Sunday, December 26, 2010

The five Essentials - detour: the importance of a good backcast

A slight detour in the Five Essentials series; a short clip in which Steve Rajjef shows and explains the importance of a good backcast. Pay special attention around 1:00. Notice the Stop and the way the line goes backwards? That's what a good backcast should look like.
More Essentials tomorrow. A bit of talk about the Casting Stroke. For now, let's just watch that clip again...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Five Essentials - part three "Straight Line Path"

Efficient loop formation requires the caster to move the rod 
in a Straight Line Path to the target.
First of all remember this: The line will follow the path of the rod tip. If the rod tip deviates from a straight line, so will your flyline. There may be circumstances were it is desirable to not cast in a straight line, but that is something I want to talk about later.
For now remember to keep track of what your rod tip does when you make a cast. There are 4 different paths that the rod tip can make when you make a cast. All of these paths result in a different loop shape.
“The first is the nearly STRAIGHT LINE PATH of the rod tip. This path generates a 
narrow LOOP and accurate placement of the fly. A narrow loop will show a top and 
bottom leg separation of approximately 20 inches. The top and bottom leg of the loop 
will also be in the same plane, that is to say that the top leg should always be directly 
above the bottom leg for maximum efficiency. Another advantage of the narrow loop 
is its ability to penetrate a wind. The smaller and tighter loop has less surface area and 
increases resistance to the wind
The second path the rod tip can travel is in a CONVEX PATH. The path of the rod tip 
in this instance travels in a large upward arc as opposed to a near straight line path. A 
convex path of the rod tip opens up, or widens the loop, decreases wind resistance and 
compromises accuracy.”

“The third path the rod tip can travel in is a CONCAVE PATH. The path of the rod tip 
in this instance travels in a downward arc. This path will form a closed or TAILING 
LOOP and commonly leads to the dreaded wind knot. The tailing loop will severely 
compromise full TURNOVER of the loop and accurate placement of the fly.”
Last but not least is the LATERAL PATH of the rod tip. In this instance the path of the 
rod tip no longer moves in a single plane but instead swings out to the left or right 
from the straight line path to the target plane. Know as the "Swinging Loop," the top 
leg "swings out" to the left or right of the bottom leg of the loop. The swinging loop is 
a casting fault.”

When I was in the early stages of learning how to cast a flyline, this essential was a revelation for me. Concentrating on what the rod tip does when you make a cast really gives you a sense of the control over the flyline we all strive for.
Just as a bit of a relief for before all of you go out to practice: The straight line only occurs during a part of your cast. The picture below is an excellent illustration of what to aim for. The picture is part of an article about SLP by Jason Borger and can be found here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Five Essentials - part two

In the second of this series of five entries here is the next essential component of a good cast:

Proper acceleration of the fly rod.
In fly casting the function of the rod hand is to accelerate the rod so that it may 

load or bend against the resistance of the fly line. The hand accelerates the rod 
slowly at first and continues to increase in speed until the rod reaches a position 
perpendicular to the target at which point the rod hand accelerates even faster, and 
concludes, with a short, ultra fast stop of the hand. The majority of acceleration 
takes place near the end of the stroke.

In short: start slooooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyyy and speed up to a sudden and snappy stop.
This STOP is something Tim Raijeff talks about in this video. (the quality of the video itself isn't going to win anybody an Oscar for the best camerawork, but it well worth the watch.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Five Essentials

During my first fishing trip since a long long time this weekend I thought it would be nice to say some things about flycasting on this spot. Instead of writing about it check
for an animation about the first of Bill Gammels "Five Essentials of Flycasting"
During the next few days I will discuss these casting principles and hope you will you find it useful and fun. See you tomorrow.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Not exactly....

...Because angling’s not really about fishing at all, at least not the bit where the line end and water actually touch.  It is about people and places, wonderful insights into nature, both human and wild; it is about cameraderie, rivalries, luck and laughter.  It is about spirit and perseverance; it is about learning and it is about life.....
This is what I read on the Blog "Not exactly Fishing". I couldn't agree more. Go and have a look for yourself to see if there's something nice in there for you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Adventures of Chocolate Diamondback Pussy - Sweet Memories

This is one of the hundreds of pictures I took home with me from Norway. Sweet memories from all the beauty that surrounded me this summer. With that I am not referring to the good looks of my travel-companion. Or my wading jacket, for that matter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Welcome to Suburbia

The last few weeks I have been toying around with the camera in my mobile phone and tried to make some short clips of the fishing I do. Last sunday I went out for an hour or so and fished in some waters where the feeling of being out in the great outdoors is far far away. But.... it's still fishing and it can be a lot of fun to discover what you will encounter in the waters we drive past without a thought day in and day out.

Suburbia from rudy on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pikefishing in Friesland

I got a little bit tired of casting these überheavy pikeflies all the time and tied and tried a big big Hollow Fleye suited to the occasion. I had one massive take on the fly and I am confident that it will catch its share of fish this season. It inspired me to make some variations of this fly during the next few weeks. Apart from the grizzle hackle (yeah, just couldn't help myself, had to tie in somezing stripy) it's all bucktail.


Originally uploaded by wavingastick
Here's a not-so-good shot of one of the nice roaches I caught this weekend. I will try to post the pics I make to my Flickr photostream.

The Game

This weekend I found myself wondering about what it is that I like about flyfishing so much.
It isn't the worlds biggest secret that what I love to do the most with a flyrod in my hand is fishing for brown trout with a dry fly. Unfortunately the reality is that I just cannot do that for the largest part of the year. But is that a reason to toss the rods in the corner during the times in between?
Off course not!

Last Sunday I had a really good time scooting around a new stretch of water and catching the biggest roach/rudd of the year a few hours later. Yesterday I had a fishless pike-trip in Friesland, the part of the Netherlands where I grew up.
As a boy I spend hours, days and weeks on end fishing in the afternoon, coming home late for dinner and fishing again in the evening on the nights I didn't get grounded.
Wondering about the mysteries that lay beneath the surface.
Addicted, that's what I was.

and to this very day.
It's not so much about what fish I'm after.
It's not so much about where to fish.
It's the game.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hollow Fleyes

With my trout season being over for this year and after almost recovering from the depression that follows it, I grabbed myself together and dusted of my streamerbox.
Today I want to bring to your attention a few examples of a a family of flies called Hollow Fleyes invented by Bob Popovics.

... apart from having a strange kind of fancy for goats Bob is also a very creative fly tier that has given the world a few pretty cool and very effective flies. A lot of these flies and the concepts behind them can be found in his excellent book "Pop Fleyes". If you don't already own a copy of this book, go get one. And if you already did, get an extra one just in case, because these books have a tendency of disappearing in thin air once you borrow it to somebody else....

So...  Bob like goats. A lot! Well...  the boy goats to be precise. Bob ties a lot of his flies with bucktail. It's a very versatile material that possesses certain qualities that cannot be imitated by any other material. The Hollow Fleye is no exception. The whole fly is made out of bucktail. At first glance this looks familiar and indeed there is a resemblance to the Deciever but there a few big difference in the way the fly is tied.
To be technically the Hollow Fleye isn't so much a fly, it's a concept that enables the tier to make flies with little material and a big profile. The shape of the fly can be controlled very precise by the tier.
What Bob came up with is very simple to understand and the technique is pretty easy by itself but it will take a few flies before you will be able to really have full control over the outcome.

The name comes from the fact that you are trying to outline just the silhouette of the fly and leaving the inner bit empty; Hollow.... simple.

The basic principle of the technique is to reverse the tying and then pulling back the fibres. I will explain:
After you put the thread onto the hookshank you get a bunch of bucktail which you ty in round the hookshank with the tips of the bucktail pointing forward! After the bucktail is tied in securely you get something to push the bucktail backwards, an old pen will do just fine. After you've pushed back the bucktail you should now have the fibres pointing backwards. With the pen still pushing the fibres you grab the bucktail with your hand and take away the pen, you build a small ramp of thread directly in front of the bucktail. This ramp will push back the bucktail. If you make a small ramp the bucktail will flare widely and if you make it big the bucktail will be almost glued to the hookshank.  So, the shape can be controlled completely by the tier depending on the size of the ramp and the threadpresure. Cool or what?

After you finish this step you can put on another bunch of bucktail a bit further on up the hookshank and repeat the procedure. Most if the times I use three of these layers. If you tie of after these steps you will have a functional fly, but it will look even better if you put it under hot running water for a while and let it dry. The fly will now have a very realistic fishy shape which it will hold all by itself.
Once you're familiar with the technique you start adding your own ideas to it which is what I did with the Hollow Fleyes you see in the pictures below. Mine all have eyes and a small epoxy head. Some are weighted with a few beads put in between the layers of bucktail and I also made them with a grizzle hackle tip, which I kind of like. I am sure I will think of a few more variations.

Well there you have it: The Hollow Fleye, give it a try

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The long awaited rod review

So here it is, a rod review of the infamous Diamondback Classic Western.
I heard lots of rumors about the rods and blanks by this brand and I have been scorching the internet trying to find a blank for a while, but never had any success. And then I went to Norway again this summer and got a great tip (thank you, thank you Preben, I ordered a piece of marble to make you a statue....). After trying the latest (and last) incarnation of this rod this summer I knew there was absolutely no way out of this.
I just H*A*D*D*A*H*A*V*E*O*N*E!!!!!

After contacting the factory directly I am now the proud owner of the very last brand new nine foot 5weight Classic Western that was for sale on this planet. Pretty sure about that last bit.
And I am happy, happy very happy with it.
It has been a while since I got a factory build rod, 'cause I like building my own so much.
And because of that, the factory model already is on it's way to being a so called "custom" rod.
First thing I did after I got the rod out of the tube was cutting of the hook-keeper. I hate those things. They get in the way of your index-finger and the thing about attaching a fly to it, well.... I guess I do just fine with  the stripping guide on the rod.
After operation hook-keeper I dug out the sandpaper and started sanding down the grip into a shape I like and had some thoughts about maybe replacing the reelseat for something a little lighter.
And then I started casting.
And then I cast some more
and some more

Well.. you can probably guess where this is going right?
Yep, it was already pretty dark when I went home and concluded that this blank is very very good.
If a rod can make you forget what time it is, it must be something special, which is exaclty what it is.
It loads beautifully and does everything you want it to do with ease. And with that I don't just mean trying to cast a hole in the horizon, but all slack-line and curves and funky casts that you need when you're out fishing and being able to make this and this presentation can be the difference between succes and a fruitless night out on the water. Oh yeah, and apart from all of the above its looks are something that has to be seen to be believed. That just about wraps it all up and makes it very easy to conclude that this entry is going nowhere. This is not a rod-review.
It's a lovesong....

Monday, August 23, 2010

The adventures of Chocolate Diamondback Pussy - part three (The waiting game)

I can still see it very clearly. Me being stuck under the branches of some tree hiding for the rain. Hoping for the weather to clear up before it's half past 10. Watching the river and hoping for a trout to show itself. This, ladies and gentleman, this is called the Waiting Game!

Flyfishing for brown trout with a dryfly actually involves quite a bit of doing nothing. Well, that's not entirely true. Nothing means: not stumpin' around and blind-casting like there's now tomorrow on the riverbank in my way-to-visible wading-jacket. Trout don't give a shit about fashion-statements. Their primary concerns involve a safe place and having some nice food since once it's there.

The entire philosophy behind this kind of fishing is based on the principle that there is no reason to show yourself, or make a cast without a good chance of catching the fish you've set your eyes on.
Staffan imprinted illustrated this with the quote that ".. every trout has a gun..".

Apart from being stealthy there are a few more things you need to know before you're on your way to the status of legendary trout-slayer. I won't bore you with to much technical talk right now, because I want to take out some time to fill the natural desire to impress that is inside every one of us.
I know everybody can think of people that have reached this expert status; far out of reach for the rest of us mortals. But I am here to tell you that it isn't.
During my time on the riverbank I've had quite some time to think it through and I think I've cracked it. So here we go. How to become a legend in a few easy to follow steps.

Step no.1 Always fish alone.
This gives you freedom to go where you want and there's nobody who can tell about you hooking the trees five casts in a row, stepping on a fish or dropping your sunglasses in the river and.... well, the list goes on and on.

Step no.2 Make sure you are always the last one to return back to camp.
This is a very important one. If you want to become a legend you need an audience. If you are the first one to return, you ARE the audience. So stay out for as long as you can and keep them waiting for a while. This also cleverly taps into the doubts that every fisherman has about the right moment to stop. Every last cast is never just one cast is it? Well, if the rest of the camp has been hanging around the fire for an hour or so and you're still not there, they start to wonder why and start doubting if they left to early and if you by any chance know something they don't.

Step no.3 Only talk when you have to.
Once again a very easy one to remember but difficult in real-life. But, as long as you keep your mouth shut it is impossible to f@#k up. If you get questions asked keep your reply purposely vague. Most people already know what they would like to hear, so a vague recollection of the facts as they unfolded will do just fine. The audience will fill in the blanks themselves.

Step no.4 Do not make pictures of the fish you catch.
It is hard to resist the temptation, but remember that pictures don't lie, that's your job. In the end you're better of without a camera but with a good story. It also helps to casually mention that pictures are are not important to you. Remarks like this, if timed right, really help in building your status. Remember that a true legend doesn't need proof of his own greatness. 

If you follow these guidelines you will have a statue on village-squares across the globe. Invitations for interviews, photo-sessions and tv-shows will be on you doormat by the dozen and all the girls.... Well.... 'Nuff said.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The adventures of Chocolate Diamondback Pussy - part two (Cooking flylines)

Cooking flylines..... is it real? Well, to tell you the thruth that's exactly what I thought when I heard about it for the first time. But it is really true. I did it

and I can tell you that it actually makes quite a bit of difference to the feel of the line.

In the weeks before my friend Staffan told me about it making your flyline so much better. Turning it into what you've always wanted it to be.
Now, I like a good joke as much as the next guy, but I was pretty sure that he wasn' t joking around on this one. So, after we got back for the Northern part of Norway (more about that later) four guys stripped their line from the reel while one of the other guys put the kettle on. For those still in doubt here' s the recipe for the  infamous "Spaghetti di Rena":

1. Heat some water in a big pan until it is almost boiling.
2. Put in a powder that is used for dying synthetic materials (RIT dye).
3. Put in your flyline for a while and stir it, while checking if you like the color.
4. After a few minutes, when the color looks all right take out the flyline and rinse it with clean water (we used the river for this)
5. The next few minutes you will probably be very busy untangling the flyline. Stop the worries about being had in a big way. You are very close to "enlightenment".
6. After you get out all the tangles you can spool the line back onto the reel and cast with your freshly customized line and life will never be what it was before.......

The positive effects are the complete absence of memory in the line, it feels very smooth while casting, it is as slick as you' ve always wanted your flyline to be. I was stunned! According to the experts the change in properties comes from the hot water AND the chemicals in the dye. So get yourself some RIT
and try it for yourself!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The adventures of Chocolate Diamondback Pussy - part one (down south)

On a saturday morning a week or five ago I started up the car and drove about 1500km in a northerly direction. Norway was my destination. In the end I spent about five weeks there and met a lot of incredible people, had some good -and some not so good- fishing and learned a lot.
Today I start a series of pics and comments having to do with this trip.

Here' s a few from the first few days I spent in the Southern part of Norway

Thursday, May 20, 2010


As a result of a phone-call with one of my fishingbuddies I ended up fishing this evening after work.
An unexpected but very welcome and pleasurable experience is what it was. The days are really starting to get longer now and it was great to be out and see the light fade into darkness on a regular thursday-evening
around ten o'clock.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Out for dinner

This afternoon I went out to get some dinner at my local stillwater. Well, I promised my girl to bring her a trout so she would have something nice to eat and be very proud at her man being a true rainbow warrior.
Now, making promises like this is dangerous;

A bit about leaders

After making a new leader for myself I figured it might be a nice idea to tell you a bit about how I go about making my leaders. After fishing with all sorts of knotless tapered leaders I have now been fishing with my own hand-tied concoctions for a few years now. And very happy with it indeed.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Good the bad and....

I see a pattern in the tittles of the last few entries. Purely coincidental all these movie-tittles.
Anyway "Once upon a time in the East - part two" is a bit delayed because off some technical problems with the pics. Instead a few pics from todays outing together with Eddie, the handsome fellow in the green jacket you can see in the pics.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Once upon a time in the East - part one

While most off the people in the Netherlands were celebrating Liberation Day I was part of a posse of four man heading out to the East in search of the elusive brown trout.
After reaching our destination the expectations of some great fishing went up even more when we had a look at the river. Clear water, nice pools and riffles and the weather wasn't to bad either. Yep, conditions seemed perfect. A little to perfect, like we should have known.....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A warm welcome

I went fishing on a river somewhere in Germany....


...ok, ok, hold it. At times at can be very hard to find the right way to start a new entry but I decided to throw all the stylistic stuff aside and give you a quick look into the notes I make when I go here we go again:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday afternoon Quicky

Just came back from a Saturday afternoon quicky. I spoke to Robert this morning and asked him to come along to fish for rainbows. An appointment was made and this afternoon we headed out there together.
We both caught fish.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Crazy Rainbows

I've heard people calling it water-sense, the Flow or being in the Zone.
Well today I was in the Zone. Oh yeah...
And because I was in the Zone, I left half of my polyleaders at home, forgot to eat breakfast, nearly stepped on my rod but made it to the water faster then I've ever been.

The weather? Well, wind blowing from various directions, chilly, clouds, sun and rain, heck it sounds like Ireland and it felt like that too.
I am not going to talk about numbers today, but I can tell you that I've had contact with fish on each and every spot were they should be. The Zone didn't let me down...
Every now and then there's a day like this, a strange phenomenon, a mix between consciously planning a scheme and just feel this confidence that it is going to work for sure. The fishing was great. I got some great takes, a fish that straightened my hook and another one that took off with my dropper. Crazy Rainbows! Cool! May the force be with you!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"So you don't..."

" you don't want my flies and you don't want my leaders 'cause there not up to your high standards...."
"Chris, you sound like a woman..."
"Oh Rudy, that's because I AM a woman!"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sun, clouds and rainbows

After a quick visit to one off my local spots to check for Ide, I had to rush to get my car the the garage in time.
I had made an appointment with a friend to go fishing in the afternoon.
Because the Ide weren't really on the move we agreed on visiting a clubwater nearby to try our luck there and see if we could hook up with some of the resident trout.

Morning Glory

Just a few pics to show you the reward for getting out of bed at an ungodly hour.
The water had rissen about 5 cm and the fish didn't show themselves this morning.
After this early morning quicky I had another appointment to go fishing with a friend in the afternoon.
More about that later....

Thursday, March 18, 2010


imagine this. Sunday morning. It’s early. At the first light of the new day a there’s someone standing at the waterside. It’s only been a few days since the ice and snow are gone and the first signs off a new season are showing. That certain someone at the waterside is me.
Me being happy that, after a winter of flytying, reading and dreaming about fishing, I can actually go and do this in the real world again.

I do this every year. I know the chances of early succes are slim, but still..
A chance is a possibility.
Even if I don’t  get to feel that familiar rush after the first hook-up it’s ok.
I love to be here,
Just me and a flask with some nice hot coffee.
I watch the water and see if there’s anybody there yet.
The fish that I am after is the Ide. The Ide is on the move early in the year on the road to its spawning ground.
I just emptied my cup and I’ve seen nothing so far, but decide to fish this spot blind before moving on.
The first few casts are a bit rusty, but I soon feel my muscles remember what I want them to do.
I make some more casts and after a while I even try a few fancy ones.
Today won’t be the day. The fish will be here soon though.
I reel in and walk back.
Just me, being happy.
It’s going to be a great season.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Summertime blues

I don't mind winter, but today I had a hard time remembering the last time I actually went fishing....
Here's a pic from last summer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

CDC Spent Spinner

Since everything's been covered in ice and snow for quite a while now, there hasn't been much fishing-action lately. I've spend most of my time inside. I completely re-read my John Gierach collection, serviced all my reels. bought a new net, made plans for next summer and tied some flies.