Viking Lars | Saturday, 27 May 2017

In Scandinavia, long-winged salmon flies are the norm - presumeably dating back to the famed Sunray Shadow by Brooks, invented along the banks of Lærdal River in Norway sometimes in the 1950ies.

The modern style was established by Håkon Norling and Mikael Frödin during the late 1980ies and early 1990ies. Flies with long, soft wings tied with materials like artic fox, temple dog and many other materials.

Today, many use thin, tapered zonkerstrips instead, but - the topic for this front page remains the same. Namely that long wings, up tp 3-4 times the length of the tube will foul every once in a while, no matter how good a caster you are.

During the 1990ies, I think, Danish salmon guru Jan Grünwald came up with a partial solution as he began cutting one of the hooks off the trebles that were the norm (and still is for many). This gave less fouling, and he could even turn the remaining two up, insted of down, and experiences less snags.

Even with modern, short shank tube-adapted doubles the fly will foul every now and then, and an early fix was a small ball of epoxy just where the shanks meet in the weld. Using the epoxy to simply close the sharp "V" where the shanks meet further reduced the fouls, as the wing no longer got caught in the sharp "V".

It wasn't long before brightly coloured UV-resins came on the market, and now "we" could almost eliminate fouling *and* get a nice, bright strike point in one go. The early UV-cured resins weren't particularly good and they needed hours in bright sun to fully cure, and even then, they didn't bond very well to the hook and often fell off.

A few years ago the fellows in Korsholm, one of Denmark's largest flyfishing retailers, spotted something good, and easy! In today's picture, you can see one of my small Sunray Shadows (with a built-in bright red tag), fitted with an Ahrex HR 440 tube double. The hook is fitted with a small, silicone ball that is pushed onto the hook before it's tied on the leader.

This little ball offers the same protection as the epoxy-dollop by preventing the long wing getting caught in the "V", and as they come in bright red, bright orange and bright yellow, they also provide a strike point for your hook. They're a bit fidgety to get on the hook (very difficult with cold, wet hands), so prepare some before hand.

This is just one of those small, little things that go a long way in improving a day's fishing!

Have a great weekend!