Tuesday 31 August 2010

life in foam

I've been amazed i really have at the amount of mails I've had regarding this foam fly and considering its only a Mk 1 i think i may be on to a winner , I've been asked to do a bit of a breakdown by various people on some aspects of the fly and where to get the bits to do it so i have listed links at the bottom of this post to materials

so many thanks to all who have contacted me and i hope you find this useful

the foam template is quite easy to do just draw out the shape on a bit off card or a bit of paper and the cut the foam around the template youll have 2 bits as below

remove the paper from the back of the foam and place the rattle on one side then stick the other piece of foam on and pinch together as below once you have stuck it together you can then trim around the sides to even it up

once you have stuck everything together and trimmed it it will look something like below , you'll also notice where the rattle is at the front because the weight is towards the front this will also give the fly a bit of action in the water

i usually at this point colour the foam before i put the creature skin on then once i but the creature skin on ill then colour it again i find this gives a nice depth of colour , for colouring i use nothing more than sharpie pens perfect for this

the tubing itself is called creature skin and is from piketrek links are below , the creature skin is a great item it can be stretched to give you various scale patterns and also colours very easily

the trick with this pattern is to stretch the creature skin over the foam the heat the ends with a lighter and roll the soft plastic with you fingers do the same with the other end and your skin is on , the tags at either end are used to tie the fly onto the hook the other end can be used to place a pinch of bucktail for the tail

tomorrow ill answer the questions about the hook placement and hook types for this
thanks again for all the questions
(a cave in Scotland)

Sunday 29 August 2010

food and pike flies

chicken and chorizo bake

i enjoy a bit of cooking as well as some fly tying unfortunately or fortunately depends which way you look at it so does my wife so she stated a new part time job on Friday so decided to cook her a nice meal of chicken and chorizo oven bake with grilled melted cheese on top and it went down a treat which was a good thing as i announced that i was extending my trip to America from 2 to 3 weeks next year to indulge in my favorite top water antics with ken ..result

more foam adventures
still playing with piketreks creature skin and foam baitfish ideas a plenty at the momment the one below is just another colour combo i spoke to greg at piketrek who said he wasnt keen on the hooks and to have a bash on large silver hooks off course ive already done this as youll have seen the other day but i think its down to personel preferance i dont mind either way there will be more to come next week and ill do some on big sivers as well

piketrek rocks

i know i bang on a lot about the guys at http://www.pikeflyrod.com/ but i do it for good reason because they provide a great service for uk pike fly fisherman , sure there is a lot of sites out there in the uk that have fly tying materials for pike but not really any that soley cater for the pike fly tyier only check em out im sure youll be plesently surprised

gettin your vitmum c with some orange
well id tied up a shed load of these when i first got the body material from piketrek so when they started doing the rattles i kinda thought id better do a load with the rattles as well basic baitfish flies with the rattle stuck in behind the eye if you look close youll be abble just to make out the shadow of the rattle a really great pattern and an easy one to tie as well

the full effect a great 6 inch baitfish

hi tie injured baitfish

this is another great method for making baitfish with some added sparkle and very easy to do all you need to do is tie in a wrap of flash fibre then a pencil sized length of body material and continue tis till you get to the hook eye decreasing the length of the material with each tie the effect in the water is a very free flowing baitfish and natural looking give it a go



i have my daughter here for the week so id better get of and do some family stuff

tight lines
(a cave in scotland)

Thursday 26 August 2010

bait fish things

old ideas with new materials

OK so some time ago and I'm talking a few years ago now i was looking through that awesome book by bob veverka - innovative saltwater flies and i was forever drawn to a pattern for a long sand eel type fly made from stiff mylar and silver foil and although it was a great looking fly and would no doubt kill in saltwater i didn't think it would do so well in the uks fresh water so with that in mind i stuck it in a draw in my head to be pulled out when i found suitable materials

the material arrived a few years later in the form of piketreks 3/4 inch creature skin (click the picture for more colours) the material is perfect for what i wanted as i had an idea all those years ago and this was what i needed to do it

bring on the real fish foam fly ( mk 1)

the problem i had was that i needed a wide mouthed tubing that would stretch over some precut foam but not stay stretched out and keeping its original shape therefore clamping back onto the foam to create a gorgeous shiny fish scale effect

i have also found that with the foam and creature skin its easy to sit in front of the tv on cold nights and make a load of the body's up the ends are heated with a lighter and rolled between the fingers to give a hard point there is a good reason for the points as they make an ideal mount point for the tail and for whipping onto the hook (see its still a fly)

so far I've done a few test ties with different colours of foam and so far i think that the silver sticky back foam is the best to colour with sharpie pens and i colour the foam and then colour the creature skin as well , i think there is a better depth of colour when you do this but that's just my opinion I've still got some experimenting to do

playing with epoxy

i slightly over did the epoxy on this one but the thing is you learn by your mistakes and the one below has been consigned to the mmmmmm not quite right box funny you don't often see gone wrong patterns on websites so thought id break the mold ...lol no doubt ken will extract the urine for this one but its good to learn from your mistakes and actually although i got the fly a bit wrong I've now because of it come up with a great baby smallie that ill play with in the next few days

epoxy is a funny thing i pretty much nailed it on this fly the difference being i wasn't using normal 5 min epoxy i was using Mr bond from piketrek and so far its been the best out of all I've been using on these

i tried again with normal 5 min epoxy and i feel that it just is a bit to thick to suit these no matter how thin i try to put it on so ill be sticking with Mr bond in future for these

still playing with colours on these green glitter foam and an eye from www.deercreek.com i like the combination of colours on this one so i think ill keep the pattern along with the silver bait fish you can see the small pinch of buck tail I've used for the tail this is whipped on the points i was talking about earlier

these flies are still in the experimental stage I've still got a lot of work and ideas to do on them but as these are all 4 inch's long they will make great little flies for predators either fresh water or saltwater ill be playing with them for a few weeks so you'll hopefully see some some improvements in the design
tight lines
(a cave in Scotland)

Wednesday 25 August 2010

we love big flies


been on a tying frenzy last week and came up with a few favorites in colours from my days when i used chuck lumps of plastic so here's the results which all have a rattle inbuilt

piketrek high Tye

the hook is a 6/0 octopus hook all the materials are from www.pikeflyrod.com the rattle is hidden in between the eyes the eyes are then covered with a thin layer of epoxy the whole fly is tied high tye style which if you've never used this method is well worth a go as it allows maximum movement of the fly materials with little actually tied to the hook a full step by step on high ties can be found on my website here tie a high tie or theres a slightly more difficult although still easy high tie roach using ep fibre and sf fibre click here to see it


deceivers are always a good fly to have in you box and is a fly that will pretty much catch any fish that eats other fish it can be tied in any size and in the colours as above may be mistaken for a roach in freshwater or maybe a sand eel in saltwater

playing with eyes can give you a completely different look but still an all round great fly

the eyes on this fly are from www.deercreek.co.uk nick has a great range of stuff and like www.piketrek.com they are a UK based company so if your in the UK please support these guys as there as passionate about fly fishing and tying as i am even if your overseas these guys still provide a great fast service so please check em out , i am not sponsored in anyway by these company's i just like to support great service and product

tight lines all
(a cave in Scotland)

Tuesday 24 August 2010

fishing during the fringe

its crazy time in my home town of Edinburgh the festival is on and the streets are crowded with tons of crazy tourists asking tons of daft questions
"hey can you tell me where princess street is "
"your standing on it fella"
"oh its underground"
yup that's a true story i was asked this very question last week whilst waiting for duke to go fishing , i had to meet him at the mound on princess street at early o'clock and at that time you only get the die hard tourist asking daft questions
Edinburgh and daft tourist in the background

a fly for all seasons

the fly above is fast becoming a favorite a basic bottom bouncing fly but incorporates a piketrek rattle placed so as with the dumbbell eyes it will fish hook up off the bottom I've also for a body and to hide the rattle I've used piketreks spectrum twist this is a great body material and threes loads more you do with it as well but more on that another time or click the link and check it out
so after a while we got to where we needed to be and i rigged up a saber for duke . and i used a loop saltwater 7 wgt i like to go lighter on the canal as you get a better scrap with the fish and if you do get a bigger fish you can control and land them quickly , duke however is a novice so the saber is a rod that he will be able to hook and hold a fish and land it very quickly

a beautiful place
i needed to do some exploring I've wanted to check this bit of water out for a while and it certainly looked like a predators hang out i only had a few nips at this stretch which i think may have been perch but i persevered and changed to smaller flies but to no avail but i shall return to this spot

a turning bay
these are nice features on canals they were used for turning boats around as well as passing places for fishing these spots tend to be slightly deeper than the rest of the canal these spots can provide a harvest in the colder winter months as all the baitfish tend to haul ass to these spots and the predators are not far behind when the fridge is full ,
i cast a line into the spot and straight away i had a follow from a fish of around 12 to 15lbs great to see but a little disconcerting that i couldn't get it to take and if the fish were in a slow mood it was going to be a tough job

easy casting venue

er maybe not have you seen those trees , well you can fish quite easily just by parallel casting and then flicking it to the right at the last moment sends the line across the water , casting parallel is also good for walking and fishing the nearside bank , duke however had never heard of this method

and ended up a tree quite a few times

one of the thing i love about fly fishing is by traveling light you can cover a lot of water and you get to see a lot of stuff from wildlife to changes in weather and if you live in Scotland you may if your very lucky spot a very rare wild native Scottish tree troll they are quite harmless as long as you give them a bite to eat when passing them , i was lucky enough to catch one on camera

duke still needs a bit of work on his casting skills but by the end of the day he had pretty much got the basics and enjoyed himself , the fish however were not playing ball today i shall however go try again maybe next week its pretty much the same on here if they ain't up for it theres nothing your going to be able to do to catch them full stop but still a very enjoyable day

so ended a great day , OK maybe the fish were not playing ball but in truth this venue only really comes into its own in Autumn (that will be fall to our American Friends) the water becomes a lot clearer as the boat traffic decreases so getting out there and finding spots using your watercraft on new stretches means that you cut down on wasted time by finding these spots and to be quite honest I'm happy being out there testing flies so its all good for me
check back tomorrow for some new flies and funky stuff
see ya all tomorrow

Tuesday 17 August 2010

see ya at the weekend

going to be away for a few days fishing and tying so will see you all on the weekend for a full update

(click the picture)

the guys at pike trek have done it again with some great products ill be testing and tying with these over the next few days if you want to see what the guys are all about check out there site by clicking the picture below , they are also the makers of the best pike fly rod in the world the pike saber that's official cause brad bohen uses one for muskies so you cant argue with a man of his experience I'm pretty sure Barry Reynolds has one as well

its about time i get to thinking back to my fantastic trip to the usa last year and look forward to sitting at my brother kens desk after a day chasing smallies and largemouths on big waters and small rivers in may

a big shout out goes out to my Vermont family involved in the ditch pickel this weekend if you don't know what that's all about click the picture above

tight lines fellas and cant wait to see the pictures


Monday 16 August 2010

we like it wet and burger storys

sometimes we get drunk sometime we cant finish our food sometimes we fall asleep well full respect to brother of the pike fly ken capsey from pike adventures who managed all 3 at once last night , i knew something was up when i didn't speak to him last night oh boy he sounded like a pigs breakfast when i did get to speak to him today , funny thing thing is he said he did call me and talked unfortunately he dialled the wrong number so he spoke to somebody in the UK we just don't know who .......dufus way to go bro ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

back to all things fly tying
so yesterday i made up some flies with rattles from those lovley chaps at pike trek and eyes from nick at deercreek these were flies that i need for a trip on wed
fish pie anyone
i needed to get these wet to show the difference with the rattle flies when wet so a soaking was in order and as the wife was out i used one of her nice Pyrex dishes soak them in

so to the flies , yesterday i half made a big streamer with the rattle on the hook shank well below is the finished product at around 4 inch's is perfect for what i need and the profile is perfect for the shoal of baitfish that swim in the venue I'm going to i think these will produce the goods

predator snax

the pattern below has the rattle tied out the back and the fly is then tied hollow tie style and again when wet gives it that great baitfish profile

the fly below is pretty much tied the same as the other with rattle and hollow tie method the only difference on this is that I've used the longest bits of bucktail and twice as much to form a bigger back on the fly giving the fly when wet a bigger profile , so the more you use on the back the larger the profile will be and of course the reverse can be done by using not a lot of bucktail and you get a skinny minnow , these flies I've done specifically for pike and perch on a local venue you can of course Taylor make them for any venue or species you chase freshwater or salt

i also did some clousers yesterday with the rattles below is the final result again when wet the rattle disappears this again done by loose tying the rattle out of the back of the fly away from the hook shank if things get tough ill bounce these of the bottom

it will be a couple of days till my next blog as I've got prep to do for the trip and i have to get some gear together for my buddy who's coming along and hasn't fly fished for pike before so it should be a blast and hopefully ill get him on some fish
see you in a couple of days
a cave in Scotland
*and remember kids don't drink eat and fall asleep in your food it wont kill ya but you never know who's watching ........................?

Sunday 15 August 2010

playing with noise

Sunday Sunday Sunday
well while most of you fisher folks are out catching fish on a weekend i have to work yup I'm one of these people who work dam hard sat and Sunday so i get my fishing time in during the week , but that does have its advantages because not that many people are out during the week so i usually never see another angler .
so as I'm at work and my job means that i have gaps where not a lot is going on so like today i can take a little portable vice and play with a few patterns today was one of those days and the other great thing is ill choose just a couple of materials and that's it ill see what i can come up with just a few materials without being tempted by the massive amounts of stuff at home i could play with

my desk at work today
playing with noise
i wanted to play around with the piketrek rattles and see what i could come up with in the positioning of the rattles on various types of fly so i started with the clouser minnow some of which i need next week
the rattle below has been tied with a couple of wraps around the lip of the rattle then the clear mono is bought forward and whipped onto the hook shank thus creating a loose attachment to the rattle .

(i usually add a dab of varnish to the mono around the lip) then the bucktail will keep it in place when wet and as you can see when more materials are added the rattle almost disperses (ill put some pictures up of the finished and wet flies tomorrow so you can see the full effect as you know a fly does change shape when wet

so next up i wanted a small baitfish pattern again with a rattle so i called upon an old striper fly pattern that i had seen years ago but done no tinkering with , well this was the perfect opportunity to do something with it .
so as you can see below i have tied in a thin tail section of green and white bucktail then added the rattle in front of that whipped it down and varnished it in place next step is to hollow tie in just in front of the rattle 3 bits of white bucktail (with some flash if you like) so you get it looking like the picture below

then add in a thicker bit of your chossen bucktail for the back again hollow tie it and whip it in to the lip of the rattle you can see that you have the makings of a respectable baitfish forming you then continue to hollow tie in till the hook eye (again finished fly ill post tomorrow )
*sorry for no finished flys to look at these will be posted tomorrow , as i was at work i couldn't get the eyes epoxied in as although i could have done this at work as although they don't mind me doing flies at work they do object to me stinking the place out with epoxy
and that's my Sunday at work crap life eh

thanks again for following the blog and catch you tomorrow
(a cave in Scotland)