Tuesday, May 22, 2012

British Advice

The British Isles are the cradle of Fly Fishing as we now know it. The country is so thoroughly imbued with the spirit of fly fishing that important lessons on tactics can be learned even from wartime propaganda!

With special thanks to The Keep Calm-O-Matic poster generator.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Grayling vs. Seatrout

A Danish friend is considering abandoning the folly of fishing for ugly anadromous monsters and seeing the true path of the Grayling. To ease the transition I prepared for him a small box of my favorite grayling dry flies.

It is interesting to compare the contents of the little fly box to a regular sized Seatrout fly (here a typical Danish Magnus). The flies are all tied on #18 Dohiku dry fly hooks, patterns are:
  • CDC Goldie
  • Hare & CDC emerger
  • Olive CDC quill
  • Muskrat & CDC emerger

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wrath of the Ice Men

Mid May is a period that traditional Czech folk lore calls The time of the Ice Men. It is a period of cold weather, supposedly driven by the same climatic forces as the Asian monsoons. The feasts of Messrs. Pankrác, Servác and Bonifác have been traditionally celebrated on May 12th, 13th and 14th. Nowadays the religious observance is all but gone, but the folklore tradition - and climatic phenomenon - remains.

I took some time off to visit a small stream westward from Prague. Just as the folklore predicted the weather has dramatically worsened for the weekend, and the temperature dropped by almost 20°C. This was accompanied by a sudden change in barometric pressure and further compounded by low water levels. As a result I had only limited success fishing.

An unexpected outcome of the low water situation was that I was able to check first hand the abundance of caddis flies living in the stream. The little critters were easily visible in the low water, and I could easily see that there were a plenty of them around to ensure a very rewarding caddis fishing later in June.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Field Testing the CDC Redhead

To field test the CDC readheaded emerger fly I traveled westward from Prague, to the mountainous region by the German borders. My friend Ruda introduced me to a remote and little known stream, where little stocking had been done and so the brown trout still retain their distinct coloring.

The fish seemed to like the fly and when it was presented properly they attacked it with vigor. It is likely that they would show the same attitude to to other fly patterns - such as the tried and tested Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear of F. M. Halford's fame, but it was enjoyable none the less.

In the little pool by a old tree stump, on the bottom right corner of this photo, I hooked a nice brownie. I did not measure it, but by the look of it it exceeded the 40 centimeter size that is over here considered a "decent fish", the like of which one can expect to catch only once or twice a year.

I decided not to press my luck any further and after releasing this beautiful fish I called it a day and returned home. By the look of my redheaded fly it was about the time, for it was beginning to show signs of stress.

The wing was still keeping it afloat and the head retained its reddish orange look, but the ribbing was gone and the abdomen was badly chewed up. I decided that the pattern has passed the test, but the one example I had been fishing today had to be retired to the dustbin of history.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Redheaded CDC Emerger

We are now entering the very interesting phase of fly fishing season when a whole bunch of insects are hatching. Many of the medium sized mayflies - Baetis, Ephemerella, Rhitogena - and early caddis flies compete for the attention of hungry trout. Not to mention a horde of terrestrials, such as the Hawthorn. Only the genuine Mayflies will have - thanks to subversive manipulations of pope Gregory XIII - to wait till June.

Given such wide spectrum of hatching insects it will not be necessary to present a specific imitation - a general imitation, open to represent both a hatching mayfly and a smallish caddis fly. A hotspot has been added to give the trout a reason to pick the "right" fly out of the scores of similar ones drifting by.

The tie:
#12 TMC 2487 BL hook
tan pantyhose tying thread (not visible)
Gütermann Sulky Mylar tinsel rib
natural hare body & thorax (lightly roughened with a velcro strip)
4 CDC feathers
red Danville 6/0 Flymaster thread (just for the head)