The aim of this blog is to connect fly-tyers all over the world, to share, techniques, patterns, information and knowledge.

Archive for April, 2013

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Nordic fly fair 2013

Nordic fly fair 2013

I will be tying on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 2013 at the Nordic fly fair in Elverum Norway. If you are around pop in and say hi. I look forward to seeing you there.


Mustad catalogue 2014

Hi, I must start again by apologizing for my absence lately (again) but I have been very busy tying and photographing flies for the new Mustad hook catalogue for 2014.

Heres a sneak preview of a few of the patterns. I hope to be back blogging over the weekend, have a good one.

IMG_2127Bee Cee Clapping crab tied on a Mustad C70SNP-DT

 

IMG_1738Kill Bill Salmon double Tied on a Mustad 80525-BL

_E6D0013Sølv Dokka Tied on a Mustad R70NP-BR

IMG_2104Vulturine Tarpon Tied on a Mustad C68SNP-ZS

IMG_5982Circle shrimp Tied on a Mustad C71SNP-SS

_E6D0003Streaking Caddis Tied on a Mustad R30NP-BR

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Friday’s fly

Friday's fly

A new and improved melt glue caddis pupa pattern that you can see the full step by step for in a coming issue of the US magazine Fly Tyer.


Fly tying course # 14 The ribbon shrimp

Sorry for taking so long for my next installment for the tying course but I am very busy right now photographing sea trout fishing as the season is underway.  This is a simple but extremely realistic salt water shrimp pattern I designed for salt water sea trout fishing in Northern Europe.

IMG_6917Ribbon Shrimp

Hook Mustad Shrimp C47SNP-DT http://www.mustad.no/productcatalog/na/product.php?id=189

Eyes: Easy shrimp eyes http://www.easyshrimpeyes.dk/

Feelers/Body: Organdie decretive ribbon  If you’re looking for pre-dyed “organdie” it’s available in the UK from http://www.ribbonoasis.co.uk  in a good range of colours and widths, just go to the site and search for “organza”, different name same product. 

Shell back Bug Bond http://www.bug-bond.moonfruit.com/

From late autumn until early spring the majority of bait fish around the coastline of Northern Europe leave the shallows and head out for deeper water where they will be protected from the bitter cold of winter. Many of the species of shrimp that can be found on the other hand move into deeper tidal pools and onto shelves were the coastline is steeper and falls abruptly away into deeper water.

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Therefor shrimps are on the coastal sea trout’s menu the whole year round, and can be found in great numbers.  These are particularly important to fly fishermen because they mature in the shallows where we do most of our fishing, and all sea trout fishermen should have at least a couple of good shrimp patterns in there fly box at all times.

Where, When & Why ?

You may think that a perfect small translucent shrimp pattern fished blind, may not be the easiest prey for a sea trout to notice in a large body of water! and if you fish something that “ stands out in a crowd ” a little colour and movement, it may increase the chances of it being noticed and picked-up.

The most rewarding colours for shrimp patterns, in my experience are red, pink, orange and olive.  Occasionally, it can be worthwhile, tying some very small shrimp flies in sizes 12-14-16 and in more neutral  mundane colours, such as grey and white. Shrimps of all shapes and varying sizes are without doubt the most important all year round food sources for salt water sea trout. Unlike other seasonal foods like rag worms, sand eels and small bait fish, that the sea trout feed on throughout their first years in salt water.

Natural selection takes a favorable view of effective and adaptable feeding, a proficient predatory fish when feeding will maximize energy intake and minimize energy consumption. Predators quickly learn to avoid areas where there is little or no food. These rules also apply to the fish familiarizing themselves with the best feeding locations and habits that coincide  to the different seasons.  So its paramount that the effective fly fisherman is aware of this and adapts his techniques, flies and strategy to that of the sea trouts feeding habits. This is especially important during the winter months when food is few and far between. Look for the signs, deeper bays with vegetation and structure, or the classic leopard bottom, with dark spotted patches of vegetation on a lighter backdrop of sand, where prey can have accessibility to sufficient food and cover from predators. The natural collection points of wind lanes of all shapes and sizes are also worth working. These collect plankton and other small forage that attract shrimps and bait fish. If there is ice on the surface, which is quite a common occurrence in the winter months, on Scandinavian coastal waters, pockets of open water generally indicate warmer water or flow. Both these elements will attract prey and predators alike.

Fast or Slow ?

Most species of shrimp have three very different ways of locomotion. When foraging for food or resting on the bottom they use their front walking legs for moving short distances on vegetation and other structure. When migrating or moving over larger distances they use their swimming legs. These are located under the abdomen and undulate when swimming, and can be used to propel the crustacean in all directions slowly. But when alarmed or fleeing from a predator they use a contraction of their strong abdomen muscle which results in a powerful rapid snap of the tail plates propelling the shrimp quickly backwards away from danger.

With this in mind one has a better understanding of the type of retrieve required to imitate a swimming or fleeing shrimp. Your retrieve will not only decide the speed of your fly but also its action in the water. If you know your prey and choose the correct retrieve, your overall chances of connecting will increase. If you choose the incorrect retrieve even the right pattern may not result in a take or even a follow.

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Organdie ribbon can be bought at most craft or sewing stores.

Whilst tying flies at one of the large European fairs, I saw a similar material as Organdie  being used for nymph gills, When I returned home it wasent difficult to find at my local sewing shop just for a couple of pounds, and as far as I can see its exactly the same material as the one marketed by a large fly tying supplier but for just a third of the price. I have also experimented with colouring the ribbon with waterproof markers but the colour washes out for some reason in salt water, but dying may be an option, that I have yet to try.

This is an extremely quick and easy pattern, that only takes a few minutes to tie if you use Bug Bond as the shell back, if you use epoxy it does take a little longer in curing time.

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1

Secure your shrimp hook in the vise with the shank horizontal.

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2

Cut a length of Organdie ribbon approximately 15 cm long, depending on the size of hook you are tying on. With a pair of long sharp scissors make a cut along the edging of the ribbon as shown.

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3

Now repeat this on the other edge of the ribbon. You will now be able to pull out the short  woven lengths of Organza.

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4

Pull out enough to make a bunch of strands long enough for the shrimps beard.

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5

Attach your tying thread to the hook shank and run back so that it hangs between the hook point and barb.

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6

Tie in approximately one third of the length of fibers that you prepared for the beard.

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7

Trim off and tie in the full length of the remaining fibers  on top of the shorter.

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8

Trim these off to form a tapered beard.

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9

Now use the two edge strips that you cut from the ribbon and tie these in for the feelers, one each side of the beard.

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10

Take the length of ribbon and with long straight scissors divide the ribbon diagonally from one corner to the other. Then you should have two strips of ribbon from the one cut for two flies.

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Pull out all the fibers that run the length of the ribbon.

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12

Tie in the ribbon hackle at the widest end just behind the beard. This will create a tapered body, large at the front and smaller at the tail.

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Position and secure both your shrimp eyes, these should be quite long. After tying down secure with a little super glue or varnish.

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Now you can wind on your ribbon hackle forward to the hook eye forming a christmas tree like effect on the shrimps body. Tie off and whip finish just behind the hook eye.

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15

Coat the back of the shrimp with Bug Bond and cure with the UV light. You may have to make two or three coats to build up the shell back.

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16

The very easy but life like result ready for the salt.


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Wine for fly tyers. Barbera D’Alba 2012

Wine for fly tyers. Barbera D'Alba 2012

My first photograph for a wine label, fly tying inspired of course…


Proppen-Without doubt my most productive sea trout fly….

Proppen, over a thousand sea trout can’t be wrong!!

This is my variant of one of the best salmon flies in recent years. It is, without doubt my most productive fly for salt water sea trout fishing.  There is something about this pattern that sea trout just can’t resist.

On many occasions when there are sea trout feeding or on the move, and they just follow the fly and won’t take, this small fly works most of the time.  Fished on a long fine leader and floating line just under the surface with a very slow figure of eight retrieve, the takes are savage and powerful, driving the tiny hook home immediately. Many fishermen are skeptical to fishing such small patterns, but if you give this one a try, I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

When nothing else will work, proppen saves the day…

Proppen

Hook: Mustad 60329NBLN # 10 Carp Power

Thread: Dyneema

Feelers: 4  Stripped cock hackles

Beard: Deer hair summer coat

Body: Moose hair coated with Bug Bond and coloured with waterproof felt pen

1
Secure your hook in the vice as shown.

2
Select four stiff light coloured cock hackles

3
Strip off all the fibers.

4
Attach your tying thread to the hook shank

5
Tie in the four stripped cock hackles evenly spaced around the hook shank.

6
Cut a small bunch of deer hair from a summer coat, this wont flare as much as the winter coat hair. And even the points in a hair stacker.

7
Tie in the deer hair as a beard over and around the cock hackles.

8
Trim off the surplus deer hair and tie down.

9
Tie in two long moose mane hairs, one black, one white.

10
Wrap the moose hairs around the body simultaneously and tie off behind the hook eye.

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Whip finish and remove the tying thread.

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Give the body a coat with Bug Bond.

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Give the body a quick zap with the UV light to cure the Bug Bond.

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Colour the body with a waterproof felt pen and give it another coat with Bug Bond.

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The finished fly ready for the salt.

Four feelers in all directions.


Hope to see you in Sweden, The feather benders tying room

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I will be leaving for Sweden in the morning, so I wont be posting until I return on Monday 8 April, hopefully with lots of new ideas and inspiration from the fair.

Now that the blog has become established and I have just reached 75,000 visitors and over 3500 followers I thought it only correct to take you on a little tour of the tying room. If you are visiting the Sportsfiskemessan in Sweden I look forward to seeing you there.

This is where it all the tying and photography happens. It may look like its a bit chaotic but everything I use on a regular basis is close at hand.

IMG_7331Trying to keep order in the hook department is always testing, without order, everything falls apart, I can spend more time looking for hooks that actually tying the pattern it was intended for! But I have gone for a simple filing system. Plastic boxes, each containing a different type of hook but many sizes.

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My wife is so glad I dont have all this gear around the house!

IMG_7348I have a similar set up for materials. All the natural materials in air tight containers to keep the bugs off and larger materials in plastic containers. This room here also has no heating so is always cold this also helps keep the bugs at bay.

IMG_7351I have about 50 of these plastic boxes stacked in the materials room, but it doesn’t guarantee I will find what I am looking for.

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Its here I also keep all my fly boxes, reels and lines.

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Oh and waders… and float tubes and other gear.

IMG_7354And the rods, well some of them…

IMG_7332Most of my tying books are also in the tying room for reference.

IMG_7339The tools. These I have collected and been given from friends over three decades of tying. Everything I use all the time is kept here except for Bug Bond, thats kept in the cold room and only brought out when needed.

IMG_6209_2The fly stand that I use for demos was made for me by my good friend Kjell Karlsen.


Come and see ‘The Feather Bender’ Tying at The Sportfiskemessan

At the show this year I will be tying sea trout flies for Northern Europe and  demonstrating some new techniques and materials. So if you are at the show, be sure to take a trip to the ‘Flugbindargatan’ to meet and see some great tyers in action.

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‘Awesome Opossum Shrimp’

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‘Proppen’

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‘Foil Gammarus’

The show opening times:

Friday 5 April 09.00-18.00

Saturday 6 April 09.00-18.00

Sunday 7 April 10.00-16.00

I look forward to meeting you there…

For more information about the fair
http://www.sportfiskemassan.se/