SloMo Spey

from 2013’s Nordic Fly Casting Championships here’s a little slomo ballet gem staring buddy, colleague and super-duper caster Magnus Hedman from Sweden doing a left-hand up single Spey with an 18′ rod.
we don’t get to see the line fly but the emphasis here is body movements and coordination. judging by a lot of little details such as body weight shifting, the D-loop’s position and what seems to be a perfectly placed and very short anchor it’s a fair bet that line went far… enjoy !

 

don’t be surprised if the Hedman name sounds familiar as we’ve seen brother Fredrik’s wicked ‘Crouching Tiger’ single-hand distance style a while back. bad-ass casting genes in this family are rather strong…

“Sometimes things goes a way you did’nt expect them to do.”

wonderfully unpolluted by intense music and images of big fish, this aesthetic short from Stefan Agren ends in a smile and its a really nice one. enjoy !

what its like to be Hank.

in what’s one of the more charming, humble, understated and interesting angler profile films i’ve seen yet, this little video is indeed rather special.

enjoy !

” Henrik is one of the members of troutvision.se. He’s modest and doesn’t say so much. He’s not that kind of person who makes alot of noise. He’s a fly fishing angler. And he’s good at it. This is a short movie for you guys to get to know him better. He’s a special person, so don’t miss out! ” 

a love affair

filmed by Micke Sashup

i had the great chance of meeting Lars Andersson at the Möller Bil fly fair held in Uppsala, Sweden in 2010. seeing this video brought back visions of a kind, quiet and simple soul who’s eyes and smile light up when he shows off his beautiful, exquisitely crafted fly boxes. much more than a hobby or passion, they’re made with love.
lars andersson fly boxes

here’s how he makes them. reserve a little time as the film’s about 20 minutes long and it’s a lovely 20 minutes.
towards the end we’ll see him tie a very nice cdc winged caddis fly that should do the trick anywhere in the world there’s caddis.  enjoy !

Lars doesn’t sell through stores but if you want one for yourself contact him at lars_s@compaqnet.se

box image via southcreekltd.com

Markus Hoffman’s E -merge- R

e-merg-r markus hoffman

yet another fantastic atmospheric thumbs-up man-cave tutorial of a great emerging mayfly nymph pattern. we’ll see at the end of the video how it sits super-inticingly-pretty just below the surface. enjoy !

‘whoever said a mayfly tail couldn’t be sexy was wrong.

Markus Hoffman hollow tailExtended Mayfly Quill Body by Markus Hoffman

i’ve seen a number of pre-made rubber hollow bodies aiming towards the same effect, but they where so ugly that using them felt more like an insult to fly tying but mostly to the fish.

and then comes Markus’ ever-creative mind that gives birth to this ingenious, simple, quick, realistic, transparent, lively looking, for-sure floating (because of all the trapped air when tied in) and just too friggin’ yummy mayfly abdomen for a fish to pass up.
by using the same pin and uv resin technique but using different sized and shaped pins and varying tail materials or not even placing a tail at all, under-body colours and rib materials we’ll end up with a whole range of delicious extended bodies to suit any hatching bug.
something tells me this  technique will be remembered and passed on for a while. simply brilliant, good on ya Markus. thanks !

brainwashem’ young- Kristofer

Kristofer 1 TLC b-wm'young 7-10-13for sure, having one of the best tiers in the world as dad doesn’t hurt, but the real motivation has to come from themselves

Kristofer 2 TLC bw-m' young 7-10-13and result speaks for itself…

super-good going little buddy ! hope to catch up with you again soon.

as for dad Ulf Hagström, author of the very much read article Think differently – The fish eating fish fly , be sure to dig through his site The way of the Fly  to discover some gorgeously tied hidden treasures.

“They bite because they’re hungry, and testicles sit nicely in their mouth,”

via The Telegraph

in our severely overpopulated world, this just might be a good, natural solution ?

“Mr Carl said that the discovery of one pacu – which is currently undergoing DNA tests to confirm its identity – should not keep Swedish men out of the water. But if more were found in the area, it could become a serious issue, he suggested.
“This one was the first, but who knows, it’s probably not the last.”

ball-eating Pacu

“And its mouth is not so big, so of course it normally eats nuts, fruit, and small fish, but human testicles are just a natural target. It’s not normal to get your testicles bitten off, of course, but it can happen, especially now in Sweden.”

considering how they usually go ‘in pairs’ (or in this case maybe a threesome), what’s interesting is that these fish home in on the testicles and exclude the penis. ok, swedish waters are darn cold year-round but it shows pretty good selectivity and aiming skills from our toothy friends. be sure to click the pic for the rest of this juicy article.

brainwashem’ young- Emma one year later

one of the nicest encounters i made whilst living in Sweden was meeting Emma Lindgren. first time was three years ago at a fly fair where at 13 she was tying trout flies up there with the big guys. at later shows she was mostly tying big pike flies for big pike at the Vision stand, always a smile and bright as a star, she’s one of those special people that always brings a smile to my face and seeing these new pics from a recent trip to Alberta did just that.
i’m looking forward to next year’s update. i wouldn’t be surprised in the least if it’s about a bonefish, permit, tarpon Grand Slam…

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for the love of water

by Ulf Börjesson

there’s been several photos of mine of this lovely southern-Sweden river that runs by his house in the for the love of water series and here’s Ulf’s vision of it, a beautiful breath of cool water for those of us going through the summer heat.

 

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 !

tips:
– 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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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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the SuperPupaPlus

dm supapupa variant
it sure doesn’t look like much but the Super Pupa is a hard-core/hard-fishing caddis pupa/emerging pattern. originating from Sweden, the mere mention of this fly’s name there brings far-away ‘in a trance’ looks. (i can’t figure out if it’s the joyful child-like glee of saying those two words or if it’s just another nickname for penis or vagina as there seems to be billions of them in colloquial Swedish… )

anyhow, Davie McPhail‘s version not only has a sexier than average body through the use of two shades of dubbing but the cdc antennae/claws/horns/antlers/feelers/party hat thing in the front will make it stand out in a hatch and this is a great accessory because nothing makes an angler (me) feel dumber than either missing a strike because i thought i was looking at my fly when in fact it was a real that the fish took or striking when the fish took a natural…

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The Essential Midge – Fly Talk Special by Mick Hall

continuing with ‘Midge-Madness’ week, today’s special treat comes to us from Down-Under and world renowned fly tier Mick Hall.
i had the wonderful opportunity and honor to meet Mick in 2011 at a fly fair in Stockholm where he was one of the featured tiers. a truly kind and generous man, taking the time to demonstrate and go into the finer details, tips and tricks of three different fly patterns just for me, this was the highlight of the spring and those three flies are carefully hidden away in a special show box. (i’m waiting for them to reproduce… :mrgreen:)
chocked full of just about everything one might want to know on these little bugs, how to imitate them and put to good use, once you’re finished with the article be sure to visit Mick’s site kossiedun – a flytyer’s journey for an amazing wealth of bug, fish and fly goodies. enjoy !

mick hall & emma stockholm fair 2011 Mick with Emma Lindgren Stockholm 2011


Many years ago I did a double Fly Talk on the life of and fishing the midge; in fact for those who have collected the Fly Talk articles, check out issues 53, Dancing With The Midge & 54, Having a Ball. There was a lot to say about midge then as there is today; nothing has changed but the fact remains that those who are not up with midge fishing techniques, they are seriously missing out. Some will say midge fishing is just for lakes, well how wrong they are.
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Male Chironomid (Size: 16 Lt Tan)

Midge are found everywhere from fast flowing mountain streams to lowland rivers and lakes and swamps. They say there are around 200 species of Chironomid in Australia; as usual the work of species identification is far from over and this number will change as time slowly goes by.

As an example, to show the importance of midge fishing opportunities in our river systems, back in the early 1980s E.S.G Schreiber from Monash University in Melbourne conducted a very successful and definitive study of drifting insect life in the Acheron River in Victoria.
Many different aquatic species drift with the current, especially during that period leading up to the “New Moon”. Mayfly are also famous for doing this. This survey taken over two years shows a very interesting pattern. The fact is that the final conclusion was that Chironomid (Midge) represented some 43.6% of the drift matter followed by mayfly and caddis. A previous study by Cadwallader and Eden in 1977 showed that midge only contributed around 1 to 5% of the drift matter. I got the idea that this study was a bit off the ball or as the kids say today, “Fail”, as I believe the mesh used on their test was too big. It should also be noted that most of this drift action during the Schreiber study occurred from dusk and on during the night when midge are most active. It is feasible that Cadwallader may have missed this very important aspect of the midge’s life habits.

To emphasise their importance as a major food source, it is stated that midge can emerge from some waters in huge numbers and up to as many as 100,000 animals has been estimated emanating from a square metre. Naturally this is not a common figure but some lakes would easily make the mark.

Male midge are easily identified; they have quite a large fluffy set of antennae whilst the female does not. It is easy to tell midge from mossies; firstly they do not bite and, whilst at rest, midge hold their forelegs above and forward of their bodies, mossies don’t. Mossies have a proboscis, or what looks like a spike for a nose, that the females use to bite you with.

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Olive Brown female Midge size 14 Goulburn River

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Female Chironomid (Size14 Dark Olive Pond Midge)

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Male Chironomid Pale Olive (size 14) Goulburn River
5
Little black Male Midge (Size 30) Goulburn River

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Male Little Black Male Chironomid (Size 30) pond or lake midge

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The Large Ballarat Black Midge (Size 10) Lake Midge

As stated earlier midge are everywhere and are found in most waters but how do you know what species are in your area and what size fly to use and when? I wish I could answer that question but I can’t. The answer is up to you.

Get to know your favourite waters and take some time out to look at the bugs that are moving around you. Take written notes or at least mental notes such as size, colour and the date. If you have a camera that has a reasonable macro facility, all the better as it will do the above for you.

Colour can vary a lot in any one water; they can vary from pale olive green to black and every shade in between. A point to remember is that in a lot of instances the colour of the adult flying midge will be similar in colour to the emerging midge.

To see what is happening, check the leaves on overhanging bushes or trees and you will see them. They are very flighty and will take off at any unnatural movement of the leaves or branches. Just the same, the key colours to carry in your box are pale olive, olive, black and blood red.
The bottom line is learn about your water, study what those fish feed on and catching fish will become a very frequent event.

Fishing midge is different from the standard techniques but if you try you will succeed and over time the rewards will be very beneficial.

8
Bubble line water great for all types of fly-fishing be it dry, nymph or midge
Very little need to use heavy flies in this water

If you are into “Short line Nymphing”, you are well on your way, as that technique is ideal for midge fishing in streams and rivers.

Slow bubble line type water, fish one of two flies, with or without an indicator and watch your line of drift very closely. Give it 110% and expect a take with every cast. Believe me, intense concentration is the key to success. If fishing faster water, you need weighted flies to get down to where the fish are. If you are just starting off, look for the bubble line water, it is easier to handle.
9
In water like this you need weighted midge patterns

Fishing mountain streams you not only need to cast short but in fast water you also need to get down. I would recommend a couple of weighted flies, one with a small tungsten bead or gold bead on the tip and a blood red midge on a dropper. Naturally in fast water a couple of weighted flies are your best option. In fast water use a short leader and have your two flies no more than 20cm apart and if needed use a sliding indicator (see list of flies below with keys to fishing them).

Often you will just see a flash as a trout takes your fly and strike immediately. A key indication of late striking is when you continuously lose fish. As I stated earlier, you need that concentration, expect a take at any time and be ready to strike at the slightest inkling of a take. The faster you are the more fish you will catch.

When is the best time to try fishing a midge pattern? Well midge come off all year round, with late spring and through summer being the best. But importantly, it is that week leading up to a full moon that is when they prefer to hatch on mass.

Midge on most lakes can produce some of the most intense fishing that can be found on still water. The best fishing times are from daylight to on occasions mid morning and again at last light.
10
On still mornings you can often see trout feeding all over the lake and the key food source on most occasions is the mighty midge

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As a bonus for an early morning start you could be lucky enough to witness a hatch of Caenis and do they bring the fish up. Note the Midge shuck in the centre of the picture.
12
Slick water or smooth patches can also be an early morning feeding area

13
Accurate casting is the secret, your fly must land just ahead of your fish. A Trout will rarely divert from its feeding lane to take a small fly.
Watch the rise for indication of which way it is going.

14
It’s seen it. Note the pressure wave as the fish is heading towards the fly.
15
Got him

16

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A nice Brown caught and released

After the early morning calm a breeze will normally come up and wind lanes will start to form and that is when the fishing really gets interesting. Wind lanes come in two forms, those that form over the same area and those that just form because they want to. These lanes are like highways for feeding fish. As they form, so the floating food matter is compacted within these lanes. It is common to find a number of fish feeding at any one time. Some fish like Rainbows will group up and feed together, working their way down the lanes. Keep your eye on the edges of these wind lanes as trout often cruise along the outside, using the rough area as cover and move into the lane to feed whenever they so choose.

On clear sunny days the trout will generally feed along the lane with the sun to their backs. This is because they have no eyelids so as you know, it is difficult to look into the sun, especially for fish when feeding on the surface.

Your approach to fishing these lanes is tantamount to your success. If you can come up behind your fish, you have a definite advantage. If you have to cast to a fish coming towards you, you have the additional problem of it seeing you. Frequently a bunch of trout will feed along for just a few seconds then disappear, so you have to be quick and very accurate.
But that is why fishing wind lanes is so challenging and very rewarding; you really have to hunt those fish.

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Note the distinctive borders on this wind lane

On a good morning the lake’s surface can be littered with the empty shucks of midge that have emerged during the night; amongst this litter are also a lot of adult flying midge. The midge pupa can hover under the surface for hours before breaking through the meniscus to emerge. Trout feeding on the pupa have a funny habit of gently porpoising as they feed and they wiggle their tail as they complete this manoeuvre.
19

Just watch for those slow and gentle rises and if that tail wags as they head back down, you can be sure that they are feeding on midge

At times those wind lanes can be a real smorgasbord, with all sorts of bugs from beetles to spinners and midge.

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It has been stated that this wind lane feeding activity is mostly Rainbow Trout but I have found this not necessarily to be the case, especially with lakes such as Lake Fyans in Western Victoria, which receives equal stocking of both Brown and Rainbows.

What’s the bottom line get to know your water? As my mentor, the late Lindsay Haslem, would say, “Learn to see what you are looking at; the answer is always there, you are just too stupid to see it”.

The Flies
About the hooks used; I highly recommend that you tie your midge patterns using a grub hook, preferably with a straight eye, such as the Mustad Signature Series C49S in sizes 18 through to size 10. It should be noted that you should carry midge patterns in a number of sizes, as explained with the tyings featured below.

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Tungsten Bead-head Dark Brown Midge tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustad C49S
Size: 14-12
Thread: Tan 10/0
Bead: Small Tungsten 0 bead
Body: Uni-Flex Dark Brown
Ribbing: Copper wire 5 turns
Notes: Use this pattern on streams in moderate to fast water. If really fast water, try two, one on the tip and the second on a dropper. If needed you can use an indicator so you can follow the drift line. Don’t knock it when your eyes start to fail, they can be your best friend.

Tying tip: Tie in the Uni-Flex at the eye of the hook and pull tight as you wind back along the shank; this will give you a neat under-body without any lumps or bumps. If using a rib, tie it in at the eye with the Uni-Flex and stretch both together as you wind down the shank and partially around the bend, as in the picture.

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Mercury Midge as designed by Pat Dorsey USA, tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustard C49S
Size: 16 to 12
Bead: Hi Lite Silver glass beads from Spirit River size to suit (small, medium, or large).
Thread: Brown 10/0
Body: Black Uni-Flex
Ribbing: Copper wire 5 turns

Notes: Use this fly in mild or still water, grease your leader tip well to hold in or near the surface film. Also good on a dropper with a Tungsten bead head on the tip. If you have trouble obtaining these beads locally, try http://www.otetackle.com, you will be surprised.

Pat Dorsey’s book, Tying and Fishing Tail-water Flies, is a great read available from Stackpol Books USA, $39.95 plus postage.

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Blood Worm Midge as tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustad C49S
Size: 18-10
Thread: White 10/0
Bead: Hi Lite Silver glass bead size to suit
Body: Uni-Flex red
Notes: Tungsten beads, glass beads or plain gold can be used or if you want this fly to sit just under the surface, use a little dubbing. I prefer “Dark Olive”, which is a blend of olive and black rabbit fur.

Use: Lake or River.

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Red Brassy as tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustad C49S
Thread: White or red 10/0
Bead: Tungsten, gold, or Hi Lite Silver glass bead, size to suit
Body: Fine red wire or copper wire as an option

Notes: Again this is a very versatile pattern and is great for fast water if tied heavy.
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Fluoro Midge as tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustad C49S
Thread: White 10/0
Body: Chartreuse Uni-Flex
Thorax: Dubbing dark olive

Notes: This pattern can be very effective when a little UV is favoured. The white thread adds to the translucency and you can also add a little olive to the back of this pattern with a marking pen. This pattern is very light in weight and hovers just under the surface. Ideal for lakes.

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Emerging Olive Midge as tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustad C49S
Size: 18 to 12
Thread: White 10/0
Body: White Uni-Flex and stained with marking pen
Emerging wing buds: Pearl Crystal Flash 4 strands
Bead: Hi Lite Silver glass bead, size to suit

Notes: This pattern is one of my favourites and I normally tie it with a dubbed thorax as it is essential for lake work.

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Light Olive Midge tied as Olive Midge above but use a lighter olive marking pen and the tying options are the same.

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The Large Ballarat Black as tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustad
Thread: White 10/0
Body: Black Uni-Flex
Ribbing: White 3/0 tying thread 7 turns
Wing Buds: Pearl Crystal Flash four or five strands only
Thorax: Dark Olive dubbing.

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Balling Midge as tied by Mick Hall

Hook: Mustad R50 dry fly hook
Hook size: 14-12
Thread: Black 10/0
Body Hackle: Whiting Farms Grizzle cock hackle wound from above the barb to the eye.

Notes: This pattern is used on evening when in some waters male midge actually ball up and become a favourite target for old speckles. This fly is a favourite at Lake Eucumbene in the Snowy Mountains during summer months.

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Full Stop as tied by Mick Hall

Tied as the balling midge but on a size 18 or 20 Mustad R50 hook. In this instance the hackle has been trimmed to size and to enhance its floating ability.

I designed this pattern just on twenty years ago to match the little black balling midge up on the Yarra River in Victoria during the summer months. This activity is not uncommon on waters that have silt bottoms blended with a little gravel. Again, as Hassa would say, “Learn your water, learn to see what is happening.”

kossiedun – a flytyer’s journey


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a little cast, a big smile.

some nordic bliss from Stefan Ågren at frontsidefly.com FSF

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Distance Fly Casting: Two very different styles

with very similar results.

here’s Fredrik Hedman and Stefan Siikavaara, both cool guys, Swedish and two of the better fly distance competitors in the world. as you can see, there’s a heck of a lot of training and thought behind each one’s style.
Fredrik Hedman & Stefan Siikavaara - tLC 'friendly faces'
that night Stefan topped at 35,6m  (124+ ft) in the very muggy Boson sports arena near Stockholm and Fredrik  at 35,9m setting a new indoor swedish record despite the humid air. extremely-very impressive !

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“That’s about as big as a fish that big gets”

i have no idea who the author of that quote is but it fits this fish and it’s story quite well.

smallest fish for the last couple of years over on a fly fishing forum we’d been doing an annual challenge on who will post the biggest, ugliest, deadest (found dead, not killed by the angler), prettiest and just about anything ‘est’ fish you care to post. two years ago i had won the ‘smallest’ category and had gotten a really nice Rio 4wt LT line as prize. cool. the fish was a cute baby yellow perch but catching it was a bycatch whilst trying to catch something a lot bigger.

sl 'smallest contest

now, last year i decided to turn things around and tried to catch the smallest fish i could but this time on purpose and this turned out to be the hardest fishing challenge i’ve had so far… i was living in Sweden at the time and this little creature and all it’s billions of sisters and brothers are extremely abundant in any lake and there’s millions of lakes in Sweden. probably more. (i don’t know what species it is. someone once told me what it is in swedish but that of course, like anything else in swedish, is impossible to remember… )
anyway, the hard part was actually hooking up to the fish. getting strikes was very easy and just a matter of plopping the fly near a pier. most of the time i could see dozens of them fight for it. the problem was the shape of the fish’s mouth and how regular hooks designed for ‘trout-type’ fish where incompatible so it meant reshaping the smallest flies i have with tweezers until i could find the right shape. i can easily state that it took several hundreds, maybe thousands of strikes before i finally hooked this one fish. it took three months.

the fish was approximately 55mm/2.16inches long and the fly was a size 30 chironomid rusty-red nymph made by my great friend Andy Baird.
even though it was the smallest fish of the year’s contest i didn’t win anything but that’s ok, the prize was a pretty lame, dorky looking cap…
this experience was a very interesting one and i’m glad i did it. it is however a ‘been there, done that ‘ affair and i’m quite certain i won’t be doing this again and will stick to targeting bigger fish, they’re a lot easier to catch.

“There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process.”

~ Paul O’Neil


there just might be some truth to that well, truth…