Wednesday 19 June, 2013
When being six to twelve years old I often went on sailing trips with my grand parents. In summer time this was sailing along the coast of the Baltic sea. Angling in all the harbours we visited, I often could see HUGE (3-5Kg) fish (a 5Kg fish in fact was really HUGE - almost unbelievable - to me in that age) swimming slowly around the ships and feeding seaweed and stuff like that of them. Those exciting fish were mullets!
Right from the beginning these fish always have been kind of magic to me. They are strong and very powerfull - especially when being spooked of, which young Bernd was pretty good at! The only problem was, that I had no clue how to catch them. For about many years I tried to, but never succeeded. Then I saw a Danish angler catching one by putting a piece of bred on his hook and throwing it right in the middle of a swarm of mullets. Holy moly, that moment on I knew they were catchable. I think you can well imagine what that meant to me!
But to shorten this, I never managed to catch one myself before I became a fly fisherman in age of twelve. And there is no doubt catching them on a fly is much harder than catching them on a piece of bred! Anyway I never gave up and many years after seeing that angler catching that mullet I indeed managed to fool one to take my fly! That was when I definetly realized how magic those fish can be for a fly fisherman.
Mullets usually feed on plankton and seaweed. Sometimes they may feed on small snails and very small crabs, too. All of the usual food of them is very hard - almost impossible - to imitate for us fly fisherman. And then I am pretty sure they mostly use their excellent abilty to smell, when searching up the ground for food. And it's exactly that what we fly fisherman keep ignoring and probably ever will. Well, at least I don't want to have further experiments with putting different smells on my fly. I have done it a very few times just to figure out about the differencies on different fish.
Now you may want to ask me for the right strategie to catch a mullet though. And indeed there are lots of strategies, which help to increase the change of catching one significally. Like all fish we of course can fool them to take flies in their mouth, even if they are not going to eat it - just like Atlantic salmons in the rivers.
To write down all different strategies I have come across during all those years, would fill a book and be far too much for this front page. But let me offer you a few essential keys to success:
1. You have to believe in catching one being possible!
2. Never make a cast without seeing them. It is SIGHT fishing (and sight fishing only), otherwise your change is almost about zero.
3. Never waste your time trying to catch one of those doing what they did in the last picture in the pic of the day section. Those are almost completely inpossible to catch. Sometimes you may find a huge school swimming like that. Simply look for a different school.
4. Use a 4-5wt. floating line (6 or more often spooks them off too easily). A one and a half rod lengths leader having a 0,20-0,22mm tippet will be a very good choice. A soft rod matching the 4-5wt. fly line works well in order not to break the thin leader when (strongly) setting the hook.
5. If they are moving shallow, then drop a weighted fly in front of them and start stripping it away of them. A 45° angle (to their path) might work well often.
6. If they are moving near the ground, I put a single split shot (on a side arm) in front of an unweighted fly. That way my fly drops pretty fast right in front of their nose and stays there. The correct depth is adjustable by where you position the sidearm exactly. If you get tangled in the bottom, you just loose a single split shot! Again a 45° angle to their path is a good way to start.
7. If they move slowly, strip slowly. If they move fast, strip fast. Simply strip in the same speed like they are moving. The fly should move in the same height as the fish are.That has worked well for me often, even so there are other strategies, which might work better sometimes.
8. When they start following the fly, speed up a little and finally make a long strip to set the hook.
9. You may want to have a look for some flies I use in the pic of the day section.
10. If you are faced several mullets swimming parallel along the same direction, that is when you may want to strip your fly pretty fast in a 90° angle passing them right in front of their nose. It seems to me as if this is, when sometimes everyone of them wants to be first on the fly. It's this situation I caught most of my mullets in.
It may take a while before a mullet will take your fly. No doubt they can be very tough to be fooled to take a fly though. But when they do, it may be a serious magical moment!? I have done it myself a few times... For those of you, who like eating a fish here and there, it might be worth knowing: mullets taste really delicious. Myself I haven't been eating one for a long time now - simply because it feels as magical to me to release one as it did catching it.
Hopefully I could give you some inspiration to try catching your first one soon. I know Paul would love it since it is SUMMERtime fishing always! ;)
All my best
p.s.: Fly fishing for mullet is among my personal favorite kinds of fly fishing I have done yet!
edit: The last three pics in the pod section are from yesterday - tactics worked perfectly out though! Ok, to be fair, catching THREE in one day, is very special always. ;)
THE SEXYLOOPS HOT TORPEDO - Available Here.
It's taken more than eighteen months from conception to production, numerous prototypes and experiments, two explosions (!) and many rebuilds and finally we have an outstanding flyrod. There are some truly exceptional rods available, in the high end of the market, so the benchmark is high and there is no question that we want to try raise that standard. That has been a very tall order - but a great rod is built first on a great blank.
I look for several things in a blank. It has to be fishably fast (maybe someday we'll produce a slower rod, but not for me!). It has to have feel; flex for short range accurate casts, with feeling, and yet it has to have action that allows it to flex deeply for long range casts too. There must be smooth progression between these two elements. Finally I have no compromise with regards tip stability, if the tip wobbles or bounces putting a series of waves along the fly leg of the loop then I am not interested. The Hot Torpedo has the best tip recovery of any 6-weight I have cast.
I've been working with Alejandro in Spain who is a tremendously experienced rod designer and one of the finest and most knowledgeable flycasters in the world, to produce an exclusive Sexyloops' rod that we can launch upon the market. Our blanks are carefully manufactured in Spain using four different types of high-grade carbon to our own exclusive design.
These blanks are then transported to Hungary and built by Gampi, a massively experienced rod builder who gives supreme attention to the smallest details. We fit the very best cork handles to an exclusive Spanish design (maybe living next to Portugal gives them access to the finest cork, I don't know, but I do know these are the best production handles on the planet). We use Hopkins and Holloway Single Legs on the Competition 5 and Instructor 6 rods, and Single Leg Recoils on the Pro 6 rod. Our logos have been designed by Al Pyko. Our reel seats are manufactured and anodised for us in Hungary. Our rod tubes are (currently) manufactured in the USA.
My white prototype Instructor rod has been in literally hundreds of casters hands, some of the best distance casters on the planet have thrown it. The feedback has been outstanding and despite six months of incredible abuse there are no ferrule cracks, and believe me, this is very important! Stefan broke one of our prototypes in Scotland in May. The rod went straight back to Spain, with the idea that the broken section should be strengthened around the ferrule. Alejandro's response and action was to strengthen the entire second section. Something that actually went to further improve the action of the rod!
When Mr Hardy first built his company he did so on an idea that nothing was too good for a fly fisherman. That's my philosophy too. You have my word that we will never compromise over performance. We are working on several line weights and currently we have one blank ready for release. With that one blank, we have the Competition 5, the Pro 6 and the white Instructor 6. We have no planned release dates for other products - we are working on many! - they will simply be released when they are right.
The Sexyloops Hot Torpedo... Fly Fishing Without Compromise
To assist me, I have a full-time Retail Manager, Akos Szmutni, who has been busy working on rod production for me in Hungary, as well as filming and editing our soon-to-be-released Flycasting mobile phone App (three hours of downloadable flycasting instruction video, which has taken most of the summer to prepare!). Akos has been working for me full-time for the last two months. I also have a part-time Assistant Marketing Manager, Djordje Andjelkovic. Djordje is a new addition to the fold. Welcome Djordje!
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