Friday, January 25, 2013

Oak Orchard Fly Shop Demo

I made my annual trip to the Oak Orchard Fly Shop in Williamsville, NY last Saturday (1/19/13) to do a fly tying demo.  The OOFS has guest tyers every Saturday afternoon during January and February.  I look forward to this trip every year, as it is one of the nicest collection of folks around. From Emanual at the register, to Nick organizing/hosting, and the dedicated locals that show up to make it all worthwhile. This year is special since it is the shop's twenty year anniversary. Keeping up to my standard I whipped up some chili and my wife made a chocolate jelly roll cake with mint cookies and crème filling.  If you are willing to watch me tie for two hours, the least I can do is feed you. Right?  My buddy Martin and I met up with our Buffalo friend Eric at Duff's for some Buffalo wings and a beer before heading to the shop.  The demo went very well and the sharing of ideas was a two way street.  It's always great to see folks returning from year to year.  This drives me to keep it fresh with new ideas and patterns. This year I decided to do some foam flies and warmwater patterns.  As most demos go, not everything goes smooth and being able to talk through these not so perfect moments helps me improve.  I look forward to next year already.  Thanks for the support guys and gals. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Simo Lumme & The Nalle Puh

This is an article I had done several years ago for Hatches online.....I wanted to add it to my blog for reference....enjoy if you hadn't seen it before.

Simo Lumme; The man behind the Nalle Puh fly and the man who defined a country’s love for fly fishing.
Have you ever heard of the Nalle Puh fly or Simo Lumme?  Most likely as Americans, the answer is no.  I’m here to give you a little taste of what the fly tying world and the Internet can do to broaden your fly fishing horizons.  Simo Lumme was an architect from Finland who had a passion for fly tying and fishing.  One of his most famous patterns was the Nalle Puh, which translates to Winnie The Pooh, which he created in the late 1960s.

The Nalle Puh is regarded as the National Fly of Finland.   Simo created the Nalle Puh to represent an egg laying caddis as it hovers and skips across the water’s surface.  The ingenuity of this fly shines with its great floatability and bear fur wings giving the illusion of caddis wings in motion. Today there is a whole clan of Nalle Puh flies: Dark Puh, Honey Puh CDC Puh, etc. Two things to keep in mind when tying the Nalle Puh; the wings should be more upright than forward, and the body hackle should be slight shorter than the thorax hackle.  These tips help reduce the chances of the fly floating face first in the water.

Nalle Puh
Hook- size 6-16 (dry)
Thread- Orange or yellow
Wing- bear hair or synthetic substitute, tyed in a V
Rib- Fine Gold Wire (counter wrapped over hackle on the abdomen.
Body/dubbing- Orange and yellow poly yarn and hare’s ear blend (nice and buggy)
Hackle-Red-brown rooster on the body and red-brown rooster for front hackle

Simo’s fascination with caddis flies lead to more in depth studies of their behavior and life cycles.  Caddis flies dominate many of the waters in Finland, and are a major food source for the trout and grayling found there. Simo would often inspect the stomach contents of trout and sketch what he saw in a notebook with ink pens and colored pencils.  Simo would often do his sketches streamside knowing that the stomach acid of a trout would change the color of its contents.  Through his research in the early 1970s Simo learned that certain times of year the trout would feed heavily on sedge pupas.  He came up with an excellent pattern to represent the pupa using reflective trilobal man-made fibers (antron).  It is believed he was one of the first fly tyers to use antron for it’s air-bubble-trapping properties. A good friend, Preben Torp Jacobsen of Denmark saw a pupa pattern tyed by Simo and named it the SL Pupa using Simo’s initials.
Preben Torp Jacobsen talking about the SL Pupae; “Simo is not using very much dubbing - most flytyers use all too much material! After each turn of dubbing he brushes the dubbing backwards with his fingers. In that way, the tying silk will always be close to the hook and not placed on top of another turn of dubbing. After the tying he combs the whole fly with a piece of ‘Velcro’, so that the fibers trail backwards. Should he by accident have used too much dubbing, then he cuts the fly with a pair of scissors and then treats it once more with the 'Velcro'. The tying can seem very simple; but it’s of utmost importance, that the fly looks ‘light’ and surrounded by a 'halo' of fine, fluttering fibers, that diffuse the contour of the fly.”
Simo Lumme describing his dubbing mixture to Preben Torp Jacobsen;
"I try to imitate it with a dubbing of a mixture of artificial wools - partly stiff; but with a sharp luster like polyamide (nylon, perlon, antron etc.), partly something more soft like polyacryl (dralon, rayon or natural wool), and I use white wool to 'tone' the colors down. I cut the fibers in short lengths, separate them and mix them thoroughly, until I get the right hue. Exactly the same way a painter mixes the colors on his palette".

 As a skilled architect, Simo Lumme could draw excellent pictures of fly tying sequences and fishing illustrations. He co-authored the most popular book about Finnish fly fishing and fly tying in 1990 (Lumme & Pusa: Perhonsidonta (Fly Tying) Otava 1988, Finland).

The Finnish flyfishing community was shocked in early November 1998 by the sudden death of Simo Lumme at the age of 69.
 Simo Lumme was a truly inspirational in his contributions to the fly fishing world.  He knew well the importance of American fishing styles and the etiquette of traditional British fly fishing. 
Combining these two styles he was one the most influential fly fishing figures in Finnish history.
“There really was much more to his fishing than just catching fish.”  Simo Lumme was truly a gentleman and believed highly in ethics both on the water and in everyday life.

What started as a simple inquiry about a fly pattern, evolved into a greater appreciation for another part of the world and the amazing people that I stumbled upon along the way.  I am disappointed that it has taken me this long to learn of Simo Lumme, but I would have been more disappointed having not learned of him at all.  I encourage everyone who reads this article to take a little time the next time you tie on a fly and think about what story might lie behind it’s creation.  And when at your vice looking to create that next go-to-fly….could it some day be the fly of a nation?

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast? said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said. ……from “The Tao Of Pooh”, by Benjamin Hoff

 Author: Lumme, Simo and Pusa, Juha
 Title: Perhonsidonta / Simo Lumme, Juha Pusa   [Perhonsidonta=Fly Tying]
 1. edition 1988
 2. edition 1993
 199 pages (includes pictures)
 ISBN 951-1-12590-7

Author: Pusa, Juha
Title: "Urheilukalastajan käsikirja"   (That translates to: Sportfisherman's Hand Book)
Edition  1982).
(Simo Lumme wrote a chapter of dry fly fishing and was also
the illustrator for the entire book)

Sources:    "Olli Jääskeläinen"

Roihuvuori water tower in Eastern Helsinki, Finland. (60° 11' 51" N 25° 02' 59" E) Built in the 1976-1977.Design by architect Simo Lumme. It is 52 metres high and can hold around 12,000 m³ of water. Photo by Finnish Wikipedia user Otto-Ville Mikkelä

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Upcoming demo and the Short-Holer of the Weekend

I will be tying an assortment of warmwater flies and serving chili to the folks at the Oak Orchard Fly Shop  on Saturday 1/19/2013 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Buffalo, NY

Short-Holer of the Weekend goes to this nitt-witt. He drops in 15 feet below me, without a word. Then wades out to the middle of the river and proceeds to start casting. Then three casts into fishing his line tangles. For the next ten m...inutes he fumbles with his line. Note the line is wrapped around his head. I then proceed to smirk and get out and short hole him! If you see this guy on the water, tell him thanks for the entertainment!....LOL