Sunday, 8 July 2012

back from the british fly fair

Catching up with myself at last
Been a crazy kind of week really you know the kind of thing, you go away for a couple of days and it takes you a couple of weeks to catch up with yourself well I’ve been like that since I got back from the British fly fair, I seem to be at least a blog post behind just now but I’m catching up now with flies and posts thank god
My day of travel started fairly normally and I had packed my bag with an hour left to spare I was going to be tying gliss and glint pike flies on deercreeks stand on the Sunday , the lovely rich Johnson was going to be tying on the sat so it really wasn’t a headache think about what to take , pretty much an overnight bag plus my vice and a few boxes of hooks a few packs of gliss and glint plus and tying stuff , so when the time arrived I jumped on a bus and headed for Edinburgh’s Waverly train station I got there with an hour to spare before I had to board the 13.05 to Birmingham new street this train would drop me at stoke on Trent at 17.00 where nick from deercreek was going to pick me up and would head for some dinner and a beer or 2 all good so far
As I had an hour spare I decided to get sandwhiches and a drink for lunch and just pass the time watching the world go by on a bench at the station and as you can see from below the was quite a lot of world going past including some very confused japanese touristswho stood right in front of me with a map and not a clue how to get out of the station ahhh you gotta laugh , although the state of the train station as they do renevation and building work im hardly surprised they needed a map …………
As with usual on train station concourses in this country I heard some garbled message about something over the station loud speaker system (it actually sounded like somebody speaking underwater) do train company’s not realise this beyond me . Anyway I glanced to one side up at the departure board and saw my train had been cancelled with 5 mins to go before departure, great just great but hey the brown stuff happens and I duly made my way to the booking office, I was going to be tying flies for the deercreek team if I had to hitch hike down there.
So the lady in the booking office threw her eyes up to heaven and gave me a bit of printed paper that told me to go to platform 1 and catch a train to Newcastle upon Tyne then get a special bus service to Carlisle (on the other side of the country) then get a connecting train that would get me to Manchester to catch a train that left 15 mins before I get there , yup folks that’s what the bit of paper said woman at the desk had me on a service that wouldn’t connect with the train I need to get to get me to stoke on Trent to meet nick , I gazed back at the line of people snaking out the door to the info desk and decided to jump on the train and try and work it out as I headed south and if the guard on the train had a problem  well tough I had somewhere to be sue me .

I eventually got to stoke on Trent around seven in the evening where I met up with nick and his absolutely lovely Mrs jen we headed for the hotel where I dumped my stuff and we headed for dinner at one of these fantastically cheap all you can eat Chinese buffets across the road from the hotel where we also met up with bob and sue from castlefeathers and the larger than life and fantastically funny bloke “Keith passant” im pretty sure he broke the record for amount of times back to the buffet jez I thought I could eat or maybe he was just getting his money’s worth , after this we headed to the local pub luckily right next door to the hotel , starting to like this venue .

I staggered back to my room around midnight having tried most of the local brews and switched the tv on but I couldn’t be bothered watching the poltergeist moves so I went to sleep instead

I awoke after an uneventful night’s sleep and looked out the window at a delightful 6.30 am beautiful day outside , ok maybe not but I had a hearty breakfast to look forward to so I headed for the shower and then meet up with deercreeks nick and jen at reception

So onto the venue and the deercreek stand and a meet with fellow pro team member johan put who was tying on tiers row in the next door hall
mr passant arrived on the stall and things quite rightly degenerated into stoopidness as expected whenever he shows up but the venue doors were about to open so we went back in to pro (cough)mode and I set about setting up my tying stuff
one to watch
I also had the pleasure of young Oliver Johnsons company on the Sunday who set up next to me and tied the hell out of a load of perch flies this young man is a fine example to his generation and one to look out for, his flies are very cool and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to come up with in a few years pleasure to meet and share a table with you young man
What was really nice was that all the deercreek pro team had sent patterns over to display and It was nice to see some of ken capseys toothy snacks hanging off the lamp next to me in fact the quality of the flies on that stand were absolutely world class ,
I had a few mins of warm up and tied a couple of gliss n glint plus baitfish up and before I knew it I had an audience watching me and the questions were flowing and there was a real interest from people on what I was doing which was really cool and most people wanted to give it a go so I was more than happy to offer advice and point people in the right direction
One thing I love to do is teach people how to tie , I’m really surprised at how often people say they would love to try tying pike flies but it looks too difficult , actually its only as complicated as you want to make it , I decided I was going to tie only gliss and glint baitfish using 4 to six pieces of material just to show you can make a fantastic looking fly with not a lot of material of even skill , this theory I tested out on nicks wife jen who did a great job of making a small pike fly , no doubt nick will now put her to work making them ……sorry jen

It was also great to say hello to some pike fly fishing associations members who came along and I was able to give a quick lesson to steve Edwards , it’s always great to meet people in the flesh and not just by some form of internet message and an even bigger pleasure to be able to show a few tricks and ties , pleasure to meet you Steve .
Even had a visit from a real fly that landed on my varnish bottle
I actually lost count of the amount of flies I tied and gave away , isn’t it funny that people can’t quite believe that you can get something for nothing these days but I honestly believe that sowing the seed can bring great rewards  . The table was an explosion of flies tying stuff eyes you name it, it was on that table at the end of the day a really cool and fulfilling experience ……………
One surprise was the sheer amount of people buying  deercreeeks uv resin it was the big hit of the show , I did so many demos ,yes it really is tack free here watch this , I had one guy who actually came up with a rival product used on a fly and he said it was still tacky indeed this product was indeed still tacky , the chap said to me he had be given it with the words “it will dry eventually mate” ringing in his  ears,  I’m sorry if you’re going to claim your product is the best out there then providing samples like this to the people who will untimely buy the product isn’t the best plan , happy to say the chap after a demo from me walked away with a fly that was indeed tack free as it says on the tin I won’t mention names to spare there blushes
On a personal note I have to thank nick at for inviting me down to tie with his materials and for him and his wife jen for being just outstanding human beings , this for me is what it’s all about and why I support them as I do  ,  it’s the small companies that have the passion and drive behind their products that make them so good and so lacking in the big companies who care more about the cash than the person buying it , I saw so many times throughout the day nick talking to people and explaining his products no question was too much trouble to answer  it’s a pleasure to be associated with nick and deercreek a great bloke and a great company …………..cheers nick
So with the day at a close I had the pleasure of hooking up and giving a quick tying demo to fellow scot and fellow fly fishing loony conan , it was as we were saying goodbye for now and talking about getting a day after the pike that he said how you getting back to Scotland , it was then I realise I was going to be boarding a train in an hour and have to deal with another horrific journey north with the delays and dishwater coffee , want a lift back buddy .hell yea road trip
The trip back was awesome I mean 3 guys in a car on a motorway all into metal and fly I mean what can I tell ya the perfect road trip im pretty sure that if we had enough time we would have been chucking a few flies along the way as well , I can’t remember a better road trip (well besides a tour I did back in 93 but that’s another story) to give you an example check the video below the whole trip was like this absolutely great fun conan thanks again buddy

Oh of course a quick stop for a burger and a stretch of the legs before we hit the border

And there we go welcome to Scotland and the end of a fantastic weekend (apart from the journey down) I met a whole lot of new friends and had some really interesting conversations with people and most importantly I spread the word on predator fly fishing ……………thanks to all who I spoke too

See ya all soon with hopefully some fish if this rain ever stops
(a cave in scotland)

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