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Big Dry Flies for Fast Water - Run Time 2 hours 20 mins

Big Dry Flies for Fast Water - Run Time 2 hours 20 mins

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In my opinion, the Klinkhåmer has made the biggest impact on river fly fishing in my lifetime. It is a universal fly, it copies everything, and nothing in particular! This pattern has an unbelievable ability to bring fish up out of the blue.

It is a low maintenance fly, floats superbly, even after been taken by a trout or grayling. 

There are two more fast water dry fly patterns that I would not be without. Roman Moser's Balloon Caddis and my own Tape Wing Caddis, both can bring fish up in riffles, but really come into their own when fish are keyed on to caddis flies.


The History and Background to the Klinkhåmer

1984 was a good year for fly fishermen, for one particular Dutch fisherman it was an extremely good year. That was Hans van Klinken, then little known outside his native Netherlands.

Hans was on one of his many visits to fish the river Glomma in Central Norway, a river noted for its grayling, not just the number of fish, but more importantly, their enormous size.

One of Hans' friends was leaving the fishing camp just as he arrived. He suggested to Hans that he tried large dry flies, but to fish them semi-wet, sunk well into the surface film. He'd apparently done well with a Red Tag, size eight long shank, but fished damp!?

Sometime later, Hans was cleaning a grayling for the pot and decided to open it up to see what it had been eating. He discovered very large, curved, caddis pupae inside. It was obvious he had to copy these. So something quite large, with a well curved abdomen hanging from the surface film ought to attract some attention - Well, that was his original thinking.

But how to float this large body, and make it easy for the angler to see in the fast water? Simple, he used an oversized para hackle with a big, buoyant calf tail wing post.

This prototype was given a few tweaks, crimped polyarn replaced the calf tail wing post and a peacock herl thorax was added to give contrast with the lighter abdomen. Originally it was christened the LT Caddis, LT being the initials of Light Tan, the colour of the Fly Rite poly dubbing used.

The Klinkhamer fly tied by Oliver Edwards

The pattern was then given its now universally known name - The Klinkhåmer, not by Hans van Klinken himself, but by another angler also called Hans, the late Hans de Groot. He came up with the idea of combining Klink from Hans' surname with something Norwegian sounding - since the fly was conceived in Norway. So he tagged on the word 'håmer', everyone was happy and the name stuck. The rest as they say is history - Hans had created a masterpiece, the Klinkhåmer Special, a fish fooling fly with few equals.

The Klinkhåmer Special although intended to be a caddis pattern, doesn't need any caddis activity whatsoever to work.  It is best fished in riffles or rough broken water. And as a general rule, it is not a fly to use on flat glides.

In my opinion, the Klinkhåmer has made the biggest impact on river fly fishing in my lifetime. I can't think of any other single pattern that has had the same impact or following. This fly already sits alongside the Greenwell's Glory, Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, Partridge & Orange, Sawyers Pheasant Tail Nymph, and the other 'Hall of Fame' patterns.

There are two more fast water dry fly patterns that I would not be without. They are Roman Moser's Balloon Caddis and my own Tape Wing Caddis.

Both can be tied quite large and both can bring fish up from nowhere. However, their real strength lays in their ability to copy caddisflies. This may either be during emergence, or egg laying, which as you know is often around dusk.

Roman Moser Ballon Caddis tied by Oliver Edwards

Roman Moser's Balloon Caddis was designed to copy a caddis right on the point of emergence. The yellow Polycelon foam balloon represents the bulging thoracic cuticle of the emerger. Clearly a pattern best fished in the evening, during a caddis emergence. However, some fly fishers have taken to using it as another daytime search pattern, when there's not a caddis in sight - and it works! 

Oliver Edwards Tape Wing Caddis

My Tape Wing Caddis has too distinct an outline for it to be taken by 'mistake'. It is a surface riding adult caddis - period. At dusk, with good caddis activity, (usually the Hydropsychidae), this pattern can be lethal. True most of the splashing and swirling rises will be to the ascending phyrate adults (pupae). But remember, in the general mêlée of emergence, there will be casualties - imperfect flies, exhausted flies, plus returning egg layers. So try the Tape Wing or the Balloon Caddis if you find yourself in, or even suspect, caddis activity.

Contents Include

  • Fishing the Klinkhamer
  • Line Control
  • Leader Make Up for the ‘Duo’ or ‘Klink and Dink’
  • Fishing the ‘Duo’ or ‘Klink and Dink’
  • Downstream Dump Casting
  • Fishing the Tape Wing Caddis
  • Fishing the Balloon Caddis
  • Tying the Klinkhamer Special LT Version
  • Tying the Balloon Caddis
  • Tying the Tape Wing Caddis

DVD Regions

DVDs are produced in both PAL (European) and NTSC (US) television formats and all DVD regions are supported. We will dispatch your DVDs in the format and region code that corresponds to your shipping address.


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As a guide, post and packing for a single DVD to a destination on the UK mainland or Northern Ireland costs £1.99, a full set of 8 DVDs will be sent signed for delivery in the UK, the post and packing is £4.99.  

International post and packing ranges from £3.99 up to £16.99 for the international tracked and signed for service for orders over £60.

Delivery times vary depending on where the goods are being sent, we cannot guarantee delivery time; rough guide for the UK is 1 to 3 days from dispatch.  International orders 5 to 12 business days from order depending on location.

Postage is calculated by weight and destination at checkout.

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Last updated 15 06 22

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