Ants…

Tying and fishing ant patterns is great fun. It all starts in late spring/early summer here in Norway. When the sun starts heating the forest bed and the stones around the lake ants start to move around. They crawl around on the warm stone often falling down into the water. Sometimes they are caught by the wind. The fish are always interested in an ant. They are an easy prey besides being an important source of protein for the fish. I use several different patterns for this kind of fishing situations. Flying ants are the largest and it seems like the fish prefer them to the common ants. Here is a few of my patterns…Ants also work great as a general attractor all season.
This one is made with standard Fly Rite and a spun body of cdc and rabbit guard hairs. Clear antron for the wing.

The classic style of tying the common ant. Black Fly Rite and brown rooster hackle with rusty UNI. Black flying ant with hackle clipped top/bottom. It is hard to get the right kind of foam for this fly.
Brown flying ant with legs of brown deer hair. Wing of clear antron.

Nelson & Mikulak…

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The Mikulak Sedge

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Nelson Caddis (Elk Hair style)

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My “original” Nelson Caddis. Wing made from norwegian roe deer.

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The last few days a number of people have found my site searching for the Nelson Caddis. My earlier post on this fly has a tiny photo,so I thought it would be good with a new one. The Nelson is a great pattern for the larger caddis. It works on both stillwater and running water. I am not sure of the origin of this fly,but the style of the wing makes me think of some steelhead patterns I’ve seen. While browsing the net the other day I came across a very similar pattern named Mikulak Sedge. The creator of this pattern is a canadian named Art Mikulak. He created the fly in the 70’s. He cuts the hackle top and bottom,ties in a tail and uses seal’s fur for the body. He also leaves a stub of the elk hair in the front,like on the Elk Hair Caddis. This style of fly is very durable altough it takes time to tie compared to other caddis/sedge patterns.

The Dun Deal…

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In my early years of fly tying I thought that parachute patterns was the best imitation for the dun stage. That was also what I learned from the magazines,books and the more experienced anglers I knew. The truth is that a parachute fly really imitates the change from nymph to dun. It also works great as a drowned dun in rough waters or weather conditions. I find myself fishing the emergers and spent spinners way more than I do the dun stage. To our eyes the parachute may look as the perfect imitation for a dun, but it’s really not.
That’s why I carry a bunch of classic hackled flies in my boxes,in addition to parachutes and all the other oddballs I may create during the winter. I absolutely prefer the Catskill patterns for this purpose,but using ordinary dubbing and antron yarn in the wings makes it easier and faster to tie. I find this style of flies to be very durable as well as easy for the beginner. I normally tie the wing using V-style, but don’t make them to thick, as this will disturb the balance of the fly. If desireable one can use fluorescent color for the wing. It seems to mean nothing to the fish…

Humpy…

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I love to tie american classics. The Humpy is a great attractor for all trout. It’s a rough-water fly and works well on faster waters where the trout is in a hurry to decide what to do. According to a definition on Wikipedia the word humpy means a shelter made from branches and bark. It is also an urban slang for a man with lots of muscles. I guess the fly has its name from the hump on its back.
The ones pictured here are tied on TMC 100 sz.14. I also tie it in sz.16. It is not a particularly easy fly to tie,but all the more rewarding. Some thinks it gets better the more worn and torn it gets. The red and the yellow are my favourites, but it can be tied in many different colors.

Elk Hair Caddis…

I don´t think my last post on the Elk Hair Caddis did this fantastic fly justice. Al Troth is the man behind this extremely popular dry fly. Even if I tie this fly in many different versions, I always find the original the best one. It floats very well and is easy to see on the water. This fly should be a staple in all boxes. It is a durable and perfect dry fly for both trout and grayling in most waters around the world.

Nalle Puh…

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The Nalle Puh was designed by the finnish architect Simo Lumme in 1969. Lumme is one of the pioneers in scandinavian fly fishing. The name of the fly means Winnie the Pooh in finnish.  He designed the fly for the fast flowing rivers of Finland. The style of the wings is meant to mimic the egg laying caddis with its fluttering wings.