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Cold days and freezing nights
Cold days and freezing nights
well the weather still continues to play havoc for me in fact the only time this week that was half decent for a chuck I was working and coupled with the fact I caught the most extreme version of man flu which laid me out for a week and I had to take a week to recover and even now 3 weeks on I still have the tail end of it never been so ill in all my life to be honest and women say we put it on ….............
so I was pretty much bed bound and feeling crap for a week I didnt even tie a fly that week (now you know I was ill) , when I did eventually arise from my sick bed I turned on the tv and looked in disbelief at the garbage on the tv , I found myself with the stark choice of either tying a garbage looking fly while im not at my best or watching this rubbish , of course I choose the fly option so that was pretty much me back on the road to recovery , and thought did pass through my head that there is millions upon millions of people around the world who fish in one form or another for thousands of different species why on earth is there not a 24/7 satellite channel for us , I know in the states the situation is a bit better (when I was over fishing with ken I was having breakfast while watching a bass show) but wouldn’t it be great to have one channel that all the networks could pick up and show on one channel , I dont know but if your anything like me I will watch any kind of fishing show no matter how bad , food for thought there I think .
BLOOD OF THE DESTROYER
sounds like a dodgy film title but no conan has a nasty habit of spiking himself on my hooks im not quite sure how he does it to be honest as he doesn’t manage to do it on size 24s although to be fair he has just got new glasses so maybe this will be a thing of the past now hes got a nice pair of new glasses so hopefully that will be a thing of the past
so we had to cancel one tying day due to me being sick so the following week we hooked up for a days tying and as normal I provided the material the destroyer provided the doughnuts , the blur In the background is in fact my son who was off school on holiday that week and as soon as doughnuts was mentioned he came bounding through at a rate of knots hes never seen a box full of doughnuts before so he was quite excited and hes always asking when uncle destroyer is coming to visit ….....looks like were busted
BACK TO BUSINESS
so it was nice to get back to the vice and before the destroyer arrived I warmed up with a couple of vermont fly guys inspired naturals just to get back in the swing of things I do love tying with naturals and especially deer hair once you get it down with deer hair you’ll find you’ll really enjoy tying with it and theres so much you can do with it but I think ill save that for a later blog very interesting subject
A DAY WITH THE DESTROYER
it had to be done me and destroyer are loving the DKHB fly its just one of those patterns where you just know its going to catch and we decided we really needed some classic colors to add to the ones we did a few weeks ago , these are big flys tied on 8/0 surgical strikes the hook point sits around halfway back so hopefully cutting back on missed takes due to short strikes and leaving plenty of room for materials , I also love the large dumbells which come from hareline and are ex large and recessed allowing you to put an eye in , the other thing I love about these is there are made from aluminium so they weigh hardly anything even in the large sizes , the advantage is that even with a lot of material these sink very slowly so you can track them back in a straight line at any water depth love them and looking forward to putting them on the watery dinner plate shortly
another classic color more of a perch theme going on here you just got to have a few perch type patterns in your box work well on most venues in the UK , of course with the dumbells being tied on top of the hook shank ,of means the fly will fish hook up so you can get it right down on the deck with it very rarely snagging up
if you havent tried this style of fly yet you really should as the dumbell really adds so great action to the fly strip and pause or figure of eight are both great ways of fishing this style of fly and of course you don’t have to make monster sizes in this you can really scale it right down to size 1/0 they all work give em a try
FELL INTO ORVIS AGAIN
I swear I only went into orvis on my way to work for a pack of flashbou and while I was in the tying materials at the back of the shop chatting to the ever knowledgeable will of sexy loops (I was grilling him about lines he answered all my questions without taking a breath top man) when my gaze fell upon a hook sharpener you know its just one of those things I completely forget about until I need it and ive lost count of the amount of times ive asked a fishing partner if they had one and they hadn’t (obviously same school as me) in fact this happened last trip with the destroyer so it was still fresh in my mind when my eyes fell upon the £8.50 hook sharpener, expensive well maybe but with orvis gear you know your getting something of quality that’s going to last for a bit and I just bit the bullet and bought it , I just hope I don't lose it in my cavernous boat box or over the side of the boat but that's it bought anyway
A TAIL OF 2 TAILS
so while I was plucking the sharpener off the shelf my eyes caught sight of a chartreuse color bucktail on the end of the the display rack and funnily enough I needed some chartreuse bucktail (I swear the people at orvis see me coming and put stuff in spots where they know I visit when there) so I decided to pick 2 packs up as I knew id go through it fast , now above you can see the labels are exactly the same price label etc everything is the same
but it wasn't till I got home that i realized that despite the labels and colors on the label stating they were the same they were in fact different shades as you can see from the picture above , not a complaint really but I may not have noticed this if I was tying for a customer , let me explain .
I have a few regular guys that buy a specific pattern from me and they stock up once a year on those patterns now one of these chaps actually has a bucktail baitfish in a specific color that incorporates chartreuse's (its his pattern so I wont show a picture or the recipe) but he catches plenty of fish on this pattern so here’s the dilemma , hes getting low on his favorite pattern so I tie a load up for him he gets them and when he compares them to his original he sees that there’s a difference in color to his favorite pattern although it probably wont make a difference in his catch rate I think it would maybe effect his confidence as its not in his favorite color , so although I may not have noticed the slight difference in color while I was doing them I would have to get one of the original flies back to try and match the bucktail , so how did the slight change in color happen did they change suppliers or dont they have a specific color chart and recipe to do them to , or maybe im just reading to much into it and actually 1 or 2 shades dosnt make a jot of difference to the overall effect of the fly
chartreuse , off chartreuse , fluro green or something else
BACK TO THE BENCH
just before I went to my manflu sick bed for a week I started on a new gliss and glint pattern but above was pretty much as far as I got before I could do no more , ill get round to finishing it sometime soon if I can remember what I was going to make oh well
so when I did get back to vice it nice to start with a couple of really simple gliss and glint baitfish patterns , its kinda strange the more I tie with gliss and glint the less materiel I use on them and the better the fly looks and lightweight my god the hook actually probably weighs more than the amount of material on the hook which actually creates a better movement in the water than an over stacked fly , in fact if you look closely at the fly below you should be able to make out
the hook shank through the material that’s how little material im using in these ties at the moment and of course the bonus of that is that you get more flies out of a pack for your money as well as an outstanding looking fly
prep for the new season
the foam in my boat box is looking somewhat like a dart board so with the new season fast approaching I splashed out on a new bit of foam for the inside lid
nothing subtle just cut it to size and stick it on the back of the old bit job done off course it will need changed I think this time next year , really the foam in the back of the lid is just a place to allow your flies to dry out and keep your favorite patterns handy , although I take a load of boxes full of flies I can pretty much carry all the flys im going to use on the foam but as anglers we like to be prepared and im no different I hate going out on the water and thinking wish id bought x fly with me , ive tied so many cool patterns this winter I think its going to take me a couple of weeks to try them all , ahhh for the love of fly fishing
BACK TO WORK
had a fair bit of work to catch up on well I was around a week behind my fly orders luckily id mailed the customers who I was going to have to delay there orders for a week but they were cool about it and most said they couldn’t get out anyway because of floods and snow and pretty miserable weather so it all worked out good and there was no problems except finding enough hours in the day to do all the stuff I needed but im up to date now just got an order of subbugs to finish
tomorrow and im back up to date bloody illness is an awful thing I mean you cant really get someone else to do it can you .
Ive also been busy getting some new stock ready for delivery to www.predatorbite.com so if your looking for some new flies then head over and check them out ill be adding a whole lot more new patterns over the next few weeks and months and of course they are also the home of authanic wire the best trace material out there
BROTHER KENS CARE PACKAGE
ever since ive known brother ken (Vermont fly guys) and that’s a fair few years now and we have always exchanged what we call care packages that can be anything from hooks to fly tying materials to dvds or in my case ken sends me my beloved rosies Vermont beef jerky in every pack (none better) so when the brother got a new vice, he said I could have his old renzzeti vice , holy mother of god seriously that is awesome as I had tied on it when I was last over and was very impressed with it but unfortunately my budget couldn’t stretch to that being married (married anglers will know where im coming from) now not only that the bro also got me a new pair of my favorite crocs which I cant get here in camo add to that some USA fly tying and American angler magazines and to top it of it got past customs without any duty needing to be paid so I got to brother you have surpassed yourself in generosity this time bro ….........
but it works both ways and shortly theres something really special heading to brother ken(he collects old tackle) in the form of a very early 1900s wooden hardys salmon fly rod that belonged to the duke of roxburgh and was used by him on the world famous river tweed man the story's and the fish this rod has caught is something else , I got the rod from my father who was a butler at the castle the duke lived in he was given it by the out going butler who was retiring it was in turn given to him by the duke of roxburgh so a real special rod heading his way along with some magazines hooks and a few over things enjoy bro …...
im going to throw something out there for you to think about regarding famous TV anglers (more in the UK than anywhere else) now im going to tell you a little story , I once had a membership on a very exclusive pike and catfish venue in the uk and I once spent 2 days on there chasing catfish and pike with shock horror bait . Now over those 2 days I had a pile of pike up to around 20lbs and I also had a near 30lb catfish a great couple of days fishing and I also had a few on the fly rod which I used to take with me. So we packed up in the early morning of the 3rd day and headed home .
I received a phone call later that day from the venues bailiff saying that a very famous tv angler had turned up with a film crew to record a program on pike fishing , the unfortunate personality had chosen my spot to fish and proceeded to catch bugger all in the end he took a lure rod and wobbled a few baits from a different spot to catch a few for the program .
Now this got me thinking about this and here’s the thing there’s a lot of hero worship in the UK with regarding guys that catch a lot of big fish for the TV and they can do no wrong best angler that there ever was etc etc but what people sometimes forget is that for the 1 hour program on the TV they may have fished anywhere up to 3 weeks for those 1 or 2 big fish and it dosnt show the hundreds of small fish that they caught trying to get that big fish and you know as my story above shows that if you have access to the same privileged water as the tv personality’s you to can catch the same fish and ive also heard on the grapevine that some fish are actually caught by crew members or even days before the TV people show up and are retained until needed a very shady area indeed no doubt the truth will come out sometime .
I’m not criticizing these anglers or program as I do enjoy watching them and there’s very little good angling on tv these days I mean I really wish these people rather than chasing x species of fish and do or die till that get specimen size fish would show rigs technique and general watercraft to catch whatever species they were chasing, this would be a lot more helpful for people coming into the sport than a whole program to catch just one specimen fish.
However there is some very good program out there one being UK angler Jeremy wade in search of myths legends and beasts of the water which are very well made and don’t patronize the person watching it highly recommended viewing and with no pretense if he don’t catch it he don’t catch it but its bloody enjoyable watching him do it .
The green factor
yup robson green he of extreme fishing fame some anglers love him some anglers hate him me I find him very funny to watch its just like watching your mates home made fishing road trip video OK he’s a Geordie but don’t let that go against him , he actually makes great fishing programe and he does stuff that you’d never see other celebrity fishers do and the other thing is he’s actually quite a good fly fisher love him or hate him his program are very funny if you take them tongue in cheek I think hes on around his fourth or fifth series of extreme fishing show on terrestrial TV and that is no bad thing he must be doing something right just I mean how many other famous anglers would walk out of an Alaskan river river in winter naked except for a salmon covering his family jewels because he lost a bet with his guide if you see him on the bank though just dont mention his number one single .
See ya all soon folks
(a cave in scotland)