Tuesday 28 February 2012

new stuff and Reinventing the tube

new stuff and Reinventing the tube
ok so been and found the perfect rucksack for my short sessions I can carry a couple of rods in tubes and it has enough room for my big finsport and the little accessories that I need for a short trip obligatory bag of crisps bottle of water unhooking gear etc. etc. this is going to do the job perfect a real great hiking bag as well think I’m going to get along fine with this purchase
Wychwood Rucksack

Here’s the Features include: Lightweight, 25litre contemporary design, Sweat-proof, easy breather fixing, Weight distributing back protection system, Two rod tube carriers-ring net hangs, Dual Fast access, fly patch store, Zinger hangers on shoulder straps, Ideal for fishing far away marks, Weather and Rot resistant, Full 16890D nylon material

I bought this from a tackle shop here in Edinburgh please click the like to go see them

Country life is an actual shop you can go in and touch stuff and look at stuff, I do love shopping for bargains online and I fully support the small business online as most of the time it’s just some guys who had an idea and use it to pay for their fishing. I was actually quite glad they had this in stock because to be honest I probably wouldn’t have bought it online if I couldn’t have actually have had a feel of it to see what it was all about and if it would meet my needs fly tying materials you pretty much know what you’re getting but sometimes with hardware it’s nice to have a feel.

I’m doing some subbugs later this week so while I was in the shop I picked up a couple of packets of schlappen feathers as I have a few new bug ideas I want to try out , while I was wandering around the shop I came across something I pretty much forgotten about till the other day when I was digging about in my boxes looking for some fur (that doesn’t sound right does it) but anyway I found a patch of fur that pal Stevie slight had given me , I had got it home and then put it in a box to be played with at a later date , well this was summer last year and yesterday I was playing with tube flies (more on that later) and I found the patch that Stevie had given me so I tied up the red and white tube fly you can see later in this post , and I was very impressed with the quality of the product .

Well it came to me in a flash after looking at the packaging that I had used this company before many many many years ago when they were trading on eBay and I still have a box full of there fox tails in various colours (these I use for a variety of flies) so I was delighted when on the pack that Stevie had given me was a website http://www.foxy-tails.co.uk/ so last night I checked it out and found they had a whole heap of very very very cool furs and tails , if you’re a pike fly fisher who does his own flies then I really can’t recommend these guys highly enough as when I got to wandering around the store today I came across a whole wall full of the sexiest furs in the coolest of colours I picked up a couple of packs (won’t be the last) the results of which will be somewhere down below on this blog post made from there cashmere goat just try some folks you won’t be disappointed……..I’m delighted to have re connected with them and you can expect a lot of these materials appearing on patterns in the coming months for my naturals box

Of course I had to pick up a bag of flash as well kid in a sweet shop

New eyes

I decide also today to pick up a new pair of sun glasses not like we ever get any sun in Scotland but more for eye protection although when I’m using flies that track just under the surface without breaking it, a good pair of glasses to take the glare of the water and see you fly is essential, well it is for me because one the greatest sights that I ever see is a pike chasing down a sub-surface subbug or an ugly betty I simply would not see this without the aid of sun glasses .
These glasses are not the most expensive in the world they only cost me £15.00 and yes they look a bit tarty and flash I’m sure the fish will appreciate the effort I’m putting in, but to be honest I bought a pair of shimano glasses quite a few years ago for around the same price but they have become a bit battered over the years although still very much usable I thought I’d invest I a new pair, I’ll keep the others as a spare pair in the box
Tube flies
I have a long history of trying tube flies for pike going back long before anybody had probably thought of it there was certainly nothing on the net about tubes for pike, when I first started looking into using them I had been in a posh tackle shop looking for bucktail (and they followed me around the shop didn’t have tweeds on ya see) and I knew that the tubes for salmon that I saw were fairly large big spate river patterns , I still remember looking at then thinking if there was a way to rig them for predators and this was always the stumbling block for me as I could not think of a way to rig them and still be able to change flies easily without having to make up a new wire trace each time .

Of course the tube fly would have an advantage in fact that you get less leverage on the hook as the tube slides away so the idea for pike in principle is good but up till now I couldn’t think of a way to rig them and be able to change flies without a massive headache until now, I’ve now come up with a rig that will allow me to change the tubes fairly easily , well easily enough that I’m happy to fish them and change flies as and when I need to im going to try them out this week with a buddy
Of course no doubt somebody will probably mail me and say hey dave have you seen this

Tying tubes for pike
Any visitors to my website

will know that I have tied some and theres a few patterns on there and youll notice some of them are pre rigged , of course ive now moved on from those but ill keep the page up and add to it as Ive got a lot of ideas swimming around in my head so it will be a cool evolution to watch ill update the wording on the site to reflect this at some point .so now we come down to the tying of the things , well I use one of those adapters that you get to stick in your normal vice I will I think at some point get one of those tube fly vices but they seem to be a bit pricy at the momment so ill stick with the adapter till they come down a bit . so before I fit the tube over the adapter what I do is add some pearl mylar then tie of the back end with some orange flat thread then I place the tube on the adaptor
To seal the deal I use a thin coat of deercreeks tack free uv and zap it for just a couple of seconds with the laser diode this gives you a good firm hold

About 3 quarters of the way up the tube ive tied in a clump of short yellow goat hair and then tease it round the hook then tie down, I then coat this with some diamond hard varnish to protect the mono thread, I’m sure there will be a few purists out there who tie salmon flies and may have stumbled on this post will be cringing at the way I tie these but I’m not doing big posh salmon flies here im doing predator flies so apologies to lord Archie McEwen from lower tweed side for upsetting his stiff upper lip
After this all I do is tie in an orange back of goat hair and add a few plumes of dyed peacock eyes http://www.deercreek.co.uk/Feathers.html I’ve had these for a while and hadn’t figured out what I was going to do with them till now I think the look really nice on the tubes and will give the fly that little bit extra , I’m really quite confident on these , as you can see I’ve used 3d eyes on these but I wanted a little weight so used a 5 min epoxy rather than a uv on the head.

I found a trick a long time ago when I was doing epoxy heads on tubes, because when you need to turn the tubes on a rotary drier you can’t just stick it in the foam like a hook because well you have no hook, so a packet of cocktail sticks does the job perfect just stick the stick into the tube add the epoxy and tick in the foam on the drier perfect, and let me assure you it doesn’t move and says until you want to take it off.

Cocktail sticks in action

So after playing with a couple of smaller patters I hit out on a bigger snack, the tubes I have in box came to me years ago from an old salmon fly tier (quite an interesting story and bloke actually as he never fished in his life but his flies caught thousands of salmon ill save that one for a later date) he gave me them because I was just chatting to him one day and he said he couldn’t be doing with these new-fangled plastic tubes he had been sent and much preferred his old metal ones (na changing it ,its na broken kid he told me) so I ended up with a bag load of plastic , but they were on the small size so I ended up using some of those long plastic sea booms you can buy for sea angling and just chopping them down to size easy and costs penny’s and you can get quite a lengthy fly from them .

So out comes the afore mentioned foxy tails patch and a body was added to the tube and a couple of bits of flash along each side some orange Icelandic sheep hair and I reckon I’ve got a pretty sexy looking fly and looking forward to getting it wet

So of course with the advent of my tube fly second coming of course I needed something to keep the things in, as ill need to store the leaders and hooks separate of course, so found this rather fetching little deep compartment lure box at the local tackle shop at the princely sum of £4.99 and I’m thinking that will carry all I need for now so purchased it

I’ll get loads of the buggers in here, funnily enough I did a quick search for tube fly storage and there were a few new storage systems out there for tubes but I just didn’t fancy spending that amount of money when to be honest a box like the one above does the job just as good, am I going a bit too far with the tubes mmmmmmmm not sure time will tell and the tests I have planned will sort out if it’s going to be worth pursuing doing them
Me being me I needed to fill the box with a few patterns so been tying a few and playing with ideas, I have just worked a very long weekend shift with pretty much 4 hours sleep over the whole weekend so today was a pretty much stay and home and do nothing kind of day, I actually spent the first part of the day watching some fishing shows I had recorded the previous week, but I had the urge to tie up some tubes with the foxy tails id bought last week so I dragged a few bits from the cave to tie some up in front of the TV …..

I decided that within all the tubes that I wanted to try I wanted a fly that will get down fast and I wanted a simply pattern today I really didn’t fancy stretching my brain with complicated patterns so I threw a length of cashmere goat on the tube and added some flash on the back of it everything is tied right pretty much on the nose

Some orange on top and some dumbbell eyes to get it down and to be honest I don’t see why this wouldn’t catch fish as long of my new rig for them hooks em in the first place ( a big special thanks goes out too rich for the eyes).

So far I’m very impressed with the build and profile so I tied one with a chenille body but although the side profile looks great I really don’t think I need the chenille ill still give it a chuck though, I’m toying with the idea of just colouring the tube a matching colour to the back material but although I don’t think it will make any difference just make me feel better. Many thanks to martin from Mscustom lures who sent me this really cool pic of a jack that really wanted a subbug he had tied ,just goes to show they can’t resist the things I mean look how far down this one is crazy absolutely crazy lol

So my bags packed and I’m ready to fish and boy I’m looking forward it
Later folks
(a cave in Scotland)

Thursday 23 February 2012

happy trails

No you can’t go fishing
So start of the week and I’ve worked over the whole weekend at my bill paying job with the thought of getting a day’s fishing in on the Monday , but yet again the weather came into play throwing some big wind across the city , now I know that if you’re a plastic chucker or a bait soaker then you can go out in anything you want really I know this because I’ve done it in my younger days , but that stuff doesn’t float my boat I’m a fly fisher through and through that’s what does it for me so chucking big flies and ending up with big hooks in my face and up trees just doesn’t appeal really , I’m sure you see where I’m coming from here. So I’m going to hope I’ll get a few hours later in the week.

In the meantime with wind howling around I decided to take my son into Edinburgh to have a look at the castle and the museum and err who put an Orvis shop on the route darn best go in then son ……

Is not like I don’t have anything to do off course I did a restock for http://www.deercreek.co.uk/ and have added a few extra patterns including some tangos (below) can’t go wrong with a classic orange and white pattern and I think the new gator eyes in blue really set the fly off nicely so hook into the chaps at the creek if you want some hot predator catching flies, should be in stock by the time you read this …

As part of my trying to make life easier when it comes to all things fishing im tying up flies for my grab and go pack , the grab and go pack is basically a large finsport wallet that stays loaded with flies that will catch pretty much anywhere but its more designed for those moments when I can get down the local canal for a few hours , just means I don’t have to go digging for flies in my boat box or day bag and the flies tied are primarily for use on the canal but I could if need be use them anywhere

With that in mind and the canal being fairly cloudy most of the time greens and orange flies are a must really these are tied on 4/0 sakuma mantas these colours have always done well for me on there, the heads are just heavy enough to get the flies on the deck but not into the sludge , i always use a floating line when fishing the canal as it’s not that deep so buy using a leader of around five feet I can make the fly dart up off the bottom and sing back down dying fish style or I can use a standard slow retrieve just off the bottom both of which work very well

I was in the cave today and had opened a draw to get some e.p materials out for a roach pattern I had in mind and my eyes landed on some orvis ultra-hair the yellow and olive were just sat next to each other in the draw and I thought mmmmmmmm that looks pikey then I thought of some eyes that could go with it and bang I had a great new idea for a baby pike pattern just happens like that sometimes and I think they worked out just great.

The first fly in the picture is just one colour on top of another but while I was tying it I though what if I took equal amounts off both colours and blended them together which is what I did with the bottom fly so I tied in the normal yellow colour for the belly and the blended for the back and although you can’t see it, it actually worked out really good and the blend is superb just the correct amount of yellow coming through the olive so I’m very pleased with it and it’s given me a few new ideas to play with other colours and materials watch this space……

The whole idea with these flies was to produce a small pike pattern for the canal as besides roach small pike like most places feature very highly on another pikes menu so may as well have a few in the bag

I tried a few different eyes with this pattern as I couldn’t really decide on what I wanted, I did actually Google pike eyes and there was plenty of variations out there so In the end I settled on the one above I just thought it really suited the overall design of the fly I like it and would fish it with confidence and of course that’s the main thing confidence in what’s on the end of the line is half the battle

Grab and go pack
So I’m getting the pack together so far here’s what’s in it of course a load of shinny things can’t go wrong with shiny things

A load of classic baitfish type flies made out of various materials and of various sizes a few whistler type flies also in there for really slow work

And for summer I have a selection of gurglers I have actually seen fish hitting bait on the surface on the first few rays of dawn so a gurgler or ten is a must, I have all sizes from very small to large they all have their place of course I have my brother ken to thanks for getting me onto these very deadly flies and the damage they did for me on kens local largemouth population absolutely nuts, cheers brother

I’m playing with a few large thunder creek patterns for canal fish just now as well so I have a few in there as well , thing is if I’m not catching this could be the fly that saves the day you just never know , I’m kind of guessing this would be a great pattern for saltwater as well I’ll give it a chuck next time I’m near the salty stuff that’s the magic of this grab bag I have pretty much the patterns that will do salt and fresh water , well maybe with the exception of the frogs above , unless of course you know somewhere where there’s saltwater frogs …………….

The Oscar for best actor goes to
Ok so I’ll admit now I’m not really one for being in front of the camera and I don’t profess to being any kind of fly-tying expert never have done , what I like to do is show folks how to do stuff so that’s what I do off course you can always watch it with the sound off
My idea on this video was to show that pretty much anybody with little or no tying experience would be able to sit down and tie a basic fly that will catch fish and give you the confidence to actually do a fly that you would be confident in fishing , I’ve used gliss and glint plus fibre because it does away with the need to add your own flash and provides just the correct blend of sparkle to you fly once you get the hang of fly tying you’ll be able to add your own flash but this is a great material for the beginner and confident tier to make some amazing patterns , so please enjoy the video


Blog updates in your mail

You’ll notice I’ve added a little email subscription box just above the site followers this is provided by blogger so I thought I’d add it , the reason being that you will get a notification in your mail when I’ve updated the blog if you have one of those smart phone things it means you’ll get a mail saying that I’ve added content to the blog , you can then browse at your leisure seems like a good idea to me so hopefully you’ll use the service


I’m delighted to have known ken from pike adventures and his lovely chick Naomi for a good few years now I’ve had the pleasure of staying and fishing with ken (and will be there later this year on a triple predator hunt) ken and his family I can only describe as probably the nicest people on the planet and I now count them all as my family , ken despite being a complete goofball is so on the same wavelength as me and I’m not even going to describe the conversations we have on skype we bounce fly ideas off each other all the time and generally have a blast , I really wish we had a film crew following us round when I was over there , imagine the show swamp people but with fly rods , yea you got the picture the guy is a legend ,so when I found out that he had got engaged my first thought was Naomi had bought him a shit hot new fly rod .

But seriously it couldn’t have happened to a nicer couple total congratulations to you both

So on that happy note I bid you all a great week ahead

And be cool to each other
(a cave in Scotland)

Tuesday 21 February 2012

breamer streamers

welcome to a new blog

this blog has been set up to allow people to buy overstocks of my and others work also to allow you to find out easily where you can buy the finest predator flies on the planet , i believe the best flies you can buy are from guys who fish for the species they tie for , i mean would you buy a musky fly from somebody who has never fished for one , no i thought not .

i have many years experience in the way a fly behaves and how it needs to act in the water to catch a predator this experience goes into every fly i make and i have over 30 years of experience that is my bench mark .

there will also be links on this blog to other tiers , these guys also fly fish for the species they tye for and you can contact them direct from there links. most of the guy i know and have actually fished with

rest assured these guys know what they are doing so if your looking for some home grown killer flies this is the spot to be

(please note i do not charge for the links)

about my flies

i tie a lot of flies so lots of the time they end up in boxes never to see the light of day so this is a way to pass on stuff to anybody who needs it i will keep the blog updated as and when i post flies i will also update my facebook page when there is new flies for sale or any updates if you wish too add me on facebook look up " pike flies" or simply follow the blog


exclusive to deercreek is my latest creation the breamer streamer

made with gliss and glint plus this fly has just the right amount of flash to get a predators attention

designed to be fished with slow pulls sink and draw style this is an ideal clear water fly

get em while they last

check out the full limited edition range at deercreek click the picture


all flies are tied by me in Scotland i use only the finest quality materials and hooks

i do not outsource my flies

Friday 17 February 2012

Lifes a pizza and rehoming subbugs

Lifes a pizza rehoming subbugs and other fishy stories

Got to hand it to the romans they came up with the perfect angling food in the form of pizza yup im done with cooking bacon on candles these days, if I need a good meal on a day’s fishing trip then this roman centurion meal on the march is just the job cold and just as good if not better than hot.

The roman soldiers used to cook these and fold these in half and stick em in there kit when they were hungry they could just pull it out have a bit and continue marching , so for the angler its perfect and to be honest even the most useless of cooks can make it the one below I did the other day and has a tomato sauce base, mature cheddar , mozzarella cheese, salami , chicken onions , red peppers and spinach all on a homemade base (you can but readymade bases from Tesco (no they don’t sponsor me) and you can add whatever toppings you want , cook for 15 to 20 mins allow to cool cut into squares (so you can eat between casts ) wrap in tin foil and job done a great and easy lunch snack …..

So as I write this it’s sat the 11th feb and I’m at work as you can tell by my foodie ramblings I’m not fishing or at my vice, but things are looking good for a trip this week as we don’t have the snow and ice that seems to be sweeping south of the border just now so fingers crossed for next week

Where did this lot come from

I was looking for my other day bag yesterday in case I can get out next week and while I was searching in the back of a long lost corner of the cupboard I came across this bag full of fly boxes so I’m going to need to shift through them and probably end up getting rid of some . as I have a pretty much standard kit now that I can just add to or takeaway so I really don’t need to carry this much, and to be honest if somebody else can use em at a bargain price then hell why not, funny thing is any money I make on them will go straight back into materials and the whole cycle starts again. So what’s in the boxes then……?

Well pretty much every idea I’ve ever had and put on a hook, so obviously there are a lot of boxes, I’ll get an idea and tie the fly up then if I think it’s a catcher I’ll do it a loads of different variation of the colours and then what normally happens is ill run out of space on my board so I’ll stick em all into boxes then they will end up in a dark corner of my fly cupboard ….to be found at a much later date when ive forgotten all about them .

Rehoming the chosen few

So ive been searching for a long time for a suitable option for storing and carrying subbugs, the problem we have with big deer hair head flies is that if you squash them up in a case they lose their head shape what you need is a box that has a lot of headroom inside so you don’t squash them now you could go and buy something like a cliffs beast (the mother ship box) but that retails at £40.00 uk so I really didn’t want to spend that much but as time went on I thought I may actually have to spend that to keep them in shape .
Enter the art bin ………..

I found this box quite by accident while I was off looking for something else in my local hobbycraft store and straight away this grabbed my attention, I picked it up turned it over looked at it from all angles opened it up and though you know this actually just looks like one of the big name boxes all , I did notice on the barcode sticker it actually said “flambeau” well off course I’m sure you all know that flambeau actually make tackle storage also and bloody good stuff it is as well , so unless there is some reason that you’re not allowed to use this as a fishing storage box I thought I’d buy one and see what I could do.

“External dimensions 41 x 26 x 10cm approx.”

So having made my purchase (and I didn’t get what I wanted in the first place) I jumped on a bus and headed for the local tackle shop (yes an actual tackle shop you can pick things up and stuff) where I had noticed they sold replacement foam for fly boxes I purchased a roll (along with a load of other stuff) and headed back to the cave.

The foam was pretty easy to cut with a sharp blade all I did was cut to a rough length of the box and then peel the back of the foam and stick into the box then trim the foam to the contours of the bottom of the box and repeat with the other side and there you have it a bloody great subbug mother ship, of course you could use this for pretty much any kind of flies you like but for the purpose I wanted it for i.e. the subbugs it works perfect

So after having bought the box and the foam the total cost off the project was around £19.00 uk a massive half price saving if you put it against a bugger beast don’t get me wrong id love a cliffs but I just can’t afford the price tag so this is a great option and one that anybody could make ,
If you’re interested in looking at the boxes or dont have a hobby craft close to you, here is the link to look at one or purchase
if you’re interested in more info on subbugs then the link is below
Some vice action
im still hoping to get out for a chuck tomorrow weather permitting so ive started tying up a few pattern specifically for this venue , the water is usually quite coloured so the classic colours come into play

All that’s called for is a really skinny pattern ive tied this on a 4/0 sakuma manta I’m not sure why fish love this pattern so much bot they fairly do hammer them especially on this venue, with this fly ive add as you can see 2 small beads for the eyes, for some reason and I don’t know why fish seem to pick up on them, I have tied without and I do seem to catch less.
but I needed a slow sinking fly so dumbbell’s I didn’t really want on them , so I came up with idea of using the beads from one of those drawstring window blinds as the beads are plastic and really do the job perfect , all I’ve done is coated with a thin layer of tack free uv , the reason for this is just to give it some protection from teeth , a very easy fly to tie with only a few materials if you can’t work out what they please shout and I’ll let you know.

Using up some leftovers

Before the days of me using the wonderful gliss and glint plus from the mad professor at deercreek (cheers nick) I used a lot of sf flash and slink and flash , when deer creek introduced his gliss n glint plus I pretty much stopped using the others as I couldn’t see the need when there was a better product out there for a lot less cash (I am Scottish ) so yesterday when I was having a free tying day (just sit at the vice and tie ) I found some of this left so thought I may as well use it up for my canal box of flies

Again tied on sakuma manta 4/0 (they do 100 boxes now yahoooooo) and I came up with a pretty simple looking baitfish, interesting on this is that I’ve also gone old school and used trad googly eyes on this , I remember as well when that was pretty much all you could get in pike fly size , my how times have changed

A little hotcore orange built in just for something a bit different

A classic green and orange colour great for darker coloured water and off course the googly eyes also rattle which of course is a major bonus in predator attraction.
It’s all in the shape
Ad swier the famous Dutch fluff meister has his own range of hooks out and here’s the thing they are a great looking hook, they have everything a pike fly tier could want great shape , superb shank length wide gape , but there is one thing that has always let these hooks down and that is the fact that they are barbless , when these first came out myself and a lot of other tiers were using them in fact one of my guys was buying flies off me very regular made on these one day he mailed me and asked me to tie all the flies id sent him again but on different hooks as he was losing fish all over the place on these hooks , no I was concerned about this so I looked into it myself and I also started losing fish on them all the fish had to do was shake its head and no matter of tight line would keep those fish on .

Further investigation found a lot of other people were also losing fish on the hooks and indeed a lot of anglers no longer use them myself included I really can’t see what the problem is but I know there is a problem there with fish throwing the hook, I really wish the company that make them “partridge” would do a barbed version of this hook I really do as not only would I use it as standard I’m sure others would also would it be a problem to also produce a barbed version I’m pretty sure you’d sell it ok.

I realise I’m opening a can of worms in the barb barbless hook debate but I’m firmly a barb hooked man as I believe barbless penetrate far too deep and do a lot of damage but if you’re a barbless hook guy then that’s completely your choice I have no problem that, if you know what we’re doing wrong please let us know you know im all for catch and fast release but not 30 seconds after hooking the fish …………..

In the meantime there is another choice
The mustad ultimate bass hook (saltwater bass for our American readers kinda like a striper) is the nearest I’ve found to a swier hook and as you can see its very close they go in size from 2/0 right through to 5/0 so size wise they are fine, they are also very strong Wire and bend: forged (In order to increase the strength of the bend [by approx. 25%], the wire of the bend is slightly compressed sidewise) and most important for me they have a barb but other than that the price is great, I picked up a pack of 4/0 for £1.50 uk in my local tackle shop and made by mustad you know you’re going to have a first class product.

A point of interest this week is that I had somebody unsubscribe from my youtube videos
On further investigation it turns out that my tallywacker video means something completely different in Tunisia (something to do with playing with ones goat)A Tunisian man interviewed yesterday on why he unsubscribed

Happy hunting and tying folks
(a cave in Scotland)

p.s here’s a picture of world famous angler Charles jardine doing what he does best

Friday 10 February 2012

nature is great

Isn’t nature great

Most mornings I walk my son to school and we take pretty much the same route every day, I live in a large suburb of Edinburgh although a lovely place to live and to be fair it has some stunning views like the picture below from last week (taken from my sons school looking towards my house)the hills in the background are called the pentlands and Edinburgh sits in between these and the sea so I’m fairly high up on the south side .

On my way to the boy’s school I have to walk along a path with a shallow clear water stream that runs from somewhere up in these hills, being an angler I just resist peering into the stream as I walk along the path to maybe see an occasional flash of a small trout or minnow dancing in the current, although I think I may have seen the odd shadow in the water that may well have been a small fish I haven’t as yet actually spotted anything in the 4 years I’ve lived here , I know there probably is fish in there somewhere obviously there better at seeing me than I am seeing them ……

Well I never

So imagine my surprise when this afternoon I spotted this beauty standing in the stream looking for its dinner, I can’t quite believe how close I got to this heron I would have stood there a lot longer watching this majestic bird had it not been for some toe rag on a bmx with headphones blaring out some dance garbage obviously the bird though as much of the garbage as I did and promptly flew off.

The thing is I think if id stayed there long enough I think I may have seen him catch something and verifying my hunch that there is indeed fish in there oh well maybe he will be there tomorrow ……… or maybe I should take the 3wgt with me on the walk to school

Relax time
Plan x tonight

Looks like a cracking watch, full report later
Cool UK blog alert

Restock time

Also having a busy time doing a re stock for www.deercreek.co.uk who sell very limited editions of my flies they have sold out of a load of the patterns so ill have the restock done and posted out by the weekend hopefully , it’s so bloody cold in the cave just now so I have little bursts of time in there as heating is so bloody expensive in the uk it’s only the very well off who can afford to heat all the rooms in their homes these days in the uk because of rocketing fuel prices ……

So anyway doing a restock and tying a few for myself this week I’m hoping to get out next week but depends if the thin layer of ice melts or not but I have a five day window next week to get out so fingers crossed for a mild week .

Life at the bench
For the last year or so I’ve been using one of those new-fangled low energy light bulbs doing my bit for the environment and stuff, but I’m afraid I’ve had to revert back to a normal 60 watt penguin killer iceberg melting normal light bulb because I simply don’t get enough light out of the thing to work and it takes 5 hours to bloody get to a level you can actually see anything , listen I’m all for low energy and stuff but at least make a useful product give me a light build that is low energy and ill actually use the thing as long as its fits for purpose , in fact the whole fair trade good thing get me as well I mean I had some fair trade chocolate the other day and let me tell you it was twice as expensive as a normal bar and tasted gross I’m afraid I’d rather have the half price tasty unfair product , I still don’t get why its twice as expensive if most of the cash goes back to the farmer then by cutting out the middleman it should be a cheaper product ….i don’t get it

Sorry seem to have gone off track a bit there normal service now resumes with a picture of my bench and the new offending light bulb in place

A couple of experiments
Sometimes you see a bargain in a tackle shop and you buy it there and then pretty much without thinking about simply because it’s a really good deal well I had that in summer when I was on the trail of some hooks , I went off to my local tackle shop and they had on the floor a box a plain plastic box tucked away at the back of a box load of lead sinkers and I noticed they were packets of hooks so I picked a few packs up and realised they were like those hooks for Texas rigging rubber worms and they obviously couldn’t sell them so they had them at a knock down price so these hooks were originally £2.50 a pack(10) for the 4/0 and they had them at half price so that was £1.25 for a 10 pack now I thought that was dam good value so I actually opened a pack to have a closer look and the things were outstanding quality and bloody razor sharp , so I dug around in my pockets for as much cash as I could find this was a bargain that I needed to stock up on

Having bought a bucket load of the hooks in 4/0 5/0 and 6/0 I then headed off back to the cave quite pleased with myself although not quite knowing what I was going to use them for but I knew they would come in handy at some point for something .

So that was summer 2011 and I stuck them away in a box today I found while looking for other hooks I found them and as I laid my eyes on the packs straight away I had a flash of inspiration (or I may have seen something on the web at some point and it just clicked together) I could do some weedless bendback type flies with them so I set to work and came up with the offending baitfish below

The thing behind this is that the material (bucktail) sits on top of the hook and as there isn’t a great deal of material it doesn’t effect the hook up rate and this is what makes it weed free pretty much the same as tying on a bendback but without the hassle of bending the hook just right . I like it

So on the hook shaft I tied in a piece of bog standard mylar tubing just to give the effect of a sparkling belly to this I’ve added at the eye bend a pinch of white bucktail a couple of woolly bugger feathers, some peacock hearl for the back and all tied in so the eye sits on top of where all the material sites and if I say so myself looks like a fish catcher to me

Same idea but in black I’m still on my black fly trip , but with this one I’ve added the hearl on the back I think this adds just that little something to the fly , I’m sure this fly will do really well on my local weeded up bottom canal in the summer time will tell but I’m sure this will be a winner…………………………
Matchman’s revenge
For the benefit of our overseas fellow fishers I’ll explain what a match man is first in case you not familiar with the term if you do know what a matchman is then please skip the explanation. in the uk (more in England than anywhere else) they have regular fishing match’s where the aim of the game is to catch as many fish as possible in the allowed time , the fish are kept in a keep net until the net can be weighed at the end of the allowed time and the winner gets the prize , matches can be at a club level for a small trophy or at international level for your country earning thousands of pounds for the winner kind of like a bass tournament but without all the boat bling
A uk fishing match

Now the above picture isn’t really my idea of fun although I did actually try it once and came second and won £30.00 uk for a sack full of carp didn’t really do anything for me though so just got the fly rods back out, but the thing is that with a lot of these matches, especially on waters with pike in, the pike will actually sit close to the angler on the bottom and attack the small silver fish as it comes in on the end of a matchmans line hey who can blame them easy meal , they have learned that when lots of bait keeps hitting the water then an easy meal is to be had very clever but then I suppose it’s the same as crocs knowing when animals have to migrate across a river they turn up at the same time clever predators are

So with that in mind I thought I tie up a fly especially for those areas that the matchmen fish those areas usually have high concentrations of small silver fish

The idea is that it looks like a small roach that’s hanging of a hook, the fly being tied sort of tarpon style (thanks to nikki “slay the steel” page) for reminding me about this style. The fly has the hook as you can see well in front of any material now you may say that fish will miss the hook when hitting it but actually the fly isn’t that big (around five inches) so even the smallest fish will engulf it and nine times out of ten you will get a fish hooked in lip area so that’s not a massive problem building the flies like this for pike ……….

Doing a natural roach pattern I’ve wanted to get something as near as I could to the colour of the fish in the water so I’ve used a black deercreek gliss and glint plus with a green flash through it this is as close as I’ve seen to a roach colour in the water, it’s really nice stuff and quite a subtle colour of course what the fish see maybe completely different but I’ve looked over enough bridges on places like the fens and seen enough roach to know that’s the colour I see …….nice blend

The eyes are glued onto the point where the material has been tied onto the back of the hook this will be the heaviest point of the fly and buy using a uv tack free epoxy you can build up the layers in between the eyes by doing this you’re not only making the eyes bomb proof but your adding the correct weight to give the fly a little action on the strip again with this fly and with all synthetics there is really hardly any material in this fly which means its ultra-light to use and you could easily play with this all day on a 9 wgt .
And don’t forget you could of course tie this in smaller sizes for pretty much anything that swims
So with that im going to go and play some more at the vice and do some stockin up on these patterns and fingers crossed I’ll get out next week as long as the temps stay high and the ice buggers off I just have to go and get these wet

next week i plan to sort out my subbug boxes into one easy grab box and tie up a few fresh patterns for it so expect some hairy deerhair action next week .

(a cave in Scotland)