Streaking through Flames

or “The Streaking Caddis” by Andreas Lestander

making muddler-style heads on flies involves a few more things than just deer hair and one of them (ok, two of them) is patience and tolerance, something your house-mates/concubine/wife/husband/pets/ will also need because the messy trimmed hairs get everywhere (oh yes, everywhere… ). you’ll also need some kind of tool to trim the head to shape, usually scissors or a razor-blade.

there’s nothing wrong with those two tools but the first one generally gives an unsightly lumpy-bumpy result and the second can easily turn into a ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’-like scene (if you can find those old-school blades in the first place) and with either, there’s still the damn hairs (and quite possibly a lot of blood) everywhere. everywhere.

ahhh, but there’s a third option and this one includes the always-fun-to-play-with element:  fire
in today’s brilliant tying tutorial, Andreas not only shows us how to make a nice, smooth, easy and sexy head (hmmmm… ) but also how to turn one mess into a completely different one !
see, what happens is the singed hairs disappear (yay, nothing to clean up !) but ! this disappearance is only relative because the hairs have reincarnated themselves into the most absolutely horrido-horrible zombie-like smoke smell you can ever imagine. it’s a well known fact that fly tiers have no sense of smell (or any other non-fly tying sense for that matter when they’re in the groove) which is probably a good thing to get good results but in today’s case, this lack is pretty detrimental to the rest of society and the best place to do this might be at an isolated cabin on top of a mountain. in the northernmost part of Sweden.
anyway, making this fly will not only bring the supreme joy of catching a lot of trout but also one of fulfilling a very important need  in our over-crowded society:  some time alone. should you not be able to get others to leave you alone then use this technique to make them leave !

– as written on the video, be sure to varnish the whip-finish before burning away to be sure your thread doesn’t melt !
– go creative with the body/abdomen. stripped peacock quill, cat gut and a myriad other goodies make excellent substitutes.
– personally i find this kind of barbecue lighter a lot easier to work with than the standard pocket lighter.

bic lighter

after-note: there are theories by the aforementioned sense-numbed tiers that trimming deer hair with fire actually cauterizes the hair tips, sealing the air cells within the hairs, further enhancing the floatability of the fly. i can not prove or disprove this, it does sound pretty good but a gut feeling tells me it’s bunk. i’d give these a good dose of Aquel anyway, just to be sure… 😉

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Andreas’ Klinkhammer

by Andreas Lestander

first, a pointless grump. i do not like these flies.
they catch a lot of fish and i really respect Van Klinken for coming up with something that stands out from from the crowd. it is in fact one of the rare, real and unique and different fly designs to come around for many, many years so, hats off to that.
however, my beef(s) is that although i have plenty of them and use them and do catch fish with these things, i really don’t like their visual appeal. to me they look like something that was haphazardly put onto the transporter bay on StarTrek but didn’t come back as it was supposed to when it reached destination. they fuck with my sense of organization.
klinkhammer from below
further more, this fly was initially designed to catch loathsome odiferous grayling. as noted on previous posts here, it takes an ugly fly to catch an ugly fish so in a way, i guess they get what’s coming to them. fair enough.
my second beef is that it’s creator had, has and will probably keep on having: a beard.
no, not one of those full and jolly things like Santa or Charles Manson but some scraggly undefined mess of strands all over the cheeks. this is most untidy and as with people who wear watches, i simply can not trust them, specially when they tie flies to catch grayling. on purpose.
of course, i could go on and on with my lack of fish/sex/and mostly-that-someone-completely-fucked-up-a-custom-rod-build-i-was-supposed-to-have-soon induced rant but you’ve probably had enough as it is so, my friends, here’s a lovely fly tying tutorial of this notorious fly by my Swedish friend Andreas. there’s a lot of fine tips and tricks to pick up here. enjoy !

cool underwater pic via

a soothing Rhyacophila

by Andreas Lestander

so soothing i almost drifted off to the deep-down land of green caddis-larvae slurping trouts !
green caddis larvae

these micro-monsters can be found all over the globe so it’s well worth having a few to dredge along the river bottom.
they’re highly segmented, probably crunchy, come in different shades of green and they’re really creepy. what’s not to love ?

Andreas pulls through again with another well explained, great step-by-step tutorial. enjoy !

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Salmo trutta Argusianus

or just plain Great Argus pheasant  (Argusianus argus)
photographed while visiting my friend Håkan Karsnäser’s fly cave, this is one of the most stunning feathers i’ve seen.
Salmo trutta argusianus

tying geeks use them to make salmon flies but the male bird uses these amazing feathers to dazzle the chicks before mating.
“Though the Great Argus is not as colorful as other pheasants, its display surely ranks among the most remarkable. The male clears an open spot in the forest and prepares a dancing ground. He announces himself with loud calls to attract females, then he dances before her with his wings spread into two enormous fans, revealing hundred of “eyes” while his real eyes are hidden behind it, staring at her.”

it’s an interesting technique, i think i’ll give it a try.

big thanks to Andreas Lestander for the cool and oh-so-well fitting ‘Salmo trutta Argusianus’ title !

a better G-Gnat

Andreas Lestander‘s variation of the Griffith’s Gnat

not much to say about this pattern except for it’s an absolute must-have go-to fly for any trout or grayling fisher. (or any bug slurping fish !) for some reason it’s supposed to resemble a gnat… but to me it simply looks yummy-buggy and experience has taught me that the fish feel the same. ’nuff said.

typically tied by wrapping the peacock herl forward, fixing it, then wrapping the feather forward over the herl then tying off, Andreas shows us here how to make a much stronger bond of the two materials by wrapping them both around the tying thread before winding the whole lot together towards the hook eye. this makes for a super-tough and buggier version than the original G-Gnat while keeping all it’s attractive properties. who wants to have a fly that’s working really well fall apart after just a few fish ? not me.
brilliant !

Parachute hackle and post tying technique

by Andreas Lestander

another great tying technique tutorial from snowy Sweden sure to help anyone anyone make a neater, stronger and less encumbered fly. thanks Andreas !

“Being able to tie flies with a so called parachute hackle (hackle wound horizontally around a wing post) is a skill that will come in handy when tying dry flies. Parachute hackled flies do not only sit properly in/on the surface but are also free from obstructive material in front of the hook point. Tying off at the wing post instead of by the hook eye ensures a “cleaner” hook eye and a fly that all together will be easier to attach to a leader.”