Archive for the ‘salmon flies’ Category

First I have to apologise the radio silence in Nordic Angler Blog. I was on holiday whole july and I had very little time to update the blog. I’m sorry !

Annual trip to Finnmark was cold, wet, windy and we had few nice salmons. The count was not like we have used to have but the fish size was larger. This time we decided to start the trip three weeks earlier than usually and it was a good decision.

Photo by V-M Uski

Over the hills and there it is…

Photo by K.Kemppainen


Weather could have been better. Most of the time tempretature was 6-10 celcius and it rained quite often. It was essential to have good tents, jackets, etc.

Four guys landed 10 kg, 8 kg, 5.5 kg, 5 kg , 4 kg and one 2 kg. Additon to these my friends got two sea run chars which tasted awesome.

My friends 10 kg salmon. It was a tense fight with a #6 weight single hand rod. Congratulations V-M !

My 8 kg salmon. I landed it with Vision Cult #8 weight / 9 ft single hand rod.

5 kg salmon. This poor fellow was fried and eaten by four of us. Very good dinner !

Photo by K.Kemppainen

Photo by K.Kemppainen

Another salmon landed by my friend. This one was 5.5 kg

My friend got a 4 kg. This pool seemed to be packed with fish.

The trip was awesome and I can’t wait to get there again next year. What river is it? It is a secret 🙂

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Last sunday I visited the annual Finnish Fly Fishing Fair with my fishing buddy. I noticed that Pirkanmaan Perhokalastajat had a water flow device available for testing various flies in different current conditions.  The device is very very cool and every fly tier should have one in the basement/garage. Basic idea of the device is that you can test your flies in the current. The device creates a water flow which is circulating around the rectangle shaped box. You can adjust the water flow speed with valves. I made this quick and dirty video to show how zonker winged and hair winged salmon tubes are swimming in the current. The videos were filmed with mobile phone so video quality is not the best.

I have had some suspicions  that zonker winged tubes are not suitable for the job but after these tests I definitely need to tie few zonkers for this season salmon fishing trips. Zonker winged tubes seems to be very lively in the water.

I hope you find this video helpful.


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Morten Bundgaard is a skilled fly tyer and also he is owner of Pro Solutions. Pro Solutions manufactures a variety of great and easy to use fly tying products. Especially they have a great tube fly system “Pro Tube System“.

The basic idea of the “Pro Tube System” is that they have ready made pre-cut tube fly tubes with matching cone heads and other accessories which fits to the tube perfectly. The quality of the cone heads is impressive. All cone heads have exactly same size and they fit to the Pro Tube like a glove.

I have used Pro Tube system with my Green Highlander Variant.

Morten has made some fly tying videos where he shows how to use Pro Tubes and stuff. Here is one video, check it out:


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Almost every salmon fly fisher has Sunray Shadow type flies in their fly boxes. If you don’t have, you definitely should get a few and try fishing with Sunrays. Why?…you ask. Because it so much fun! When the salmon takes the fly you will wet your pants 🙂 Usually salmon takes the fly very hard an you will notice it for sure.

The history behind this method is a bit unclear, at least for me. Story tells that the technique is originated in Scotland back in times when English Lords were fishing the rivers wearing tweed jackets. These Lords gave their old and worn out salmon flies to local fishermen. Of course these fishermen couldn’t use these flies the normal way because the gut eye was worn out. So they used a hitch knot for attaching the fly to the leader, hence the name.  This method caused the fly to rise up to the surface and creating the “V” shaped wake.

Nowadays salmon fly fishers are using hitch flies tied on tubes. There are several hitch tube patterns available but here is an example how nice it is to use Sunray Shadows as a hitch tubes.

Here is the pattern:

Tube: Plastic tube you can use different colors if you wish. Basic color is clear.

Tube length: from 1/2″ to 2″ depending on the wing length

Underwing: Bucktail, choose the color you like: white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, etc….

Wing: Black goat or arctic fox or silver fox some synthetic fiber if you like. Also add couple of peacock herls to the wing.

Link to the full resolution image.

After you have tied the fly, make a hole on the side of the fly’s head.

When you are using the fly, you just need to thread the leader tip through the small hole and tie the hook in place. When fishing with the fly you need to cast the fly line on a 45 degree angle downstream and make sure that the fly makes “V” shape wake. Usually you need to pull the slack off the line before the fly starts to wake. The fly cannot wake too fast. The salmons will manage to catch it if they want. BUT if the current is too slow it is hard to get the fly to make the “V” shape wake. There needs to be at least moderate current for using this fly.

Hitching with Sunray Shadows is quite effective and a fun way to catch salmons. I hope you have found this post informative and useful for your salmon fishing. In case you don’t want to tie hitch Sunrays yourself, you can buy them here as well.

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Swedish Sergeant

One of my favourite salmon fly nowadays is a fly called Swedish Sergeant. Swedish sergeant is originally developed in Sweden by Robert Weiss. Swedish sergeant is one of six flies in the “Sergeant -series”. I tried to google more information about the Sergeant series and the origins of the fly but unfortunately I did not find much information. It would b very nice to get some information about the Sergeant series…so if you have information about the other sergeant series flies please drop me a message 🙂

The fly is widely used in whole Scandinavia; Norway, Sweden and Finland.  It is said to be very productive fly in northern waters and it is very simple pattern to tie. The fly was very productive on my latest trip to North Norway. I managed to land one 6 kg salmon with it and my friends landed several other salmons too.

Full size image can be found here. Tie by “Someone”, don’t remember who.

Pattern (variant):

Tag: Silver wire

Butt: Yellow silk

Body: Synthetic dubbing in peacock color or peacock herls. Please note that peacock herls are not so durable than dubbing.

Wing: Yellow squirrel tail hair. Only few hairs are needed. Less is more.

Hackle: Soft light blue hackle. Couple or turns only.

As you can see the fly is quite minimalistic. Usually I prefer very little hair on the wings. It seems to be the best approach when tying flies for northern rivers.

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I have used dry fly bombers in salmon fishing for some time now and it is very nice method for fishing some salmons and fun too. I use 9 feet 8 weight rod for salmon dry fly fishing. It is powerful enough for fighting with the fish and you can cast long enough easily.

Today I tied some dry fly bombers for testing purposes for my upcoming trip to Finnmark (North Norway). So far I have had some problems with the floatation of the flies. Until now I have tied bombers using polypropylene dubbing or yarn as a body. I have not used deer hair for the body since it takes lot of work and time to tie the fly. Of course polyproylene dubbing will soak after a while but it has been quite OK.

I bumped into one forum post on some fishing related discussion forum few weeks ago and some guy were presenting his new idea to use foam body bombers. I thought it is a very good idea and worth trying. Unfortunately I did not bookmark that page and I have not found it since. I had some fly foam in my stock and I used these tools below for cutting round foam patches from the fly foam sheet. I used 10 mm diameter foam patches.

Steps are easy:

1) cut the 2 mm thick fly foam with a hole cutting tool. Cut approx 10-20 patches.

2) Glue foam patches together with a suitable glue so they will form a foam cylinder. Press the foam patches together until the glue is dry.

3) Let the foam cylinder to dry good.

4) Put a nail or a pin through center of the  cylinder. Make sure it is exactly in center of the cylinder.

5) Attach the nail with the foam cylinder to a miniature drill or Dremel tool so the cylinder will spin around its axis.

6) Grind the foam cylinder to correct shape with a sandpaper. Use minimum 400 grade sandpaper.

7) This should be the result after grinding

You can use different foam colors and sizes. I tied some dry fly bombers using white and light gray foams.

The tying is quite easy after you give it some thought.  I used super glue for attaching the foam body to the hook.

Finished fly. Let’s see how these work and the main intrest is how they float 🙂


Hook: TMC 202DS

Tail and wing: White calf tail

Body: Foam

Hackle: 2 pcs of Metz variant grade #2 cock hackle. The hackle quality can be lower since I assume this fly will float well 😉

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I though that I put a recipe/pattern of a very good Scandinavian style version/variant of the famours Green Highlander. Also here are some thoughts and some highligths of this fly. This is very simplified pattern by me and it is quite easy to tie. There is a short and not too happily ending story behind this fly.

When I was fishing in the Lakselva river in season 2009 I found a Green Highlander fly on a path to this nice spot. I checked the fly and it seemed to be in a good shape and I decided to give it some time in the water. Couple of days ago one of my fishing friend managed to land a nice 10kg salmon on that same spot so that was the reason being there. So I put that Green Highlander on the line and after few casts nice salmon catched the fly and then the battle begun.

I managed to hold the fish at least 10 mins on the same spot but then it decided to take a downhill run. The spot was very hard place to fish since there was very deep pool just few meters downstream. I tried to run downstream in the deep water but it was clear that this fish is gone. So it did manage to bend the hook and it got away. I never had a chance to see it really good. I only saw the fish tail on the surface couple of times.

After this event I decided to make my own version of the fly with same color scheme on the wing. The fly had lots of more things on the body like a true Green Highlander has, but I decided to keep it simple. Also I did not put any jungle cock in it because I did not have it at that time.

I managed to land my personal record breaking 11kg salmon with this fly when I was fishing in Lakselva river on early August 2010. I managed to land several others salmons from 2kg to 4kg with this fly. No need to mention it has become my favourite fly in my fly box

Also I would like to show you how to use Pro Tube Fly Systems products and how to use A.Jensens Crossbreed fox which is quite nice material. The crossbreed fox is very soft hair and it is undulating nicely when in water. Hair quality is very good and it is curly almost on whole length of the hair. You can tie very airy wings with it and you dont need to use lots of material on the wing to get perfect figure and shape for the fly. My personal preference is “less is more” when tying a wing on these Scandinavian style tube flies. Then the wing is more lively and airy when in water. If the wing is too thick is not undulating and is not lively in the water.

Tube: Pro Tube Fly System X-Large clear tube
Tag: Flat silver
Butt: Black UNI silk floss
Tail: Golden Pheasant crest feather
Rear body: Yellow UNI silk floss
Front body: Electric Green A.Jensen Ice dubbing
Wire: Golden UNI tinsel
Wing: Yellow, Red, Blue Crossbreed Fox from A.Jensen
Wing flash: A.Jensen Angel Flash in Baitfish back color
Top Wing: Green Arctic Fox
Hackle: Yellow cock hackle
Conehead: Pro Tube Fly System small silver cone

Underwing is formed from yellow crossbreed fox and red crossbreed fox. Both colors should have same amount of hair. The wing lenght is approximately the fly body length or maybe a bit longer.

Tie little bit of blue crossbreed fox and leave it a bit shorter than first two colors. This helps the wing to be more lively and airy. This way the wing is not just a thick bunch of hair on the tube. Also tie few Angel Flash hairs in place.

The top wing is green Arctic FoxWing. Wing length should be approx 1.5 X the underwing length. You need to use your thumb to spread the wing on the tube. The green hair should be like an umbrella on top of the underwing. Also there are three yellow cock hackles. One under the underwing, one on top of the blue wing and one after this green Arctic Fox.

Final result should be something like this…

Here are the links to the step-by-step pictures:



1st Hackle

2nd Hackle

Green Artic Fox

3rd Hackle

Final Result

I hope you find this Green Highlander version interesting and thank you for reading!

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