Saturday, April 30, 2011

Field testing the Dohiku hooks

With the grayling having just spawned I decided to field test the Dohiku hooks on a water certain to hold only brow trout. With this intention I headed to a small stream west from Prague, which I knew from experience to contain only brownies and some chub.

We did not have any serious rain for a long time, and the water was really low - the stream had flow normally associated with high summer, while it was still only April.

My #16 grayish mayfly of Muskrat fur and CDC matched the hatching mayflies with adequate accuracy, and I had a good sport while confirming the hooking and holding power of my new Dohiku hooks.

I caught a couple brownies in the 20 - 30 cm range on dry fly, but had to cut my trip short due to a sudden storm (complete with hail). The countryside surely deserved the moisture, but the little creek quickly turned muddy and any dry fly action was off.

Friday, April 29, 2011

New Hooks

My favorite dry fly hooks brand, Hanák from České Budějovice, has lately started having even worse supply problems than usual. I was told it has to do with the earthquake in Japan, where their hooks are manufactured, but regardless of cause it annoys me greatly. I am a conservative person by nature, but when I was unable to purchase size 16 Hanák H130BL anywhere in Prague I was forced to try out a new brand of hooks - I decided on Dohiku from Slovakia.

The tie:
#16 Dohiku 301 dry fly hook
8/0 UNI thread tan
Coq de León tails
natural Muskrat fur
3 CDC feathers for wing
scruffy hare dubbing for thorax, teased out with a velcro brush to suggest legs

So far I am happy with the change, but yet have to ask the fish for a more definite answer :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Opening the 2011 Trout Fishing Season

The April 16th - the trout season opening day - is a big day for Czech fishermen. By tradition it is a social occasion; a day to share a glass with your friends and bring home a few stocked rainbow trout if so inclined. The places known to be recently stocked are usually full of spin fishermen; I avoided these and headed north to Jizera, where my friend Kuba has a summer cottage.

The water was still relatively cold - 8°C - but some fly life was apparent; not only this lovely stonefly, but also many smallish Baetis mayflies. Nature was only slowly awakening after the long winter, but some fish seemed to be active. A pleasant surprise was that the recent rains had no impact on the water level.

My friends decided - correctly - that this early in the season the surest way to connect with a fish was by heavy nymphing, and proceeded in a mix of Czech and French style nymphing techniques. I took encouragement from the few solitary rises and proceeded with a dry fly.

As was to be expected the nymph was the more productive technique, but I persevered and was rewarded by a fine grayling - this little fellow had the honor of being my first river caught fish this season. He surprised me a little - I was expecting the grayling to be busy with amorous adventures and was looking for brown trout. I allowed myself a quick picture and released him.

The fly that scored was my Hare's Mask Emerger - my favorite and most productive imitation of the smallish mayflies of Baetis genus.

The tie:
#18 Hanák 130 BL Hook
14/0 Sheer thread Gray
three strands of orange Krystal flash
scruffy hare dubbing
ribbing of #16 UNI gold tinsel
2 smallish CDC feathers
more hare for thorax, well teased out to suggest leggs

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Flies for April 16th

The Czech trout waters open for fishing this Saturday - a day eagerly awaited by many. It will be chiefly a social occasion, but as fishermen we will want a contact with a fish on that day. The water will be cold, muddy and still a tad high, so this weekend will not be a day for dainty mayflies, but for big, fat, nutritious looking pork & beans nymph patterns.

Buchtička fly:
#10 Kamasan B110 Grubber hook (debarbed)
3,3 mm Tungsten gold head
scruffy hare dubbing, well teased out with a velcro brush
pearly tinsel rib

Red Tag
#10 Hanák H260BL
3,5 mm Tungsten copper bead
Hot Orange rabbit fur tag
scruffy hare dubbing, well teased out with a velcro brush
pearly tinsel rib

Green Tag
#10 Hanák H260BL
3,5 mm Tungsten black bead
Fluo Green rabbit fur tag
scruffy hare dubbing, well teased out with a velcro brush
pearly tinsel rib

Monday, April 4, 2011

The spring is come!

The spring has finally come - and it arrived in force, with this weekend's temperatures well above 20°C. The rivers are still closed in the Czech republic, so I returned to my favorite stillwater fishery, where last year at about this time I had a very pleasant encounter with whitefish (not to mention the Slivovitz, but that is another matter).

Alas, as the weather was so warm and unseasonably pleasant the whitefish did not materialize. For some reason these mysterious fish prefer foul weather, and the warm spring day completely turned them off. I had to make do with regular rainbow and brook trout, both of which were very welcome after the long winter.

One thing this visit had in common with last years was the fact that the key to unlock the secrets of the water was a smallish black buzzer, fished static on the shallows on a floating line and a long fluorocarbon leader.

The tie:
#10 Kamasan B160 Hook
UNI 6/0 Thread black
UNI 1/69" Mylar Pearl for rib
Orange stretch floss for wing buds
2 - 3 layers of clear varnish

Friday, April 1, 2011

How to rouse the passion of a Nyphomaniac?

A tough question indeed... Though from reliable sources I learned that small tokens of affection help in making the nymph truly manic.

In order to ensure success you should use only the finest materials available. Genuine Argentinean hare instead of your local rodent; chemically sharpened hooks of Japanese origin instead of your usual el cheapo barbed monstrosity - such are best be left to the fish. Don't even think about other than genetically pure Rooster! And the bead should of course be of genuine gold, no brass imitation would ever convince a true lady!