Ob fly fishing. In the beginning there was a fly.

Continuation of the article:


In the beginning there was a fly

Namely, the streamer is an imitation of fry. Streamer as the fourth type of spinning lure. Before him, in recent history, in the Ob, lures, wobblers and soft lures were caught. Any imitation, including the fly, the fish needs to be served somehow, and everything was served from the spinning rod. Streamers – either on short leashes above the main sinker or jig-head, or by the method of the “Ob classic” (this method was described in 1987, “Fisherman” No. 4, in the article “With a spinning on a bream”), or using the “buckle” – floating sinker. By the way, the last method is described by Milan Kurnetsik in his wonderful work “Fly Fishing Encyclopedia” (p. 42, “Fishing with a ball float”). The use case for spinning gear in a book on fly fishing is presented as radical for large rivers. It should be noted that the advantage of the Ob delivery (flood of 1.8- 2.2 meters with a landing height (from the tank) of at least 60 cm) is that when fishing, a heavy floating sinker does not hang between the fisherman and the fish, but swims calmly nearby.

What can I say about the Ob and the fly fishing, if in general not so long ago, in the summer of 1984 (that year I purchased a motorboat), at the Chaika-2 boat base (now the Burevestnik water-motor club) ) for more than 500 boats there were only two spinning players: me and Volodya Schupta. No, there were a lot of fishermen, however, donkeys, “subsumes”, “rubber bands”, float rods, nets, airplanes, etc. were popular tackle. There were very few spinners in the city, almost everyone knew each other by name, especially the coast guards. The complexity of coastal fishing, due to the problems of ultra-long casting, combined and allowed more communication. Over time, the experience of these people, all their successful (and not so) experiments and attempts to introduce something of their own merged together and acquired the classic forms that we have today. The best spinning boatboats left the coastists, and the rest, by virtue of their isolation, lagged behind, but still had more opportunities in studying Ob spaces and processes. The main life of the Ob flows away from the coast. The coastal zone is the periphery. Here, as a rule, only echoes of the main events are audible, and even not all of them.

Spinningists, both shore guards and boaters, were divided into certain groups – friendly companies. Each of them had their own leaders, others imitated them, using the same equipment, baits and fishing system. In stores of that time only Nevsky reels and Klinsky fishing lines were bought. Everything else, especially lures (spinners, "cigarettes"), were made manually, independently. So, I’m almost not mistaken if I say that not one such “clan”, not one mafia (family) “spinning group”, either at the hydroelectric power station or on Korovy ostrov (where the pontoon bridge was built until 1983 inclusive), nor streamers were not used at boat bases or in labor collectives. I heard about a spinning player from the Lokomotiv distant boat base who was catching goat wool on Wabiks, but his name was hidden in the darkness of history, and a worthy place for the flies did not appear. Most likely, primitive flies made from goat hair could not compete with traditional and more accessible “cigarettes” made of polystyrene foam, not differing too much either in appearance or in the power of visual impact on predatory grasping reflexes.


Spinning continued to be an elite tackle “for initiates” until 1995, until twisters and vibro-tails appeared in stores (winter 94-95). By June 10, everyone who had done this before knew about them. Moreover, just as the “colt” in America equalized all citizens in their rights, soft baits made Novosibirsk spinning a mass phenomenon. There is no longer any need for tricky templates, dies and punches, special sheet metals necessary for the manufacture of “turntables”. I came to the store, scored “killer rubber” – and you are a ready spinning player.

But “a terrible thing happened”: the summer 95 market was not ready for the demand that arose, which significantly exceeded the supply. Despite economic problems, the emergence of modern gear showed that spinning is not a stranger to the domestic mentality, which was hard to believe a year ago. By mid-June, all soft baits had disappeared from store shelves. And when in July, in the Sport store on the street. Kotovsky, the long-awaited container with vibro-tails from the Saturn plant came, he was met by a huge crowd.

I got lucky. At the very beginning of June, in the “Champion”, I managed to purchase two sets of twisters for 50 thousand rubles each. each (inflation ramp time). Among other things, “good” (for a hundred thousand!), They scored a dozen of two very small twisters and vibro-tails 1-1.5 cm long.

But the Ob lived according to its own laws, and by the end of June last year's fry had lost its significance, all the predators (and not only) switched to a year-old. Large twisters continued to catch perch only in the coastal zone, in bushes blown by the current. And that is only because it was the third year of great water – coastal dachas drowned on the very roofs. The coastal zone was an extensive "mangrove" thicket, with Venetian alleys instead of the former roads, and was "stuffed" with a large fry. In the center of the river, on all Ob riffs, the predator seemed to evaporate, but not with Andrei Yurchenko (my frequent partner)! While we had the smallest twisters, the catches were simply huge, even by the standards of the fishing river, bringing to hysteria the fishermen from other boats whose twisters of 5 cm or more became plastic toys. When all the catchy imitations were “beaten” by a fish or settled on hooks, we were able to understand what catches not the type of bait, but precisely the “size” as a catch factor. Such twisters were nowhere to take. After thinking about all this, I sat down at the “knitting machine”, which at that time was the smallest industrial vise. There were minimal skills. In the taiga, near Severobaikalsk, literally on a stump, local fishermen taught to knit flies on grayling. Prior to that, my brother and I had plucked a hectare of forest with axes, found 9 bark beetles – the forest was clean there, and caught 9 grayling. Those fishermen appeared as saviors, with full bags of full-bodied black graylings. For 25 Ob lures, in which they immediately saw the present (“they’ll go to lenok”), I learned a knitting lesson with all the intricacies of the school there and caught 43 fish up to 450 grams by dusk. weight.

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The first Ob streamers were like these flies, but had a straight silhouette – under the fry. The body of the fly was made from a ribbon of ordinary polyethylene. Short tail made of kapron (longitudinal fibers of baby ribbons). The cock feather was wound as a “spider” (“spider”), in three or four turns throughout the forearm, i.e. with fairly rare villi. Hook, in order to avoid gatherings on the Ob stream, up to No. 6, according to international classification.

Intuition did not disappoint. The effect exceeded expectations: streamers up to 1.5 cm long “collected” all Ob fish, regardless of size, even better than small twisters. The usual spinning spinner with such a common size, but at the same time it is very difficult to make a stable game, it is easier to wait until the fry grow up. Unlike the spinners, the fly worked at any feed angles, both lower and significantly higher than the perpendicular to the flow, at the sharpest upper corners, which facilitated snatching, the streamer did not twist the leash. The length of the streamer was easily adjusted according to the length of the fry, which fell from the mouth of the caught perches, by cutting the tail.

It was the streamer that suggested that it was not the bait as a whole that caught it, but the effects that it created. The round head of a micro-jig or a brass ball gives the effect of an eye, a polyethylene body and the villi of a rooster feather pressed in the silhouette of a fry — the translucency effect, the hard and sharp tips of the same feather — the fin effect, and in flies that imitate insects — the effect of chitinous limbs. All this is familiar to the fish, familiar and edible. The conclusion is this: when creating any imitation, you need to strive for effects that can “pressure” the fish reflexes, which can “work out on instinct”. Depending on the conditions, it is possible to vary these effects, reducing or increasing them to super-effects (3 times larger eye, absolute translucency, color instead of hue or tint instead of color). Then, of the living fry and its imitation, the ide or perch would rather choose the imitation, since the living prototype has effects, and the fly has super-effects. Or: the prototype is alive, and the streamer is even more natural.

There is, there is something subtle in fly fishing. There is a wide field for creative experiments. There is an opportunity to pinch the strings of the fish soul, and she, I assure you, has it mainly in the stomach.

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Later, after trying various versions of streamers, namely: Steinforth "monsters" and "tandems", New Zealand "mats", "lazy gudgeon", I had to stop at the original version, as the most catchy and simple to manufacture. In the middle of the season, or, more simply, in the summer, the Ob fish like the medium-sized “ephemeris” related by the “spider” type. The effects created by the preferably tough and shiny bristles of these flies should resemble the play of glass of a children's kaleidoscope or the play of air over the hot asphalt of a highway. It is enough to make a thicker “palmer” out of the “spider” or add fibers to the back (like a tank fly) and the desired effects go away, and the fly’s catchment sometimes drops to zero. From rabid zhora, to complete lack of meat, it happens that “microns” are separated. But you should never go to extremes and look for any one imitation, like a panacea for lack of meat, and, finding something similar – “rest on our laurels” and “smoke bamboo”. In any fishing rule, there are always more exceptions than in the mathematical one. Towards one single, most developed system, fishing is able to put forward many of its options. Some of them will correspond to the canons, and the mass of others will be the exception. It is best to catch by the rules, taking into account all the possible nuances. The rule should be full boxes of flies of various sizes, shapes and colors.

If you understood correctly, the Ob "spider" arose from the need of life, and not from the desire to invent something, like some other flies that appeared after. People caught something similar back in those days when Kamenka, the dirtiest rivulet in Novosibirsk, flowed along the surface, not in pipes underground, and graylings were found in it. Or maybe mammoths roamed the shores. But if until July 1995, one of the most common phrases in our water-motor club was “Sergey, you won’t have an extra spoon”, then from that time she was reborn into another: – “Serge, give the fly”. Fortunately, I "stamped" both of them in thousands. It wouldn’t be possible to catch it on any hooks, and hooks are a fatal and incurable vice of spinning. There is no such thing in fly fishing, everything is the other way around – you try not to raise the bait as high as possible, but try to drown as deep as possible. In the same year, the first good gear went on sale (Martin company in the Taimen store), and the path to the Ob fly fishing was opened.

To be continued…

Sincerely, Sergey Shatalov.