I finally jumped over my own shadow – and wallet – and invested a substantial amount in photo-gear. So far I worked with a minimalist setup … big word – I used a small camera or later my iPhone for pretty much everything I did. I would say I got pretty far.
I had inspiration moment when I watched my daughter develop her photographic skills. That did build up my confidence that I would be able to make sense of more advanced gear myself.
So I got myself a Canon EOS 700D, several lenses including a 100mm macro lense. Plus two Go-Pro Heros (a 4 and a 5). The plan is to produce a fly tying video tutorial which works together with the articles of the www.tzflyfishing.no/flytyingschool . I also gained som basic knowledge to edit film with Adobe Premiere. Anyway – there are a few things to look forward to in the beginning of 2017. I will try to be quick enough to have the movie ready in march so it can be launched at the Danish Fly Festival.
It is winter and it is dark … which has it´s very own charm. I am tying flies at night …. and work on the above mentioned — here´s a small nymph I find very interesting … “leaving ze house” – small cased caddis larva peeping out of the little housings.
Summer is here and with higher temperatures the ants starts swarming. Ants are fascinating creatures. For one they actually are able to build functioning societies. … that sentence alone can spark a whole set of books and endless discussions. But do not be afraid … this is just about fly tying. 😉
Ants do feature a very characteristic silhouette with the three round bits forming their head and body. There is many ways of simulating this. One is to fix a piece of round foam onto a hook. many like this. I tend not to have many things rubber and foam around the house, but I have plenty of deer hair in my fly tying kit.
So the elements to imitate are – the silhouette, the legs and maybe the wings of the flying type. So here is what you need.
Deer hair, preferably dark of black. Black is hard to get I found. It is died black of course. If you are into making you own stuff you could stain it yourself. Veniard sells specific colors for dying fly tying materials.
Dubbing – black or reddit brown depending on the coloration of the naturals you find where you fish.
The legs can be imitated with hackle or with deer hair. Rubber legs do a good job too.
Panic. Real panic. First proper fishing trip after month. It will still be cold, but what the heck. We´ll get out and fish our favorite lake the coming weekend. Excitement all around — where´s my stuff? Flies, that coffee cattle, and – yes coffee. Need to take that Whisky … sleeping bags, coffee … socks, waders, bellyboats, insect repelleant, headlamp, socks. Wool socks … really important. Tippet material. Rod, lines and reels … the net – why is the net in the kitchen?? Never mind … sunglasses. Have I packed the socks? yeah – checked twice. Oh don´t forget to send out the fly order which came in yesterday … the guy needs it to fish with his son … and yes – what else. Flies. Where is my flybox? Uhhhh – found it. Fxxxx meeeee. This thing is almost empty. Geeez … what now? It´s 23:03 already. Have a beer dude. Chill. hahahahaha … the beermat says – “Keep calm and tie flies” – yeah right. OK – let´s go. Where´s the stuff? Hooks … which hooks. Gosh, fab – the new Barbless Klinks came. Thank you Partridge, god of bent metal needles known as flyhooks. Perfect … another good zip form that beer.Beer on a thursday … nice … thursday? Aaaaargh … whatttttt? Friday – Paul´s waiting for the FP. OK, get the camera and another beer ….
Chill man ….
That – “I have to write an FP” feeling ….
panic, deer hair and seal productions
proudly presents: last minute tying
One can actually be quick and last minute. I tend to take my flytying kit along for weekend and longer trips. I seem to always have run out of flies right before. I give them away or am busy tying orders. But I really like these last minute panic flies. They seem to catch best. Must be that fish like fresh flies best. 😉
This Fridays SFTS is about another flytier I admire. His name is Hans Weilenmann. I have met him in person on several occasions, mostly on fly fishing shows where is sat hours after hours tirelessly explaining his flies to the audience. His very calm and extremely patient attitude – mixed with a real good sense of humour makes listening and watching him a real pleasure.
Hans and I agree that the biggest development of or for of fly tying was, and still is the internet and digital photography. The opportunities of learning from each other and sharing information have exploded. It has become really amazing … and Hans played a big role right in the beginning of this development. He was one of the first publishing, not only his own – but other fly-tiers work. His website was one of the first places showing high quality closeups of flies. Hundreds if not thousands. He has put a lot of effort into that website and I visit it often to look what´s and even more who is “new”.
Hans is also known for the “CDC&Elk” pattern. A rather simple pattern, but that is the genius behind. Tying simple but effective flies, Please refer to the attached video for the tying instructions.
Hans, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a “why” person. I like to understand what makes things work, what makes people work. And, I am always looking for the better mouse trap. A way to improve what is already working, but which I believe can be made to work better, more elegant, more effective. This drives, in part, my enjoyment in both flytying and flyfishing.
I like simplicity and elegance in flies. Both in the final product, the fly itself, but also in the steps to get from a bare hook to the finished pattern. Each turn of thread should serve a purpose. If you cannot explain why it is there, most likely it shouldn’t be there to begin with.
What is your favourite type of fishing?
My favorite type of fishing is prospecting a medium size stream or river for trout and grayling. I am a running water addict, who lives in a country without gradient. This both means I do not get to enjoy river fishing as often as I would like, as it typically involves travel, but it also makes for absolute focus and dedication when I am on a fishing trip. There is always a river somewhere…
When did you start flyfishing?
I have been a keen angler from the age of six, but flyfishing came later, at 18. To fast track I joined the Casting Club of Amsterdam to get familiar and more comfortable, and to explore, the ways of the flyrod and line.
How long do you tie flies?
*smile* At times it feels like I have been tying forever, and other times I sit down to tie like an eager freshman. It really never gets tired. I am into my fifth decade of tying as we type.
Who are you influences?
That is not an easy question to answer, and at the same time it is. I will start with the latter – the fish and the materials are my influences, each invite me to expand, innovate, refine and refresh.
This is not, however, how you intended your question – so I shall try to address it as you meant it. Flytiers the world over, past and present, have influenced and inspired my tying over the years, often in small and subtle ways – and I am grateful to all out there. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, past and present, and continue to walk in their footsteps.
Paul and I would like to thank Hans for his great contributions to the fly tying an dfishing world.
I hope we fish together soon.
Todays SFTS is about the “beast” – Gunnar Bingen´s “dyret”. It was originally meant serving as a caddis emerger, but has proven it´s overall usefulness in many other occasions. To me this fly together with the snowshoe emerger and the shipment buzzer are what my flybox for trout fishing is build around.
I got to know Gunnar and his patterns pretty early on when fishing in Norway. I met Gunnar for the first time on a fishing show in the Forestry museum in Elverum. It must have been 7 years ago. He is one of those fishermen you meet and instantly have this – “That guy knows what it is about” – feeling. He is certainly not a man of many words, but one look in his calm eyes and one does not question at all what he´s doing.
Gunnar was born 1958 in Hamar, Norway and now lives in Haugedal not far from his birthplace, close to the famous Rena river.
His father, a fly-fisher and fly tier, took him under his wing in all aspects of the sports. So Gunnar can not even remember when not having fished with the fly.
I recently had a conversation with him and asked him a few questions. His answers were typically Gunnar – short and precise.
Gunnar, tell us what your favourite type of fishing is: I have tried most of the fishing method of the inland, but my favourite is dry fly fishing, anytime late evening when the big trout come close to the bank to pick caddis.
When did you start flyfishing? Fly fishing has been from day one, since I was old enough to be with my father in smaller rivers. We used bamboo rods and fly lines not much longer than the rod, and a meter of leader and two flies. A very effective method for trout in small rivers when casting behind and in front of rocks. This way I really got to know the rivers.
Do you remember your first self tied flies? My father was busy tying all these years. So as a kid I tied a lot of weird creations, but I got more serious in the mid eighties.
Who are you influences? My father of course, otherwise it has Staffan Lindstrøm and Paul Krågvold.
What is the story behind the “dyret” (beast)? It is quite simply a mixture of Superpuppan and Devilbug, Superpuppan “lacked” something in some situations, Devil-bug was efficient but fragile so I ended up blending the two.
Dyret by Gunnar Bingen
pictures by Gunnar Bingen
feel free to visit Gunnars Facebook profile for more fly patterns
… image below shows the original “design sheet” from yesterday, meaning 1991 …
The tying of the “dyret” is very straight forward and simple.
A small clump of deer hair covered with dubbing of your choice and palmered with a cock hackle feather, colour ad lib.
I personally do not clip the hackle under, but I have seen many who do so, Gunnar included.
Here is the “original” step by step from Gunnar:
stack a small clump of deer hair in a stacker
tie in the deer hair at the bend of the hook
fix the deer hair to the hook as shown and …..
.. tie in a a hackle feather by the bend
cover the thread with dubbing and …
… cover the deer hair under body with it.
Palmer* the fly with the hackle. *Palmer referes to covering a length of fly body with hackle in a 30 to 45 degree open turns.
tie off and snip off remains, and trim the head.
hi-vis version for the evening (or the elder fishermen)
all pictures above by Gunnar Bingen (c) Many thanks from Paul and me to Gunnar for sharing his work with us.
The DHC is maybe the most fished dry fly pattern ever. The famous deer hair caddis. It´s not exaggerated to say that one can get away with fishing only this type of fly in various sizes and colours almost exclusively. It represents all and everything ….. However, tying with deer hair takes a bit of practice before one gets it right. It pays off to learn the pinching loop.
I little blast from the past. I took these pictures many years ago. My tying has hopefully advanced since, but it was a start of sharing fly tying with other via the internet. So give this a try yourself. I know the fly on the pics look far from super nice or perfect. But it catches like mad, that I know.
Deer Hair Caddis
standard dry fly hook
lie a thread base and form a dubbing loop with thread
This we have not doen before.
Basically it is making an extra loop with the the tying thread.
I have since learned to split the thread. It´s easier I think.
spinn seals fur in the dubbing loop
wind the seals fur on to the hook counterclockwise
secure this by ribbing the body with your tying thread clockwise
snipp off the dubbing loop remains and secure with afew wraps
snipp off a few fibres of deer hair
and measure the length you need
trade hands and snipp off the deer hair hold the hair over the hook as shown
and bring the thread
up between you thumb and the pinched material
amd down on the other side
This creates a loop areound the material which you hold (pinch) between your fingers.
Repeat the process three or four times.
let go of the matrial just a little bit by stretching your fingers.
Than pull down on the loop you have woven around the material 3 / 4 times.
this sets the deer hair wing nicely in place
secure with afew wraps through the deer hair head and finish with a whip finish
Geez … have you seen this new pattern? So innovative. We all heard that before. But – newsflash (pun intended) – There is (almost) no new thing.
Of course like everybody else, making and designing things, I had my own experience with this phenomenon. I remember two cases very well. I almost thought I had “invented” a new technique, or even pattern. Foolish you say? Yes, most definitely.
Flies and so flyfishing have been around since several hundred years, maybe even longer. I don´t know exactly. That is a question for Lars. He surely has dug out a viking fly somewhere.
The crafty art of attaching fluff to a hook is quite ancient, like many other craftsmanship involving natural materials. However though – the fly fishing community seems to be plagued by the impeccable desire to create something „new“ and give it again another name. I personally have my objections against this phenomenon. I think it puts people off and makes flyfishing & flytying look complicated. But that is maybe the desired outcome for those practicing this approach … anyway.
More positively worded – I like to be seen as a part of a tradition of craftsmen. And sometimes one can feel this when „inventing“ a way of doing something or coming up with a pattern which has been there before.
The fly-pattern which helped me experiencing this is the good old Gnat, or Griffiths Gnat. A small, simple fly. It´s just a peacock herl body palmered with a neck feather from a rooster. I found the method of palmering somewhat tedious.
While tying this pattern I became a bit sidetracked and for some odd reason just twisted all the materials together. I formed a „rope“ with the thread, herl and hackle and wound this onto the hook. Wow. The result was impressive and I tie them this way since. Later when watching a Oliver Edwards video (highly recommended by the way) I saw he did it the same way. How the hell did he manage to steal „MY TRICK“? Well, I guess he learned it from W.C. Stewart’s* „black spider“ pattern.
*W.C. Sewart – The Practical Angler, published 1857 – he also appered in a movie 😉 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r23hrzRESI
This Gnat (mostly with black hackle instead of grizzly) is the first fly we teach at our courses by the way.You should see how proud a beginner is after having managed to produce such small fly. The design is very robust and it keeps catching a lot of fish.
The other fly … you will now start to understand the title of the post – is an ant imitation made with black deer hair.
In 2010 I was tying at the Villmarksmesse (Outdoor show) in Hamar, Norway. I had a good chat with the CFO of the „Hedmarks Fluefiskeforening“ (cool club by the way) about flies and legs. Legs on flies and of course legs in general.
Just before, somebody had given me a patch of black deer hair. So while we talked I was thinking about making an ant. Ants are big trout food in the still-waters in Norway. The most used ones are simple but very effective constructions made with small foam cylinders. However, I wanted to do something with the deer hair and played around with that patch I just got.
The result was a quite realistic looking fly. Just a bit of deer hair and some dubbing was needed.
The tying is über simple. Maybe even Paul manages to tie it and catches a Gurami on it. That would be fantastic.
Yessss, me thought – I have invented a fly pattern. I will be famous, have loads of money and all the women too.
The other halv of my brain kicked in and I thought I should see whether someone has seen such a fly before.
After a few posts in various forums the answer was on the table. In 1965 or so, someone had
published the exact same pattern in an american fishing magazine.
I felt very proud … I thought in the same lines as another fisherman before.