Weight on flies – or not?

For many, the epitome of fly fishing is a fly fisherman in a river who casts his dry fly and lets it drift slowly with the current until it disappears in a small ring and a nice trout tightens the line. And for many, that’s exactly what fly fishing is. However, many people like nymph fishing, and so you face a number of challenges to get the fly to fish correctly. A floating fly is easy to follow and correct if it behaves unnaturally. A nymph that is fished below the surface is much more difficult to handle, as you cannot follow the fly’s movement in the same way. It is also difficult to know how the current moves below the surface or how the fly is affected by the stream, rocks and deep holes.

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It’s that time of year again


It’s the middle of may and the most important hatch of the year is on. At least in Northern Europe. There are plenty of hatches in the World, where huge insects hatch that can bring the big ones to the surface. In Europe, it’s the Ephemera danica and it’s slightly smaller still water cousin, Ephemera vulgata.

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Stoneflies – the Isoperla nymph


Stoneflies are truly fascinating insects. The fully developed form as we know it today is up to 250 million years old. They are widely distributed and unless you’re fishing on Antartica, it’s likely that there are stoneflies in a river near you. There are over 3000 species registered across globe and they come on all sizes. Some of them are huge, some are very small. If you happen to be an insect nerd and enjoy chasing small critters and can’t wait for the season to get started, there’s actually a lovely small stonefly, Capnia bifrons, that hatches while there’s still snow on the banks.

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Stoneflies

Photo: Matt Guymon / Freestone River Photography.

By far the first insects to appear on the scene when spring arrives are the stoneflies. They start moving even before all the snow and ice is gone. Ice fishing anglers can sometimes be visited by small stonefly nymphs, which crawl out of the holes in the ice they are fishing in. Especially if they are fishing near an outlet of a lake or near a flowing water. Because flowing water is the home of stoneflies, they are adapted to living in and near running water.

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The Riverbank

Today we’re pleased to let you know about a movie that our friend, Markus Hoffman, made about his summer fishing in Northern Sweden. It’s a beautiful movie capturing the essence of what it’s like being in the wild of Northern Sweden. Not only fishing there – also just being there.

I’ll let Markus tell you a bit about the movie and recommend you watch it. I really enjoyed it.

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Squirrel


Most of us probably have too many fly tying materials. Do we really need it all? Certainly not, not least because some materials are good for many different flies if you are a little creative. Finding substitutes for original materials became necessary already around the turn of the century, because many materials became hard to get.

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Shane Nymph

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Photo: Matt Guymon / Freestone River Photography.

When you’re fishing deep the risk of losing a fly is always greater than when fishing closer to the surface or dry. If you’re fishing really deep you must expect to lose a handful or two of flies on a long fishing day. With that in mind – keep the flies simple and maybe even tied from cheap easily available materials.

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Season is over


For most in the Northern Hemisphere winter is either here or fast approaching. This doesn’t mean that fishing is over, but I believe that most of us fish a little less and some not at all, perhaps depending on how diverse you are in your fishing. Here in Scandinavia, lots of fly fishers fish for several different species. In the salt, early winter is actually a very good time to chase for one of the elusive, chrome sea trout that skip the spawning run. Pike are also in season and are hungry, busy feeding and getting ready for the slow winter months and cold water.

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The scent of a lady

The question is not how to fish, but why you do it. The author and his fishing buddies do it out of necessity. It’s more important than life and death to them to escape the human world, step in to water and wave a stick. Left on the shore is their misery and worries. Standing in the water they find freedom, healing and occasionally a fish.

Battles are lost and won with tongue in cheek and always celebrated with mountains of cake and an endless stream of fresh espresso coffee. To the band of brothers it’s more important who you fish with than how big the fish is; except for the ones lost.

You may not learn a lot about catching more and bigger fish, but reading these stories is like holding a mirror up in front of yourself getting a little wiser. The small why is a big one.

  • This artickel is written by Danish photojournalist Søren Skarby


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