Friday, December 29, 2006

Fly Fishing in Lithuania

Photo: Ripley Davenport © 2006. Used with permission.Photo: Ripley Davenport © 2006. Used with permission.

Ripley Davenport has written an interesting article for Global Fly Fisher: Thin Blue Lines.

Beautiful countryside with small to moderate sized trout in rather inexpensive country. Looks like my kind of place - maybe even a place for next summer vacation...

No Comment


From Misc 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Kaamos Blues

So the Christmas is over and it was just about all that it usually is: long waited (for kids at least), too short (for a real vacation), peaceful (at least partly), and depressing (also partly).

About week before came the snow so we did have a White Christmas. For next 5 days weather forecast predicts temperatures from -8 to +4 decrees Celsius (or 18 to 39 decrees Fahrenheit). With snow and rain, that will guarantee to keep my car dirty.

Oh great, I still got the blues. Anyway I had to post something to drop that Christmas picture from top place of my blog.

I don’t remember have I posted this picture before, but this is a fly fishing blog and recycling is a good thing, so here you go:


From Grayling

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

My darkest secrets

Mike, a curry loving Scotsman from Asia and the author of Tamanawis blog, pointed his finger towards me in form of a challenge to reveal my darkest secrets. Or at least I should tell you five things that a handful of people around the world (=my blog’s regular readers) don’t know about me.

1. I think that you have already figured this one out: I am really not sure when I should put word ‘the’ or ‘a/an’ in front of other words when I write in English. I also have problems with other words like ‘on’, ‘in’ and ‘at’. It has been over ten years since I studied English last time and frankly I don’t remember much about these things anymore. I rely on how it feels, sounds, or looks – i.e. just plain luck.

2. My wife is a cyborg. When she was a child, a neighbor’s dog attacked my future wife and damaged her lacrimal duct which was later replaced by artificial implant. The scary thing is that there is no way to know this simply by looking at her - but deep down inside, she is a machine.

3. When I was 20 years old, my homeland required me to attend 11 month military service, which changed my life in an unexpected way: I learned to play and game master role playing games. That was what I did for better part of decade that followed and only in last 5 years or so I have not played any more. But still the friendships that I gained in that period remain.

4. I’m a psychologist by profession/education. I have never done a single day that work; instead I hang around at an Information Technology Company and do some consulting that is hard to describe as a job.

5. I have no idea what to do when I grow up. I hope that my family is involved and it includes some fly fishing.

The only thing left is to name five other persons to reveal their secrets:
- Jay / Fly Fishing and More
- Dave B / Fishing for Native Trout
- Fly Fisherman / Fly Fishing Journal
- The Mad Fishicist
- BCM / Musings of a Mad Fisherman

Thursday, December 14, 2006

There are lot of trout (species) to catch...

If you take a look at Dave's Lifetime Species List at his very nice Fly Fishing for Native Trout blog you can surely see that there are lot of trout species.

A few years ago I decided that my Lifetime Fly Fishing Agenda includes fishing,and hopefully catching, a wide range of different native trout species. The thing is that there are actually one native trout species in Finland: the Brown Trout (Salmo Trutta) and I have pretty well covered that by now. However I'm willing to count Arctic Char (Salvelinus alpinus) as a trout, but they can only be found in Lapland and I haven't fished them yet. There are stocked Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout and Lake Trout here but I don't really count them to my list as they are not native when fished here.

However, most of the trout species come from North America and that's where I must be heading at some point of my life.


Small creek in Eastern Finland
From Misc 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

World Fly Fishing Championship 2007

27th FIPS-Mouché World Fly Fishing Championship will take place in Finland.

Here is a link to the official site.

No Comment


From Misc 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Custom fly rod

A Custom fly rod should look something like this:



Dan Craft FT #4 9’ 4-pc by Antti Kymäläinen
Copyright (c) Antti Kymäläinen. Used with permission.

Dan Craft FT #4 9’ 4-pc by Antti Kymäläinen.

Check out his other rods as well...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Delivered!

opax-flyfishing announcement: International Fly Fishing Blogger Co-Operation Program (IFFBCOP)

Referring to this post, Ed commented:

Opax! I received your beautifully crafted flies this weekend, and THANK YOU! I can't wait to try them out, I think I'll get a chance this Saturday. Very generous of you to take the time, I really appreciate it.


You are welcome Ed! I hope that I can read some good news after Saturday at Ed's Flyfishin' blog.

For you others: Below is a picture of flies I send to Ed and Ian. I also added few streamers to Ed's package as it seemed so much smaller that Ian's. Let me know I you want take part in IFFBCOP. There may not be such thing as a free lunch, but you can get free flies from here. Legal disclaimer where I deny that I ever promised anything will be added later. It is possible to edit posts later with Blogger.


Hare's Ear Soft Hackles and Supertinseli Streamers
From Fly-patterns



EDIT 2006/12/12: Ian mailed me that he also has received the flies and will give them a try. I hope that he likes them.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rod Building - Part 6: The Decision

I have ordered a Temple Fork Outfitters Professional Blank and Component Kit. My final choice was a 7 weight 9 foot rod, which is a compromise: I would had preferred a 10 foot blank, but the ones that I could find at this rather low price range (I don’t want to spoil anything expensive) were not reviewed anywhere.

The TFO Professional Reviews were easy to find and they were also rather positive. Other than that, it is a four piece blank which makes it rather transportable and it does have the no-fault warranty that might become useful. I also got a pretty good deal with local dealer on this one.

This rod building project of mine has two goals. First is to find out can a person who’s thumb is located in middle of the palm (it’s a Finnish expression, I don’t know is it used elsewhere) build a fly rod. The second goal is, if the first one succeeds, to have another useful fly rod.

The uses that I have thought so far are: streamer fishing for big trout, Atlantic-salmon dry fly fishing, and perhaps some still water fly fishing. I use a 9’ 5 weight rod almost all the time, but it is not at its best with big streamers.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mental Health and Fly Fishing

You might want to check two good posts about of our cause of insanity: The Disease by Mike and In Good Company by The Mad Fishicist. EDIT: Hmm... Check out this Ed's post as well.

Here in Finland, where I live, the length of the day is currently just over 5 hours. That sure is a cause of depression. But there are nearly unheard of chances of quality fly fishing in December because the weather is so warm...


Brown trout
From Trout

Sunday, December 03, 2006

No Comment


From Misc 2006

Pending...

I am going to ship some flies to Ed and Ian as I mentioned earlier. Finally, this afternoon, when my wife and daughter were taking a nap and my son was watching Nemo, I had time to tie the flies.

EDIT 2006-12-04: Sent.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

My first dry flies for the Atlantic-salmon

Last night I was planning to tie some flies for our friends overseas. I have promised to mail some flies for Ed and Ian this week. However I found out that I was tying other flies with my friends at the fishing club.


Potemkin and Bomber - Dry Flies for Atlantic-salmon
From Fly-patterns


One on the left is called Potemkin and the other one is Bomber. Both flies are tied on #6 hooks and are intended for the Atlantic-salmon. As I mentioned earlier I have never fished salmon and these are first flies in my soon-to-be-purchased salmon fly box.

No Comment


From Life

No Comment -posts

I will launch a new post series for my blog. It is called "No Comment". The idea is not mine, so it might even be a good one. In short, this type of post might include single picture, video clip, link or quote. You can comment No Comment posts. This is all I say about this series at this point.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Extremes of Weather

Our climate system seems pretty messed up. After a cold and harsh late fall/early winter that I reported earlier, the weather has now changed from one extreme to another. The snow we had has now melted. Last Sunday it was +7 C or 45 F, so I went fishing. I know that good things rarely last so this was most likely my last trip this year.

I fished for few hours and managed to get one (likely) strike. When I was about to leave, one fish finally made an error by splashing the water. It got pretty excited and took my streamer with a jump. It was a nice 50 cm (just a fraction short of 20 inches) brown trout.


Brown trout
From Trout

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rod Building - Part 5

My friends at the fishing club are planning to start building fly rods in January - and I am with them. At this point it still seems that a 10' 7 weight rod is what I am building.

However, I have been tempted with the idea of 5 weight fiberglass, and it is too early to tell what the final decision will be...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Afraid of it


Finnish people claim that Teno is the greatest Atlantic-salmon River of the world. My son and I are standing at the Norwegian soil.
From Life (c) Piia Jääskeläinen. Used with permission.


Back in the nineteenth century it was a month’s journey for British angler to reach the great river Teno at the border of Norway and Finland. But there are documents which indicate that some of them did that journey. It must have been strange sight to local people back then, when funny looking outsiders came with long rods and feathered hooks. There were easier methods of fishing, and still is.

I have never fished Atlantic-salmon. Before last Sunday I had never read a book about salmon fishing. In fact I have consciously avoided the subject for years. This is because I am afraid that I will get passionate about this thing. But my wife gave me this book and I am starting to give in.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Classic flies

Lately I have been tempted by the idea of classic flies. This is somewhat in contrast to my personal view of fly tying. I am very practical and simplistic when it comes to fly patterns.

Below is an example of my streamers. These are Supertinseli patterns. They are easy to tie (about 3-4 minutes per fly), use only artificial materials and they are killers when it comes to effectiveness.


Supertinseli streamers
From Fly-patterns


But would it feel better if I would caught a big trout with the Grey Ghost instead? Or how about a classic winged wet fly instead of POPA Caddis?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Hare's Ear Soft Hackle


Hare's Ear Soft Hackle
From Fly-patterns



It is easy to tie and trout, grayling and I like it. One of my best flies in 2005, but I didn't use it much last summer. It is a generic caddis pupa pattern. If you are not sure what fly to use, try this one.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Heavy weight bug?

I found a link to a French step-by-step fly tying instructions. Nice site, although my one credit French course didn’t help much (quel dommage) - but the pictures are excellent. This La poilue pattern seemed like something I need when the rig must get deep. Instead of original #12 hook I used #6. Makes them heavier.


From Fly-patterns


And the kinky variant...

From Fly-patterns

Monday, November 06, 2006

Early winter?

Temperature has been rather cold (about -10 ºC or +14 ºF) last week and it doesn’t seem to get much better this week. We are talking about temperature range that doesn’t inspire me to go fishing. I could fish if temperature would be just above +0 ºC. Don’t really like it when the guides freeze.

But there is hope. Generally speaking it could get much warmer, or at least it should. The weather has been a real bugger to predict lately. I mean we had cold and long spring, hot and dry summer, mild fall and the beginning of winter looks very harsh.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Virtual fly fishing anyone?

According to the Science magazine, our saltwater fly fishing experience will be rather limited if nothing is done to stop the current trend.

'Only 50 years left' for sea fish.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Do we really need to cement the head of a small fly?

One of the gurus at my local fishing club gave me an advice a few years back and I have been following it ever since. While I was cementing the head of my fly, he commented (rather gently) about the usefulness of head cementing. When small flies are of concern, why should we cement the head? The logic says that the fly will last longer. But will it? I mean that you put a good finish there and that's it.


"We say no to head cement!"
From Fly-patterns

I haven't added lacquer to my flies (apart from streamers and big nymphs) since. My flies don't untie themselves any more than they did before. To my experience, there is no need to cement the head of a small fly.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Catskill Dry Flies

Jay has posted first pictures on his Catskill Dry Fly project. I recommend that you check his blog.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Too much work and no play...

…gives me headache. So the doctor gave me some pills and physiotherapy. Oh great, I should be fishing. Instead I spent 2½ hours extra time at the Helsinki International Airport last night. It may not sound much, but it is a 40 minutes flight...

WT has been posting good fishing reports. Check them out here.

And you should also check out the Flyfishin' blog by Ed. Great stuff. Helps you park your Lexus.

One last thing: I am running out of pictures - so here are some berries for you.


From Misc 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fly Tying Season

The winter is closing in. Although there will soon be little or no fly fishing activities available, this coming season is best fly tying time for me. I can tie two or three hundred flies per winter. And I need those flies next summer, at least some of them.

When a full fly box looks empty

Some years back I did not tie any flies during the winter. Back then I had other things in mind. Back then I didn’t have the flies I need during summer. I had to tie few flies before each fishing trip and I generally felt that my fly boxes were filled with flies I didn’t need.

The main reason for this was that my fly tying was very random - impulsive at best. Most of the flies in my fly box were my own creations – i.e. patterns that should have never been tied. I didn’t use them too much as I didn’t trust them. I was in constant need of reliable patterns. I had a few, but I tied only one or two flies at time, because I was and still am a lazy person who only ties flies when he has to.

Tour de France

Then I read the Tour de France tying by Martin Joergensen. In this article Martin describes few good speed tying tips (most important is that you should tie good bunch of flies in specific pattern instead of just one or two) and tells how you can watch TV and tie flies at the same time. I am not much of a biking fan and Tour de France was finished that year anyway. Instead I was deep in family life as was my wife and we both needed some time for our selves. For my wife it was time to start over the ballet and some Latino dancing. For me it was time to join the fishing club and start tying the flies I so desperately needed.

My way

So I wrote down what fly patterns I would like to fish next season. And I started tying each Tuesday evening. I tied something like 6 to 18 flies per evening. I think that I missed one or two sessions in that winter and ended up with three fly boxes full of flies. And these were no random flies but a disciplined set. Never have I felt as good as I did next fishing season. Of course I had some patterns I didn’t need but I pretty much had the patterns I did need.

I had done that ever since. I must admit that I don’t have the discipline I had the first winter. I do miss a tying evening bit too often, but I still do well enough.


With good fly selection, you can catch anything...
Black Zulu variation and Caddis larvae
From Life

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Could somebody please tell me that the season has ended

I made a short 3 hour fishing trip this weekend. Weather is getting cold and the majority of the fish had moved away from fast water. I was after big rainbows, but did not find them. I managed to land couple nice brown trouts but they were small (bigger was about 35 cm, or 14 inches).

Here is a brown trout picture from same place that I took few weeks ago. This was the smallest, but without doubt the most beautiful. I hope you like it.


Brown Trout
From Karvionkoski

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Taeniopteryx nebulosa

It is now late October and the next major hatch that will occur here is the February Red Stonefly hatch. And that would be late May or early April. Here are some pictures from last year hatch.


Stonefly Nymph
From Life



Stonefly - a nymph or an adult?
From Life



Stonefly Adult
From Life



Two Stonefly Nymphs...
From Life



Adult Stonefly and Stonefly Pattern Potemkin
From Life



Leuctra fusca


Stonefly
From Life

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hunting the trout

Tom has written an excellent article about Stealth.

I will visit a river Karvionkoski this weekend. Wading part of Toms article gives great advice for this river. It is a short stretch, about 200 yards or so. One bank is deep, virtually unwadeable, plenty of good rainbows and smaller browns. Its all about taking cover and keeping low profile if there is no cover. Moving slow. I visited this river twice this summer and in both visits one trout darted off from my boots. Embarrassing moments - yet it happens.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wyatt is back

I see that Wyatt from Flytimes has returned. Nice picture from Yellowstone, I hope that others follow...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pictures from Kuusamo

Some people have liked my Kuusamo trip pictures. I added some better quality pictures to my web album. I hope that you like these. Just click this picture to see all 8 pictures in this album, or click here to start slideshow





Thursday, October 12, 2006

Shooting head testing continues

It's time to continue shooting head testing. I have made few Shooting heads for my 5 weight rod. There is a short floating line (about 7 meters or 23 feet of DT8F). It is good and easy to cast, but it is bit shorter than I like. So I have cheap DT7F that I try next. I also have fast sinking head made of old WF8 sink tip line and sinking one made of DT6S.

The question is: why to do this with relatively light 5 weight rod?
My answer: Why not? With DT7 head, I can cast streamers really well and my outfit is still light.

Have you made custom shooting heads?


From Shooting Heads

Reunited and ready

I now have my old 9' 5 weight 4 piece rod back. Actually it is now 5 piece rod, but not in a bad sense - I just have one extra piece. One might speculate that it is 1/4 chance that I have just right spare piece ready if rod breaks again, but I think that it is more like 1 out of 400.000 that just the right piece breaks.

Last weekend I failed to land three good rainbows in last 15 minutes of fishing session. It must have been because I had the wrong rod...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Patience

It has been a while, but now my rod has been shipped back. (Edit: Currently some nice doggy is sniffing my rod at Finnish Customs.) This experience has raised me to a new level… But my cell phone felled to the floor last night and I found out that buttons [5], [7], [9], [0] and [Menu/OK] aren’t working any more. (Ahem.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fly Tying Tuesdays

While there are other forms of entertainment, for me Tuesday evenings are mainly for fly tying. This time I tied a few X-Caddis patterns and something for the stocked rainbow trout:


From Fly-patterns



PS. This one works also for native brown trout...

X-Caddis

I love caddis patterns. They are very important in my waters although caddisflies may not be as beautiful as mayflies. One of my favourite emerging mayfly pattern is Sparkle Dun. This pattern in very similar to tie as X-Caddis. I like simple patterns best, so I added few X-Caddis emergers to my selection.


Sparkle Dun
Sparkle Dun
From Fly-patterns


X-Caddis
X-Caddis
From Fly-patterns

Monday, October 02, 2006

October

It has been about three weeks since brown trout fishing season ended here in Finland and I'm trying to cope best I can. Mik at Tamanawis is also suffering from coming end of the season.

So what do I do in October? I should probably get into Pike Fly Fishing, but I haven't. Maybe I will - next year. At this time, the big pike are coming to the shores and are fishable with the rod and fly. There is no seas here, so I can't fish Sea Trout, which would be really great. But no.

However I still have "Stocked Rainbows from Karvionkoski" in my fly fishing agenda... I'm looking forward to that. Lets test if I can have sample from last year here using new Picasa2 Web Album feature.

From Karvionkoski

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Colors of the Fall



Kuusamo is a region in eastern Finland less than hundred kilometers south of the Arctic Circle. It has lot of wild life as this moose that crossed the road just before us when we were heading towards Kiutaköngäs. Luckily the road was bad and we were doing only 50 km/h (31 mph) so I had no problem stopping the car before this magnificent animal. It was big and had a very good rack, but we were too slow with the camera.

Kiutaköngäs is name of about hundred meter rapids/falls stretch of Oulankajoki. This river goes all the way down across the border to Lake Paanajärvi in Russia. Below is a picture of Pikkuköngäs (“Small Falls”) just above the Kiutaköngäs.

Oulankajoki, Small Falls

The Brown Trout of Paanajärvi is possibly most known trout variant in Finland. Paanajärvi Trout are big (2 to 5 kg or 4 to 11 lbs are most common) and jump thru Kiutaköngäs Falls to spawn in the upper stretches of Oulankajoki. Paanajärvi Trout is fished in rivers Oulankajoki, Kitkajoki and Kuusinkijoki. These fisheries are very popular and a subculture of Trout Fishing is formed to Kuusamo around these rivers and Paanäjärvi Trout.

Oulankajoki, Kiutaköngäs



Secret spot?

We had a week of family vacation, but Thursday afternoon was my time off – a time to go fishing. I had grayling in mind, and I had been planning to go to a small stream. I found out that I had done my homework poorly. When I talked to the manager of the fishery, he informed me that all streams in his region were closed until next summer. I had knew beforehand that the great rivers of Kuusamo (Oulankajoki, Kitkajoki and Kuusinkijoki) were closed but I was under impression that some of the small ones would be open for fishing.

After initial disapointment I crafted a plan B and headed towards Poussujoki. It is small upper fork of great Iijoki river system. Iijoki is flowing from Kuusamo to Gulf of Botnia, some 340 kilometers (211 miles) southwest.

Thursday morning was very cold. There was ice at the shores of small lakes. At midday my thermometer showed +5 degrees Celsius (41 F) for air temperature and the water was +7 degrees Celsius (44 F). There was no visible bug/fish activity to speak of, so it was a day for nymphing.

Poussujoki

In the course of afternoon, I managed to land three graylings and failed to set the hook for about same number of other fish. All of the graylings were small, around 25 cm or 10 inches, and all of them accepted Red Tag pattern. It was not what I whould call a good day if you count the fish and the coldness, but I enjoyed every secod of it.



Friday morning we left Kuusamo and drove back home. There had been first snowfall south of Kuusamo and the land was covered in snow. It was really beatiful sign of coming winter.



Back home, about 400 km (250 mi) south of Kuusamo, the leaves are still more green than yellow. It is like a step back in time.

Right now I am busy checking the other blogs. It looks that Wyatt from Flytimes is in Yellowstone. Can’t wait to see the pictures from there!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Secret spot?

We are heading to Kuusamo next week. I have made inquiries at Finnish fly fishing forums and received replies and even private messages of few small streams over there. These are possibilities for excellent grayling fishing. Some say that there are 50 cm (20”) graylings there, while others say that majority of the fish are around more typical 30 cm (12").

I'll be happy if I get few small ones, but the possibility of big grayling is exciting.

Fisherboy


Finding Fly Fishing Blogs

It is sometimes hard to find fly fishing blogs. I mean, there are hundreds or probably even thousands of them, but finding them can be hard. The number of fly fishing blogs is increasing and from my point of view the best sources for fly fishing blogs are The Trout Underground, Technorati and Google. In Trout Underground, Tom Chandler is keeping watchful eye. He is looking for other blogs and reports to us when he finds them. Compared to other bloggers, Tom is a professional. He posts on very regular bases with high quality stuff. Technorati is blog directory and search engine that can lead you to some very interesting blogs.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The incredible machine

It is a pleasure to announce that I have created a dubbing loop device. This may very well be the greatest innovation since fly rod. With this device it is possible to produce industry-level dubbing brushes in matter of minutes.



Any similarities to the design by Jan Siman are purely coincidental. It would be totally misstated to say that I have pretty shamelessly copied the whole design.

I do not plan to start a commercial production of this great device. This decision makes this one entity of the device virtually priceless and I am in that sense probably the richest man alive.

The Thing!