" on Skype about everything from, Projectiles, Aaron, Food, Beer, Thongs, photography, Frozen balls, cheesecake, crispy corn, more beer, our love of Jägermeister and funnily enough some fly-fishing. All will be revealed at the end of the month.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Fly Candy

Another flared streamer. This one I've combined Olive & Fiery Brown schlappens with Bucktail and marabou feathers onto a tube.

Readers fish porn

Regular reader of PikeFFArticles Harmen-Jan Platvoet from the Netherlands sent me these images taken by Henk-Jan the other day of his friend Sander with some nice pike he's bagged in his local waters.Harmen-Jan is the Dutch four's team captain for the Kvarken International pike fly tournament I'm putting on here next May from the 10th -13th May 2010. Looking forward to meeting up with you mate and thanks for these images.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Circle hooks?

You know I feel extremely fortunate to have dedicated a whole season specifically targeting pike on the fly. For the past 14 yrs I’ve pretty much been set in my ways with regards to my overall rod n line set up. But since moving here to Replot I’ve approached the sport differently the last 2 seasons and invested a lot of time using an array of different set ups, rigs, flies, & hooks that other pike fly-fishermen use and swear by purely because I’ve wanted to see what all the hype was about. For me its been an extremely interesting exercise and one that has given me some food for thought for next season. A topic which I’ve read a lot about over the last 2 years has been the use of circle hooks and how some chaps in the sport swear by them and so this year I’ve fished with them as often as I could. I generally use Gamakatsu SL12 big saltwater hooks but have used

Gamakatsu Octopus Circle Hook (Inline Point) 6/0 as well as

Blacked Nickel Hi-Carbon Circle Hooks 6/0 every other day alternating between barbed & de-barbed. Out of the 84 fish I caught using these circle hooks, only 4 were caught in the scissors and out of the 17 I took home for the table 9 were damaged by circle hooks & out of those 9, 5 were barbed. Now is it me or are those statistics pretty bloody dismal. It begs me to think that whoever thought that circle hook will improve your chances of hooking the pike in its scissors is just talking a loada bollocks in my eyes. I wouldn’t be questioning this thought process if it was only a couple of fish I’d caught………… but come on, 4 caught in the scissors out of 84 with 9 deaths. One of the reasons for these deaths has been the fish are hooked before I’ve realize the pike was on, and the fly ends up being swallowed further to the back of a pikes mouth and ends up snagging its gill rakers and even under its tongue. Circle hooks were 1st designed for the Saltwater baiting brigade where the shapes of the mouths that are being targeted differ drastically from a pikes mouth. My one concern is the upturned hook point at the front of the hook.Although I can see the benefits when using bait with these hooks the upturned hook point doesn't allow for a brisk hook up in a pikes mouth,Which then allows the hook to move more freely withing the large cavity of a pikes mouth.

One only has to take a look at slow motion footage of pike attacking lures under water to see how wide their mouths open and how they engulf their prey/lure/fly. Circle hooks are never used to catch Barracuda or Wahoo purely because their teeth and the shape of their mouths is not conducive to the shape of the circle hooks…so why should they be good for catching pike………I have no idea. I will be using them again next season……(maybe not as often as this year ) before I make my final decision whether to scrap them altogether from my flies. I’m just glad I spent the time and stuck to a strict regimented routine with these rigs n set ups this season as it really has opened my eyes & begged me to wonder whether the so called "experts" in the sport really know what they are talking about.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Pike on the fly in Canada

Fly Candy

Have been tying these doubles like a mad man the last few days for an order. Tied onto tubes, they are primarily for Walleye/Zander jigging flies either used with fly rod or spinner rigs.

Yuppy toys

Here's a fishing game I came across the other day for all us fishermen out there that need to drop a line while they drop a cable at the same time. It'll set you back a meager $16 from and it comes with fishing rod and 4 magnatised fish. Definitely something for the xmas stocking

Friday, 16 October 2009

Fly Candy

Here's another Flared feathered streamer.Black schlappen for a tail combined with Olive & Chartreuse marabou hairline palmered around the tube.

Readers fish porn

Here's some more images of Rowland Frasier from his week in Manitoba this spring,which he says was rather slow by his standards. Anyway I'm real excited as Rowland will be coming out to Replot next Spring for 10 Days to fish the island as well as the Merikarvia river mouth.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Flared pike streamer

Click Image for larger view.

Win some Loose some

Last Sunday was spent with new found fishing buddy Jani. The morning couldn't have been more perfect....which was in stark contrast to the previous weekend where the wind was so strong it would have blown off the dried shit stuck to hair of an angora sheep's arse! With zero wind it gave Jani a chance to cast some bigger flies than he's been used to. We fished hard for over four hours with nothing to show for our efforts.....I know with the fishing I've had this season it was hard to swallow and I hit my fourth blank of the season. I did have a couple of follows but with water temps around 1'c - 2'c mark and having to break through the ice in some places I realised many of the pike have now moved off into deeper water for the dreaded winter.

Still a day out fishing beats a day in church!

Have to say though, four hours in +2'c water turned my bollocks into peanut shaped rattles

You can see where we fished in my google maps in the right side bar click the green marker with the dot in the middle.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Replot fishing report

For the last 3 years I’ve kept a little black book with me whenever I’ve gone fishing to record the days events in short. Here a couple of interesting statistics from just this year.

1. Since the 8th April I’ve dedicated 175 days fly-fishing for pike, and had I not torn my

hamstring I could have added another 14 days to that tally.

2. In those 175 days I’ve caught 752 pike which averages out to 4.06 snotrockets per day. I don’t

count fish lost during a fight but it was over a hundred.

3. I’ve alternated between 2 rods, one with a 60 lb mono leader & the other with a wire trace. I

caught 356 with the 60 lb mono leader & 394 with wire trace. I’ve changed the Mono leader 12

times yet replaced 57 wire traces,& I haven’t lost a single fly using either method.

4. Each day I’ve also alternated between either barbed hooks or barbless for my flies, and found

no difference in the hook up ratio. What was alarming to see though that I can honestly say

without a doubt, that barbed hooks did more damage than barbless.

5. 4 % of the pike were hooked in the scissors while 83% were hooked inside the mouth

somewhere, And 13% were hooked in the far back of the mouth either through the gill rakers

or through its tongue.

6. I took a total of 17 pike home for the table all were bleeding heavily from the gills.

7. Red/white has again been the killer colour combo that has caught me 174 fish .

Black/white second with 122

Orange or predominantly orange combos 96

Pink/white 81

Blue/white/purple combos 79

Chartreuse or fluorescent colour combos 76

Purple/Black 42

Yellow/white 16

Brown/white 19,

Green/yellow; Green/white combos 14

Grey/black 17

Black/Red 16

8. I used circle hooks as frequently as I possibly could, and only 4 pike out of 82 were
hooked in the scissors which begs me to think, whoever says circle hooks improve your

chances of hooking the pike in its scissors really is talking a loada bollocks.

9. The average weight 4,35 kg’s……..Average length (75-85cm)

10. I caught 5 pike with my 1st cast of the day

11. I’ve also caught the same pike on 3 separate occasions in 3 separate areas. Purely

because of the distinctive markings found on them.

12. I’ve caught 493 pike on sunny days & 257 on overcast/rainy days

13. I caught 11 pike over 8 kg, 36 over 6 kg, 59 over 5 kg the rest were jacks of 2,3 & 4 kg’s

14. I only fished from a boat 47 days out of the 175, the rest were all spent wading.

15. I had 4 blank days out of 175

16. I caught 24 pike that had visible signs they had been attacked by a larger pike

There are several subjects which caught my eye this year which I'm going to delve into in more detail in the coming weeks

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Pike wire construction

I don't use these but I know a lot of people do here in Europe. Here's a nice video tutorial on how to make a snap pike wire for attaching your fly to. Its in Dutch but you'll get the drift.

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Gurglebug tutorial

Step 1

Place an Olive schlappen feather over an Black schlappen – Twice, then tie on the far side of hook - repeat process yet tie this batch on the front side of the hook so they flay out from each other.

Step 2

Take a decent clump of yellow bucktail and face towards the hook. Rap a few turns around the clump then pull tightly so the hair stands out firm. Make sure the bucktail is evenly spread around the hook shaft.

Step 3

Fold back and wrap cotton directly behind the fold.

Step 4

Run the cotton down to the hook eye. Tie on some gold/Silver wired short strand garland & wrap down the length of the hook shaft. Run the cotton down over it to the back of the hook.

Step 5

Palmer on 1 Olive Marabou hairline directly behind the bucktail.

Step 6

Cut 2 bong shaped pieces of 5mm foam in different colours. I like to use similar shades to the feathers.

Step 7

Place together and tie onto the back of the hook in front of the marabou. this tie is the most important positioning as its where your final tie in point will be where the lip will stand up.

Step 8

Tie on twice leaving the front loose.

Step 9

Turn vise over and tie any small red clump of material directly under the front tying point.

Step 10

Run the cotton back along the same tie in points then fold over the foam and tie in front of the lip. Pull down with each wrap until the lip stands up. Whip finish.

Step 11

Superglue the lip together. Stick some eyes on if you want and colour patches with a permanent marker.