Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A New Toy - Double Handed Fly Rod

I'm a fly fisherman since many years without to bother much about 2 handed rods and shooting heads. Did I started this kind of fishing only cause it's popularity increased even here in Europe? Definitely not! The many movies I watched and articles I read about it, had been just a trigger to the requirements imposed by the water. The advantages are huge when there's no space for false casts, fish are far from the shores and somewhat in comparison with the single handed rod after you make your cast, let the flies get downstream on the swing, you have more time to observe what's happening around and for example you can easily handle your pipe if you're a pipe smoker (laugh). Although I'm just at the beginning of this chapter, I try to use the 2 handed rod as often as possible.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Another Day In Paradise

“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories

… I am haunted by waters. Often the night before fishing, I dream about the water in question, sometimes even about fish. Same happened to me a few days ago and when the first rays of sun dragged me out of Hypnos cave, I knew it would be a good day, full of achievements for a fly fisherman.

I decided to fish a river I fished last time 5 years ago. The water section where fishing is allowed extends over a length of almost 20 km, a true jungle you’re not able to fish during a single day. Considering that a few km are sufficient to get enough joy, I made my homework the night before (Google Earth has been very helpful) and I have chosen a segment I might like. 

This river is really something special, being a few years ago known for big grayling specimens but also for the presence of Danube salmon in his waters. Cormorants made havoc here and I was curious to find out the actual stage of the fish population. Many years ago, in other words in 1908 were signaled the first great fish damage of this river made by otter, now being faced with this bird, a real black plague that decimates the European fish funds.

I spent a few minutes on the river banks, near a mill to analyze the situation. Fish were not rising so I turned a few stones to see what kind of candy to lure. Food was abundant, cased caddis, gammarus and small dark nymphs were hiding behind stones sharp corners. Last prevailed, so I opted for a black BH nymph with a silver ribbing, tied on a hook size 12. The results were not long expected and the first rainbows and brownies knowledged the fly. 

Mostly I’m fishing upstream of the start site, this time I got downstream and let the mill behind, entering a tunnel formed by tree crowns. There were just the two of us, me and the river, isolated from the rest of the world and he shared with me the secrets he holds. It was like in a tale, the rays of light that made it through the clump of trees were dancing on the water surface like fairies.

What I would have been able to wish more from that day of July than all of these beauties with which nature was honoring me, but soon this dream was ended by the rapid growth of water, waking up in the middle of a torrent without to be able to get to shore. In a few minutes the water level had increased by approximately two palms. I hardly went on shore about 100 feet  below, imaging what was causing this unpleasant surprise. First thought that crossed my mind was: 'I wonder if they open the weir gates every time they see fishermen?'

I had no chance to continue fishing were I was and went upstream to analyze situation on the spot. Obviously above the dam the water level decreased and the river formed a stream, flowing behind a big rock which was now sticking out of the water. I thought the place is worthy of attention and after the first cast I felt action on the other end of the line. This time it was a grayling about 12 inches long. There followed more of them but no one like five years ago when 14-16 inches fish were not a rarity.

I took a break on the grass with a cup of tea and a short nap. With fresh forces I went downstream to explore the last part of river set. Then I said goodbye to the river in the hope I’ll return sooner than this time and he’ll share more of the secrets hiding under his stones.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Killer Dry Fly - Modified Jingler (Part II)

As promised in my last post, now I present this deadly fly pattern. A few months ago while looking for soft hackle flies, I found an interesting website with lots of useful videos for the fly tier and fishermen. The mentioned site is called 'onstream-guide' and the author of the fly is Jonathan Barnes.
I'll present the way I tied this fly, for the original click on the link above.

Hook:        D04BL HW size 12
Thread:     Power Silk
Abdomen: Antron
Wing:        CDC
Hackle:     Genetic Saddle - Ghost Grizzly size 14 + Partridge Natural

1. Attach the hook firmly in the vice, and run on apply your thread base, then tie in 3-4 fibres from  a partridge feather as a tail.

2. Build the abdomen with the antron till 2/3 of the shank.

3. Tie in the CDC feather.

4. Tie in the grizzly hackle and run 2 turns behind the CDC and 3 in front of it.

5. Add the partridge feather and run not more than 2 - 2 1/2 rows, whip finish, colore the head and apply a drop of head cement on the thread.

6. Voila this is the fly:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Killer Dry Fly - Modified Jingler (Part I)

It often happens that we plan something, imagine the event, we have high hopes and it comes out different. Such an adventure happened a few days ago. The good part is that it came out much better than could have been planed.

After almost a month of abstinence from fishing, during I managed to break a rod (but that is another story) I decided that after a night shift to go fishing. Since I was thinking about something light, a creek with smaller but wild and spirited fish, czech nymphing was a good option. I took the nymph box with me but also a smaller one with some dry and wet flies but not too many. I knew pretty well the water considering that I made the last fishing there less than two years ago.

It was a sunny and windless morning and after finishing work I got in the car and went to the place in question to get my fishing license for the day. Great was my surprise, arrived at the scene to find out from local authorities that the fishing license was accorded only to tourists with accommodation in the area and I certainly did not fit into this category.

‘Damn’ ... I thought and began to seek a bailout of the day. The nearest river was  about 10 km away, a section where only dry fly fishing is allowed. I didn’t had to many dries with me but a few that I wanted to test as soon as possible. I have found one of these patterns on the Internet a few months ago and I tied  4 flies on hooks size 12. It is a variant of the jingler with a CDC wing.

Arrived at the new destination, I took the fishing license then armed with the necessary  went upstream. The river was full of greenery so even if I wished didn’t had a  better choice  than a dry fly. The fish in this river are very cautious, most of them having a ‘Ph.D. in dry flies’, which makes them very selective.

I tied one of the new creations about I told you earlier, covered up the CDC with a bit of grease, lit the cigar I held between my teeth for more than half on hour an began false casting with a 'let's see what happens' in mind. 

Surface activity  was minimal, although a lot gray and brown little flies were dancing on the water surface. Blown by a light breeze, my fly landed on the water surface and during the next second I had the first attack and the first fish caught on that day. I thought it was just pure coincidence and without too much bother I've cast in the same area. In the moment  I wanted to pick up the  fly from the water surface came next attack.

During the day I realized that it wasn’t just pure coincidence, the fish have followed one after the other, my fly was a real killer pattern. Going by the principle of 'never change a winning team' I fished all day with the same fly.  After about 5 hours of fishing I went back home to get some rest because I was the whole week on night shift.

Rarely have I seen a fly that made havoc among the fish like this modified jingler. In the next post I’ll present the pattern step-by-step and hope your results will be at least as good as mine.