Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Fly Candy

I've fished with this fly a lot over the last 3 weeks for one simple reason purely because of its action and ability to attract fish. I've really been surprised with the longevity of the reindeer fur as well considering I average around 170 cast per morning and evening session. This fly has a far more erratic action than all the other woolheads I've fished with which put down to the shape of the head.

Using large eyes and crimping them together flattens its profile drastically and I've noticed the fly dart all over the place through a retrieve far mor than the others in the set. Whether the reindeer fur and microbarb saddles have something to do with it I'm not sure, but I'm going to try this same head with maybe feathers or even synthetics as a main body feature to see what action they produce.

I've had 12 fish with this fly in the last week and It still looks in good nick. Total length 150mm

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Fly Candy

So I've taken the woolheads a step further in their construction by adding a tandem trailing rig to the fly. I started by tying on five yellow/olive grizzly schlappen feathers facing inwards to an up turned Tiemco 811s 3/0 hook. Then added a clump of long reindeer fur. Tied on several strands of peacock FFF Flash then a small clump of yellow then olive bucktail.

Attached that to the main hook and then added a single yellow/olive schlappen splayed outwards followed by a clump of yellow then olive then cream bucktail.

For the head I first added a tapered clump of two inch olive artificial wool followed by some brown. Added several more strands of the peacock FFF Flash follwed by alternate inch clumps of Olive & brown A/Wool up to the hook eye. Trimmed the head into the shape of a pikes.Stuck a couple of eyes on and then Bugbonded the whole area.

I've been very pleased with how this looks and swims in the water. Total length 180mm

Monday, 29 August 2011

Pike tube fly

You know me and my love of fishing with pike tube flies. Well here's a great tutorial from Morten Bundgaard Owner of Profly tyer Called the Pike Buster tube fly. Chatting with him the other day he says that they have a new range of pike tube fly accessories hitting the shops very soon which I'm looking forward to trying out once I get my grubby little mits on some.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Wiggle tails update

Over the last month I've fished with these wiggle tails a hell of a lot and if anything I can't argue they haven't hindered me in any way from catching fish. This one is rather crude in its construction .I first tied and then Bugbonded a black wiggletail to the end of a 100mm length of rabbit zonker, and tied that to a back of a hook. Added a clump of white bucktail then a clump of reindeer fur. Several strands of pearl fine tinsel. Then wrapped a small strip of black raccoon zonker around the hook shank then finished of the fly with some Chartreuse UV Polar chenille. A simple nast fly but has caught me a number of fish this week.

Some proof that theses wiggle tails do catch fish from Paolo himself. Its looking more and more like I will be stocking these in my shop in various sizes and colours in the near future for people to buy.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Pike on the fly in Canada

Here are a couple of great videos coming out of Mike Lembke's Wollaston lake lodge

Hows this for a vicious take right up close to the boat.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Fly Candy

Out of all the flies that I have fished with over the last 5 yrs here on the island, this Sclappen/bucktail/microbarb colour combo variant has been the one fly I've turned to when the chips have been down. Its been so successful for my clients whenever I've given it them to fish with that I usually end up giving it to them to keep. Hence why I've tied up some more for my autumn season bookings.

I mixed in a couple of clumps of reindeer fur with this tie and also used red arctic fox tail for the gills. Total length 140mm

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Fly Candy

With this woolhead version I started by tying on 6 grizzly yellow/olive schlappen to the back of the hook.Then added two clumps of reindeer hollow fleye. Then a clump of olive bucktail then a clump of cream bucktail.

Then added fifteen or so strands of pearl fine tinsel and one last clump of Olive bucktail. Then tapered a decent 2 inch clump of artificial olive wool,combed out the excess and tied on three quarters around the hook shaft. As I mentioned yesterday if your going to be trimming the head like I've done with this one, there's no need to taper the clumps of wool.Just tie them on as tightly packed as you can until the hook eye.

I'm stoked with the overall shape & colour of this fly as it looks very much like a small pike imitation in the water. The reindeer and feather combo has unbelievable movement under the surface and it darts erratically from side to side. Super light to cast and has a total length 160mm.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fly Candy

Another variation of baitfish using reindeer fur,bucktail and artificial wool. I started by tying on a couple of clumps reindeer & white bucktail hollow fleye stylie. Then added three grizzly microbarb saddles. then a couple more clumps of reindeer fur. Then twenty or so strands of super fine pearl tinsel followed by three white microbarb saddles. Then added a couple more clumps of bucktail.

For the head on this one, I alternated overlapping one & a half inch clumps of olive & brown artificial wool. If your not going to trim the head with a razor blade, you need to taper each clumps end, then spread out and slide over the hook point allowing it to butt up against the last tie off point. tapering the clumps allows complementing colours to blend together once you've combed it through.

The eyes were salvaged from an old teddy bear and have been epoxied together. Crimping the eyes onto Wool or artificial wool heads like this gives a much thinner profiled head which inturn gives the fly a more side to side jerk bait action.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Fly Candy

Been playing around with some clumps of artificial wool the last week or so given to me by my mate. I prefer this material over real wool for a number of reasons. It costs a 5th of the price, retains less water thus making the fly lighter to cast and is surprisingly easier to work with when moulding the material around the hook shaft as well as trimming with a razor blade. There is nothing wrong with wool, I just like to find alternative materials that aint going to burn a hole in my pocket. I started with tying on 6 or 7 clumps of reindeer hair hollow fleye along the hook shaft. added ten or so strands of pearl fine tinsel.

Then added different thickness sized inch and a half clumps of olive & brown around the hook shaft and folded back over itself until the hook eye. Trimmed with a razor blade then stuck a couple of eyes on with some zap n gap glue.

Total length 150mm.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Popper magic!

Here's a great tutorial for making popper heads out of flat sheets of foam.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Fly Candy

I've eventually got around to putting that zebra print rabbit pelt to good use over the last month with a number of double bunny semi jigging flies for the autumn. This was a very effective fly for me from late September through too ice over the last three years here on the island.
Again being the tight ass that I am I salvaged a couple of hooks from some old flies that were well used and given to me by my friend Rowland. Both these are much the same in construction. two rabbit zonkers tied onto the end of an upturned hook. Then a dubbing brush loop of black raccoon zonker fur followed by a pencil thick clump of either pink or yellow bucktail.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fly Candy

Another dubbing brush flash fly. This one has a Chartreuse & turqoise goat hair tail, with three dubbing brushes of varying types of flash materials in Chartreuse, blue & Green.

Matching the hatch!

Pike get blamed for eating everything,but this just goes to show that given the chance Trout will hava go at anything that moves as well.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Fly Candy

More from Rudolph & Prancer. This one I started by tying on a thick clump of reinder hair to the back of the hook.Added a green grizzly microbarb saddle to either side.Then some pearl flash and then three or four clumps of reindeer tied on hollow fleye style.

The red is arctic fox tail fur and the head is Olive bucktail.

This fly is 98% made from reindeer. I just added one tiny clump of chartreuse bucktail and also one of Olive through out the tie.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Spinner leaders

Made up three new spinner leaders last week in varying lengths. Purists might frown apon this method but as I mentioned last season I'd rather have a spinner blade running along my wire trace than have one attached to the actual hook of the fly. I've found these tiny spinner blades are most effective during the warm summer months when a faster than normal retieve is needed. I'm not sure they give off all that much vibration but they sure do add an extra attractive flash to the front of the fly.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Rudolf 'n Prancer

I've had my eye on these two Reindeer pelts lying in the lounge for a couple of years now and was pleasantly suprised to hear that they were no longer welcome back in the house. As a dry fly material for small Caddis type flies its fantastic but I've never seen it applied to Pike flies although I did fish with it on smaller clousers when I was back in South Africa a couple of years ago.

Generally the fur is too short for long streamers but if your lucky the neck area of a reindeer can hold some extremely long strands. These clumps I cut have hair around 6" inches/150mm which are perfect for my pike flies.
I've tied a number of flies up recently using the Hollow fleye method. This one is a combination of Reindeer,Orange bucktail and several strands of fine pearl tinsel. I do have reservations to the longjevity these flies might have due to the super fine hair snapping while casting, but to be honest as long as they catch me a couple of fish then they'll have served their purpose and well worth the effort that was put into them.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Baltic pike flies - Baitfish edition Out now!

Just completed putting together a collection of my top 100 baitfish patterns for my Baltic pike flies - Baitfish Edition. you can access my Issuu page here for more ideas on pike fly design.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Wiggle tails update

On top of testing the new bendback hightie flies, I've also been putting the new wiggle tails through their paces the last week and a half and I have to say they certainly haven't hindered my fishing in anyway. If anything they've improved the overall fish tally for each session considerably for this time of the year. Whether this is because of the colour of the fly or because I've been fishing in low light condition earlier in the mornings and later in the evening I can't say. watching these wiggle tail flies being fished by others a month ago, is very different to fishing them yourself. With water clarity here at a premium at th mo, even in very low light condition these tails stick out like a pork chop in a synagogue. They give off a lot of vibration and sparkle and seem to get the pike well interested. Anyway with this one I started by tying on a red flash wiggle tail directly onto the back of the hook.Then added a couple of clumps of white deerhair and finished the fly off with a dubbing brush loop of red arctic fox tail fur. Total length 90mm.
This one is slightly different in its construction.I first attached a silver holographic wiggle tail to one end of a 3 inch piece of wire. then attached the wire to the back of the hook. This was to be able to extend the overall length of the fly. I then added clumps of Olive and cream bucktail down the hook shaft,just long enough so they wouldn't hinder the movement of the wiggle tail. Then added twenty or so strands of flouro chartreuse fine tinsel. Then a couple more shorter clumps of olive & cream bucktail then added a dubbing brush loop of yellow raccoon zonker fur to the front. Then finished off the fly with several wraps of olive polar UV Chenille. Over all length 140mm. I must say casting these wiggle tails sounds very much like casting one of my condom flies but they can still be cast the same length as a normal fly could. I'm not sure the the length of the extended tail wire needs to be 3 inches and will probably cut an inch off for the next fly I tie up using these tails just to see whether it improves the aerodynamics of the fly through the air. Stay tuned for more updates! have an awesome weekend everyone.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Fly development

Fly development is something I'm always playing around with and have been looking for a fly for some years now that could do a number of things for me. It should be totally snag free (Over rocks & through thick weed beds) & light enough to cast either with a single handed rod or a double spey set up. Steve Silverios hightie method was somthig that interested me a lot so I tied up these for starters. They have worked fantastic and have caught me some nice size fish over the last month. Unfortunately this design has some flaws with my synthetics that needed to be improved. Tying the materials onto a streight up turned hook like this was fine but as with all synthetics no matter what you try, once wet they always pencil out and I was finding firstly that the materials were clumping up a lot around the hook point, which although still allowed the fly to move freely through weed beds it still had the tendancy to get snagged often & secondly was mainly hindered hook ups. Coupled with the beaded wire counter balance (Which actually isn't necessary) I lost a lot more fish than I liked.

I then decided to try the same method except this time onto a bendback style hook and the the rest is history really. The Ultimate weedless weed guarded fly. By changing the angle of the tying platform its improved the performance of this fly 100%. Firstly its stopped the synthetics penciling out and improved the overall profile of the baitfish pattern, which in turn has allowed the hook point to be less clogged up. Secondly changing the angle of the hook point has for some reason also improved the amount of fish I have hooked & thirdly the bendback has now given me a fly I can fish over distance while wading that rides over every rock and snag and can be chucked into the thickest weed or lilly bed without ever getting snagged. Trust me I have been testing these flies the last 3 weeks,chucking them into some of the thickest reed beds and retirieved the fly back without a single snag up.

I've also found through trial and error that its also benificial to have an epoxied head at the front. A couple of eyes bug bonded works a treat. Not only is this fly awesome for wading and thick weedbeds but am positive it will be the perfect fly for my double handed spey endevours. Anyway this fly I used fluoro yellow vibrant chenille to attach the seperate clumps of blended misty green deadly dazzle and natural belly mirror image.

This perch pattern I used hot orange vibrant chenille to attach the blended clumps of misty yellow deadly dazzle and steelhead silver mirror image for the 1st four clumps and then placed a final clump of of chartreuse slinky fiber ontop. the chin is red arctic fox.

This one comprises entirely of white and olive slinky fiber and a chin of red arctic fox again. I'm busy doing a tutorial whic I will post next week for anyone who wants to give them a bash.