lördag 29 oktober 2011

Mr & Mrs Ephemerela

Planning an early spring fishing in the “Charmed Circle of the Catskills”? do not forget to bring a batch of suitable imitations of Ephemerela Subvaria, one of the American fly fishers most important mayflies.

The hatch of this important specie starts in the Pennsylvanian streams in late April and has it’s peak in the Catskills in mid may, and later the longer up north you get. After the first mayflies have shown themselves you can count on about three weeks of fishing.

There are two flies with legendary status that are made up to imitate the Ephemerela Subvaria, the Hendrickson and the Red Quill. The reason because that there are two different flies to cover this mayfly are that the male and the female of this specie have a distinct difference of colour. Another thing to have in mind are that they seldom hatch in the same riffle, because of this the fish can get quite selective sometimes. Good thing for the fly fisher is another of the characteristics of this mayfly, it have a habit of spending quite some time on the surface before it leaves the stream. So to be sure, have an imitation of both the male and the female mayfly in your box.

The Hendrickson
The originator of this fly is one of our early Catskill tyers, Roy Steenrod of Liberty. Steenrod was thought to tie flies by the biggest of them all, Theodore Gordon. Gordon did actually give Steenrod his first vise.

The fly was originated 1916 after a fishing trip, the fly proved itself and after two years Steenrod´s friend asked why it didn’t have a name, “well” said Steenrod while looking at his friend A.E. Hendrickson “it’s a Hendrickson”, wonder if he realized that this fly would become one of the most popular flies imitation of the Ephemerela Subvaria in America. Steenrod tied his Hendrickson in different shades to match the hatch just as Gordon, his teacher did with his Quill Gordon.

Hendrickson recepie
Wing: Wood duck flankfeather
Tail: Blue dun cape
Body: Tan fur from red fox belly
Hackle: Blue dun cape

Red Quill
One of my absolute favourite “Catskill Style dry flies”, the Red Quill is this species female imitation. The fly was originated 1933 by Art Flick another one of our Catskill heroes. In his book the Streamside Guide he humbly claims himself to be the first to use hackelstem for body material. Unfortunately he was wrong about this as you can read about it being used as body material on a red spinner pattern in McClelland book Tying Flies for Trout & Grayling from the 1890´s

Red Quill Recepie
Wing: Wood duck flankfeather
Tail: Blue dun cape
Body: Stripped hackelstem ”Rhode Island red”
Hackle: Blue dun cape

There are several ways of obtaining hacklestem for body material. The old way is to soak the feathers, Flick said to soak the feathers over night, then rip the fibers from the stems. I find this to be quite messy and that you just don’t rip fibers from the stems, also some of the colour. I put my feathers in a solution of 50% water and 50% Clorox, after 2-3 minutes all the fibers are gone. This way might make your stems slightly brittle, but if you soak them properly in warm water for a while before using it shouldn’t be a problem. There are also some companies that sells pre stripped hacklestem, unfortunately the ones I have tried haven’t been to my satisfaction.

Give yourself a chance to add another dimension to your flyfishing, give these two legendary flies originated by heroes of the past a chance. I bet you will make room for them in your flybox as well as in your heart, not just for their seducing looks but also because of their effectiveness.

onsdag 28 september 2011

Catskill dry fly demo in Dalarna

Saturday 8/10 I will demonstrate some Catskill style dry flies at a fly only shop in Dalarna, Capricorn. This shop is one of the nicest and well stocked fishingshops I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Be sure to visit it when or if you pass Borlänge in Dalarna. Well anyway, I felt I wanted to play a little with the patterns I shall tie so this evening i started with one of my absolute favourite flies to tie and fish, as I said before "both equally important". The fly I´m talking about is Art Flick´s Grey Fox, tied with Ginger tail and body, the hackle is Cree, grizzly and ginger. Normally these are tied in bigger sizes, this one is tied on a Mustad 94840 size 14. I do favour smaller ones for my personal fishing though.

söndag 21 augusti 2011

Yellow Humpy

The Humpy was at first called “Horner’s Deer Hair Fly. The whispering among the wonderful world of fly tiers is that the Humpy was originated during the early 1940´s at the vise of California fly tier Jack Horner. Jack lived in Hat Creek, Northern Sierra”. The fly was perfect for the rough water at the Truckee River which Jack often fished, there was even a bend in the river called “Horner’s Corner”.

The name “Humpy” came in the late 1940´s, the rumour says it was Boots Allen, owner of a small fly shop in the region of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Humpy find it’s place in the fly fishermen’s box as one of those flies we use when nothing else works or when there’s no bugs around. The Humpy is proborably one of the most successful attractor flies ever created.

A Humpy isn’t one of the easiest flies to tie. The wing takes time to get right and it’s kind of hard to get the proportions right. But when tying this batch I felt like that I started to find peace with tying it. Just take it easy and don’t rush it, the fly is totally worth the time that it takes to tie it.

There are numerous variations of the Humpy Red, Royal, Green and so on. The most common one I believe is the “Yellow Humpy”. A really sexy variant is the “Black Humpy”, I hadn´t seen that one before I started to look a little deeper in the world of the “Humpies”, I think that one will become my favourite. I think the black one can be really toxic in smaller sizes. This “Black Humpy” is tied in size 14, will try to make some in size 18.

lördag 20 augusti 2011

Flytying time is near

Evening, havn´t been much activity at the vise this summer. But now "I feel it in my fingers, i fell it my..." the urge of playing with feathers is finally back. I have started to fill up a new box for a little adventure that I´m hoping to be able to attend in september. Will go with one of my flyfishing neighbours, my friend has been there before and he have had good fortune earlier there with the Royal Wulff so that will be my first task for the box. As much as I love to tie the Royal Coachman Fanwing I actually prefer to fish the Royal Wulff, the RF is much more boyant than the RFC. The RF is a little rougher to tie though, the wing is easier on the RFC. These flies are as said quite boyant but to get them really boyant I impregnated all the RF´s with Tiemcos Dry fly formula. I´m quite sure I have got a batch of great floaters with that.
Next fly to tie will be another batch of "attractors", the yellow Humpy. But more about that one later..

söndag 10 juli 2011

Back to the vise

After talking about getting back to the vise the other day I could no longer resist, the urge was to great. I´m having a small project inside my head and for that I need among other patterns a Variant. The Variant chosen for the job was Art Flicks "Dun Variant". This fly was one of the flies that got me going when I started tying flies. I found it in Lennart Bergqvist´s "Flugbindning på mitt sätt" ("Flytying, my way"), after finding this fly I tried tying in hacklestem´s as body on basicly all of my flies.
The Dun Variant

And as I might go for some fishing this coming weekend, I also tied some of my special Variants. This Variant is made with a mixed hackle of coachman brown and grizzly, the hacklestem from a ginger cock´s neck and the tail from coachman brown. I have been quite lucky with these in size 16 & 18.

Special Variant

See you soon....

lördag 9 juli 2011

Being Lazy

Have not being that active during some time now. Well life has more to offer than flyfishing and flytying, might be a good thing to consider sometimes. I have had some vacation and has spent 4 weeks with my family. We have finally visited Legoland in Denmark, a place we have talked about lots of times. We also stayed a week in Dalarna, Rättvik to be more precise, my fiance´s parents live there. Went on a smaller fishing trip to Idre with my father in law, nice but the fishing was rubbish.
In my earlier post about Lungsjöån I promised to post some more pictures, I didn´t have that many that were any good but this one kind of represents the day there quite good.
I got a piece published in Blood Knot magazine , a friend of mine Andy Baird asked me to contribute so I did, a small piece on the Royal Coachman fanwing. I am quite happy with it actually.

I will soon get back to the vise and get the blog going again, just need to finish some stuff on the house. Until then I hope you all have a great summer.


söndag 8 maj 2011

Here we go again..

Finally, the fishing season is here. To be honest I was out cheating with my friend Marc Fauvet two weeks ago but, after yesterday´s fantastic day on Lungsjöån in Dalarna I must say ... now it has started. I feel it in every part of my body, I wan´t more!
It started good, I actually got quite surprised as it seems like I have learned to listen to myself, so I actually sat down and just watched the spot were I was planning to start. A nice cup of tea and a Honey berry cigarr. Right away I saw some fish rise, I guessed they were taking some stuff in the surface but I couldn´t resit to put on a Coachman anyway. So I did, and after maybe 3 cast i got this years first fish on the dry, and a true classic it was.
After a while it got tougher to get them to take the dry flies so I took the oppurtunity to try out the Baetis Nymph I put together for "Lungsöån box" the nymph really worked, it did it´s job just under the surface as I wanted and got me 3 nice trouts, then to really make it a Niklas Dahlin fly... I placed in a nice tree, offcourse to high for me to reach.
After loosing the nymph I started to fish the Blackbird Spider, another fly from the "Lungsjöån box", this one also worked, this fly stayed in the surface. This gave me on more trout and lots of lost ones.
I will post some pics of the fishes later, my friend took the photos and I havn´t got any copies yet. If you are interested in trying tho "Lungsjöån box" of flies contact Jonas at jonashagborg@hotmail.com.

lördag 16 april 2011


The other week I got the oppurtunity to do a "flyswap" with one of the great ones, Bob Mead. I have never before seen his stuff in flesh, but as many others I have admired his creations on the web. Bob is one of the pioneers in Realistic flytying, what a piece for my collection...

I´m offcourse really honoured to get this chance.

Bob Mead´s Lady bug
Today I made the flies that I shall send to Bob.. As the Hendrickson´s is starting to make it´s entrance at this time within the "Charmed circle of the Catskill´s", I choose to make Mr and Mrs of that mayfly.
Red Quill

Once again my flies will be travelling over the pond without me following :-) Well, I will be there in November, hopefully I will meet Bob and all other of my heroes and legends.

söndag 27 mars 2011

Southern Appalachian Flytying Championship

In January I sent a a set of flies to participate in a flytying competiton in the states The Southern Appalachian Flytying Championship. Last week i got the result, I found myself on third place, offcourse I´m honoured. The winner was Wayne Samson and on second place Mr Deer hair specialist Chris Helm, well done mates.. I got a really nice prize a fly tied by Mary Dette, "the Kaaterman" a glasdome to mount it in and also really nice print of my fly. There was also a 25$ check but that I asked them to send to the Catskill Flyfishing Museum.

We were supposed to tie two flies, one mandatory on "The Tellico Nymph". This fly kind of caught me, it was funny to play with something I never tied before. By the way.. thank´s Håkan for helping me with the materials I didn´t have in my stash..

Then there was the other fly.. Here I wanted something really special, something from my heart. So I choose my favourite fly "Quill Gordon" and added something to that, thought I would do a version of it to match the situation when you want a more boyant fly, to use when the water is a little rougher. I added a body hackle, not a full one though cause I still wanted to see the peacock quill properly. I simply stripped one side of the hackle and to make sure the hackle didn´t slip on the quill I added a thin layer of superglue before wrapping the hackle. Personally I think the fly looks really toxic and I can´t wait to try it out this coming season.

onsdag 9 mars 2011

The Coffin Fly

"The Coffin Fly" was first designed by Walt Dette and his friend Ted Townsend in the beggining of the 1930´s. Walt did over the years work on the pattern making several improvements, It is still today a popular fly in the Catskills. The fly is supposed to imitate a spent Ephemera Guttulata or more common named Green Drake the largest of the mayflies within the charmed circle of the Catskills.

söndag 6 mars 2011

American March Brown

The March Brown is a name of a fly that has been mentioned in fishing literature for hundred of years. The March Brown I tied here is not that old. The American March Brown was originated by Preston Jennings and he has it published in his book “A book of troutflies” as a imitation for the American March Brown. Mr Jennings was experimenting on how light refracts off a insect on the surface, and how the trout perceives such light, this and more made Mr Jennings to come up with this pattern, one of the more known Americna dry fly patterns.

His "A Book of Troutflies" was first published 1935 and was the first book that gave the American fly fisherman a good reference to American trout stream insects. Mr Jennings was a highly regarded angler and fly tier.

onsdag 23 februari 2011


Although one of my absolute favourite flies to fish and tie are the Royal Coachman Fanwing I have never tied the fly behind it "The Coachman". After reading an article about one of my friends, the article described my friend and his favourite fly... and as I will meet him this weekend while tying at a fair in Dalarna I thought I should make him some.

The fly was first tied around 1830 by Mr Tom Bosworth. Tom was not only a great flytier but also a coachman to George IV, William IV and Queen Victoria. Personally I count this fly as one of the true classic dryfly´s. I´m looking forward to try this bug this coming spring, and  I really enjoyed tying it.

lördag 19 februari 2011

Grey Partridge (Grey Watchet)

At the moment I´m in something who can be reffered to as a "Spidermode". Working on the script for one of my coming DVD´s, one of the two DVD´s will be about Spiders or North Country Flies. The DVD will not be about me sitting and telling people what´s right or wrong, it will be about the flies and how I tie them, about me and my view on flytying and to show that you don´t need to be a "procaster" to catch fish. More about this another day.

Grey Partridge or Grey Watchet 
I´m thinking of putting this one in to the DVD. I like the apparence of it and it will suit the period of when we will be filming the fishingparts. The book of T.E Pritt "North Coutry flies" says that the fly works best at cold days, and in the evenings during June and July.

Wings:  Hackled with a light feather from a Partridge´s breast.
Body:   Straw-coloured silk.
Head:   Peacockherl

1.  Start with your thread behind the eye and wind 4-5 turns back, this will give you a nice foundation for the peacock herl that will be tied in later. Tie in your Partridge breast feather, backside up. Cut the excess material.
2.  Wrap your thread in tight turns back to where the hook start´s to bend. Turn and wrap to just behind where the hackle is tied in.
 3.  Wind the hackle, I took two wraps on this fly. Catch the hackle with the thread.....
4.  ...and work the thread through the hackle. Stop the thread behind the hookeye. 

 5.  Tie in the Peacock herl.
 6.  Wrap the peacock herl around the thread to make yourself a "Peacock herl thread". You can offcourse wrap the herl as it is but this will leave a less durable Pecock herl head.
 7. Give the head 4-5 turns of "Peacock herl thread" and finish it up with a 3-4 turn of Whipfinish, give the thread some extra wax before the whipfinish, that will make it a little more durable. Now we have a classic North Country Fly ready for those cold early summer night´s..

söndag 13 februari 2011

Stewart Black Spider

The "Stewart Black Spider" is one of my three favourite Spider patterns, both to tie and fish. So this afternoon I tied some "Stewart black Spider" one of three "most killing" spiders from W.C Stewart´s book the "The Practical Angler", a fly that´s more than 150 years old, and still going strong. W.C Stewart said "we were first shown it by James Ballie, and have never been without it on our line since".

1. Start with your thread on the middle of the shank.

2. Wrap your thread to the hookeye, create a small head. Select a feather with a fiberlength equall to the shank and tie it in.

3. Lay the thread on the inside of the featherstem and put together thread and feather with a hackleplier.

4. Twist feather and thread with the help of the hackleplier until it looks as on the picture. I use to help the fibers some with my fingers.

5. Wrap the "hackled thread" backwards 3-4 wraps and tie it off. Cut off the excess of the feather.

6. Make some 3-4 extra wraps of thread and whipfinish behind the hackle.

onsdag 5 januari 2011

Looking back

I started tying flies the winter of 2005-2006.. I still remember going in to that fishingstore finding the "start flytying kit" and I felt that I got to few christmas presents so offcourse I earned that box. Many hours and curses later tying the flies from the manual I gradually needed something new to try out. So I found what here in Sweden is considered to be the Swedish flytiers holy bible Lennart Bergqvists book "Flugbindning på mitt sätt" or in english "Flytying my way".

In this book I found a fly that really got me started was Art Flicks Variant. Still today this fly is one of my top fishingflies. Love to tie it , love to fish it....
I didn´t know then that it was a Catskill style dry fly, the tying style that now keeps me busy reading, tying, dreaming etc etc.. The thing that really caught my attention was then the body made of quill, more specific hacklestems. After getting to know the material a little I then started to experiment widely, putting hackle-stems on almost eveything. A fly that came out during that time was variation of another fly found in that book, the Streaking Caddis. A true fishing fly that´s responsible for many trout and graylings. The body is on the original fur but on my variation of it offcourse hacklestem. I have never liked using varnish, messy and takes to much time to dry. On this fly I want atleast two layers to give the body a nice depth, so I quickly found that clear superglue made a nicer body more quickly as the time for each layer to dry was reduced.

A couple of days ago my friend Ulf Hagström reminded me about this fly, and we agreed to do a "one on one" swap. Great as I wanted some of his wicked emergers and the fact that I felt the urge of doing some Streaking Quills.. The one on the picture above is made of stripped ginger hacklestem, black thread and three layers of clear superglue. The Streaking Quill is also one of my absolut favourite flies to fish and tie.

söndag 2 januari 2011

Quill Gordon

What could be better to start up the blog of 2011 than with a true classic Catskill Style Dry fly. The "Quill Gordon" or "Gordon Quill" Theodore Gordons legacy. This is one of my absolute favourite flies to fish and tie, both offcourse equally important. Gordon tied this fly in different shades and sometimes with a gold wire to get a bronze shade to the body.

A couple of weeks ago I got a copy og John McDonalds "The Complete Fly Fisherman". In this very heavy volume of flyfishing history I found loads of intresting stuff to read. It´s easy to get kind of afraid of the book at first sight as it is loades of pages and small letters. But I assure you, it is great and full of nice small talks and letters.

Here is what  Gordon wrote to G.E.M Skues on May 7, 1906
"I would like to have you try the following. Body plain quill, peacock, light color, hackles and tail, light blue hackle, wings wood-duck plain, mottled from a good sized finely mottled feather, using double for each side of the stem. I usually varnish the foundation to strenghten the quill. It is a light blue quill with wood-duck wings, and I will gamble on it killing, if dressed to suit the water..."

As well as I love to tie the classics by original recepie, I also sometimes love to play a little and do some changes to them. One idea I have had for a while is to put a boddyhackle on this lovely pattern. With a body hackle I believe this fly will work even better in rough water. I didn´t wan´t it to bushy though so I stripped one side of the feather before wrapping the bodyhackle. I didn´t want to strenghten the hackle with wire or thread either because I wanted as much of the quill possible still visible, so I gave the quillbody a small amount of clear superglue before wrapping the bodyhackle.

I´m really looking forward to try this one on Trout and Grayling hiding in the rough water. Will do my best to try and remember to tell you how it worked.