Monday, 31 October 2011

Pike flies

I’ve started playing with ostrich herl again, because I think there’s not a lot material around that can beat the action of this stuff.
And one of my favourite patterns is still Ulf Hagström’s Toro Killer. You can find a tutorial on the genuine fly here.
And although I tie mine differently (I use more bucktail along the way to increase the volume), it’s basically the same fly. Here are some I’ve tied today:


different shades of olive


white and pink


my pike imitation


same here but shorter, and I also added lead wire in the head


and a tandem version

I already visited an ostrich farm for new feathers.

I’ll start dyeing them tomorrow…

Sunday, 30 October 2011


If you aren’t doing it already, this might be useful.

This is probably a familiar sight. You want to use a certain colour of bucktail, but there’s hardly anything left. This is light olive and that’s the colour I needed, but I didn’t find any.

So when I arrived at my favourite fly-shop (Fario Jan), he suggested to buy a regular olive and bleach it. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before, because it’s really easy.

I took a plastic bowl, with 1/3 water and 2/3 bleach, put the bucktail in for about 15 min, put it under the tap, and I had the exact colour that I wanted.

I already have some other colours in mind to treat the same way… 

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

French pike

Pike fishing in Belgium has never been so difficult as it is at the moment, there’s hardly anything to catch. And it’s not just me, it’s everyone I know, both fly- and lure-fishermen (and everybody they know). Even people who spend their weekends in Holland hardly catch anything. So Koen and I figured, let’s give it a try in France.

So we went to a private water called ‘Domaine de la Vallée” in the north of France


A very beautiful water,


with lots of small islands,


nice coves,


and perfect hiding places for pike,


and Captain Koen navigated us to all of them.

We’ve fished with all kinds of streamers, with all kinds of lines, and with all kinds of retrieves.

And posed for a picture from time to time.



But it was already noon (after 4 hours of fishing), when I was able to land the first pike. Certainly not a monster, but it felt good to catch a fish.

And about an hour later, Koen was able to land this one.

And that was it, after an entire day of fishing. Although I have to say that we both lost a fish and missed a few as well. So with a little more luck, it could have been a little better. But still, at a renowned pike water as this, it would still have been a poor catch.

But we spent a beautiful day outdoors, had lots of laughs and had a great time. And when you get home at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.

And the pike? Well…we’re not giving up yet!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Pike flies

Just some new colour combinations of a Jerk Tom for my upcoming fishing trip to
a private water in the north of France on Wednesday.

Bleeding baitfish, so red and white (neck) feathers, white bucktail with some red mixed into it, and some red luminous tinsel (and the usual head).


And straight from hell’s vise,

black and red.


I also agreed to swap a couple of flies with some people.

So, Jeff and Jerome, these are yours
(I’ll try to tie the rest tomorrow).

Friday, 21 October 2011

Urban perch fishing

This afternoon I went back with two other members of my club to that crazy spot where I caught all that perch on Monday.

And I figured out what leads to this temporary massive catches (I think).
Monday and today, the wind came from the same direction, blowing all residues of dead plants (which won’t last) into this narrow part of the canal, attracting lots of small baitfish and of course lots of perch. I’ve tried fishing there every day, this week, and sure there was perch, but far from the amount of Monday and today, and no plant residues to be seen.


But like I said, today the fishing gods were on our side again.

This is Dirk, our president with one of the many, many fish we caught today.


We honestly (all three of us) lost count. It was strange when we didn’t have a single bite on each cast.

Here’s Jean-Pierre with one of his.


The fish weren’t as big as last Monday, but the numbers made us all forget about that.

This is me with another one.

I know this is exceptional, and it won’t last, but that doesn’t change the fact that we had a fantastic afternoon!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Pike flies

Wind, rain and heavy hailstorms, so an ideal moment to get behind the vise. And I spent quite a few hours behind my vise today.

First I had to finish this order of baitfish patterns.


Bleeding black


And yellow/orange

Then I wanted to make a bigger version of a ‘Lonesome Tom’ pattern, but since I’ve made so many brass wire dubbing brushes lately, I was really in the mood to tie something different. So I changed my mind along the way.


I wanted to tie three like this, with a length of about 20 cm (instead of the usual 14 cm).


But, with these two, I made a collar of white and chartreuse artic fox (tied in) and an epoxy head (with sequins inside for the eyes).

In the next flies, I really like the colour of the rabbit zonker strips, but the hair is a lot shorter than the zonker strips that I normally use, so I tied in two of them.
And there’s something really weird with my orange bucktail, no matter how I change the light, it always looks pink on a picture (so you’ll have to take my word for it, it’s orange).


And I also wanted to tie three like this, but I changed my mind again (twice).


Here I made a collar with three dubbing loops of artic fox (yellow/black/orange) and an epoxy head.


And here with three dubbing loops of marabou.


Here, I made the tail with yellow and orange grizzly saddle hackles and tied in yellow (bottom) and orange/black/orange (top) artic fox for the collar.

I did some experiments on something new as well but I’m not yet sure where I’m going with it…

Tying session

Last weekend I had to give another tying session on pike flies. This time with the “Vliegvissers Ijzervallei”, which is my own club, so I was less nervous this time. And it was a success again, lots of people came and were very interested. Although it was a bit difficult for our three new members, sorry about that guys. But it was a very pleasant (and late) evening again!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Successfully testing perch flies

Pike fishing isn’t really working well lately, but in this one water I always have lots of perch following my pike streamer. So I figured, why not go fishing for perch, for a change. So last night I came up with these little creatures and this morning I went out to test them.

Actually it was a double test, since I received this 5 weight ‘glass’ line to test from Fario Jan (still my favourite fly-shop).

So this was my setup: my favourite 5 weight (Guideline Fario), a ‘glass’ line on the reel and a 2,5 m leader of 20/00 fluorocarbon (maybe a bit heavy for perch, but there's a lot of zander swimming around in this water as well, so I didn’t want to take the risk).


And I was in for a big surprise!

This was my first cast of the day. At first I thought I was just lucky, but I missed a fish on my second cast and caught another fish on my third cast.
And it just went on and on…


This turned out to be the killer colour combination (olive/green).

I’ve fished for about two hours, and caught more than 40 perch!


Most of them in this size (20 to 25 cm), but there were a couple above 30 cm as well.

This next picture was taken by a guy who passed on his bike and stopped to see what I was doing, which was very amusing actually:


“Man”, he said, “I fish here myself with lures and spinners, and from time to time I catch a perch, sometimes even a pike or a zander, but what you’re doing is something I have never witnessed before. How do you do that?”
I didn’t say that I probably hit the right spot at the right time (maybe not very nice of me, but I couldn’t resist), so I just said to him: “that’s fly-fishing man, and this is how you do it”. After which I cast my fly, let the line sink for a few seconds, started stripping and hooked this beauty. You should have seen the look on his face!

Either way, I think my test was a success, flies ok and line ok,

and… A LOT OF FUN!

Friday, 14 October 2011

Pike flies

I feel like a little boy with a new toy, with this new fly pattern, I just can’t stop playing with it!

Here are some redheads...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The birth of the ‘Jerk Tom’

I’ve put my latest flies to an extensive test yesterday, no pike caught though (Belgium isn’t exactly ‘pike paradise’). And the action in the water is just fantastic. If you use short fast retrieves, this fly just swings from left to right like a genuine jerkbait, but it has the advantage that when you stop retrieving, it slides slowly downwards (which a real jerkbait will never do with such elegance, if they even do it at all).

And since this fly is based on a ‘Lonesome Tom’ pattern,
I will simply call this one a ‘Jerk Tom’.

Here are two more in chartreuse…

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Pike flies

Just some more tandem flies (the same as yesterday), but I felt a bit ‘Pink’ today, so…

Chartreuse is next…

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Pike flies

Lately, I’ve become a big fan of tandem flies. They just have a fantastic action in the water.
And although some people think that it’s insane to put so much time in tying a pike fly, I really don’t  care. Why? … Because I just love tying them!!!
Last week, I’ve been tying a lot of ‘Tandem Flash Flies’ (which I intend to do an extensive post on later) and ‘Tandem Lonesome Tom’ patterns, but this evening, I felt like using feathers for the tail instead.

I just can’t wait to give these a try!

Which will probably be tomorrow…