Life through lost lens and other fishy stories
It’s been a funny old week; it’s been the last week of the summer holidays for the kids so I will have a lot more in front of the vice time once I get some peace to do stuff, in the meantime I've been updating a couple of patterns for the www.predatorbite.com range not that they needed updating the flies were perfectly awesome but there’s always times when there’s new martials available or new ways of tying stuff and that was the case with the 3 patterns below
Portmore firetiger – this I've used a slightly different shading on the back color which I think makes the stand out a bit better and I've also used a gliss and glint plus on the belly which adds a lovely flash to the belly, I've also thinned out the shape a bit and I must say it looks absolutely great in the water
Portmore perch – not much of a change here except the addition of googly rattle eyes instead of normal epoxy eyes , the addition of googly eyes actually stops the fly falling too fast through the water as air in the googly eyes means that they float so with the weight of the hook and material when wet you get a far better movement in the water
And finally the flashback roach pretty much all I've done with this is changed the material for a tougher material and one which keeps a better shape in the water so it’s really just a case of evolving the patterns rather than changing them completely and also don’t forget sometimes material colors and be discontinued .
Commercial made subbugs
Well actually I don’t make commercial amounts of my flies I do them in very limited amounts and I also limit the number of places that sell them to only a couple of places this way I keep control of what I make and the builds and most of all there not getting made in bloody African tying houses , I really can’t stand those sweat shops and the rubbish they produce I mean in this day and age there’s really no need to buy this garbage that falls apart after a few fish buy local folks support your local fly tier and I really can’t imagine a subbug being made in one of these places , the thought just makes me sick so I supply limited amounts of my flies to places I trust so if something’s sold old keep checking back to the site as I’ll be in my cave making a few up for them ………talking of subbugs
www.Predatorbite.com have been at me for a while to make subbugs for them, so I've agreed to supply them a few classic colors the first up is a classic chartreuse color which is a killer pattern .
When I say a few I’m talking half a dozen a time here as these take around 45 mins to an hour for each fly so get em while there hot this particular subbug pattern is exclusive to predatorbite and there isn't a massive amount of stock so really get in there, of course if you need to know more about the subbug here’s my dedicated website for them
On the water
Miserable sod Mr destroyer you look like you've just dropped a £350 quid camera lens in the water oh hang on you have just lost a £350 quid lens in the water haven’t you …….yes folks the destroyer while getting his stuff ready had a slight accident when his lens actually jumped out of his box rolled across the dock and dropped into the water with a sickening kersplash , of course I was fully sympathetic to the destroyers plight and didn't laugh once , I did however offer to go in and wade at the edge of the dock to see if I could find it (the destroyer had badly blistered his feet on the saltwater trip last week so we didn't want an infection getting in) actually this was the second time I’d have to go in for an item of the destroyers lost gear I think it’s just easier for me to do it as I usually wear shorts and crocs when fishing but trust me if something goes in when there’s ice on the loch he’s on his own…….
I however was very happy; I was back on the water with just a box of subbugs and ready to go I was however convinced id taken a picture of a ufo in the background of this shot it was now the destroyers turn to laugh
Although he wasn’t laughing for long as a low flying subbug on a fast sinking shooting head line took his hat off, I usually don’t cock up casts and im very rarely a danger to my boat partners it was just one of those casts that the wind suddenly changes direction just as you power the line forward luckily no harm was done although the destroyer did think he was about to be flung out the boat head over heels and actually the back of his head did smart a bit , really don’t know what he was moaning about he got his hat back and I gave him a blackcurrent doughnut as compensation and did mention that I was going in after his camera lens later after all
Fishing wise well we were expecting good things and although I was off to a good start with a lively head shaking jack on a subbug they just can’t get enough of the bug crunch
Just love summer pike stunning colors and a really bad attitude, there’s an old school of thought out there that you shouldn't fish for pike in the summer as they can go belly up after a fight , well I agree that a prolonged fight in the summer is not good for the fish but with the right gear you can get fish in very quickly and I've never had a pike go belly up on the fly in fact I've seen a lot more damage to fish with treble hooks than any single hook or a 9 wgt fly rod and of course if you fish with a a 6wgt for pike of course besides being an idiot you’re never going to get a fish in quick enough especially in summer , look at it another way you wouldn't go bait fishing for pike with a roach pole would you …….so in other words fly fishing for pike in summer isn't an issue just get them in quick with the correct gear
Nasa we have lift off
Another pike another subbug this one was the destroyers and put up a fantastic fight with some great Ariel acrobatics and took his mind of his lost lens for a second
And then things changed, we were seeing a few fish feeding on sticklebacks but then they seemed to drop off and we got nothing more not even a half-hearted stab or miss at a fly I thought something was up as ive had this before, usually on the onset of low pressure which seems to turn the fish completely off up here on the fly
And right enough we had this awful looking sky come over which killed it , the thing ive found is that once a low pressure comes in the fish will again become active but it can take a while for that to happen but we merrily carried on fishing in the vain hope that we could annoy a fish enough to take a swipe at a fly , but despite our best efforts we called it a day around 8pm and decided to go and get his lens or more is the case id go and get it ..
Which is why hes probably smiling, the lens was duly recovered and I got wet up to the crown jewels the water was actually a lot colder than I thought it was and I was really glad to get back out although I suspect the smell of the loch on the destroyers soaked car seat may take a while to shift laughing me never.
A great day out
My local water which is very private and not open for the public is hosting a pike fly fishing open day in the prime month of October, this will consist of bank fishing, pontoon boat and float tubes only there will be big fish prizes for each discipline including a very special prize for the biggest fish of the day of a year’s membership for portmore , awesome
So if you fancy a great day out in like-minded company then mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re coming from further away and need advice about location or accommodation or would like to arrange other fishing in the area then please use the same mail address
Theres no doubt there’s a buzz around with the articulated fly called the game changer and with due cause it’s a cracking little pattern so when I tied one a few weeks ago and had an 8lb fish pretty much on the first cast and first tug of the line so there was obviously something about it and from would I could find out they were actually trout streamers , so me being me I wanted to play with the pattern and make a few bigger pike / musky patterns
When I say big I’m talking size 6/0 hooks here and these one like the one above is an average of 6 to 7 inches long , of course I could do them a lot bigger and I will but I wanted to get the method correct first and after much head scratching and a little bit of scissor wielding and a bit of trimming I came up with something I really liked and most of all would have confidence in fishing because as we all know having confidence in you fly is half the battle with pike
The articulated part of the fly only actually has 2 moving parts the tail section and the section behind the tail the 3rd shank is actually attached to the hook shaft still very flexible as you can see from the above picture
Something in uv chartreus and an olive marabou tail I suspect this will do good on my local and with the same flexibility as the other fly above it,
The original articulated flies I believe used a very fine straggle fritz , great for trout and smaller species but not for bit as we really need them to have something to sink their teeth into so i started by using gatso fiber from piketrek it has nice long strands and plenty of colors and very easy to trim to shape
One of my favorite colors of gatso “peacock bass” nice shades of green and silver and topped off with a deercreek 8mm red eye and a tiny bit of bucktail for the tail again on 3 sections of wire and trimmed to shape and you have a lovely looking bait fish that to be honest I think will catch fish anywhere in the world.
The gliss and glint factor
As I was making these flies I was also running through my head what other materials I could use and although there was a few that came to mind of course I thought gliss and glint plus from deercreek so I whipped a quick one up in perch although im not 100% happy with the build just a little hiccup in the color placing it’s still I think looking good and ill play a bit more with the gliss and glint and the articulated ideas
How does it work?
Below you'll see a series of pictures that represents how the fly works in the water
1 – Fly lands on the water
2 – Fly starts to sink (tail raises up)
3 – as you start to strip the fly levels out
4 – When you pause the front starts to sink down and you get a broken back look
5 – Strip again and the head rises up
6 – when you come to the end of the cast, let the fly hang in the water and then tap the rod tip (a slight jerk on the wrist) this will make the fly go into dying fish mode pic 7 and 8, this can be deadly and can get you extra fish as they will appear from nowhere and crunch it exciting stuff in clear water, although I’ve only seen it on video when muskys come right up behind the fly to the boat I really think this could convert those follows into strikes , I think I’d better send one to brother ken in Vermont to try out .
I’m not fishing this week so I’ll be doing lots of vice time so I’m guessing there will be a few articulated flies come out the vice this week and no doubt a few will find their way into the destroyers box
See ya all soon
(a cave in Scotland)