Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Pike flies

I’ve been playing with deer hair again.
These two flies are about 22 cm long.

- first I tied in some gold flashabou
- then some orange Fine Hair around it
- five yellow grizzly schlappen feathers
- orange bucktail around the bottom of the hook shank, and black around the top
- two orange grizzly schlappen feathers
- black artic fox in a dubbing loop
- the head is yellow, orange and black deer hair

- first, some silver flashabou
- then some pink Fine Hair
around it
- five white grizzly schlappen feathers
- pink bucktail around the bottom of the hook shank, and black around the top
- two white grizzly schlappen feathers (but darker than the previous ones)
- white artic fox in a dubbing loop
- the head is pink, white and black deer hair with some homemade epoxy eyes

Monday, 29 November 2010

Pike on stamps

I’ve started a new hobby within my hobby, collecting pike on stamps.

There aren’t so many out there though, so they are a little hard to get. I’ve managed to find six so far, but I will update this post as soon as I find some more.

If there is anyone who can help me with finding some more of these, please let me know…

I collect trout, perch, pikeperch (zander, walleye), flies and fly-fishing (in general) on stamps as well.


Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours."  ~Robert Byrne

Well, I can’t say it any better than that! And the temperature won’t go above zero for the rest of the week. This is really much to early. I hope that the ice will melt again, otherwise it will have been a very short pike season this year!

Pike flies

I had one of those moments that I needed to tie something with deer hair (that happens often). So I tied me some divers (or subbugs, or whatever you want to call them). Normally, when I tie these, I use a zonker strip for the tail, but today I tried something different.

This is what I'm always looking out for.

After tying everything in, comes the moment of truth: ‘the haircut’. You can never be 100% sure of what you’re going to get.

These are tied on a Gamakatsu worm 36, size 6/0, and about 20 cm long.

I did this one first.
- I tied in some yellow Chinese cock saddles (next time I won’t, because they will not do the action any good).
- some yellow flashabou.
- then, yellow bucktail around the bottom of the hook shank, and black around the top.
- some yellow grizzly schlappen feathers.
- then I made a collar from black artic fox (in a dubbing loop).
- and the head is red, yellow and black deer hair, with some epoxy eyes.

Then I made this one.
I did use the saddles again but in a different way (for more movement).

- so first, chartreuse Chinese cock saddles.
- here I used chartreuse Krystal Flash instead, but less than the flashabou.
- chartreuse bucktail around the bottom of the hook shank, and black around the top.
- some white grizzly schlappen feathers.
- black artic fox.
- and the head is chartreuse, white and black deer hair.


I didn’t put any eyes on this one, because I kind of like it as it is.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Pike flies

I couldn’t sleep, so I tied some baitfish patterns.
These are all made with Deadly Dazzle and about 12 cm long.


This one is chartreuse over white with some blood red under the head.


This one is sea blue over white.


This one is wild olive over some kind of light yellow (sorry I’ve misplaced the package) with blood red under the head.

Well, that helped. I will surely be able to sleep now…

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Back to the drawing board

With the very few pike being caught lately, this afternoon, I went fishing in a water that has often given me some bites, but only a few hooked fish. And it was the same thing again today. They didn’t want the small streamers (11-15 cm), but the moment I used a bigger one (22 cm), with a lot of movement, I had three bites in half an hour, which I missed all three. Now, two of them, I actually saw them take the fly, but neither even came close to the head (and the hook). They just took the tail (from underneath) for a brief moment and took off again.
I think it has something to do with the angling pressure on this water. There used to come a lot of lure fishermen here. I say “used to”, because you hardly see any of them anymore (they don’t catch anything), and that is not because there aren’t any pike left. These fish have probably seen so many artificial stuff passing in front of their nose, that they have become very cautious (that’s my guess anyway).
So it’s back to the drawing board, to come up with a fly that has a hook somewhere in the tail, and still has a lot of movement.


And it was cold this afternoon (I thought my toes where going to break off, the moment I took of my waders).

Pike flies

A while ago, I was looking at this Hybrid Fly from Rich Johnson over at www.kustom-flyz.com and I definitely wanted to try it out. So last night I’ve tied my own version of it (I added a flashabou tail for example), and tried it out this afternoon (I went fishing, but forgot all about how quickly it is getting dark already, so I was back in about 45 minutes).


So this fly already hit the water, and I was very pleased with the action. So I will surely be tying more of these…

Friday, 26 November 2010

Christmas stuff

As the snow was falling on the window behind my tying table, I figured it was time to use some more stuff from Santa’s fly-shop (the supermarket, I mean).


This silver tinsel is great material.
You can use this on any kind of fly as some glitter, but you can use it pure as well, because it gives fantastic movement in the water.


This fly is tied the same way again as the previous ones (tie in a tale, then a brass wire dubbing brush, and then make a head). The possibilities of this pattern are endless.
It is tied again on a Gamakatsu F314, size 2/0, and is about 14 cm.
You can increase the action of this material by tying in some lead wire in the head.

This is his bigger brother (about 20cm), tied on a Gamakatsu Worm 36, size 6/0.

I added an Artic Fox collar (in a dubbing loop) on this one (actually I made my silver dubbing brush to short, so I had to come up with something).

Thursday, 25 November 2010


Exactly two weeks ago, today, I have started this blog, and I had no idea what would become of it (and I still don’t). But a couple of minutes ago, I looked at my statistics, and saw the magic number of 1000 HITS. This is far beyond any of my expectations! But it does feel good though, very good! And it stimulates me a lot to keep going.

So thank you all, for the interest,
and all the kind words I have received!

(I’ve got the feeling that the name of my blog is totally wrong.)

Practical stuff

Homemade epoxy eyes

These are sequins, used to make glitter clothing.

You can find them in any hobby or sewing store.


They exist in all sizes and colours.

You can glue them on, before you epoxy the head.

Or you just put a drop of epoxy on them.
You can also ad some colour before and/or after.

They look good
(at least I think so).

And they make your fly even more personal.

Practical stuff

How to make a brass wire dubbing brush for pike flies

In the two fly tutorials I have done (so far), I have used a brass wire dubbing brush. Some people may wonder how to do this (I did, the first time I heard of it).
Now, there are a lot of things out there on the market and some people invented some great things. Some vise-brands came up with something as well. You should really check out the Jvice Brush Maker, by Jay Smitt at www.jvice.com (check out the whole site while you’re there, if you like tying flies, you will surely fall in love with a jvice).

This is my setup. It is simple, cheap and efficient.
-a piece of wood on the left, fastened to a bench-vice, and an eye screwed into it.
-a piece of a broomstick on the right, with two eyes screwed into it, attached to a    piece of an old lamp holder (so it can easily be removed).
-a piece of wood in the middle with a groove in it.
-and some brass wire (or any kind of stainless wire).

This is a ‘step by step’ of how I make my pike brush. Click any picture to enlarge.

You put the wire trough the eye on the left and attach it to the eye on the right.


You put the wire in the groove and attach the broomstick to the lamp holder.

You put your material on the wood. This is Bleeding Black SF (Steve Farrar’s) Flash Blend, but you can use all kinds of stuff or simply make your own blend as well.


You now pull the wire over…

and attach it to the eye on the right.

You take the broomstick from the lamp holder and start to twist until the first fibres start to turn up.

You take both of the wires on the left in your left hand and remove everything from the piece of wood. You keep on twisting until all the fibres start turning around.

At this point, you can remove your left hand.

Just keep twisting until the wire breaks.

Ultimately the wire will break at one of the eyes (never in the middle).

This is your finished brush

Now tie in a tale, then your brush, make a head and you should have something that looks like this.

Christmas stuff

This is an interesting time for us fly tiers, because all of a sudden, every supermarket we enter is filled with fly tying material. If you only need small amounts of material, don’t bother, but if you start tying pike flies, it’s a different story.

The first, very nice material I want to show you is this.

This is actually Angel Hair. But it doesn’t say so on the package, just like it doesn’t say ‘Fly tying material’.


With the result that the amount on the left costs about 1/3 of the price of the little package on the right (from a fly-shop).


It might look a little messy at first (Angel Hair always does), but you should be able to pull tight strings like this out of it.

Now, there is a lot of different material out there.

This stuff for example is exactly the same, but thicker (I use it as well, but not for the flies below).

Now, I would like to show you a fly which is made from only the material from above. This is an easy fly to tie. It doesn’t suck up any water, so it is very easy to cast, and it has a very attractive movement in the water. So if you are just starting to tie pike flies, this might be interesting.


This fly is about 12 cm, and tied on a Gamakatsu F314 size 2/0.
I like using this hook, because it is strong, sharp and it doesn’t cost to much (if you tie a lot of pike flies, hooks can be expensive). The only downside is that a size 2/0 is the biggest available.

This is a ‘step by step’, of the fly above. Click on any image for a larger view.


Put your thread on the total length of the hook shaft.


Tie in a clump of the (lets call it) xmas fibre.


Pull over the excess, spread it around the hook shank, tie it in, and put some varnish on.


Tie in this Christmas tree, which is the same material, twisted in a brass wire (one of the next articles on this blog, will be about how to do this).


Wind the wire forward around the hook shank, up to the hook eye. Make sure to pull the fibre backwards with each wrap.


Tie it in and cut off the excess. Build up a bit of a head, whip finish and varnish the head.

Now, by twisting this material in the wire (and tying it in), a lot of the fibres will be attached to the hook shank on both ends (which is not good).


So, you take your scissors, and put them in the fibres above the hook shank. DO NOT CUT, but pull your scissors upwards, and repeat this around the hook shank.


You see that by doing this, your fly gets a far better look.
Basically, this fly is finished. You can put some eyes on and go fish it.

But you can also dye it. This you can do with an ordinary permanent marker (the colour will not come off by fishing it).


Next to the basic colours (black, red, blue and green), some brands also make other colours, like this orange, brown, purple and yellow.
If that isn’t enough, then you have these prismacolors (they are a bit more expensive, but they exist in every colour possible).


I dyed this one yellow and orange, with some red epoxy eyes.

But anything is possible. Just use your imagination.


a classic redhead


a perch pattern