Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Sandford's Sinkhamer!

I'm being playfully accused of ignoring the buggy end of fly tying by my pals who prefer the rivers looking for trout etc... My great friend Chris Sandford has obliged with this refreshing play on the Klink... Photographs and words from Chris. Grateful thanks.

Chris Sandford’s Yellow ‘Sinkhamer’.
(With apologies to Hans van Klinken)

Why do so many tiers want to alter a classic fly pattern that has caught thousands, if not millions of fish? Well, as a wise old angler once said ‘The fish haven’t changed over the years, only the materials with which we try and catch ‘em.’ Every year more and more tying materials come to the market and I must say, I find it interesting to try some of them on my favourite flies. Can a pattern be improved? You bet it can!

I’m a great fan of Hans Van Klinken’s ‘Klinkhamer’ and its many variations. Traditionally, the body material is tan or olive dubbing that initially holds hundreds of little air bubbles as it enters the water. This has the effect of making the body ‘fizzy’ and is a great fish attractor. The problem can sometimes arise, that on a fast moving stream, until the body takes on a little water and pierces the surface film, the fly may not always ‘sit’ correctly.

I’m lucky enough to fish a very fast moving stretch of the River Itchen. The fish sit in a couple of feet of water and if you want to catch one you better make sure your fly rides the water perfectly! As a New Zealand guide once said to me ‘Your first cast is your best chance mate!’ Now I’m not saying that I haven’t caught fish with my fly floating on its side, or that I don’t dampen the body of the fly to help it sink. However, I did spend time last summer working on a body material that would pierce the surface film as soon as it hit the water.

For some inexplicable reason, the Klinkhamer that the fish find hard to refuse on that particular stretch of the river, has a body of bright yellow dubbing. Towards the end of last season I was tying some buzzers and finishing them as usual with a fine coating of Bug-Bond, when the problem of how to get the ‘Klink’ to sink was suddenly solved. Tie the body using bright yellow thread and seal it with Bug-Bond! I use ‘Black Hare’e Ice Dub’ for the thorax area and Niche Siliconised Polypropylene Yarn for the wing. I give the fly at least 5 turns of black cock hackle and find that black and olive bodies also work well.

Try it for those spooky fish in shallow fast moving water and let us know if the ‘Sinkhamer’ works for you.

Chris Sandford. March 2011.

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