Friday, 30 September 2011

Pike flies

It has been 28° C in the shade for the last two days, which we haven’t had all summer. So I’m a bit disappointed that I broke up my summer ‘house’ in the Belgian Ardennes already, last week (in the pouring rain, at 10° C). But I’ve had some nice orders for pike flies, so it’s not so (very) hard to forget about it.
At the moment, I’m working on an order of synthetic baitfish patterns, which is a pattern I will also use in my upcoming tying sessions.
I’m not finished yet (more colour combinations will follow), but these are the ones I’ve tied this afternoon.
They are all about 14 cm long, tied entirely with Steve Farrar’s SF Flash Blend, on a Gamakatsu F314 size 2/0.

The colours I’ve used are:


Belly: shrimp
Tail: wild olive
Head: peacock
Chin: red


Belly: white
Tail: chartreuse
Head: peacock
Chin: red


Belly: white
Tail: sea blue
Head: herring back
Chin: orange


Belly: white
Tail: pink
Head: bleeding purple
Chin: pink

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Test Flies

Within the next two weeks, I’ve been asked to do a tying session on pike flies in two different clubs, being ‘The Hawthorn Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Team’ and ‘Vliegvissers Ijzervallei’, which I’m very much looking forward to.
Both clubs have agreed to tie a ‘Lonesome Tom’ pattern, but beside of that I’m free to tie whatever I want, but they both insisted to tie a completely synthetic fly as well. That’s not much of a problem, but the first pattern that came into my mind (my favourite), is completely build with materials that I order abroad. And since my own stash won’t be enough to supply everyone, and I can’t take the chance of ordering more and not getting delivered on time, I’m working on the same pattern with different materials. And besides that, I can’t forget the sponsor of both sessions who delivers the material (yeah, yeah, Jan, I know what your going to say, so don’t bother to send me a mail). In fact, this gives me another challenge to come up with something new (which I like a lot!).

So I’ve tied me a handful (literally) of the same pattern with different materials (or different amounts, especially the tail) which I will test tomorrow. So let the best one triumph…

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Pike flies

A family of Lonesome Toms, ready for delivery. May they catch a lot of pike!

Warning to all Belgian people!

If you don’t live within a 100 km radius from where I live, then this post doesn’t have to concern you at all. But if you do… well, then you better take a good look at this picture, because it might save your life.

You see, my dad and his friend Pol (that’s Pol on the left and my dad on the right), both had the brilliant idea to buy their selves a scooter. And although I have to admit they’re having a great time, please take these words under advisement: if you see any of these two approach, well… GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Water treatment

Last Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, no wind and about 25° C. So, a day that draws you out to go fishing, so I did. But, (I don’t know how it is in your country) a day like this, is fantastic to be outdoors, but it’s usually the worst weather condition to fish for pike, so I blanked. And that doesn’t bother me at all, in fact this post has nothing to do with fishing either.
I went to the Belgian polders, enjoyed nature, and came across one of these places.

There are a lot of little villages over there, which produce wastewater of course, but instead of discharge all of that dirty water into the nice polder waters (which is certainly out of the question), or build a sewer network to take that water many miles further to a water treatment plant (which is very expensive), years ago they came up with a plan to purify the water in a natural way.

I’ll try to translate this in English as good as I can (and skip things that I’ve mentioned already).
“This reedland purifies the wastewater of the houses of Lampernisse (that’s the name of this little village). The dirty water gets pumped into a pre-sedimentation basin trough a discharge pipe. After that, it flows over into a flow wetland. Bacteria who live in the water, on the soil and on the reed shanks, purify the wastewater. Once the water is clean, it flows into one of the polder streams.”


Most people don’t even think what happens with their dirty water, it’s so normal that it just flows away to ‘somewhere’, but it does effect a lot of ecosystems (and our health) around the world. So when I see small (but effective) solutions like this, it brings a smile to my face while I realise… there’s still hope!

Production mode

Usually when I tie a pike fly, I leave my hook in the vice from start to finish, but this weekend I got a rather large order of ‘Lonesome Tom’ patterns, so I started looking for a method to speed things up a bit.

I started with tying the tails and the bodies first, so I could do the heads later.

But when I looked at the amount of brass wire dubbing brushes I had to twist manually, my courage abandoned me very quickly.

So I came up with a new setup to make my brass wire dubbing brushes.
Equally easy, equally efficient, but a lot faster.

I just screwed an eye (like you see on the left) straight into my tying table (yes, I did), used the same piece of wood (with a groove), but attached the second eye into my dremmel tool. I use this dremmel tool for all kinds of stuff, so I really don’t know why I didn’t come up with this idea before. But, better late than never, so now I’m off to finish my flies. That will be for a next post…

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Pike on stamps 3

My collection of pike on stamps, is growing only very slowly (they are very hard to find), but every now and then I find something interesting. Like this first day cover of a French stamp.

If you want to see the rest of the stamps I've found so far, click on the label ‘stamps’.

And if there’s anybody who can help me to enlarge my collection, please let me know.

Funny Fishing Art

I got this as a present today, and I find it to be very amusing, so I wanted to share it with you. Click on the picture to enlarge (and see the dirty details).

Friday, 23 September 2011

Back to pike flies!

Next month, I’ve been asked to give a tying session on pike flies. So the first fly that came into my mind was a ‘Lonesome Tom’, which I will do, but I have to keep the sponsor of the club in mind. So I’ll have to tie it entirely with materials he can provide (and people are able to buy afterwards of course). That way, the polypropylene fibre that I usually use for the head is out of the question, and so are the hooks and the flash material. So the last couple of days I’ve been experimenting (and testing) with other stuff, and I’m actually quite happy that I had to, because it has improved the action of the fly.

Hooks are a personal thing, and flash material may have another name but it’s usually the same stuff, so that wasn’t any problem, but the head was something else.
So after trying out several synthetic materials, I ended up with Slinky Fibre (or Flash’n Slinky in this case). This stuff is thicker and stiffer than polypropylene, but that also makes the head less dense, which allows the water to penetrate the head more rapidly and therefore sink faster. This way, I was able to make the head bigger (read higher), so the fly swings even more (left, right, up and down) and gives it a very lively action.

I’ll probably use a more classic colour combination (white/chartreuse, white/pink or a classic redhead), but tonight I felt like tying some other colours for myself.

I’ve also started to tie a tandem version, and the action of that one is even more spectacular, so you can expect more of these in the future…

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What a fantastic summer!

First I have to say that I had big plans for my blog this summer, but with the continuing problems with the internet connection (it still doesn’t work), that didn’t happen (as you might have noticed). Anyway, here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been doing all summer.

The main targeted species were chub and trout on a dry fly. My first fish ever on the fly (over twenty years ago) was a chub, and I just love to fish them ever since, regardless what other fly fishermen think of them (I really don’t care).
I can guarantee you that a chub of this size (which is no exception over there) is more of a challenge that most of the trout swimming around over there.



Most of all, it was a time of relaxing and making new friends (and go fishing with them of course). Like Leonel on this picture (probably the best dressed fisherman of the region).


Sébastien, who just started fly-fishing this year, but a great guy to have around. I’m sorry that I haven’t got a picture of him up-close.


And Kylian of course, one of the most driven fisherman I’ve ever met.

I just looked and saw that it was good.


And this was a daily sight. These two gentlemen, Leonel and Guy, probably spent more time with me than with their wives (Leonel’s wife even suggested to put his bed in my tent). Anyway, they have become very good friends and I’m already looking forward to see them again!

Leonel has been fly-fishing for many years, but he never tied his own flies before. But this summer, I convinced him to buy a vice and he is very determined to keep on learning.


So my tying class is growing. Here’s Kylian at one of his sessions.


And this is Merel, a very nice girl who doesn’t even fish, but who was so fascinated by the whole fly-tying idea, that she spent hours behind that vice to create all kinds of stuff.


Actually, a lot of kids found their way to my tent, practically every day. I took this picture after another flock of them just landed.


Guy and I also spent a lot of time fixing bikes (it’s unbelievable how they manage to break something every couple of days).


Anyway, I fell in love with this river a long time ago, and I’m sure that this love will last for the rest of my life!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Ezine update

I’m finally back home! But I must admit that it took me a whole week to acclimatize to the busy and stressful world we actually live in. The last couple of months, I woke up by the sounds of nature, opened my tent and had a great view at the river Semois. Now that I’m back home, I must admit that it feels good to see family and friends (and dog) again, but it’s certainly not the same thing!

I still have a lot to do at the moment, so more posts will follow later, but I’ll just start with some ezine updates for now. Much to late as usual, but here they are anyway. Just click on any picture or check them out with the other ezines on the right.


The new issue of “Flymage”


 The new “This is Fly”


The new Catch Magazine


And a new issue of “FlyfishersInc”