Monday, 30 April 2012

Shrimp for Ide!

 Tied up some little shrimp patterns for targeting some Ide here this spring. Hook Sakuma manta 1/0, Main body I started by attaching a couple of mono filiment eyes followed by a single 1" inch grizzly microbarb saddle on eithe side of the hook bend.
Then palmered a layer of Tan brown Long haired Chenille,followed by some pink long haired chenille. Then palmered the front inch and a half of a tan brown schlappen feather around the chenille body. Added a tiny dumbbell a good en!!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Fly Candy

 Grey/yellow/white raccoon bunny's should be fishied with an erratic retrieve. Out of all the photos that get sent to me of fish caught with my flies, 60% of them are with raccoon bunny's. No matter what colour combination it is, there is just something about this style of fly that pike just cant resist. 
By the way I'll be starting my season this weekend so get your entries in for the "fanatasy pike fly challenge"

Friday, 27 April 2012

Fly Candy - Musky madness

Another double tandem rigged fly this time in Yellow & Black. Total length 130cm with another set of large dumbbell eyes mounted on the underneath of the hook shank and Bugbonded in place. 

I also used two decent clumps of yellow ostrich hurl towards the front of each hook as well as a decent clump of super fine chartreuse tinsel.

The head has a black collar of bucktail followed by yellow  and I palmered a black marabou feather infront of that. Click images for larger view.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fly Swaps!

This 13" inch tandem beast was sent to me by a good mate in the States Ian Bohon out in Grand junction Colorado. Its a mix of Icelandic sheep hair, flash and what looks like big fly fiber for its belly. To be perfectly honest I think this is going to be an absolute **** to cast, and so I hope you don't mind Ian but this is going to have to be framed mate.

Thanks Ian,Its an absolute pearler brotha!. I will reciprocate and send you a couple of flies as soon as I can mate, but you'll have to wait in line as I still have flies to tie for Mike Schmidt and Mike Williams etched on my board.... 

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Fly Candy - Musky madness

Si..."Can you knock me up another set of those monster musky flies for me brotha". 
"Sure How many do you require, and in what colour and what sizes are you looking for?" 
"Pink/Back, Orange/Black &Yellow/Black and all around 220mm  please!.......Oh and they must have tightly secured dumbell eyes mounted to the front of the head...cheers!"

Whats been interesting for me is the difference in choice of colours fly fisherman ask me for their flies. The Europeans seem to go for more bright fluoro colours pink/Black, Orange/Black, Chartreuse/Black/white. While the Musky fly fisherman in the States like their flies in more earthy colour schemes like Tan/white, Tan/brown/white, Black/tan/white whith the odd Red/yellow/Green - firetiger thrown in.

Anyway this is another tandem rig with stinger hook....Materials used: Pink n Black chinese cock saddles, Pink n white bucktail, pink fluoro glow in the dark tinsel and a spun deerhair head with a dumbbell eye mounted on the front.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Banger time!

It was a tough descision to leave out my Banger fly from this years challenge. Longevity was the key issue as I just knew they wouldn't last the whole season. I generally get around 10 - 15 fish with this design, which normally would be a good return for a fly, but they are prone to loosing their over all length within the first 5 - 8 fish caught. Okay, shorter more compact flies would be a great asset to have in the box for the summer months, but I just could'nt take the chance. Its a real shame cause this fly kicks ass under the water!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Will it ever arrive!

So this time last year, I had already been fishing for over a month.Yesterday we had 14cm of snow and there is two weeks before my first clients arrive. Warm weather is expected for next week so hopefully all the ice will have melted so I can get out onto the boat and start my season.

Friday, 20 April 2012

pike on the fy in Arizona

Now this is a guy who enjoys his fishing,his smile say's it all!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Its all about the tube

I'm always on the look out for new tube products and I recently managed to get my hands on a small set of the new "TubeWorx" tube system from Toby Merigan at Funky Fly Tying. Over the last 6 yrs I've seen the benefits of fishing for pike with tube fies......There are are a number of top pike fly fisherman here in Scandinavia that solely fish with this kind of system.......the greatest exponant that comes to mind is Niklaus Bauer from Sweden. Even talking with Johan (aka - DJUZA) who writes "The Piketeaser blog" last night on skype, he stated that he will only fish solely with tubes this season.

So what do I look for in a tube system....well I like to keep my fishing simple and for anyone looking to start tying some tube flies, this Tubeworx tube system doesn't come any simpler. Outer plastic Tubes come in either clear, solid plain coloured and fluoro in 3mm diameter/200mm lengths which is all you need. coupled with that you get the 1,8mm inner tubes also in clear, coloured & fluoro that slide inside the outer tubes allowing you to slide your cone down over if your looking to add a bit of weight to the front of the fly. I got a packet of 3mm clear tubing and a packet of multi coloured tubing to try out. What I like about this system is you can use clear outer tubes and still add colour to it by using the 1.8mm solid coloured or fluoro inner tubes.

Tubes come in a vast range of solid colours as well as glow in the dark fluoro, which interests me a lot cause I've been fishing here at night on a number of occassions with fluoro glo in the dark materials....and well lets just say that pike certainly aren't shy of a bit of bling in the dark!

Cones are simple to use and also come in a multitude of different colours....nuff said really!

Metal tubes come in either Brass or Tungsten (would like to see alluminium added to that list) and range in a multitude of colours as well as sizes between 6mm, 10mm, 13mm, 15mm, 20mm. My one gripe with this set is that it lacks hook retaining tubes of any size. To be fair though most tube systems these days................and I'm trying and testing a number of them at the mo..... all seem to forget that us pike fly fisherman, use much bigger hooks which have over sized eyes that
need much larger softer hook retaining tubes to slide the hook into the back of the tube fly...Textbook error in my eyes! Anyway I've since spoken with Toby and this problem is getting rectified. I've used this system for my two tube baitfish patterns for the Fantasy pike fly challenge and will do a small tutorial using this tubeworx system in the next couple of weeks. Overall probably one of the easiest and cheapest tube systems around that has a lot of really cool features thrown in. Get hold of Toby at "Funky fly tying" for any enquiries!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

To the point! gotta have em to tie your materials on too, unfortunately these days manufacturers seem to think that all pike hooks should all be similar to one another in gape and shaft length. You know I've been with the Partridge Team now for a couple of years and I'm sure they read this blog from time to time so they know my view and where I stand with regards to their pike hooks. Their Partridge Universal predator hook 4/0 is a decent hook, and I say this because its super sharp which in my eyes is its strongest feature, but I personally feel that they could produce this hook with a much shorter hook shaft and shorten it by at least 10mm. Cutting down on weight and surface area to tie your materials onto. The more surface area a fly tier has, especially novice pike fly tiers, the more they will use. Okay.....good for material manufacturers but not very practical in the long run.

So lets take these Sakuma 540 Mantas which were kindly sent to me by Mikko Blomqvist at "The Nordic Angler" They look amost identical to the Partridge Universal predator X strong hook above, except are ever so slightly thicker. Whether this will make them stronger than the partridge I dont know but I'll be using three of these on the hooked flies in my challenge this year as well as three Partridge and see what results I come up with if any!

They are a popular hook here in Scandinavia and Mikko is selling them in his shop "The Nordic Angler"for a very reasonable price of €3,30 + postage for 10 hooks. I just wish these hooks came with a shorter shaft....then they would double up as a very good tube fly hook as well....Food for thought hook manufacturers!!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

TrueGear's - Nano Silk!

Not sure how many of you have started using the new Nano silk from Semperfli but this stuff is exceptionally good thread. Its super fine and and whats more even stronger than anything I've used in the past. I was sent a couple out to try a while back and have been very impressed with the stuff. My one concern with all these new age super strong threads is you never seem to get enough on a bobbin and before you know it your having to replace it. Not only that but they dont come cheap either. Anyway Guy Truelock who runs TrueGear is able to get these bobbins in 200m lengths instead of the usual 60yrd bobbins found at your local suppliers for a hell of a lot less than you woud think. I've already tied over 240 flies in the last 2 weeks and I haven't even made a dent in one of the 3 bobbins I bought from him. Give him a call or send him an email.He can get you what ever colour you need.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

2012 seasons fantasy pike fly challenge!!

Right, so all the flies are in except for 3 substitute tube flies that will be added in a few weeks. All have been featured and given reasons for why they were chosen for this challenge. All you need to do now, is pick your team of flies, send me you teams name with them and I'll place you down in the league. I think this season, although going to be a very relaxed one for me, is probably going to be the most interesting I've had here on the island since I arrived. Flies I generally wouldn't use for spring/summer & autumn will be used regularily, and could stay on longer than normal. Then again they might not! alternating betweeen hooked and tube flies daily will definitely give me a better idea which system works better. I'm also going to be using a number of different hooks for my tube flies this season as well as experimenting with different lengths and types of hook retaining tubes .

Click to enter: 2012 fantasy pike fy challenge

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Paolo Pacchiarini

This months featured fly tier is Italian Paolo Pacchiarini. Here are three of his smaller baitfish patterns he sent through to me last season to try out.

This Black/orange had a one of the softer wave tails he markets and until it got bitten off this fly was simply unstoppable.

This Pink/white Bunker baitfish also incorporated one of his soft wave tails but this one snapped off after gettig wrapped around a reed stem....I aso cut away the weedguard on this fly. I've since tied one of the stronger plastic coated wiggle tails to this fly to see how it will fair.

This Black/white model has a felt double tail and had a small lead sinker attached to the front of the fly. Not a fly to be cast in strong winds, but an excelllent jigging fly over deep drop offs!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

"The Hog snare streamer!"

Heres another interesting fly caled the "Hog snare streamer" from one of my favourite fly tiers out of the States Rich Strolis. primerily for trout this beast would most definitely snare a few pike.

Friday, 6 April 2012

2012 fantasy pike fly challenge

So I've started a new blog specifically for this season called the "2012 fantasy pike fly challenge" .I'll still be posting in PFFArticles as well. I've upoaded most of the flies I'll be using bar nine but they will be up within the next week.Have to figure out what tubes I need to be fishing with. Anyway bookmark the blog.... I've already secured some insane prizes from Rods, reels, lines, Tubeology kits, Bugbond kit, fly tying materials, hooks and plenty of flies....too start with. Once all the flies are up, email your team name + your 4 starting flies and well start once the ice melts here off the sea.

The Hamster!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

2012 seasons fantasy pike fly challenge!!

I was left an interesting comment on my FB page the other day by a friend which said, why dont I turn this seasons challege more into a saught of fantasy football themed project where by I use eleven flies throughout the season with the option to be able to change three flies similar to substitues during a game. Which in fareness doesn't sound like a bad concept. I'll still keep twelve flies to start with though, 6 tubes & 6 hooked flies, but will give myself the three "substitute flies" as an option. once I've changed a substitue fly I wont be able to bring the other fly back into the seasons fishing though!

Now all I need to do is figure out a way to get you all involved by also turning it into a readers fantasy pike fly challenge with a nice prize at the end of it as incentive!!!!
Any ideas would be welcome!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Line maintenance

Line maintenance has become a religion for me since moving to the Baltic. At the end of each day I unravel my line and give it a good wipe with a clean cloth before placing it all in a plastic bag to be reeled back on in the morning,and I coat my lines at least three times a week with line butters. You might think this a bit excessive but with fishing in Saline water and as much as I do I need to keep the line in the best condition possible. Yarik shows how its done in this video and there are a number of products on the market that are available. I've been using this combination A line & reel guard spray from Ardent combined with with Ardents Line butter spray. The smaller bottle from Monic is taken with me in my chest pack and used out in the field.

Used sparingly you can probably get around 60 - 80 good cleans with this combination which isn't bad at all considering the cost of fly lines these days. Easyfly stock all Ardent & Monic line & reel cleaning products if your feeling some love for your lines.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Readers fish porn

Always chuffed to see baltic pike flies clients catching fish Fabio Polani recieved his flies a few days ago and on his first outing with them bagged a number of fish, with this being one of the better fish from the session. Thanks for your kind words Fabio and also this awesome image mate!

Monday, 2 April 2012

This is fly out!

The latest issue of "This is fly" is out and there's a nice photo essay regarding the pike fly tournament I put on here a few years back by Benoit Brumuller & Pierre luc Fillion