Andreas- lets start off with the quintessential first question- what got you into fly fishing and ultimately fly tying? And how did that journey bring you into articulated streamers?
I guess you could say that fishing did bring me into fly fishing , i had been spin and bait fishing since a very young age. My curiosity with fly fishing came as a natural progression at about age 12.
My very first flies were tied at a local fishing club at the same age. Articulated streamers and bigger flies in general came when i found out just how fun catching pike on flies are. Some time after that i started trying the bigger flies for trout as well and the ball was rolling…
When did you first see an articulated streamer- if you remember, what fly was it? And what made you start tying them?
I don’t know really , maybe some fly i saw in Fly tier magazine a long time ago. Probably some of the Michigan guys flies ,Galloup or Maddin would be my guess.
The reason i started tying bigger flies originally was to catch pike and later just an ambition to catch larger trout . Looking at what the American guys were doing with articulation came naturally with that ambition.
What was the first articulated streamer you designed? How successful was it?
The first i can remember putting a name on was a fly i called ” Medium rare” , a front weighted streamer using rabbit strips in a slightly unusual way, pretty good actually especially after i put a fish skull on it, i can still remember clearly were i caught my first respectable trout on it.
It seems like you have enjoyed a lot of success around the world, and particularly here in the United States where there is a streamer explosion going on. You even had your flies featured by Brian Wise of Fly Fishing the Ozarks- what was that process like?
Yes its been crazy and it keeps being pretty crazy.
The American streamer culture is pretty cool and its surely rubbing off on the rest of the world, i see it growing a lot over here to. I have sent flies to many countries but the US is nowadays the most common destination without a doubt.
Yeah i think that’s really cool, Brian does such a great job and Ive always enjoyed watching his tying videos s. To me Brian has created a kind off modern streamer ”Hall of fame” and of course I’m very proud to have 6 fly patterns featured and also being the first non American.
The process was fairly simple , Brian contacted me that he wanted to feature some of my flies and i sent him photo and text s.b.s for the flies.
You also demo’d a few flies through Fly TV including one of my favorite patterns of yours- the Delivery Man. For the US audience- what is Fly TV and how did you develop that pattern?
Fly Tv is part of the Swedish fishing film YouTube channel Kanalgratis , they produce some really nice stuff so definitely worth checking out. I was asked on to demonstrate some tying by my friend Niklaus Bauer from Flydressing. A Whitlock/Cohen style mouse and my pike fly the Delivery man.
The Delivery man pattern was developed to be a pike fly with a big side to side movement and that head was definitely crucial in getting the desired effect. The fact that it casts very light for its size and are easy to vary in color is good to. Other predatory fish as striped bass,golden dorado,taimen,musky and large browns have responded well to it to.
It seems everyone is tying great streamers right now- who are a few of your favorite tyers- and what separates them from everyone else?
Yupp, there sure is a lot of people tying streamers nowadays. I don’t know if I have any favorite tyers but there sure is a bunch that are good, i might like this or that of what i see for different reasons. Ok a few then…
Rich Strolis ,broad spectrum when it comes to tying and a he’s always been nice to me. His Ice pick streamer was a major inspiration for my Project Sushi and he even took the time to advice me via video on how he does to get those dubbing heads so nice.
I actually tied some pike flies for his trip to Alaska so hopefully I returned the favor a bit.
The Michigan guys, they are definitely some of those who started this madness. Not mentioning anyone in particular and not forgetting either.
Brian Wise and my Swedish friend Niklaus Bauer, they are some of the few guys I’m likely to juggle around ideas with. Both have real understanding of cause and effect in fly design and are nice guys with very different tying styles.
Ulf Hagstrom has been my wing man on several fly tyers rows and shows, always a great time..Andre Mieges to for his epic color combos, both really nice guys
You are fly fishing for trophy trout next week at an undisclosed river- which 6 flies do you bring?
I really would like to know the type of river. Drifting a tailwater that’s producing water or wading a shallow pocket stretch would definitely affect my choices.
But undisclosed it is..ok.
1 Ragdolly ,baby browntrout colors 6″
2 CF Baitfish, grey/white 3″
3 Sid, White 5″
4 Huck sculpin ,olive 4″
5 Aino , baby rainbow 7″
6 Sisu , firetiger 6″
My absolute favorite fly of yours is the Aino or the Aino variants- Describe that fly’s development?> What were you hoping to achieve- and how did you come up with the tying steps to complete the fly’s head?
Glad you like it!
That fly might have one of the most copied head style you’ll find on the internet nowadays.
The Aino (pronounced ”I know”) has a body made as a mix of two other patterns. Namely Blane Chocklett’s Game changer or more so the shanks and hook platform it uses, the other being Kelly Galloup’s Barely legal with top and bottom stacked marabou. The Aino uses palmer and/or polar chenille to push or lift the profile a bit as well and to get some sideline flash, and some Steve Farrar synthetic fibers or Deercreek Gliss n glint as a tail.
Well i was looking to get a serpent type swim on a fly that could still shoot out sideways a bit on the pause, and it needed to cast better than a Game Changer that gets a bit heavy when wet.
The head was the thing i was sure about from the start having tested it on other flies before and it just works, but the body took way longer before i had decided i was done.
The head i use with the reversed synthetic fur came to be as a way to give a more full profile to sparsely tied flies, basically faking size. As well as to make flies that ”cuts” sideways between strips making them look injured..or high or something, either way they wont move straight for long.
The modern UV-resins along with how i place the eyes made it possible to control the shape very easily. Some other bonuses are that colors be placed and layered with control and that the finish point of the thread is hidden inside the head protecting it from teeth and it looks pretty neat to doesn’t it?
What are your thoughts on hook selection when it comes to streamer design and behavior? How do you select which hooks go on a certain fly, and what are a few of your favorite hooks right now, and why?
I would agree that hook choice and also placement of particular hooks in multi hook flies are very important. The way I choose hooks is usually pretty much old knowledge that a lot of people have heard before but lets go through some of it anyway.
Lighter and/or smaller hooks in the back making it easier for it to flutter around and articulate. Bigger and sometimes heavier wire hooks up front for keel/tracking and also to give plenty of hook gap with the big heads common on modern streamers.
I’ll often use different hook models, sizes, bends, and wire thicknesses within the same fly to get different effects. The hooks I use the most at the moment is Partridge of Redditch Predator X, Attitude Streamer, and Attitude Extra..why would take another page of writing.
Hooks are a big deal that affects what you can and can’t do with flies and their action, I definitely have a bunch of ideas for hooks I would like to see produced in the future.
Are you tying full time right now? Have you considered having your designs tied commercially?
No i do have a regular job besides tying and doing demos, but i spend several hours a day tying and have done so for years. To me its a good balance that works and i still have time for my family since most of my tying is done at night,i have never been one to require much sleep anyway.
Yes i have considered it but i haven’t sent any samples yet,don’t know why..and i don’t know if Orvis or Umpqua or similar would be interested. The flies catch fish so that part is good at least lol, we’ll see.
What are a few of your favorite materials and why?
Craft fur since i use it a lot and can apply it to many different flies to get flow and movement without paying much in terms of casting weight. Also makes decent heads as we touched upon earlier.
Bucktail..i obsess over really good bucktail, i have mountains of it and still never pass up good ones.
I think there’s a few that thinks I’m pretty handy with deerhair to and i feel comfortable working with it so that to.
Sid seems to be based off of Tommy Lynch’s D&D- a fly you also tie insanely well. What’s the key to getting that fly swimming properly, and what do you differentiate on the sid vs. the d&d- it looks like the head varies SLIGHTLY- whats your theory on that?
Yupp i definitely took a lot of inspiration for the head from Tommy Lynch’s D&Ds.
I like the dive and wiggle the flies get with the wedge cut deerhair heads as well as the slow rise on the pause , its simply a good idea .
I would say that getting any fly to swim properly is a matter of more than one factor, the angle of the jig hook bend, the width, density and thickness of the deerhair heads are certainly key on these to me.
About differentiation of those patterns i would start the other way around. They do share the wedge style head and they both are great hunting fly patterns, most of the rest is different.
Sid has a thicker or fuller profile in the water and generally less flash, and might be a little bit easier to tie, that’s good. D&D’s has a slightly wilder action due to less friction in the tail and more flash, that is also good..non of them are likely to be excluded from my fly boxes any time soon.
Sid gets a slightly more triangular cut to make it less prone to spin when stripped cross current , its noticeable if you spend a day making long presentations with jerk strips that a DD will twist up your line more, still a great fly tho. Also the triangular cut is less likely to catch on teeth and do last longer because of it.
Are you currently designing/testing any new patterns? When will we see those? Any preview you would like to debut an image of?? 🙂
Testing and tweaking is one of the most fun and important parts of tying flies…most of my ideas are not good enough to earn a spot in the box to be honest, but sometimes you get stuff right.
I let testing take time.. Nowadays with so many great patterns around not much is actually new anyway. No pics yet, top secret lol.
During the design process, what kind of testing do you do- and what are you looking for during the development before you finalize the pattern and begin working on color variations?
Most testing is fishing..what i look for is –
1 Does it catch fish?
2 Does is do what i was looking for in the first place in terms of action,depth,actual size when swimming and more.
Colors are usually something that is tested simultaneously since I’m often trying to mimic a specific prey or even a specific behavior of that prey . So to me that goes together even though I’m highly likely to play around with colors later on to.
Speaking of- you seem to have the most creative and polished color schemes of anyone right now- whats your theory on color and color schemes?
Thanks a bunch! Most of the time I’m trying to make a fly look and behave like a type of prey whatever fish I’m tying for is used to eating. Preferably an injured one of those prey items ,predators do sniff out the weak individuals no doubt. Color choices follows that.
Other times I’m making flies meant to piss the fish of to get a territory/reaction strike and then i might be using more wild or highly visible colors.
Other stuff i may take into account is surrounding elements like light or the absence of light, water color, temperature, time of the year and so on.
Another thing , the only fly i might (but rarely that either) do single color is white, all others are a blend of some kind, two reasons- Nothing or close to nothing in nature is really single color is it?…and its boring to paint with a small palette.
If you could fish anywhere in the world right now- where would you go and why?
Really tough one , my bucket list isn’t exactly short. There s a ton of places i wanna go and plenty of species i have never fished for. If i were writing this earlier in the year i think my friends along The White river in Arkansas or maybe Michigan would get a call with me asking to borrow a couch to crash lol.
But right now i would be extremely happy to just get up north to my friends house close to one of my favorite brown trout rivers or to take the drift boat out with my dad, both scenarios just because i know i would have a great time…it don’t have to be more complicated than good company and a river for me most of the time.
Where is your favorite place to fish- and what makes it special for you?
Can i pick a few if i keep it short?
Stockholm archipelago going after pike, perch and sea-run brown trout..its basically a maze of thousands of island and incredibly beautiful .
The Norther part of river Dalälven. My family has a house there and just being in the area with snow on the mountains into the summer is great..the fishing isn’t bad either.
The Gim river in county Jämtland in Sweden and river Rena in Norway are both places i love to fish with my friends and both offer opportunity for some serious brown trout.
Do you see any tying trend that upsets you, or that you don’t understand? Can you tie a trout streamer TOO big?
No not really upset it usually takes a lot more than tying to get me upset…but some guys I have spent hours answering questions on how i do certain things and techniques just to get a pattern ripped without credit or thanks , that’s a bit sad because what i told might have taken years to get just right .
Credit is nice to get and i think to give it as well, i have learned tons by watching, reading and talking to other tyers through the years and I’m certainly thankful to those guys and girls for sharing their knowledge.
Getting inspiration from what others have done before and using that to achieve something specific you are looking for in a fly is different thing that i don’t mind at all, i do that all the time some times knowingly some times not since not much is new under the sun.
Yes and no, i have tied 9 and 10 inch streamers for guys chasing tail water trout and they catch monsters on them. But at the same time yes, when you step over a certain size in each watershed you will pay a price in less or no fish.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2016 and beyond?
I have a couple of events planned in Sweden and abroad, next up is Switzerland in a few weeks.
And also the fishing season is far from over here up north so there’s plenty of fishing left to be done as well.
I’ve seen you do several fly shows/fairs in Europe- do you have fun tying flies at these shows? Have you considered doing any shows in the US at some point?
Yes i enjoy teaching and demoing fly tying and i do it a lot, i have done that in 9 countries so far. Its always a good time and atmosphere and i get to meet a lot of friend on the road to.
Yupp i have certainly considered tying in the US and have gotten some invitations to.
I’m going to the states next year to fish , we’ll see if anyone wants me to do any workshops or demos while there.
For those of us striving to be a more solid production tyer- what tips can you give us? What mistakes did you make early on?
Well first of always try make every fly as good as you can and take the time to make sure you do. Might seem obvious but speed and being able to make piles of flies that all look and work the same aren’t rushed .
Speed comes from experience , good preparations and also working with good materials.
Some things i have either learned from others or from simply tying thousands of flies per year and learning by doing, here a few of them that have helped me.
-Learn to tie with scissors in hand, you use it all the time and constantly picking it up and putting it down is a waste of time.
– Learn to do half hitches and whip finishing by hand, similar scenario as with the scissor with the added bonus of stronger flies if you make it a habit of throwing a knot in there once in a while.
-Prepare materials before you start wrapping , a huge time saver that also helps you with consistency. I use thick foam strips with slots cut into then as a second pair of hands as well as plastic cups, organizing boxes, magnets for hooks and so on.
-Wrap small..picked this one up from Charlie Craven many years ago. I see a lot of people at classes and workshops with 5-6 inches of thread outside the bobbin. Not only has the bobbin a long way to travel per wrap ,it harder to place it accurately and with proper tension that way. Wrap small..
-Lastly read, take classes and listen to what others are doing. A lot of what works for others might not work for you but there’s usually a few gems of information to pick up.
Some of the people i have learned from in one way or another that curious people might want to check out from include AK Best, Al and Gretchen Beatty and Barry Ord Clarke and several of my best Swedish friends on smaller flies. On modern style streamers Kelly Galloup, Rich Strolis and Mike Schmidt and more..On deerhair the late Chris Helm as well as Mike George and Pat Cohen. Nicklaus Bauer if you are into pike flies…i could make this list longer.
I have been tying for well over 20 years now and done my 10’000 hours and learn new stuff all the time. No one is an expert at everything..we gotta remember that or stop getting better.
Ohh and about the mistakes done earlier on i probably did all of them .
What’s your favorite species to fly fish for?
Brown trout rule! Trout are special to me , always has and always will be even though i certainly enjoy fishing for other species to.
Are you currently a member of any pro staffs?
Yes a few.
On fly tying i work with Partridge of Redditch hooks, Regal vises, Deercreek uv-resins and materials and Flymen Fishing company. The Scandinavian distribution companies Fly Co and Flydressing are also very nice to me and i try to return the favor.
When it comes to fishing i work with FlyFish Europe, they are the European distributors of several high quality brands like Simms, Scott fly rods, Scientific Anglers fly lines, Waterworks-Lamson reels and more.
The following flies-
Delivery Man- what are you favorite go to color schemes.
Delivery Man- ”The Parrot” looks coolest no doubt, its a black,blue,orange combo that looks like nothing but it hunts anyway.
Skinhead- tips to perfect the head clean and locked down.
Skinhead- Start with a needle for precision and then a scissor to get the hole through the rabbit strip the right size, glue and thread the eye through the bunny. Finnish with a small amount of uv-resin to get the finished head looking a little bit nicer.
Ragdolly- How should it swim- do you tend to fish it on a floating or sinking line- or does it vary?
Ragdolly- The R.D is my favorite fly, it just works. The deerhair head should be cut with flat sides and top and bottom to have the current gripping it better pushing the head around causing a chain-reaction to the rest of the fly. It will jack knife, fly out sideways and pulse on automatic , very easy to fish, cast and to make to look alive.
90% of the time its a sinking line and 10 % a short head sink tip, i cant remember ever using a floating line. You could but i don’t.
Lastly- what is your most popular fly world wide?
Popular in terms of catching big trout, Ragdolly. It just seems to work wherever i send them.
Delivery man, Sid, Aino and the little CF Baitfish all have been great to if listening to fishing reports.
A huge thank you goes out to Andreas Andersson for taking his time to answer these questions, and to share his wonderfully tied and photographed flies. He gets full credit for these photographs, so please share the link- and not the images. You can see all of these and THOUSANDS more well tied and photographed flies on his social media pages.
For flies, contact him via any of those sources. At the time of this writing, he said his turn around time is right about 3 weeks.
Andreas is as talented as he is gracious with his time- always willing to lend a hand to me if I had a question over the last couple of years.
You can buy some of his flies in stock, HERE!