Heres another one of the old video tutorials while I edit the new ones!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Secure your shrimp hook in the vise with the shank horizontal.
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.
Now repeat this on the other edge of the ribbon. You will now be able to pull out the short woven lengths of Organza.
Pull out enough to make a bunch of strands long enough for the shrimps beard.
Attach your tying thread to the hook shank and run back so that it hangs between the hook point and barb.
Tie in approximately one third of the length of fibers that you prepared for the beard.
Trim off and tie in the full length of the remaining fibers on top of the shorter.
Trim these off to form a tapered beard.
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.
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.
Pull out all the fibers that run the length of the ribbon.
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.
Position and secure both your shrimp eyes, these should be quite long. After tying down secure with a little super glue or varnish.
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.
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.
The very easy but life like result ready for the salt.
Top sea trout tips
When the spring sun has begun to warm the winter cold salt water, it’s not only you that begin to feel the effects of spring. The coastal sea trout that have gone the whole winter in energy saving modus, are now ready for the spring feast. For most of the coldest part of winter the sea trout are as little active as possible and hold to areas that are warmest. They can be difficult to tempt on regular fly fishing equipment, but a good colorful large streamer, fished slowly can work a winter fish up.
Right now when the water temperature begins to rise, they will become much more active in their pursuit for food. The sea trout is an aggressive predator and during spring and early summer has a need to fatten themselves up after winters fast. This is why they are best to fish for now.
But you are still not guaranteed success, even if the sea trout is hungry and hunting. So I have put together a few tips -that work- for you that wish to fish for sea trout from now into the summer.
Find the fish:
Success for sea trout fishing relies on finding the fish. And in the winter and spring you have to look for warmer water, 4 degrees or more. If it is 12 or 14 degrees in the water in June it makes little difference for the sea trout, but in March-April 4 degrees is much warmer than 2 degrees. It doesn’t need big changes in temperature to get the sea trout going. Shallower south facing, sun rich bays and beaches with a flow in the water. Here it doesn’t take much more for the sea trouts menu to awaken from the winters sleep.
Because the temperature is important a thermometer is also important for the serious sea trout fisherman.
If it is an extra cold, spring brackish water areas generally hold fish, because the salt content of the sea here is smaller, the sea trout like this ! Also look for structure in the water large stones islands or cliffs. These structures collect and store heat from the sun, this will warm the surrounding water.
As a rule, No rules:
We don’t know the reason why, but in some cases you can experience fantastic fishing just on the edge of frozen water or floating pack ice. But in most cases it’s small fish, that should be returned that are in shoals.
Rag worm swarming:
The rag worms wedding as it is known, is called the springs most exciting adventure for the sea trout fisherman. And if you are lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time, there is no danger for you not connecting. You can find rag worms the whole year in the stomach contents of sea trout, but in the spring under large swarming you can find that they fall out of the mouth of the sea trout that have gorged themselves, when you land them.
When doe’s the swarming happen ?
The chances of experiencing a large swarming are best after the water has gone up in temperature above 6-7 degrees and around the full moon in April, but this is not a fast rule, and last year we experienced swarming, during a warmer day on a full moon in early March.
Sea gulls show the way:
Rag worm swarming can be very local in most situations, and it’s not easy to know where. Then you should look to the sky’s, because the greedy and forever hungry sea gulls can show you the way. If you can see that screaming sea gulls are in a flock and circle around a area of coast, this shows you where to fish – just like the pelicans when tarpon fishing.
When darkness falls:
Think that the sun has been high in the sky all day and warming up the shallow’s, especially with dark muddy bottoms. These shallow areas retain the days heat during the first couple of hours of darkness. It’s during this period that larger sea trout dare to venture into the shallows to feed. You should fish at least a couple of hours into the night. Try using streamers or Muddlers that will give a little movement in the water. Fish slowly and listen for splashes.
During darkness, night or early morning sea trout hunt in much shallower water than most fishermen think. In small bays and harbors, rocky shoreline and long shallow beaches. Here you can encounter fine fish in water not deeper than you need nothing more the rubber boots. But remember in such water they are also spooked easy.
When is the best time ?
There are many different thoughts about the best time to fish for sea trout. The best advice is to fish when you have chance to fish. Those that fish the most catch most fish and get the most experience. The sea trout is effected by the moon and it’s fases, and some times fishing can be best on a spring tide, and other times in periods with extreme low water in the high pressure periods you can experience during late spring.
High & low tide:
There is also many thoughts about this, if fishing is better at high or low tide in the sea.
During winter it’s most rewarding to fish at the warmest part of the day, between 11:00 – 14:00, no matter high or low tide. When the water warms, in most cases it’s best to fish a couple of hours before high water into a couple of hours after.
When is high and low tide ?
In the good old days you could buy a tide time table from the news agents but now you can find them for Norway on http://sehavniva.no/om/api/
Only for early birds:
From early April it can prove to be rewarding if you fish early in the morning. Early means a couple of hours before sun rise, so you must have a alarm clock and a good dose of self discipline. Even if it is cold, you may be lucky enough to find large sea trout who cruise shallow water after being out hunting at night.
If you are not a early bird by nature, you can also try your luck from the end of March into April between 19:00 – 23:00 especially if you have high tide within this time period. And so it will continue out towards the summer, but try fishing in deeper water with flow in it.
Even if warm is the key word with sea trout fishing in the spring, fishing can fantastic in bad weather. Don’t look out the window and decide to stay home because it’s blowing and raining. Under the cover of bad weather and high waves shy and big fish come into the shallows to feed. This type of weather can be a fishing fest for spin fishermen.
Shore wind collects food:
When the wind blows from the sea against the land all the food in the top few meters of water will blow towards land and collect near the shore. And where there is most food, there are sea trout. This wind direction produces the best fishing.
Sunny and wind still:
Use a fine clear line or leader on clear sunny and wind still days. Smaller flies also produce more fish in good weather. Sometimes sea trout can be selective on such days, where only the very smallest flies will work. This is when only fly fishing will work, with tiny flies 16-18 and a long fine leader and very slow retrieve.
Sea trout are shy:
Start fishing before you come down to the waters edge, and for no price begin to wade before you have fished the shallows thoroughly.
Slow or Fast:
It doesn’t matter what you fish with, a rule of thumb is, slow in winter and through out spring. It’s here that fly fishing has the edge, use a very slow figure of eight retrieve.
Even if the rule is slow in cold spring water, you can experience that the opposite is more effective. For example: a rag worm should be fished slowly, so that it swims like it’s flowing in the water. If you experience that fish follow and will not take, it some times works if you place your rod under your arm and make a “roly poly” retrieve using both hands. The best rule is try what is the norm, then try to vary your retrieve until you find what is right.
Don’t pull your spoon or fly out of the water when it is 5-6 meters from land. You will get much better results if you fish your spoon/fly all the way into land. Sea trout like to follow the bait a few meters before they take, and the very last meter is the most dangerous for the sea trout.
Keep on the move:
Its said that the most important piece of equipment while sea trout fishing is the car!
Trout in a river are like trout eating at a restaurant, they sit and wait for the food to come to them. Sea trout on the other hand race from restaurant to restaurant. Especially in the spring months the sea trout is eating on the move. If you dont find fish move a little.
Take your time:
If you dont find the sea trout, let the sea trout find you! Take many breaks while out fishing, make sure you have coffee with you and something to eat.
While you sit and take a break, dont take your eye’s off the water it’s now you may spot the rise of a passing sea trout, or a silver flash from the side of one hunting.
There is always hope:
If you really want to catch more and bigger sea trout, there is only one expert tip that is 100% guaranteed to work, “Dont give up” even if you are not catching. The more you fish, the more you will catch!