Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Souvenirs from the BFFI 2012

A couple pictures from the British Fly Fair 2012 this weekend. The fair has been held for the tenth year in a row and had been a great place to meet friends both old and new.

A meeting of Czech and Swedish fly tyiers (a variation on the Встреча на Эльбе theme, for those of us old enough to understand Russian), with yours truly and Martin Ångnell.

It has been a pleasure to tie next to brilliant Dave Wiltshire, despite of his unfortunate habit of making complex fly patterns seem easy and setting the bar too high for us mere mortals.

I was glad to make acquaintance with Phillipe Geneix of Avozetto, a tier of true Gallic charm, and Johan Put from the Netherlands.

Jens Pilgaard from Denmark and Mike Townend from Scotland, two of the worlds best salmon dressers.

Rockwell Hammond from the US showed us that in order to excel in full dress salmon game true dedication is required.

A few of Jens Pilgaards creations.

It was extremely hard to resist the urge to spend money at the stands in the retail area. I know I have a whole cupboard full of materials I hardly ever use, but the need to buy more was strong. Perhaps a beautiful cape in bright orange from Chevron hackle, absolutely essential for modern salmon dressings? I know I don't fish for salmon, but just in case I decide so in future?

While it was hard but possible to resist at the materials stands it was impossible to do so at the books stands. As a result I flew home lighter for some cash, but with my bags heavier by a couple books on traditional dressings and a wonderful piece on angling photography by Matt Hayes.

Monday, June 11, 2012


It is that time of the year again. While the grayling are slowly nursing their strenght back from spawning earlier in the year the trout indulge in Mayfly Maddness. Tiny troutlings barely able to fit a female Danica in their mouth and big lunkers who by theory should be entirely piscivorous alike go crazy at the sight of the yellow helicopters.

Lately I have been keeping myself busy with non-fishing activities, but it would be shame to miss the number one hatch entirely. I headed to a remote stream, where I could enjoy the hatch in solitude. I was fishing in altitude of some 460 meters above sea level, so by early June the hatch was about starting. Individual duns will hatch until late July, but there will not be enough of them around to keep the fish activity at the frenzy level.

Each time I witness a Mayfly hatch I am amazed by the huge size of the insects. I am used to the tiny hatches of the Grayling season, pitting the tiny naturals aganist my tying skills and visibility concerns. Flies in size #18 are the usual compromise. When fishing the Mayfly I sometimes struggle with the fact that my imitations tied on a #8 hook are not big enough - a rare problem indeed!