Wednesday 30 March 2011

tying stuff

a big heads up to my brother ken from pike adventures who was tying at the Burlington flyfishing expo. Lots of stuff going on as far as fly tying , casting , raffles and silent auctions. he a chance to meet up with friends and met new ones as well. Tying was to benefit PROJECT HEALING WATERS i give a big well done to ken and all the others for taking part in such a worthy cause if you don't know about this or the cause itself please click on the link below

the picture below was edited on my camera I'm still playing with the settings and so far I'm really impressed at what i can do with it edit wise i think this is quite a nice shot may even have it as a desktop

I've been busy tying up some new patterns for nick over at deer creek , as you may know i do limited editions for nicks site usually half a dozen at a time so if you want some cool pike flies here's the link

the flies below should be on next week but it does depend on if nick has a dodgy stomach or not , the ones below are just needing a little loose fibre trim and then they will be in the post , these hotcore flies have actually sparked a lot of interest on an America forum i go on and threes a few copy's on the forum already they are great flies though

pike pike baby

above is some blended fibre baby pike that are also heading to deer creek these are tied on 2/0 hooks ultra light with UV resin heads and gator eyes great for when pike are feeding on there brothers and sisters ..............

deer creek have also been working on some massive eyes for big pike flies the on above is 14mm and tied on a 6/0 although my picture really doesn't do it justice .

suffering from an acute dose of tiredness just now and I've still got to go to work tonight so catch ya all later


Saturday 26 March 2011

blending fibers

blending fibers opens up a whole new world of custom colours for your flies play around ,experiment and see what you can come up with , there is other ways of blending , this is just the way i do it and it works for me ...............enjoy and have a try

material gliss and glint and gliss and glint plus

available from

choose your colours

take a section of material from each pack
(i only do enough at a time for one fly if I'm doing dozens of flies ill just blend the whole packs)
lay the 2 clumps next to each other , if you want more of one colour the lessen the amount of the other colour

spread out one colour as above

spread out the second colour over the first

pinch the clump between fore finger and thumb

what you need to do is roll the fiber between your fingers as above then keep rolling it and you will get a really nice mix (it may take a few Min's to do this) here is the blended fibre after a few Min's rolling if i want more spread of colours ill continue blending between my fingers till i get the right spread

the finished fly

so not for the first time I've got a gazzilion ideas floating around my head I've also got some really fantastic other synthetics from pike trek that will also take to this method of blending so cant wait to get some funky stuff made and just see what colours i come up with I've already got an idea for a baby large mouth bass that I'm going to do next week mmmmm sweet

this is by no means the only way to blend fibers and I'm sure theres guys out there doing it a lot better than me but I've made it work for me I'm Happy with it and until i find a better way to do it I'm good thanks

thanks brothers and sisters


a cave in scotland

Friday 25 March 2011

teaching predator fly tying

Friend of mine and fishing buddy Stevie decided he really wanted to start tying his own flies for pike and after being run over by a bin lorry last week (don't ask) he finally got round to getting me round to show him a few things , id offered loads of times and Stevie was dead keen so with a few weeks spare i went to his yesterday to show him a few simple but devastating pike catching patterns and the most important thing easy to tie so below are the flies i tied and Stevie copied as i tied them

first i wanted to show him how you could make a fantastic looking fly with a great profile with minimal effort and material this fly has only only 6 pieces of material yes 6 pieces that's it , now think about that the fly above is made from slink and flash for the belly and pink sf fibre for the back , now in this country i get mine from orvis and its around £5.60 a pack and almost the same for slink n flash so that's over £10.00 UK for 2 colours so you want to get the most out of it and the fly above shows great value for money ill do a step by step next week just to show how easy it is to do and how little material you need , Stevie tied a great version of the fly above and he was very happy with his result , i think it gave him the confidence that its not really that hard when your shown how ....................

Stevie had nipped to orvis to get a couple of packs of sf and slink n flash as he didn't have time to order online as it was short notice (he didn't know he was going to be run over) so when he called me he said he had bought some ep as well so what i did was take the same material down to show him how to do it ..
i really wish i had somebody to show me all those years ago when ep was only available via mail order in the states , nobody here stocked anything like it so i was really having to look at American patterns for saltwater to give me some idea what i was doing there wasn't even any step by steps back then . so the thing with ep is to use very very sparsely little is more with this stuff i wish id known that back then .
so i decide to show Stevie a very easy to make perch type pattern with again only 7 pieces of ep Stevie made one and again was impressed with what he had done , it was quite funny to see him doing what id done all those years ago with taking too much fibre and saying OK now split that again and again and your there with the amount when you can see your fingers through it clearly then you got the right amount

now that he had done that i took him right back to the first fly he made and showed him how to do a simple hotcore fly exactly the same steps as the first fly but added in some red e.p sparkle again Stevie got it pretty much spot on and picked it up very quickly

next up i showed him that you can mix and match some materials the fly above again is very very very simple with again 6 pieces of material , can you see a theme with the colours yes Stevie is a great fan of the red head and white body fly and as he has confidence in that colour any fly he makes and throws in anger he has going to have faith in the colours , and once he gets his first fish that's the flood gates open to fly tying craziness
so to end of a very productive 3 hour teach in i showed him how to do a half and half deceiver . id made some for him a few years ago and he really liked them so i showed him how it was done and the fly he tied was his best of the session so i expect to see a whole load of these in his boxes over the next few weeks .......

so that was that for yesterday in fact if i hadn't had to go to work i think i still would have been there now a very enjoyable tying session and great to see somebody picking something up really quickly and getting well into it , Stevie its all down hill now buddy

(a cave in Scotland)

Wednesday 23 March 2011

got the jack with gliss and glint plus

nick over at deer creek sent me some bits to play with this week including some very cool realistic eyes , now eyes I'm on the fence with them do they help you catch more fish or doesn't it matter I'm really not sure to be honest i do however believe they provide a reference strike point in fish so maybe they do as i say I'm on the fence , one thing i do know for a fact is that they make flies look fantastic its quite stunning to see these eyes on a well made fly almost brings it alive so if its a confidence thing with eyes on your flies then these will give you it full stop .

deercreek have a full range of these realistic eyes and they are constantly coming out with new ones so click the picture below to check them out you'll find them in the fly tying section

deercreek is also home to gliss n glint and gliss n glint plus now if you not aware of this material let me give you a short breakdown glint and gliss is not a material I've come across before its a very slinky and mobile synthetic that has a shine to it which obviously is a great thing as it gives off a nice colour and shine in the water which is really what you need in bait fish patterns

the gliss and gliss plus is pretty much the same as above but it has fine metallic fiber through it which really does give of a nice body-wide flash to the fly , it also comes in a wide range of colours and its a really nice material to tie with my favorite with this is a plain old simple hollow tie again click the picture below to go there its in the fly tying section

i had been sent some really nice green gliss an glint plus a new colour for the range and straight away i thought mmmmmm roach as although it was green in the water it would darken up a bit and the flash would work really well so i decided to do a hot core with a satsuma stripe core that really shows through the white gliss and gliss plus really nicely this also has a custom 14mm roach eye from deercreek a stunning looking eye for really big flies and i hope they do other colours in this size as well .......

i really liked the new green colour (i think it may be called sea wave ) i really wanted to do something different with it so i sat and stared at it for a bit then i stared into box of gliss and glints and picked up a pack of sherbet colour and looked at them both and thought to myself , well the sherbet could be used for a belly and the sea wave for a back simple idea for a small jack pike i thought ....

so then i had a brainwave (kind of like a super-moon that once every 200 years or so) why not blend the 2 together , mmmmm well to be honest some years ago i saw an article on an American site about blending and thought that's an interesting idea well it was because nobody was doing it at the time , old Enrico puglisi or whatever his name is (him that does fly tying videos in his garden on windy days of ep fibre fame) hadn't started doing it yet but i saw this article at the time and gave it a try with a bag of white and a bundle of angel hair , the end result was something that looked like a cats puked up fur ball so as you can understand i was somewhat hesitant of trying it again and wasting valuable resource ..............

i thought id still give it a try because half the jobes already been done because the flash is already blended in and the fibre itself is a little stiffer than ep so i was hoping i would be able to blend it without hopefully 2 much trouble or mess , i really wanted to blend these 2 colours as i thought they would look really good together so i set to work and i was very happy with result (ill do a blog on blending later in the week) as you can see above it looks pretty shit hot i did at the very end of the tye add a bit of black synthetic fibre along the back but in future ill just do this with perm marker as it will be a lot easier and there's enough of the fly in bulk anyway so i would be able to get away with that no problem

I've also asked nick over at deercreek if he would do a yellow and green blend of gliss n glint which he said he will and send a sample up , the reason is i think it would make a rather nice jackpike pattern so i look forward to that and i have the blending thing in my head with this now so no doubt you'll be seeing a few interesting looking combos over the following days and as i said i will do a step by step for blending it as if i can do it anyone can .
see ya all soon ice breakers and deer grillers
(a cave in Scotland)

Tuesday 22 March 2011

trout and about

OK so I'm primarily a pike and predator fly angler that's what i love to do that what i like to tie for , but the title of my blog is a matter of life and fluffchucking i.e my life and chucking flies after fish , you may have seen in a post or 2 i sometimes go to the odd stocked trout fishery for a couple of rainbow trout to eat (i don't trust supermarket trouts) .
as a young boy i grew up trout fishing on the famous river tweed where i honed my skills as a fly fisher and spent many a winter while in my room tying up march browns and the like . so with a little stream full of brown trout and the odd grayling a stones throw from my house id be daft not to have the odd chuck down there , its in the city but i go to spots where i don't get bothered by the usual "caught anything mate" "you should try a worm mate" moron brigade , i can be at this spot in 10 Min's and its nice to break out the 5wgt and go and play here even though the fish are not massive a fish of a pound would be a specimen but they give you a great spirited fight in the shallow clear water , and to be honest even if you don't catch its great to be out in places like this

i have a lot of respect for the guys that make trout flies i mean have you tried getting material on to a size 24 hook let along some of the things that people like ulf hagstrom and fred hannie tie just to mention a couple of names , so i have to laugh when after nearly 12 months of tying monster pike and saltwater flies on size 4/0 and above i once a year stock up on some favorite patterns for the river , although I've no idea what I've done with last years lot , probably in a box somewhere from last year , can take me a few gos to get it right on on a size 22 or 24

so theres really only a couple of patterns i need for here and they are pretty basic spider type patterns peacock body's with cock cape and that's it nothing spectacular but they do the job

so here's the basic spider pattern I've tied this fly will always catch me fish down there

this is just a slight variant on the spider in that I've added a fluro tag to it , the reason for this is that the local canal is on my route to the river so as I'm passing at dawn especially in the summer you'll often see roach on the surface and they love these , they will take the normal spider but they prefer the tagged version so i always carry a few it would be daft not to cast for 20 Min's or so to some rising fish before i hit the river and the roach are great fun of the light fly gear
so that's my plan for opening day on the river , back to the pike flies tomorrow as I've had some funky new eyes from deercreek to play with
happy days spring is here
(a cave in Scotland)

Saturday 19 March 2011

party weekend

OK so your probably wondering what the f@@k was going on with the blog yesterday well my brother in Vermont was taking ice fishing to extremes by falling through the ice but luckily the daft sod only went waist deep although the VT water dept said it may take some time to clear the waste up ..................nice bro

anyway back to this weekend and I've got a massive long weekend of party's although I'm not having them I'm working them so gives me a chance to catch up with some stuff although tying flies ain't an option this weekend so did a few yesterday .

my muskie busters caused a bit of a stir so i decided to go with a more trad colour of red head and white body the head is spun deer hair but not packed tight this will mean it will give of plenty of sonics under the water and plenty of noise on top of it my next plan is to do some with dumbbell eyes to get a bottom hugging version ........

the tails on these and the others i posted up a few days are whiting farm bugger woolly bugger packs , really impressed with quality of the feather although you pay a premium for such things but £13.oo a pack for 2 big wings ain't so bad i remember not so long ago paying 11 pounds for one wing about the same size from an online company, if your interested you local orvis store will have the if not they will be able to order them in great long feathers well worth the money

i know its not pretty to look at compared to other sub bug type flies i do , if you haven't been there here's the link subbuggin adventures in deerhair plenty of stuff to keep you amused on there , the thing with these is to generate noise be it on the surface or under it get the predators attention and thats half the battle and these things really do shake em up
i wanted also to do something massive , i really wanted to tie a big fly just for the hell of it so above is tied on a 8/0 o shaugnassy hook and is near ten inchs in length , oh and quite fishable as ive tied it with is very very light so although its bloody big being tied hollow tie style its very fishable kinda looks like a small jackpike it will give a great profile when wet

so thats about me for this weekend and if in the absense of you having nothing better to do this week check out some of the fantastic blogs and websites in the menue there is fantastic people out there doing this and you can also learn a whole heap of new stuff
a big shout out to my brother whos doing some cool shit in his cave

enjoy your weekend folks
a cave in scotland

Friday 18 March 2011

saftey on the ice

Know the weather, water

The urge to get on the ice right now may be overwhelming. However, a day of risky fishing and the potential for a disaster is far outweighed by a winter full of good, safe ice fishing.

Important factors in good ice formation include:

Steady sub-freezing temperatures; the colder it is for a longer period of time results in a better freeze up of lake waters.

Calm days and nights; the less the wind blows, the faster and more solid ice freezes.

Water type; if the lake you fish on or are looking to walk on is high in salinity, or is a large body of water or is spring-fed, it will freeze at a slower rate than that of a smaller clearer lake.

Heavy snows; if there has been a lot of precipitation in the form of snow (or worse, rain) the formation of good ice is hindered. Pay attention to the amount and type of accumulations that have occurred recently.

Vegetation; shoreline plants result in thinner ice. Cattail stands and tree roots near the water’s edge can weaken ice and slow formation. Avoid these areas when possible.

Location-specific factors; if there are springs, feeder creeks or aquifers that put water into the lake, make sure you know where those areas are to avoid weak ice. The more moving water in a location, the less solid the ice will be. Pay close attention to the weather, and talk to local tackle shops and fishing guides about ice formation, as they are usually the first to know.

One small step

When venturing out on to a recently frozen body of water there are some safety precautions that can help you be prepared for the worst. Bringing several important tools can assure that in the event of ice breakage and submersion, one can avoid hypothermia and survive.

The buddy system; the best idea is to NEVER venture on the ice alone. The buddy system virtually assures that another person will be along with you to help in case of a fall-in or broken ice.

Life jackets; they aren’t just for summer anymore. By wearing a personal floatation device (PFD) underneath a coat or overalls, personal buoyancy is increased, keeping the head and shoulders above water. This is especially important as cold water shocks the system, and when a person hits such cold water, a loss of breath often occurs, with less air in the lungs, the body is less apt to float. The added buoyancy of a PFD also aids in escape.

Spud bar; a long metal, or metal tipped wood pole can be used to probe unsure areas of ice, and can also be used as a walking stick when traveling on slick areas as well.; There are many types of safety spikes, designed to give traction to an ice adventurer, should he break through. Pairs can be bought at stores such as Fleet Farm or Scheels. However, the best safety spikes can be made of wooden dowels and nails at home. By putting a nail into one-inch diameter dowels that fit into your hands, you have created a floating tool that could very well save your life. Connect the two dowels with eye-hooks and a durable cord to have them comfortably hang around your neck to be used at a moment’s notice.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

ugly bettys

so my trip today didn't happen due to a heavy snow forecast from 9am till which to be honest i really didn't fancy being out fly fishing all day in a boat on a big Scottish loch , I've done enough of that in my younger days and not really wanting to repeat it again , i spoke to Stevie who agreed and we have re scheduled , don't get me wrong i honestly don't mind a bit of rain or bit of a snow flurry on and off during the day but not all day , the weather was going to be raining in Edinburgh today but Stevie decided he was going to go on his syndicate water and came round last night and borrowed a box of sub bugs so hopefully he would have had a few fish today ill find out later

so today ended up being a bit of a tying day my brother from another motha across the pond has a really sick looking pike catcher called the ugly betty

quiet a sick looking fly and i was blown away when i saw it and though i had to make a few of them , just looking at it fires me up to make some well i say make some i should say put my own slant on it which is what i did , you see I've not had a chance to speak to ken about the design of it but by looking at it i got to thinking it was designed to make a lot of noise on the surface with the foam disc at the nose end so I'm like yea I'm digging that and my brain kicks into gear and I'm thinking OK how about replacing the disc just with pile of spun hair
so i thought the best way forward was with a big 6/0 pike / musky hook as there is plenty of room on the extra long shank for materials and to get a good enough pile of deer hair to shift some water the main thing being to create a lot of noise i did a slight trim on this one so when pulled the water should spit forward , of course i could fish this booby style on a sinking line as well which i think would fish just as well

pretty much the same fly as above except i haven't trimmed the head at all this should cause more of a water displacement than the fly above it

again the same tye untrimmed but using a different colour deer hair for the head although I've kept with the same perch type colours the head looks a bit wild , but that's what i was going for plenty of noise

there big these 8 inches of pike snax but they are not heavy at all due to them being tied hollow tye style I'm really looking forward to trying them out ,

so the next one i think is to do some with dumbbell eyes as a mid water or bottom bouncing fly same concept as above (i say concept somebody's probably already done a fly like this before) but to fish hook up

the daft thing I've just realised is that these flies bear no resemblance to kens ugly betty's that i was going to tie but i ended up going off on a tangent i will tomorrow do some copy's of kens bettys as i actually think they are really good so stay tuned and to see the real ugly betty head over to my brothers site at pike adventures

see ya tomorrow when maybe just maybe ill have done one
a cave in Scotland

Sunday 13 March 2011

its a winner and some head magic

I've just got through watching this eagerly anticipated DVD from brad bohen i will be doing a review shortly but what i will say is this film is incredible i just could stop watching it and with 60 Min's of extras as well awesome absolutely awesome if you don't want to wait click on the picture below for sales in the UK and to watch a trailer , for the USA click the link below
this DVD will give you more pleasure than a good humping

Check SpellingMarc Petijean Magic Heads

quite a while ago i bought a pile of magic heads and used them on some patterns , they had just hit the market and i thought id give them ago i bought 3 packets of them and used 2 packs on flies that have long since been given away , well a couple of months ago i found buried deep in a box of random stuff the last packet , so i decide that id make up some smaller baitfish for my local perch population i had a free day coming up , well i say free i was watching my boy while the wife went to work so i set aside this time to do them i had already dug out the hooks and stuck the heads on to save a bit of time when i came to do them .....great plan

well it would have been a great plan if when i cam to do them id bloody remembered where the safe place id put them was AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGG so that was that idea shot down in flames , well last week i was getting some hooks out for a couple of streamers i was going make i opened the bag of hook to find the magic heads staring back at me , I'm pretty positive i didn't put them in that safe place so obviously somebody had moved them not me of course.

nothing really spectacular about these there really just scaled down pike flies , of course they will catch bigger pike but to me if your fishing a venue that has other species then you will off course pick up other bonus species with flies this size which incidentally are 4 inch's and tied on long shanked Aberdeen's , the Aberdeen hooks are very light so you get the best fly shake with these , nothing wrong with using heavier hooks i just prefer the lightweight hooks go with what your confident in

i do have a really funky plan for some surface versions of these which i think will destroy the largemouth bass when i head to Vermont for my yearly surface fly fishing adrenalin fix on Champlain , more on those when I've cooked them
so starts another week and I'm hitting a big water on Tuesday so watch out for some stunning scenic pictures and hopefully some fish on Wednesday
later folks

Wednesday 9 March 2011

on the crease

we had had a pretty good week this was my last day the water was like a millpond , we decided to try and bag a last min large mouth before i headed for home ken fired up the engine and we cruised for 20 Min's across the big lake to a shallow area , the water was crystal clear and like an aquarium as we slowly made our way toward the shore and rush clumps that would no doubt hold fish i gazed at the hundreds of small fish darting out of the way of the boat , small blue gills , pumpkin seeds , small bass and god knows what else darting out of the way lake Champlain is a truly remarkable fishery and a place i truly get excited to go and fish id go as far as to say for the fly fisher Vermont is heaven on earth
so we started to cast around fishy looking areas and ken was having a bit of success with his gurgler fly i was slightly deeper with a small bait fish imitation that the fish wernt overly excited about so with ken taking hits on the surface i decided to dig around in my box and chucked on a crease fly a simple silver crease with a rattle in i cast a long line and did a short strip pause retrieve , as i lifted the line and started to false cast i heard a very loud crash behind the boat and ken going dude large mouth land your fly in the ring , it was one of those times everything came together i was at the end of the cast so on the back cast i just let the line fall i looked round to see my crease had landed bang in the center of the ring where the large mouth had hit the bait everything was perfect i did a fast strip and pause as the fly hit the water and on the pause the bass hit the fly ken shouted "fish on brother perfect cast" and after a spirited fight i had the bass not a massive fish but i had done what i had come to do and what a way to finish the trip

that was nearly a year ago and i still look back and wished i had used more crease flies on that trip , don't get me wrong i had like 251 fish in a week i was well happy one fly alone counted for 71 of those but there was circumstances on that trip that i reckon i should have used more of them this year I'm in the big green for 2 weeks so that's so going to happen

so this year has seen the rise of the realistic eye firms like have been stocking these fantastic looking eyes , although I'm not 100% convinced that it really makes a massive amount of difference to fish catches you cant deny that they really do sex the flys up and well you know the old saying about flies catching more anglers by design than fish , some people may differ but its just an opinion , i have to say that these new eyes do look bloody good

so i got to work on a few patterns , ill always make 3 , 4 or half a dozen flies as i always end up giving a few of them away to Friends fellow anglers so ill tend just to sit down and churn them out factory style there is something strangely therapeutic about doing these flies and i always just love the end result

pretty much one of the best all round colours for crease flies is silver with a black back this imitates so many different bait fish species in so many places around the work both in fresh water and in saltwater you really cant go wrong with it , usually i have then with a plain red epoxy eye but i got some sexy new eyes (click the pic above) from pike trek to play with so i added these real roach eyes and look pretty good , i think they would also be pretty hot on a green crease fly that ill try later

I've also done some in red with a red stripe and the silver eye really makes a great strike point they really stand out , i remember way back in my lure fishing days i used to do really well with a red and black Berkley lure on a local river so hell may as well do a crease version to play with.

i played about for a bit and decided to do a little perch type pattern and i cant help but really like what i come up with , threes many tutorials on the Internet for making these flies just YouTube crease fly , i like to use epoxy as a thin coat once i have stuck the body on the hook i then wait for it to dry then add any markings and the eyes before adding another coat to finish off , adding epoxy toughens the fly up and protects against teeth.

i used to use the standard 5 min epoxy for crease flies these days with advances in technology i use 2 UV products one is from pike trek called mr bond the other is from deer creek and is called diamond hard resin with the bonus that these UV resins are lighter than traditional epoxy so don't add that much weight to the flys , although you can by using normal epoxy get a nice slow sinking crease fly if you use enough , but for me the UV resins are good enough for what i want
as you can see from the picture above even with 2 layers of resin and a rattle inside the fly (the term fly is used very loosely) sits just under the surface how sexy does that look just imagine if you a predator looking for a meal mmmmm would you turn your nose up at that .
i still have some ideas in my head on colours and stuff so I'm going to go play some more
if you find yourself with enough money to jump on a flight to Vermont and you want to experience some of the best fishing on the planet then book yourself a trip with Vermont's finest guide , drew price is really a great all round fly fisher and his results speak for themselves here's a link to his site
c ya later
(a cave in Scotland)