Saturday 31 March 2012

welcome to sunny scotland

scotland are you sure
i mean crazy it just the end of march and im in shades and t shirt normaly id at least have a fleece jacket on global warming huh . anyway decided to hit my local and i needed to test some flies and just see the lay of the land etc etc and hell i needed a day out ive spent far too much time behind the vice latley .

so i decided that with only being out for a few hours i wouldnt bother getting a boat so i set out along the path that runs along the lochside hell it was a nice day and i could do with the excercise , there was a couple of spots i wanted to fish and would enable me to get a half decent high up look at the flies in the water from the casting platforms so it was a case of hi ho hi ho into the deep dark woods i go 

the edges of this water sometimes produce the odd jack , and i wanted my string pulled so i decided to have a few throws at this spot which resulted in one hit and a follow from a marginaly bigger pike than the fly i was using which sat for a while right under my rod tip i didnt pursue it just nice to see he did after a while bugger off leaving me to it

i stayed at the spot for a while enjoing the sun and watching my flies do there thing in the water , after a while i decided that actually testing flies is really good and interesting to see ideas into practice and working just how you wanted and visoned it but i was really wanting to get a fish on by this time so decided to head up to another spot

while i walked up the bank i spotted this crazy flog lazilly swimming along without a care in the world , if only it knew what lurks beneth and what ive actually had from this spot from a boat casting towards this very spot .....

just past this spot i setteled in for a few casts fishing in around 5ft over a bed of weed that usually produces a fish or 2 but this time i didnt get a touch so didnt stay at this bit too long , im thinking i may not have been able to get into the spot from the bank that i normally get fish from the boat but hey ho nothing ventured nothing gained worth a cast

one of the many flies i was testing out today profile was awesome and moved just how i wanted it to , now if i could just get a fish out id be happy

after a while of not to much happening i decided to have lunch , as i sat on a nicely placed bench i realised my feet had become a little bog ridden from the trek round the loch this must be what it was like in ww1 when the soldiers got trench foot from having there feet in water and mud all the time luckilly i was able just to dip my feet in the water and there clean again

lunch consisted of a couple of tescos finest scotch eggs (other brands are avalible) as i was only out few hours lunch had to be fast tasty and fill me up so i can be fishing again asap i mean just look at that quality ........(for my american freinds this along with pork pies is a normal fishermans lunch)

so next up on the test pad was a fly i call a flash alice ive been painstakinly making various flash patterns over the past few months and although the flies ive made have been outstanding and have caught fish ive never quite been 100% happy with them and always thought i could do something better so with the advent of new products like croc glue that i used in a particular way ive finally found a flashy fly that im very happy with and the action is awesome in the water everything i wanted

first cast with the flash alice and bang the rod buckels over, something obviously wanted it , alas after a few seconds of angry head shaking it threw the hook .............bugger 

always amazes me how on earth they cant stay conected sometimes i mean i didnt even see this fish didnt even clear the water but hey thats fishing for you it did like the flash alice and i can see why to be honest

the wind had picked up a fair bit although it didnt look like it in this picture it was quite blusterry at this spot i carried on fishing for another hour

as it came to the end of my day i tried one of the bigger flash alices that i had and was very impressed with the action of it ,the fish however had other ideas and compleatly blanked me for the last hour oh well

so not the best of quick sessions but thats how it goes sometimes , i had four hits i saw a small pike sitting at my feet and had a few seconds of rod bending action , but you know im thinking with the rise in tempretures im thinking that the razor gang may have lamour on there minds who knows , but hey great to be out in stunning surrondings and sometimes thats enough to put a smile on your face ......

later folks
(a cave in scotland)

Thursday 29 March 2012

some pike flies

fluff glorious fluff
Sunday was a great day for me although i was at work i wasn't that busy so i took the opportunity to whack out a few patterns just for fun

the days flies , although this wasn't all i tied as i tied a few of each pattern nothing worse than having a great catching fly then losing it up a tree and not having a spare , been there done that not doing it again

hook - Gamakatsu sl12 6/0
belly - white ep
middle - yellow angel hair
back - copper ep sparkle
eye - 8mm gator eye from deercreek
(head sealed with diamond hard uv )

hook - Gamakatsu sl12 6/0
belly - white ep
back - silver angel hair
eye - 8mm fluro orange eye from deercreek
(head sealed with diamond hard uv )

hook - Gamakatsu sl12 6/0
belly - olive gliss and glint plus
back - bbq shrimp gliss and glint plus
throat - pink gliss and glint pluss plus
eye - 7mm gator eye from deercreek
(head sealed with diamond hard uv)

hook - sakuma manta 4/0
belly - white gliss and glint plus
lateral line - copper ep flash
back - bbq shrimp gliss and glint plus
eye - 8mm fluro eye from deercreek
(head sealed with diamond hard uv )

hook - Gamakatsu sl12 6/0
belly - yellow angel hair
back - copper e.p sparkle
eye - 9mm gator eye from deercreek
(head sealed with diamond hard uv )

flash alice eye close up

hook - Gamakatsu sl12 6/0
belly - yellow angel hair
back - chartreaus angel hair
throat - red perm marker
eye - 9mm gator eye from deercreek
(head sealed with diamond hard uv )

close up of the eye do eyes make a difference who knows but they sure look good

hook - sakuma manta 4/0
belly - silver angel hair
back - green chartreus angel hair
eye - 9mm gator eye from deercreek
(head sealed with diamond hard uv )

just stockin up on a few lightning patterns

later folks enjoy
(a cave in scotland)

p,s sorry about the wacky layout today dont know whats going on with that

Friday 23 March 2012

good evening fellow loonies

traveling light
as you'll be aware i have a few different boxes and bags for various styles of fishing boat, bank , roving , traveling etc and its nice to have the option to do what i like gear wise and be able to pick and choose boxes of flies to go with what ever water I'm fishing , although pretty much all the flies will catch fish i can make my chances better with pre picked flies for any given venue i choose to fish , for example if i head to a local venue filled with small baitfish then I'm not going to go down there with a box full of 10 inch surface busters , not that they wont catch but ill get more fish on the bank with smaller 5 inch patterns so its nice to have a box of these i can just throw in the bag and go, same thing with another venue where larger flies are better i have boxes of them ready to throw in the bag as well so its nice to be able to pick and choose if i do need to travel light or grab and go ......

i may be going off fishing tomorrow(didn't happen work stopped play) but its one of those situations where I'm not 100% sure if i will be able to go tomorrow or not till later , so i have a bag ready and its stocked for the venue i may be going to it includes
a box of tallywackers a few subbugs and some lightnings , a finsport full of leftys , thundercreeks and some flashy stuff and also a few bucktail baitfish ,
2 reels one loaded with a fast sink line and one with a slow intermediate

a box of fast food , i could really get away with just using this box has every fly i could ever need for the venue in question and covers a multitude of situations i may come across , this box is one of those cheap boxes from the craft store i was talking about in a previous post

the large finsport brother ken from Vermont fly guys sent me is a very handy bit of kit and i can carry a hell of a lot of flies in it of course i take full advantage off the fact i can get hundreds of flies in it ......... fits lovely into the ruck sack as well and leaves me room for another box of flies , if i didn't take it i could fit two plastic boxes in the rucksack i am after all traveling light

also in the kit is some basic items that you really have to carry clippers hook sharpener unhooking pliers a spool of fluorocarbon for my leaders , eye protection and that's pretty much all i need , i don't take a net i haven't used a net for year i chin all the fish i catch fastest and easiest way to get a fish out unhooked photographed and released in the shortest possible time, i would however advise new people to the sport to always use a net i am very confident in handling predators i have been doing it since i was a boy so i know what I'm doing you may prefer a net the choice is yours but that's my way
something to think about

take a look at the chart i made above with regards what colours disappear at what depths now i tend to never really fish deeper than 35 feet and have caught on all sorts of colours , I'm still a great believer in stick it past there nose school of fishing and if it looks like an easy meal then they will have it even if there not hungry makes interesting reading, watch next week as i fill my box with 1000s of blue flies with UV flash .you can sometimes go overboard if you think about things too much so ill stick too what i do thanks very much
shes got the jack
OK so not a perfect jack pike copy i like it and its a pattern that has done quite well with muskies as well the gliss and glint plus from deer creek just goes from strength to strength and the patterns you can come up with is just fantastic , its now also available in the USA through and will no doubt account for some large fish this year

if you need a step by step for tying with gliss and glint plus head on over to my YouTube channel click this link and you ll go straight to a video on a very fast way to tie a gliss fly

same jack pattern but with a white belly and a thin line of gold flash through the center
the death of ep
well that maybe a bit strong of a word but i have found myself using it less and less leaning over to other synthetics which are just as good if not better than ep especially when it comes to price , not to say I'm never going to use it again , far from it actually i think the flies will sit nicely in between other fibers i use so with that in mind i was digging through the ep drawer (yes i have a drawer full of ep fibers) and it was while i was looking for something else i came across a long forgotten 3d mullet colour which i used to tie a lot of flies up with in fact before all the new synthetics we have now that was my fly colour of choice when the going got tough this colour used to always get at least a hit or two

off course tying tecniques have changed over the years as ways of doing things have so i thought it would be a nice idea to tie up one of my favorite back in the day flies using new ideas , and the above fly is the result quite happy with that
doing it with rattles
i was sitting admiring my latest tie above i had a ping on the blackberry the sound of an email coming through the airwaves , i love the fact with modern phones i can be sitting at my desk and be able to reply to my mails almost straight away , this was the case with a mail i had from ryuunosuke in japan who mailed me as he had bought some of pike treks fly rattles and wanted to know the best way to use them for his baitfish flies (saltwater) so this is just one way of doing it there is othere which ill cover in a later blog post.
as this isn't a fly tying step by step ill skip a few of the actual tying the fly itself steps and concentrate of getting the rattle in there , firstly i placed on my 2 lengths of ep fiber to give me the length of the overall baitfish there is a little croc glue on the hook shank to give the material an anchor point i then place the rattle towards the rear of the hook (this actually gives the fly a keel effect when strip and paused) secure the rattle on with a few wraps of mono thread

cover the rattle with a quality UV epoxy like diamond hard tack free from only a thin coat all the way round and then zap it for a second to seal the rattle to the hook

the rattle is now bomb proof secured to the hookshaft and materials

you can now bring back your materials to cover the rattle , this isn't hollow tie style its just folded back over the top , and a shorter section folded back under the rattle to give a profile you can see that i have used not a lot of material as you can see through it , this has no effect on the overall fly pattern less is more with ep fiber

ive added in some gold angel hair a throat of red ep fiber and a mullet colour back again only a couple of thin pieces , notice you can still see the rattle through the ep

i then whip off and finish of with a uv head , im using deercreeks new lazer diode pen for this pretty much a couple of seconds and you have a solid head

the adition of an oversized eye finishes of the fly perfect

there you have it a built in bomb proof rattle in a baitfish , of course as i said there is other ways to do do rattles ill cover a few in later blog posts .
gotta go flies to chuck pike to catch and if your out this weekend take care
(a cave in scotland)

Friday 16 March 2012

Gliss and glints and subbugs
Blimey check the numbers on the blog is somebody trying to tell me something what the chances of that happening ……craziness

Gliss and glint plus nails it on the baitfish

Been banging on lately about gliss and glint plus from the chaps over at the reason for this is quite simple the bloody stuff is fantastic it produces when tied right a very realistic baitfish in the water when stripped and paused you get little glimmers of flash just like you see in the water when you see a little flash of a bait fish indeed a very nice material , somebody said to me one why don’t you use sf fibre , well I did for a long time until this came along sf fibre is a great material also but gliss and glint plus is a lot softer and I believe ultimately it gives a better movement in the water , of course up to you what you use this is just my favourite

Just because I wanted to I’ve done a pretty much one colour baitfish with an orange core behind the eye I’ve also added in a fluro eye from piketrek a fairly basic old school type eye that looks good this fly is tied on a 4/0 sakuma and comes in around 8 inch’s good sized pike snax

I’ve combined a slightly lighter belly than the back colour and I have added a clump of ep sparkle in behind the eye just to give it a little extra, a big gold eye finishes the job, I’ve also started using deercreeks uv tack free to seal the nose and that’s working great for me so versatile and of course tack free

The same tie as above tied on a 4/0 sakuma manta and around 8 inches I’ve just added a piketrek fluro eye and I’ve used a red pro maker to give an exaggerated bleeding gill you can in this picture see some of the flash in the fibre

Again same fly as above but with a perch stripe and an oversized gold eye I’ve tied this using very little material although it looks like there’s lots there’s really not and you can see your hand through it so little is used

Same again gliss and glint plus but I’ve coloured the belly a yellow with a pro maker experimenting with permanent makers can really give you some crazy looking flies give it a go

A slightly smaller 6 inch perch pattern again with gliss and glint plus and tied on a 4/0 sakuma manta and a slightly different eye to the pattern before it and again heavy use of the pro markers looks good to me

The fly above and the one below I do in a completely different way to the normal ties I do with gliss and glint plus, what I do with these is tie in a couple of long sections for the belly length then I tie in shorter sections from the eye back to around a couple of inches behind the hook, the material amount I use is just enough to get away with in fact if you look you can see the hook shaft through the material.
I then tie a longer section in behind the eye (white) to just after the hook shank, before I tie in the blue gliss and glint plus what this does is gives you a better profile on the back section without having to use a lot of material and gives a massive amount of movement in the water although a very big looking fly it weighs little more than the hook , I do keep trying to put over to people I teach that less is more with these kinds of synthetics and by using like in the pictures nothing more than a few strands you still get a fantastic looking fly that does just the same if not better than using big clumps of material , just look at the fly above you can see the hook through the material that’s what you aiming for a killer fly

*It’s arrived in the usa*
Gliss and glint plus and tack free UV now available in the u.s.a

fowkes backcountry outfitters
Address 2863 S Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65807
Phone +1 417.889.6548 skype +1 417.889.6548
Status Open until 18:00.
Hours Mon - Sat: 09:00 - 18:00

A few more subbugs

Just adding a few more bug patterns to the box a yellow gold and olive with solid eyes, I love making subbugs but they do take a hellava long time to make compared to the synthetics these flies can take on average of 1 hour per fly I really do put a lot of love into these flies and a lot of thought goes into the process it’s not a case of stack em and pack em on these flies let me tell ya ,

Black and yellow is a colour I really like for pike flies here in Scotland (not sure across the pond) and I had tied this one up and was impressed with the result until I realised that I didn’t have any black bug eyes (there on order) so I had to fluff it all I did was take a great big pair of googly eyes and coloured them with a black sharpie pen, I then used a 5 min epoxy to glue the eyes into place, thing with subbugs is that it’s the eyes that give it the action combined with the buoyancy of the deerhair is what makes them tick , so googly eyes have no weight so therefore the epoxy adds the missing weight that the normal eyes give , I finished off by coating the eyes with deercreeks tack free and hit it with the laser diode to cure it and you have a bloody great looking set of eyes and another coupe of bugs are in the bag ……..
Plenty to do this week with lots of exciting things happening (watch this space) and I may even get some fishing in as well praying to the weather gods right now

(a cave in Scotland)