Finnish Fly Fair 2014
I quickly stopped by at the Perhomessut aka Finnish Fly Fair on Saturday. Only had couple hours to spare and it went fast talking with old and new friends. It was a pleasure to finally meet Barry Ord Clarke from Norway as I have enjoyed his photography and tying for many years. You can find Barry at his website The Featherbender.
The fair was as it has been for the last couple decades. It’s nice small show but could be improved and taken to the same level as most of the international shows easily. There are mostly no manufacturers as exhibitors and the show relies only on shops that go there to get rid of last years gear and sell some of the new ones at a similar discount. It would be great if it concentrated more on displaying and presenting new gear rather than trying to get rid of as much stuff as they can.
I may be biased to say this as I usually don’t have anything to buy from there but I think it would benefit the sport in the long run. A fair like this shouldn’t be about buying and selling, it should be about showing people something new and inspiring and then letting them make their purchases at the show or afterwards.
There has been some great casters and tyers each year but usually only couple international guests which isn’t enough for a show this big. You only have to go to Sweden or Denmark to see what could be easily done here too but there hasn’t been much improvement here.
Ray Bergman’s wet flies tied by Rane Olsen
This is such a great feat completed by a Finnish tyer Rane Olsen that I had to share it with my readers. 234 wet fly patterns from Bergman’s books as listed in the Bergman collection by Don Bastian.
I have many times played with the idea of tying the collection but it’s such a huge task on many levels that I have decided to postpone it to distant future. Hats off to Rane (and Don of course) for completing the set.
On the photo I collected some of my favorite patterns and ties from the set.
You can see the full list of patterns here.
Chenille Caddis Pupa
This type of crocheted chenille pupa body used to be popular in Finland but has now been overrun by simpler patterns. I have to admit that I too usually go for the simpler ones but when I want to make a bit more chunky pupa this is a good pattern.
I’m not 100% sure who came up with the method for the body but it was introduced in a now out of print book Perhokalastus ja vesiperhoset by Aki Rinne, Juha Vainio, Matti Huitila and Jyrki Soine. It’s a very comprehensive entomology study of caddisflies and has section on flyfishing with caddis patterns. Good book but unfortunately hard too get these days. Matti Huitila has two pupa patterns there that feature a chenille body Hiilivirta and Paasivirta and my fly is just a tiny bit varied in terms of materials. I’ll have to ask Matti some day if he could tie me couple originals as I would love to feature them on the blog.
I had read the book before but it was really a good friend of mine Ari-Heikki Rintaniemi who introduced me to this pattern more thoroughly some years later and the fly earned a spot in my boxes straight away.
The body is formed out of micro chenille in a way that you would start a crotchet work. First make a slip knot and then start to do crochet chain. You can find plenty of tutorials where those techniques are described. Unlike regular chain you want to tighten each loop to make a tight body, When you have the desired body length pull the chenille all the way trough the last loop and tighten. I cut the back end stub pretty short and touch it lightly with the flame of a lighter to seal it and make a slight taper.
For the wingbuds I used this time single strand of a bit heavier black chenille that I burned to taper. You can use whatever you prefer from just black wool to more realistic medallion sheeting etc.
Detached body: Micro chenille as described. Color to match the species.
Back/head: Brown polypropylene yarn.
Front body: Natural hare’s ear dubbing.
Wingbuds: Black chenille.
Legs: Fibers from a brown mottled hen feather.
Antennae: Nutria guard hairs of something similar. Double the tie in point to secure.
Pretty far away from the original intruder but I just couldn’t come up with a proper name and this will have to do for the time being.
Tied again on a Waddington shank, this time the wing consists mostly of Peacock herls. People have been asking for closeups of the body construction on these and I will try to do a step by step next time when I tie some shank flies. But they are simple to tie, mostly just hackles and dubbing in between brushed out well.
Weight: Dumbell eyes in front below the shank.
Shank: Waddington 45mm
Dubbing: Salar Synthetic Series dubbing orange in flames as the first ball of dubbing to lift the hackle and then nasty rusty color for the rest of the body.
Rib: Oval silver tinsel.
Hacles: Ringneck Pheasant rump feathers dyed olive on the back after the the orange dubbing and in the front. Over the body a palmered hackle of olive Schlappen.
Wing: Bleached Peacock herl dyed tan over each hackle. Ringneck Pheasant rump feathers dyed olive over the body. Tan and natural Peacock herls on top.
Michael Rogan’s The Fiery Brown
Another small salmon fly tyed in hand, this time from the book Fishing by Cholmondeley-Pennell that’s part of the Badminton Library -collection. I’ve added a photo of the page for you to look at the original pattern, plate and notes. I added a butt to the pattern because to me it clearly shows one in the illustration. This is also the Rogan’s variation with the blue hackle along the fiery brown.
I tried to make the tippet strands to be very uneven and taper to the top as the illustration and some of the originals I’ve seen demonstrate. All in all it’s a simple fly with common materials and should fish well in most rivers. Pf course one can argue about the shade of fiery brown which is a common debate but I don’t care to get in to it.
Tag: Gold twist and light orange silk.
Tail: A topping.
Butt: Black ostrich herl (Not in the original pattern).
Body: Fiery brown seal’s fur.
Ribbed: Gold tinsel.
Hackle: From first turn of tinsel, fiery brown and blue.
Wings: Tippet strands between broad strips of mallard.
Horns: Blue Macaw.
Head: Black herl
Beadhead Stonefly Nymph
Been tying some stonefly nymphs for a coming trip abroad and thought I’d share this pattern that is inspired by Kaufmann’s Stone nymph. Materials and some techniques are different by I think the basic appearance is pretty close. I use tungsten beads and some wire to make these really heavy and sink fast. Couple notes on tying this fly.
One thing that bothers me most about people using biots is that they take them from the same strip for both sides. If possible try to look for lefts and rights so that you get a symmetrical fly. Probably doesn’t have any effect on the fly other than it looks better.
The folded feather wingcases are simple to tie once you’ve done a few. When tying in try to make sure that the fibers don’t turn around but stay the same way. When you have finished the next portion of the body, place a needle on top of the fly and fold the strip over. Tie it in with two turns so that the fibers don’t twist over but don’t worry about the length and shape. With the needle pull the fibers backwards in a straight line to form the shape of the wingcase, you can even pull individual fibers to different lengths if you want to make something more fancy. Secure the wingcase with few more wraps and take the needle away. Push the wingcase towards the body to make the bend of the wingcase sharper and more permanent.
If you want to tie faster and lower wingcases try Kaufmann’s original technique without the folding.
Weigth: Tungsten bead and some lead wire on the front half of the hook.
Rib: Vinyl Rib close but open turns.
Body: SLF dubbing
Wingcase: Brown mottled Turkey
Legs: Grouse or similar barred feather fibers.
Perch Streamer proto
One effective featherwinged streamer from last summer that needs some tweaks but will gain a place in my fly box once it’s perfected.
I’ve never been highly successful with perch imitations on my trout fishing but they have their place on the rotation. Last year I wanted to try out a bit larger pattern for them and tied couple of the pictured flies. Got some good action on these and my biggest trout of the season took one with her to the abyss after a long fight.
The design wasn’t foolproof and the wing tangled quite easily to the bend oh the hook on long casts. For short distances it worked as planned. Will probably tie next ones with a bit shorter wing and longer tail to keep it together.
Hook: Mustad C52S #1
Tail: Orange Squirrel
Rib: Large oval gold
Body: Tan A. Jensen Saltwater Dub II or similar over a layer of lead
Wing: Olive Squirrel, 4 Olive Grizzly hackles and Olive & Black Angel Hair
Head: Black and fl. fire orange Antron. Gold eyes. Covered with Bug Bond to just behind the eyes.
Some photos from the fishing fair in Helsinki last weekend. Spent Saturday and Sunday working at the Helsinki Spey Clave stand where we had Markus Männistö tying Deceivers for pike and Miki Äikäs tying his salmonflies. The busiest day was Saturday with almost 24000 visitors at GoExpo. Hard work but it was nice to meet so many people at once and talk about nothing but fishing for couple of days.
I tied this fly in hand about a month ago but hadn’t got a chance to photograph it earlier. I think it’s a fine looking salmon fly pattern that’s rarely used today. Even the color combination is a bit odd when you compare it to modern salmon flies but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work just as good. The blue I used is maybe a bit too “royal” for a classic pattern but that was the best dark blue I had because I wanted to have the dubbing and hackle the same color and don’t have hackles to match my more periodically correct dark blue dubbings.
I tied the whole wing in together, both sides and all of the strips including the Mallard. Just stacked them over each other and moistened the tying point before mounting. Worked out all right, maybe I would’ve wanted the wing to fan out slightly more but on the other hand I like the streamlined look. After the wing I freaked out because I noticed I had to do a collar after the wing and wasn’t prepared for it. Forgot to put the horns in the middle because of the shock :)
Here’s the pattern from Frederik Tolfrey’s Jones’s Guide to Norway
Tail: Golden Pheasant.
Tip: Gold twist, orange silk and black Ostrich.
Body: Dark-blue Pig’s wool.
Ribbed: Silver tinsel and gold twist.
Throat: Orange hackle.
Wing: (Mixed) Mallard, Teal, Bustard, Golden Pheasant tail and Peacock. Blue hackle over all.
Horns: Blue and Red Macaw.
I haven’t seen anyone tie up this pattern even though it’s one of the featured patterns in both Kelson’s The Salmon Fly and in his Land & Water plates. Maybe it’s because of the unusual wash-leather in the body. Kelson also refers to two variations that use dyed silkworm gut in yellow and orange for the body. Might give those a shot one day too.
Grubs in general are pretty underrated these days. They’re easy to tie and seem to fish well so I don’t see any reason why they should vanish into the history. Well maybe if you’re planning on fishing this particular grub substitute the indian crow feather for something more readily available.
I tied this in hand at a gathering of friends and one of them brought some wash-leather for us to use. It was a bit thick and I had to try cutting it slimmer which made for a not as smooth body. Lately when tying nymphs for trout fishing I came familiar with Ultrasuede Skin Strips from Hareline which seems to be the same stuff but much thinner and comes in a variety of colors. I’m planning on trying it on other flies as well as it gives a unique texture to the fly and nice natural look.
Tag: Oval gold
Tail: Indian crow
Butt: Black Ostrich herl