Thursday, 17 March 2016

fly vs jerk scotland round 1


yup had my nose pierced last week , it was my girlfriends idea , i love the fact she thought it would make a great fly keeper ring , well she didn't actually say that out loud but im sure that's why she suggested me getting it right , and as always she was completely right (aint they always). but i love it thanks Caroline does the job perfect up to size 7/0 wide gape hooks 

so had a group outing this week with the what can only be described as the most depraved bunch of anglers i have ever fished with and ive fished with some right dodgy not correct in the head anglers but i wont mention brian or jim or ken capsey , 

being a member of a fishing group on facebook is really great i mean besides the usual banter and stuff that goes along with it , well its not that often that you get to actually meet people and fish with them but im a member a couple of pages with folks that i actually do fish with one is a very small group of friends with the same sense of humor a love of fishing wild places in Scotland but that is very much an invite only private page with a dozen or so members and i do actually fish with them and call the friends and enjoy my days out with them .

and then there's the Facebook page "lure fishing Scotland"  let me tell you this group aint for the faint hearted, the banter that goes on on this page is beyond normal and has to be seen to be believed , don't get me wrong we do sensible posts but usually within 5 or 6 replies it completely degenerates in Sodom and Gomorrah you quite simply do not need a TV you can sit back and watch probably some of the funniest depraved shit you've ever read , if your easily offended then probably best not join this group you have to be seriously thick skinned lol

so we all decided to have a day out fishing together and the date was arranged  and as it turns out it was going to be equal fly fishers to plastic chuckers so gary the gimp decided if would be a comp, fly vs jerk Scotland  it was to be , i don't really do comps but it was a friendly comp and there was some right egging on by the plastic chuckers against the fly fishers so we had to teach the Neanderthals a lesson in fishing  


id arranged to meet darren and nikki  (i dont do facebook) my fellow fluffchuckers at newhaven harbor in the morning and it was a glorious morning 

spent about 15 mins looking for fish signs as i waited for them, never tire of this view , but didn't see anything but was still bloody tempted to have a quick cast for flatfish 

so darren and nikki turned up and nikki straight away broke out the gummy bears , it has to be pointed out that darren wasn't driving at this point 

i was somewhat alarmed at my seat, pink is so not my color or they were trying to tell me something or maybe we were picking Gary the gimp up as he would have fitted in this seat and would have probably enjoyed it if we were picking graham up he would have loved it although it would have needed to be twice that size to fit his amble backside 

so we arrived at the meeting place and tackled up , worryingly graham always seemed to be close to my backside whenever i turned round , must be the hair and him being blind as a bat probably though i was a woman , apparently and quite worryingly this is quite well known dogging spot 

so the plastic chuckers gathered around each other to admire each others shiny plastic toys , actually what was happening was brian was going to carry all there gear for the day in his shovel bucket like hands (i swear ive never seen hands that size) when he shook my hand in the morning i thought i was going to have to go to A+E 

i love a good selfie as you know and couldn't resist walking up the bank and worryingly Graham is still behind me , im starting to see a pattern here   

i walked quite a way up the canal looking for likely looking spots always a challenge when you first fish a water , i decided to go small flies and fast sinking lines with the hope of picking up perch and small jacks , the weather was quite nice but the water was still quite cold so i took the gamble of the fish wouldn't be too active and sat on the bottom  

the canal here is quite wide but i found a choke point where is wasn't as wide and looked to be slightly deeper , this choke point i guessed would be an area that would attract fish and the far side was full of vegetation in the water on the far bank which was quite reachable with a long cast , so i persisted at this point for a while covering most of the water in front of me , the wind picked up a bit and made casting somewhat hazardous but only ended up with a fly in my head once so not to bad and no damage done for a change 

i fished a very slow figure of eight with the odd twitch but for my best efforts all i managed was this thing which was weighed photographed and safely released  and still one more than the plastic chuckers had caught so far 


this is gary, gary seemed spend most of the day polishing his bits of plastic and trying to undo massive birdnests from his reel quite entertaining to watch , it was actually nice to see gary out fishing without his support worker for a change although he could have done with somebody to wipe the dribble from his mouth , im sure the canal level went up a few feet during the day with the amount of dribbling he did , but apparently lure fishers do that a lot.  

this is graham another plastic chucker , graham was touch and go if  he was going to make the trip today as he leads a very busy life as the stunt double for the tango man , graham had a go at chucking fluff with my rod , always happy to let folks have a go if they want he did quite well and at one point
 he cast nearly 3 feet , it was quite useful having him along as when the wind got up we were able to use him as a wind break , cheers for that most useful , didn't see him fish much though , on questioning him he said he didn't like to get his lures wet and struggled to actually take the lures out of the packaging so he just liked to stand around and watch and impart his knowledge on any passers by who would listen to him i think at one point somebody offered to buy a big issue off him.

gary the gimp also had a go and as you can see everybody dived for cover once he started casting to be fair he didn't manage to birds nest my fly line, as i watched i thought i had seen something similar to his casting style before , then it dawned on me that i had once watched an orangutan waving a piece of bamboo at Edinburgh zoo a few years ago and to be honest the orangutan had a better casting style , stick to the plastic chucking gary.    

then we come to brian the hands , now he probably fished the hardest through the day and covered a lot of water and miles but to no avail cant really slag him off too much as he takes a great picture  and he could quite easily crush me to death with his monster hands , brian also hires himself out as a an eco friendly trench digger as he just uses his hands to shift tons of dirt in one go , so if you need your garden turning over quickly give him a call.

nikki the sweet shop as we like to call him as he always has a vast array of jelly babies , and chocolate biscuit bars , for anybody that wants one he seems to have every pocket in his jacket filled with them , certainly kept the sugar levels up all day , at one point nikkis rod went over and we all thought he actually had a fish on , turned out to be a big lump of foam from an old sofa , oh well still more than the plastic chuckers caught 

darren the fish , is a top notch angler and has recently come over to the darkside from siting behind rods with dead fish and plastic chucking , darren has had some great fish on the fly and like the rest of the fluff guys that day put a sterling effort in and also covered a lot of water, darren had a few bumps at one point but they seemed to be just nipping half harted at the back of the fly and he didn't connect , but within a few seconds of his first bump , all the plastic chuckers were launching there brightly colored lumps of plastic into his swim , bloody desperation that and i never saw them move as fast all day , you know when you out walking your dog in summer and it lays a log within a few seconds its covered with flies well just putting that out there.

this is where i had my only 2 bumps of the day i was bringing my fly up very slowly on a figure of eight retrieve when it got bumped halfway up but like darren it didnt connect which was a bummer as it was quite a good bump , sometimes it just dont happen , probably got its interest but nothing more , such is fishing , and at least the plastic chuckers didnt see it  

i started to walk a little way along the bank and was passing nikkis lump of foam which was drying out on the bank when i noticed this fella crawling around on top of it so gentle picked it up and took a pic before releasing it back into the water very cool creature 

a few action shots
i was using a loop 7/8 saltwater rod today loaded with a fast sink line , great outfit to use on smaller water and really loads a line well and throws a line some distance with little effort , it was quite strange today as i thought somebody would have caught a fish seemed like a good day for it .

strange thing was we ended up walking down the bank and came across a fella spinning with a 2 piece fiberglass rod  with dirty big great brass ferrules and what looked like an old mitchell spinning reel , didn't want to get to close as we were concerned about our safety , but this chap started to go on about how the water was dead and had been cleared by eastern Europeans with set lines and he remembered back in the day when he had 2 12ft keepnets full of tench and every cast with a spinner resulted in a 40lb pike and there were monster shoals of roach patrolling up and down the canal and the carp don't even get me started about the carp but no not anymore been emptied  bloody place is barren , its like the surface of the moon this canal not a single fish to be had .

er right ok mate if that's the case why are you fishing it ? , im guessing he was trying to put us off or send us home early never to be seen again we just nodded our heads and said cheers see you later trying not to burst into fits of laughter . good effort fella


i had a little break and decided to see what all the fuss was about chucking these lumps of plastic around and you know before i had even made the first cast the bloody cameras were out all over the place , it was like being hounded by the paparazzi obviously i had the crap taken out of me for the rest of the day but still didn't manage to birds nest a reel haha

so we ended the day with no fish for six anglers but the flies were the only thing that got a little bit of interest but you know that happens in fishing could have been a number of reasons but it was great to get out with a cracking bunch of lads and the banter was superb and we are all looking forward to the next one but for this one im calling a win for the fly anglers because we had a couple of bumps dont care how much the plastic chuckers moan about it although im sure im going to get it large on the groups page for this blog lol

at the vice

been mostly churning out smaller stuff to fill up the perch boxes nothing to complicated just some murdich minnow type flies quick and easy to make and look great in the water and very fishable

similar build to a murdich although ive replaced the bucktail with fox tail the white uv chenille looks great in the water and all ive done is colored the back with a green permanent marker and a slightly oversized eye  this is tied on a 4/0 oshaugnassy hook  , these hooks are slightly heavier than a standard sakuma manta and give it a little extra weight to get it down faster , a great little fly 

variations on a theme with the murdich minnow ive replaced the chenille with a body wrap (available from deer creek) to give it a slightly different look  i like the look of this and can see me playing around with this material bit more , again tied on a 4/0 oshaunassy hook and the lateral scale flash extends behind the tail end material

also had the uv out again this week on some sandeel type flies for the perch , just stuck the eyes on and added a layer of diamond flex around the eye to seal it in , looks quite sexy

again with the smaller flies quite a simple little pattern just made with angel hair and a small mylar head and again used diamond flex to seal the eye in , these are tied on 1/0 mustad hooks

another small basic perch pattern using angel hair but with addition of a barred feather along the flank just to give it something a little extra again the head ive used diamond hard uv around the eye to form the head and tied on a 1/0 mustad hook

this fly is pretty much the same as the fly above but ive run mylar tubing along the hook shank to give it a thinner profile and coated the whole thing with diamond flex , the pictures dont really do these flies justice but then im crap at taking pictures 

im still using diamond uv products from
because it is still the best on the market as far as uv technology is concerned im still agasp at seeing people using other uv products that simply dont cut the mustard and dont even dry properly when cured  and remain tacky , which is a shame as i see no end of people on social media buying rubbish products then saying there never using uv again , well buy a decent product and see the difference it makes try it just once folks 

was browsing around on youtube and saw a chap tying some flies for smallmouth bass and he was using just chenille and a maribou feather and was making some pretty nifty flies basicly what he was doing was making extended bodys from the chenille bu tying in a maribou feather at the tail end of the hook and then wrapping the chenille onto the stem of the feather then wrapping it back on itself to the eye of the hook 

wow i thought to myself what a great idea so tried some myself and came up with these patterns , i fished them on sunday and they fished pretty much like stick baits and looked great in the water

and off course with the range of chenille out there and marabou feather colors the possibility's are endless so i had a great time whipping these up , its quite funny when you see something that you'd never in a million years think of doing and yet its so simple , i can see me having a lot of fun with these , and im guessing in smaller sizes they would be great for trout as well , they actually do look like small minnows when in the water i was really pleasantly surprised now i wonder if i could do them 8 inchs long hmmmmm theres an idea

so with that i have to get off to work and leave that idea hanging out there , id much rather be on the water somewhere but hey have to pay the bills , my job at the moment is quite demanding so its leaving me little times on my hands for much what with really bizarre shift patterns and such but im hoping to be at it again next week in the meantime if your lucky enough to be out this week i really hope you get a shed load 

(a cave in scotland)

Sunday, 21 February 2016

manflu and tying


well yes i got it bad , i went into work and my manager took one look at me and said go home dave , to be fair i wasnt feeling great so took the advice and thought id tough it out relax and do a few flies till it was done but viruses can be cruel and by the time i got home i was feeling quite rough so took to the couch wrapped up in a blanket with crap daytime tv , it was hell as i could see my vice sitting a few feet away from me but just did not have the energy to do anything , i sat this was for a few days until yesterday when i finally gave in and headed to the holy seat of fluffy doom and got my brain in gear, manflu is a terrible thing 


first thing i had to do was some things for brian over at highland guided fishing , all top secret stuff for ferox so no pictures but they look the dogs danglers as my esteemed mate would say and look forward to see how he does on them (think hes out next weekend so look forward seeing to the results) although knowing brian im guessing a few tweeks will be involved,   

so keeping in theme of going back to my roots fishing naturals i have a fair few patters still to make before i hit the water again hopefully on the canal if it ever becomes unfrozen (this is scotland maybey june before that happens) im stocking up on some old favourite colours and materials  so my boxes this year will no doubt be filled with bucktail , marabou , and various feathers of sorts flies 

in scotland especially on the lochs ive always done well with black and yellow patterns mabey due to them being trouty type colours which a lot of wild fish feed on in the lochs but ive always done well on them , so a quick marabou and sclappine feather fly with a few strands of gold flashbou and another pike catcher is done , i usually tye a few of the same pattern as theres nothing worse having a catching colour and losing it up a tree or on some underwater snag or even worse feeling sorry for you non catching boat partner which when you do lend a fly you never see it again as it ends up in his box , yea we all have that friend dont we .

latest off the vice is this badass , i took the idea from flies and natural materials guru ken capsey who does some great patterns and naturals are his go to flies for pike and musky , although it looks big and bulky its actually not ive just used the hollow tye method to give it big profile the materials on these flies work well together and are very mobile in the water , even with the slowest of twitches they pulse and sparkle and depending what hook you use they hang with almost neutral buoyancy in the water in fact i remember testing some in crystal clear water last winter and be very surprised at how good they hang and so looking forward to fishing them this year 

when im tying large flies i sometimes have a pile of material left over so ultimately ill gather it together and add the the ever growing perch box , i really hope this year the perch appreciate the effort im going through to catch the feckers .

its not that my flies dont catch perch in fact the 4lb fish below was caught by good friend ernie firth on one of my down n dirty pike flies , its just i think i need to put more effort into catching them i think hence the canal i think is my best bet . 


the great ernisto

i feel blessed to have some great fishing friends and i keep a very close circle of people who i fish with as unfortunately a lot of people only want to fish with you for there own ends be it fishing spots or the methods or flies you use  and this is especially true in these days of social media so i like to keep it close and most of the guys i fish with have become firm friends and fishing pals .

in fact ive just come of the phone with ernie and didnt realise how long its been since we fished together so we have made a couple of plans for this year where ernie will visit scotland and ill travel down to the badlands of england to fish with him again and im looking forward to that a lot , every time ive fished with him its always been a great laugh even if we blank , i laughed a lot today when he told me the story when he fished with a 2wgt for roach on his local and saw a bow wave cast to it and then realised it was a carp of around 25lb which promptly took off and left him with no line on his reel and needing new underwear .....looking forward to fishing with him again soon  spare pants are packed    

brother ken on tv chasing pickerel

this is me a few years ago with a chain pickerel a member of the esox family and this is probably an average sized fish as they dont go very big up to about 3 lbs i belive but pound for pound these fish really kick up a stink when hooked and are fantastic sport , brother ken loves fishing for them and recently appeared on local tv chasing these fun rockets , click the link below to see ken chasing them, top job brother  

so with that im off to check my reels and do a little maintenance on my gear , maybe make some new leaders  and hopefully tye some more flies 

tight lines 
(a cave in scotland)

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

bit chilly

bloody cold up north 

so into February and dam its cold , and the uk seems to have been battered by storms for the whole of January , i mean its bad enough fly fishing in winter (well unless your in some hot country) but add to that howling mad Gertrude , jenny, helga or what ever they call the bloody storms and throwing flies about is positively suicidal chucking large lumps of fluff around so i for one have stayed firmly in my cave waiting for better weather .

ok so being in the cave and not fishing usually means tying flies but unfortunately not as its bloody freezing in here so ive been trawling facebook and the internet looking at what other folks have been tying and those poor sods that have been out there catches , alternatively ive also been watching fly vs jerk , now if you haven't seen this on the edge of your seat series then seriously go take a look it brilliant , i think a Scottish version should be made although if its done with the facebook group (lure fishing scotland) it will have to have subtitles , lots of bleeping out of everyday scottish words , and shown after the watershed and be warned theres some right ugly buggers as well , anyway heres clip of the new upcoming episode go check em out 

also really looking forward to what i call project ferox which involves some very special things for half man half fish brian from  been enjoying this project so far with some completely outside the box thinking on flies which acounted for a nice ferox at the end of last year for Brian so looking forward to this coming season .  by the way if you wish to book brian for a trip check out his website or facebookpage 
brian is without doubt the best guide there and his boat and fish finding skills are second to none , and hes one of the funniest people ive ever been fishing with a barrel of laughs and a million funny story's so  if you fancy a custom fishing package in some of the most stunning scenery in the world with the the best then get over to his site and book it . 

check his gadgetry out he can pick out a discarded pair of forceps out in 40 feet of water 

so introduced my lovely fisher lady to the fine art of fly tying a few weeks ago and has to be said shes going to take to it like a natural , she is very creative so i dont think it will take much for her to be churning out some fine flies and im looking forward to getting out fishing with her soon and probably putting mine to shame womans a natural :-) 

so when am i getting out fishing , well thats the big question , i think im going to probably start my year on the local canal , im still chasing those bloody perch so probably the best place to start with some new smaller flies ive been doing , but me and perch have a chequered past so dont hold your breath .

so also this year ive found a cracking mark for saltwater fly fishing for mackerel yup the humble mackerel , but such great sport on a fly rod turbo charged mini tuna and on a 7wgt they are so much fun , so started making up some simple flies for them , lightweight and flashy is pretty all much you need and they will get destroyed eventually so quick cheap and easy is the way to go .

made from flashbou, thin profile like a sandeel and finished with deercreeks uv resin these things take literally a couple of mins to make so you can make enough in an evening to do quite a few sessions i may even try them for perch . roll on summer .

bucking the trend

ok so want to talk a little about pike flies in general , you know when i started way back in the day , and im talking way back when i was being told it will never catch on and if i turned up at a lake people would shout at me "no trout in here mate" and the only materials we had were bucktail and marabou .

so oh how times have changed , i remember back in the day a revolutionary new fly was designed by a guy called alan hannah in ireland called the ballydoolagh bomber .

make no mistake this was a revolution in pike flies and alan released a book and video (yes vhs video) called "fly fishing for big pike" this was mind blowing at the time and the must have fly in any pike fly fishers box and indeed alans video and book probably started off a whole new generation of pike fly fishers (although a amount of them gave up as they were deadbaiters who couldn't work out how to cast flies , i call it natural selection) but heres the thing if you got a group of pike fly anglers together and asked them to open there fly boxes i bet there would be around 1% of them who would actually own one .

now that bring me to an interesting point because fast forward to a couple of years ago and Everyman and his dog owned or wanted a dan blantons flashtail whistler 

now the flashtail was a good fly but was it any better than the ballydoolagh well actually probably not but because a few people caught a couple of large pike on them every bugger became an instant flashtail tying expert and like lemmings the part time predator fly anglers were snapping them up as well , but was it any better well no it wasnt but thats not saying it wasnt a good fly it was just as good as the ballydoolagh but people stopped using the it as the whistler was the to be seen with pattern , now i still fish the whistler but catches me no more or no less than other flies . 

so fast forward to 2016 and we have this wiggletail from Giovanni de pace from gdp fly dressing 

now nothing at all wrong with this fly , but is it any better than than the ballydoolah or the whistler , well actually no its just the next must have fly that everybody wants in there box this year , will it catch you bigger and better and more than the afore mentioned flies well no it wont and trying to keep up with the guy in the next boat if you dont tye your own is going to cost you a bloody fortune .

so if you add into the mix all the new synthetic flies that are out there like mine below 

well thats a whole heap of fluff to be dragging around , and well im as guilty as the next guy although i havent yet bothered with the wiggle tails as i was doing them many many years ago in the form of franken flies and well they didnt catch me more or less than any other flies i own 

so heres the thing , this year im only going to fish my old school natural flies for pike absolutely no synthetics are going to be used by me in my pike fly fishing this year im going right back to the beginning with marabou , bucktail and feathers and you know i cant wait to try this i think its going to be an eye opening year .

ok so now and again i do a few bits for the guys over at i find there blog interesting and thought provoking and actually they have some darn fine articles including the latest on staying warm while fishing in winter so give them a click and have a read , they have some great articles for the pike fly fisher as well as general fishing stuff .


this is my brother from another mother and one of vermonts greatest natural flies fly fisher ken capsey i really miss this dude since he came off facebook and only communicate through email now , love ya bro 

i really miss our 3am coffee on my trips to vermont where ken would try and shoot the coffee cup from my hand with his bow and arrow ken bro i miss your ugly redneck face .

so with that i bid you all farewell until my next post, hopefully not as long now the weather is getting warmer and my fingers are no longer lumps of ice and i can type again 


(a cave in scotland)