Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autumnal Rush

Autumnal Rush
by Stephan Dombaj

Now that the Salmonide close season has started, the suicide rate among flyfishers is increasing rapidly. But there´s a cure and I am not talking about far-away places and tropical adventures. I´m talking about the toothy secret of your backyard: Pikes, Perches, Zeds, Asps and so on - but the best thing is: Autumn is the very best time to go for them, cause they got to gain weight before it´s getting cold. So, it´s up to you whether you are suffering from circadian-trout-close season-depression or from bleeding hands because your last 40inch plus Pike has beaten up the shit out of you. I guess you like it the hard way just like we do...

(Predator-Hunt, the dark side of flyfishing)

Let´s start with Mr. Lucius itself - Pike (Esox lucius) is one of European´s biggest and most popular predators, period! And that for valid reasons: That monsterous mean fish kills for fun anything that is almost as big as itself. 850 needlesharp teeth are an appropriate tool to kill both warmblooded animals and aquatic animals. It is our godgiven duty to take revenge for each helpless animal that found it´s end inbetween the blood-dripping jaws of Mr. Lucius.

("Strip it fast and prey for the big bang!")

As you can see - big flies are needed in addition to the fact that Pikes, especally bigger ones, have a very hard and boney mouth, you have to make sure that you set the hook properly! After the take, wait a second till the fish turns, then nail it via flyline and the buttsection of your rod...several times. As far as your equipment is concerned, make sure that it´s prepared for these harsh actions...needlesharp hooks, shocktippet and an appropriate steelwire or fluocarbontippet. Need some flies? Check this out: PIKEFLIES

(Pike Booster prepared for some action!)

(Get equipped!)

(Fat autumn Pike - 40+ on 6wt. AEG Signature)

(Nearly 42 inches - Release)

(39 inch Glomma-Pike)

Talking about toothy secrets, we shouldn´t forget about "Zeds" (Stizostedion lucioperca) Zeds are considered to be far more distinguished than Pikes ... and well, it´s the truth. But ain´t that thing hot as hell? In my eyes a brilliant gamefish that can be quite tricky to get on fly... but that´s the challenge! As far as flies are concerned: Take the same patterns frome upon - maybe a bit smaller.

(6wt AEG vs. Zed)

(Zed on Pike Booster Fly)




Take your time and give it a try, beside the the two predators upon - there´s a lot more to experience! For example:

(Catfish on Fly)



Just slipping away from predators for a sec. you´ll soon find out that autumn is aswell the best time for giant carps on fly!

(Gian Carp on a 4wt)

(Wannbe predator nailed on a streamer)

(Koi on fly)

If that ain´t flyfishing - I don´t know!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Creek Addicted

Creek Addicted
by Stephan Dombaj

Flyfishing is your cocaine - it keeps you going and you need it periodically. Your life as a flyfishing-junkie is a walk on a tightrobe and you are constantly searching for the next kick. Time to take it to the next level. You think it ain´t possible, than check out the highly addictive Opti Creek Series: The ultimate ultra light tools par excellence...

After one year of harsh longterm abuse I have to admit that I´m addicted to this rods. To be true, I´m using both the 2weight and the 3weight version (short and the long one) 90% of the time for trout- and streamfishing. Due to the tremendously deep loading action, these rods give you both power and sensitivness without being too mellow.

(373-3A Creek vs. Mur-River-Grayling)

Some people are still quite sceptical as far as lightline rods and big fishes are concerned; 2 and 3 weights are considert to be small-fish-fun-optimizer but reality couldn´t be further... I caught some of my biggest fishes on this sticks! To boil it down, I caught some very big fishes JUST because of this rods and I will tell you why...

(65cm Barbel vs. 2wt. Opti Creek)

Think about the real efficiency of a flyrod... you´ll come to the conclusion that we are operating withing a 15meter radius in the majority of cases. So now that we know that distance is just a realtive convinience we can adjust our tackle to fit in this range as far a presentations on 2 - 15 meters are concerned. It ain´t as easy as one may think...take a common WF-Flyline and try to present and streach your leader on a range of 3 Meters. Common linesystems are - in most cases - way to light on the first few meters to create a straight energytransfer that is energetic enough to streach leader, tippet and fly. Some flyanglers start to wiggle the rod aggressivly in order to get some more line out - finally they are going to lose the precision we are aiming for. Corollary of that example, a line that loads your rod even on the shortest distances. Long story short: Both the OptiCreek and the OptiStream lines are perfectly matching up with this rods. Due to the action of this lightweight rods we can go for bigger and spooky salmonides with very thin leaders, which can be heavyweight argument for dries. The quite short but yet so heavy tapersection in addition to the delicate deeploading action of the rodsystem results in a never-seen-before fishtool.

(Size 20 SD´s Spinner, black)

Still not convinced? Allright, I guess it´s time for some action now! Beside the pros upon there is another very important thing about UL (Ultralight)-Tackle: The yet so deep action has the same effect as a rubber-strap - it is shock absorbing so it´s nearly impossible to break thin leaders even if you are playing rough. And believe me... you can play very rough with this sticks!

Ultralight Rods = Ultralight Flies ?! Not at all... believe it or not, but you better give it a try. You can serve real beef flies aswell...for sure it´s not that delicate but it works!

(Tungsten Wooly Bugger goes Creek 2wt.)

(0,12mm diameter on a OptiCreek 2wt. vs. BIG FISH)

(69cm Bow on OptiCreek 2wt. - the fish was activly feeding on emergers 3 Meters away from me )

(Giant Trout vs. Creek Combo - the winner is...)

The Rods are available in 2lineclasses and 3 diffrent lenghts, each rod is quite indiffrent in comparison to the others:
  • LOOP Opti Creek 282-3A + Creekline WF2F is maybe the most versatile 2weight flyrod available. Superior "castability" even with big streamers! My fav. for 08.
  • LOOP Opti Creek 373-3A + Creekline WF3F (New for 2008) The short 3wt. is a true jungle-rod! Smooth and delicate action gives you a lot of control on shorter distances.
  • LOOP Opti Creek 388-4A + OptiStream WF3F is a true all-purpose rod. Powerfull and yet very progressive. Way faster than the short version.
Check out the following images. Maybe you´ll see why I am freaking out on that stuff. Beside all technical specifications and line recommendations it´s all about the feeling. Sometimes it´s not up to us to decide the moment when the fish of your lifetime/trip/year arrives - it´s just up to us to descide whether we are taking the chance or not. With this tackle you can be sure that you have the right tool to challenge this situation. And that´s what it´s all about - challenge everything.

(Get bend! 2wt Creek vs. Sneep)


(Mr. Brown)

(Conehead-Streamer Trout on 2wt.)

(Fat Barbel vs. Opti Creek 2wt.)

(Creek Combo did it again)

(Austrian Grayling on our latest toy - 373-3A Creek)

(Angry Sneep vs. Creek)

(Fat Sneep)

(Opti Creek 373-3A slammed down a nice buck)

(Creek Char)

(Sweet Brownie, 09Softshell and Creek Combo)


Still here? C´mon - take your rod and get back to the water! Tight Lines!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Flyfishing Guerilla - Trout Apocalypse

Flyfishing Guerilla - Trout Apocalypse aka. No Happy End
by Stephan Dombaj
feat.: Paulo Hoffmann
& Marvin Kleinhans

How could I know that all these damn fine migratories were just a warm up for the situation this whole story is based on. This is a Photostory about a battle that is neither lost or won yet, about the greatfullness of being a flyfisher, about the question why certain things happen, about the puzzling rush that takes over when your time has come and about a trout that kicked my butt big time...

(Fatty is heading upstream)

Very glad to welcome Marvin, who had travelled a few hour just to get his dose of Guerilla Fishing, we arrived the stage for the ultimate light line rush. As some of you may know, we slammed down a couple of brilliant Bows and Browns this autuumn. The annual run of migratory fishes is for sure one of the best reasons to get the lazy ass back to the riverside, doesn´t matter whether it´s raining, snowing or even hailing nukes...

(Paulo´s Barbel)

Trouts and Barbel as a prelude ain´t that bad, but there was more to come, so I went downstream to check out the typical spots for our fav. "runners" - and what I found was much more than I ever expected. As mentioned upon, we are used to see Bows till 27inches, sipping dries from the surface on that specific spots; and as far as extent is concerned, I got tainted since I have been fishing for Bows in Argentina (Jurassic Lake)... The giant shade just a few meters away from me was moving slightly in the harsh current. Holy cow, that thing was huge - for sure one of the biggest trouts I have seen so far in Germany. The magic barrier about to crack: 80cm + (31inches+)

Check the following footages - some of them may appear a bit unsharp, but i want you to witness this happening from the very beginning, so here we go:

(There it is - just behinde the weed on the right side)

(Mrs. Mr. Purple String Leech -12cm!!!)

Damnit, it refused it alike the Stimulator and Prince-Nymph I tried. Hell knows why,but I was convinced that a classic Salmon-Pattern would work out very well. Due to the fact, that we got some "Runners" on dries before, I decided to hitch the black Alley´s Shrimp in order to trigger a reflex-strike. And here we go again...

(Rigging up the hitching Alley´s Shrimp black)

(Out of the Cover - way around)

As the fly passed the visual field of that cracker, it moved forward and nailed the pattern right away from the (sub-) surface and Paulo was able to take a shot; you can even see the streaching leader! PRICELESS!!!

(The take!!!)

(Supersized - white mouth)

The fish turned it´s head and I nailed it just right in the corner of it´s mouth....

(Splitsecond after the take)


(And it´s still running...)

(The fish turned and blasted upstream into the deep pool upon)

(Damnit, an old concret pillar at the ground could be a problem)

(Sweet merry mother... it´s aiming for the pillar...down and dirty but...)

it was too late... cracked the tippet on the sharp edges!!! I got bitchslapped by Big Granny Bow!!! Both Paulo and Marvin were convinced that this fish would have cracked down the magic 30inch barrier and it kicked my butt. I fired my rod into the bushwrack (The gear can handle it - a Loop is built to resist) didn´t know what to say... so I remained as calm as possible, and made my plans for a revenge. I´ll get that Bow! Could have been my PB for 09, but I failed - and this is what keeps us going: the challenge!

So now that I bored you guys to death by complainig about my potential trophy, I have to get you some fishes, eh? Okay, here we go:

(Paulo´s first shot of the day)

(Darkish Brownie)

(Marvin´s turn)

(Decent Bow)


(Tight Lines)

(Pale gold)


(Guerilla Style Char)

(My cock is much bigger than yours)

(Portrait Pt.II)


(Barbel Hookup!)


(P´s Barbel)

(Barbel Portrait)


(Brown vs. Yellow)

to be continued...


(Randome Dude/Bum that fell asleep in the train)

(Streetart Pt.I)