Tuesday, 30 August 2011

twinkle twinkle shinny baitfish

hell that was a week and a half , where has the time gone , well her indoors has now started university which will see her becoming a maths teacher "yea i cant work it out why shes with a dumb ass fly tier like me either" but because of this change in home circumstances i now no longer work during the week and i look after the kids and house , well that takes me only a few hours after i drop the kids at school , so that gives me the rest of the day to do flies , and i still have my weekend job as well , so things are most defiantly on the up and its taken me a while to get into some kind of routine hence no posts ........


with an upcoming mission and the fact i had some nice shinny flashbou in a draw i decided i needed to top up my bigger all flash baitfish patterns , you know they get a lot of hammering and do need replaced i try to keep em fishing as long as possible to get value for money , you see i only get a couple of 7 inch flies out of one pack of flashbou and at around a fiver a pack that works out around 2.50 uk per fly , so although a fantastic fly bloody expensive so i like to make em last

ok so first of the starting block is a classic silver and red head baitfish the red head is done with angel hair and a 6/0 sakuma manta hook .... when this baby hits the water fish take notice
same pattern all i have done with this is to add a slight bit of weight on in the form of a couple of eyes "courtesy of http://www.pikeflyrod.com/ you may think that by adding eyes it wont make much difference put trust me it makes a difference from the action of the fly above this one experimentation is the key


gold flashbou just looks expensive and if your fishing a water with a high population of smaller jacks then this is a helluva pattern the thing is you don't really need to think to much about the coloration's as as long as you have gold and green in any kind of combo you will catch fish with this pattern again tied on a 6/0 sakuma manta
millionaire row

2 different styles both slightly different in the way they swim

the bottom fly is completely unweighted and allows you to fish it very very slow and working the fly to give a fantastic fluid motion in the water and depending on your line fishable at all depths a real killer of a pattern , the fly above it has a bead chain eye and works like a sink and draw pattern pause it and it dives down head first strip it after a pause and you'll get the fly doing dying bait impersonation's because the bead chain isn't that heavy so it just off balances the fly to give you that killer action ........


moving back to the classic colours i also had some pearl flashbou pearl on its day can out fish any other colour out there particularly with waters high in silver baitfish populations and the red spectrum flash from http://www.pikeflyrod.com/ really does top it of nicely and as you can see produces a different shape of head than the angel hair , don't worry about getting the red head all nice and neat with the same length of flash , being a bit different can be the difference between fish and a long day of nothing

give a bit of a wiggle

threes always new ideas out there that you can play with i personnely love the magic heads from http://www.petitjean.com/shop/en/magic-head.html although purist will say "oh no that's not a fly its a lure " well actually if it helps me catch fish trust me i bloody well use it it and you can stuff your size 22 olive up you jacksy matey I'm fishing for big bad predators here thanks very much .

but there can be a problem with these heads as what your effectively casting is an egg cup and a load of fluff so when your trying to cast it it can end up just spinning round and round as it is quite wind resistant , I've found that by using a size 2/0 head on a 6/0 hook you can counteract the spinning head and the action will be the same as using the bigger recommended sizes for the bigger hooks if not better .... just my view on it through trial and error


so with that the week draws on and hopefully ill get a few more patterns in the box for an upcoming trip this week that is of course after I've done the washing , cleaned the house and fed the children .....


(a clean cave in Scotland)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

sometimes it just dont go your way

i had a phone call from a fella i supply flies to who just happens to own his own fishery "Dave can you do me some flee" well yup i could so i duly set to making 50 flies that he wanted to put into fly kits , when they were ready i phoned him up and said i could deliver them out to our usual meeting place (a supermarket car park) no bother he says how does Thursday sound , great for me as i had a day off from work , so when he said well you may as well come up and fish then in in that case .......errrr doesn't take much working out that one I'm there

so my big boat box was left behind and i chose just a few boxes with some choice patterns , and a single rod , i planned to not go out on a boat and just explore around likely looking spots casting a fly wherever i felt looked fishy , well the place ain't got a massive amount of features so it can be chuck it and chance it and the forecast wernt too bad so a few hours would do me fine before i had to head back into Edinburgh to work

when i arrived the water was like glass flat calm with the odd trout on the surface , whenever I'm faced with water like this the first thing i always want to do is chuck on a sub bug i mean how could you not want to fish the surface on a day like this ........

i decided first up not to use the sub bugs , the main reason is id forgot to bring them "duh" so i chucked on a silver and red big flashabou pattern that I've done really well on up here before , so i stuck it on an intermediate line and set to casting around , after a few casts i had a couple of pulls next to the stick in the water , i actually saw the little jack roll in the water , you know that thing were you catch a glimpse of gold after a short tug ......still gets the old adrenaline going

i tried in the spot for around 30 Min's but to no avail , i mean not that i minded how could you get annoyed not catching fish in such stunning surroundings , but i decided to move down to an area where theres sometimes a shoal of perch and of course where theres prey theres predators

dispite my best efforts and concentration on this spot for an hour i didn't even have a tug , i did try a few differnt flies but nothing was doing the job here , i even had a couple of hill walkers sit and watch me for for 5 Min's but they then left very upset that i hadn't caught 20 salmon and kept them amused while they sat and watched ........

so i gave up on this spot and decided to head round to the other side of the loch and actually it was just as well i did as this big bugger of a rain cloud was starting to head my way and i really didn't fancy getting soaked through ..............looks like a big fat tornado welcome to Scotland in the summer

id been trying some red and white patterns with various sink rates and with the water over this side being a bit cloudy i also had a bash with a classic orange and chartreuse pattern but nothing seemed to be doing the trick , i suspect that with the bad weather heading in the pike may have been put off a bit as something was up as all action had stopped completely , even the daft rainbow trout had not tried it on . so i dug deep in my box and found one of ken capseys designs in the form of a big muddler headed surface fly of course id added my own take to it as we as fly tiers do ......

so the water i was fishing was not very deep so i just kept the intermediate line on and fished it kinda boobie style although it was still on and just below the surface becuse it was quite shallow , well i chucked it out and managed to miss a bloody fish twice , i thought i may be able to tempt it again so i stuck the video on just goes to show there not always way out in front of you ......anyway above is what i captured

after i shot that bit of video the rain decided to come down so i decided to head back to Edinburgh and i may just have enough time to go home first get something to eat and get changed before i head to work ..... the fly above is the fly that got the old heart racing and i really enjoyed fishing it , thanks to my brother ken for the inspiration on that one.


so as i headed back the heavens opened and it came down like a monsoon i did get some strange looks as i boarded the bus but hey i get strange looks even if I'm not holding a rod , you know I'm the guy that is always sitting next to the only free seat on the overcrowded bus so you get used to it , i actually managed to get home with 5 Min's spare before i got the bus back to work , i didn't even have time to change so i headed out the door i my fishing clothes and a cold hot dog in my hand , yea nobody sat next to me on the way to work either ...........lol


all in all still a great day


a cave in Scotland

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

scrap materials and sticking eyes


so tying big gaudy predator flies is great but there is a down side you always seem to have bits left over that is not enough to make a big 6 inch fly or even a 4 inch fly but of course you always have the option of making a very small fly of a couple of inch's long that will catch you you no end of predatory species and its always worth bearing in mind that even a very big pike or predator will take a smaller fly my biggest pike a river fish of 25lb was taken on a fly of just a few inches long its probably the equivalent to us nipping in to the shop for a snickers bar just because we fancy it ........................:-)

so you can see just in the bottom right of this pcture that i had some scraps of spectrum fibre from www.pikeflyrod.com left over from some patterns i was doing , so rather than throw those scraps of material I'm going to do a small predator baitfish pattern , so a 2/0 gamakatsu sl hook goes in the vice


being scrap material the lengths are sometimes a bit odd but this adds to the overall effect of the fly so on it goes to create the body and body length , I've used as i do in most of my ties a clear mono thread as once its varnished or epoxied it goes invisible , so I've tied the scrap lengths in right up to the hook eye
scrap material and tie it in facing forward of the hook eye , this will be tied in hollow tie style , again don't worry if the lengths or odd this wont matter a jot when the fly is wet as it will all stick to the body when wet and not look odd at all
coming together nicley

xt is add the back in , really whatever colour you have lying about or fancy the black spectrum flash above was around 5 inch's lone and all I've done is laid the spectrum on top so 3 inch's is running from the eye to the back of the fly and 2 inch's out the front so when you tie it back its gives you a nice back profile as you can see from the picture above
s case a blue gator eyes from www.deercreek.com nick has a great range of eyes in various sizes and is well worth checking out , on the underside of the fly I've given it a spot of red permanent marker between the eyes , this is before i add the epoxy although adding any kind of epoxy head is purely up to the individual tier ...
and most of these means i haven't got time to sit and add pressure to eyes while the glue drys , so my solution to this is to use some plastic non spring pegs yup they have just the right amount of pressure to hold eyes in place and apply just enough pressure to keep the eyes in place while the glue drys and when your doing a few of the same pattern it really does work well , in this case i had batches of 5 flies to do of one pattern so i tie 5 flies without eyes then glue the 5 sets of eyes on and rack them as in the picture above ......


once I've done the 5 ill start on the next lot and when I've tied up the 5 flies the glue will be set on the first set , so they are replaced with the next ones and so you do this until all the flies are done perfect I've used the absolutely wonderful croc glue on the flies as its really the best I've ever come across for eyes so far croc glue can be bought from www.deercreek.co.uk

one of the many flies I've done over the last few days this is called the portmore ghost a fantastic slverywhite bait fish with an orange UV inner core a really tasty pike snack if you want to buy any of these flies head on over to predatorbite in the UK they also ship worldwide

ready to go


if your on face book search out the pike fly fishing association and you'll find you'll be able to join the clubs open group , which we set up to provide information on pike fly fishing without having to join the club itself it more an information and discussion page , although a lot of the club members are also on there as well to add input , well as it happens there was a discussion popped up on a certain kind of wire leader , well me being be i decided to preach on about authanic wire on that thread , and turns out a few people hadn't heard of it so I've done a little video on this amazing leader so please feel free to watch it and share it if you like it will give you an idea just how easy this stuff is to use well tell you what ill let the video do the talking enjoy


remember a fishing brother is for life a fly is only as good as its next fish

tight lines


(a cave in Scotland)

Friday, 12 August 2011

back to the grindstone

so back to my favorite thing tying flies and I'm happy to say the whole thing has come together nicely and I'm starting to get into the swing of things as to where everything is

i had a request from a Friend to do him some big pike tubes , as you know I'm not a massive fan of tube flies for pike but he wanted to try them so why the hell not tie some up for him , his request was was something incorporating green / gold / and orange so i set to work

the first thing i did was get some of piketreks creature skin now this works pretty fantastic for body's as you get a great bait fish belly kind of shape and it seems to fit really nicely on a long tube the tube above is about 3.5 inch's long so all I've done here is tie it down at each end to get that belly shape

the finished product 6 inch's of rather nifty looking pike tube fly bait fish

you can see the rather cool shape better when its lying down , rigging this is quite simple really , just either use a normal wire trace through the center of the fly and attatch hook or take what i would consider the best wire for the job authanic from predator bite the reason is with authanic if you want to change your fly all you do is simply cut of the hook and re tie another fly on , this takes no extra time than if you were changing a normal fly .


again as i said though I'm not a convert to tubes for pike but i think they would have there place in a zander / walleye fly fishers kit as these fish can sometimes just nip at the back of a fly so therefor it stands to reason that a tube would probably produce more fish to the boat than an ordinary j hook

so i got to thinking what other applications you could use tubes for well poppers may be a good one so I'm making a few up and sending them other to brother ken for a testing (if the post office can get them there before winter )

i got as far as getting the foam popper head on the tube , the foam by the way is another great find from the tech dept at piketrek (uncle Greg to you and me) this stuff is highly buoyant and takes a sticky holographic paper really well , comes in big lengths as well so you can get quite a few poppers out of it awesome value for money ...


so with that another week passes and i have an invite to go fish a place next week that will be a travel light job so should be interesting getting kit together for that so watch this space and if your fishing this week hope you get a few tugs

tight lines


(a cave in Scotland)

Monday, 8 August 2011

done and dusted and ready to rock n roll

that's that done then , new desk is built ,well a few final tweaks over the coming weeks will more than likely happen but pretty much 99% there , its been a painful few weeks as i have ideas going through my head and i cant get them down at all on a hook as the things are all packed away , i do however have a new idea for a new set of pike tubez that will be sold through nick over at deercreek hopefully by the end of this week all being well and I'm well excited about these ...


so back to the desk , well i used to have my own room in the house that pretty much was a tying room but then my son had the cheek to be born and the room was going to be needed so i had to re think everything , and the ideal solution was to use me and the wife's bedroom , what i hear you cry "how the hell do you get away with that" well actually we have a massive bedroom and being married not a lot besides sleeping goes on so with the aid of a couple of big tasteful screens I'm able to have a great work area with some great natural light and without disturbing the wife's karma .


well it was all working well and good and if you follow my blog you'll know that i do churn quite a few flies out and love to invent new patterns . until that dreaded day when the wife says to me "darling i think we should decorate the bedroom" well i wasn't going to get away with just hot doing my bit so i had to pack the lot up and just do it . well i finished the room and her indoors was delighted with the grey look , and to be honest it does look good so she was well happy with the job and the new furniture . so i kinda guessed it was maybe time to do a slight redesign of the back area of it and just have shelves along the back so they were duly built and as you can see i needed just to unpack everything ..........

OK ill tell you now i only use scrap wood when I'm doing stuff like this and even the last reincarnation like this one is done with wood that would have otherwise been chucked into a landfill so please don't have a go at my carpentry skills , as you can see from the picture above i have a fair bit of stuff to unpack and i had planned to do it on sat just gone , but it was our first wedding anniversary and if i even went near fishing gear on that day it would have been the only anniversary ...............so i had to wait till today

for now I'm just sticking my rods at one end of the bench i shall build a box for them to keep them secure and tidy i mean a man can never have enough rods really can he , i do have a storage space for all my flies and tackle but the rods don't fit in that space so here is where they will have to live , not a problem for me really and when the screens across you cant see them anyway

OK so unpacking begins in Ernest and i think I've done a good job in my thinking of how I'm going spread the resources on the desk , i need to know where stuff is i don't want to be raking through box after box for a long shanked 6/0 every time i want to tie a fly or think mmmm i know i had a pack of size 24s somewhere for those roach flies , so labeled plastic boxes is the way to go for me just now , and i also have a clearly defined area to tie on i.e the pine square of wood at the front of the desk which also has a cork board behind it to stick scissors and dubbing needles and anything else sharp works for me although you may have done it differently but a desk is a very personal thing

so a few boxes on and the fly board up and things are going well

most of the boxes in and filled with assorted goodies and i have a great area of space to work in and still with a lot of natural light during the day as you can see from the picture

no desk is complete of course without a coffee cup on it and i actually only had 3 cups while i was doing this and it took most of the day to do

and a cool cave it is as well

plastic storage boxes work really well as you can write on them with permanent marker and if you change the box contents you can just wipe the writing of with a damp cloth , and yes that really is my wife's hair , she cuts her own and being a natural redhead the colour is perfect for crayfish and shrimp patterns and something were a bit of a rusty colour is needed , and of course its also infused with the female pheromone which is supposed to attract fish , must be something in it as it works with blokes ..........

you can see from this shot how useful the cork board is and with it being so close to the tying area everything is bang to hand , i need a few more stickers for the tying area so if you have any give me a mail ......

and the finished product I'm well happy with the layout and how everything has fitted in , i still as i said have a few tweaks to do , as I'm going to change the storage bins to the left of the picture to plastic ones with lids and remove the actual shelves , as this will also give me a bit more storage area , so all that remains to be done now is get some flies tied ......

happy days


(a new cave in Scotland)

Thursday, 4 August 2011