by Jesper Fohrmann
The Tube Bomber
Through my childhood I kept the book The Atlantic Salmon by Lee Wulff, on the shelf next to Donald Duck and Spiderman. Lee was a great inspiration to me as a young angler and I often planned to fish the rivers of Canada, so intensely portrayed in his books.
I never got to Canada but instead I started using Lee Wulff´s flies in Scandinavia. I fished some of the mighty rivers of Northern Norway where the dry fly on some occasions would out-fish the traditional sub-surface patterns. Some spots on the river were just superb for the dry fly and I would go to great extent to cover them.
One salmon lie was situated in the middle of a torrent river – Just barely indicated by a little “oily window” on the surface. It would take me 15 minutes just to get in position. Once I arrived I would use big white Bombers to cover the spot. The Bombers where tied on big single hooks and the sheer weight and impact of the fly hitting the water would quickly make the dry-flies into wet-flies.
Driven by the urge to fish this particular spot…I soon developed a long line of different fly patterns. I made flies of foam, cork and I even tied a fly on a little air-filed glass-cylinder. But none of these flies proved to be any good so I turned back to the old deer-hair flies, this time tying the flies on a thin tube instead of single hooks. These tube-dries were the right solution and before long I could build big dry flies with no considerable weight. I used small short shank carp hooks with a wide gape that would hook the fish perfectly. Upon hooking the fish the hook would become detached from the tube and the leverage problems I so often had suffered with flies tied on big hooks were gone.
Monster Tube Caddis
During the summer of 1995 some of the rivers I fished were swarming with big Caddis. Normally the Atlantic salmon is not known to eat anything on their way to the spawning grounds – but these fish in the very north of Norway where feasting away on the wealth of insects and an imitation of the caddis was needed. Like Lee Wulff 65 years before me had designed his White Wulff like a huge version of a mayfly -- so did I also create a caricature like version of the caddis of the imnephilidae family. This big caddis-caricature has ever since proven to be an excellent dry fly for salmon that has an amazing ability to draw salmon up from the deep of the pools.
Here are some photos:
Thanks, Jesper, for sharing your story of how you created these beautiful flies! I have to say these are some of the most original ideas in fly tying I've ever seen. It's such a simple yet elegant solution, much the same way salmon lures often detach from the hooks. I definitely plan on giving these a try for pike and bass...you can find more information on Jesper's creations at Fishmadman.com which you can access by Clicking Here.
-- Dr. Todd