Tuesday 28 July 2009

hooks glorious hooks

pike fly hooks well there is a lot of hooks out there where do you start well here's some that i use

Varivas Plated Stainless Steel 6/0 i love this hook for sub bugs it is quite a heavy hook but when tying highly buoyant sub bugs this hook offsets the buoyancy to give the fly a ultra slow sinking fly you'd be hard pressed to get this to sink before the end of the retrieve i find that it usually will sit a couple of inch's under the surface

Varivas Saltwater Champions , Long shank, light but strong Gunmetal finish i use this for tying surface poppers

Varivas Big Mouth XTRA , pretty much my standard hook in 4/0 and 6/0 for e.p type patters lightweight strong becoming pretty much the standard pike fly hook made using 2X wire so they are even stronger but just as sharp.

Varivas Big Mouth Wide gape, medium length shank with super sharp point. these go up to 5/0 size a great lightweight hook the wide gape means you can get a lot of material on the hook shank great for bunny bugs

Varivas Aberdeen .Super sharp with a small eye and very impressive strength. Neat barb and gunmetal finish i use these for smaller patterns in 1/0 -2/0 -3/0 great for perch and zander

Circle hooks are starting to get a good following in the UK and if you like this type of hook then these Varivas ones are amongst the best. If you haven't tried a circle hook before don't forget that you do not strike, just lift into the fish and it will hook itself in the corner of the mouth 9 times out of ten the fish will be hooked before you know its on . these are great hooks I'm using them more and more i find theme best used with bucktail type patterns

owner 5111 SSW Cutting Points , i use this for smaller ep bait fish flies a really top notch hook black chrome finish, up-eye forged shank and reversed-bend cutting point

Sunday 26 July 2009

a couple more sub bugs im getting a bit to much into making these just now but hell you cant have too much of a good thing

cheap tricks

Ive been using this ronseal clear Matt varnish for a while works great , either for finishing off a fly after whipping off or for coating big buoyant foam heads as an alternative to epoxy , left to dry over night goes completely clear (the fly in the pic has just been coated and not dried) apply with a small artist paint brush for foam heads or a dubbing needle for whip finishes also makes you whippings tooth proof .

this tin cost me £6.00 and you'd get the equivalent of around 50+ normal sized bottles of varnish a massive saving , if you use the gloss version you get a quite nice shine on the foam heads also takes marker pen really nicely

so on the subject of alternatives heres another

been using cotton buds for years for tube flies simply pull the cotton off both ends and heat slightly with a naked flame at both ends , this gives a nice lip to tie to , you get hundreads of these things in a tub for a pound , a buck or even cheaper now thats got to be good

Saturday 25 July 2009

new sub bugs

feeling a bit under the weather today so tied up a few sub bugs

i just love everything about these flies the fact that you can use them to great effect on any line from floating line right through to fast sinks and lead cores for bottom bobbing

bumble bee always seems to do well in the deeper lochs

bleeding bait fish great for short fast strips and long pauses

another great colour and all round favorite greens and oranges

all black another very underrated colour

Friday 24 July 2009

a new fangled method for pike errrr no

Pike fishing with an artificial fly was probably first practised during the seventeenth century.This delightfull branch of the sport must have had a following in the eighteenth century, for in those days tackle shops stocked suitable flies. The Reverend William B Daniel's classic book Rural Sports (1801), gives readers carefull instruction for tying their own flies.

The Pike Fly must be made upon a double hook, fastened to a good link of gimp and composed of very gaudy materials; such as Pheasant's Peacock's or Mallards feathers; the brownest and softest part of Bear's fur; the reddish part of that of a squirrel, with some yellow mohair for the body. The head is formed of a little fur, some gold twist, and two black or blue beads for the eye; the body must be framed rough, full and round; the wings (not parted) , but to stand upright on the back, and some smaller feathers continued hence all down the back to the end of the tail, so when finnished they may be left longer than the hook, and the whole thing to be about the size of a Wren.
Even in Daniel's day we can see that some anglers were sceptical of the claims made for the fly - fishing method, for we read -again in Rural Sports. Another way of taking Pike is with an artificial fly: many have asserted that they are not to be caught at all with a fly. Nethertheless Daniel proceeds to prove the method to his own satifaction by referring to the capture in Loch Ken in Scotland of a 72lb monster Pike......with a common fly made of Peacock's feather, taken in 1774 or there abouts by John Murray, game keeper to the Viscount Kenmure. The fish has later been referred to as the Kenmure Pike.

Thomas Tod Stoddart's writing of Scotland's pike fishing in Stoddart's Anglers Companion (1853), gives evidence of catching pike on the fly. With regard to fly fishing for Pike, I used to practise it many years ago, with tolerable success, in a shallow Loch in Fife. Stoddart found that Pike would only take the fly in shallow or shoal waters, and then only on dull days and windy days.Of flies Stoddart had this to say: Pike flies ought to be big and gaudy, the wings formed each of the eye of a Peacks tail feather- the body plentifully bedizened with dyed wool, bright hackles, and tinsels. Beaded eyes also are held in estimation, and gimp or wire arming is essential. In spite of a long history the sport of fly fishing for Pike has been in the doldrums for nearly half a century. Now there are indication of a revival.

Quote from Fred J Taylor
If you are interested in obtaing the maximum pleasure from your Pike fishing, it is possible that you will find it in the use of fly tackle (end quote).
Many thanks to Fred Buller for the use of text from his excellent book PIKE.

so there you go if y0u thought it was some new method , and not surprisingly enough people who catch a pike on the fly are realising what a great sporting fish it is even if you catch a fish of 3 or 4lbs on a 9wgt rod it will give a great account of itself and indeed once you have achieved this you ll probably find your dead bait or lure gear gathering dust in the corner of your fishing room and muttering to yourself why didn't i do this years ago .

thanks to the pffa for use of text and if you really would like to find out more about the method please visit http://www.pffa.co.uk/

the pffa is the only pike fly club in the UK and has regions in the England Ireland and Scotland , Europe , and the united states , we also have regular club events on the lake of menteith , gratham , chew and small gatherings in other country's , the pffa is also probably one of the friendliest clubs with somebody always will to help and you ll never be short of a fishing partner

Thursday 23 July 2009

ultra hair baitfish

just added a new step by step for an ultra hair baitfish on my website you can find it by clicking the link below....enjoy


view from the man cave

simon over at http://pikeflyfishingarticles.blogspot.com had a really great article about the plipper fly with a step by step done on a tube fly so i liked the idea and had a bash at a couple using 4/0 hooks instead of tubes im mainly thinking jacks on the suface down my local canal here is the result

i can just see this being hit on the surface

lots of leggy action and popping going on love it

the original article by Martin Joergenson can be found here http://globalflyfisher.co/patterns/plipper

and yesterday i tied the mancave altough it wont stay like that for long

have fun fluffers

why tie your own flies

Well the million dollar question my answer is always the same catch your first fish on a fly you have tied with your own hands and you’ll have your answer nuff said.

People come to me and say id love to do that but I'm rubbish with my hands , dosn’t matter what skill you have take a length of zonker strip wrap it round the hook and that’s it you have one of the most popular pike flies around no brainier really , it is that easy to do

Let me give you an example , friend comes round to my house and says he’d love to have a go at that (he’d been paying between 6 and 8 quid for a shop bought fly) so I sat him down gave him some 5 inch lengths of Christmas tinsel and said tie that to the hook , he did just that tied it on with a knot just behind the eye added a bit of super glue and stuck a couple of googly eyes on and bingo the chap had tied his first fly OK it was quite an ugly looking thing but it went on to catch him his first ever fly caught pike of sixteen pounds .

You see it doesn’t matter at all how you think the finished product should look and don’t be disappointed if it looks like nothing you have imagined keep practising you’ll get there we all had to start somewhere I mean do you think people like Larry Dahlberg (of the famous Dahlberg diver fame ) picked up some material and instantly had a hit fly with the first one he made err nope you know I bet even the likes of Larry and Barry rickards have some absolute monstrosities’ in draws that will never be seen by the public even they probably started in a similar way to the chap mentioned above .

Of course if your coming from a trout tying background well youve won half the battle already all you need to do is step up to monstrous proportions and 4/0 or 5/0 hooks and let your imagination take over

So enjoy my blog and head over to my website http://www.spanglefish.com/pikeandpredatorfishingflies and enjoy the recipes and lessons it contains but most of all have fun with it and don’t take it to seriously and most of all have faith that the fly you have tied will catch you fish and it surely will

Tight lines brothers of the angle

Dave mcfluffchucker

(a cave in Scotland)

Tuesday 21 July 2009

tube flies

my buddy Simon over at pike fly fishing articles has been raving about tube flies lately and rightly so , although tube flies are nothing new in fly fishing and have been around for more years than i am old (and that's a lot) but and here's the big but , in all that time they have usually been the preserve of the posh tweed set salmon angler (well here in Scotland at least)
spot the posh fly fisher

our brothers in fluff over the pound in the US of A have been using them for a while for saltwater flies and bass
a few examples of there work for strippers now tell me you can only use them for salmon "i think not mr laird" these would not be killers for the snotrockets

so tube flies for pike (i say old boy that's just not the done thing) er wrong Ive been making tube flies for a few years now , my main interest in making them was to use for trolling with big wind resistant wiggle fins on them , hence trolling and not casting the ones below are a couple of my favorites , i troll these on sinking lines and lead core lines mainly when its a bit to windy to safely cast a big pike fly and they do work
these tube flys above are 9 inch's long and tied with buck tail stacked up from the back end of the tube when wet the back thins out leaving a nice fat body shape and the hooks stand proud of the buck tail when wet so no problems with hook ups . the casting tubes i use a single hook these were proto types , the pink fly has a large dumbbell eye tied whipped to the front of the tube to allow a slower sink rate if using these on an intermediate line , the big wiggle fins give the fly a great action
the tube fly above is a real monster made from Christmas tinsel bunched around the tube and folded back on itself the eyes are 12 mm and epoxied in

same as above but without the wiggle fin the movement has to be seen to be believed
the pictures below are all in my early experimental stage with tubes a couple of years ago
big conical eyes on this fly above gives it a nice glide action when stripped in short bursts

big eye and a flashy body a sort of perch pattern

the fly above was pre rigged on tyger wire , although i have since moved on from this kind of rigging with a treble there really is no need when a single will do the job just as well

big fly for deep water rigged with a cone head this fly will sit bottom up

done some fish with the fly above the body is UV chenille in orange a sort of fire tiger pattern this

lots of pearl Mylar in the fly above again big eyes epoxied in when wet slims down to a nice skinny bait fish size
all of the tubes are a minimum of 7 inches in length some bigger but cast very easily on a 9/10 wgt rod
this fly has a big dumbbell eye to get to the deck fast
tube wise i use 2 kinds one is the straight sea booms they use for sea angling like the ones shown below i use the sakuma black booms they are very very long so you can get a lot of flies out of them and to any length you like , just heat each end of the tube when you have cut it this will give you a ridge at each end to tie to

also another money saving exercise is to use plastic cotton bud tubes you can buy them in bulk for pence just pull the cotton wool off each end and heat slightly to give you a ridge at each end ill do a demo in the next few days so you know what I'm talking about.

so thanks to Simon for me wanting to have another go at making the tubes i will post the results in a couple of days , well worth having a go as there is so much you can do with them as Simon has shown on his blog . tube fly adapters don't cost very much and i reckon they are great to have a play with

so go give it a go I'm sure you wont be disappointed

Sunday 19 July 2009

mad week

well got most of stuff i needed to done this week pretty much indoors all the time due to the awful weather , this puddle appeared on my back lawn within a matter of Min's a good 2 inch's deep i was toying with the idea of testing some surface flies out until the lightning started er fly rods and lightning don't mix.

had time to do a few flies as well

the above is simular to one that ulf did and posted over on his blog except mine dosnt have ostrich herl in

another sub bug fly but tied on a lighter weight hook and the hair trimmed a bit more to get the action correct. the eyes are a just heavy enough to point the fly downwards just under the surface and the hair behind the eyes is quite thick almost like a diving vane so when the water hits it , it gives it a highly erratic action something predators cant resist (well that's the theory anyway) this fly does create a great subsurface noise

the above fly was an early version of a sub bug , this one was designed after i had fish nipping the tail and failing to hook so i wired in a very small treble but didn't like to use a stinger hook so the fly ended up not being used favouring the annoy em enough and they will get hooked technique , to a nipping fish

Wednesday 15 July 2009

new twist on an old idea

a baby doll

the baby doll is quite a well known trout fly i the UK and has accounted for a lot of fish , now i was sitting at my vice finishing off 100 pike flies i had to do and Ive had this pattern rumbling around the cranium for quite some time as i thought it would make quite a good predator fly if i could big it up and add a bit of sexiness about it

so i came up with these two patterns based on the original babydoll trout fly, they are tied on long shanked 6/0 aberdeens anf are 5 inchs long tip to tail enjoy..............................

predator doll 1

predator doll 2

* this will be to simon at pike fly fishing articles interesting, as the bodys are made from pipe cleaners the glitter ones you get a xmas about a pound for a pack of 50 and you get 2 bodys per bit of cleaner if used on a 6/0 aberdeen

still busy

so here's another add for a other national drink , ill be back to fly fishing normality on sat