Tying your own flies is a great thing to do. I tie my own dry flies and nymphs as well, but tying those doesn’t even give me half the pleasure of what I get from tying flies for toothy predators. The way you are able to do almost anything you want, with any kind of material… well, for me, that is a gift from heaven.
Don’t get me wrong, tying dry flies or nymphs can often be even more challenging, but you are always (or most of the time anyway) bounded by ‘the real thing’, the shape, the colour, the size, how it floats or moves on or under the surface.
Being able to replicate that, is something that I admire a lot, but it doesn’t leave you much room for imagination and crazy stuff (which I like very much).
I tie baitfish patterns as well, but most of the fun, I get from patterns that don’t look like any living thing at all, and they do catch fish too, especially predators!
So let’s go on with the crazy stuff!
I got the idea of using a jig hook from Dave Lindsay (the fluff-chucking caveman from Scotland), but I’ve cut mine off and connected a trailer hook, so I could use (more or less) the same pattern of the last couple of days (Tandem Flash Fly).
That's the beauty of the internet, you are able to get all kinds of ideas, from all over the world, mix them up with some of your own, and add another weird looking creature to your fly-box.
In Belgium, it is forbidden to fish with a live or dead baitfish and lures (that includes streamers) from January 1 until May 31. That is a long time for us pike fisherman! Luckily there are some exceptions. In some waters, we are still allowed to use the above methods to fish for pikeperch, and if you catch a pike, you have to return it to the water immediately. So, since I always return all the pike I catch, that still gives me an opportunity to fish. Unfortunately, these are not the best pike waters and there is a lot of angling pressure on them as well.
So I was looking for a fly with (particularly) pikeperch (in wintertime) in mind. So it had to go deep (even touch the bottom) without hooking everything which is not a fish, with a lively action and a hook in the tail of the fly (since mostly, pikeperch grab their prey from behind), and I didn’t want to tie a Clouser Minnow (well, not today).
These are the hooks I’ve used. Both are from Gamakatsu,
LS-5314N, size 1/0,
and a JIG 22, size 4/0 (from which I cut off the hook bend).
These flies are about 8,5 cm long, and they all have a 5 mm tungsten bead inside the head (with some sequins and epoxy). The first one (the pink above), is Polar Flash with some red Gliss’n Glow.
This yellow one, I don’t have the slightest idea what stuff it is (there was no brand on the package, and I can’t remember where I bought it).
This is black and gold Vampire Flash FX.
The next two flies, I’ve added a twister tail on the trailer hook.
I know there are still a lot of people out there, who are against the use of these kinds of additives to a fly, but I really don’t understand their motives (and frankly, I don’t care either).
So this is the same yellow mystery stuff, with a yellow twister tail.
And this is black and silver Vampire Flash FX with a black twister tail.
I have a lot of faith in these flies, and you will certainly hear more about them once they hit the water…