Thursday, September 30, 2010

Articulated Flies (variants of String Leeches) - Part 2: Articulated Grayling, step by step

Start with the "decoration" of the hook:
Tie on a bunch of white bucktail, make several half-hitches, and cut the line.  Put on the knot some head-cement.
 Tie on a bunch of white synthetic fibers or bucktail

add brown ostrich 

 and two dyed red grizzly hackle - one of east side of the fly

top with some strands of Copper Crystal Flash

and dark brown ostrich 

Make a head out of braided mular tubing

tie it near the hook eye

Glue the eyes 
and fihish the fly. 
"Grayling" works well for Siberian taimen is such rivers as Bichi & Tugur. 
To be continued

Monday, September 27, 2010

Articulated Flies (variants of String Leeches)

 String Leech (Articulated leech) was invented in American North-West for catching steelhead.  The idea to separate heavy head and the hook by a piece of string allows creating big, but very lightweight fly.  The short shank hooks hold the fish better than the ones with long shank. 

In 2000, when I had started to fit keys to Siberian taimen, I began working on the idea of the String Leech.  I wanted to create a fly which will move with the hook upright, and will be easier to cast comparing with "classic" leeches made of marabou feathers.  Articulated taimen flies are made on "bases" of different types.     

To most of my articulated flies I am adding "feelers" made of ostrich plumes.  They are always tied on top and on the sides of the fly (not on its belly side).  This helps to direct the hook of the fly up, so it is snagging logs and rocks not as often.  Articulated flies with elements of ostrich are becoming similar to Intruders; I am calling such flies "Squid" or Giant Squid".  

In most cases Siberian taimen is caught with dark flies

 Red-and-Black Squid: these colors are among the best for both Siberian and sea-run (Sakhalin) taimen.  They are also attractive for salmon (chum, cherry, chinook, and coho) and white-spotted charr.

 Artificial Zonker has 2 rabbit strips - one at the hook, and another at the weighted head of the fly.  This fly has hook tip directed down.  

 Two bunches of bucktail tied to "articulated base" make excellent fly for sea-run taimen. 

To be continued (materials from the book "Fly Fishing the Russian Far East")

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Rio Grande - Riesco Island, Chilean Patagonia

The biggest stream of the island is called (like many rivers in Spanish-speaking countries) Rio Grande.  The river is swift and deep: we were not able to wade across it even in low water.  The stream is famous by the stock of coho salmon; here you can also catch brown and rainbow trout. 

During high tide the lower part of the river is not flowing

The river has many swift, rocky stretches.  There are not very many pools here. 

Further upstream from the sea both banks are covered with thick beech forest

In April it is possible to catch sea-run brown trout.  This specimen was 52 cm long; it was caught with bright streamer near the bottom.  Some other trout were landed with tiny nymphs presented with a swing in the upper layers of water. 

Silver side of the same fish

This is a small parr of brown trout; it is less than a year old

Local species of kingfisher is one of the common birds

Monday, September 13, 2010

Argentina, Lago Roca, end of March 2010

World famous Perito Moreno glacier is ending in the southern branch of huge Lago Argentino, near the town of El Calafate. 

The face of the glacier looks like a wall: 60 meters tall and 4 km long.   

The main lake is murky because of the "glacier flour" - ground up rock.  Lago Argentino has one clear bay; it is called Lago Roca.  It is one of the few places suitable for flyfishing in the area. 

In the guidebooks it is described as a place to fish for lake trout, but on that day this species was not in a biting mood.

My friend Arthur has managed to land one rainbow trout

We went along the bank of the Lago Roca to the north and came to the area, where clear water is mixing with murky water of the Brazo Sur (southern branch of the Lago Argentino)

I was lucky to land two specimens of perca - the only native sportfish of southern Patagonia.  For a month we were catching only non-native trout and charr.  Finally I was able to hold this interesting spiny fish, which was looking like a small walleye. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Patagonia, March 2010, Jurassic Lake (Lago Strobel)

Lago Strobel is a 100 sq km lake in remote, central part of Argentinian province Santa Cruz.  About 12 years ago this fish-less alcaline water was stocked by rainbow trout, which florished.  Now it is popular sport-fishing destination; in the ads it is often called "Jurassic Lake".   

Our road to the lake was long.  To reach it we had to drive from Punta Arenas, Chile, to Argentina, and then head north on the famous Ruta Quarenta, Road #40.  The lake is surrounded by the lands of private estancias (ranches), which are also organizing sport-fishing. Our host was waiting for us at the 1006 km of the road.  From here we crossed a river (Rio Chico)

and started to climb huge plateau.  This plateau is called Mesetra de la Murerte (Death Plateau) and is formed by volcanic eruption.

The top of the plateau is flat and covered by countless sharp bazalt rocks.  Its altitude is 900-920 m.  It is true "Death Plateau" for suspension and tires of the trucks.  In many places we cound not drive faster than one can walk. 

The lake is situated in a huge caldera (depression) surrounded by 100 m high walls of bazalt rocks.  Along the water edge the rocks are covered by the limestone, which was created by microscopic algae.  This white layer shows the ancient water level in the lake. 

The same algae continue their work

The lake has the most amazing skies with strange clouds

We were starting to fish early, before the sunrise 

The fishing tectnic is simple - long cast with #10-4 dark wet fly and retrieve with jerks.  We were using Wooly Buggers and rubber leg nymphs, but different wet flies can also work.  Sometimes the orange flies are the best.  Most of the fish in catches are fat, silver and very strong rainbow trout; average fish was about 60-65 cm long.

Some trout were ill-looking, skinny specimens.  Such ones are never shown in the ads on the "Jurassic Lake fishing".  It looks like these ones are spent fish, which had recently finished the spawning. 

The biggest fish which my partner Arthur had landed was 75 cm long

.. and had huge girth.  Regardless to its thickness, this fish fights well and jumps a lot. 

On the way back from the plateau - we are heading east  and will start the descend into the valley.