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Bonefish Lines for 8wt

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In continuation of my series looking at fly lines in one page, looking to Tropic Bonefish Lines.

What do I want?

Given my flies are light and small, and my preferred rod does flex well (Scott Meridian), there are two idea lines for me:

  • Windy days: Ghost Tip of 5′ (intermediate sink tip) and a short front taper (3-5′), with a total head length less than 30′.  I would a 7’+ Short Leader.
  • Default or with Guides (who do not like clear-tip lines): 9′ taper in a light sand and a total head length of  30′ with a long rear taper to support a long pickup and recast..

Other details and notes:

  • Head Length should be viewed, as the length having the mass I need to generate an effective cast into the wind, and ideally the rear taper having begun by 30′.
  • I am not looking for bullet tapers, though will use them as a general saltwater line.
  • Front colour:
    • Since I am laying the line out in front of the bonefish, I want the line to match the sand and ocean, not the sky.  And the sky is not always blue.  I prefer off-white.
    • Ghost tips must be intermediate – though a ghost tip is clear, it still refracts and if it floats, disturbs the water pattern.  Stealth is gain, when the tip slips below the surface.
  • Weight – Head weights are often stated, but rarely does the OEM to define if applies to 30′ (true weight) or a complete head.
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To the survey …

Airflo

Airflo, a line manufacturer I do like, but they do not have a “bonefish” line I am incline to recommend or buy (again).

airflo bonefish

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Airflo Super-Dri Bonefish – List Price: 90 $US

No > Dark and short rear taper.

Airflo Clear Tip Tropical Short 12′ – List Price: 90 $US

No > I really like Airflo, and this taper is reasonable, but I am disappointed the tip floats. I have this line in my arsenal, but it is regulated now to “just in case”.

Airflo Supri-Dri Tropical Punch – List Price: 90 $US

No – but > Nice bullet line to keep for general tropical saltwater fishing.
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Ballistic

Ballistic Pro Performance Saltwater

No > I like Ballistic lines, and this is a nice taper, but it is blue.  If you want Blue, give it a try.

Ballistic

Worthy of testing > I note that Ballistic sells UK Snowbee lines. A rather standard profile with a long running line. Would prefer a longer rear taper.

snowbee uk

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Barrio

No targeted offering.

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Cortland

A nice diverse selection of lines, so many, I have chosen not to show them all.

cortland salt lines

Cortland All-Purpose (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No > Good colour, BUT  this line did not do well on earlier tests with my Meridian 8 wt. I have not returned to debug why. I am not fond of the long body.

Cortland Ghost Tip 5 – List Price: 80 $US

No > I like the profile and the tip sinks, but dislike the green.

Aside: Not a tropic line, but Caribbean conditions are often moderate (id est, <30C).

Cortland Ghost Tip 9 (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No> Intermediate Tip, though with a long body, and with the failure with the same long body All-Purpose, I am not incline to test this.

Cortland Ghost Tip 15 (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No > Not available in 8wt, though head is interesting. (Not illustrated)

Cortland Flats Taper (Liquid Crystal) – List Price: 90 US$

No (Taper not shown) > Blue, but the taper looks interesting.  If you wanted blue, give it a try.

Cortland Guide (Liquid Crystal) – List Price: 90 $US

No > Green.

Cortland Tropic Compact (Tropic Series) – List Price: 80 $US

No > To aggressive (bullet) and not suitable for a soft landing.

Cortland Bonefish (Tropic Series) – List Price: 100 $US

Look > Head maybe a little more aggressive than the idea line, but it is reasonable given its long back taper.

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Guideline

No targeted offering, but they do re-sell Airflo

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Monic

Monic keeps to a traditional 1980 WF Taper, which in this case, I do not object to. There lines are fine for general deeper tropical water fishing, where a hard strike is necessary.

Monic

Monic Skyline – List Price: 80 $US

No > Insufficient detail on website.

Monic Impact Intermediate – List Price: 85 $US

No > It is green.

Monic Genesis Phantom Tip – List Price: 100 $US

No > Clear tip floats.

Monic Genesis Covert – List Price: 90 $US

No > It is a full intermediate line.

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NextCast

No offering, as their market focus is spey.

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Phoenix WF Silk

There is no line drawing, but it is straw colour traditional WF taper with a 6′ front taper and 33′ head. Given its tight loop through the wind behavior, I am experimenting with this intermediate line with no floating treatment and a 9′ leader.

MBraid Phoenix DSC1526

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OPST

No offering, as their market focus is spey-skagit.

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RIO

RIO

DirectCore Bonefish – List Price 120 $US

No > Maybe there is some magic that happens, when you fish, but I cannot see it as being magic (for the premium) when walking the flats.

Bonefish QuickShooter – List Price 100 $US

No > I really like the shape, but again blue. I want stealth when the line is in the water. Though, please note it is a heavy line, and better suited for “stiffer” rods.
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I do have a line in my arsenal, as I developed my skills et cetera.

Bonefish – List Price 100 $US

Look > Body is a little long.

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Scientific Anglers

The tapers and colour are similar, so what differs is surface preparation. These lines are worthy of a look.

SA bonefish

Amplitude Bonefish – List Price 130 USD

Look to the Smooth (next) > As bonefishing is casting to sighted fish, the premium to shoot more line does not feel like a great investment.

Amplitude Smooth Bonefish – List Price 100 USD

Look > Ok.

Mastery Bonefish – List Price 80 USD

Look > Mastery has been a classic line that has produced some fine lines, so I am incline to the Mastery Line versus spending another 20 for unknown (real) gains with the Amplitude.

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Wulff

May or may not be a good fit, but manufacturer refuses to disclose details to its customers.

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My selection from best to acceptable

  1. Cortland Bonefish
  2. RIO Bonefish (gets the nod, as I have had more time with this line)
  3. SA Mastery Bonefish (or Smooth Amplitude)

This listing has been updated since my last on the water testing in April 2019 using the Meridan 8wt.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2019/02/04 at 04:51

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Saltwater

Lambroughton Skater

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With Moose Hair on a short shank size 6 hook.  Much smaller than the previously posted Mouse, but it will cut a large wake in the water.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2019/01/17 at 06:00

Mouse (for fly fishing)

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I have update my Mouse pattern, reflecting from a more natural (less sculpted) body taking in inspiration from Andreas Andersson (great youtube video available > Andersson Deer Hair Hair Mouse).

Comments:

  • The head is my fuller, reflecting my preference for Muddlers to. Now, this does increase its wind resistance, so I am looking to use a 9wt rod).
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  • I experimented with eyes and ears, but I after some playing, I think these features catch only fishermen.
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  • First time, I trimmed with razor blades and yes, I will keep doing this. Be prepared to go to the next blade before your fourth fly. I was using Japanese Feather double edge razor blades, and will continue to do so.
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  • I used the Veevus GSP 150 and it is strong and do recommend this for lager deer flies.  On smaller flies, I may try 100, but the 150 was awesome.
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  • I really like the Ahrex Predator Stinger Hook PR320.  Much stronger than the old Mustad, great shape leading to a definite recommend.
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mouse 8_dsc4672

.mouse 7_dsc4668

.mouse 6_dsc4664

.mouse 5_dsc4661

.mouse 4_dsc4656

.mouse 3_dsc4653

.mouse 2_dsc4652

.mouse 1_dsc4642

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Written by raspberryfisher

2019/01/13 at 02:38

Hollow Fleye

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Lately, my tying has been focus on skills and not quantity, as I have enough flies for 2019.

Focusing on Pike and Smallmouth Bass, my first attempt of the Hollow Fleye with Deer Hair. Staring off is a damp Pike Fly with Red, Orange, Yellow to White.  The same fly is then shown dry, and thenclose in.

popfly 1_DSC4599

popfly2a_DSC4594

popfly 1c-1

and then the shad fly

popfly 3_DSC4604

popfly 3b_DSC4597

popfly3c _DSC4603

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In time, I may create a couple of other versions for barracuda (green) and consider what would be good for steelhead.
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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/12/27 at 22:27

Switch Lines – my survey

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I have done this blog, as it consolidates my recent look at fly lines for fiberglass switch rods, to allow for an easy objective selection.  The blog is for me, but maybe others will benefit.

I continue to experiment with fly-lines for my long fiberglass rods, specifically two James Green Rods – a 7wt and a 5wt.

This season, my fishing was limited, but I found the OPST with its front heavy end was pulling to much into the mid-lower section of the rod, and easy created a harsh hinge, when the setup was not perfect.  This observation leads me to believe a long front taper would be better.

I previously published my selection of the OPST (which has the heavy front) versus the Wulff Ambush Taper (front taper). Upon reflection, I suspect the issue with the Ambush was too short with a rapid butt transition (I also do not like the memory of the line). I would probably would have been better off using the traditional TT or JWS line, if kept to Wulff product line.

wulff taper

But both OPST and Wulff does a disservice to the fly fishing community, as they do not provide any dimension data on their lines, so given their absence of good documentation, I am looking elsewhere.

So whose websites are easy to use, and all you to determine the best fit.

  • A Rating – Airflo USA >
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    If there is any issue. Airflo USA does not have the complete product line, and I suggest you look at the European Site.  https://www.airflofishing.com/
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    With previous great service from Tim Rajeff, a well structured website, and use of PU material (versus PVC), Airflo is often my goto line source.
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  • B Rating – Tied for Second
    • Monic – Limited selection and I am still trying to decide if I like them, but the website is good. In the once nd only like I have 11wt – clear – I like the core, but wonder if the clear polythylene is too “thick”.
    • RIO – I have heard complaints about RIO quality, but they have never given me grief. Site is good, and they ship to Canada, if a retailer does not have the line, accessory, et cetera.
    • Scientific Angler – Many filters and hover over the line and see the profile.  But not all lines have dimensional data, and the hard to read light text on white prevents this as sharing top spot with Airflo.
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      Thirty (30) years ago – before buying lines on the web – 3M SA was my goto source. They since been bought out by Orvis, but prior to this, I thought they lost their edge in taper design.  I bought one 3D spey line from them in 10 years, with no issue.
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  • C Rating -Tied for Third
    • Ballistic – Nice spey lines, but taper data is  vague.
    • Cortland – The data is there, but there is some serious broken links. For example, for the spring creek flyline, I get a boot?  Picture below.
    • NextCast – Another spey line focus company, but whose website is not intuitive, but the information is there.  The owner (forget his name) is really responsive.
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  • C-  Rating: Tied for Fourth, I am interested, but they make it difficult to compare and validate.
    • Barrio – No experience and they acknowledge they are not disclosing sme details.  Am I punishing them, as they are open that details are not detailed, while others may have compound tapers and are not disclosing them.
      • Sidebar: Trident Fly Fishing has executed in their fly line reviews taper measurements of some of these manufacturers, and I found no evidence – in a quick scan – that SA nor Airflo – are hiding complex taper data. RIO does disclose complex tapers.
    • Beulah > Nice spey lines, but missing front taper data.
    • Guideline > Does a better job than those below in describing line profile, the dimensional data is insufficient (they have been stripping the data out each year).  I do have and like their Scandi 3D Speyline.
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  • D Rating
    • ARC – Data may or may not be there (inconsistent), and given the competition, not sure why I would look at them.
    • Gaelforce – Positive reports from some users, and the descriptions are interesting, but the data is not there.
    • SunRay, lots of data and very interesting, but printed so small and fuzzy it is unusable. Trick open the picture only in another tab.  Also given I have attempted 3 times to order lines over an extended period and always out of stock of what I wanted, I give them a fail.
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  • F Fail – OPST and Wulff
    • Good people, but poor  data.
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So what is my idea line ? 350gr?  

I am still working this out, and if the weather is not to cold (too much ice), I will try some mockups, before I draw out the next line, but right now I am thinking about a

  • 26′ head,
  • 16′ tapered front head,
  • 8′ body,
  • 2′ rear taper

scandi idea head

 

……….

And what is out there for my Fiberglass Switch Rods?

Airflo

Airflo Rage Compact

airflo rage

  • + This is near a perfect match!
  • + Available from 180 to 600 grains, in 30 gr increments
  • ~ Bearsden 201812 Pricing – 60 USD.

Airflo Beach

airflo beach.JPG

  • + A slightly longer Rage Compact, with an in integrated running line.
  • + I really like the Beach Line on my 8wt Scott Meridan, and available with intermediate and sinking heads.
  • ~ It is a little long and really design for heavier rods, but never-the-less it has the right form.
  • + Available from 190 (WF5I) to 320 (WF8F) grains
  • ~ Available from Bearsden at 90 USD

Airflo Scandi Compact

Generally not available in the US, as I believe the US arm is focus on the Rage.

airflo scandi compact

  • + Good shape, front taper is a little long, and if purchased, I might eventuality trim the butt.  Weight selection fantastic.
  • ~  Limited availability from US retailers, but is available in Canada and the ROW (Rest of the World)
  • ~ Available from 240  to 540 grains, in 30 grain increments.
  • ~ Available from Bearsden at 60 USD

Airflo Switch

airflo switch

  • ~ If you want an integrated lines (versus a head you can chop), this looks like a good choice.
  • The rear taper starts at 24′ versus 28′ with the Rage, a benefit for a shorter 9′ rod, but I like the longer front taper.
  • + It is a dead match with first pass specification, except for the integrated line.
  • + Available from 210 (WF3F)  to 390 (WF8F) grains, in 30 gr increments
  • ~ – Available from Bearsden at 100 USD

Airflo’s Delta Tapers are expressed in the Sixth Sense and River Line.

Airflo Sixth Sense – floating and intermediate

airflo sixth sense floating.JPGairflo sixth sense intermediate.JPG

  • – If you needed a line that reach out more, with a little more line control, this is a good choice.  But as I am trying to match a line for close in fishing, I fine the heads too long.  Nothing wrong with the line, it is about the intended use.
  • Appears to have no loops at ends.
  • + Available from 210 (WF3F)  to 350 (WF9F) grains
  • + Available from Bearsden at 75 USD

Airflo River

airflo river.JPG

  • As above, but with loops for easy and quick changes.
  • + Available from 140 (WF3-4F)  to 345 (WF8-9F) grains
  • ~ Available from Bearsden at 85 USD

Ballistic

Ballistic Express.JPG

  • A little vague? and would need to spend a minute to ensure weight and line is a match.
  • + Available from 270 (WF4-5F)  to 560 (W9-10F) grains
  • ~ Available from SRO at 50 USD.

Barrio
Barrio Switch.JPG

  • Looks okay, but they disclose they are hiding the details from you.  Now maybe some of the other companies too are hiding details and do not tell you, but I find this disappointing.
  • ~ Available from 300 (WF4/5F) to 470 (WF89F) Grains.
  • ~ Available from Barrio’s flylineshop at 40 GBP.

Cortland

Some nice lines, but no match.  I still like my old green DT 333, but found they have change “something” when this line returned to the market.  Yes they do properly document their lines, but there is a lot to clicking to find a profile that you might like and errors in their links.

Cortland Short Spey

cortland short spey.JPG

  •  I included this, as a positive note, for they have a limit selection and some good lines, but I wanted to have a counterpoint to the Compact Switch (below) that is a definite fail, which is a short shooting head and suited for a fast overhead rod IMHO  (versus most-all switch rods).
  • – Available from 450 to 625 Grains.
  • ~ Available from Cortland at 80 USD.

Compact Switch

cortland compact switch.JPG

  • Yuck, No!  I guess you can make anything work, but this is an overhead shooting head, and not a single hand spey line.
  • + Available from 240 (WF4F) to 485 (WF8) Grains.
  • ~ Available from Cortland at 80 USD.

Spring Creek Boot Line 🙂

Who wants to cast a boot! and will it catch a fish?

cortland boot.JPG

Guideline

Insufficient data, for a comparative review to select online.
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I do have a collection of Spey 3D lines, and once their website provided the data to select lines – considering weight, configuration, profile and et cetera. Sad to see the information provided has been reduced.

Monic

No line match. I have one line for the salt and still trying to decide if I like a fly line made out of clear polyethylene.

Nextcast

Nextcast Coastal.png

  • ~ Short taper, but available with different tips.
  • ~ Available from 300 to 750 Grains, in 25 grain increments
  • ~ Available from NextCast at 80 USD.

OPST

  • – Insufficient data, for a comparative review to select online, but experience says no fit with heavy head.

RIO

Many choices — too many choices?  Anyway, the purpose was to lay this out and make me think, and do a singular look on one page.

rio lines.jpg

There are variants upon variants, and I not sure, I have them all covered, and see lines at BearsDen that does seem to appear at the OEM’s website.

Keeping to RIO Products Website for information:

  • + Scandi Short, 180 (WF2F) to 540 grains (WF9F), 60 USD
  • + Scandi Short + Tips, 275 (WF4) to 550grains (WF9), 150 USD
  • ~ Intouch Scandi 3D, 390 (WF6) to 700grains (WF11), 60 USD
  • – Single Hand Spey, it appears RIO has begun to discontinue this line
  • ~ Intouch Trout Spey, unstated (WF2F) to 230 grains (WF5F), 100 USD
  • + Intouch Versitip II,  WF5 to WF10, 190 USD

Scientific Angler

Mastery SBT

SA SBT.JPG

  • + In reading the able and looking at the profile, it looks good, but a little short.
  • – Very poor image to read the lengths.
  • – No it is not your eyes, it is what happens when marketing-branding stylists take over and forget about usability. (Remember, I am a Product Manager too, and I have had this battle to).
  • fyi – From Trident’s reviews
    • ” SBT and Rio SHS are lines that are definitely worth trying, and must haves if you do a lot of roll casting or are fishing in tight quarters.”
  • + Available from 100 (WF2F) to 240 (WF8F) grains.
  • ~ Available from BearsDen at 80 USD.

Mastery VPT

This line came up on several searches and also looks like a real contender, but it is not on Scientific Anglers website.  Is it discontinued?

SA VPT.JPG

Wulff

Insufficient Data

 

…………..

Any what am I am going to buy?

In order of preference ….

  1. Airflo Rage Compact
  2. Airflo Scandi Compact, a little long, but looks good
  3. Airflo Switch, which has an integrated line
  4. RIO Trout Spey, a little short with integrated line

Anyway, I have sometime to spring to order and play with this line. I would expect an update mid-late in 2019.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/12/03 at 01:34

Posted in Fly-Fishing, Spey, Streamer

Bonefish Goto 2 – Spawning Shrimp

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I got my first bonefish on this, and I still serves well. If I did not have this pattern, I would probably have more small Peterson’s Shrimp tied small.

Starting with a close-up of 4 Variants – for the smallest flies, I like to go with rabbit.  This is white, but I also need to dye some rabbit off-white.

sp shrimp 1 DSC4397

Larger flies, I go with Polar-Bear and this case, some heavy eyes and crystal orange flash, to fish off the boat into some deeper water.

sp shrimp 3 DSC4395

But soft and thick, polar bear with seal and a soft pink heart. This is the colouring we found blend well, but still has some life to it.

sp shrimp 2 DSC4396

And with a little more flash to the heart.

sp shrimp 4 DSC4394

And a group, from top left to right – rabbit, pb-bear and tan rabbit.

sp shrimp g2 DSC4416

This series was inspired by Ruby Babikian, a fine tyer who owns the website > https://hiddenhookfly.com/collections/all-flies/products/spawning-shrimp > but I am not sure how active Rudy is now.

And yes, I will tie in Orange. In this case, I am using Yellow and Orange Seal and some hair from a fox’s tail.

closeup_DSC4441

orange sp shrimp_DSC4443

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/11/24 at 07:23

Exuma – our goto bonefish flies – Peterson

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So what are my (Our – Judy an I) goto flies for the Exumas’s Bonefish, then?

  1. Wilson’s Flats Fiend
  2. Spawing Shrmp
  3. Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp

Do we really need more than 3 syles!  So far the answer is no, but just as long as I have then in different weights.

As noted previously, I dislike the commonly used Craft Hair-Fur. I cannot get it to work as I like and I find it dead in the water. I like the naturals,  particularly Fox, Wolf, Rabbit, Calf Tail and Polar Bear.

So here is the Peterson’s Spawning Shrimp, once tied true to form with rabbit but with the long translucent haris of the Pb-Bear for the claws. The other where I have use a split tail from Paulo’s fish-on.

petersen _DSC4405

.petersen _DSC4406

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petersen DSC4413

From big to small.

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Written by raspberryfisher

2018/11/23 at 01:56