Friday 28 January 2011

sandeel fly

what a bloody life being a sandeel pretty much everything wants to eat you not only below the surface but above it as well birds love em as well , way back i used to use them as a pike bait they caught fish nothing big but they caught fish , they were also great for freshwater eels as well , so with a trip planed to a rather nice place in Scotland for some crash diving Pollock i needed to get some made up

The sandeel is a very effective bait fish for almost all popular saltwater sports fish in Europe from Spain to Scotland, and in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. Sand eel is the first choice pray for popular species such as trout, salmon, bass, mackerel, garfish and pollack. so this is a pattern i really needed to have in my fly box for the saltwater

so i set to work and produced the above , the thing is there are thousands of patterns out there for sandeel flies and there is some differences in colouration as well i like the yellow and olive look seems to work well in Scottish waters , but then so do white and blue , pink and white are amongst other colours that are also good maybe just maybe the shape and movement is the key to these patterns

i posted a couple of pictures on facebook ( pike flies if you want to hook up) and was quite amazed at the PMs i got asking for a step by step for this fly so i did one click the picture above to go take a look if you wanna make it you only need four bits of materials now that's value for money right there

I'm defiantly going to try these flies in freshwater as well as i think they could also be taken for a minnow and i really see no reason why these wouldn't catch , i mean imagine a smallmouth turning its nose up at this mmmmmmm don't think so ,
i have a few ideas for some variations on these like adding a foam under body to create a surface pattern , i think that would work really well in smaller sizes drifted on rivers or when theres a lot of minnows just under the surface , the other is to do some of these is dace colours in fact thats next on the hit list because i did so well on these on my first days fishing with redneck they really cleaned up so im confident on making these for my 2 week trip this year and catching on them

so with that I'm off to the desk to get cracking on some , I've got a day off today so may as well make the most off it ,
I'm looking for a set of ant cutters if you have some that you don't use id happily swap for some pike/musky/saltwater flies if you have please mail me using the email in the side menu
see you all soon
(a cave in Scotland)

Tuesday 25 January 2011

up and running

got out last week although only for trout but it was good to be out chucking flies , this week sees the temperatures rising a bit further and as you can see from the picture below i took on the way to work no a drop of snow to be seen so the sign's are good for getting out on a big Scottish loch next week chasing pike with the flies so my mood is quite upbeat just now and really looking forward to it

as I've said I'm doing a range of flies for the chaps at piketrek (i had a rant the other day about mass produced flies) I've now finished them and just have some written stuff to do before i pass them on to them I'm really excited about this as the flies are the dogs , they will be available through piketrek shortly stay tuned on the subject of piketrek i hear the pikesaber is featured in a major new predator fly fishing video where some enormous fish get caught on it well as ive always said pike fly fishers make the best gear because they know whats needed in a rod unlike a lot of other company's that are just jumping on the bandwagon to make a fast buck , funny these are the same company's that wernt interested in developing anything flys or rods said it would never catch on....... remember if your going to spend your money on anything spend it on company's that know what there talking about don't jump on the designer name game it will cost you in the long run
above i know what I'm doing i know what makes a good fly i know what turns predators on you cant beat experience stay tuned

tale of ep fibre is it the end
well a bit harsh that statement really no its not the end of ep fibre for me its just that there so many other fibres out there I've found myself using other synthetics a lot more , but really theres nothing to stop you mixing things up a bit i mean theres no hard and fast rules that say you must only use e.p with ep , take for example the flies i tied up last night at work (i have a great job they don't mind me doing this) a very simple bait fish pattern to make but I've added some of that great piketrek spectrum twist just before i hollow tie 4 clumps for the head and body bulk and you get a quite tasty fish pattern

ep fibre has its place of course it does just nice to mix it up I've added a couple of inch's of spectrum just behind the head and this gives not only a nice subtle flash through the fibre but also with the addition of some some deercreek gator eyes it makes for a very hot strike point

I'm still buying ep fibre and I've still got a massive amount of it left in a box so ill keep using it for various patterns its not really oi don't like it as a material i think I've just fallen out of love a bit with it , and in the UK especially it bloody expensive my local orvis shop has it at nearly 6 pounds UK , that's bloody expensive for what is basically unwoven carpet fibres there is just as good cheaper alternatives out there , or maybe bring the price down a bit to bring it into line with other synthetic products , anyway the fly above I've not added specturm all I've done is added red marker on the fibre before i put on the next layer on this works well also if you don't want to complicate stuff .......

so also i find myself leaning back to the pike trek synthetic fibre I've become very used to working with this stuff now and I'm starting to experiment a bit with it like adding a coloured marker over the top of the materials and thinking a little outside the box which is always good fun I'm looking forward to see what they do in the water , of course i have an idea what there going to do from the build but always nice to test them in battle
well the rest of this week will see me playing with some gurglers and doing a load of doom bugs and maybe some subbugs as well as I've not done any deerhair for a while so be good to play
if your heading out this week have fun and remember to check out some of the blogs in the blog roll as there is some great stuff out there and you may even get a few new ideas
(a cave in Scotland)

Sunday 23 January 2011

new website

OK I've gone and done it I've made a site just for tying predator flies my other site has tying patterns on it and also a load of other stuff to do with tying predator flies , but people are still mailing me because they want to know how to do something or a particular fly so i thought it would be far easier if i direct people strait to a Taylor made fly tying site for predators so click the link below and you've got it

you ll also find a page on materials suppliers on this page you will find products i use everyday for my flies , that means physically use them and fish with them i will not add a product or a company till I've used it.

fly fishing and fly tying is a passion and a fire that grew from a small spark as a small boy fishing for wild brownies on the river tweed in Scotland , I'm happy to share my many years of knowledge to anyone that asks .......enjoy the site and keep checking back for updates

(a cave in Scotland)

Saturday 22 January 2011

funniest thing I've seen in ages watch it till the end pure brilliance

Thursday 20 January 2011

out at last

me and fishing partner Stevie had planned to go chucking big flies for pike today but the water was still frozen and with having not been out for a while , before Christmas in fact i as well as Stevie were going daft with cabin fever so it was decided to go chase rainbow trout as id not eaten any fresh trout for a while and it was just good to be able to chuck some flies .
after a quick ring round and looking on the net we found that our first choice markle fishery was frozen (we later found out it wasn't update your bloody website mate) so we decided to go to a cracking little water called the whiney loch about an hour away from Edinburgh close to the English border , I've fished it a few times and have always been amazed at the quality of the fish and how bloody tasty they are
the loch itself isn't big around 3 acres and its not cheap to fish either but the owner doesn't crowd em in on the bank far from it and he limits the number of people fishing it , it is a fantastic water for nymphing and dry flies

when we got there it was quite cold and frost on the ground but there was still fish showing all over the place so the signs were good for fresh trout for my tea , even though there was fish showing the first few hours were bloody tough i tried all sorts of nymphs and natural patterns but just wasn't happening really quite frustrating when theres fish showing right in front of you
so after a few hours standing on the cold bank i decided to go around the corner to the sunny side to get a heat and of course as soon as i cast i looked over to the other side to see Stevie into a fish bloody typical but i preserved for a while and i decided drastic measures were called for so i put on a sight indicator with a holographic nymph with a fluro orange head at least they would see it and they wernt interested in naturals

my hunch was right with the disco nymph and the indicator had hardly settled when of it went and i had a healthy bend in the 5wgt lamiglas rod courtesy of grill king extraordinary Brian price from VT cheers buddy , I've been wanting to get a bend for a while in this rod and it really didn't let me down throws a fantastic line as well

a fine fully fined rainbow trout lies in the net , gorgeous colours and funnily enough when i filleted it later on it was full of tiny mussels so probably spent a bit of time on the bottom during the cold snap

after going to get the fly out i was really surprised to find i was really very lightly hooked and just after i took this the hook fell out in the net

my fishing buddy Stevie sporting the latest in designer head wear (he is a bit follicle challenged) and needs to keep it warm hes also got a pair of battery powered socks to keep his feet warm all mod cons is Stevie despite all the technical gadgetry and posh hardy gear i still had to lend him a fish pimp

and the end result a couple of gorgeous trout fillets now i know trout isn't everbodys favorite but i love the taste of quality fish from quality fisheries should you wish to try it here's the recipe i use
fillet the fish (hopefully better than i do it)
place skin side down on a grill pan
sprinkle on sea salt and cracked black pepper
a knob of butter
place under a hot grill until the fish starts to turn brown put on a plate and enjoy , i sometimes have crushed new potatoes with garlic on the side tasty ........
(a cave in Scotland)

Wednesday 19 January 2011

somewhere over the rainbow

i make no apologies I'm very picky when it come to my fish that i eat especially trout species , you see i love rainbow trout , i mean a freshly caught rainbow from a clear water grilled with black pepper is a meal fit for a king a finer taste is hard to find , of course the taste some people say is quite bland , well if you buy it from a supermarket then it probably is .
i once many years ago had supposedly fresh trout from a supermarket and it tasted awful and it looked even worse the only reason i knew it was a rainbow trout was from its spots , so from that day i decided that if i ever ate it again it would be fresh from somewhere i had caught it end of story .
catching my dinner and enjoying some sport

so today I'm not writing about pike and tying predator flies I'm talking about the humble trout and trout fly and some of the things i tie for them well to be honest its not just trout flies these also do me for course fish as well but ill save that one till the summer ......

indeed it may surprise you to know that although I'm fairly well known for the pike and predator flys i do , i also just for fun like to go back to my schoolboy roots on the tweed and tie up tiny flies its fairly therapeutic for me to do this and i do at least once a week I'm not talking dozens of flies at a time just a few to top my boxes up

this pattern has always been a great one for roach its quite simply a rubber leg wound round a hook and tied of with black thread to give it a head like appearance of course nothing like the realistic boys and gals do but it works for me

this is about as small as i can tie a size 20 something or other not quite perfect but nearly there and again another good one for roach and I've had a few trout on this as well

epoxy buzzers are a blast to do quite easy and since getting a UV kit from piketrek they are even easier to do you could get carried away with these and just do thousands of em but usually i do half a dozen at a time as ill end up giving some away on the bank because they catch fish

its not long before my mind wanders to predators and i end up making a few muddler minnows , these i love to use on waters where there is a perch presence as this will not only catch trout but fished on a sinking line it really does the business for perch especially in the summer month's

you can tell what flies are my catching patterns because i tie a lot of then ill let you browse the picture above and you can probably tell what style and colour i like best
tight lines flingers
(a cave in scotland)

Tuesday 18 January 2011

busy busy busy

been a funny old start to the year lots of different stuff going on but very little fishing due to the amount of ice on the waters up here , but that's starting to thaw now and trips are in the offing and I'm looking forward to chucking some flies about which brings me neatly to my next topic
you may have noticed that its been pretty quiet this week on my blog , well that's because I've been asked by the chaps at pike trek to design a set of predator flies for them , which i must say i was delighted to do , these will be exclusive to the piketrek brand and not available anywhere else

i have always turned down offers from company's to do this before for the simple reason that the quality of the flies that come back is not brilliant i mean the flies are shipped of and made mostly in Africa by guys that have no interest in fishing as a sport and probably they get paid for the amount they make so its in there interest to get as many done as possible the company's that produce these are mostly trout and salmon fishing firms who really couldn't give a stuff about pike flies they just want people to by there gear it wasn't so long ago that these very same people were and probably still are knocking predators on the head because they see pike as vermin and trust me this still does happen in the UK , i mean how on earth can you justify selling pike flies when your actively killing the very fish that you want Joe public to buy product for just makes no sense
if your reading this as one of those anglers or company's allow me to point you in the direction of an interesting article you'll find it here
there are a few exceptions to this rule which you'll find further down the page but I'm happy to design these flies for piketrek knowing that these are going to be produced in the UK by people that give a damn about pike flies and pike fly fishing so pleasure to be on board and watch for further announcements
piketrek boys know what there talking about

the exception to the rule
nick at is the exception to the rule , nicks business is mostly trout and salmon but he has the foresight to get together some of the best guys in pike and saltwater tying to produce fly designs for him , which are manufactured overseas but not in Africa , his mass produced flies are some of the best you can get for the money because he cares about what he does and that's why i also tie for deer creek. but i tie a limited run of flies and when there gone there gone

click the picture below to go there and get your hands on some great predator flies

if you are upset with today's blog and wish to respond please mail me , i can only go on what I've seen and the flies i have seen and fished with am i wrong to ask for a product from somebody who gives a toss about what they fish for no its not thats why im doing what im doing thats the end of politics for this year .

(a cave in Scotland)

Wednesday 12 January 2011

light at the end of the tunnel

Fly fishing films and videos
Martin joergensen from global fly fishers raises a few points on fly fishing videos what he likes and doesn't like and far play to him he does actually raise a few points that I agree with and some I don’t , I suppose its down to taste when he talks about a fast forward clip of loading a boat with gear that would take 25 Min's maybe in normal time but seeded up it takes 25 seconds well I actually like that and martin doesn't well that doesn't make him a bad person doesn't make me a bad person for liking it , I thought it was a very interesting article , click the link below to go visit the offending read on the global fishers fly site .

the lonesome piker
fly tying friend Stefaan Demiddele, (the lonesome piker) has now started uploading his own tying videos you can find them here , also check out his blog in my blog roll very entertaining and always a good read and some really great ideas and superb pike flies here is the link to stefaans blog

genesis fibre from piketrek
piketrek have launched there new genesis fibre this stuff we think is absolutely devastating , and as always with piketrek its cheap as chips but still the great quality you have come to expect from them the picture below doesn't really do it justice I just cant seen to capture the stunning colours in the stuff really just buy a pack you wont be disappointed , they have also managed to source some big size fish gills I'm going to have some fun with these nice one chaps , here's the link to the new fibre .

could there be a thaw on the way
you wouldn't think so from the picture below well i took a long work yesterday down my local just to check it out and to see if there was the odd spot i could maybe get into with the fly and although there was the odd spot under Bridges that's were clear of ice I've never had anything from these swims before so don't know if i should just hang on for my favorite hot swims to clear like the one below hopefully with rain today it wont be long

one of the bridge swims below yup looks really promising but never had anything from these spots before but its still nice to look into this clear water just maybe you'd get a glance of a baitfish or two but this water sees all the baitfish shoal up in the deeper water before they spread out when it warms up so ill probably wait till it thaws at these spots to have a go

you got to laugh
as a rule i usually hate any kind of litter and abuse of the waterways but i had to laugh when i saw this maybe if it stays in place it will become a feature to fish to but i doubt it somebody from the posh houses will complain and the council will be down with a team of a 50 workers to access the health and safety angle of removing it from the ice ahhhhhhhh red tape gone mad but i thought id share it with you anyway

lots of very cool stuff has happened in the last few weeks so ill tell all over the next few days but I'm very excited about some new projects and looks like weather permitting I'm going to get out somewhere next week , although not as cool as my brother who's heading of to Florida for a weeks fishing tomorrow look forward to kens pike adventures updates while hes down there chasing peacocks , big largemouths and anything else that's daft enough to throw itself on the rednecks hook

(a thawing cave in Scotland)

Friday 7 January 2011

bloody weather and new ideas

bloody weather , i know it is far worse in other parts of the world when it comes to iced up water and some places wont be ice free till like march , i count myself lucky that I'm probably going to be scraping big flies on the bottom within a few weeks but you know it still annoys me and drives me to frustration that i cant even fish my local and to catch a fleeting glance of the water as i go to work but to see it still iced is bloody annoying but as i said i know I'm lucky that i will be fishing again soon mate even said he had got his stuff out just to have a look at it again


if you look at the picture below you'll see its date stamped 15Th of Jan 2005 and here i am a week before that picture was taken all those years ago with frozen venues , although it has to be said this could all disappear in the space of a week so theres hope yet

being not able to fish means ive got a chance to go though some of my flies and retire some of the catcher flies that are now a little past it and do new ones so first of many boxes and wallets to be checked is the big finsport ken from pike adventures sent me last year i love this wallet as you can clip a strap to it and travel really ultra light great for those spur of the moment trips just grab the bag pliers in your pocket rod in hand and off you go .

with fly rods mostly being 3 or 4 piece this is also great to stick in the boot of a car takes up little room so maybe if your passing somewhere on the way home from work you can just grab it and be fishing in Min's cant be bad , the wallet itself is this one

i keep a selection of sizes in mine from massive flies to small clousers just enough to cover most situations with its many pockets you can also keep a fair amount of leaders in just one of the pockets

OK so you've probably noticed I've got a bit of a liking for orange and gold so i have a whole bundle of variations on the theme hey you cant keep a good tier down

the flies in the foam drying section are from my last trip the foam heads worked fantastic when used on a floating line they just sit there a mere inch under the surface a pinch on the line and i swear these things really do look like a small fish moving slowly under the surface gulping down insects , an ideal pike snack i have found these work best in clear water up to around 6 ft deep but I've not scientifically tested that theory
necessity is the mother of invention

i really needed a box just for clousers and i simply cant afford the proper bugger barn type boxes to store them so i came with the idea of using one of my sons old playmobile boxes (honestly he don't use them anymore) so i got one of these yoga matts and cut out the shape then glued it in the top corner is the last to be done once you have glued the majority of it in add the last bit of glue and push up into the corner for a snug fit
so below as you can see the standard sized clouser fits nicely into the box

fully loaded ,well sort off i will still be able to fit the same amount in again , that's a helluva lot of clousers , I've still got a few boxes to go through so this will be full in no time i suspect a surge in sales of playmobile boxes

well I'm still working out the ins and outs of the new camera but so far it seems to tick all the boxes the picture below is a basic baitfish and certainly looks better than my old camera

the picture below was done on the camera not down loaded and then edited so impressed with that , of course time will tell still got to get it out on the bank and get some video and stills in natural light but I'm hopeful and with a bit of luck i wont drop it in the drink

so with that I'm off to tie up some shinny things c ya all soon
(a cave in Scotland)

Wednesday 5 January 2011


had enough of the bloody camera phone so got my arse into Town in search of a bargain and i picked this up 12.2 mega pixels or whatever it is , all i want is something easy to use , i need it to do decent close ups ,have video function , and be idiot proof , i think this will do the job fine

first picture on it and it looks pretty good considering it was taken in low light look forward to playing with it stay tuned for a lot of pictures

oh and theres snow forecast again not happy
tight lines
(a cave in Scotland)

Sunday 2 January 2011

hot bunnys

i don't like wasting anything cant stand it , I've paid for it I'm going to use every bloody bit of flash , bucktail , flash or fur i have a large ziplock bag that i throw every scrap of whatever in , you see i keep thinking anything i don't need even a couple of single strands of bucktail could be used in some kind of fly for small species roach etc so nothing gets wasted
with this in mind i had an inch section of gatso fibre left from the other days roach rope flies , so i had one of those moments when something just pops into your head , i thought i could add a nice little flash collar to a clouser with that and it would work well because it would be tied on before the back colour mmmmmm job done fly below (new camera in 5 days )

been playing with piketreks spectrum flash to make big but very light baitfish there is nothing new in making all tinsel flies I've just done something slightly different by hollow tying it adding eyes and including rattles below is a few examples of what Ive been playing with all the materials and hooks can be purchased from the hooks Ive used are piketreks very own 5/0 heavy duty hooks available here if you haven't tried these hooks yet take a chance they really are pretty bloody good and sharp as my wife's tongue

hot head Bunny's
so bunny bugs I'm determined to give them a good go this year so I've played with them a bit Ive tied them in normal bunny bug style but I've added spectrum twist heads to them and crystal eyes from deercreek again the picture is rubbish but I'm picking up a new camera next week but I'm sure you'll get the idea

and finally a big shout out to my brother ken good to speak to you and it wont be that long before I'm there chasing fish with you again so hang in there brother

why the picture of pork scratchings well i cant get VT jerky here THAT'S A BLOODY HINT BRO ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

see ya soon folks
(a cave in Scotland)