Thursday, 30 September 2010

Fly Candy

In my quest to find a fly that is light and has a nice balance of mixed materials I've come up with this model.I call it the "Replot stinger" They are a combination of fur & feathers with a smattering of flash thrown in. I've been tying these in a multitude of colours with pink/white and chartreuse/white being the most successful colour combos to date. I start by tying on at the back of the hook near the bend 4 white and a couple of Olive chinese sub saddles deciever stylie. Then add several strands of matching flashaboy followed by several brown & white microbarb saddles.

I then dubbing brush some white raccoon fur on, then finish of the fly with an olive dubbing brush palmered around the hook.Whip finish twice and your ready to fish. These flies are a joy to cast and they literally pulse through the water when retrieving. I've really caught a lot of fish with this fly this Autumn already. I'm sure tied in a different colour scheme they would make dynamite striper flies as well. These flies are going to be a new addition to the baltic pike flies range shortly.

The Ultimate pike fly set up!

Now either this bloke doesn't have two sticks to rub together or a pot to piss in, but he just has to be the ultimate tight ass fisherman I've ever seen. Either way he's one desperate bugger fulfilling his quest in his need to wet a line. Sure its always advisable to have a larger reel for pike on the fly but this bloke takes the biscuit with this improvised pram trolly wheel. On the other hand, the cleverly positioned drag system he has set up is sure to make reel manufacturers sit up and rethink their designs. His rod looks like he just ripped it of the shower wall,saying that it probably handles better than some fly rods I know. Tight lines bugger!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

fishing with mice

You know the scenario, your being dragged along on another of those pointless grocery shopping trips to the supermarket when something out the corner of your eye catches your attention. Hanging half way up some shelving at the end of one of the isles, "Its a packet of multi coloured rattling mice for cats". Lena also spots them and comments that they would be perfect for those last Ad Sweir 6/0 hooks you've been trying to get rid of that Harmen-Jan gave you at the beginning of the year.....Man I have a top missus!

I don't care what anyone thinks, they look the absolute bollocks, And will be fishing with one of these with Mathias on Saturday. They float really well and are full of tiny little balls so they rattle like hell. I might be just the wrong side of the season to be trying out something as audatious as as a multi coloured rattling mouse surface lure, but hey, If I catch something with them I'll be well stocked! especially on these Ad Swier 6/0's ??????

Pike on the fly in Denmark

Nice video Jeppe!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Realistic Fly Candy

Synthetics....well,as I've mentioned on numerous occassions its not my favourite medium to fish with or tie onto a hook. These materials simple just get mullard and after 4 or five fish they generally look like shit. Saying that though I am able to reproduce decent looking baitfish with the stuff,especially with Mirror image. All these flies are between 80mm - 100mm size bracket which are still a little larger than most the fish I found in the few pike stomachs I've taken home for the table this year. This is a small Herring imitation as the island has a healthy population of this species.

This is a the smallest baitfish I've tied so far at 70mm and is supposed to mimic a small Ide fry. During spring here around Replot, large....and when I mean large hundreds of thousands of Ide move up into the ditches scattered inside this island to spawn. many of the margins and openings to these ditches are full with the previous years Ide fry which many of the post spawned pike feed on so I'm hoping this fly does well.

These last 2 are variations of Herring patterns around 100mm in length, and I'm going to be experimenting with adding more steelhead silver to this model.

This is a Bream imitations around 80mm in length. Bream are probably one of the most common fish found here and they are another species I find regularly in pike stomachs. These could do with a little more yellow blended in, but for a 1st effort I'm quite happy with the overall finish.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Blending synthetics for realistic baitfish patterns

I've started to tie up a range of more realistic baitfish patterns for next years season and will probably eventually stock these in Baltic pike flies shop although they will be a little more expensive than normal baitfish patterns due to the amount of work that has to go into them. This years has really made me sit up and take note of what the pike are feeding on here around the island. Every single pike I've taken home for the table have had stomaches full of smaller baitfish rather than one big fish which got me thinking that maybe I should be changing my line of attack......especially through the warmer months of July & August where it seems the pike tend to feed up more on the smaller fish. This has had me blending up a batch of different colours mainly out of Black, Misty black, Natural belly, Steelhead silver, Olive so as to be able to imitate smaller Herring, Perch , Ide, Whitefish

To be honest its one hell of a time consuming job but worth it in the long run. With this batch here I took equal clumped amounts of Mirror image "Natural belly" then mixed in Olive mirror image to each clump adding slightly more olive to each batch of the natural belly. Take the clumps between thumb and forefinger and comb through twisting it as you go along which will eventually evenly mix them together.

This one I started with Natural belly then worked in darker shades of Olive and Steelhead mixes as I moved along the hook shaft. The Lateral line is just a single thin clump of Misty black mirror image. This is very reminiscent of a young Ide or Bream found here around Replot.

Here is another Ide or small bream except with this one I mixed blends Natural belly and Olive with some Deadly dazzle steelhead silver. Looking at them though, they would actually make deadly saltwater flies!

Click images for larger view!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Red/White flies?

Out of all the flies I tie for customers red/white models are the most popular colour combination. Why? What is it about these two colours that seem to catch fish or fishermen feel confident fishing with?. There are very few fish in either salt or fresh that posses these colour traits yet If there is one colour scheme out of all of them I would use (bar chartreuse/white) it would have to be red/white. I have caught a hell of a lot of fish with predominantly red/white flies. Now you could argue that the reason for this is because I've fished extensively more with this colour combination attached to my leaders, so obviously you are going to catch more with a red/white fly simon!, but the last couple of years I've faught the deamons inside my head on numerous occassions telling me to shove the red/white fly on and have persevered and been successfull none the less with other coloured flies....Yet when the voices eventually get the better of me and I eventually do slap a red/white fly on, I invariably catch a fish with it.Well of course you will dickhead! the law of averages state that.

Looking at the black books statistics though, for the last three yrs here on the island, Red/white hasn't faired as well as other colour combo's like Chartreuse/White or pink/white or even Orange. I'm lucky to have a large population of pike here for me to change my fly with every fish I catch but I have noticed that the red/white combo has stayed on my line longer than usual. Sure it could be the shape of the fly, the materials its made from, Its length, the speed at which you retrieve it back, weather conditions or even moon phases that are affecting its ability to catch a pike quicker, but I have noticed that maybe its not as effective colour combination here on the Baltic as when I was fishing on the lakes in central Finland when I 1st moved here.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Fly Candy

Zonker streamers are a simple fly to tie and even easier to fish with purely because the mix of synthetic wig hair and rabbit zonker work so well together one doesn't need to do much with the retrieve to enduse a take. All you need is a strip of black rabbit zonker tied onto the back of the hook. Then take a couple of clumps of wig hair,taper the ends and fold over itself around the length of the rabbit zonker strip. Add a few strands of flash and then palmer on a small section of rabbit zonker to the front.

A friend of mine has bagged himself some nice brown trout with this same black/brown pattern near Tampere this year. A great low light and murky water fly best fished with a floating line.

Pike on the fly in Spain

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Natural materials vs synthetics

I saw this the other day featured on "Moldychum" blog of a chap donating some of his own hair to tie a fly to catch mackrel with which I have often thought of doing myself.

I've been known to use all manner of fur found lying around our house......the zebra skin wall hanging is a good example of that. Unfortunately getting the missus to part with some of her golden locks is harder than first thought. This is why I have a selection of wig hair lying around the house so I can tie up flies like this

Eye can see you

If you like eyes on your flies then look no further than this website "SYBAI" coming out of the Czeck republic. They hold a nice range of different materials from Foams, synthetics, Dubbings, Hairs, Chenilles as well as an awesome range of multi coloured eyes for a very reasonable price.

Click the image or link to visit the site

Thanks to Marco Reisen for letting me use this picture

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Fly Candy

Dmitry sent me this the other day of him with a pike caught with one of my "Pink Lazy boys" which is always great to see.

I like to fish these flies with an intermediate line letting it sink around a meter before starting the retrieve. They've caught me a lot of fish this season. The retrieve is slow and constant with a strip every second or so, purely to give the fly an undulating movement under the water.

I have a couple here where I've replaced the rubber legs with several grizzly microbarb saddles tied around the head and they just give a little bit extra movement under the water

If your looking for a totally snag free fly for rivers or while out wading then tie yourselves up some of these "Rattle n Hums". You could tie them in whatever colour combo you prefer,I've just settled on having a predominantly black version which is constantly catching me fish.

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Green Trickster

Another fly that could quite easily be used for pike.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Fly Candy

Had a fantastic 3 hours with Jani last night. I ended up with 11 fish in total with 2 around the 87 cm mark and Jani bagged 3. God knows how many we lost aswell. I mainly fished with a pink and white schlappen/raccoon streamer with a small spinner blade running loose on the wire trace. I just couldn't be bothered changing over to one of these everytime I caught a fish. I did manage a couple on these perch patterns though.

These are just a mix of Electric yellow & mottled green slinky fiber patterns enhanced with a few perch stripes with a perma marker pen. Eyes have been bug-bonded on for extra longevity.

Pike on the fly in Canada

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Brief moments in time!

From the moment a fish becomes attached to the end of my line, to the moment I see it disappearing back from whence it came is all too short a moment in my eyes.

90% of the pike I catch are released within a minute & a half of hooking them. I like to get the hook out as quick as I can,So when its time to release them they generally are still quite green and thrash away under the surface before I've had time to take in the fish. Its probably the reason why I fish so much as I'm constantly having to top up that 2-5 min adrenaline rush I get from the whole process.

But every now and then you get one that plays ball and the moment becomes endelibly printed in your mind. I love this fish, probably now more than any other species. Its sleek,Its fast...when it wants to be, They hit your fly with such aggression & I'ts a top predator to boot.

Images curtious of Stephane Hadjoudj

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Black Trickster

Now that the days are getting shorter here I fish a lot with these kinda flies in the evenings. An all black fly with a splash of red never fails. Black/Purple or Black/Blue also are very effective colour combos for low light conditions.

Here is an easy tutorials for tying up the "Black Trickster"

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Fly Candy

Other than my trusty raccoon bunnies, this has been my favourite tube fly this season. Another of those cross over saltwater flies "The Bunker baitfish" pattern is a real joy to fish with. They seem irrisistable to pike,whether its the colour or the material combination I'm not sure but what ever it is they are real pike magnets.

Speaking with Steve Silverio yesterday I mentioned that this winter I'm going to be changing the style of most of my own fishing flies for the next season, with a range of more realistic looking baitfish patterns tied between 80mm - 120mm lengths with Minnows, Herring, Perch, Ide and whitefish imitations in mind.

Although I'm lucky here that nearly all pike have'nt seen fly before, and I've been able to catch them on all manner of colour and size combinations,I think a new approach is needed just to put what weve learned from the past 2 yrs in to practice that pike generally feed on smaller prey more frequantly here than say pike living in a closed water system like lakes. If smaller flies are successful next season, then I'm making progress in slowly understanding the feeding habits of these Baltic pike.

Readers fish porn

Looks like my good mate Mike Green has been at it again. He sent me this the other week. Am really looking forward to fishing with him again hopefully in the Spring.Thanks for this Mike.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Baltic pike flies Issue 5 out!

Baltic pike flies Issue 5 has been a while in the making but I finished it last night. When you do something like this you suddenly realise how much time and effort must go in to producing quality productions like "This is fly", "Catch Magazine", SID, Bloodknot to name but a few. Anyway I hope you all enjoy it. Best viewed in full screen mode

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Cross over flies

Its always great to see how other fly fisherman develop and adapt their flies to target other species, cross over flies I call them! Anyway new found fly fishing buddy Perttu Vierimaa took two well known salmon flies the "Silver doctor" & the "Green Highlander" and tied his own interpretations of the fly onto 3/0 hooks and turned them into pike flies. I would have liked to have seen the tail extended a couple of centimeters on each fly just to give it a little more length but they have given me food for thought to maybe tie up some similar models in darker colours Black,brown,Silver & off white to immitate baitfish fry, Which the pike around here seem to feeding on at the mo.

Great idea Perttu and thanks for sharing. Tight lines with these mate.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Fly Candy

Raccoon bunnies have been leaving the house by the dozen since I opened up Baltic pike flies shop. I've also found myself just using these bunnies when I fish with tubes thats how well they perform under the water.

One of my favourite colour combos is this grey/white /yellow version.

These wolf bunnies. have a double trailing tail of raccon zonkers which just add extra flexibility to the fly. You need at least a 10wt line to chuck these beauties especially if its a windy day.

This is fly vol 2 issue 3 out!

I love this read,its something I look forward to each start of the month, but I'd dig to open its pages one day and find a 10 page spread purely dedicated to pike on the fly. Think I've got as much chance of that happening as me winning the lottery. anyway click the image to visit the issue.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Readers fish porn

A big shout goes out to my very good friend here Jani for picking up a PB over the past weekend.Considering this is his 1st full season targeting snotrockets with a fly, Its been a tough old year for him with lots of blanks spread out between a lot of Jacks so seeing him with this 78cm made my day. I think once he gets his boat , fishing is going to drastically improve for him though.Anyway congrats mate. Maybe you haven't noticed Jani but you can tell this is a lake caught pike purely because of the dark colouration markings to the ones we catch here around the island.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Party poppers

Here's a tight ass top tip for party poppers. Don't throw them away after you've fired them off, they not only make fantastic action discs for the front of your fly,but also make awesome popper heads for tube flies.

Peel off the wrapping and take a sharp blade and trim the top section from the main body of the party popper,like so.

Place a tube in your tube attachment and build up a decent front end using foam. Take off and place a generous helping of super glue all over the foam, and then slide the party popper head down the tube. Easy and works just as good as an action disc. I've been experimenting with different sizes the last few weeks and they push a lot of water around the fly giving the Marabou hairline and microbarb saddles so much more movement.

Action discs,nothing wrong with them but you can make them for a tenth of the price if you become a tight ass like me.

Steve Silverio was kind enough to send me this image of some of his tube flies he ties using Juice bottle tops to more or less achieve the same effect. Thanks for this Mate!