18 Mar 2014

Three flies for Perch

To kick of "Three flies for Sweden" i'm gonna go ahead and talk about my favourite flies for Perch.

The Fish.

The European Perch, Perca Fluviatalis, is a smaller predatory fish.
A fish above 1 kg is considered very nice and the Swedish record is just above 3 kg.
The main bulk of the population is about 2-6 hg and these are the ones i mainly target when i fish for perch.
They can be found in both fresh and brackish water.
It's a great schooling fish, incredibly fun and for me they take me back to when i first started fishing, angling with a worm when i was little, back to the simple joy of cathing a lot of them.
When you find a school you usually hook multiple fish in very few casts.

I think this is one of the best species to start your fly fishing career with.
They can be found in almost any water, hungry and give a good fight and you oftentimes have lots of room for casting.
Watch out for the spikes on the dorsal fin and gill flaps though.

The Gear

Depending on where i fish for them or rather the expected size i go for a couple of different rods.
When fishing in small forest lakes or ponds where i can expect them to be smaller i usually use my #4 rod to get a bit more fight.
Fishing in a bigger lake i usually use a #6 rod to be able to cover more water.

The line is almost always a floating line, sometimes i use a sinking tip but as these fish can usually be found in the shallows or hunting the top water a floating line will do fine.

The Flies

The fly i use most often is a rabbit zonker fly.
Rabbit is a soft material that moves great in still or slow flowing water wich is where you'll find these redfinned buggers.
The wing is tied in just at the base to give greater movement and the beadchain eyes gives it a jigging action.
Some flash under the wing to catch the sunlight and get them going.
It imitates a small fish or a leech and can be tied in any colour, perch respond great to gaudy colours.
Tie it on any streamer hook you like.
Somewhere from 4-8 cm in length depending on the size of fish you are targeting.

Materials used in this fly are:
Body -  Black woolen yarn
Rib - Stainless wire
Wing - Dark purple rabbit zonker and pearl flash
Head - Fur from the same skin as the zonker.
Eyes - Beadchain.
Hook- Kamasan B180 Low water Salmon #6

Crazy Charlie

Crazy Charlie was first invented as a Bonefish fly to fish on the Carribean flats.
It is however a fantastic fly for perch when you find them really shallow.
The eyes are tied on the up side of the hook flipping it over.
I fish this fly on a long leader at depths of 0.5-1 metre and let it sink to the bottom, pull it home and let it stir up mud, let it sink again.
Tied on a maggot hook, the type you use for icefishing, the hook point faces downward and the fish are securely hooked in the upper lip.
This is a fairly weedless fly as well.

Materials used in this fly are:
Body and Wing - Pearl thread
Rib - Copper
Eyes - Beadchain.
Hook- Mustad Maggot hook #12

Perch Popper
Popping for perch is not something you get to do every day unfortunatly.
It's reserved for the heights of summer but when you get to throw poppers it's the most fun fishing you'll ever get.
The main goal here is to generate sound and movement and trigger fish that are hunting the top water to hammer it.
Tie it fairly big, you want to make it worth their while (but not to big unless you target the biggest fish. This one is about 6 cm)
The marabou and schlappen tail gives a lot of movement and volume while the rubber offer even more.
The head is made out of a kneepad that i use a 10mm leather gauge to punch out and then paint with waterproof marker.
There are lots of nice popper heads do buy out there but i use these, simple to make and really cheap.

Materials used in this fly are:
Tail - Green marabou, pearl flash
Collar - Black Schlappen
Head - Kneepad 10mm popper head.
Hook- Kamasan B180 Low water Salmon #6

That concludes the Three flies for Perch!

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