Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tying big predator flies and other stories

Tying big predator flies (and other stories)

The art of doing it

Making large flies isn’t as daunting as it looks sure there’s some real fancy arsed looking flies out there but don’t be put off from giving it a go, the only way you’ll learn to make flies is to keep practicing and your home made flies will catch the same if not more than that fancy made fly your saw on the internet and will probably out do it in terms of fly longevity as well the guy sitting in a tying house in Africa really doesn’t care if your fly falls apart after a couple of fish ,
Synthetics these days enable us as fly tiers to make supremely large pike fly’s and to be honest the only thing stopping you making monster flies well actually with today’s rods there’s nothing whatsoever from making and fishing the biggest of flies hell no.

but here’s the interesting thing all of the biggest fish I have caught over the magical 20 mark have come on small flies I’m talking 4 inches and under here , the my biggest fly caught pike to date is a stonking 25lb river Trent beast that took a small marabou baitfish fly in fact back then that was pretty much it for pike fly design a simple marabou pattern with a couple of googly eyes on a bronze bait holder hook with the holder shank barbs pressed down we were innovators back then having to make the best of it because nobody made stuff for us and actually with most companies back the catering in this country for the trout and salmon tier making pike flies was a bloody expensive exercise if you wanted to make anything over four or five inch’s
A bait holder hook this was all I had access to

Sunday blues

I work on weekends and I have to get up at stooped o’clock in the morning to get there on time and this weekend it was bloody freezing hence the hood and my back to the wind I wouldn’t have even fancied being out fishing today , I do have the distinct advantage though of being able to tie fly’s at work as regular readers of my mutterings will no doubt be aware I have burst of furious technical activity then 3 or four hours of nothing then another burst of activity so I tie flies in between , perfect

Travel kit

When I’m tying at work I have to think in advance what I’m going to be tying as there’s no way I can take everything (my bosses would have a fit) so I have a little hobby box that I can get the essential’s in hooks flash bobbins threads glues etc. and more importantly it fits into my work bag.

Bag o tails

so as I had decided what I was trying in advance (thunder creeks) so in addition to my hobby box I have a random supermarket bag to carry them in, couple of weird looks on the bus to work right there, I’ve included a few different colours in the bag, I’m doing some saltwater kits at the moment so I picked colours that were salty in nature and colours that I’ve used successfully in the past built into thunder creeks which are a fantastic little fly and will catch you fish no matter where your fishing , I’ll be using minnow patterns for trophy trout in the summer of course in this country fly fishing for trout with anything other than a size 28 dry fly on a silk leader is considered not sporting and is frowned upon from a great height , jezus h Christ if a fish eats another fish it’s a predator right so what the feck is the problem , well none in my book trout got teeth I’m fishing for em end off .

My office desk

This was me set up for my 9 hour shift great work if you can get it eh, I realise I’m quite lucky with this so I tend not to rock the boat too often, the vice im using is one I’ve had sitting on my desk at home for ages, can’t even think where I got it from to be honest but it’s got a really solid heavy base and it holds hooks up to size 9/0. To be honest it looks like one of those really cheap vices you get with starter kits but does the job and means I don’t have to disassemble my proper vice

first out the block is 10 of these 4/0 thunder creeks cracking little flies (ok at 4/0 not so little) I really enjoy tying them and haven’t done any for a while , I decided to give the heads a coat of deercreeks tack free uv and I was bloody delighted with the outcome a nice sealed shinny head that the flash peaks through how is a fish goanna resist this I’m also thinking perch in my local may well have a Nash at this as well as the saltwater species simple to make but bloody deadly , sometimes it really is just too easy.

Home grown UV 3D eyes

So I’d made up a load of the flies above and I needed to do a load of small pink flies so after I did the first one I went to put the eyes on and discovered I hadn’t bought the tiny 3d eyes with me now this was a bit of a bummer but then I had an idea, what if I just did it the old fashioned way and draw them on with black pen yup that would work and hang on what if I added some of deercreeks tack free uv to build up the eyes that may work problem solved and looking good as you can see below whoop whoop and so easy to do

I suspect I may be playing with this a bit more in the future on my tiny fry patterns

Brother and fellow fluff nutcase ken capsey over at pike adventures has been doing some really good stuff with the tallywacker so I decided I needed to get back to doing some big and beautiful natural flies after getting the inspiration I hit the vice and kicked a few out

Although this looks like a massive bulky fly it’s actually very light tied on a 6/0 hook the material is just placed on in small clumps so it’s actually plenty of hook gape the picture really doesn’t do the fly justice plenty of movement with the long Metz feathers some long lengths of flashabou and a single marabou feather tied into the front gives it ultimate movement, really enjoyable fly to tie

Slightly different version just with buck tail instead of the marabou feather and I’ve made the tail with gliss and glint plus to bulk out the length and add some flash and also give the tail feathers something to sit on , giving the impression of a bulky bait but actually being again very light despite its size . something else as well is the colour of the feathers, blue is a very underrated colour for the freshwater pred head no idea why more people don’t use it to be honest great in deep-water give blue a try for a few casts try it out I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised may even give you the edge over you mates

sexy maribou

As I said at the start of this post marabou was pretty much it when it came to fly tying materials was back in the dark ages (I couldn’t even get hold of full buck tails back then) so if I wanted a bit of length on a fly id add a couple of cape feathers as in the fly above, strangely enough despite all the fish I caught in the early days on marabou flies with the advent of new materials and new methods of tying big flies I’ve kind of left these patterns by the wayside a bit so I’m going to go and tie a load up and revisit my early successful days in fact by the time you have read this I will have already gone and done a video for one all being well it should be below , it’s also a great fly to make if your new to fly tying as it doesn’t involve any complicated methods to make and it will catch you just as many fish give it a go

And finally
Guess the fly pattern

Really that’s got to sting

Have a great week folks

(A cave in Scotland)

1 comment:

HighPlainsFlyFisher said...

Killer looking batch of flies as always....man that last shot makes my finger hurt!!