Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Snapshot of time

From Life

Sometimes a memory of certain moment is so clear and vivid that you can feel it. Three or four years ago great-big-grand-mother-of-a-trout stopped the drift of my gold ripped hare’s ear nymph. She broke my leader five seconds later but I can still feel it.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tomas Whitehouse

Tomas Whitehouse is a fly tying artist mainly in the categories of traditional trout flies and the realistic field.

He is 27 years and originally from Birmingham, England. Currently he lives in Helsinki, Finland.

Click here to see slideshow of his work.
From Tomas Whitehouse

Please contact Tomas Whitehouse with any questions or queries. All of his patterns are available to buy, he will also tie requested patterns provided he has the correct materials. Tomas is also available for tying tuition classes and demonstrations.
Email him for prices and delivery times.

T.n.T Perhot
Helsinki Finland
Tel: +358417879963

From Tomas Whitehouse

From Tomas Whitehouse

From Tomas Whitehouse

From Tomas Whitehouse

From Tomas Whitehouse

From Tomas Whitehouse

From Tomas Whitehouse

From Tomas Whitehouse

All images above Copyright (c) Tomas Whitehouse. Used with permission.

1/60 sec: At the fishing club

From Life

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dahlberg Diver. Tied by Jay Lee

From Jay Lee

The Dahlber Diver is a pike fly. This one is tied by Jay Lee. Thank you Jay!

I'll be casting a fly for pike in May, but not this one; it looks far too good to be ripped to pieces by pike's sharp teeth.

Take a look how well this monofil supports the zonker tail.

From Jay Lee

And this is how the deer hair should be clipped.

From Jay Lee

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Unknown Fisherman and more

From Trondheim 1996

In this picture you see a man fishing the Nidelva River which at this spot flows through the city of Trondheim. It was July 1996. The fisherman was fishing Atlantic Salmon or Sea-run Brown Trout. I don't know his name, but he was the first fisherman I ever gave a fly.

From Trondheim 1996

We had been traveling around Europe for about 3 weeks and the reason that brought us to Norway were the mountains. Thing is that there are no mountains in Finland. My companion and I had both fall in love to the mountains some weeks earlier in Pyrenees. We had already been heading back home to Finland, but one conversation at Hamburg with my companion send us all the way as far north to Norway as we possibly could in seek for more mountains. It turned out that we had headed too far north as greatest mountains in Norway are southwest from Trondheim.

But there we were, standing at the bank of Nidelva River. I had carried this single Atlantic Salmon Fly whole the way from one corner of Europe to the next and finally to that very river bank and I felt very nervous. Sole purpose of taking the fly with me was to give it to a fisherman. And right there was the perfect opportunity and I started thinking how silly the whole operation was. My companion didn’t take my lame excuses for long. She pushed me (either verbally or physically – I can’t remember) down the bank towards the fisherman. I gave my fly to him. He took it, showed his fly box and we discussed shortly and then I left.

I had met my travel companion six months prior this moment. I remember it clearly as it was New Years Eve 1995 when we met. I kissed her first time when the year turned to 1996. Since then she has pushed me to the right direction more than once and there is no end in sight.

I would like to thank her for that.

Beetle. Tied by Tomas Whitehouse

Fly Tied by Tomas Whitehouse. Image copyright (c) Tomas Whitehouse. Used with permission. From Fly-patterns

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Coming Soon: Beautiful Flies

I have received two packages of most wonderful flies.

Jay sent me two beautiful flies that are so good that I have thought giving up fly tying. View Jay’s other flies and bio at Hans Weilenmann's site.

I have also received some flies from Tomas Whitehouse. Tomas currently lives in Finland but is originally from the homeland of Ozzy Osbourne = Birmingham, England. He Rocks!

Here is a teaser for you:

Tied by Tomas Whitehouse - From Fly-patterns

Rod Building - Part 7: Package opened

Yesterday my rod building project took a giant leap forward as the package arrived.

It's a Temple Fork Outfitters 9' #7 Professional Blank + Kit - From Fly Rod

I’ll consult an expert tonight and I’ll also have to think how to pimp my rod! (Does that sound weird to you as well?)

Monday, January 22, 2007

4 Pieces of Joy

Life is a series of decisions.

Some of them easy:

Do I ask her to marry me?

And some are hard:

Would you like to have a 7’9” 5-weight or do you prefer a 7’6” 3-weight?

After the contest results I am facing hard decision.

It is a personal choice, but if you have any suggestions or comments, please speak now or forever hold your peace.

More specific:
Superfine Trout Bum 795-4 Full Flex 4.0 or Superfine Trout Bum 763-4 Full Flex 2.5

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fly Fishing Art

If TMF is the Poet then Ed is the Artist of the fly fishing blogsphere.

Here is a picture of a very nice Brook Trout by Jay:

Copyright (c) Jay Lee. Used with permission.

And this is what Ed did:

Copyright (c) Ed Felker. Used with permission.

In order to make this:

Copyright (c) Ed Felker. Used with permission.

I have my copy. And let me tell you, it’s amazing!
You can order a copy (this is limited edition) from Ed.

Thank You

I would like to thank you all for visiting my blog. My web statistics indicate very high growth rate. This will be the first time when opax-flyfishing will break 1000 visits per month line. I know that it is not much for a web site, but it is much for this blog.

Here is my Visitor Loyalty Chart from Google Analytics. If you examine this chart you notice that there are visitors that return to this site again and again. Thank you for re-visiting. I will try to make your visits worthwhile.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

On top of the world!

From Landscape

Tom Chandler once gave an advice: “Never skip a chance to blow your own horn.” And I’m going to take my chance here.

Here is the story.

150 year old Orvis Company (us, uk, fi) and Finnish Fly Fishing web site organized Trout Conservation Contest last year. To enter the contest one had to write down an idea or a plan for Trout Conservation in Finland. I entered with sort of 10 year restoration plan for selected watershed. That was in May 2006 and I had pretty much forgotten the whole thing.

Last week the results came to web sites. I scrolled down to see if I had won that CFO III Reel in random drawing. No. I scrolled up and noticed that I had won the whole contest.

The initial shock was followed by a sudden burst of combined hyperactivity and megalomania. An hour later I was having lunch with my colleagues. I now remember myself explaining to them that there are 5.5 billion people in this world and that most of them had at least theoretical possibility to enter this contest. And therefore: at that very moment you could put all those people in line and who can you find right there in the first place? Me.

There are just two more things to add:

1. The world population is actually 6.5 billion. This my fifteen minutes of fame.

2. Isn’t there a prize? Oh yes. It is going to be something very fine. Superfine.

EDIT: 'prize' was initially written above as 'price'. These words have a different meaning. I checked that from a dictionary. Why can't they add meaningchecking button right next to spellchecking? Oh well, sorry about that!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The making of a fly rod

Administrating an active fly fishing forum can be a load of work but now it has been proved that it is possible to get something in return.

Masi Hast has been administrating Finnish site and forum for several years and finally one forum member had an idea that Masi should be rewarded somehow. He started a new thread called “A rod for Masi”.

To make a fly rod, you need time, money, and a rod maker. Many members of this forum (current member count of this forum is 3121) made a small donations. Mikko Stenberg was the one who did the work.

Here are some entries from Mikko’s Resume: FQSA Master Tyer, Two times FQSA World Champion and two time FQSA Silver Medalist, Irish Open 2006 Champion, Flymeister 2001 ”Best in Show”, Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine Year 2006 Champion in Fly Tying, Second place in Fly Anglers Online competition, Two times third place in Mustad Fly Tying Competition, Two third places in Guideline Open 2005 Tying Competition, and Third place in Finnish National Fly Tying Competition 2005 (Salmon Fly series).

And naturally he can fish: Three times Champion in Finnish National Fly Fishing Team Championships.

But can Mikko build a fly rod? You can decide after viewing these images of Masi’s new Winston!

Image copyright (c) Masi Hast. Used with permission.

Image copyright (c) Masi Hast. Used with permission.

Image copyright (c) Masi Hast. Used with permission.

All images above Copyright (c) Masi Hast. Used with permission.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Operation Midnight Sun

Although this hardly is a matter of National Security, it probably is as close to it as I am ever going to get. I was contacted by Agent VERN-O (that’s his Screen-Name), and have conducted some research for him. The thing is that I can break Navajo-Code just as good as next guy (i.e. not at all), but I do can break Finnish-Code. Well, actually that is not the whole plot.

To put all the pieces together you have to know that the following facts:

1. There is an organization called FIPS-Mouché.
2. The abbreviation comes from words “Fédération Internationale de Pêche Sportive Mouché” which translates to “International Federation of Sport Fly Fishing”.
3. 27th FIPS-Mouché World Fly Fishing Championships will take place June 13th - 20th 2007 right here in Finland
4. VERN-O is in a contest to become Fly Fishing Team USA's Official Fly Tyer for 27th FIPS-Mouché World Fly Fishing Championships.

He asked for help and I said yes. I have read a lot of Finnish information about Competition water: River Simojoki and Lake Veitsiluoto and send vital parts of that knowledge to VERN-O. I have also discussed with a competition fly fisher who fished the very same competition waters when our 2006 National Championships were held. And this information has gone to the United States via secured satellite uplink. Naturally I can’t give you the information I have given to VERN-O. For all I know, there just may be a Delta team, watching my actions, ready to take care of things in case I do something stupid.

Only known picture of VERN-O with a rather mighty Brown Trout. (c) VERN-O. Used with permission.

Here are some samples of VERN-O’s prior work (we, in the Intelligence Community, refer them as “bugs”). As you can see it is serious no-nonsense hi-tech fishing devices we are talking about!

(c) VERN-O. Used with permission.

(c) VERN-O. Used with permission.

According to my statistics well over 50 % of this site’s readers come from United States so it is only fair that I do this favor to representative of my most loyal audience.

Anyway I thought that I go partially public here, as insurance, but if this is the last post of this blog, you will know that things have not worked out as they should have. If not, there might be few leaks of information coming later. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


From Misc 2006

Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer added a Quote of the Month section to his blog. I thought that I could quote him and few other Bloggers. I chose the Rabbi, the Scientist, and the Poet. I don’t tell exactly which Post holds specific quote and more than actually searching for these posts I recommend that you read just about all of their words carefully.

"Fly fishing is about living in the moment, being so caught up in your casting and search for trout, that everything else disappears."
- Eric Eisenkramer (Fly Fishing Rabbi)

"In my 'normal' life I try not to come across as entirely insane when it comes to my fishing obsession, but it's hard to say that I've succeeded. I don't actually talk about fishing that often, but when the subject does come up I feel somewhere between Hannibal Lecter and the great big pink elephant in the sky."
- Mike (Tamanawis)

"I caught nothing that day and went home happy."
- TMF (The Mad Fishicist)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Coming season

Wyatt noted that it’s about 50 days before the Columbia Basin's finest stillwaters open for a new season. It got me thinking. Here, in middle Finland, first reasonable trout fishing starts around late March or early April. February Red stonefly nymphs will swim/crawl/climb out of slow flowing stretches of our streams to snow covered banks and hatch. That means dry fly fishing opportunities too valuable to miss after a cold and dark winter.

From Life

In May the water temperature will rise to levels which draws prey fish from deep pools and lakes to the running water. And after them comes the hunters: big trout. Statistically May and June are best time of the year to catch the big one in middle Finland. And I’ll be there, hunting the hunters, casting big streamers (hopefully with my new custom made fly rod).

From Fly-patterns

The end of May and beginning of June will bring first caddis hatches as well as small yellow mayflies which always gets me and fish exited. In many ways I look forward this time: the action level is so high, water is still cold enough that big trout doesn’t flee to lakes and those less fanatic fly fishermen are still dreaming of summer and haven’t realized that the season is at full swing.

Please don’t tell them.

From Fly-patterns

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Something for me...

Jay has noticed my difficulties tying with deer hair and has a fly for me.

PS. Post number 100.

Edit: The Humpy is also ready now!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Annual fishing trip

Here is a picture from our annual fishing trip. My father-in-law has three daughters. All sons-in-law are outdoorsmen enough to make a fishing trip. This manly tradition has lasted two full summers; enough to make it annual. Next time we will/might actually catch a fish...

From Misc 2006

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Blogs of Note

When I look back the first month or two of my blog and compare that to the Trout Waders by Bill Anderson I can only say “Wow”! That is quality stuff coming from Canada.

I would also like to thank Thee Trouthole at Thee Ass Hooked Whitey for this compliment:

Opax -- Olli lives in Kuopio, which is in eastern Finland -- eastern fucking Finland!!!! His blog is good -- much better than those other pits of fly fishing despair.

And then there is of course Tom Chandler's Trout Underground blog (which you all know already). Nobody can make post title like he does:

No Bugs. No Rises. No Trout. The Underground Whines.

Can you beat that? Anyway, if you are in position where decent fly fishing opportunities are nil, it is nice to read about Tom’s BWO trips to the Upper Sacramento River.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fly Tying: Deer Hair

I have been tying flies for a long time. That doesn’t make me any sort of professional, in fact; I have been fly tying for long enough to know that I would probably make a poor professional fly tier. Yet I have some skills and I can make flies for my own use and some of them even turn out quite good. However I have always felt that working with deer hair is quite hard.

From Fly-patterns

Deer hair is an important material for many flies from small dry flies to big streamers and even salmon dry flies. It seems to me that the skill of fly tier can be judged by how he or she can work with deer hair. This is probably an oversimplification, but it might tell something.

From Fly-patterns

At times I have avoided tying deer hair flies, but that is about to stop. I’ll tie more of them and try to improve my skills. I have read many articles which aim to making of deer hair heads and bodies. Some of them give good tips, but the practice is most important thing here.

From Fly-patterns

Here are some common uses of deer hair in fly tying:
- Heads of streamers of dry flies (mainly Muddlers, Sculpins, Poppers, Hoppers)
- Wings of dry flies (X-Caddis, Sparkle Dun, Elk Hair Caddis)
- Body of a dry fly (Goddard Caddis)

Here are my top five tips for deer hair:
1. Use strong enough thread
2. Use ceramic bobbin
3. Experiment with lots of different deer hair types (I have about 10 different patches of deer hair)
4. Different deer hair might require different thread and slightly different tying methods
5. Have patience

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year, New Masterplan

How to avoid getting skunked? I have a plan. A whole year of casting flies to the fish and never get skunked. Sounds good? It is simple. Don't go fishing - go and practice your fly casting. If you get a fish (or few), that's fine, if you don't - well no matter because you were only improving your casting skills. Never get skunked.

I have added links to the Fly Fishing Rabbi and the Trout Zone. Visit them if you have time to spare!