Swedish version


Russian bullet under Swedish wing
By Jurij Shumakov

Russian Bullet


The idea of this pattern came to me when I was feverishly selecting flies from my spring collection to go fishing on Mörrum early this May. The friend of mine couldn't go to fish, so I took his rights for two licences. The water level was high, so I was forced to think about something heavier than ordinary 1/2 inch tube flies. I should add that I do not like to fish with heavy tubes longer than 1/2 inch, because their balance is not good at all. On a moderate current, body and hook hung down badly affecting the fly’s silhouette. This is why I am so enthusiastic about the Swedish tube flies, especially the half-inchers. But these flies also have problems with balancing. It is possible to fish with them only in fast waters. Hanging hook and body create the same problem, because all wing components are fixed at the front of body in the same point.

Photo: Jurij Shumakov 2000 ©
White spoted Char on short body Russian bullet.

On the other hand, I am not satisfied with the modern conehead tube fly, because its big head affects the silhouette. Despite that fact, conehead tube flies showed big success in Sweden and abroad during last three years. Actually, I was always a bit irritated by the lack of choice of tubes in shops and an absence of opportunities to tye flies on tubes heavier than commercial ones. I was constantly looking for materials which could be used and different combinations to produce a heavier body, without increasing its length and, if possible, heavy enough to counterbalance the weight of the hook. Finally, when I was inspecting some of my experimental patterns, my attention was caught by a pattern with counterbalancing metal conehead right behind the head and under the wing. Eureka! I quickly checked the stock of coneheads, and first stringed three stucks like a pyramid.

Photo: Jurij Shumakov 2000 ©
White spoted Char taken on short body
Russian Bullet on Kolpakova river.

I borrowed the idea of the segmented wing for this fly from the Swedish Red Sundy tube fly. Additional back hackle was inspired by half inch tube flies mostly used on Mörrum river. Putting all of this in practice the idea could be productive. I weighted all coneheads (The Fly Co.) I had and compared them to copper half-incher of Veniard, "Bottle" of LOOP and Mörrum tube of The Fly Co. Results you can see bellow.

Type of body Material Weight in grams Length in mm
Slipstream tube
copper 0.550 12.5
Bottle LOOP brass 0.655 12.5
Mörrumtube,The Fly Co. brass 0.750 11.0

Cone heads, The Fly Co.

Conehead L brass 0.695 5.0
Conehead M copper 0.315 4.5
Conehead M brass 0.345 4.5
Conehead S brass 0.200 3.5*
Conehead ES brass 0.110 3.5*

L+M+M 1.325-1.385** 13.5***
L+M+S 1.210-1.270 13.0
M+M+S 0.960-0.990 12.0
M+S+S 0.650-0.680 12.0

* -conehead needs to be drilled to increase inner diameter
**-weight can be different because of type of metal
*** -The real length of body after tying is completed

There are a few obvious advantages in the new fly:

1. The beautiful Scandinavian silhouette of the fly is completely saved;

2. Combining different sizes of coneheads allows the fly to be balanced precisely, as well as changing its weight in quite broad bounds without substantial increase of body length. In original shape this fly can be used with only free swinging hook, but it is possible to create variants for fixed hook by adding a piece of thin plastic, aluminium or copper tube in the rear part of body.

3. The segmented wing begins right before hook, continuing within whole body and prevents it from hanging down. Additional back hackle is not decoration, but as well helps to keep up rear part of body and finally tight silhouette. This is very important when fly fishes on moderate or slow current.

4. Parts of "pyramid" can be painted in different colours, so you can add "hot spots" without using any other materials. The Danish firm The Fly Co. have now begun to produce painted coneheads, which makes it even easier.

5. Since maximum weight of "pyramid" body is almost two times heavier than heaviest commercial 1/2 inch tubes, you can successfully fish with floating line most streamy waters where other flies will only skate on the surface.

6. The use of fixed up pointed double or single hooks allow you to fish very deep without catching bottom. It can be vital when you fish, for example, Pacific Ocean salmon, which generally refuse to rise to the surface for fly. The same situation arises with Atlantic salmon in really cold water, which you can face early in the spring on Kola Peninsula rivers.

Together with a friend I checked the fly twice on Mörrum River and hooked three salmons. It was not fly’s fault, that the salmon was not landed and managed to break the line on sharp Mörrum stones. Well, although the fly was not considerable big sensation on its first trial, it did give hope for the future. At least this type of body does not look strange to salmon eyes! However, the real result will only appear when as many enthusiasts as possible try this fly. I would really appreciate any reflections if you are going to try to fish with it. It would be especially interesting to compare results from different salmon regions around the world. This autumn I go for Kola salmon. Join me with the new fly on your favourite rivers.

When you test something new on human being you don’t really know how good you are, because the human being can be hypocritical. Salmon never is!

Flies from the Mörrum serie:

Black & Orange variant
Topol M
LEGO pyramid
Black Dart

Flies from Kola serie:

Russian Bullet
Sunny Day

Jurij Shumakov © 2000



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