4 Dec 2013

Ice fishing premiere.

Allright so I do fish in other ways then flyfishing.
Ice fishing that is. In the winter. When all the streams and lakes are frozen solid.
Since this state of torture lasts for about 4-5 months of the year you at least gotta make some trips in to the winter forest to go ice fishing not to go crazy.

It's really nice.
Warm coffe, the stillness, skiing through the white landscape.
I'm not really there yet, lot's of ice but no snow wich led me to the new experience of going by bike (and a short hike) to get to the lake i was looking for.
It's not marked on any map as a troutbearing lake but i've heard a couple of stories.

And trout there was!
The lake is small, clear and very shallow, i suspect only about 2 metres at the deepest.
Probably fed through a spring as there was a small creek running out of the lakes southern end.

When i got there i saw no previous holes, no snowmobiles (well, the lack of snow..) or really no other sign that anyone had been there in a long time.
The lake was only accesible by foot through a walk over a rather steep ridge.

The third hole i drilled gave the fish.
A very nice little trout that first slammed the bait, missed, went for it again but as they say, third time's the charm and up he went for a quick snap and then back in the cold water.

Seeing the bottom on all places i drilled, acctually seeing the bottom before that due to insanely clear ice, seeing the fish take and not just feel the tug, the lack of people and everything about this lake have made it my new favourite winter fishing destination.
As it often is when you hook a fish in a new water.

Lonesome, quite lake.

First trout (or any fish) of this years ice fishing season.
I practice my ice fishing much like i do my fly fishing.
Usually a single hook, sometimes with a nymph, gluehook or as today, with a funky smelling old shrimp.
I also put most of the fish back, it's more about the catch then the eating.

I won't tell you where it is but i'll gladly,as always take you there.

29 Nov 2013

Notes on curing skins to use for fly tying.

Some of us live in areas of the world, or travel to, where there's hunting going on wich usually means that it's not overly complicated to get hold of some furs and skins.

This is one way of curing the skins so that you can use the furs for tying.
I've do this mainly with the "scrap" parts of the animals, parts that don't really have another use.

I've used the inside of mooses ears (the outside is great for warm hats or mittens but the inside has less hair and really only the edges of the ear has a use) and with a hare mask.
The same principle can be used with any skins from game or fowl.
The hare, by the way was supplied by a neighbour. Came knocking on the door and asked if i wanted a hare.
And out came the knife. It was a great dinner.


You need a couple of things.

1. A sharp knife for skinning. Go to a hunters forum or such for skinning lessons.

2. A slightly dull knife for skraping the skins (I use a special tool but as not everyone have tanning gear at home we'll make due with a dull knife.

3. Salt. Regular salt.

Start by skinning the animal and cutting away the piece you want to save for tanning and scrape them, put them in a freezer and then proceed to the pieces you just want to cure.
Mind that you don't cut holes in the skin,you want a pretty product.

Scrape the skins, get rid of sinews and meat.
Wash them in Cold water (always use cold water when dealing with raw skins, they can get rock hard from warm water) with some soap or such to get rid of the blood.
Wringe them to get rid of excess water.

Scrub the meat side with salt.
Seriously, a lot of salt, you can't really overdo it.

Place the skin somwhere with a lot of air circulation.
Not nescesserily warm, just an airflow that helps lift the moisture out and away.

The hairs will probably be lumped together but no worries.
Once dried you can just brush the skin a bit and it looks great.

This is one of many methods to cure a skin.
You wont get a smooth and flexible skin, that takes different tanning methods and softening etc.

But it's great for fly tying.

Winter hare. About an hour of work, enough fur for hundreds of flies.

20 Nov 2013

What's new?

I know i've been slacking of with the writing and the blog.
Sorry about that.

In the last month and a half i'vemainly been doing pike fishing and that season came and went.
The biggest i landed was a bit above 80 cm.
The cold have set in properly now but i got a few trout and a grayling nymphing 'bout a week ago.

So the fishing is on the down low with winter setting in properly.
Sno and ice etc.
The dreams about spring have started coming back.

The most exciting thing that have happened is that i was invited to join a fly-tyers "club" that gathers once a week, ties and talks about fishing. Very nice, definetly gonna see me through the winter.

Sorry,no pics this time.
Hopefully next time.

3 Oct 2013

The need for a new ladder

So, in my river there's this old mill.
While i do appriciate the historical values of it (and do NOT want to see it torn down) it does present a stop for the fish in their migration upstream.

There are potentially two types of trout present in this river, the brook trout Salmo Trutta Fario and a large lakerun brown or Salmo Trutta Lacustris.
The stream resident Fario morph operate mainly above the mill but the lakerun variety need to be able to pass upstream to further the reaches of their spawning grounds.
Lake Siljan and the Orsa Lake trout are of a particularly large breed and are both valuabe and considered threatened.

There is an existing ladder although it functions poorly.

Clogged with logs and branches.
Low water levels leaves leafes in the ladder.

Above the inlet.
The reeds are taking over.

The inlet.
Clogged with twigs and branches.

 I cleaned out the log,branches and twigs and as much leafes as i could.
This years low water is a problem as the ladder is clogged.
The principle here is that the fish should go through V shapes up the ladder and further up the river.
With low water however, that is not at all possible.
I can safely say that not a single trout have passed here.

My suggestion therefore is to tear out this old ladder and install a new, more naturelike ladder that will allow, the fish to pass.
If the reeds above the inlet were to be cut down and a new ladder with a higher flow were to be installed they'd have a hard time growing back, making it more of a onetime job.
A higher and more natural flow would also eliminate the problem with leafes and make logs less of a problem.

I've mailed the lokal fishery society and are awaiting answers from there.
They'll probably not have the resource for such an operation and i'm probably gonna have to go further up, to the local government of Dalecarlia.

Would't it be great to hook one of these large browns not in the lake trolling but on a swung fly up in the river?
Of course, it's about all the species and not all about fishing.

Here's a great new report from the University of Karlstad on planning and building nature-like fish ladders.

It's a PDF in Swedish.

10 Sep 2013

When autumn comes.

The birches are letting go.
 The summer's gone and I thought i'd tell a bit more about my river.
"My". Well it's not mine personally but i do fish it and for that matter, have never met anyone else out on the water.
The closest i got was a few bobbers left in the stream that i picked up.
When you fish the same water over and over you develop a connection to it.
You know the places, know the rocks and form a bond to the inhabitants of the water.
A respect for the fish, a love for the bugs and the water itself seems to come alive.
Here's some pictures from the day and i'd love to take you out on the water if you're passing by.

I'm gonna walk you through three pools spaced out about 400 metres from each other
They are all low water at the moment.

First out is the Forest Bridge Pool.
Named thusly from the small rickety bridge connecting two small and partially overgrown trails.
Nice spot to get to the water though.
The water itself gets a dark green feel to it due to weeds growing on the rocks.
The pool usually holds some fish though not loads.
One to three trout or grayling.

Forest bridge Pool.
Descent trout.
They are spawning atm but this guy didn't get the memo
that they are off the fishermans list.
Quick pic and back into the stream.
Note the white and black lines on the anal fin.
Typical for this variety of trout, Salmo Trutta Fario.
 Second of is the main destination of the day.
Grayling pool. I'll let you figure it out.
Pearshaped pool that broadens at the end.
The downstream portion holds a lot of fish.
Always. My trip ended with six or seven just in this pool.

Grayling territory.

Why hi, got a moment to speak about our lord Neptune?
Seriously though, one of my own patterns was the fly of the day.

And then the third set of pools.
I simply call them "The Cauldrons"
Here the water have bared the rock, run over it for millenia and dug holes down into the granit itself.
Doesn't always hold fish (as was the case today) but when it does the fights are awesome.
In the spring flood these are not just rapids with wierd currents, they are raging.
The water is clear and the light green weeds at the bottom of these bowls make them look like witches cauldrons.

Can you feel the primal surge?

Not all creatures aquatic are fish.

Bye for this time!

7 Sep 2013

(Re)Building a switch rod.

I miss swinging a twohander.
The thing is, my 14' is arguably a bit large in my local rivers, the shooting head alone covers more than the rivers withd.

So a thought emerged some year ago to rebuild one of my seldom used onehanders into a super light,short twohander.
Call it a switch if you like.

I've been looking for components for a while without really finding anything i liked.
But when going through some stuff in a wardrobe i found an old spinn rod and as i never fish those i thought that what the hell. Wasn't an expensive one anyways.

Using a hacksaw as my main tool i opened the end of my flyrod, sawed of the reelseat screw from the spinn rod along with a portion of the rod that fitted perfectly into the end of the fly rod.

Extended reelseat.
To be able to remove the reel it was nescessary
that i could unscrew the back handle a bit.

Filling up the hole in the middle of the old top handle from the
spinn rod.

And here she is.
Can't wait to get on the water.
A bit of tape to fill out the gap to the screw, some glue and filling up the end of the new but with some foam and i got myself my light twohander.

Not accounting for the new handle it's now a #6/7 9' switch.
I'll be able to practice casting and adding some sinktips when using a skagit cast.
I'm thinking about a new line, one with a shooting head/shooting line setup but i don't really want to loose the ability to fish close as well as adding a bit of distance.

Why not just rollcast with a onehander you say?
Well, it's just for the fun of it, i really like to cast twohanded.
And again, it's a short rod that will work perfectly for overhand throwing as well.

My only problem now is that the rod tube is to small...
I might keep on working on this and make some sort of detachable handle.

Tight lines!

6 Sep 2013

New stuff from Fly TV

 I'm back.
I've been out working for the last month and have barely been home at all.
Had the chance to try some new waters, one especially comes to mind.
A small wild creek were all i'd heard was that "maybe" there were some browns.
There were. Lots of them and a good size fish in comparison to the water.
I got to enter "Small river, No name" into my journal.
I'll show you sometime if we pass that region.

Since i've been gone FlyDressing have released a new Fly TV episode.
Skagit fishing for salmon in the north of Sweden.
Very nice camera, nice fish, nice setting, nice everything.
My itch to get to use the twohander wasn't really helped by this...


24 Jul 2013

Hey, it's summer!

It's been like that again.
I've been busy and havn't written in a long time.

Since last time i've fished a lot, explored new stretches and caught a LOT of fish.
More trout and grayling now that i know where to find them.
The water is extremely low right now and the fish are shy.

We've entered the time of the caddis and this is what i fish with almost exclusivly right now.
Elkhairs and some other types, often with a big dubbed hare torso that you brush up.
Very effective fly.

There's bigger trout in the river than people know.
They are a bit smaller then some other neighbouring waters but still good, the biggest i caught was a little over 40 cm.
Fairly small but insanely beautiful!

Mid sized Våmå river brown.
Took on  a skated Chernobyl Ant.
It's just another month left of the trout season.
Yup, that's all there is. From the midst of May untill the last of August.
2.5 months of troutfishing in the streams every year.
On the other hand many of the troutbearing lakes are open another month after that and then there's grayling fishing for as long as there's no ice (or until the last of december but it's defenatly covered over by then.)
And of course, when the autumn comes i'm hoping to get stuck in to some char,there's plenty of lakes around but they're to warm right now in the hight of summer.
Autumn also means pike fishing and i'm starting to look forward to that.

All i miss right now is to swing the twohander, it's been a while with just the lightest rods and while they are fun it's great to vary the fishing a bit.

3 Jul 2013

Bombs away

First of, i'm a bit sorry for not posting in almost a month.
On the other hand, i've been out fishing.

Anyways, here's my newest fly and newest idea.
I noticed that the trout in my local river more often than striking the fly while it was drifting attacked fiercly when it was beeing stripped home.

I started fishing my flies in this way on purpose but they all got drowned and sank and didn't give that nice V pattern on the surface.
I thought to myself that maybe it's the action of the fly, not the pattern that triggers the strike.

So inspired by patterns such as Goddards Sedge and salmon bombers i came up with these.
Basicly boiled down to nothing more than a deerhair cone.
Floats well and is meant to be fished striped or skated, crosscurrent or right upstream.

I tried them out and they work amazingly well!
The fish strike them with such ferocity that they jump out of the water.
And if they miss they come around and strike again or they chase they fly, one of them struck the fly three times before it got it proper.

I call them Micro Bombers and i tie them on hooks about #12

10 Jun 2013

New waters.

I realised it's been some time since my last update.
I've been busy with moving but with all that fuss and turmoil comes of course, new waters.

My main focus have been on river Våmån.
It's a small fairly shallow river that is wadable in most stretches.
It has a pepple and stone bottom with some weeds and sunken timber.
Perfect flyfishing water.
It also houses some of our favourite bugs such as different varieties of Trichoptera, Sulphurea, Beatis and last but not least both Ephemera Vulgata and Danica.
The fishes include, but are not limeted to; Grayling, Trout, European Whitefish as well as pike, perch and other spicies of whitefish such as the Common rudd and Dace.

Most of them eat bugs of the surface.

Pretty grayling of smaller proportions caught on a warm summer evening.
Dry fly.

Hello my pretty!
Ephemera Danica, one of the big ones when it comes to fly fishing.

Fairly big Common rudd caught on a dry.
I know there's good pike fishing in the lake by the village, it remains to be seen if it's as good on a fly.
And of course there's numerous small forest lakes with trout, grayling and char around that needs exploring as well as the upper stretches of Våmån that promises to hold more trout than down here in the village.

I think it's gonna be a good summer.
And i'm not entirely unpleased with living here now!

26 May 2013

New materials.

 Today i donned the usual viking outfit (yes, there is one) and went down to the local yearly mediveal market to have a few beers with a mate, play some games and have a look around.
As usual i was on the lookout for flytying materials, there's always an abundance of feathers and furs to be found in those markets and way below fishing store prices.

I payed in total 200 swedish crowns or about 20 euro for all of this.
One big piece of dark red/purple fox that turns black at the tips.
One fairly large piece of blue/black racoon.
One very dark purple whole rabbit skin.
One lepard dyed whole rabbit skin.
A whole peacock sword.

The sword is neatly cut into bits to fit my tying box.
As you know it's a versitile material used for tags, nymph bodies, dryfly torsos and also goes in classic flies like the Sunrays Shadow among other things.

Rabbit is another material i really like.
It makes a great wing for streamers and has a way to almost vibrate in the current.
To strong of a current and it will collapse though.
It still makes a good swung fly and is excellent fished in still water.
The hair also makes an excellent dubbing for nymphs.

I like those moment when you buy those odd materials in an odd place and the salesman wonder what it's for and you reply with "fly tying".
That usually sparks some conversations.

Feathers and furs.

Rabbit zonker sculpin for seatrout or large browns.
Hairwinged salmon fly quickly named "Nightmare".
Peacock tag, silver body with thick silver rib,
black rooster, fox and racoon wing and guinnea fowl hackle.
I like adding a bit of  a silver body to my salmon flies, i have a theory that states that a swung fly should in some circumstances have a bit of material that gives a bit of reflection to catch the attention of the fish.
Not that i fish for salmon and seatrout a lot but they are fun flies to tie.

19 May 2013

First trout of the year.

Me, the lass and a friend went fishing today, last outing before we leave school and went to a place we went fishing last year a couple of times.
The aim was for grayling but instead i landed this beauty.
Just above a kilo and with those intense colours only trout really have.
Wild trout on top of that, none of that sausage look and broken fins stocked fish get.

I was fishing a double rig with a caddis fly as strike indicator and my alltime favourite nymph Orange Attacker as a dropper.
He took the nymph and it once again proved its worth.

As i fiddled with the net (not the one on the picture,that one was kindly supplied by my girlfriend who also did the netting) the fish went down a fall and into some whitewater rapids and i thought i lost it.
Good thing i didn't!
The fish posed for some pictures and then swam back home.

Happy angler!

Beutifull fish!

Of you go!

12 May 2013

The season is here!

I went out to a spot a bit away yesterday.
Initially no activity but as the day went on more and more fish started to rise.
They are escaped rainbow trout from various farms and this one is propably from last year judging by the fins.

The tactic for the evening as this was still water was to look for rising fish, follow their movement and place the nymph in their path.
Landed one, lost three and had another couple of bites.
First rainbow trout of the season, small but makes me glad!

Happy fisherman.

Not the biggest i caught by far, about half a kilo.
Caught on my own Orange Attacker weighted nymph.

Almost all the fish in this bay where this size, maybe a couple of bigger ones.
On a #4 rod with very limited space for back-casts I had to resort to spey style casts and these short casts and constantly rising fish in close proximity to you really made it very exciting!
The skin is prepared for tanning and the meat was sprinkled with thyme, wrapped in tinfoil and baked in smoldering charcoal, it tasted fantastic!

Other then that i've been tying lots of dries lately in real preparation for when i move in a couple of weeks.
I'm going to be seated just by a couple of brown trout streams and with a whole summer ahead of me i'm hoping you and me both will see a lot of those.

25 Apr 2013

Top water pike flies

I don't often tie from books, of course i do take inspiration but this time i did tie a true topwater classic.
The Dahlberg Diver.
Two colours, yellowish and white.
Two different sizes.

It was a while since i cut any kinds of muddler heads but i'm fond of the second one, the white one.
The purple wing is purely cosmetic.

24 Apr 2013

Here's one i really enjoyed.
Diverse species, diverse fishing, a bit of humor.

23 Apr 2013

First fish of the year!

So, i went out fishing this weekend.
Big surprise.

I hooked and landed the first fish of the year, a smaller pike, just above 1 kilo i'd say.
Didn't weigh it.

It was a textbook spring pike.
The fish stood at a dropoff, attacked the fly after a few strips but missed.
I presented it in the same place again, stripped home a few times and BAM!
I set the hook and smiled but it wasn't that much of a fight, the water is still cold, in fact the ice is still clinging to the bays and covers the lakes even thicker.

Short fight, small male in waiting for spawning.

But the season has started!

The culprit. Not the biggest pike i've caught, about 45 cm long.
But few things beat the feeling of the first hook up of the year!

18 Apr 2013

Spring is comming

It's been warm the last week and almost all the snow is gone.
Some rain and heavy wind should probably make short work with the ice.
I went to a small river some days ago and it was a proper spring flood, brown raging water!
It'll settle down soon and hopefully the water will rise.

In the meantime i've gotten some new materials for my tying.
Grizzly saddle and epoxy eyes from Taimen.

Here's some new stuff!

Pike fly with trailing feathers and rubber legs.

Spent Danica.
This is a work in progress using deerhair for boyancy and for wings.

For this project i shape the hooks to really look like a dying drake.
Fierce orange EHC with rubber legs.
One of my best grayling flies is the Orange Attacker (pic in the post) and i thought "what the hell, might as well try one as a dry.
You can clearly see the grayling taking an interest!

7 Apr 2013

New stuff from the vice.

Todays fly tying consisted of big nymphs and larvae.
And a Caddis dryfly as well.

Got really into crocheted bodies and made these three glowbug caddis larvae and then went on to crochet the body on the dry as well.
It was a fun technique that i plan on keep using and develop my skill in!


Big caddis with crocheted body.

The days collection.

Simple but nice.

The East Dalecarlia River.

The Indian Fly.

So. I finaly went down for a try at the pike.
Took the bike a fair distance to a shallow bay i spotted from the train the other day and then looked up on the net.
Got there and realised that it was dry.
And covered with ice as well..
As with all my pike spots.

I've come to realise there's a bit of a problem if you will with my part of the river.
It's deep and hard to get down in to, nothing new there.

The seasonal changes, backed by hydroplants way up the river on the other side of lake Siljan  means that in the early spring the river is really low.
That means the shallow bays of the river are all dried out.
Wich in turn means no vegetation that draws the pike in for spawning.

The main flow of the river is basicly a loose mud bottom and that combined with a strong current means little to no vegetation there either.
Some big rocks and a lot of sunken timber means a fairly good ground for rainbow trout though.

My theory is that the pike will probably not spawn at my usual spots this year but go spawn in the lake.

A sad aspect of the low river is that you can see tons and tons of shoppingcarts and old bikes along with remnants of the timber rafting times lying on the bottom.
Makes me sad to see all the things people just dump in the water thinking it'll just vanish magically...

Anyhow, the pike spots are probably good in the summer when the vegetation is back and i'm not here anymore.
For now there's no pike fishing to be done.
Hopefully the water will keep warming up to at least give me some good rainbow fishing before i move on to new waters and new adventures!
There was a tiny hatch two days ago of some small mayfly but not nearly enough to get the fish up from the depths.

Lets hope for spring!

3 Apr 2013

A day of diverse tying

I've done a couple of diffrent flies today as well as a floating tip for my skagit setup.

First of some bushy Monster Caddis.
The are actually better looking in real life,on the photo they look a bit sloppy but still, i like them either way.
On the other hand, first try ever at this fly so i'd say it's still allright.
Tied on tubes.

Then a scaledown of an old pike-fly that i realised is to small for pike but might prove good for seatrout or steelhead if i ever get to fish for them.
I downsized it and added eyes to fit my normal 2hand fishing as well.

Lastly, a pike one.
Nothing fancy really, just got carried away with tying.

29 Mar 2013

A plan missfired

So, two days ago my hopes were high for some spring pike.
Those hopes where not only dimmed but blotted out as i discovered river Våmån is completely frozen solid.

So no pike there for me, maybe next time we go up to visit.
On top of that the weather forecast is promising snow this afternoon.

Since we are gonna be here a couple of days i might try to locate a water close by that is not frozen solid.
The larger rivers around Mora and Orsa seems to be open though they are deeper and lack the vegetation suitable for pike.
Nothin much to do but curse and tie more flies.

On that note i'm trying out a sort of traveling pike kit.
Since i'm gonna go abroad for pike in may i want to try some flies now and see what materials i might be missing or find myself wanting.
The kit now consits of:
Flash in many colours
Fox hair, many colours
Holographic eyes
Rubber legs
Vice and other tools
A newly aquired rooster saddle with barred feathers. (still not that Whiting Grizzly i'm so longing for but it's something at least.)

Got any ideas, something you could not do without?
Remember,this is a lightweight project, if i wanted to have everything i'd bring my entire kit.
And a separate bag just for that...

27 Mar 2013

Pike Premiere

It's been a long winter.
But now,finally the warming rays of sun is starting to do its job proper and the snow is melting.
The ice is still on the lakes and rather thick to add to that.
Some rivers and streams are opening up though and with easter break comming up me and the lass is planning to go up to her parents, stay a few days, take care of our house and get it sorted for moving in and i plan to make my pike premiere of the year up in river Våmån, specificly in the lower regions.
The upper are still iced over and the pike are in low stock anyways.
Up there it's mostly grayling and brown trout and the season start for those are not until the sixteenth of May.

So pike it is!
Hopefully the river is fairly open and that some pike will have started moving up in preparation of spawning.
Might as well bring a rod anywhere you go,wouldn't you say?
There's always some fishing to be done.

To that end and in general preparation for the pike season i've tied some more glitter ones.
Experimented a little bit with fox hair and added rubber legs to a couple ones.
The all-hair ones are way to small for my tase in pike flies,only about 10 cm(over all they are a bit small, brown/orange flash/hair fly is 15 and YES that is a bit small), but the hairs lenght has its limitations.
Gonna have to get my hand on some Big Fly Fibre or Craftfur or something like that, tying with just fox hair is a bit expensive...
I do however like to look of the flies, especially the monochrome one.

Here's to hoping and a good comming pike season!

15 Mar 2013

News from the vice

So i've been looking around a bit for inspiration.
I find that when i tie flies for rainbow,seatrout and salmon i almost always resort to hairwings.
Quick and easy to tie, look good andthey work.

But i want more, i want to stir the pot and give a bit more attitude to the flies.
So i combined elements from classical salmon flies with the rude look from intruder type patterns and nice wing from the furwinged ones.

Silver tag, dubbing, palmered soft hackle, fox hair wing, bead eyes and schlappen.
Tied on a single.


Windy closeup

A bit more attitude.

I paid a visit to Capricorn, a "local" fly fishing-only shop and got some new materials.
These included rubber legs.
Here's some more contemporary ones using sili legs as well.
I must say they really lift the fly and a pack contains about a hundred strips.
These are all tied using only one strip.
Tied on double.

Bunny Zonker, Fox hair and Bucktail


Zonker with rubber legs and schlappen.