Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pretty in Pink

It’s been a week since a posted something, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do anything. The water was covered with ice, so it was time to experiment at the vise.
I didn’t post anything because I tied all sorts of combinations of new materials and accessories (Flylipps, popper heads tied in reverse, new hooks and stuff like that), which I couldn’t test in the water. But the ice is gone now, and ‘the Grey Piker’ is picking me up at noon tomorrow (or today actually, when I look at the clock) to explore a new water, and test new flies.

But I couldn’t resist to post a (very) small selection of my ‘test flies’ already.
I picked out some white/pink combinations.


The first is a tandem fly, made of Raccoon Fur and Krystal Chenille. And one of the many Flylipps I tied in this week, under the chin.


This is a ‘Slider’, to fish with a sinking line, made of saddle hackles, some flash, Long Fur (in several dubbing loops) and a popper head, with some Flexifloss and a layer of epoxy mixed with some pink glitter.


I really like this Long Fur, but the only problem is the length (8 to 10 cm), so I tried to come up with a solution to make my fly a bit longer…


I just tied in a tail on an extension.

This, in combination with a Flylipp on top of the hook shank is one of the many things I want to test tomorrow.


This one will be no mystery, because it’s a normal ‘Replot Stinger’, just tied on a heavier hook and some epoxy eyes glued on with some UV stuff between them (but I tied me a full box of them the last couple of days, and this one was white and pink too, so I posted it as well).

You’ll certainly hear about other experiments as well, once I’ve checked them out…

Monday, 13 February 2012

Quick update

There’s not much fishing going on in Belgium, because we’re experiencing the longest cold wave since 1941. So every water is covered with ice.


This is a water at a couple of kilometres from my home. Beautiful, but difficult to fish.

And this is rather normal for this time of the year, because there’s no current in this water.


But I got this picture in my mailbox yesterday of the river Semois (thanks Pascal), taken at only a few kilometres from where I stayed last summer, and this is exceptional. Normally everything else on this picture should be white, except the river. They haven’t got any snow but it must have been very cold over there to freeze this current.

And in the meanwhile, on the other side of the world…


Damn, do you have any idea how many flies you can tie with this outfit? Neither do I, but I would surely like to get my hands on this lady’s clothes!

(thanks for making me drool all over my keyboard, Jan)

In the meantime, I’ve been doing a lot of experiments this weekend.


But even with some help from my four-footed friend, Indra, the only thing I’ve learned, is how not to do things.
Sure, I’ve learned some interesting things for other applications, but I’ve got this fly in my head which simply doesn’t want to come off my vise.

But I’m not giving up, so…

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A new fly

For over a week now, I’ve had this idea for a new fly, but the idea just kept changing. I pulled out lots of hooks and tying material and made several sketches. So finally, yesterday I was ready to give it a try.

This is just a prototype, some things will certainly change, but I thought it was worth posting anyway.


The original idea just had an epoxy head, but yesterday I found these Flylipps in my mailbox (thanks again for those Michael) and I just threw them in the mix.


This afternoon, I found a canal that was reasonably ice free (due to the busy shipping), so I was able to test the action, and I was very pleased with what I saw. This is a real ass shaker! With some improvements here and there, this will be a killer.

Monday, 6 February 2012

New pike blog on the net!

As I was checking my blogger dashboard, this afternoon, I saw that I have a new follower, Raymond Noordermeer, aka Raymundo. He has just started his own blog, only two days ago. So I checked it out, and I almost fell of my chair. I don’t think I have ever seen a pike fly tied this beautifully! Wow!

Stinger variations

If you don’t know a ‘Replot Stinger’, then you should check out the tutorial on Simon Grahams blog (http://pikeflyfishingarticles.blogspot.com/ ). It’s an easy to tie fly, with a fantastic action in the water. But Simon uses Finn racoon. And don’t get me wrong, racoon is one the best moving natural materials out there, but over here in Belgium it isn’t very cheap. And now the price has gone up with 50% (apparently racoon is getting scarce in Finland), so I figured that it was time to use something else.
I’ve tied the following flies exactly as shown in the tutorial, but instead of wrapping racoon zonkers around the hook shank, I used several dubbing loops of Long Fur. In fact, the first time I touched this stuff it immediately made me think of racoon.
And I added some eyes with some UV Clear Fly Finish between them as well. I know that Simon will say that it isn’t necessary, but I like eyes on my flies. If it isn’t as a striking point for the pike, then it’s because I like the look of them. If I don’t put any eyes on my pike flies, I have the feeling that they’re not finished (but that’s personal of course).

They are all about 17 cm long, tied on a Mustad Saltwater hook, size 6/0.










White/light blue/pink


This black one is a little longer (19 cm).


And of course, I couldn’t resist to tie a tandem version as well.
This fly is about 22 cm long, white/pink.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Ezine update

Yes, I know I’ve said that I wouldn’t post it anymore when there was a new issue of an ezine and simply adjust the picture and the link in the column on the right. But I’m having some difficulties with some ezines to put you directly there. With the latest Bloodknot Magazine and the fantastic new Pool 32 Mag (325 pages!), you will first arrive at a subscribing page when you click the picture. This is actually no problem at all, since you can arrive at the actual ezine by just one click on both pages. Although I do advise you to subscribe, because both are full of interesting stuff and loads of fantastic pictures, totally free with no obligations whatsoever.
And since I’m writing this anyway, I might just as well add that there’s a new Flymage and Catch Magazine as well, so have fun.

Just click on any picture here or check them out with the other ezines in the right column.

Pike flies

After all those big streamers with lots of work to tie them, I was in the mood for something smaller and most of all, easier to tie.


This is Long Chenille. I had this stuff laying around in one of my drawers for a while now, and looked at it from time to time with the idea of trying something with it, but I never did.
Until now.

This is very soft material, so I wanted to combine it with something equally soft as tail material. I started off with Polar Fibre and I like the results as well, but Polar Fibre is rather short (about 6 cm), which delivered me flies from about 8 to 9 cm long. Now these will probably work well for zander and perch, but they’re not exactly pike flies.

But last weekend, I came across this stuff. It’s called Long Fur. It’s a little stiffer than Polar Fibre, but still a lot softer than most other synthetic fibres, and the length (8 to 10 cm) is ideal for small baitfish patterns. With the hooks I’m using (Gamakatsu F314 size 1/0), I’m able to tie flies that are 11 to 12 cm long and that’s exactly what I was looking for.

One small problem with the Long Chenille though, is the fact that there’s not a lot of material on a rather thick thread. So however tight you tie this stuff in, you don’t have sufficient material to create enough volume for a fly of this size. But you can overcome this very easily.

First I tie in a clump of Long Fur around the bottom of the hook shank, than some flash (this is Spectra Flash), and then another clump around the top of the hook shank. But instead of cutting off the excess, I tie everything in. By doing so you create a bigger circumference. So this way you can tie in 3 to 4 times the amount of Long Chenille and create the perfect volume.

So after doing so, just glue some eyes on and you’re ready to fish. But I prefer to stick the eyes just behind the hook eye and make a small head with some UV material. I’ve tested both possibilities and I find the action to be better like this. It also makes your fly a lot more durable because they can’t bite the eyes off. And whatever happens with the fibre, just take a comb to go trough it and the fly is as good as new.

Next problem is the colour of course. Now, the Long Fur is no problem at all because it’s available in 16 different colours. But the Long Chenille is only available in 3 colours (white, black and brown). Although I now that other brands have more colours, but since I don’t have any, I can’t say anything about those either.


So a black one is as easy as a white one.

But another advantage of synthetic material is the fact that you can colour it in every way you want. Even with a small collection of permanent markers, Prismacolor markers (or Pantone, or whatever brand is out there), you can create all kinds of combinations.


Here, I just dyed the Long Chenille to create a redhead.


Here I gave the back a different colour.


These are a combination of yellow, bronze and brown.


But the sky is the limit, if you use some imagination.


If you’re not very creative with markers, here I used Long Fur in a dubbing loop instead of the Long Chenille. This one is plain yellow, but if you combine several colours I’m sure you can create really cool stuff as well.

Normally I don’t use a lot of synthetics anymore for the tail, because I just love the movement of natural material in the water, but if it’s stuff like this, I’m in!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Quick update

Things haven’t been as quiet as you think around here. I’ve been working on an easy and quick to tie synthetic baitfish pattern, the last couple of days. Which you’ll see on my next post(s).

But this afternoon, I spent some time with Philippe, who’s one of the guys of our six men group to go toss some pike flies in Ireland in April. And I must say that he has tied an impressive collection of great looking pike flies so far!

But talking about flies and fish was only one of the reasons we got together this afternoon. We also exchanged some tying materials. And this is a very interesting piece I received from him today.

An entire, perfectly dried and preserved deer skin. That’s something that will give me lots of hours of tying pleasure and surely a large number of great flies to fish with.

So thanks again Philippe!

The synthetics will be for tomorrow or the day after…