Related to my article “Major Traherne – Top of the Classics” published in issue 3/2014 here’s a thorough step-by step guide with advanced tying tips and tricks. In the following fifty images I tie one of Traherne’s patterns Nepenthian. All feedback and discussion welcome using the comment box at the end of the article.
First of all the headline contains a lot of sarcasm… We had a nice but fishing wise quiet week on the Gaula ending to midsummers. The bites were few and far between. It was one of those weeks that if I had to market Atlantic salmon fishing to someone it would be a pretty tough job. It was certainly not a trip for a beginner.
All and all the season on the Gaula has been a disaster and the low water levels contributed to the fact that our fishing area on the lower Gaula did not stop the few fish running. So there was a lot empty casts made between bites and. Even the weather which is normally very nice on the Gaula was not cooperating. It was cold and very windy most of the trip. The positive side to the low water levels was that we got most of our action with floating lines and light tips.
The highlights of the trip where, my friends beautiful hen salmon of about 11kg that was safely released and salmon sashimi that we made from a smaller fish. We also had a great crew and a lot of laughs on our week there. I do have to say though that all the other things could not save the trip as it’s all about the fish. The slow fishing and very low returns to the whole river did not leave a positive feel. I am very concerned about the state of that river and hope all the best for it. I just love to fish on that river and it would brake my heart if it’s downward spiral does not come to a stop.
Thanks to everyone and hopefully I’ll be back again on the golden river soon. Additional photo credits to Ilkka Neva and Joonas Saarikko.
You know how nice and easy it is to tie flies from quality materials. They just make things very simple. Now days when I see quality materials that I might have use for somewhere in the near future I buy it right away. Even if I still have some of the old left. Bucktail, saddle hackles and Templedog are always on my shopping list as they are hard to find at highest level of quality and those materials I use a lot. I can tell you that it hasn’t been easy to finding “the good stuff”. Sometimes it feels almost impossible. Thankfully it seems that fly shops are stepping up on this subject. It seems like the quality of the product gets more attention then before and that’s a very, very good thing! Even though many suitable materials for example for my tubes aren’t expensive, I will always put in a few euros more for quality. It pays to do so in the long run.
Now to the subject and enough of the “bitching”… Even though I like to use quality stuff, my fishing flies have become simpler and simpler. Simple flies that move well and have a clean look to them are my thing. Form follows function.
So does this mean I will throw flies that look like they were tied by a 5-year old? Maybe, but at least I’m using quality materials to make them☺ . I just like to strip out all the non-essential stuff out. I follow a three step “rule” on the flies that I tie:
The fly must have a shape and form that the fish like. That’s rule number one. Even if a fly looks kinda funny to a human eye, it’s the fish that matter.
The fly must be as foul proof as possible. Remember, good proportions and taper makes a big difference in this. So does material choices.
The fly must be tied well no matter how simple the pattern is. That’s a big confidence factor.
I’ll be back with some tying instructions on these “Simpleton” flies and maybe even a vid or two.
Ps. If any of you have some ideas on color combos for The Gaula I’m all ears. I’m heading that way in a few weeks. Use the comment form below!
Here are some photos of a collection of classic Salmon flies tied by Mr. Toni Kakkuri. Toni is an internationally recognised Finnish fly tier. Unfortunate he doesn’t compete anymore, but he still ties flies for his living.
Back in the days of attending fly tying competitions Toni won a gold medal in the World Championships, two gold medals and three bronze medals in Finnish Championships, and from Irish Open he gained two golds, four silvers and two bronze medals. As an icing in the cake he belongs to the FQSA fly tiers Hall of Fame. In addition to being successful competitor Toni has been judging in the FQSA World Championships of fly tying – the single European ever nominated for a judge position. His web page is at www.kakkuri.fi. Have a look (and use Google translator to encrypt Finnish J).
Salmon season is almost on the door in Norway. Here are few very simple, but effective patterns for Atlantic Silvers. This kind of tube flies are very popular here in Scandinavia. Especially in the clear water rivers in northern Norway these flies had done really good job when given a chance to prove their abilities.
This selection is from a fly box of our Editor in Chief, Miki, and he has used similar Monkey winged flies many years with very good success. This sort of flies are really easy to tie. One important aspect with the wing is that it won’t get stuck to the hook so easily despite it’s fairly long and thin. It’s great when you can be certain that the fly is in a good shape all the time. Underwing is tied from bucktail and it’s topped with Monkey hair carefully tied to provide slim and lively construction.
Miki only use plastic tubes with these patterns and if for some reason he has to go deep, or slow down the speed of the fly, he prefers to use sinking lines instead of adding weight to the tube.
In my opinion the key point for successful fishing is speed and presentation of the fly.
Sometimes it is better to use weighed tubes. But if you think what happens during the swing, we actually don’t know what´s exactly going on end of the tippet. We simply don’t have a precise control over the fly but what we can control is the fly line. The fly line is our tool controlling the speed of the fly and that’s why it’s sometimes better to use sinking lines even if the pool is not so deep.
Now you know the big secret. I recommend tying some for the coming season no matter where you’re after Atlantic salmon. Have a great upcoming season and remember – Do the Spey!
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