Wednesday 31 March 2010

snow glorious snow

OK so i had my week set up i have some fly orders to do and i have some new flies i need to go try out and test , so perfect well that was until last night when they issued a severe weather alert in Scotland and i woke up to this lot ahhhhhhhhhhhh and its still coming down the funny thing my Mrs still had some washing drying on the line shes leaving it there just now in the vain hope that it will dry at some point in the year to come ....

view from the cave

new adventures in subbuggin
so I'm messing around with some new buggin ideas which are incorporating the pike body materials from piketrek as a main body material still some work to do but I'm quite impressed with the initial results so will get bashing on with them and see what i come up with

tying with deer hair is really not that hard once you get the hang of it and the great thing about deer hair is it doesn't get ripped to bits like foam i mean it may take you half the time to tie but what the feck is the point of that when its going to be ripped to bits first pike that comes along of course you can give em a layer of epoxy to toughen em up but by the time you have done all that you'd be quicker to tie a deerhair head .........


sometimes experimentation is great and you never know what its going to look like till you try it so id been thinking for a while about butting some kind of vain on a subbug for the purpose of giving it even more action so i came up with the idea above and fitted an oval fish gill from piketrek on the top of the bug and epoxy it in from behind now the theory in this design says that it will shake quite vigorously when stripped but i have yet to test it i was due to this week but the bloody weather stopped that ....maybe next week

i love flies and i love to tie
i just love to tie flies simple as that i love the way materials blend in with each other i love the way colours look together i love to have a new idea and then to see that on a hook i love to get a new material through the post that I've never used before and bang away with a new idea like above , id gone down to orvis for some pike and musky hooks (the link takes you to the us orvis site but you can get them through the UK stores) and some 6/0 gamakatsu hooks id run out off and i decided like you do in a tackle shop to have a look round the tying stuff well glad i did as i came across some stuff called krinkle mirror flash made by orvis so i blended it in with melon orange pike body from piketrek and the results are really good as you can see in the picture above .....

so I've added some more in these 2 bait fish pictures but I've tied it in then folded material over the top of it and the result is a pretty hot looking bait fish the belly is made from copper ep flash something a bit different ...experimentation is good ..........

so there you have it for the ties for today i have to be getting on with orders but i will say one last thing ........i am by no means an expert fly tier , i am not an expert fly fisher , i enjoy what i do i have caught some feckin big fish I've caught a lot of small fish as well and i have loved every single fish i have caught . I'm always happy to share whatever info i can with anybody who asks and you really wouldn't believe the amount of stuff I've given away on the banks to those who have shown an interest the hours I've spent typing emails to people who asked for advice and I'm always happy to do so so don't let em grind you down go with your ideas and have fun ...

(a cave in scotland)

Monday 29 March 2010

wine hangovers and funny feckers

so there i was yesterday suffering the mother of all hangover heads yesterday and i happened to mention this to Ben beech of piketrek in an email and him and Greg decided to take the piss completely over my predicament........see below
"We have used your hangover as our inspiration for this weeks tie off. As you can see I've gone for the more traditional approach of Paracetamol googly eyes to mimic the effects of double vision. I've also adopted a muted black finish to be easier on the eye, shot through with bright flashes of purple pain. To show the effect of light on the hungover fragile mind."

Rough as a Badgers fly

this ones called "hair of the dog", I hope it helps! I thought I might call it "break glass in emergency" or "ma heeed!"

funny funny people that piketrek lot


(a cave in Scotland)

Sunday 28 March 2010

another week begins

so OK it was my own fault i mean i didn't really have to drink 2 bottles of red wine last night but i did it just fell into my mouth and one glass led to another and one bottle led quite nicely into the second bottle and b the time i had drained that one well id thought of at least 20 great new flies to tie up .......but you wont see them on here because through the mist of my hangover this morning id forgotten all the patterns so ill turn my attentions to other things today

piketrek do it again .....
uv resin
yup those wonderful blokes at piketrek have just added a whole heap of new stuff to there website including this fantastically priced UV resin click on the picture to go there
hooks glorious hooks
of course you cant keep these guys down they also have a new range of hooks and i cant wait to get my hands on some and ill do a review on them then but if piketrek are involved one thing you can be sure about is that the stuff will be quality i mean these guys are pike fly anglers and if it ain't good enough they wont use it or sell it ........
the snip
and did i mention they are now selling scissors as well and we are not talking rubbish here these are sharp and of a quality you'd expect from the likes of Dr slick but at a much reduced rate but don't let the price fool you these guys know what there talking about again click the picture to go there and check em out ,
we in the UK have been starved for many years from quality pike fly tying product and have looked towards the American market for our tying stuff in the UK , pike fly anglers are still regarded as a bit of an oddity in fly fishing and bait circles not really accepted by either group although attitudes are changing its still a long climb up a very steep hill to become the norm so thanks to piketrek for having the balls to stock only pike stuff .........keep it coming guys and get some foam in stock ........................
(a cave in Scotland)

Thursday 25 March 2010

new stuff and experimentation

so been a tad busy this week what with tie offs and stuff so just when things start to settle down you get some great new product through the post.

the guys over at piketrek have done it again sourcing some fantastic new materials which i will be doing a review on shortly for the pffa site as you may or may have not noticed i have been baning on abit lately about these guys , but i really make no apology to anyone for this simply because these guys constantly deliver custom stuff for the pike fly fisher in the UK and these guys are also pike anglers as well so they know what there on about and I'm more than happy to promote a product or company that does that especially UK ones as the UK is so far behind the states in this area so these guys get my vote for there fore site and i see them going from strength to strength with there no bullshit approach

somewhere over the rainbow
so one of the materials i was sent was called shiner (like a black eye) now this stuff is really interesting as it is black with a lovely deep purple flash through it , so i had to make up a massive rainbow trout 10 inch's long and i think will go down quite well as a pike snack you cant really see it in the picture but the purple flash really does shine through , this fly also has plenty of bulk but it is not heavy and will cast without problem an a 9 wgt

small and perfectly formed
I'm in the process of tying up some smaller flies for perch and have used piketreks melon orange
body material now this colour is by far my favorite and the picture on there site doesn't do the colour justice buy some today you will love it ......
juicy satsuma
another new colour coming soon is satsuma stripe could this be a new favorite colour time will tell but still loving it , the fly above I've made head heavy to keep it down in the water this will also give the body a fantastic movement

spawning a monster pt 1

European eel
this is big I'm talking 14 inch's here of light weight eel , eel is something pike eat so its seems like a plan to try and do a good copy of one as I'm sure theres times where a good eel copy will catch fish especially in summer .......

so what i did was think about how i was going to do this and i thought fixed rig tube (not a tube fly (as a rule of thumb a tube fly will slide up the line ) this fly doesn't as its on a fixed rig , anyway I've used 5 inch's of stiff rig tube and slid the big saltwater popper head on and glued in place then i have epoxied the head to give it a very slow sink against the buoyancy of the foam so when sinking you could give it a twitch to imitate life or dying this and the fly below are very much prototypes i still have to test em but i have every faith in them working as i have designed
holy cow perch

of course i decided after doing the eel i needed to do some kind of perch pattern so same principle as above and the same size but in perch colours materials are from piketrek simply because they are perfect for the job ..........large size little weight

still subbuggin

so for the rest of this week I'm going to be doing subbugs for a couple of customers so once done i will give the low down on the blog .....see ya all at the weekend and if you heading out to chuck some fluff take care wear glasses if your in a boat wear a life jacket

( a cave in Scotland)

Wednesday 24 March 2010


nice pike on a spey rod

Tuesday 23 March 2010

the tuesday tie off


so speaking with ken over at pike adventures last night getting the brief for the tie off as it was his choice this week and he decided to utilise piketreks fishgills with kens favorite material buck tail enjoy

so i had to make an orange and yellow and stuck in some green fish gills the hook is an orvis pike and musky hook a favorite hook at the moment for buck tail flies and sub bugs plenty of room on the shank for materials and the hook sits further back than normal Aberdeen hooks which is great for short biting fish

a big epoxy head will get this fly down pretty quick and also help with the action on the strip

i tied this white fly up with a new UV material which will be available from piketrek shortly "watch this space" with a buck tail over body now i sat and thought for ages about the head not sure to do either red gills and a silver eye or pearl gills and red eyes as you can see i choose the later but i reckon both would work just as well

so i finished of with a kinda Perchy pattern with oval gills , I'm loving those oval gills i just have to work out what else i can do with them i have a few plans remember to go on over to ken site at

tight lines till tomorrow and remember don't let the bastards grind ya down

(a cave in Scotland)

Monday 22 March 2010

i couldnt give a toss

listen hear i really don't feckin care how big you think you are in the fishing world i really couldn't give a toss if you think i make to many flies i do what i do for the love of fly tying end of story, if you want to say something about my flies say it to my face fecker i can take constructive criticism and welcome it .............

the tide is turning fecker and your going out with it you aint that good

Thursday 18 March 2010

whats new pussycat

been a day of tying and updating today myself and ken have another website over at subbuggin click the pic below to go over and have a peak we have some great deerhair tiers on there including ulf hagstrom from Sweden and bass bug supremo pat cohen from new york state a real master of the art go and check it out click the pic below you know you want to

bugs bugs glorious bugs
below a small example of pat cohens work there 2 more pages of his stuff to look at what you waiting for click the pic
so now I've done some work on the other sites it will be back to normal random cave rumblings tomorrow
tight lines flingers
(a cave in scotland)

Tuesday 16 March 2010

the tuesday tie off

were back ....yea ha well last week i was away testing the pikesaber with golden balls harkin so back to the tie off this weeks theme is big as in bigger than your average fly so here we have the results and the great thing is there all hand made by real people in this country who actually fish ......socking it to the man again buy from your country's home grown tiers

big and glam

hook - 6/0 gamagatsu sl 126 bluewater
body- piketrek extreme orange body
core - orvis pearl angel hair
eye - 9mm piketrek silver soft gel
gill - pike trek fishgill 12 mm pearl
head - z poxy
length-11 inchs
country of origin - Scotland (which is nowhere near Kenya)

a bunch o jacks

pike eat baby pike fact and for yonks Ive been looking to make a great jack pattern and seeing Greg strellys awesome jack pattern (yesterdays post) , if you haven't bough one yet you should have a t least a couple of gregs jacks in your fly wallet ,

hook - 6/0 gamagatsu sl 126 bluewater
body- back dark green piketrek body . belly / belly fin yellow piketrek body
eye - 9 mm red soft gell
gill - pike trek fishgill 12mm green
head - z poxy
length- 9 inchs
country of origin - Scotland (which is nowhere near Kenya)

eat me or ill eat you

big boy jack

hook - 6/0 gamagatsu sl 126 bluewater
body- back dark green piketrek body . belly / belly fin yellow piketrek body
eye - 9 mm red soft gell
gill - pike trek fishgill 12mm green
head - z poxy
length- 10 inchs
country of origin - Scotland (which is nowhere near Kenya)

hook - 6/0 gamagatsu sl 126 bluewater
body- dark green piketrek body
core- ep sparkle
eye - 9 mm red soft gell
gill - pike trek fishgill 12mm gold
head - z poxy
length- 10 inch's
country of origin - Scotland (which is nowhere near Kenya)

continuing fishing adventures of tony "the fluff" harkin

after 2 hours of going nowhere tony harkin realises it may be easier for fluffchucker doing the rowing he had lifted his mud weight of the lake bed this point id like to congratulate tony on his new job as anchorman at pie news which is a news channel for deaf anglers


tight lines till tomorrow fellow flingers
(a cave in Scotland)

Monday 15 March 2010

pikesaber review

pikesaber 9ft 10wt fly rod

you know sometimes in life you get a real surprise and this rod is one of those times in fact id go so far as to say its a moment that ill never forget when i opened up the black tube to reveal a 4 piece rod that has shaken the foundations of my pike fly fishing , at first i thought id been sent a trout reservoir rod i mean surely such a low cost rod couldn't weigh just a few more grams than my sage xi2 and throw out a line and big fly like the xi2 does .

my first job due to the waters in Scotland being frozen was to get out in the park with a selection of lines and give it a bit of a thrashing without a fly on the end to get the feel of it well although its a 10wt i found my 9wt line cast very easily and comfortably and i got pretty much down to the backing . i was quite onwards and upwards i tried my 10wt Rio striped bass line and hell not only did it get to the backing in only a couple of false casts you could feel the rod wanting to take more no i sat up and took notice that i had something very special in my hands .and it even casted my 20ft lead core leaders with no effort at all i was starting to get that tingling feeling ...

i had to try this on water with big flys after big fish so i headed south to old bury hill estate lakes in surrey i knew that this would be ice free and id be able to get a punt out on the water , so there we were in the middle of this lake casting the most enormous flies i had with me which were 13 inch musky sized flies and this rod absolutely demolished anything i could throw at it i had to marvel at feeling the load points on the cast with a 13 inch fly and watch in shear amazement as the 13 inch fly headed for the horizon with pretty much little effort on my part and it still wanted to take more i must admit to being seriously impressed

features on the rod include

Unique Aluminium Fighting Butt - it looks a but like the death star from star wars but it comes into great effect as when fighting fish (or in my case a fly stuck up a tree from the boat) the butt fits very comftabley into the palm of your hand andthere is a screw in the bottom that you can undo and place weight in to balance the rod if need be

30/40 ton Strengthened Carbon - oh boy is it strong , i managed to pull a punt with 2 anglers to the bank with the rod this rod will have no problem landing the biggest of fish in this country quickly and efficiently

High Grade Cork Handle - a quality cork handle makes all he difference in comfort although they still get dirty but to me theres nothing worse than a nice shinny handle

SIC Line Stripping Rings - no scrimping here either the rings and guides are quality

Unground Blank for extra Strength - does what its says it is strong your not going to explode this on a fish

Spiral Wrap to stop Line Stick - probably why the line just wants to keep going and going

Bag and Rod tube - no short cuts here either a quality bag a very strong tube ideal for the traveling angler , i traveled on the train from Edinburgh endured 2 rush hour tube journeys and it didn't even get a scrape or a dent

keeper ring - this is one thing that really annoys me you pay £600 quid for a sage and theres not a keeper ring for you fly same with a lot of high price rods no keeper ring this has a nice strong keeper ring at the top of the handle perfect

line up dots - how many times have you got the rod out and it takes ages to line all the rings up this the rod has small but easy to see small white dots so your up and ready in seconds .

so all in all this rod has been very well thought out by pike fly anglers and they have come up with probably the best pike fly rod on the market and a great price it really doesn't matter if your looking for an entry level rod or stepping up to the next level this rod will be the only rod you will ever need and at under 200 pounds UK this rod is far better than rods costing 4 times that much i really cannot fault it in anyway , if your a pike fly angler your really need to own one of these . may the force be with you ..5/5 dl

to purchase the next generation of pike fly rod or for more info please click the picture below

purchasing fluff

i love fly tying creating big bait fish patterns sitting at the vice for hours creating things to deceive predators .....but what if your not as lucky as me in the fact that my work commitments mean i have enough time to tie flies in between shifts.

but what if you don't have time to tie flies what do you do well of course more than likely you will buy them on line or in a local shop but it is a mine field out there

a superb UK tied jack pike (tied by Greg strelly) click the pic

you see the trouble is there is people out there who really don't have a clue and company's that should know better lets start with the latter , big company's make rubbish flies full stop , this i know by the amount of people I've either taken or been out fishing with that have bought mass produced flies from an African sweatshop that have fallen apart after one fish I've seen it with my own eyes ....

big company's need to keep costs down to maximise profit this means that although the original fly tier had the design theres no way in a million years the same fly will make its way back into this country and surely the big company's have a vested interest in making sure that the flies will fall apart after a few fish well you've caught a few fish on that fly well of course you'll buy another couple and of course that's more dosh in the company's pocket.......

the other option of course is online auction sites but this itself presents a problem as although you will 9 times out of ten be buying from the guy who made it and looked at his feedback that says lovely fly fast delivery blah blah blah it doesn't let you leave feedback after you have fished it

Greg strellys UK tied pike fly (click the pic for website)

so the solution is there one well yes i believe there is you see i think a lot of the American fly tying shops and websites have got it right as they will only buy in from American tiers there will be thousands of guys sitting at vices churning out a dozen flies at a time for local stores as a hobby and i know from talking to these guys that money they make from this goes to there fishing and fly tying so they ain't really going to be cutting corners and the guy in the local shop ain't going to pay for a shoddy fly and of course if there is a problem you can take the fly back to the shop and the owner can take it up with the tier simple , how on earth could you do that with a fly made in Africa ......

what i say is ask where your fly is made and buy locally made don't support the sweatshops trust me you local fly tying shop will be very proud to say yes your buying a fly made in the UK/united states/Europe from a local tier

there is also websites out there like who have a section for local tiers and there seems to be a trend starting with this i mean what better flies to buy than from guys who fish them and tie them , you can go to any of the blogs listed in my blog roll and ask a tier to tie you some flys OK some guys wont as they haven't got the time but they will recommend somebody who can you see where I'm going with this quality that's what it is about i was asked quite a few years ago by a few company's to design flies for them but i always turned them down and i always will because i will not support sweat shops and bad tying keep it home grown

the pike fly fishing association

of course you could just join a club if your a pike fly fisher and learn to do it yourself there is a wealth of knowledge out there , from clubs like the pffa to local fly tying groups there really is no need to line the pockets of the man........ (flies pictured are tied by Greg strelly from pike trek)

if you want to join a fly tying group a great place to start is the fly dressers guild

and most of all support your local fly tiers

"a word of warning if you belong to a fly fishing forum or online community you may get in your mailbox a guy from Kenya sending you a fly catalogue please don't be tempted into buying these as you'll get very inferior flies or at worst no flies at all

tight lines
(a cave in Scotland)

Sunday 14 March 2010


ken capsey was the other day telling me of a new pike spot he had found in the middle of some woods up a long path 15 miles into nowhere so the intrepid redneck set off to fish for these pike that had not seen feather or hook in many a year .
there is no road access anywhere near so the best thing he could do would be to walk it of course this was quite a decision for the redneck to take as it was a round trip of 30 miles and there was no McDonald's anywhere near so he was going to go and stock up on woodchuck burgers for his trip

having gone to the local McDonald's and been quickly kicked out by the angry owner for stinking the place out ( he hadn't showered since falling into a muddy swamp the week before) so ken was rightly annoyed that his boat partner Brian notackle had done this to him if anything he thought Brian would give him a few free chuck burgers for his trip so much for that as you can see in the picture above Brian really didn't want the stinky redneck in his joint
Vermont McDonald's
being chucked out of his favorite food joint by his buddy without the chuck burgers ken decided to just head off , time was getting short and he had fish to catch and miles to go he thought it would be best to use his redneck hunting skills and find food on the way

ken is world renowned for his sprinting in chest waders ability's and he is always able to chase down a live snack or 2 if your out in the woods and you see a three legged deer its had a lucky escape as you can see from the picture above

18 hours later the redneck pike adventurer has reached the spot , from his vantage point he can see dozens of big uncaught 30 lb pike in the shallows sucking in fish and taking down frogs in gin clear water the excitement levels were to much he needed to fish and fish now but one problem

(some events in this story may be a work of fiction some are not ill leave it for you dear reader to work out)
back to flies tomorrow
tight lines
(a cave in Scotland)

Saturday 13 March 2010

Thursday 11 March 2010

may the force be with you

the whole point of my trip this week was to do a field test on piketreks pikesaber fly rod the full review will be on the pffa website later today , so the plan was to go down and fish old bury hill fisheries near dorking in surrey from a punt . with fishing partner and good friend tony harkin , as you can see from the pictures we didn't have the best of conditions

in the background you can see whats called the jungle , an area that has no bank access at all and around 3 to 4 feet deep is usually a great place for predators , but the colour of the water was awful , not really a problem for me as with depths like this i would have been able to raise a few fish with the sub bugs on the surface , of course that's if id feckin remembered to put the 2 boxes of the things id chosen the night before in my bag unbelievable "mental note don't pack bag while on red wine"
high sticking
it just wasn't happening with the flies being deep and on the bottom so i decided to high stick the flies with a slow sink intermediate line in shallow water what this involves is quite simply casting the line out and holding the rod high give the line a couple of strips back and you fly will break surface as above when it does give a couple of short strips to move the fly under the surface then let it sink again for a few seconds this moves a lot of water and can give you some fantastic surface sport without the need for a floating line or poppers
i pretty much only used the piketrek pike body fibres for these flies (a lot to do with leaving my subbugs at home) but i wanted to get some video footage of the flies in action as well to show what this stuff looked like in the water
pike body fibre in action
the pike saber
without going to much into a review the one of the things i really loved about this rod was the fact i could get it into some pretty tight corners as below
the other thing about the pikesaber was the the ease that it threw big flies the picture below is a 13 inch fly thrown wet a few false casts and you could feel the rod loading and then bang your line just keeps going i got down to the backing with the cast below on a 10wgt intermediate line and if i had a load of the backing off the reel it would have taken that as well , and this wasn't a fluke i did this time and time again quite unbelievable

below i had a thought that there would be a pike sitting in this gap the saber got the fly in there no bother at all with very little effort although the pike didn't appreciate the effort id gone to just check the colour of that water where is the bloody subbugs when you need them
even the kid from the def leppard lets get rocked video thought it was a cool rod as well although just after this picture was taken he started playing air guitar with it thanks son
so in short if you fly fish for pike then you really need to own one of these if your in the states i also think this would make a superb striper , largemouth bass , muskie rod more on this when ken over at pike adventures gets out again when the ice melts
thanks again go out to tony harkin for taking the pictures and putting me up for the night do something about those cats mate they are evil
do yourself a favour get the next generation of predator rod in your collection once used you'll never go back
tight lines
(a cave in Scotland)