Wednesday 30 November 2011

i smell bait fish

sili squid skin

nick over at sent me some of his new sili squid skin to try out and see what i could come up with never one to step down from a challenge i got to thinking what i could do with it , so i didn't dive straight in with knocking out some designs instead i thought about what i could do with it . the skin itself is really nice and quite thick as well and you get a really nice strip of 7x2 for £3.99 id say compared to a similar version on the market id call that a great deal

of course most of the ideas you'll see with this kind of material is gummy minnows and although i was going to make some i decided to try something a little different so i cut out a foam head then cut out a slightly bigger square of sili squid skin and wrap it around the foam then using the infamous croc glue on the back of the foam hold it in place until it dries add a couple of gator eyes and you have a very nice looking bait fish if i say so myself , although the picture doesn't do the head justice

OK so that worked out good but i wanted to do something a bit different so i grabbed a 6/0 hook and did a pike sized gummy minnow hell why not i reckon this will be a killer on my local and it catches the light quite superb

pictured below is 3 minnows i have done with sili squid skin and the 2 flies at the bottom are tied using some new hooks deer creek are doing (bloody sharp) and you can see the difference in size to the 6/0 minnow at the top

the small minnow below has a few strands of flash through it and some yellow pro marker on the flanks

just a little silver minnow i did first off although i think i should have added a tail but i still like it and it will catch fish

the picture below shows how light catches the sili squid ,I've not used a flash on this shot very impressed with it and I'm sure these will catch big time , I'm not sure if anybodies used these for pike before but cant see any reason why they wouldn't work especially when there feeding on sticklebacks or small silver fish , and i guess they would take a load of saltwater species as well

OK so if you want to check it out here's the lowdown

Everything you need to make squid minnows. A full sheet of Squid Skin 3 strips of foil. !0 assorted hooks & 10 Pairs of Crystal eyes.

Price: £9.99

or buy it in sheets


Squid Skin is the newest & most revolutionary salt water fly tying material.
Available in 3 styles. Coupled with our Squid foils and Crystal Eyes you can create the ultimate life like bait-fish.
1mm thick
The only limits are your imagination.

Sheet size 7"x2"

Price: £3.99

Thursday 24 November 2011

how the wind howls

yup Scotland just now is blowing chunks ans the chance of getting out and chucking parrots about is pretty much zero so I'm going to hit the water early next week all being well

in the meantime i have shit to do in my cave i have a new storage system for under my bench on the left hand side , (actually its a chest of draws) and i had a couple of 3 draw cabinets that were going to be put to use so i started on that this week

the cave - in need of a new seat i think

how many hooks do i need you can pick these chests and drawers up for next to nothing on local classified sites and they make great storage solutions for the fly tier i have millions of boxes of hooks all sorts of sizes and shapes for probably every species swimming I'm a tackle rat when it comes to hooks i have so many , the ones in the picture are the tip of the iceberg i have another 4 boxes of hooks in packets , the thing is i get asked to make all sorts of things for all sorts of fish so i like to have stuff ready to hand ......well that's my excuse

so another thing is that in this day and age well more so over the last 7 years is that there is so much new material coming out i find that space gets to be a premium in my cave well you have to have all the colours to play with don't you , I've now got to the stage where i have to label every box with whats in it or i just forget that i have the stuff .


of course sometimes other stuff sneaks onto my shelves like the odd random fly box or reel again you can never have enough fly reels or fly boxes or materials or oh you get the idea right

I've also managed to source a new hook similar to my favorite gamagatsu sl but a fraction of the price I've done some stress tests on it and it seems to be holding up well it also has a nice little offset so i think this is going to be a great hook for my synthetic patterns ill be tying on it early next week so stay tuned

one of the lads in the pffa put me on to a new site in the UK for the pike fly tier so i went and had a look and thought it was a nicely laid out site with a great selection of flashbou , lines and odds and sods and what i must say is a great selection of synthetic yak hair in a load of colours so they get my vote , anyway go check em out and support UK cottage industry

hopefully ill be back on the prowl next week and back to normal so if your out this weekend have fun and stay safe , i have to work all weekend at my other job so i wont be doing much


(a cave in Scotland)

Friday 18 November 2011

summertime and the living is easy

or should that be er excuse me its November in the UK shouldn't it be frosty

OK so I'm leaping forward a bit here you see because last weekend was the pike fly fishing associations annual fenland flyer for the Anthony Noland trust , its that kind of event where anybody can come along and fish club member or not , and indulge in a bit of fly fishing for pike or just to catch up with friends we usually only talk to on forums , what ever the reason its always a great day out and this year was no different

ain't you that bloke of the TV

if you don't know who the bloke in waders is well let me tell you , his name is Charles rangley Wilson and hes done a bit of writing and film and TV stuff if you click the pic above it will take you to his site where you can learn more , well worth checking out ,


having had a chat with Mr Wilson it was time for the off so i had a game plan which was to hit a couple of spots that i have caught fish before so 9.30 i was walking up to the first spot and with anticipation i cast into the somewhat clear waters of the old bedford , 30 Min's later i was still chucking into the clear waters of the bedford and not a lot else was happening oh dear this ain't quite what i had planned .


well to be honest the next 3 hours wasn't really what i had in mind indeed fishing partner for the day Ernie (pffa membership sec)and myself both seemed to agree the conditions were bloody awful for here in fact it would have been better if it had been frozen over , we had a very bright warm sun way up in a cloudless sky not good and a rethink was called for pretty sharpish

a whole lot of nowhere

we decided to head to a spot around 3 miles away that did produce fish to those that dared make the trip so we started the walk , it was a gamble but one which could have well have paid off big time so we set off on a very pleasant walk , after about 100 yards we spotted a very big zander from the high bank pretty much cruising towards the far bank now this thing was obviously a high double , well i had to have a go so i crept down and started casting as i went but dispute my best efforts and casting in a tight fan in the area we saw it it was a no go so with heavy heart we went back to our walk ...

pikesaber feel the force
the pikesaber (click above) has had the odd critic these are usually people that don't know what there talking about or haven't tried one but by the amount of them on show today obviously these people don't listen to critics and make there own minds up and I'm still proud to support them and i still say its one of the best on the market and it ain't half got some casting power check the picture above and just think of the power in that rod as it launches that line , hell yea
final destination

if you look closely at the picture above you'll see way way way in the distance a pylon this was the upper limits of the completion and that was the final spot for us, we eventually got there and cast into pristine waters and cast and cast and cast to no avail , unfortunately for us it just wasn't happening for us and we really did luck out but to be honest we wernt the only ones today and the biggest fish out off 30 or so anglers was 9lbs something and quite a few anglers blanked , this is a hard venue at the best of times and you really need to know the water you can literally go hundreds of yards along this water without a predator being there and when fish are caught the spots are usually kept secret within pike circles .


i have however learned a lot about fishing this venue and i look forward to getting back next year to put some theories into practice but i really enjoyed getting the flies wet and i had some new patterns that looked absolutely awesome in the water , but you know sometimes its just about getting out there


meanwhile over in rednecks ville, brother ken from pike adventures has been out hitting the muskies and hes been having some infuriating fun with them sneaking up on flies and stuff but he managed to stick one , well done bro and on some great new patterns as well the thing is ken is able to tie flies and test them on muskys i mean threes company's out there that make flies that the tiers have never been a couple of thousand miles from a musky let alone wet a fly for them , nice to see ken going from vice to musky in the glint of an eye , you know if your going to buy flies make sure the person tying actually fishes for them , threes no harm in contacting somebody in a picture on a forum for advice or seeing if they will whip you some up .

ken and a real musky

(the musky declined an interview)

looking forward to my trip next year when i plan a grand slam

pickerel / northern pike / musky

ken brother get the spots together and see ya in the fall brother what a predator blast that will be folks

well i have to apologise for not blogging since the 8Th of November but i had loads of work on , i had more flies to do for the chaps at predator bite click the links to have a look

or if your new to pike fishing they also do a really nice line in pike fly kits pretty much a grab box that includes a roll of the brilliant authanic wire here's the link for the kits

check em out as they do some great stuff , so with having stuff to do and get prepared for my trip south and getting back and catching man flu life has been a bit hectic , next week I'm back to fly tying and i have a million ideas bursting out and loads of bits of scrap paper with ideas on so roll on next week

see ya soon


Tuesday 8 November 2011

i write about what i like


(if carlsberg did uv kits this would be it)


i hate to start posts on a bit of a downer but im sick to death of idiots on the Internet you know the type keyboard warriors , well to those idiots i say this i write what i like and about what i like , if i choose to write about a particular product then its simply because i like it ,if i like it and it makes great flies then ill write about it to let others know about it , so don't tell me that im "ramming it down your throat" if i like it im writing about it if you don't like it then don't read it your choice but don't start giving it large about it again ill say this . i am not tied or paid by any company to promote products i do what i do because i like it end of ....... i don't do politics and im not interested in engaging you in your petty crap just go and fish .


on the subject of new materials gliss and glint plus is now available in 2 very cool black colours one with a green flash and one with a reddish gold flash for it , im quite into black these days so was more than happy to get these 2 packs to play with

somebody saw one of these packs on my desk and said not a lot of material in that pack for pike flies , but actually there is enough to make quite a few flies with this stuff less is definitely more and if you use it sparingly you can make some great flies , there is definitely a thing in a fly fishers head that says i need to pile the material on to make a great big bait fish but actually you can get the same if not better looking fly by using just a few strands of material as the picture below shows , do you think the fish would notice if you use less material ........

the subject of circle hooks reared its ugly head again the other day and i found myself trying to explain the pros of them to somebody who wasn't ever going to use them anyway , but they are fish friendly and bloody good at getting fish on the bank . these days i don't even usually post pictures of flies done on them because it always starts a massive debate on the subject so rather than go through all that again if your interested in the whole circle hook thing click the link scroll down the page and you'll see a great article

circle hooks the truth is out there

a fly on a circle hook , just try it you may like em , the only bugger i find with circles is getting a decent fly box to store them in im sure something will come along at some point but in the mean time i use video boxes if you know something i don't please let me know

mixing things up a bit

you know there's no rule book written about fly tying so sometimes its just good to mix stuff up so that's exactly what I've done with this fly , for no other reason than i just wanted too and i was quite happy with the result

the main body of the fly is made from gliss and glint plus (ops sorry a blatant ramming there) I've used this as i wanted just a little glint in the body not a full on flashy body , added to this I've placed a few orvis woolly bugger feathers (is that a plug) and made the head up of normal prime northern buck tail hook on this is a gamakatsu sl12 6/0 bloody sharp

i must learn to use the close up button on the camera sometimes things are just a bit to technical for me but even though the eye is a bit out of focus i still like the picture .
below is the fly in all its glory laid out and ready to go in the box i like the colouration on this and think ill play with a few more colours hopefully if the weather settles down a bit ill get out and about to test em , actually my bro over at pike adventures may want to play with the muskies before the white stuff sets in so it may go into a care package this week

so with that im off to do some more tying with materials that i cant name in case somebody thinks in blatantly pushing a product but if your interested in looking round at some lovely websites then go have a browse at but please be aware you may find fly tying products there and id hate to think I've in anyway influenced you into buying some materials i just like the site as there's some lovely pictures on there

*please not any product placement in pictures on this page is purely coincidental , if you interested in any of the products i use please click on the relevant picture to go to the site , i have done this to save you time searching the Internet for the same product , isn't that a nice thing to do


a cave in Scotland

p.s this is a blatant plug because its awesome and check the price


Our Budget resin kit the same resin just a longer curing torch (9 seconds) amazing value at

Price: £19.99

Thursday 3 November 2011

(A fly fishing western)

There has been a few pike fly fishing videos lately and to be honest most of them are fantastic the last 2 great works have been the musky country did from brad bohen and the lair of the water wolf by Barry Reynolds which set the benchmark for fishing videos

Then we have this DVD from some crazy guys from Denmark who head to the wilds of Alaska in search of pike on the fly. from the start you know this video is something different something that in the back of your mind you knew you wanted to see but you didn’t realise what it was until you saw it, this is that thing, it’s a pike fuelled shot in the arm done in a movie documentary style, in fact imagine the blair witch project with tarentino as the director and your nearly there and it all becomes clear why we do what we do

The one thing that sets this off from other DVDs and takes things to a whole new level is the absolutely stunning slow motion footage of pike hitting flies and going airborne this is really some of the best footage I’ve seen they really got it spot on.

Along with the stunning fishing there is a some great scenes with the local Indians who seem to be permanently drunk, the interaction with the fishers and the Indians is worthy of its own movie alone, but I won’t spoil it for you as to what goes on but I was actually laughing out loud while watching it, the only thing I can say is remind me never to get baptized in Alaska

This is not a how to pike fly fish or a look at me and my big fish type of film oh no it’s a whole new way of creating an entertaing movie for the fly fisher and it does have everything including some rather disturbing footage of a run in with a guide company who work out of there ( I was shocked at the way these people behaved)

a BACKYARD in NOWHERE official HD trailer from Sellfish Media & Smatis Film on Vimeo.

but it does make very interesting viewing , I think if there was a downside to this dvd it would be the length , at just under an hour I wish they had stretched it out to an hour and a half , they were up there for 3 weeks so they must have a lot of footage maybe just maybe there will be backyard pt 2 coming out I really hope so because this has me gagging for a sequel , the dvd extra is a really bizarre music video with the fellas dancing in a boat somewhere now I wasn’t sure what was going on to be honest and then the fly rods appeared and it all became clear

Do yourself a favour go and buy it crack open a beer and enjoy the next level of fishing videos
Click the link to buy direct

Wednesday 2 November 2011

video killed the radio star and a free economy

you know I'm all for a free economy and all that but you know theres limits to that and one thing that really gets me is money grabbing fly stealing tossers and i make no apology for what I'm about to write

i had a skype video call from a chap who wanted to chat with me and this is what had happened , he had bought a couple of pike flies from flies**line (not allowed to name them) and he was under the assumption that these were flies from Richard Todd at , now Richard produces some fantastic hand tied pike flies and they are of the best quality you can get , Richard like me puts a lot of time and effort into his flies .

so when i got the skype call i was shocked to see this fly had fallen apart before even seeing water , i looked at the fly through the medium of skype video i realised that it wasn't one of Richards i asked where he got them and i headed over to the site to find some really crap copy's of Richards flies , now like Richard i know that flies are copied that's the nature of fly tying and to be honest there probably nothing original out there in fly tying and we all feed of each others ideas and stuff and its a compliment when people do make flies that you have done and most of the time people will say where they got the idea ,i know i do if something is based on someones pattern then ill say so . because that show most fly tiers roll

but then you get the leeches like the guy who has had cheap shit copies made in china on crap hooks and then sell them as quality pike flies on there site at a fraction of the cost that the original tyier sells them for well listen let me tell you its a false economy because that fly you bought cheap will fall apart with one fish is you even manage to get it in the water so don't even bother buying that crap go to the original site (in this case spend the extra few quid and get something that's going to last you a hell of a lot longer and more fish than that crap in the picture .............. and if your the owner of the site that sells that garbage you know its one of Richards flies don't try and deny it pal because i know for a fact it is along with the other garbage you call pike flies , stick to the trout flies

black is the new chartrues

I've been going a bit black crazy over the last few months and with good cause as its a devastating colour and all round fly to use the thing with me is i do like to tinker with flies and love to add a bit and try new ways to do stuff , the fly above i made with black ep fiber and green awesome hair flash through it , with this fly i tied the head bullhead style and trimmed it and I'm really happy with the results

this fly I've done with gold awesome hair but not tied the ep in bullhead style I've tied it hollow style , to be honest although i know it will fish fine I'm more happy with the bullhead style , but that's what its all about trying new things to see what works ill still fish this though

more dodgy video

i had a great reaction the wig vid the other day so when a facebook pal wanted to know how to do a thing on a fly that i do so rather than try and explain it in an email i decided to do a video and well to be honest i though oh bugger it ill just do the whole thing so below is the result

hope you enjoyed my ramblings yea Spielberg i ain't but you know i don't care i just enjoy doing them and if i can be of help to someone then hell why not help a buddy out then I'm quite happy to do it , and again feel free to share this video on your website or blog just let me know where its going (this video is not allowed to be used in china) so with that ill bid your farewell and see you all soon

tight lines


(a cave in scotland)