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I would say that the most common line weight people use for normal trout fishing is #5 and heavier. I do not get this. From very early age, say 12-13, I’ve mostly fished with 3-weights, almost regardless of fishing situation, in particular in streams and rivers. Only for sea trout and lakes, fishing with intermediate lines, larger flies and in windier conditions, I have sometimes, reluctantly, used a #5 rod. My number one rod has, for almost 20 years, been the #3 Winston LT5. I have actually owned two of them, both of which I built myself, as the first one was stolen during an over nigh train ride about 15 years ago. I got the money back from the insurance and had the chance to by any new rod that I wanted. There was no hesitation.

Since then I have owned many fly rods. However, most of them have been bought on sale to complement my Winston for those few occasions I did need to cast heavier flies into the wind. Naturally all these were compromises and so recently I thought I would buy the ultimate rod that would replace all of them. I figured it would have to be a heavier line rod. I was wrong. I have recently had the chance to cast quite a few rods, including SAGE ONE and Method, in different line weights. What strikes me is that I do not cast longer with a #5 rod than I do with the #3 SAGE ONE which I in the end went for. With this I can cast up to 30 meters, and it can easily handle my biggest flies I regularly fish with, which is typically a size 10 mini streamer with a 3 mm tungsten bead. What more could I ask for? What need would I have for a # 5 rod if I normally fish with flies in sizes 14-20 and up to 5x tippets, and still can comfortably fish at distances around 25 m. Even with a heavier fish on, I couldn’t play them harder because of the tippet. On the contrary, as some argue, you can actually land fish quicker with a light rod as it will allow you to put more pressure on the fish without breaking the leader (http://www.byrdultrafly.com/rodtip.htm). Thus, at the end of the day, for me it is the tippet diameter and fly size that dictates what line weight and type of rod I choose, not the size of the fish I’m expecting to catch.

Here’s one question for you: would you rather have a light line fast action rod (say #3) or a medium action heavier line rod (#5) for fishing with light tippets and small flies? I would probably go with the light line fast action rod (in lighter weights they tend to feel softer anyway). With this one I can get my fly out faster, while still being able to protect my tippet similarly to the medium action rod and at the same time use a lighter line which will scare fish less! Also, if you only have a fast action rod and need a bit more control and feel at short distances you can always use a heavier line. Of course, you risk spooking fish marginally easier, but now you really have two rods in one: a fast action #3 for long distances and a slower action #4 for short distances. Consequently, as much as it hurts me given my history with the Winston, if I only could choose one of my rods to fish with at all times, it would have to be the SAGE ONE. It is very practical and covers pretty much all my fishing situations, some of which, lets face it, the Winston would be useless for, for instance short line nymphing with heavy flies. I would, however, regret this every time I fish small dry flies at short distances, which is where the Winston truly excels. If I would get a rod to replace both of these I can think of only one: the #3 Winston BIIIx. This could be the ultimate all-round rod for me, on paper at least as I still haven’t had the chance to try it.

E. danica 2E. danica1

Working on an Ephemera danica pattern. It will feature white/cream poly yearn extended body (painted with permanent marker), flash wing, hackle tied up with a black cdc belly. Think it will be deadly. The only thing keeping me from filming a tutorial is the fact that my fingers are black from all the painting and using superglue and look horrible at the moment.

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We’ll see how this goes… I’ve been fly fishing since I was 10 years old, which is for about 24 years and counting. My main motivation for fishing back in the days had mostly to do with the fact that our local fishing club in the suburbs of Gothenburg, Sweden, was the easiest way to get out in nature, camping, fishing and just generally enjoying the outdoors. In fact, I was 13 year old when we for the first time took the train to a small train station in the middle of nowhere, or more specifically Kaitum, Lappland. The station building was close to the size of a doghouse where we ended up staying the night before we had to take the train back. As we were afraid of missing the train we decided, democratically of course, that no one should sleep during the night. We didn’t miss the train. I keep saying we, and so I feel I should say that this included me and five friends, all several years older than me, from the local angling club, which, if I recall correctly, was named ‘Vapa’ for ‘rod’ in Finnish. Yes, this is a suburb with lots of immigrated Finns, who mostly initially moved there to work on the large Volvo factories in the 70’s. This included my parents. Just a few days ago I asked my dad how he could let me join the others on this trip. I think the reason was that I had decided it. I was, and still can be, quite determined.

Anyway, I may tell more about this trip and others in future posts, but with this I wanted to say that although fly fishing has always been a great interest of mine, because how things panned out in my life, I lost a lot of focus on it for quite some years.  For the past 3 years I’ve been in Manchester for work, which means that I’ve really started to appreciate the greatness of the Scandinavian outdoors a lot more. In particular the ease at which you can go fishing almost anywhere. What really set me off with fly fishing again in particular, was that I found a nice little fly fishing shop in Stockport (which is a town, not a city, because it doesn’t have a kathedral, I was recently made aware of), with very enthusiastic staff. I would go there, mostly on Saturdays and they would take me outside to the grass lawn to test lots of different rods and lines. And when I say go there, I mean walk for around one hour one way. I like walking, hence the obsession with the Swedish mountains. You can see very far on a nice day, but because I always want to see more I would have to walk quite a bit as well. This gives me time to think, which I also like.

Anyway, back to the story. Yes, this shop in Stockport. Because they were so nice and enthusiastic, this soon became my resort to flee the city life, if just for a while (well, not actually even leaving the city, or town, in this case). For a while I gave the British outdoors a shot. It didn’t really compare with Scandinavia, although it has its gems as well (Snowdonia, for instance, except for all the people).

This summer I went fishing in Tännäs, Härjedalen with one of my best friends and some of his close family members and friends, in total six people. One of them is a lot into specimen fishing and as a result fishes for about 100 days per year. He also spent four months in New Zeeland fishing similar streams and rivers we were up against this particular trip. Since I’ve been fly fishing for such a long time (about 70% of my life, when I think about it and used a calculator) and had such fancy and expensive gear, I thought I must be pretty good. I wasn’t. For most of the time, he knew exactly where to fish, how and when, and as a result caught so much more fish than me, particularly in streams and rivers. This made me realize that actually, I still have lots of things to learn so in this blog I will, in addition to waste your precious time with nonsense (which is an imminent risk, I fear), try to show you what tricks in fly fishing I learn as time passes. My first video post will be about my favourite adult caddis dry fly pattern. I think I will call it the CFF foam caddis.