The Fly of the Season
The Black Jake or Musta-Jaska, as it's natively known, is our fly of the season 2013
This big & burly, heavy and dark toned (some would also say ugly) Stonefly pattern has claimed a steady top spot in our fly boxes during the last couple of seasons. Originally tied for those deep swimming Arctic Chars of Lapland -
It has really come to prove itself, not only as a Char fly, but in fact a very effective all-round fly for Trout as well as larger Grayling in both still and faster flowing water all around the Nordics
A fly is born
Jani's Black Jake was born in a dimly lit cabin in Swedish Lapland 2011 after a moderately successful day of fishing one of our favourite spots in lower Sarta. We had been hooking Trout and Grayling all day, but for some reason the Char weren't that interested in our usual smaller patterns that had worked previously. At the same time two Belgian guys we had been fishing with, were having a lot of success hooking and landing Char on what seemed to be a huge #8 American styled red&black Stonefly pattern. Obviously we had nothing like those in our boxes. I say obviously because the sort of general rule-of-thumb is that the further north you go, the smaller your patterns should be. I suppose it just goes to show that you shouldn't get hung up on 'rules' or generalisations.
So back at at the cabin we were looking at our fly tying boxes and trying to remember the essentials of the pattern. Slightly dismayed I realised that we didn't have half the needed materials between us -so, to improvise with what we had.
From previous years we knew that a combination of green and peacock herl had been very effective on some smaller patterns like the green tag. maybe if I build the body from peacock herl and just size it up a few notches? Ok. Green tag is a bit over the top in this size. How about we tone down the green to a little sparkle here and there? Great, the body, tail and sparkle green combo looks nice. It's still a bit plain and it it really doesn't look like a proper nymph yet.
Let's add a big ol' tungsten bead for the head. it'll balance it out and help get it to sink fast. Hmm, looks ok but still not that impressed. Couple of revisions later added a band of green sparkle to the thorax and a peacock herl wingcase...seemed to be just what it needed.
The fly looked nice to our eye, but wasn't very similar to the Belgian guy's pattern. We didn't really have much expectation for it to work, so we only tied a couple each for the next day.
Fishing a deep pool known for it's Char population I tied on the Jake and soon was connecting with the Char. Now slightly regretting only having tied a couple. The day seemed to follow a pattern -hook a fish, loose a fly, hook a fish, back to tie a couple more, hook a fish, loose a fly, and so on. - It seemed to work fine for Arctic Char. Maybe for just that reason, for the first couple of seasons it was known as a char fly and not really getting any significant time in the water anywhere else.
Until 2013. For some reason we began to use the pattern where ever we went and it seemed to work all over. Even the Trout began to show interest in it - and as it usually goes, the more successful the pattern is, the more time it gets in the water. the more time it's in the water, more successful it gets.
Counting for a huge proportion of our catch in waters all around, the Black Jake has really become one of our most trusted wet fly patterns -and our fly of the season 2013.
The Black Jake / Musta-Jaska
|# 10 Nymph|
|Black hackle barbs & 2-3 Green Crystal Flash strands|
|Wound Green Crystal Flash strand|
|4 - 6 Peacock herl|
|Black 3.8 mm Tungsten bead|