In the Loop Fly Fishing Magazine - Issue 33

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SUMMER 2022 // #33





SWEDEN Salmon Fever on the Lainio

SILVER CREEK In Recognition of Fragility #33


It All Began with Bonefish

Europe’s free online fly fishing magazine

We’re always excited to receive material from our contributors, and to a large extent we live through them – through their fly fishing experiences, stories, and visuals from far-flung corners of the earth. Especially at times when we can’t get out on the water ourselves. Wrapping up this issue, we’re aching to crack our fly fishing rods out, and we hope this summer will conjure up some captivating and memorable experiences. Because, in the end, that’s what it’s all about. Isn’t it? The June-edition of In the Loop Magazine features a few return guests as well as a handful of newcomers whose work we’re stoked to finally showcase. With contributions from Matt Harris, Katka Svagrova, Omar Gade, Sander Zuidinga, Patrick Hemingway, Anthony Toro, Barry Ord Clarke, Christiaan Pretorius, Christian Kirchermeier, Brett Zundel, Krzysztof Wasiljew, and Michal Czuber there’s plenty of content to get you excited for the times ahead. Enjoy!


Whether you’re into trout or salmon, pike or tarpon – or simply keen on honing your fly tying skills, the summer-edition of In the Loop Magazine will tick some boxes for you.


Salmon Fever on the Lainio by Wild Fish Stories An Undiscovered Brown Trout Paradise by Katka Svagrova It All Began with Bonefish by Thomas Søbirk and Peter Lyngby In Recognition of Fragility by Brett Zundel The Monsters of the Miskito Coast by Matt Harris Fly Fishing for Pike in Shallow Private Waters by Omar Gade And much much more...







Contributors RASMUS OVESEN

In the Loop Magazine C/O Cast Away Media Org no: 999 320 147






Oslo-resident, Rasmus Ovesen, was handed his first fly rod at the tender age of eight, and he has been a borderline fluff chucking fanatic ever since. Rasmus has written articles for some of the world’s most renowned fishing magazines, and his travels take him to remote areas across the globe in search for fish that will test and challenge his skills to the maximum. He has seen his fair share of exposed backing in the tropics, but his heart truly belongs to the soulful realm of trout and salmon fishing.


Matt Harris has been shooting fly-fishing images since 1999 and has been commissioned to shoot images and write articles all over the world. He has shot in Argentina, Alaska, Australia, the Bahamas, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Cuba, England, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, India, Mongolia, New Zealand, Russia, the Seychelles, Scotland, the USA and Zambia. Matt loves any type of fly-fishing with a passion and is happy to fish for everything from trout to sailfish, but his favourite quarries are big Atlantic salmon and Permit. See more of Matt’s images at:


We choose not to print this magazine and we are happy not to use paper and harmful inks as used in a conventional printing process. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher.

Having traveled all over the world targeting both freshwater- and saltwater sportfish, Thomas Søbirk is an extremely knowledegable and experienced fly fisherman. Thomas resides in Denmark, was once the owner of Scandinavia’s coolest fly fishing magazine, and is now the managing director of Getaway Tours. For more info, please refer to:



Brett Zundel, a Co-Owner of Loon Outdoors, has always called Ashland, Oregon home. The best part of his job is knowing that he is playing a part in getting people outside, and helping them to have better days on the water. A proud husband and father of three, he loves nothing more than getting outside with his own family.


Czech-resident, fly fishing journalist and brand ambassador, Katka Svagrova, has burst onto the scene and grown a reputation for herself as a gifted and versatile fly fisher. Throughout the last five years, she has travelled extensively across the globe in search for exciting and challenging fish species, and she now calls Iceland her second home during the summers. Here, she guides for salmon on the Laxa I Kjos. For more info:

Michal Czuber and Krzysztof Wasiljew and their Wild Fish Stories is a Polish project fueled by a shared passion for videos, photos, and fly fishing. Michal and Krzysztof are relatively new to fly fishing but they’re already completely smitten. Their recent Lapland trip was a game changer. Michal discovered his thrill for baltic salmon and Krzysiek fell in love with the atomic pike bites. Their mission is to deconstruct the polish stereotype of a big belly angler who just sits and sips beer – while waiting for a strike. They’re on a quest to reveal the beauty and engaging escapism of fly fishing through photos and video. For more info:


Danish born, but raised in Italy, Omar is an eclectic fly fishing industry insider. For the last 15 years, he has combined his background as a visual communication freelancer with his passion for fishing and travel. Over the years, he has visited many distant fly fishing destinations and collaborated with specialized travel agencies. As a fly fishing guide on Fyn, Denmark, he has become an avid ambassador for sea-run brown trout. In 2013, he founded Denmark Fishing and Outdoor Lodge on Fyn, and - besides managing the lodge - Omar keeps busy spearheading related fishing tourism projects. He is a great supporter of catch & release and thinks that the world will never be the same after Valentino Rossi retired from MotoGp. For more info:

Do you have any great fly fishing photos, videos, or stories that you would like to share with our readers? If so, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We are always looking for quality material for In the Loop Magazine, and we look forward to reviewing your material.

Packrafting in Lappland

Salmon Fever on the Lainio Rafting down a massive northern Lapland river and fly fishing salmon along the way; that was Krzysiek’s plan when he called me on the phone full of excitement while shouting Swedish words and names that I had never heard before in my life. The first wave of excitement, however, faded quickly after having checked out a batch of videos on YouTube about using a so-called “packraft”. Excitement was replaced by the fear of my own life. A “packraft”, apparently, was an inflatable, bathtub-sized balloon thing, and if Krzysiek had his way, we would be rafting 250 kilometers down the Lainio River in one of them. By: WILD FISH STORIES Photos by: MICHAL CZUBER and KRZYSZTOF WASILJEW

We had no idea if we’d be able to catch a salmon. We were both complete beginners when it came to using double-handed rods. Krzysiek had absolutely no idea what to do with the rod and line and I had only minimal experience (if catching three dace on a double-hander in a Polish river even counts as experience). When I shared my concerns about our skills, he said with the greatest of optimism: “I know a guy”. Less than a week later, we were driving from Warsaw to an agritourism farm called “Tartak Fly Fishing Center” where two magicians – Piotr Talma and Igor Glinda – were ready to teach us the fine art of casting a double-handed fly rod. After two eventful days, I felt that I had honed my skills to the point that I, at least, wouldn’t hook Krzysiek. Getting there Reaching the source of the Lainio River proved to be a challenge. My mate - once again full of optimism – said: “I know a guy!” A guy, apparently, who had walked across the whole of Scandinavia and who could

help us. With his assistance, we stoically rose to the challenge of the logistical puzzle that needed solving. We sequentially connected dots on a map with different types of transportation in mind and finally finished a complete route from Warsaw, Poland to the Kilpisjarvi in Finland.

“The boundlessness and baren wildness of Lapland’s taiga intimidated us” Our plan turned out to be flawless. After two days of traveling, we were packing our equipment onto a hydroplane in Finland and preparing to cross the Swedish border. The boundlessness and barren wildness of Lapland’s taiga intimidated us. Countless lakes and massive uplands intersected by meandering streams, however, awakened latent angling ambitions big enough to numb and annul any precautionary feelings of anxiety.


The main goal of the expedition was to catch a Baltic salmon, but we were aware that the first part, about 50 kilometers in length, wasn’t really salmon habitat. It was the kingdom of grayling and trout. The pilot started looking for a good landing spot but, unfortunately, the water was too shallow, so we had to land on a different lake than the one we’d originally planned for. It forced us to walk an extra kilometer with one-months’ worth of heavy equipment. As I finally took the weight off my weary shoulders and dropped my hundred-liter backpack, I suddenly noticed clouds of mosquitoes and gnats that had just been waiting for two such treats as ourselves all season long. We were about to get bitten…

The pressure mounts A certain pressure had built up inside us while journeying north – higher than in an inflatable pontoon. We were dying to get started fly fishing. Krzysiek got his 9’ #6 Orvis Clearwater ready and scored a decent grayling on the first cast. Twenty minutes - and a few huge grayling - later, we were looking at each other with disbelief. “Where the hell are we?” Time was passing relentlessly, and we had to 250 kilometers of river to cover in 20 days. We inflated our pontoons and started the journey through the lake in which River Lainio has its origins. For some reason, we hadn’t taken the low water conditions into account. They would make packrafting significantly more difficult. The conditions we found at the source affected the next three days. Kilometer after kilometer of boulders and stone gardens made it impossible for us to raft the river safely and efficiently. At critical moments, we were forced to transport the packrafts through dry land, and at other - more pleasant - times, we would slide them carefully through skinny-water rock gardens with 50 kilograms of gear and rations inside them.

I remember the beginning of the trip as a mixture of excitement, horror, and extreme physical exhaustion. Out of Graylingland Despite the gut-wrenching challenges due to our ignorance (of the water levels), we maintained high morale. Every day, we would catch grayling measuring 40 to 50 centimeters – and some of them would end up as dinner. At dusk, we would have a glass of good whiskey and some sashimi in the middle of Lapland’s eerie but soothing silence.

unfolding a silver and gold foil from the first aid kit. It worked! Reindeer were tirelessly traveling the wetlands without paying attention to our camp. After four days of seemingly endless struggles, we were tired - but happy. In the following days, the river sped up and started to look more promising. While making a sharp turn, Krzysiek spotted a salmon further downstream porpoising out of the water. That was a sign. The serious stuff was about to begin!

“While heading to the hot spot, I saw three more fish jumping”

“Day of the Madman” The sound of fish crashing onto the water woke me up the next morning. Several salmon, apparently, were jumping right next to the tent. „I’m going” – I said to a sleepy Krzysiek. While heading to the hot spot, I saw three more fish jump. I felt that this was the day.

One day we were awakened by rain and soaked to bone. We were such survivalists that we hadn’t checked if our tents were waterproof. As it turned out, they weren’t. Krzysiek shouted „Rescue blanket!?” while

The first clumsy casts with the double-hander were fruitless, and I turned around a little and look downstream. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mate crawling out of the tent - and then I felt the hit.

In my head, the words of Piotr Talma rang: “Never strike a salmon” – and I never did. I just leaned back against the fish as I felt the weight of it. It was the first salmon in my life, the goal of the trip, and the perfect trophy. I did it!

“It can’t be real”- I thought to myself in disbelief ” Here’s Krzysiek’s account of how it all went down and what followed… From Krzysiek’s perspective “When I heard Michał, who was screaming like a possessed man, the only thing that came to my mind was „Where is the camera!?” I looked around for the equipment, grabbed it, and ran to him.

I was recording him reeling in the fish from every possible angle and anxiously watched as the fish rushed up and down the river”. “At one point he had such big problems that I had to put the camera down. This is what happens when you are a photographer, cameraman, and “landing net” at the same time. I threw the camera into the grass and quickly helped him get the fish ashore. It was so exciting!” “Michał was hitting the water with his hands and screaming like a little child. I went to get a whisky to celebrate Michał’s success, but it didn’t take long before I was fishing myself ”. “When I started fishing, I became painfully aware that I am a bit of an amateur. I hadn’t cast a fly rod more than 20 times in my life (at least before the course at the Tartak Fly Fishing Center)”. “I was standing on a rock a couple of meters from the shore, and I was trying to improvise a little bit. Salmon were jumping around me all

the time and suddenly I felt a slight pull. I somehow remembered not to strike. Instead, I slightly lifted the rod and, to my surprise, felt the pulsating weight of a fish”. “Although the salmon turned out to be rather small, it was such a great joy! A quick photo session and the fish was released. Then I went back to get more whisky”. Back to the story A quick glass of Jack Daniels and then back at it. Observing Krzysiek downstream after landing his first salmon ever on a fly rod, I was now fishing in a deeper lane – focused on making the most of it. I felt a strange tap on my fly line. One more cast. Fish on! Soon after, I could hear Krzysiek swearing under his nose as he came running with the camera. I could tell that the fish was huge, but having very little in terms of experience, I felt as if the fishing rod was too long, that something was, somehow, off – that I didn’t stand a chance. It didn’t help, either, that my mate seemed aloof.

Multi-tasking as he was, filming with his camera underwater while trying to tail the fish, I was overwhelmed with surprise that he somehow managed to land the fish for me. Well over 100 centimeters, the long male I had just caught proved the biggest fish of the trip – and we both froze in awe looking at it. “It can’t be real”- I thought to myself in disbelief. A stream turns into a river The following days, we traversed an increasingly wider and mightier river, unsuccessfully looking for salmon. For a total of 20 days, we had no contact with the outside world. We had calculated freeze-dried food for 80% of the trip. The rest of the necessary calories were supposed to be provided by fish and berries. While there was no shortage of blueberries, catching fish started to prove difficult. Even before the trip, we had decided to release every salmon. But then again, we weren’t catching one after another. And we could hardly find a single grayling. Calorie deficits have a strange effect on a person. Getting

upset over trivial things and lacking the energy for paddling was something new for us. The struggle was now real! Reaching Salmon Nirvana Having passed through twenty-meter-deep canyons, dangerous cataracts, and kilometer-long white-water sections, we finally reached our dream water. Salmon started appearing more and more frequently jumping across the surface.

“The moment of shame was yet to come” By wading waist-deep in the water, we tried to outsmart the fish with our wiggly long fly rods and hairy salmon flies. We were accompanied by two boys on a boat trolling with spinnerbaits. After two sessions of whipping the water to foam, we had exactly zero fish to brag about, while the boys were releasing their eighth fish.

The salmon fishing was good - for those who knew how to catch salmon. Wrapping things up August 31st was the last day of our trip and the last day of the salmon fishing season in Sweden. In Särkimukka, at the famous three bends that provide solid holding spots for the salmon, we met Sanna Koljonen with one of her friends. While drinking coffee, I admired how Krzysiek’s casting technique had

evolved and improved during our trip, but I couldn’t help compare him with one of the Finnish ladies who were fishing nearby. The difference in experience was quite obvious, but the moment of shame was yet to come. Krzysiek tripped over a rock and fell neck-deep into the water in front of the blond-haired Scandinavian. The last nail in the coffin was the capture of a prime salmon by a friend of Sanna’s only five minutes after Krzysiek’s dive. At that point, we both agreed that – after 20 days of salmon fishing – we were still pretty clueless!

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An Undiscovered Brown Trout Paradise


It’s been the same every year since I first held a fishing rod. As winter turns to spring and the days gradually get longer, my dreams start evolving around my two favourite freshwater fish – brown trout and pike. This is when the excitement of the coming season becomes almost unbearable!

The pandemic affected the spring of 2021 in an unprecedented way – and it certainly affected my fishing plans. I can catch pike in my beloved Czech Republic, but when looking for great brown trout fishing the options are rather minimal. Travel restrictions limited my options to Europe. As a result, I phoned up a few friends and searched the Internet for ideas. I must confess, the idea of fly fishing for brown trout in Bulgaria had never previously been on my radar. I knew roughly where Bulgaria was, I had heard that the countryside was beautiful, and I knew of the capital, Sofia. However, it wasn’t until I contacted local guide, Stanislav Mankov, (initially to talk about brown trout fishing in the Balkans), that my attention was drawn to the brown trout fishing in Bulgaria – Stanislav’s home country.

A bonkers idea? I was sceptical at first, but Stan soon convinced me that there were great fish to be caught in his country and that the fishing was worth traveling for. He is a professional guide and competitive fisherman with mutual friends, and – luckily - I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

“Who has ever heard of trout fishing in Bulgaria” I mentioned to another fishing buddy that I was off to Bulgaria. He laughed and pulled a face; “That’s a bonkers idea! Who has ever heard of trout fishing in Bulgaria?” Well, my father taught me that fortune favours the brave. And as I started my tentative planning, I gradually grew braver to the point that I was fiercely determined to check out this distant corner of Europe. A direct flight to Sofia With a direct flight from Prague, travel was a joy. All the stories about

crowded airports proved to be nonsense; I travelled like a millionaire on a nearly empty airplane and with a minimum of fuss and stress. Sofia is a bustling and beautiful city centred around the famous golddomed St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and surrounded by snowcapped mountains. This was not what I was expecting. And it wasn’t the last pleasant surprise that was in store for me. The river, I was planning to fish, was only a couple of hours from the capital, yet I’d planned two days to tour the southern part of the country, towards the Greek border. If I’d come this far, then surely it would be thoughtless not to get a better idea of the country. On the road in Bulgaria Picking up my car, with a tingling sense of having escaped the tyranny of all the international Covid restrictions, I slung my gear in the trunk and headed south. The drive was beautiful, and I started wishing I had planned a few more days to spend in the Greek Mediterranean.

It might have given me time to try to catch one of its famous rainbow trout. Slowly heading towards the setting sun, I was greeted by wide, verdant valleys, towering mountains, snowy peaks, and endless beech woods; a vast area mostly characterized by sparse populations, small villages, and stunning sceneries. Again, this wasn’t what I was expecting. I drank local wine, ate local food, and heard compelling stories of hunting in the lonesome forests. When my brief trip south was over, I headed back to Sofia. There, I refreshed, relaxed, and got ready for serious business: The fishing. Stan would soon be taking me to his favourite, secret trout river. Managing expectations Expectations are certainly a part of why fishing is so addictive; the fact that there is no such thing as certainty. However, having great expectations involves the risk of disappointment, and – I must admit - I’ve ended up disappointed rather often in the past. As a result, I’ve learned to lower my expectations when

heading out fly fishing. And so I did in Bulgaria. There were two of us fishing the first day. Stanislav Mankov was our guide. My fishing buddy for the day was an experienced gentleman, but he wasn’t all too familiar with brown trout fishing. Therefore, Stan was to concentrate on helping him, while I was to go explore a bit on my own. A slow-flowing river The river flowed sedately through the lush-green valley, and everything looked very promising. Stan had told us that the water was a little lower than usual, but it – supposedly – wasn’t an issue. We started fishing at around 10 am. These were club waters. Oftentimes very busy. On this day, however, we were luckily alone. I couldn’t see any significant insect activity upon first inspection, other than a few mayflies darting chaotically across the water. The winds were moderate, and clusters of clouds slowly drifted across the sky switching the bright sunlight on an off.

Upstream nymphing I decided to start upstream nymphing. I set up my 5-weight 10’ nymphing rod with a French nymphing leader and two flies. As an anchor fly, I used a gammarus imitation with a 3.8mm tungsten bead and as a dropper fly, I chose my all-time favourite; an Orange Tag with a 2.8mm gold bead. Since Stan had already stressed that these local trout can reach up to 75cm in length (6 - 8lbs), I immediately went for 4X tippet.

“My rod doubled over, and I suddenly found myself shakingly nervous” I began fishing just below a small weir, making my way upstream. The key to French nymphing is to cast upstream and let the fly follow the current while keeping your line (a French nymphing leader) tight until your line stops moving or you feel a regular hit from a fish - then STRIKE immediately!

While walking slowly upstream you can cover a pretty large area within a short time. That’s one of the many reasons French nymphing is so effective. Action-packed fishing It wasn’t long before I had action. A small rainbow trout was quickly followed by a slightly larger brown trout. And then things really took off. I hooked into a monster! My rod doubled over, and I suddenly found myself shakingly nervous that my 4x tippet would eventually break. Stan came rushing to help land the fish. Shortly after, a rainbow trout of 70 centimetres was safely netted. I wasn’t expecting a personal best rainbow trout in Bulgaria, but that’s exactly what happened! How do these fish get so large? I asked Stan. He pushed his left hand into the water, pulled out a handful of weeds, and pointed at it with his right-hand index finger. I immediately saw all the gammarus. The river teems with these crustaceans, which provide a stable and nutritious diet for the fish.

In the areas where the river is properly managed and strict catch and release practices apply, the trout can grow huge. Having said that, most rivers in this particular part of Europe aren’t very well managed. Most Bulgarian trout end up on a dinner plate before they grow big enough to really present a travelling angler with a trophy challenge. Things heat up As the day got warmer, Stan suddenly spotted the first brown trout feeding off the surface. So, we quickly decided to change to a dry fly. We could see fish feeding in two spots, about 75 meters apart. Wading quietly into position, we started preparing for the pivotal first cast. We singled out a good fish steadily sipping mayflies off the surface. In my opinion (which I obviously kept to myself), Stan’s favourite fly looked very little like a mayfly, but he assured me it would work. I cast with great care and accuracy, diagonally upstream. The fly landed lightly on the slow-moving surface, the water clear and cool below. I carefully mended, to ensure that the fly wouldn’t drag,

and prayed for a sufficiently tempting drift over the feeding trout. Persistence and care are the major factors, in my experience, when targeting rising trout. Do your utmost not to spook your target and land your fly delicately. Dry fly fishing isn’t a cowboy rodeo with line cracking and snapping like a whip; it’s a delicate, gentle, precision skill, aimed at landing your fly like a ghostly whisper. You’re trying to emulate an insect not a splashing pebble. If the cast doesn’t work the first time, repeat: Gently, carefully, precisely, confidently, expectantly; maybe slightly changing the angles. Well, on this occasion, my fish was hungry. On my second cast, the jaws of a specimen brown gently broke the surface and my fly disappeared. “God Save the Queen” Trout fishermen are taught to strike early, the opposite of what salmon fishermen are taught to do. And to a certain extent it makes sense, but not so with big brown trout. They are a bit different with their large oral cavities and slow takes, and it’s easy to strike too soon - a mistake I made a few times later in the day as I became a bit too complacent.

(Stan later said, “One should count slowly to three before striking - a bit like that old British salmon fishing tip of saying “God Save The Queen” before raising the rod.”) This time, however, I let the fish turn and leave for the bottom with its dinner before lifting my rod.

about 40 minutes and some 50 meters apart. I’ve never knowingly done this before, but the photographic evidence was unmistakable: The fish had the exact same cheek pattern.

I guess this is just further evidence of how much the fish were “on“ this earTrophy Sized Fish ly spring day, with rising water temMy first Bulgarian brown trout on a peratures and plenty of insect activity dry fly was a splendid trophy fish of after a long, cold winter. around 60cm. My fishing buddy soon hooked up with his own fish and on Stan and I returned to the same spot four different occasions, during the af- the following day. Things were a bit ternoon, we were fighting fish simul- quieter then. We didn’t experience taneously, Stan darting back and forth the hectic action of the previous day, between us with his landing net. but it was a great day’s worth of fishing, nonetheless. As the day progressed, I experimented a little and tried various dry fly pat- I left Bulgaria promising both Stan terns, including my favourite one in and myself that I would return. With pink! Many of the flies worked really a knowledgeable guide, there is rewell, and there weren’t very many in- markable brown trout fishing to be terims where we weren’t either cast- had here – like a miniature New Zeaing to- or fighting fish. Of course, we land in Europe. It is also a beautiful also lost a few. My buddy hooked a country of natural wonders and cap‘long-distance’ fish, which leapt clear tivating scenery, which deserves to be of the water before spitting the hook. explored by traveling adventurers! My guess is that it was 70cm plus, about as big as they get on this stretch For more info, please refer to: of river. Among the fish I had this day, was one that I caught twice within

Flats Fishing

It All Began with Bonefish


Are you considering that first saltwater trip to the tropics? There is so much to choose from these days, still our friends at Getaway Fly Fishing are quick to point out where to start: With bonefish. That’s where it all began and, in their opinion, it’s where any newcomer will get a feel for what makes flats fishing so exhilarating.

Nowadays, we can look at big fish all day (and all night!) on social media. If it swims, it can – and will – be caught on a fly. Fly fishing in warm saltwater looks great: The scenery, the color of the water, the blue skies and, of course, the fish. It’s a completely different scenario these days than when we started traveling the world decades ago. Now it’s: “GT on fly – let’s do it! Huge tarpon in the jungle – why not? Roosterfish from the beach – so cool… Kings and queens down under – sure thing mate! Even permit – they’re not so difficult anymore, right?”. The list keeps growing. By now, it’s getting so long that many forget where it all started: It all began with bonefish. Bonefish on Fly Rods Fly fishing for bonefish was considered pretty damn cool when we started fishing for them in the nineties. Most books or articles covering the subject would focus on how difficult they were to catch: “The grey ghosts of the flats – you’ll never see them without a guide”, “Bonefish are so spooky most of them must surely die from ulcers”, “You

must double-haul and be prepared to cast straight into the wind” and so on. When we finally got a chance to fish for them, it was almost surprising to learn that you could actually catch a few, at least as long as you did everything right - which, like everyone else just starting out, we didn’t. However, we approached the fishing with proportionate amounts of respect and an eagerness to learn, and after having invested some time (and money), we finally got to the gratifying point where we could spot the fish, sneak up on them, make the cast without spooking them, present and strip the fly, set the hook, and eventually land the fish and pose for the camera. The SoMe In this day and age of instant gratification, it seems some fly fishermen see this scenario quite differently: Either they book the trip, buy the tackle and expect to pose for the camera with nice bonefish several times a day (if it isn’t on Insta, it didn’t really happen, right?), or they go for one of the bigger species (bigger fish tend to get more likes on social media, right?).

They forget that whether they’re after their first bonefish or their first GT on the fly, there are a several important steps between booking the trip and posing for the camera. They might also not realize that the only thing that is easier with a big fish, like a GT or a tarpon, is spotting it in the water. Everything else is generally harder, and the road to success is much longer than with bonefish. We know because we arrange trips for all three species, and while we fish for all three with great enthusiasm there is no doubt in our mind where fly anglers should start their journey into warm saltwater: Start, where it all started – with bonefish.

“The hunt is what bonefishing in shallow water is really about” We have been doing our fair share of big fish hunting but still enjoy stalking bonefish on a shallow flat. It’s back to basics in the most rewarding way.

The Fish The fact that bonefish can grow to over fifteen pounds has no relevance for those of us stalking them on shallow flats. You will never see one of this size, and most of the fish you cast to will be from a modest 40 cm to 70 cm in length, probably weighing in at three to seven pounds (if anyone ever bothered to do so). These fish will happily show you what a good deal of your backing looks like when you hook them in shallow water. But it’s not really about their fighting abilities either, even if it will impress you and put a big smile on your face. The Hunt The hunt is what bonefishing in shallow water is really about. And it doesn’t get any better than when the fish are tailing. When looking at a bonefish, specifically the location of its mouth, it should come as no surprise to learn that the fish is digging up most of its food on the bottom. Even if crabs, shrimps or other crustaceans – all high on the menu of bones – don’t always sit on the bot-

tom waiting to get sucked up, the fish will often pinch their prey against the bottom when attacking them. Bonefish will also hover around, sucking up sand, to see if there’s a snack hiding somewhere. When doing so in shallow water, there simply isn’t enough water above them to hide their dirty business, and a big tail (their speed has to come from somewhere!) can be seen splashing erratically on the surface. Dedicated bonefish anglers claim that a hungry fish (the so-called happy bonefish), flashing a silvery tail in its most tantalizing way, is better than a fine lady whispering “Come and get it, Tiger”. There’s more than one boner-joke floating around out there, surely none of which are suited for this fine publication. But we do agree, stalking tailing bones is as good as it gets in saltwater fly fishing. The visual aspect is incredible: The bonefish will sometimes follow your weighted fly, and on a light-colored bottom you will often see the fish getting totally excited.

When you pause your strip, it will tail on the fly and you will feel the bumps – but you shouldn’t set the hook before you feel the weight of the fish. You will soon learn to do so with a gentle strip strike – but everyone has made the mistake of trout lifting on a bonefish, sooner or later, and so will you. The tackle Ready for some good news? The right tackle for successful bonefishing isn’t complicated at all. Other than the obvious flies, leaders and some tippet, this is basically what you should focus on: Great polarized sunglasses! You can’t catch what you can’t see. Sunglasses is such an important part of your gear that we recommend traveling with at least two pairs, in case of loss or breakage. And if you do bring two pairs: Get some with copper lenses for bright sunlight, and some with lighter-colored lenses that help on an overcast day. You’ll also need really good wading boots. Unless you only fish out of a

boat (which would be a shame because bonefishing is so much more fun when wading in really shallow water), you need flats boots that are comfortable enough to wade long distances. While you can’t train your bonefish vision back home, we seriously recommend doing some test miles in your flats boots before you go. Make sure your boots really fit you well. And don’t forget socks made for wet wading. A nine foot 8-weight rod is the preferred choice for most of us. The reel should have a decent drag but you don’t need a reel with high drag pressure. Try to stop a bonefish with heavy drag, and you will lose it. Every time. All modern fly reels will hold more backing than you will need – what would be the purpose of having backing, if they didn’t? – and your fly line should be a floating line made for warm saltwater. No shooting heads, no intermediate lines. A floating weight forward line is still the best tool for hitting the intended target.

“We have been doing our fair share of big fish hunting but still enjoy stalking bonefish on a shallow flat”

Since we started walking the flats, one additional piece of equipment we now wouldn’t be without has seen the light of day: A waterproof backpack. It makes life so much easier when carrying lunch, drinks, raingear and tackle while wading the flats. Preparation & Mentality For years, we have been hosting trips in the Bahamas, and every year we see the classic example of clients preparing for everything other than the one thing that will really make a difference: Your cast. Sure, it’s nice to have three boxes full of flies and being geared up from head to toe with all the right stuff – but that’s not what catches the fish. That’s one fly, well presented and since you’re casting to moving fish, your window of opportunity is fairly narrow. If you can’t make that shot in time, no amount of fancy gear will save you. During most trips, there will be times with great weather and perfect conditions. And there will be times where the wind can be a challenge.

It’s not that difficult to cast 12 or 15 meters against the wind but you need to know how to do it (an aggressive double haul and lowering of the rod isn’t pretty but it works). But if you have never done it before – if you are used to casting a 4-weight trout rod or a shooting head for seatrout with the wind in your back, why would you? – then it feels almost impossible the first time you try it. But that first time shouldn’t be with a tailing bonefish in front of you. Practice before your trip, and if you can find a good casting instructor, a few lessons will be the best investment you can make.

“And it doesn’t get any better than when the fish are tailing” As mentioned, the visual aspect of bonefishing is more difficult to practice on your lawn at home. And spotting the bonefish isn’t always easy. Their tails don’t give them away every time you find them. Many times, they will suddenly appear out of nowhere, cruising along the mangroves

or on a flat. Most newcomers make the mistake of looking too far away for incoming fish, resulting in a bone suddenly creeping up on them and getting spooked. Stuff like that, you’ll learn over time. As you progress as a bonefish angler, you might start to see more similarities with the trout fishing you already know: It’s visual, it’s delicate, a stealthy approach is rewarded, and if you present the right fly in the right way, the fish will most often eat it. The Trip There is nothing wrong with being guided to a great catch but the cool thing with bonefish is that you can do it on your own. You just need someone to point you in the right direction: Mainly where to fish, and always in relation to what the tide is doing. Whether or not it is more satisfying to find the fish on your own and make the right decisions leading up to hooking and landing the fish is a matter of personal taste. What do we think? Hell yeah, it’s a heck of a lot more fun! That’s how we do it on our hosted trips to Acklins Island in the Bahamas.

On our bonefish trips the novice bonefish angler will find himself in a relaxed environment and he will enjoy the company and knowledge of our experienced tour leader and fellow anglers. Every evening you’ll have the chance to chat about your new experiences and probably learn new tricks for the day to come. The skilled bonefish angler will definitely appreciate the opportunity of spending extra hours on the flats compared to the classic guide day. However, if you feel the need for the comfort of having a professional guide right next to you when fishing – or you just can’t help wondering about the difference between fishing with a guide and being on your own – we are working with friendly and very skilled guides with fast boats. They even know some very nice spots for chasing permit. But again, take our word for it: Real permit fishing is pretty far from the effortless image you meet on Instagram. The Beginning Is Not the End While our bonefish trips are the perfect way to get introduced to tropic saltwater and flats fishing, no one be-

comes an expert after their first trip. After 25 years, and many more weeks, of bonefishing we still learn new stuff on every trip. Bonefish are not as predictable as you might think, and it is not always just a tide-in, tide-out game. Sometimes, their behavior is a mystery even to seasoned guides. It must be one of their survival skills not just to follow daily routines, and – as a result - trying to figure them out is one of the things that keep us coming back for more. You can always improve your bonefishing: The casting (and yes, modern fly rods do actually get better and better), new flies to tie and new techniques to test after each trip, new flats and areas to investigate. New maps, satellite images and apps on tides to investigate. As with every other part of fly fishing it never stops, and you will never be fully educated. Which really is the beauty of it all. For more information log onto: or write to:


Sil ver Creek

In Recognition of Fragility


The Silver Creek is world-renowned for the clockwork dependability of its hatches and its booming population of hungry but selective brown trout. When visiting there, Brett Zundel of Loon Outdoors found out, however, that the fishing was only a minor part of the river’s story. Its serenity and beauty – its very livelihood - seems contingent on the mindset of its visitors, and there were important lessons to be learned there that had very little to do with the actual fishing.

We parked next to a one-ton Ford. The lift, custom rod tubes welded to the roof rack, fishing-themed decals and vanity plates all screamed “that guy”. That guy who fishes 400 days a year, only talks about his heroic fishing conquests, and reeks of arrogance about his choices of fishing methods and gear. In many ways, this was exactly the rig I expected to see at an iconic stream like Silver Creek, which attracts serious anglers from all over the world who are anxious to test their skills and fly selection against notoriously hungry but selective trout. As we pulled on our waders the truck’s owner sauntered up the trail from the river with two trash bags. He greeted us warmly, commented on the beauty of the day, and (only when asked) explained that he wasn’t fishing today. Today he was picking up trash and pulling noxious invasive weeds where he found them.

I would come to learn that this was a fitting introduction to Silver Creek. This spring creek, famous for perfectly timed hatches and beautiful fish, did indeed call to the most serious anglers. But it also draws reverent anglers. And as this man proved, an angler’s reverence can reach a depth that prompts him or her to carry a pair of binoculars and a trash bag, rather than fly rod and net.

“The soft lighting is somewhere between magical and perfect” Words would fail in describing the masterpiece that is Silver Creek. The calls of songbirds dominate the soundscape, overshadowing the hushed sound produced by the gentle grade of the river. Moose and elk wander through the conservancy. The soft lighting is somewhere between magical and perfect, with summer sunsets lasting for hours.

But Silver Creek isn’t a wilderness area defined by distance from society. Access is easy. Main roads are but miles away, and cars can be driven to within yards of the creek. What makes this place special is that humans, having recognized the importance and beauty of Silver Creek, have prioritized her protection and have succeeded in enjoying it in a sustainable way. The Nature Conservancy has posted signs to protect habitat by restricting traffic from anglers, hikers and bird-watchers. The temptation for all of us, especially anglers, is to wink at such signs, believing that they apply to everyone else and that we will be careful enough to violate the letter but not the spirit of the law. But here, not so much as a blade of grass is bent, as though everyone sees that there are no shortcuts to conservation, and the beauty of Silver Creek depends on all visitors recognizing its fragility.

What I have come to realize is that this is true of every natural place. But though it may be true that all natural places rely upon our recognition of responsibility, the angler should be the most aware of this truth. Because of the nature of the sport and the degree to which an angler must immerse him or herself in it, fishing forces connection with those places in a deeply significant way. We become aware that ever step we take—quite literally—can alter the health of that place. We hold the lives of the creatures we are taking—again literally—in our hands. It would be a shame to visit an iconic place like Silver Creek and miss all that makes it unique. But what I learned at Silver Creek is that all wild places have at least one thing in common: they depend on the reverence and stewardship of everyone who is willing to take the small steps towards their conservation.

Silver Creek is a true Idaho spring creek and one of the most famed trout rivers on the planet. It is renowned for it perfectly phased and highly dependable hatches, its gin-clear water and its diverse dry fly fishing opportunities. Silver creek has its origins just south of Sun Valley and meanders through atmospheric meadows with mountainous backdrops and open skies. The fish that inhabit the river are predominately brown trout and wild rainbow trout which can grow up to more than 75cm. Ernest Hemingway, who was a keen fly fisher and outdoorsman, was – not surprisingly - attracted to the Silver Creek, and he meticulously worked its banks decades ago. In a world of progressive change, nothing much has changed along the banks of Silver Creek in the time that has since passed. It remains, to this date, an iconic and abundant natural miracle somewhat frozen in time, and to fish there – in the footsteps of Hemingway and a vast array of American fly fishing legends - is to immerse oneself in true American fly fishing culture. For more info about Silver Creek, please refer to:

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The Monsters of the Miskito Coast The Miskito Coast stretches from the Costa Rican border all the way up the entire Atlantic seaboard of Nicaragua. The region is named not for the insects, as is often assumed, but for the Miskito Amerindians that are indigenous to this remote part of the Central American isthmus. The area north of Bluefields is an extremely wild, half-forgotten corner of the world, but don’t overlook it; it offers surely one of the most exciting fly-fisheries in the world.


Tapam is the Miskito word for megalops atlanticus – the tarpon - and the name has become synonymous with the remarkable fishery that was discovered only a few short years ago by a pair of intrepid young European anglers, Daniel Goz and Jan Bach Kristensen. The region features a maze of interconnecting rivers, lagoons and one intriguing man-made canal. These diverse watercourses are packed to the rafters with shrimps, sardines, mullet – and mobs of absurdly large tarpon. The fishing is tough. Don’t come here if you want numbers. The fish are often in deep water, and for long hours, they skulk out of sight in the dark, tannin-stained waters, forcing anglers to dredge with sinking lines, using only the fish-finder to guide them to the big pods of fish lying deep.

However, for short periods, the monster tarpon of Tapam come to the surface and go hard on the feed. The tarpon of the lagoons and rivers can provide astonishingly exciting fishing, but the fish that frequent the canal are surely the most exhilarating of all. While their siblings in the lagoons and rivers favour shrimp and small sardines as their regular ‘plat du jour’, the fish in the canal feed on big mullet, fish that often stretch to two or three pounds in weight.

“Fish of two hundred pounds and more are a very realistic proposition” To watch these leviathans erupting out of the glossy, golden waters of the dawn, tossing the mullet skywards and bursting through the placid, gleaming surface of the cut to catch them in mid-air is a rare and utterly unforgettable experience. Fattened by an almost inexhaustible food supply and few if any natural predators,

the fish here are simply vast. Fish of two hundred pounds and more are a very realistic proposition, and I think that there is every chance that a new fly-caught record could come from this remote little corner of the jungle. Bring your A-game To catch these magnificent fish, you need to bring your ‘A’ game: the fish are old and wise and can prove extremely difficult to catch. However, when they go into one of their spectacular feeding sprees, clambering up into the steamy mists of the dawn, they are revved up, excited – and vulnerable. If you want to subdue one of these monstrous brutes, make sure you have sturdy, bulletproof gear and all the right patterns, as these fish are stubborn and almost unbelievably picky. When fishing in the lagoons and rivers, small, flashy blue and silver sardine patterns and, later in the season, black and purple shrimp imitations are the ‘go’, but in the canals, you need something that mimics the mullet.

Forget trying to imitate the bigger baitfish : the larger the pattern, the more there is for the tarpon to find fault, and big flies are much harder to throw in accurately and quickly. There are mullet of all sizes here, and the best way to go is to present a fast-to-cast pattern representing the smaller fish. My great friends Tomasz, Tomek and Rafal at Pike Terror Flies, based in Poland, tied me a pattern developed by Jaap Kalkman, an experienced Dutch angler, and a veteran of the fishery. The fly is a perfect copy of the natural. Even when retrieved at ultra-high speed, it swims straight and true, and it is exactly the pattern you want when targeting the mullet-feeders of the “cut”. Crucially, it is tied on a 4/0 Tiemco 600SP short-shank hook that will not lever its way out of the tarpon’s mouth. The pattern is a snap to cast and sinks down in front of the fish fast. This is important as the fishing is all about speed. Get that fly in front of the fish and move it fast. Faster! I find that a fast sinking line of around 400 grains is perfect, as it loads the rod fast and gets the fly down a foot or so in very short order.

Imitate the terrified mullet that streak across the surface by putting your rod under your arm and stripping the fly back as fast as you can, hand over hand. You CANNOT fish the fly too fast, and the Leviathan line helps in this regard as it keeps the fly tracking just subsurface no matter how fast you strip. Mayhem is about to ensue If you feel resistance, just keep the fly coming until everything goes solid, and then hit the fish HARD. These fish are BIG, and their mouths are correspondingly thick and hard. Get yourself together very quickly because mayhem is about to ensue. Forget the old adage that big tarpon don’t jump – these brutes almost always light up the jungle with astonishing, flashing silver cartwheels that will leave you speechless. If the hook stays in after the initial mayhem, you have a chance, but be warned: the canal has a powerful, tidal flow and it is fully thirty feet deep. Combine that with the formidable strength of these pro-

tein-packed monsters, and you have a real battle on your hands. This is where the techniques that my great friend and tarpon-fishing legend Andy Mill employs have kept me in good stead: use your whole body to fight the fish, and work it HARD, trusting your tackle and knots, and employing the butt end of the rod to exert maximum power. Stay on top of the fish and go at it very hard: never, ever allow the fish to think that it is in control.

“If the hook stays in after the initial mayhem, you have a chance” Many battles are lost with these huge behemoths – even if you survive the first, spectacular aerial blitz, the game isn’t won. Hook-holds can give out at any stage of the fight with these big, bony-mouthed brutes, and even the stoutest leaders are often fatally abraded.

For that reason, I use only 125-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon as my shock tippet, which I am convinced is the most abrasion-resistant material available. Be assured, the rewards are worth every last ounce of your effort. If you do get lucky, and everything holds together, you may eventually find yourself getting up close and personal with a big – possibly very big – and even potentially a world-record - megalops. Dialing in the conditions Good weather is crucial. Wind and rain will almost certainly to put the fish down, but some mornings, when the wind lays down, and the water turns to glass, be on your mettle. Just such a morning greeted our small group of anglers in March 2017. A little after 5am, as we paddled silently across the glimmering, mirror-bright waters of the canal, I knew we would have a shot at a big fish. The water was untroubled by even a breath of wind, and the air was already heavy with the warmth of the oncoming day. As we reached the

spot where the tarpon had been active for the last couple of days, I took up my rod, carefully laid out the coils of line on the deck, and stood ready on the bow.

“A monstrous tarpon climbed high into the air” For long minutes, nothing showed itself, and then, abruptly, a big ‘boil’ materialized off to the left. My excellent young guide Bismark quietly paddled the boat around, and suddenly, a mullet shot high into the morning mists. An instant later, a monstrous tarpon climbed high into the air, gleaming in the first rosy hues of the dawn. For an instant, at the apex of its jump, it seemed to balance the wretched mullet on its nose, and then both fish crashed back into the water. Everything comes impossibly tight and heavy It was a long cast, but I got a good shot off, just to the left of the commotion.

Tucking the rod under my arm and retrieving the fly as fast as I could, I felt a subtle tremor of electricity come down the line, but I kept the fly coming. Suddenly, in a magical moment, everything came up impossibly tight and heavy. Fumbling the rod out from under my arm, I jabbed back hard, and watched as the line knifed up through the surface and a vast, chrome-plated colossus shot high into the air in a spectacular silver cartwheel that I will remember until the day I die. That huge fish gave me three impossible, skyrocketing jumps before towing us almost a mile upcurrent. Finally, a long time later, after two torrential downpours and with the sun now high in the sky, I finally jumped overboard in the shallows of the canal to embrace my adversary. Bismark and I briefly cradled her just out of the water for a couple of very quick pictures, and then we watched in awe as this vast fish went gliding back into the deep dark waters and was gone, hopefully none the worse for wear. That fish was no record-breaker. We estimated her – perhaps a little conservatively – at around 160 pounds, but she was, by a distance, my biggest tarpon to date – even from this remarkable fishery - and a fish I will cherish forever.

There are fish here that would dwarf that tarpon – I’ve seen them. One, a fish that took my fly just three feet from the boat, would surely have obliterated the current IGFA fly-caught record, currently held by Jim Holland’s 202lb fish. Heartbreakingly, that fish spat out my fly after a few brief seconds. No problem: I’ll be back. And I know that my chance will come again. Contacts Be warned: the fishing at Tapam is potentially very rewarding, but it can be tough. The accommodation is very basic, but the food is excellent and there is plenty of icy beer and sticky-sweet Nicaraguan rum to keep the party going in the evening. And there are fish here that will make your hair stand on end. If you want to discuss whether you think this trip is for you, feel free to contact Matt at Tapam is represented by the excellent Danish agency Getaway Tours. See: You can source the perfect flies for Tapam from Tomek and Tomasz at:

The Brand Buffet

Fly Reel Review: PEUX FULGOR 02 We’ve had the chance to test one of the highend Swiss-made Peux Fulgor 02 reel. Only a few fly reels on the market really stand out – and this is one of them. Instead of relying solely on design and aesthetics, like a lot of fly reel manufacturers seem to have settled with, Peux reel designer, Valentin Daubré, has implemented a form-follows-function work ethic. The result is a series of fly reels – including the Peux Fulgor – that is truly innovative and highly functional. The Fulgor is a feature-rich series of semiautomatic fly reels. Retrieving fly line can be done traditionally by using the reel’s handle knob, but one can also use the cleverly integrated lever mechanism. When using the pressu-

re-adjustable lever, one can pick up line with one’s rod hand. This can be very useful when preparing to land a fish – fly rod in one hand and a landing net in the other. Another advantage of the lever system is the fact that one can pick up slack line at lightning pace. One quick pull on the lever can pick up three meters of slack line, something that will help dramatically in keeping a tight line after the hook-up and during the fight. We were curious to test the practical functionality of the lever system and found that – with surprisingly little practice – we were able to confidently handle fish with one hand. The system is very responsive and intuitive to use, and it provides important advantages – especially when wading rivers.

But it doesn’t stop there. While the overall concept of the reel is what really sets the reel apart, there is plenty more to highlight. The crisp and super-smooth brake system, for instance, is a customized micrometer multi-disc drag system, which provides an extremely smooth and instant, low start-up-fiction drag effect that will protect the lightest of tippets. Furthermore, the reel features a smart rubberized reel seat knob for doubling your leader, while journeying up and down your favourite river, as well as an adjustable reel seat slot, that allows you to adjust the weight of the reel on your rod – by sliding the reel either a little forward or backward. Again, designer, Valentin Daubré, proves that he isn’t satisfied simply putting out standard reels based on what is already out there. The Fulgor 02 fits 60 meters of backing and a WF5 fly line (or 80 meters of backing and a WF4 fly line). And despite the lever system and the involved extra handle and gearing weight, the reel only weighs 154 grams. The series includes four models; 00, 01, 02, and 03 – for line weights 3 – 6 and therefore cover most dry fly- and nymph applications. While the reel, certainly, will divide consumers based on its aesthetics, there is no avoiding the fact that the reel offers incredible craftmanship and functionality. We’ve come to really enjoy and appreciate the uniqueness of the reel and its advantages on the water. If you’re into French Nymphing or technical dry fly fishing on rivers, reservoirs, or lakes, you should consider a Fulgor reel. For more information, please refer to:

The Brand Buffet Polarized sunglasses: BAJIO BONEVILLE The new Boneville sunglasses from Bajio feature fashionable and a functional biobased nylon frame suited to medium-tolarge faces. Bajío’s polarized lenses with proprietary LAPIS technology reduce blue light transmission to let you stay on the water longer with less eye strain. They come with a full 8-base wrap design for light-blocking performance, generous non-slip rubber nose pads, Rubber temple tips for snug fit and a choice of 6 lens colors in both glass and polycarbonate. For more info:

Simms: GUIDE BOA BOOT The key to powering through the obstacles of a river system is great footing. The rugged, responsive Simms Guide BOA Boot stacks agility and stability in your favor with maximum Vibram traction and an exacting BOA-lacing system fit. The boots also feature: Full TPU coated upper for durability, rubber toe and heel overlays for added protection, full closed-cell neoprene foam lining, pull-on loops for easy don and doff, and TPU outsole plate for stud and cleat retention. For more info:

Cooler: YETI ROADIE 24 The Roadie® 24 Hard Cooler is a fresh take on a tried-and-true YETI favourite. It’s 10% lighter, holds 20% more, and performs 30% better thermally than its legendary predecessor. With no drain plug, you can ditch excess water or ice with a quick flip. The all-new design accommodates an upright bottle of wine, allowing you to instantly up your picnic game. Plus, its slim design means it’ll slide behind the front seat of the car, giving you quick access to ice cold drinks no matter how long the journey. (The Roadie 24 Dry Goods Basket and Roadie 24 Seat Cushion are sold separately). For more info:

Fly Rods: WATERWORKS-LAMSON COBALT The new Cobalt rods from Waterworks-Lamson are built on a hyper-fast blank crafted to deliver blistering line speed and wind conquering loops, with enough flex in the tip and midsection to allow you to feel the action load but plenty of muscle down deep to pick up that 70 feet of line for a quick re-cast. Featuring, dialed hardware and proprietary lockdown reel seats, the Cobalt series is available in a full range of calibers. For more info, visit the website of the European distributor:

Fly Tying Materials: DIAMOND FISH EYES FROM EASY SHRIMP EYES Made in Denmark, the new Diamond Fish Eyes are lightweight yet sturdy composite dumbbell eyes that are perfect for tying lifelike streamers. If you dread gluing eyes onto your streamers or feel frustrated with stickon eyes that keep tearing off, you should try the Diamond Fish Eyes. We’ve used them for our seatrout streamers and really like how easy they are to use, and how much visibility they add to our streamers. For more information:

Riverside Tools: SCIENTIFIC ANGLERS TAILOUT TOOL ASSORTMENT The Tailout Tool Assortment from Scientific Anglers features all the tools you need to get through a busy day on the stream; a multifunctional nipper, forceps, and a zinger to keep things organized. The tools come with an ergonomic safe-grip rubber coating that makes a different on wet and cold days. For more info, please refer to the website of the European distributor:

The Brand Buffet

A Good Read: A DECADE OF HOWLER BROTHERS BOOK Here it is - a full color deep dive into the first 10 years of Howler Brothers. 5.5 pounds of beautiful images, art and design celebrating all the glorious creative output of our first decade and all the people and places woven into the fabric of Howler. We are so proud of this book and all that it represents. Put one on your coffee table and pick up a few for your best friends. Pick it up at

Fly Reel: HEMINGWAY INSHORE 1932 CLASSIC The Hemingway 1932 Classic is a fly reel that goes back to the days of Nick Adams and his adventures on the Big Two-Hearted River. With a large four-inch diameter spool, diamond shaped handle, and first edition 1932 Hemingway Inshore star emblem, this is the reel to experience fly fishing the way Hemingway would have, only better. The 1932 Classic is as at home fishing for Salmon along the River Teno in Finland, as it is for fly fishing for Bonefish on the flats of the Florida Keys. For more info:

Loon Outdoors: QUICKDRAW ROD SLEEVES With the new Quickdraw Rod Sleeves from Loon Outdoors you can store fly rods so that they are ready to fish at a moment’s notice. The Quickdraw Rod Sleeve allows rods to be stored at home, in a vehicle, or in a boat so that they are protected, fully rigged, and ready to use. More information can be found at

Simms: WOMEN’S BUGSTOPPER HOODY A stylish half-zip hoody cut from heathered fabric featuring Insect Shield® technology to deter biting bugs. This hoody features quick‐ drying, wicking, anti‐odor & UPF 50, a fitted hood, Raglan sleeves for ultimate comfort and range of motion, and treated with Insect Shield® to block biting bugs. For more information:

The Guide’s Choice The Guide’s Choice exceeds the needs of the most demanding anglers. Incorporating our proprietary eyewear technologies, it’s engineered for those that pursue life on the water. Experience ChromaPop™ |


The Paraloop Mayfly Mayflies are wonderous and tragically ephemeral creatures that will get both fish and fly fishermen raging with excitement. There are 369 different mayfly species across Europe ranging dramatically in size and colours. The smallest caenis and baetis mayflies are less than 10mm in length while the biggest mayfly in Europe, the Tisza mayfly, can grow to 25cm in length (including the tail threads). By CHRISTIAN ZIEGLER-KIRCHERMEIER

For trout- and grayling fishermen, mayflies are an important insect group, and it’s pivotal to have good imitations that not only look the part but also float well and leave the right impression or footprint on the water surface. I want to show you my way of tying a durable adult mayfly pattern. It’s a pattern that can be varied and adapted to imitate the exact mayflies that hatch on your local stream or lake. I’ve worked quite a while on this pattern to ensure that the fly sits just right on the water surface – and to make sure that it stays afloat during the drift. The biggest advantage of so-called “paraloop” hackles is that the fly’s critical mass sits right underneath, similar to parachute style hackles. But then, why didn’t I simply use a parachute hackle, or even a normal hackle and then trim the belly? Well, I like the dubbed thorax a lot more than the look of a trimmed hackle, and a traditional parachute hackle makes it difficult to tie in the wings.

The combination of the paraloop hackle and the extended body ensures that the fly lands properly on the vast majority of all casts. And this is important! A fly that doesn’t sit right on the first cast, will often get rejected even if it sits right on consecutive casts. I use the Paraloop Mayfly a lot during the spring and early summer mayfly hatches on my local rivers, and I’ve found that, sometimes, a few short twitches can make a big difference. It seems to really capture the interest of the fish. I also fish the fly during May and June, on days when the hatches are sparce or lacking. It’s a great “search pattern” and can be deadly with a dropper nymph below. Because of its design, materials and great buoyancy, the pattern is capable of carrying a good amount of weight.

Material List// Hook: Hanak H530BL #10-12 Thread: Textreme standard 8/0 for Extended Body, Textreme Power Thread 50d for the rest Tails: Whiting Tailing Pack or CdL Body: 2mm Foam light Grey or Tan Thorax: Vicuna Dubbing colour (or hare substitute) Hackle: Oversized cape hackle wound around Antron Yarn Wings: 2 big CDC feathers (natural colours) Extra materials you need: Extended Body Tool like the one from Stonfo or a big needle, super glue (like Gulff Minuteman), and waterproof markers

Step 1

Make a base layer on the needle and tie in your tails with a few tight wraps. Now cut out a piece of foam - 5 centimetres in length. (The thickness depends on how buoyant you want the fly to be). Fold the foam piece at the middle and make a diagonal cut from one side to the other. Place the foam pieces on the tip of the needle, fold them back, and start to tie them in. Then, add a drop of glue to the point where the tails came out of the foam.

Step 2

Create segments in the foam with 510 wraps of tying thread. Insert the thread between the foam flaps, do one or two wraps, and start with the next segment. Make every consecutive segment slightly longer than the previous one. Finish all segments with your whip finisher.

Step 3

By using permanent markers provide the tail with some colour. (I am sure, the fly will catch fish without it, but it does something to the overall impression of the fly).

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Pull your preferred hook through the last tail segment and fasten the hook in your vise. Then make a base layer with your tying thread and add some superglue.

Tie in the extended body and add some superglue, again, to prevent the body from twisting and turningx.

Tie in the Antron Yarn and the oversized hackle.

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Dub the whole thorax from where the foam ends right up to the hook eye. Just reserve a little bit of space there for the next few steps.

While holding the Antron Yarn in one hand (straight up), wind the hackle around it. You need to wind from the fly upwards towards your fingers. From time to time squeeze the Antron Yarn with your hackle hand and push the hackle winds towards the hook. Now, fold the Antron Yarn over the Thorax and tie it fast. If you prefer, add some glue to firmly fixate it.

Take your CDC feathers, place them on each side, and fasten them with your tying thread.

Step 10 Make a small head on the fly, colour it with a permanent marker, and finish the fly with some varnish or superglue.

Secure the Trophy

Release the Fish

Advanced Taxidermy’s replicas are based on photographs and measurements of your trophy catch.

No two stories are the same. You remember it vividly. When you tell your friends and family the tale of your fishing adventure you spare no detail. It is a moment in time that is uniquely yours. At Advanced Taxidermy our passion is helping you bring your glorious moment back to life. We want to capture it in great detail. Over 35 years of experience of creating museum quality wildlife art will ensure that your memory will last forever. We’re not just in the business of selling replicas. We are a fully licensed and operating taxidermy studio with artists who are inspired by you and your story. That’s why no two creations are ever the same.


n a a i t s i r Ch s u i r o t e r P Christiaan Pretorius is another rising star on the South African fly fishing sky. Well, by now, he has long-since left South Africa and – in the process – has made a name for himself as a skilled fly fishing explorer, journalist, and photographer. Christiaan has worked as a fly fishing guide, booking agent, and fly fishing host, and he has seen more remote fisheries than most – from the Kamchatkan wilderness rivers through the atolls of the Seychelles to the pristine mountain rivers of the Amazon jungle.

Name: Christiaan Pretorius Born: 14 Sep 1990 Country: South Africa Occupation: Fly Fishing Host, Booking agent, Guide Website: SoMe:

We’ve sat down with Christiaan for a talk about his experiences as a fly fisherman, how it all started, where he’s hoping his fly fishing career will take him, what species he is itching to target next, and lots more…

How did you get started fly fishing and why? I was one of the fortunate ones who had a father that is a very passionate outdoorsman. Funny enough I tied a fly before I could cast a fly rod. It was at the age of six years old when I got to pick up a fly rod for the first time. I remember we were at some trout lodge, but I was only allowed to cast on the lawn outside our cottage. I was completely invested in the motion of the rod and what effect that had on the line. Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into blisters. That’s the day when a spark went off inside me. So, to keep it short it was my dad who introduced me

to this amazing sport, and I am to this day still very thankful. What is it about fly fishing, specifically, that fascinates you? I always loved being outside as a kid, I never really got into tv games or owned a PlayStation or anything like that. Coincidently I was also very creative from a very young age and come from a family with a strong creative gene. The combination of being able to be outside, while having to continuously be able to be creative and adapt to what you are seeing was my perfect idea of a hobby I could fall in love with.

Before I could pick up a fly rod, I was also obsessed with normal fishing by that stage, but there was something specific with fly fishing that I could resonate with straight away. I knew at a very young age that I wanted to spend all my free time doing something fly fishing related. I am not quite sure how many thousands of hooks I have wasted over the years trying to create new patterns, or some supposedly “game changing” ideas which instead ended up looking like something your cat coughed up on the carpet. The obsession was real, and I think my parents knew that this was a different kind of addiction. What characterizes the most special and memorable moments in fly fishing? Often when I think back to some of the memories that stands out above the rest it’s the ones where I got to spend it with some special people. I have to say the people I have met along the way while pursuing a career in fly fishing is truly remarkable. I have a legitimate Fly-Fishing family who I end up spending more time with than my actual family. And then of course there are all the amazing pristine places that one gets to travel to and experience, places that I would have never seen if it was not for fly fishing. Then also the specific fish we end up targeting, most of the time I start preparing for trips months in advance. Tying flies, online research, reaching out to fellow fly fisherman for advice etc. And then when

everything finally comes together and you get to crack the code on a trophy fish, that really gets me fired up. What is the most important thing you’ve learned along the way as a fly fisherman? That you will never be able to know it all and that makes me so damn excited. The fact that you can dedicate so much time to one specific thing but then learn something new every day you go out, that’s cool. Every day on the water is different, from the moon phase to the tides to the smallest of insects hatching you name it you constantly must adapt to be successful. Every piece of water is like a book. You just need to read it to understand what you need to do to catch the fish but then also in saying that the more and more I travel and fish the actual fish itself plays a very small part of the overall experience of a trip. What is it that motivates you and drives you towards new fly fishing adventures? It was always my dream when I started guided to be able to travel and fish for as many different species as possible. I don’t consider myself a saltwater fly fisherman nor a freshwater specialist but instead a passionate fly fisherman. I truly still find it a huge rush to catch small wild trout on a 2-weight rod but at the same time a huge laid up Tarpon on an 11wt is hard to beat.

Even though I have been very fortunate to have ticked some bucket list boxes the list is still very long of things I want to experience What’s your favourite species of fish to target – and why? This is no doubt one of the harder questions I frequently get asked. There are so many species I am thinking about while typing this but somehow my fingers are still typing P-er-m-i-t. This fish demands your A-game and I love that. What’s your dream destination and why? There is something about New Zealand that has been fascinating to me since I was just a kid looking at pictures in some fly-fishing magazines. I think the style of fishing is very appealing, you really need to hunt those big browns. It’s also a fish that demands a bit more skill and finesse than for instance a GT or Peacock Bass. I mean the landscapes are not too bad either.

What’s been your most memorable fly fishing trip/experience so far? What’s with all these difficult questions amigo? Let’s try to narrow it down to one that stands out for me. I think the one trip that comes to mind is my first trip to Baja with an absolute Rockstar group of friends. Fishing for Roosterfish from the beach is a pretty difficult thing to do and it takes a certain kind of person to try it. Like many good fishing stories my trip also ended with a fish of many lifetimes on the last day of our 10-day trip. Holding that Roosterfish in the water was a moment that I will never be able to let go of. Roosterfish are damn special. What are your ambitions for the future? Working towards having a more balanced lifestyle and make more time to be home while still doing cool trips with my clients. So just to structure my life a little better to accommodate not only for myself but for the people close to me as well. Apart from that I would also like to be able to contribute more of my time towards conservation and to be a voice to keep the special places special, to make sure these places are still there for the next generations to enjoy. I have also been itching to really try make an effort with a Youtube channel that will serve as an information portal for people traveling to remote places to fish.

Any cool trips or projects coming up? This year is looking good now that Covid is slowly starting to disappear. There are a lot of things to get very excited about. I’ve already visited Gabon, Oman and next Berry Islands, then Mexico, Canada, Bolivia, Tanzania and then back to Mexico again. So much for the balanced lifestyle and more time at home… Any advice for readers who would like to carve out a niche for themselves in the fly fishing industry? This is a passion driven industry, and you really need the passion to fuel you every day. The obvious initial choice should be guiding to really get your hands dirty and get an appreciation for what guides actually do, and to see that most of the time it’s not all about the “fishing”. From there, there are a lot of avenues that one can follow to try and make a career, from photography, to writing, to managing or to be a voice for conservation. Most importantly you should want to do it because you love it and not for money or fame, otherwise this is really not the right industry for you. Something that I think set me apart from when I started was my drive to document everything with photos and videos. I wanted to be able to show people all these amazing places without knowing the value of quality content. Now I truly value all the years of carrying heavy camera gear around with me.

In terms of the environment, what has most concerned you as you’ve traveled the world? The one obvious one that really upsets me on a daily basis is the pollution around the world. It’s at a point now where the world really needs to make a stand against single use plastic. It’s hard but I try and play my part in being a voice for this cause. Another concerning factor is why should people try and make the environment better if 99% of the world population will never get to see what a pristine environment looks like? Flip Pallot once told me, “you know Christiaan, there is only one problem in the world and that is that there are just too many people”. Having been able to travel quite a bit over the past couple of years I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s just very important to not stop educating and keep on fighting a good fight. Never give up. The potential of what we can lose is just too precious. Do you have any advice for fellow fly fishermen who would like to make a difference on behalf of the environment and our precious fisheries? I think first of start within yourself, then your household and then slowly expand your efforts. I think if everyone starts making a little effort it will go a long way. Be respectful to your resources, know when enough is enough or when it is sometimes better to just put the rod down instead. We have a responsibility as fly fisherman to protect what we love. Don’t ever stand back for something you believe needs protecting.


Regal, Where Traditio


on Meets Innovation






I went fishing with Håvard Stubö And Markus Lemke for a week in July 2022, and made a little film about it. Dry fly fishing in the mountains of Norway and Sweden. Subtitles for all the Scandinavian talk! Presented by @Lemmel kaffe @Podsol Fly Fishing Music by: Torbjörn Ömalm, Kristian Matsson, Johan Airijoki, Anthony Tian, Per Erik Andreas Axelsson, Sean Carey, Ben Lester

Catch the big fish Ultra-quiet electric drives Less vibration Lightweight Easy to mount Wide range for far distances Superb usability with a wealth of smart features




for kayaks and canoes

for tenders and dinghies up to 1.5 tons

for motorboats and dinghies up to 12 tons


The Hemingway Fly Fishing Legacy Lives On

As you will probably know, Ernest Hemingway was an avid fly fisherman. His portrayal – in the short story Big Two-Hearted River - of war veteran and fly fisherman, Nick Adams, and how fly fishing becomes this transformative and regenerative escape, is among the best writings in fly fishing literature. Hemingway’s literary and cultural impact is massive, and it provides inspiration to multitudes of people (and fly fishermen) to this day. We recently sat down with owner of the Ernest Hemingway Collection, Anthony Toro, and Patrick Hemingway, the Great grand son of Ernest Hemingway.

How did the idea about Hemingway Inshore come about? ANTHONY TORO: That’s a great question. Have you ever heard about Hemingway’s lost steamer trunk? If you have, you’ve had to imagine what could have been inside? Could you imagine what it would be like to find that trunk today? That’s really the motivation behind the Hemingway Inshore collection. The Hemingway Inshore Collection was an idea I had while I was thinking about the possible contents of the writer’s famous, lost steamer trunk. The thought of bringing updated versions of Hemingway favorite fishing gear into the modern world was irresistible. What’s the mission and philosophy behind the brand and product line? ANTHONY TORO: The mission behind the brand really is to create fishing gear that Ernest Hemingway himself would have approved of. And allow fellow anglers to experience that adventurous spirt, that Hemingway exposed in each of us.

How does the tackle collection tie up with Ernest Hemingway’s legacy? ANTHONY TORO: Well, everything we make has a connection with Ernest Hemingway or the Hemingway family in one way or another. It’s been amazing how, once we started, things fell into place regarding most of the equipment. A good example is our Hemingway Matador Saltwater reel. When we started showing protypes designs to the Hemingway family, the reel maker that we just happened to be working with, is the same company in Northern Italy that members of the Hemingway family have been getting reels from since the 1950’s. Another example is our new 1932 Hemingway Classic fly reel, it’s an old style click and pawl reels with a modern advance. The reel is made in US, and close to where Hemingway wrote Big Two-Hearted River. What has the development process been like? ANTHONY TORO: The process has really been both daunting and exciting at the same time.

Not only are we creating equipment as any normal fishing equipment company would, but we are also creating equipment with Ernest Hemingway’s name on it. So really, everything must hold up to the Hemingway standard. Hemingway was really known to be very particular about his gear, so you could imagine, when it comes to Ernest Hemingway fishing equipment, the bar is set high. Another thing that makes the process interesting is that Hemingway was an angler that wanted his gear to work under the most extreme conditions. Everything we create must be at the highest of standard, over engineered, and really look like a piece of art before it becomes a Hemingway signature piece of equipment. Where have you sought inspiration for the product line? ANTHONY TORO: Oh, that’s an easy one… Our inspiration come from Ernest Hemingway.

What sets the Hemingway Inshore collection apart from other fly-fishing tackle out there? ANTHONY TORO: Wow, that’s another good question. There are hundreds of great companies, rod builders, boat builders, and fly tyers out there that make great equipment. I guess the thing that really separates us from other companies is that we don’t just make fly fishing equipment. Our company is based on Hemingway saltwater fishing. So not only do we create and design fly fishing equipment, we also create saltwater conventional fishing gear reels and rods, inshore boats, fishing clothing, fishing tackle, and coolers all to our design and to the Hemingway specifications. What’s the idea behind the Hemingway Inshore Brand? ANTHONY TORO: The Ernest Hemingway Inshore Collection is a brand that is not limited to geographical locations. The sole purpose of the collection is to create the best fishing equipment available in the World.

If the best Monofilament/ Fluorocarbon fishing line in the world is created in France, we team up with that company in France. If the best fishing reels are made in Italy, we go to Italy. If the world’s best two handed spey, click and pawl style reel is made in a small machine shop in the woods of northern Michigan, we’re headed to a small shop in northern Michigan with a case of beer and a copy of Old man and the Sea. This philosophy really is the magic and strength of the Hemingway Inshore Collection brand. Hemingway fans are international, and so is the Hemingway Inshore Collection... My goal is to offer the Hemingway experience to anglers worldwide. Just Imagine what it would it feel like to find just a small piece of Hemingway’s lost fishing steamer trunk for yourself?

A Family Business And then there’s Patrick Hemingway – the great grand son of Papa Hemingway – who is also involved in the Ernest Hemingway Inshore Collection. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your relation to Ernest Hemingway? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: I am the oldest great grandson of Ernest Hemingway. I work for several different family-owned businesses that steward and curate the intellectual property associated with Hemingway. I also write articles and stories for hunting magazines. I live in western Montana where I like to fish, hunt, and spend time outdoors with my family. How has your life been affected by being a Hemingway? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: It’s a hard fact to escape these days, as most of my professional life revolves around the family name. I like to say that half of my literature or writing professors loved me and the other half resented me. Hemingway can be very polarizing, but

the majority of people I meet are fans. The name has opened many doors and created opportunities around the world, but it’s not enough to just be named Hemingway- you have to be a cool enough guy to take advantage of it or you won’t be invited back. What does Ernest Hemingway’s work and legacy mean to you? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: Hemingway’s work is interesting in that it can grow with you. There’s something for everyone of every age in his work. I gravitate most towards his hunting and fishing writing, of course, because that’s where my interests are; but his writings span all sorts of genres and themes that are still relevant today. I think that helps to explain his long-term success and popularity still.

His legacy is more complicated. He certainly changed the way that novels are written. He also directly affected how sportfishing laws were drafted and implemented in the US. He popularized the big white beard, drinking cold drinks on a hot boat, and inspired generations of young men to be bold. More recently, following the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris, the French people latched onto A Moveable Feast as a symbol of national pride and resilience in the face of terrorism. People all over the world started buying copies of the book in solidarity, to give as gifts or even just to leave on park benches for someone to find and enjoy. Hemingway’s legacy is timeless and as powerful as ever. We’re particularly fond of Big Two-Hearted River and The Old Man and the Sea. What’s your favourite Hemingway book – and why? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: I struggle to pick a favorite, but the short stories have always been the most in-

teresting to me. There’s such a wide breadth of subject matter that I keep revisiting. As I get older, I find new secrets or revelations in stories I’ve read a dozen times or more. I particularly love the African stories. Green Hills of Africa would be a strong contender for my favorite Hemingway book, if I had to choose. My lineage after Ernest all lived or grew up in Africa, so that connection is meaningful. Last year, I went on my first African safari, and there was no question what book I would bring with me. I even read it with my headlamp in the dark when the camp’s generators shut off- just like I did as a little kid reading Green Hills for the first time on a camping trip. To your knowledge, what are the biggest misconceptions about Ernest Hemingway? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: In some ways, everything about Hemingway is a misconception. He was a meticulous writer, who held himself to a rigorous writing schedule that started early in the morning.

He wrote longhand with a pencil while standing at a shelf. He never had a drink until he was done writing for the day. He had many wives, but he was a romantic, not a womanizer. Some of his strongest literary characters were women. In his short story, Hills Like White Elephants, he writes sympathetically about a couple discussing having an abortionin a time when no one was writing

about such things- and certainly not with a sympathy. Ernest seemed a righteous man willing to put himself on the frontline for causes he believed in. If he had been alive today, what do you think he would have been involved in? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: Hemingway always rooted for the underdog. He strongly believed in personal freedoms, holding politicians fierce-

ly accountable, and enthusiastically advocating for the rights of soldiers and veterans. I think he would have quite a lot to say about how the world’s governments have run roughshod over their people in the name of progress and safety. He was also one of the first real conservationists and utilized his knowledge of fishing and hunting to help

create some of the first laws governing the ethical and responsible taking of game fish. He was Vice President of the International Game Fish Association until his death. I suspect that today he would be a strong proponent for science-based regulation of wild game throughout the world, and a beloved figure in the outdoor sporting world- who’s shining example of adventure could be aspired to.

How did you get into fly fishing? (Was it simply “in the family”?) PATRICK HEMINGWAY: My Dad was a professional fly-fishing guide for most of my childhood.

sultant for ideas and input, and to interpret these back to my relatives so we can best support and help to promote Hemingway Inshore in any way we can.

He taught me everything I know about fishing, and his rough-aroundthe-edges fellow guides taught me everything else I needed to know about life- like how to spit properly or sight in a rifle.

Anthony Toro is one of the rare people in our business that really “get it” as far as what Hemingway means to his particular demographic.

What is it about fly fishing that fascinates you? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: I think that I enjoy how difficult fly fishing is. It’s so different from one river to the next, or from one continent to another. There’s always new water to learn, new flies to try- it never gets old. It sometimes feels like it can’t be mastered. I respect anything that refuses to be tamed. What’s your role in Hemingway Inshore? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: My role is that of a liaison between Anthony Toro and the Hemingway family. I do my best to act as a spiritual con-

I like to think that he and I learn from each other how to find success and proliferate the Hemingway legacy to both new and old fans. What are your ambitions for the future – as a businessman and fly fisherman? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: As a businessman, I hope to continue to see our family businesses grow. Success for us means that we may continue to protect and carefully steward this legacy that is so important to so many. As a fly fisherman, there are a million places around the world that I’d like to fish for the first time. Hopefully, I’ll find a way to visit a few.

What’s your favourite fishery and why? PATRICK HEMINGWAY: I live near the small creek that my dad taught me to fly fish on as a kid. Lewis and Clark traveled down the same waterway in their exploration of the American west. It still produces fine rainbow trout on a good year, with the occasional brown trout- and it will always be my favorite. Soon, my sons will be old enough to learn to throw a fly and I plan to teach them on the same water that started it all for me. Anthony Toro: Is the owner of Matador Rod Company which creates Ernest Hemingway fishing products worldwide. He is a Product Designer, Businessman, Bamboo rod maker, saltwater fisherman, which lives in Naples, Florida with his wife Mary a Marine Biologist, and son AJ. He enjoys all types of fishing worldwide but refers to tarpon and permit in the Ten thousand Islands/Everglades his true fishing passion.


Kinermony Killer variant Hair wing salmon flies have their roots firmly planted in North American salmon rivers, slowly but surely after their introduction into Europe, fully dressed salmon flies with built wings of feathers have nearly disappeared from the salmon fishers fly-box.


The contents of the contemporary salmon fishers fly box have wings made of goat, buck tail, artic runner, temple dog and various species of fox to name but a few of the most popular hairs that have come to replace the classic winging materials. The hair wing flies are not only more durable and easier to tie, but the materials are also more affordable and readily available from most fly tying retailers. All these advantages and last but not least, that fish as well, if not better than their feather wing relatives, have secured hair wings a permanent place in the salmon fishers armoury. European fly tyers embraced the North American way of tying, so much as to develop their own unique styles, that have made them almost unmistakably European. The Kinermony Killer, or KK as it is also known, is one of these modern classic European hair wings. It was, as far as I understand, designed by Jock Ryan, a ghille on the Kinermoney beat of the river Spey. Its reputation is so that there is almost noone who fish-

es this beat with a few of these KK in their box, or should I say on the end of their leader! And its not only Scottish salmon that have taken a liking to it, Icelandic and Norwegian salmon fishermen have also applauded its merits. The KK shown here is the well-known variant with a wing of Arctic runner and an even more popular variant in Norway tied in flamethrower style.

Material List// Hook: Mustad DL70uBLN Tag: Oval silver tinsel Rear body: Flat holographic tinsel Rib: Silver tinsel Body hackle: Yellow cock hackle Front body: Black floss Second body hackle: Hot-orange cock hackle Under wing: Hot-orange and yellow buck tail with Crystal hair Wing: Black Arctic runner hair Front hackle: Blue cock Sides: Jungle cock Head: Red

Step 3

Step 1

Step 2

Secure your double hook securely in the vice with the hook shaft horizontal. Attach your tying thread and tie in a length of medium oval silver tinsel and make four or five turns to form the tag.

Now tie in a length of flat holographic tinsel for the rear body.

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Remove the excess flat holographic tinsel and then make three turns of oval tinsel for the rib.

Tie in the yellow cock hackle and wrap as shown.

Now tight into the yellow hackle base tie in a length of oval silver tinsel and a length of black floss and wind your tying thread forward.

Wrap the flat holographic tinsel along the rear of the hook shank to form the rear body and tie off.

Step 7

Step 8

Step 9

Wrap your black floss in neat flat turns forward and tie off. Now make three turns of oval tinsel for the front body rib.

Cut a small bunch of yellow and hot orange buck tail and mix together. Tie this in, the wing should be approximately 2X the length of the hook.

Cut three strands of Crystal hair and tie in on top of the wing. These should be a little longer than the buck tail wing.

Step 10

Step 11

Select a long fibered hot orange cock hackle and tie this in tight to the wing base. Wrap the hackle as shown and tie off.

The over wing requires a bunch of black Arctic runner hair cleaned and tapered at the points. This should be tied in as shown a little longer than the crystal hair.

Step 13

Step 14

Select two matching jungle cock eyes and tie these in one each side at a slightly upward angle.

Last, if you are using Dyneema colour the thread with a red waterproof felt pen and whip-finish. Give the head a couple of coats of varnish.

Step 12 Again choose a blue cock hackle with extra long fibres and wrap as the front hackle.

Step 15 The KK tied flamethrower style.


THE ALL-NEW LITESPEED F-SERIES The LSF is the freshwater version of the new Litespeed. The chassis is based on the conical system found in our other reels with the addition of a click stop drag knob and a unique spring set that creates a linear progression of torque with very fine resolution at the light end of its range. LSF spool and frame architecture is super-arbor in scale for high retrieve, but spare and open to promote line drying and, of course, reduce weight.



Fly Fishing for Pike in Shallow Private Waters By OMAR GADE

Denmark’s lowlands offer plenty of exciting pike waters. Pike populate a multitude of small and medium-sized private and public lakes, canals, rivers and ponds as well as a couple of coastal areas where they thrive because of the low salinity levels. If you’re into visual strikes and close-range bursts of explosive power, Denmark is just the place for you. It’s a mid-May morning and I finally have a day off in the wake of a busy first half of an intense season at the lodge, where I’m kept busy guiding for seatrout. While enjoying an excellent cappuccino, Jan and I decide on a day’s worth of fly fishing for pike in one of the small lakes that Denmark Fishing & Outdoor Lodge has been given exclusive rights to. We mount the boat trailer behind the Jeep with the small aluminum boat on it, and pack lunch boxes, cameras, waders and various tackle bags. We load the Rod Mount Sumo holder with our Scott Tidal 8-weight rods that we’ve come to rely on for our pike fishing (because they load quickly while reserving plenty of feel while casting big pike flies). Our trusty Waterworks-Lamson reels are

loaded with floating lines. We are going to be fishing very shallow waters. Perfect Pike Habitat It takes about two hours to reach the chosen lake and we arrive at our destination late in the morning. The sun is already perched high in the sky. And the weather is typical of the early summer days in southern Denmark. The sky is mostly clear with drifting clouds and changing light conditions. The private lake, where we are going to fish, is a lowland body of water with an average depth of 1.0 to 1.5 meters, which makes it the perfect environment for fly-fishing. I sometimes wonder if Mother Nature has designed certain lakes with us fly fishermen in mind. And with this one, I am almost sure.

Almost all Danish pike waters have a certain peat coloured shade not dissimilar to tea, whereas the clarity and depth perception varies from season to season. As we arrive at the lake, I’m relieved to see that the water is very clear. The conditions, overall, look very promising and I’m excited to get started fishing. Fish in the Shallows It doesn’t take long before the boat is on the water and we are ready to go. While navigating, in reverent silence, with the electric motor at low speed, we quietly emerge from the rushes that surround the lake’s shoreline zone. While doing so, we try our best to catch a glimpse of resting or ambushing pike on the scattered carpets of sea grass that cover the bottom. Soon, we’ve seen a small handful of medium-sized fish that take off at lightning speeds, once we get too close, leaving clouds of particles and turbidity behind them. It always gets me giggling with excitement!

Slowly, I steer the aluminum boat towards a small bay covered with water lilies – a spot that creates a perfect microcosm for predatory fish. Here, they find both the shadow and shelter needed for ambush attacking unsuspecting preyfish. The First Few Casts Once we have reached our first spot, I keep the boat in position at the edge and set Jan up for casting. Jan, who is my trusted assistant at Denmark Fishing Lodge, is nicknamed “Jan Kenobi” for his almost eerie ability to catch more fish than anybody else – and with an apparent and enviable ease. In spite of his youth, he has great experience!

“I sometimes wonder if Mother Nature has designed certain lakes with us fly fishermen in mind” Jan opts for a classic copper flashabou fly, 15 cm long, a very common variant for Danish waters.

He makes a short cast of 8 - 10 meters, and makes the fly pulsate and spurt across the small patches of open water between the lily pads. He uses a rather “acrobatic” retrieve aimed at providing the fly with an abrupt jiggy movement pattern. He retrieves the last 3 meters by jerking the tip of the fly rod from side to side; from the right and to the left, right, left, right, left… and it is just at the end of one of these retrieves that a pike breaks the surface splashing water on the edge of the boat. The pike, in all its rage and fury, almost hits the side of the boat with its head, but it misses the fly. But that’s part of the game. The fun bit is to see the many different ways these fish react to the fly and how they hunt it down, seemingly, without any perception of danger. Cast Again…! I urge Jan to cast immediately in the same direction again… 2 strips and “bang”, “strike! The fish is a solid pike around 85 cm that we carefully release after a short but hectic fight. After another couple of casts in the

same area, Jan shouts out with a big bend in his fly rod: “Big fish!” (It’s only to be expected with Mr. Kenobi in the boat, I reckon). The water explodes and droplets are sprayed across the surface as the pike thrashes about. The Tidal rod bends and convulses but then, suddenly, it jerks back abruptly as the fish comes untied. We both cast again several times, aware that there is still a probable chance that the fish will strike again. Unfortunately, however, this time around it doesn’t happen. As the day progresses, we catch a number of small- and medium-sized pike in various areas of the lake, mostly on black and purple flies. Before we know it, it’s afternoon and I take a brief moment to quietly observe the magnificent body of water. It is a beautiful and atmospheric little spot in the middle of a private hunting reserve populated by ungulates. With us on the water there are a few pairs of swans, flocks of ducks and, (dear me!), a few cormorants.

Targeting the Shallows April marks the beginning of the conservation period for pike in all Danish waters. The conservation period ends in May, but – after the spawning – lots of pike still linger in the shallows and in the weeds. We decide to go look for a big one along the rushes…

“The water explodes and droplets are sprayed across the surface as the pike thrashes about” While we slowly putter along the shallows, I tie on a green/chartreuse foam diver and then proceed to make a series of short cast covering every meter of the water radially. I do my best to land the fly as close to the rushes as possible – to cast with absolute precision. But nothing happens. No reaction from the pike. Then all of a sudden from the opposite side of the boat, towards the middle of the lake, we hear a big explosion on the surface. We turn around and see baitfish skirting across the surface in all directions. I retrieve the fly swiftly and set up to cast in that direction.

I know from experience that when pike hunt actively for preyfish they are more likely to strike an imitation of a baitfish rather than a diver or a popper - and sometimes they might even become a bit selective as to size and colors. In order to leave nothing to chance, I immediately replace my fly with a silver one. (The baitfish that we’ve seen jumping are probably small rudds or roaches). After a single cast, the water comes alive and a “V”-wake forms behind the fly. I put renewed effort into the retrieve and after a few endless seconds, I feel a sudden but solid stop. The streamer, which up until now, has been clearly visible below the surface, disappears right in from my eyes. I wait for a short moment, then proceed to set the hook by pulling the line with my left hand and, simultaneously, lifting the rod.

Fish On! The line cuts sideways, and everything comes tight. The fish is on: And what a beautiful and solid fish it is. The fight begins and, after some escape attempts towards the weeds along the bottom, I start pulling the big mama towards the boat. It’s a fish of around a meter – one for the books and one to remember, especially because it was sight-fished after having seen it hunt in the surface film. When the water is hot and the oxygen levels in the water are relatively low, we try to release our fish without even taking them out of the water. We don’t want to stress them too much. We use a big knotless landing net and try to handle the fish, remove the hook and release the fish in the water. In these private waters, we pay particular attention to sustainable practices and we limit the number of fishing days to a few days a year. We look after our customers, and by limiting the fishing pressure, we make sure they are able to make the most of their time on the water.

After releasing the fish, we take a break and enjoy an excellent and well-deserved sandwich. We exchange opinionated words about what we’ve experienced throughout the day and sum up till now, we have caught about ten pike on different flies in different colors such as copper, chartreuse, and black/purple. The latter has produced particularly well today, perhaps because of the water clarity and the bright and sunny conditions. It’s a magical day. We are more than satisfied with the results this far and, for a while, we just sit in silence and enjoy the view of the lake. We’re secretly waiting, though, and hoping that with dusk, and the imminent change of light, we’ll have a final window of half an hour with some hectic fishing. We’ve experienced it before - a sudden period of twilight mayhem when all the pike seem to join together in a simultaneous hunting craze across the whole lake. Who knows, it might happen again. Time will tell…

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Dream Waters

The Langá River Iceland offers some of the best salmon fishing on the planet – and the River Langá is one of the local favourites. The River is managed by SVFR, a group of dedicated fly fishermen in Reykjavik, and due to conservation management and restrictions, the river continues to produce great salmon fishing.


Among the most prolific and productive rivers in all of Iceland, the beautifully wild River Langá meanders some 36 kilometers from Langavatn in the mountainous reaches of Vesturland to the estuary area west of Bogarnes. A mere one-hour drive from the capital city of Reykjavik, the rocky River Langá is easily accessible. The Langá Lodge, which is situated on a bluff over-looking one of the river’s countless holding pools, offers 12 ensuite bedrooms with full service. You could go there for the atmospheric views, the grand nature experiences, or the culinary impressions. Most visitors enjoy both the comfort and the sensory impressions of staying at the Langá Lodge, but the main attraction is the salmon fishing. River Langá is predominantly a grilse river with plenty of fish in the 1 – 3 kilo range. However, while grilse are the prevalent quarry in the river, there is also the occasional full-grown salmon that will tip the scales north of 6 kilos. Origi-

nating in Lake Langavatn, the river has dependable water levels all throughout the summer, and – as a result – offers consistently good salmon fishing throughout the season; especially during prime-time in July and August. (The whole season runs from June 21st until September 24th). Salmon fishing, as you probably know, isn’t a numbers game. It isn’t on the River Langá either – despite the great numbers of fish that migrate up the river and populate it’s many lies, pools, and cascades. The fishing there is challenging, and the individual beats (93 named pools) are extremely varied. In other words, it’s one of those rivers that will reward the technically gifted salmon fishermen, and – perhaps – particularly those who are strategically cautious and willing to experiment. Light double-handed and single-handed rods in line classes 6 - 8 are the primary tools on the river, as are floating lines, and small flies fished on long, thin leaders.

The flies used and how to fish them is a chapter of its own. The locals like to use flies such as mini-Sunray Shadow, Langa Fancy, Arndilly Fancy, Red Francis, and Blue Charm, but it seems that, those who do really well, do well because of HOW they fish their flies, not because of WHAT flies they use. When fishing the River Langá and its varied beats, be sure to always have a game plan. The river is typically ginclear, and the fish can be both finicky and spookish. So, approach the river with caution and fish with stealth and long casts. Experiment with the flies and how you swing (or retrieve) them, and don’t be afraid to crack out the smallest flies (size 12 – 16) in your arsenal. Down-sizing is one of the most bullet-proof ways of connecting with one of Langá’s fish if they don’t seem to be responding to traditional salmon flies. Early in the season, you can swing flies with great success. However, as the season progresses, you’ll need to slow down the flies as much as possible – either by casting up stream, or by continually mending the line on your cross-current casts.

Those who are truly successful on the river during late season are those, who are capable of feeding the flies into the holding spots in slow-motion. (Oftentimes, trout fishermen do really well on the river). From July and onwards, riffling hitch flies also produce well, adding a highly visual aspect to the fishery. The fishing in general is highly visible with pools being fairly easy to read, and fish continually breaking the surface, jumping, and rolling. With the usually gin-clear and low water, don’t forget your polarized eyewear. In a lot of the canyons and upper-reach beats you can sight-fish for

salmon. This adds another visual component to the fishery and makes sure you’re kept on your toes at all times. Langá is not only rich in fish. It’s also rich in culture and history. The British lords have fished the river since the late 1800s, and the lodge has plenty of records over their activities in the surrounding area. The historic atmosphere of the place is a reminder that the fishing is only part of the Langá experience. Langá is truly a magnificent place for those who come with an open mind. For more info about the River Langá, please refer to: or reach out via email:

AHREX FLEXISTRIPPER The well-known rod builder of world-class splitcane rods Bjarne Friis, is the man behind the Flexistripper – a simple and easy-to-use tool to manage yours flyline when fishing. The elastic spikes catches the loops of the line, preventing them from tangling and releases them again with very little resistance when casting. The Flexitripper can be used in salt water, along (and in) rivers, streams and lakes as well as fishing from a float-tube, a pontoon-boat or boat.

pper by Bjarne Friis.

The story of the original Flexistri

And since it is at the same time very light and takes up very little space, it is obvious to bring it on your fishing-travels.


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Sander Zuidinga Fly tying is a wonderful pastime and in our “Fly Tyer Spotlight” column, we present some of the most talented and innovative fly tyers across Europe and beyond. They are fly tyers worthy of acclaim and attention – and they represent a great source of creative inspiration.

Age: 46 Home country: The Netherlands Instagram profile: @sanderzuidinga

How did you get into fly tying? From a young age, I would always make lures from whatever materials I could source - trying to solve a specific problem. (Or quite simply because I didn’t have the money to buy all the fancy lures). Fast-forward about twenty years, I started fly fishing. However, because we don’t have trout or grayling in the Netherlands, I targeted chub, roach, and carp with store-bought trout flies and nymphs. I even fished for perch with Crazy Charlie’s, catching more seaweeds than perch. So, I started tying my own flies, thus solving the challenges I encountered when fishing; like faster- or slower sink rates, for instance. Looking back, a lot of those challenges and problem-solving endeavours were just excuses to hide the fact that - I sometimes - suck at fishing. But at least I enjoy myself. Oftentimes, when I fish, I’m more focused on how my streamers move than on actually catching a pike or whatever I’m off targeting. It’s as if

I’m mesmerized, and because of my mental state I almost get a heart attack whenever my fly is inhaled by a hungry pike. What is it about fly tying that you like so much? What I like most about fly tying is trying to realize what I formulate in my mind. It’s awesome when your creation works. And it’s equally awesome when it fails because then you have a reason to remobilize and tie an improved version. Perhaps it’s a cliché, but for me it’s more about the journey than the arrival. What kind of flies do you most enjoy to tie and why? The flies I tie most commonly are baitfish patterns, ranging from small to pretty large. Although I never fish with dry flies or nymphs, I do like to tie flies like “the Usual” by Fran Betters and Pheasant Tail Nymphs in several varieties. The most satisfying of them would be “the Reversed Parachute” by the late Roy Christie. My favourite baitfish pattern, at the moment, would be my take on a flatwing fly – a pattern I use a lot for seabass.

What are the most important/determining factors when you design a new fly pattern? My standard rule is that a fly only catches fish when it’s in the water, so it needs to be easy to cast and it should be foul proof without loss of movement. What’s your favourite fish species to catch and why? Pike! The stealth, the fierceness, and the fearless look in their eyes. I really identify with pike (but only when it comes to stealth). I also feel strongly about seabass! They’re strong and beautiful. We usually just fish for seabass when it’s too hot to fish for pike, so I’m not anywhere near a specialist - but I love the scenery, the atmosphere and the sudden tug that puts you right back in your waders.

Do you fish flies that require adapted/alternative fishing techniques? Not really. I’d probably forget the technique while I’m applying it anyway. What’s your all-time favourite fly and why? My favourite fly to tie is a 12cm flatwing. That size is perfect when it comes to getting all the proportions just right according to how I like them. My favourite fly to fish is the “Bigstreamers Baitfish Fiber Fly in the colours Firetiger, Perch and Bream. Essentially, it’s the the same baitfish pattern in different colours. This pattern is easy to cast but still has plenty of bulk to make some underwater noise. It’s definitely my fishing favourite. Are there any specific fly tyers that have influenced and inspired you over the years? Along the way, every tyer develops his or her own tricks. I did too, of course, but there are a few fellow fly tyers that have really influenced me - like Giovanni di Pace, Paul Monaghan, Jari Koski and Dron Lee. These gentlemen have amazing skills, are innovative, and - most importantly - they’re willing to share their knowledge.

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