Big flies, Big fish, Big Fly Rods.
Epic Ambassador Norbert Renaud is a big man with a big heart. Norbert ties big flies and chases some very big fish (he also makes a mean video) - here is his story and some of his favourite recipes.
The day I bought my first fly rod was the day I acquired my first vice.
To me there was never a question in my mind, if I take up fly fishing, fly tying has to be part of it.
I could have easily just gone to my local water and try that new fly rod straight away, a I had a small fly box with a few pike flies that some clients and friends had donated to me to get me started. But in my mind that didn’t sit well with me, if I was to get my first fish on the fly, it had to be with my own fly!
I started this journey on my own, no one else was fly fishing for pike around me. At the time, fly fishing for pike was only p by very few, nothing like nowadays, where you now see rods, lines, fly tying materials purely dedicated to pike fly fishing.
I came from lure fishing and I held a fly rod once in a shop, I was clueless. There was no f tutorials on YouTube and only a handful of articles online to learn. So I kinda started in the deep end, but straight away I liked the challenge and knew that the rewards could be huge in terms of satisfaction on the water.
My first stop was saltwater flies, these were the only big flies online that I could try to recreate, deceivers and baitfish was my starting point (my very first pike was caught on a deceiver) .
Then I discovered the world of trout streamers, particularly those from the U.S and from Mr.Galloup. I never have seen any trout anglers fishing with sex dungeons, meal tickets or monkey butts here in Ireland or the EU. And if you tried to look for trout streamers online, all you could find was not appropriate for pike.
So I started tying those trout streamers, but much bigger and started changing materials so they would last me longer.
This was my tipping point, from there my real fly journey began and quickly realised that you don’t need to really match the hatch with pike. You can be as innovative, complex, simplistic and artistic as you want. Pikes don’t care, an ugly fly will still catch pike (like my first one).
So I was free to experience as much as I wanted, and most importantly, I wanted to fish my own flies and my own design. This is what’s pushing me to think further, innovate and try to come up with ties that are not even seen around previously.
Now I don’t find inspiration online, but mostly while on the water, either fishing myself or when I guide and have the time to really look at pike behaviours and what makes them tic....
The Bodytubing mice:
The Belly changer:
And a couple of flies for the carp anglers:
The Kawaii grub:
The maggot bunch:
Norbert Renaud is a Frenchman living in Ireland. Norbert owns and operates L'ile-Verte fishing lodge in Ireland and also hosts trips to Alaska and Columbia
He is an Epic Ambasador.
Big Ass Glass
Epic 888 8wt FastGlass Fly Rod
Epic Bandit - 10wt FastGlass Fly Rod
The Mighty 12 wt Boca Grande Fly Rod