söndag 21 november 2010

Red Quill -Wet

This fly is one of the really old ones, it is said to be on of four flies used by Lord Edward Grey. The fly is a creation from the wise of Thomas Rushworth who tied it for the first time in 1803. Later it was also tied as a dryfly, one of F.M. Hallford´s favourite flies. The dry fly is also represented here on my blog.

It is fished as an imitation of the Blue winged olive spinner but with it´s reddish-brown body it also represents several other spinners. It can be an invaluable fly on a river when the trout is bulging, feeding on nymphs. Though it looks more like a spinner it can also be very effective during a hatch of duns.

I tied this batch for a Wet fly swap on http://www.sparsgreymatter.com/. So these will be sent any day over the pond to one of my favourite tiers Jim Slattery, and shared to guys like Andy Brasko. Hard to get more competent feedback possibility than that. Hrm, got a little nervous there..

Tail: Reddish-brown hen fibers
Body: Stripped peacock quill dyed reddish-brown
Wing: Starling wing
Collar: Reddish-brown hen hackle

söndag 14 november 2010

Winter nights

You relly need to talk your self into some positive thinking on days like this. The snow that we got last week now melting away and leaving a mess. Well a good thing is that it´s easy to talk yourself inte sitting down at the vise, reflecting over the past season and making plans for next. I just love sitting by the vise dreaming away. At Bffi  I got something to dream about, I got a really sweet offer making some DVD´s with Roland at http://www.sporting-scene.com/ so now I´m kind sitting and making plans for that, very exciting.

Made this little bug tonight for a Swap i´m attending. I call it a "Lazy Man´s Black Gnat"

I will leave you with some words from one of my heroes Theodore Gordon:

" It is a bitter winter´s night and I am far away from the cheerful lights of town or city. The north wind is shrieking and tearing at this lonely house, like some evil demon wishful to carry it away bodily or shatter it completely. The icy breath of this demon penetrates through every chink and crevice, of which there appear to be many, and the wood-burning stove is my only companion. It is on nights such as these, after the turn of the year, that our thoughts stray away from the present to other scenes and very different seasons. We return in spirit to the time of leaf and blossom, when birds were singing merrily and trout were rising in the pools. We remember many days of glorious sport and keen enjoyment, and then somehow our thoughts take a turn and leap forward. Spring is near, quite near, and it will soon be time to go a-fishing. We want to talk about it dreadfully. O for a brother crank of the flyfishing fraternity, one who would be ready to listen occasionally and not insist upon doing all the talking, telling all the stories himself. But if we cannot talk we can write, and it is just possible that some dear brother angler will read what we say upon paper".

onsdag 1 september 2010

Catskill dry... almost

Felt like I wanted to try to make a nice dry fly with a classic Catskill look but made for a neater presentation, also wanted  a body that gave the apperance of a segmented body.

The wing is made of Hooded Manganser flank that I found at Joe and his Dette Trout flies, similar to Woodduck but darker. For the tail I choose Coq de leon barbs, great for tails long, stiff and nicelly multicoloured. The effect on the body was created by using two stripped hacklestems of different colour, one rhode island red and the other from a really dark rooster neck. After wounding these two stems I coated the body with superglue to get a nice shiny and durable body. Before tying in the hackle I tie in a Turkey biot, the hackle is Dun Whiting saddle.

After wounding the hackle I started on the getting the neater presentation on the fly. I start to force the hackle underneath of the fly to a V-shape, I do cut off some barbs sother won´t be to many barbs on the sides. When satisfied with the V-shape I fold the Turkey biot over to help the V-shape to stay in place. This will now make the fly to lie much neater on the watersurface. Well now it´s up to the trout or the Grayling to judge if it works or not...

måndag 16 augusti 2010

Herman Christian frame

Made this frame with some known flies from Herman Christian. Hard to find patterns with his label on them in the books. Anyway, Herman was one of he pioneers within the Catskill Style flytyers. He was known as a great fisherman, a guy who caught the bigger ones. Was a close friend to Theodore Gordon, learned to tie flies by taking apart Gordon´s flies. More about Mr Christian here.

söndag 1 augusti 2010

Just finished

I like to have some stuff with me to help me to get that right atmosphere when tying at events. Next weekend on Friday I will be at "Call of the wild´s" to show some Catskill patterns and talk a little about them. For this occasion I chosed to make a frame of Theodore Gordon and two of his more famous patterns, made three of them. Why Theodore Gordon? Well, In my opinion he´s the guy behind the "Catskill Style" flies and as it is that I will talk about during the show....

onsdag 7 juli 2010


Was searching for something new to try out this morning. Scrolled through one of my favourite books "The Dettes" by Eric Leiser. By the way, my copy is actually a signed first edition that I bought from my friend Joe Fox grandson to Mary Dette, yep the shop is still running Dette trout flies, check it out..
Well, back to my search...Found this little "bugger" that I believe will make a great contribution to my box. Will make some in smaller sizes #16-18 for the fall fishing for the Grayling. This one however is tied on a #12 Allcock W170 and will make a contribution to my demo portofolio. Tied it in true Catskill Dry Fly Style.

A little something.... Made one just before this one, proborably one of my better ties.. But one of the wings slated slightly so I just wanted to fix it a little... Yep I teared it of, shit happens doesn´t it?

lördag 26 juni 2010

Been away fishing

Once more I have to excuse myself for not taking care of my blog. Well, anyway here I am...

My brother and a couple of friends took a few days of for going up north to wet our lines in Lars-Åke Olssons Idsjöströmmen, located in Gimdalen. The place in Sweden if you aim for the "lady of the stream" or the Grayling. This strem contains loads of big nice Graylings so at this place even I couldnt miss getting a fish or two.

This time was a little special for me as I recently got my self a Ulf Löfdahl Cane rod, a 7" #4. For the occation I tied up a couple of #16 Quill Gordons, classic rod - classic fly.. Don´t wan´t it another way..

Said and done... A sip of single malt, a nice cigarr then of down in the water. Splitcane, Quill Gordon and Baetis Rhodanis hatching all over, what could go wrong.. on my third cast this year..

Gottcha.. And with this my new sniper rod in this heavy stream and a Grayling 45 cm, well do I need to tell you it was funny? The fight took some time but offcourse it was worth it.

A little later during the day I got my biggest one this weekend. I took it on one of Roy Christies fantastic back to front emergers, thank´s Roy... 50 cm big.
Believe it, it is me, and it was I who got them nice fishes.

lördag 1 maj 2010

Red Quill

Here we have a really old pattern 1803, first tied by an english gentleman by the name of Thomas Rushworth. I believe this fly was the one that Mr Art Flick borrowed the name from to his Red Quill.

måndag 22 februari 2010

The Complete Flytier

“From Reuben R. Cross Lew Beach , New York” A trademark full of respect by anglers from the past and present. Theodore Gordon might very well be the one that popularized the dry fly to the American flyfishers, but from looking at pictures of flies from Cross and others my opinion is that it´s Cross who set the standards to the Catskill style dry fly of today. Cross was the first professional flytier to write a book about flytying, Tying American trout lures (1936). He wrote three more books, Cowdung of Shrin Creek, Fur Feathers and Steel (1940) and finally The Complete Flytier (1950).

Reuben Cross grew up in the Neversink area, the domains of the master himself, Theodore Gordon. Cross claims to have learned to tie flies from Gordon, who knows? The stories tells othervise, not even Herman Christian who was a close friend to Gordon got any hints or lessons from him. On the other hand it´s known that Gordon taught Roy Steenrod to tie flies. Later Cross said he learned to tie flies by taking apart Gordon´s flies, this feels more reasonable as it seems to have been a common way to learn the art those days. Cross himself wasn´t that eager to share his knowledge either, Walt Dette said that he offered Cross 50$ if he taught him to tie flies, an offer Cross quickly turned down. Other stories tells that Cross did show his techniques and secrets as long as he didn´t felt any competition, a fact I can relate to as he was a semiprofessional flytier and partly tied flies for a living. Later in Cross´s flytying career he did great efforts in sharing his knowledge, attending at angling fairs etc.

The Cross Special

Reuben´s most known fly was the “Cross Special” named by the way it´s originated, a “Cross” between a “Quill Gordon” and a “Light Cahill”. Cross was once asked about what made the “Cross Special” so special, “Not a damned thing”, he replied.

During the time my own interest of the “Catskill style dry fly” grown into the passion of today I have learned that Cross was kind of a grumpy guy. After have reading his last book “The Complete Flytier” and after writing this little piece I have slightly changed my mind about Mr Cross. The book is about flytying in general, techniques, patterns and materials. The book is easy to read and understand, kind of laid back written and here and there I also found some laughs, so how grumpy could Mr Cross be? One of the laughs were the “Tie a dry fly” part were in the book is shown, tie in the tails first. Walt Dette who learedn to tie by taking Cross´s flies apart said that that wasn´t the way he tied them, so maybe he tried to hide some secrets even in his own book. My favourite parts of the book was the chapter of “Effective Patterns” were I found the “Ken Lockwood” Gray hackle and tails, Woodduck split wing and gold wired raffia straw body.
Ken Lockwood

Another chapter that fascinated me was the “favourite patterns”. Her I found the “Monsignore” originated by a Mr Claude Norton a flytier active in Newburgh, New York.

Also found the “Cochy Knight” originated by Jack Knight.
Cochy Knight

torsdag 14 januari 2010

Herman Christian

Herman Christian 1882-1975

An old woodsman, trout fisherman, farmer, fishing guide, hunter and one of the hallowed four flytyers who founded the Catskill fly-tying tradition.

Christian was a great trout fisherman, widely known for his skills of finding the bigger fish. Christian learned to know Theodore Gordon around 1906 as a result of that he needed some decent flies, he had heard the rumors of Gordon’s flies so off course he decided that he needed some of those. As time went by they became friends. Christian was on a regularly basis fishing with Gordon, showed him where the really big trout’s were to be found. Despite the fact of Christian guiding Gordon in the Catskills after the big ones, Gordon never showed Christian anything regarding fly-tying. Gordon even put away his materials etc whenever Christian came by. Christian learned the secrets and how to tie flies by taking apart Gordon’s flies.

The most known patterns Christian left us are the “Christian Red Body” and the “Christian Green Body”. Two similar flies with the color of the body to separate the two patterns. The tail and hackle uses stiff fibers of dark dun, a peacock quill makes a nice dark rib over the glossy floss body leaving a nice segmentation and finally a lovely divided wood duck wing.

I think these two flies are amongst the most beautiful Catskill patterns. Now I only have to try them on the trout as well, and as Christian was known for his big catches he should know what he was doing when he created these masterpieces.