Published Jul 14. 2018 - 5 years ago
Updated or edited Jan 30. 2021

My Erna

A well proven Icelandic hair winged salmon fly, responsible for catching many large salmon

Large, colored salmon caught on an Erna
Caught on the Erna
Massive Erna salmon
Erna catches
Nils Folmer Jørgensen

This fly is not new, but a well proven pattern from several rivers here in Iceland. I originally made it for Laxa i Adaldal where it is one of the top catchers, and has an almost endless number of 100 cm plus salmon on the conscience. Just ask Lilla Rowcliffe, Hugo and many of the others fishing on the Nes beat. Personally, I have landed 6 salmon over 100 cm on the Erna fly since 2013.

The original fly

features a green floss body and Angel Dubbing held with green wire to give it weight. Then a black wing with a little Angel Hair between the lower and upper wing. Then a small yellow throat. One of the unique details is the blue head which has almost become a trademark on my flies. To get the right blue color, you need to use a white thread and here comes the secret: The blue color is simply blue nail polish from H&M.

Erna trio
Erna trio
Nils Folmer Jørgensen

The fly was originally

made as classic hair wing fly and later as a shrimp style fly with a long tail, but the classic hair wing is what I use the most. A shrimp style can seem too long, almost the same length as a Sunray Shadow. I mostly prefer shorter flies.

Various Ernas
Various Ernas
Nils Folmer Jørgensen

Since then

I have made several additions of the Erna series for various situations. One very popular version, which is sold in leading shops here in Iceland and made by market leader Atlantic Flies, is the Erna Spey. In addition to the original, it has a green/black hackle and blue jungle cock cheeks. I also fish the original with blue jungle cock.
The blue eyed Erna is beautiful!
When the fly was introduced in the shop Veidivon in Iceland, it sold out fast. Some got a few before one single guy bought the whole remaining stock!

For this year,

I made a yellow version of the Erna for Valgardur Ragnarsson. The only thing that changed is the wing, which goes from being black to yellow. Vali – who is a very skilled and experienced angler – believes this is the recipe for the autumn fishing. He emphasizes that it has to be tied on a size 14 hook.

The Erna body

Erna Shrimp body

Pattern type: 
Modern salmon fly
Nils Folmer Jørgensen

A well proven Icelandic salmon fly. The white thread helps the body become properly green and the head properly blue. The Erna Shrimp version is made with Artic Runner all the way.

Double salmon hook, size 8-14
Green Floss on the rear part and green Angel Dub on the front half. Fixed with green wire ribbing. As an alternative, you can wire the whole body.
Wing: Black Artic fox body bur or Artic Runner (horse), a little green Angel Hair and more black Artic fox body fur or Artic Runner.
Green Grizzly (Only on the Erna Spey)
False hackle, yellow Schlappen
Blue jungle cock (the fly works great without)
Blue nail polish from H&M
Skill level/difficulty: 

Erna Spey
Erna Spey and just Erna
Nils Folmer Jørgensen
H&M nail polish
H&M nail polish
Nils Folmer Jørgensen

I recently also made

a version where I change the body to just green tinsel and add just a little royal blue squirrel as an underwing. This version is easier to make and it looks rally great and promising.
Finally, a few anglers have been given a Snælda version of the Erna.

Erna is one

of my favorite flies, and it has proven its efficiency again and again.
She is beautiful to me as well as the salmon.

When writing this,

I just finished a fishing day on the River Vididalsa with six salmon over 82 cm caught in one day in rather tough conditions. Guess on what fly?

Erna on location
A row of Ernas
By the water
Nils Folmer Jørgensen

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