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Viking Lars' tips IV

Lars Christian Bentsen, famous Danish flyfisherman, master fly-tier, archaeologist and bag-fetisher reveals his secret tips...

Here's the latest tip!

How to select your carry system
So as I seem to have gained a wide reputation for being quite the bag-fetischist (and maybe rightfully so), I decided in this weeks tip to suggest some guidelines as to how you should select your carry system. There are really only to major points to consider.

First you need to decide how much you really want to carry. Some anglers are quite happy to carry one flybox, a spool of tippet material and a pair of snippers! Others (and Iím somewhere in between) canít do with less than 6 boxes, 6 spools of tippet, 3 extra leaders, net, raincoat, knife, pliers, Fullerís Earth, stomach-contents-sampling-device, insect identifier, insect repellant, note book and pen, camera et cetera et cetera (can you tell Iíve been there? :-). So the amount of stuff you need (or choose) to carry with you while fishing gives you the first guidelines towards the size of the bag youíre looking for. One thing you should always remember to keep in mind is to always have room for a bottle of water or whatever you prefer to drink on a hot day!

Next you decide how you wish to carry your chosen items. Chestpack? Wading vest? Waistcoat? Small backpack? Bumbag or fannypack? Chestpack with small backpack attached? Shoulderbag? Of course how you wish to carry should be considered in combination with how much you wish to carry in the respect that if you belong to the second category of anglers, a bumbag probably wouldnít be the right choice as they tend to work best for more moderate amounts of tackle!

Accessability is an important point to consider before buying your new carry system. For example, I sometimes use a bumbag for mulletfishing. I carry one box of flies in my shirt pocket and the tippet and snippers in the other shirt pocket. As mulletfishing is best done in high sun and no wind I simply use the bumbag for carrying the water I need, camera, scales, inchtape, pliers, strikeindicators, fishing license and a small lunch. I choose the bumbag here because I donít need super-easy access to the items carried in the bag Ė they just need to be there! And I like to keep my back free in hot weather. Consider carefully how much tackle you need dead-handy while fishing and how much can be stored where you might need to remove the pack in order to get to it. In Norway I used a William Joseph Coastal Pack (and by God, itís a miracle) because I need two or three boxes of flies at hand, hooks for tubeflies, three spools of leadermaterial, snippers and pliers! I had all this stuff ready at hand in the large front pockets! In the back I carried water, alternative shootinghead (I used both floating and intermediate), extra leader, knife, camera and a small MSR Pocket Rocket gasburner with small kettle and fire-steel for making hot chocolate at night.

Make sure that you try out the bag before you buy it. Load it with some weight and wear it, walk around in it, jump up and down a little, bend over, kneel and do the boogie (never mind the salesperson Ė believe me theyíve seen it all more than once) Ė just so you wonít be disappointed when you actually start using the gadget. You might also consider actually having a little more space available than you think you need. This might come in handy the you go fishing with skies hanging low and you wish you had the room for a light raincoat.
One last point to consider could be the enviroment youíre going to use it in! Are you going to the Bahamas for bones, a waistcoat although itíll carry everything you need and more, will be a poor choice as itíll be way too hot!!! Also, are you going salmonfishing a bumbag might be a wrong choice as you often need to wade deep to reach the probable lies and runs and current seams!

Happy Hunting and a Very Happy New Year to you all!

Winter Pastimes
During the winter I always take a few days to go through my flyboxes. I discard any beaten-up flies or flies I haven't used for a long, long time. Often I have some wild experiments that turned no good. I'll have them away :-). I also tie new flies, both tried and tested patterns and new ones. Make sure there are flies for all the situations I *know* might arise. For instance, this past week I've been tying Baetis Nymphs, Heptagenia Nymphs, Danica Nymphs, Shrimps, Pheasant Tails, Heptagenia Emergers, Baetis Emergers, Cased Caddis, Rhyacophilas, Hydrosyches and Danica Duns.
And it's not over yet, but by the time we reach the middle of march where I start dry-fly fishing again, my boxes will be filled and ready to go! This is something I can really recommend. For one, it's a great way to make time fly faster and it really gives you more time to fish when that time comes.
So enjoy the winter and it's indoors pastimes, my favourites are tying flies and tending to my equipment, cleaning lines, lubing ferrules, lubing reels etc. etc.
Below are a few of the nymphs I've been tying - yůu can see I'm quite partial to Oliver Edwards' designs.....

Pike Leaders
Pike are great fun to catch. For once, it's a kind of fishing where you can expect 8-10 pounds specimens on a regular basis (big fish are always fun). And as mentioned on the Frontpage, they provide great sport during the winter when other kinds of fishing are really slow. Flyfishing for them pose one major problem (apart from casting 6-inch flashstreamers) - the teeth.
Now unless you know something about what you're doing, you'll lose your fly before you even notice the pike took it. Fishing standard monofilament leaders simply doesn't cut it - the pike does however :-))) It's not that difficult to overcome though. I use quite short leaders and *extremely* simple. About a yard og 0,53mm Rio PowerFlex and slightly shorter piece of Rio 0,43mm PowerFlex. No mojo so far.
But to the last piece of mono I knot a length of Drennan Green Pike Wire with an Albright Knot. Drenne Pike Wire is very easy to make loop on, simply twist a loop and melt the coating together and trim the tag-end. Use about 8 inches of Pike Wire on the end of the leader.
I attach a length of wire to the fly the same way (see picture below). Put the wire through the hook-eye, twist a loop and melt. Make another loop on the other end - you can make this quite short. Now it's simple to attach the fly to the leader - simply loop-to-loop the whole arrangement.
This isn't fool-proof. I have had pike cut the wire as well, but it's the best solution I know of. Try it out for your self.

continue for more tips!

Viking Lars, international playboy, flyfisherman and archeologist
I may get in trouble for this side column
Action! Viking Lars about to launch a Plundercast
Viking Lars holds conference
Viking Lars experiments with the Light of Apgai and is slightly blinded
Viking Lars on the phone, giving mobile tips
Another all-action shot featuring Viking Lars
Viking Lars gives a flytying tip to Lasse
Viking Lars experiments with stance and doesn't let looking stupid stand in the way of the quest for knowledge
Vikings wear THESE shoes... and WITH socks
Viking Lars *once again*... is there no end to this plunder?
Number one tips from VIKING LARS

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