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.


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.


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!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Tuesday evenings

Our fishing club has fly-tying sessions at Tuesday evenings. I went there finally this week and it was great to see all those friends after summer. We tied a few flies and talked. I worked with some Blue Winged Olives for fall grayling fishing while others tied mainly leeches for rainbow trout. In our discussions there where one repeating theme; the summer had been hot and the water had been running low. Other than that, I found out that I wasn’t only one who broke a fly rod.

I’m looking forward to next Tuesday evening.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Red Tag

We are going to Kuusamo after two weeks and I tied few grayling patterns just in case. One of the most famous grayling patterns of the world is the Red Tag.

Here is a variation of Red Tag by Finnish master fly-tier Veli Autti. This variation creates more caddis pupa shape for the fly and adds some weight.

Red Tag (variation by Veli Autti)
Thread: Brown
Hook: Grubber size 10, (here size 12 heavy wire grubber hook).
Tail: Fl. orange red wool (here fl. orange antron yarn).
Body: Peacock herl over lead wire, almost reverse tapered; caddis style.
Hackle: Partridge (here mottled grey Hen). Cut fibers from top.
Head: Working thread, this fly has a real head, so it is bit over-sized by mainstream fly tying standards.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fly selection - Part 2: Caddis pupa

During the fall I think a lot about my fly selection. This is good time to read my fishing diary and make fly tying agenda for the winter.

Last year I had a single caddis pattern. Well, actually I had few others as well, but I mainly fished with only single caddis pattern. That pattern was Green Deep Sparkle Pupa and it worked very well.

This year I tried multiple patterns. (Check the previous post.) For some reason I didn’t tie any Green Deep Sparkle Pupas and came to the conclusion that I should have tied those ugly little bugs.

Now, as the season is ending I have a choice to make for next year. Should I return back to single pattern or use multiple ones? The answer is actually easy, I go with multiple patterns. Why? Because there are many different caddis pupae present during the season and I believe that they are best presented with different patterns – at very least I need different sizes and colors of single pattern.