Saturday, March 27, 2010

The season has started for real

With the sudden (and very welcome) arrival of warm weather the time has come to really begin with fishing. Rivers are still very high and muddy, so I selected one of the small stillwaters around Prague to try out. The unfortunate lake seemed empty of trout, reason for which became apparent by watching the resident pike population getting warmed up in the shallows.

Never the less black midges were hatching at the margins, so I had some fun fishing for roach and dace, who attacked my fly with zeal. Not what I was expecting initially, but it was dry fly fishing and a thus welcome diversion after the long winter.

The tie:
#18 Hanák H130 BL hook
Black UNI 8/0 thread
Pheasant tail dyed black
White Tiemco Aero Dry Wing
Opossum dubbing dyed black

The small black midge is an essential early season fly, about as important to a fly fisherman as the little black dress to a true lady :) I like to use the cross tied ADW for wings better than CDC or grizzly hackle - to me it seems much more visible on the water, an important feature for a size #18 dry fly.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

4. Karlovarské muškařské fórum / 4th Fly Fishing Forum in Karlovy Vary

The Fly Fishing Forum is organized by the Fly Fishing club in Karlovy Vary (city also known as Carlsbad in German). It is one of the premier fly fishing gatherings in the Czech Republic, a great place to meet friends both old and new - a fact nicely illustrated by friendly meeting of two red tag flies - a Czech Graying fly and a Danish Sea trout fly.

This year the Forum was dominated by two themes: Sea trout fishing in Denmark, which is increasingly popular between Czech fly fishermen, and Split cane rod building, about which nowadays very little is known, despite long and distinguished history of Czech rod builders.

The Sea trout section was presented by René Gerken, master caster with great didactic skills, and Peter Varring Jensen, accomplished fly tyer with creative spirit (one who never lets his creativity be tied down by dogma of established patterns ;-), both from Denmark.

The Split cane rod section was presented by Philipp Sicher and Jaroslav Vecko from Switzerland. This was a true highlight of the Forum, as few of us had any opportunity to cast a modern cane rod before. Our Swiss friends were more than happy to explain common misconceptions about the cane rods with great patience - and a touch of showmanship, such as a brilliant rendition of the Baginski test of rod strength (definitely not something you would do with your graphite rod). At the end of the field demonstration everybody had the chance to cast several of the cane rods and compare different tapers.

The field demonstration was followed the next day by presentations of history of bamboo rod building in general and the Czech tradition in specific by Jarda Vecko and detailed presentation on the process of rod making from a bamboo culm to the finished rod by Philipp Sicher.

The whole audience was truly captivated by the bamboo rods - and their very enthusiastic makers - and despite some initial doubts many were converted to the idea of bamboo, the fishing rod with a soul.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flying Ant - Balkan Style

The tie:
#21 TMC 103BL Hook
Benecchi thread Red
a touch of Lacquer
UNI 8/0 thread Black
One CDC puff

I have long watched the epoxy style ants that are tied by Balkan fly tiers with awe. Only recently I felt strong enough to give them a shot myself, this is what came out of it.

So it is with a deep nod that I raise a glass towards the banks of the fabled river Astraeus :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Elk & Moose Shuttlecock

The tie:
#12 Hanák 103 BL hook
8/0 UNI thread Black
1 white Elk hair
1 black Moose hair
UNI Neon thread Burned Orange
3 shortish CDC feathers
Australian Opossum dubbing Black
a light coat of varnish on the abdomen to add a little weight and durability

It seems that Mother Nature does not love me as much as would I have thought; the white stuff keeps on falling and temperature is back to freezing. Not much to do fishing vise, so back to the tying table I am.
This one is a bit premature, as all the stillwaters are thick with ice, but for some reason I can't get the look of black and white hairs out of my head. Love the contrast...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Uhorčík (a nymph)

The tie:
#12 Lake hook by Skalka
3.3 mm tungsten bead, gold
Red rooster hackle fibres
UNI 8/0 thread Tan
UNI Neon thread Green
UNI gold tinsel #16
Hare dubbing from flank (creamy and fine)
Hare dubbing from back (dark and scruffy)

This fly comes from Slovakia and is called after legendary bandit leader and folk hero Tomáš Uhorčík (friend and tutor of better known Juraj Jánošík). A variant with orange tip is called Hrajnoha (another folklore hero).

Both Uhorčík and Hrajnoha are very good choice for early season Browns - when the water is high, cold and muddy and fish not exactly cooperative. At times like these you wish for a fly that will sink deep and fast and comes loaded with trigger points.