Sunday 20 January 2013

more rumbles from the cave

And so it begins for another year

you can just tell when folks have had enough of Christmas and new year , without fail around this time of year I start to get the fly orders trickling in first a few then by the first week of February every man and his dog want flies and this year is no exception in fact its really strange most of the orders are for my smaller predator flies maybe this year is the year of scaling down the flies for pike , or maybe people just want something different to try who knows . Be interesting to see how that pans out .

Same thing with hooks , all of a sudden im going nuts on the predator hooks seems like everybody all of a sudden is tying flies must be the bad weather and lochs with wintry lids on stopping people getting out anyway keeps me busy in the cave

being busy in the cave  

 I also got down to making a load of pike bangers , these are based on the famous “bobs bangers” but scaled up a bit , you can fish them a number of ways but there great early season fished of the bottom on sinking lines you can get some pretty savage takes on the way down as well , because they flutter due the the round buoyant head can be irresistible if it passes a fish  

 usually Ill make up a bunch of heads production line style in various colours and various eyes , why so many well to be honest I tend to give a lot of flies away to folks on the bank so I keep a few in reserve and of course the destroyer will need a few in his box ..

 so here they are pike bangers tied on a 6/0 clouser hook nothing much too it but a deadly pattern , and of course works great for seabass as well , ive not tried them for the bass but plenty do with the smaller sizes and do OK , maybe that’s a trip to think about in the summer …..and below well a few different colors ready to go it would be rude not to really

 also this week taken delivery of some rather nice new hook stock (yes it a blatant plug for my website first up is the rather tasty lazer baitfish offset hook although this is supposed to be a size 6/0 its clearly more of a 4/0 but the hook is so nice I can live with that and its blinking razor sharp as well , would make a great hook for either smaller predators or sea bass / pollock sandeel patterns  


 there’s a lot of hooks out there and over the years ive found some favorites but there not all really marketed at the fly angler indeed the ones that are marketed at the fly angler only come in packs of 10 or so most of time which does actually make them very expensive ,now one of my favorite hooks is the orvis pike and musky hook , ive been trying for years to find another hook like it that I could by in bulk but I refuse to compromise on quality and of course the risk of losing a big fish to a cheap hook just not worth it .
So finally after hundreds of samples and loads of testing I am delighted to say ive found it and the best thing is it comes in sizes up to 8/0 more details here on the site


here’s a fantastic though provoking item write up from brain price over at Vermont fly guys thanks for letting me use it brian

What's wrong? You were expecting some beautiful colored fly with flowing tendrils of feathers ; just picturing its beauty pulsating in the water weren't ya? Let me explain:
We've done a few demos and the biggest question asked is "How long does a fly like that last" referring specifically to the toothies we chase. That is actually a good question, one that we never had a answer to because we either park the fly for memory lane; or it gets snagged by our buddies. So starting last March at ice out I set out to do a test, I was going to track the number of fish caught on one of our flies and stick with it all year. This is the one, a mini Maelstrom Whistler tied in last years fav color of mine, White/Pink. Tied on a double 2/0 Esox 1 Hook from Hook eye and Fly and finished off with Deercreek UV Diamond Hard. So this is the Gnar your seeing after 13 Northern Pike, 2 Pickerel, 3 Smallies and 2 Largemouth.
That means that this fly saw around 10,500 teeth and ran through a belt sander of mandibles 5 times. It is missing 2 tail feathers, a good bit of hair, marabou is chewed out, the dumbells are scarred with teeth marks, the UV resin has a chew through on one side,blood stained hackles(probably mine), and the hooks are sharp as the day they grew hair. I ain't going to lie, I'm surprised; but we do tie our flies to take this kind of abuse. Lets see if 2013 is its demise. Like I said, that was a good question...BP
merry christmas to the destroyer  

 finally after weeks of illness and work I finally got a chance yesterday (18th jan) to catch up with the destroyer and I gave him christmas present ( 2 bottles of whisky) and I was absolutely made up when he gave me a double sided box with some of his flies in , I been raving for months now about how good his flies are so that gift was well appreciated thanks buddy only trouble now is I wont want to use them  

 what no doughnuts  

 the destroyer has a moment when he realises that he had forgotten to bring the doughnuts

 lunch time soup hot rolls and monster fish on the tv life is good , as you can see the destroyer is now free-styling with his flies basally choosing a material he likes and tying it with the methods ive shown him , the pink fly he did was a cracker anyway the day went far to fast and before I knew it that was it finish time kids arriving home from school and stuff so that was it for another week and with the forecast being quite awful for the next 2 weeks looks like next week will again be a tying day  

 I had some fly orders to finish off so there wasn’t much time today for experimentation but we did manage to play with a few colours the results are below , im experimenting with blending ep at the moment as I like the idea of 2 colour blended flies hopefully when my ep arrives this week ill have some new patterns to show next week all being well and I dont stuff it up

 (this fly is around 7 inchs long )
hook – 6/0
thread – phantom thread
belly – electric chartreuse
back – our blend of green and olive ep
flash – uv green blobtail (from castlefeathers on ebay)
eye 8mm black

 (this fly is around 7 inchs long )
hook – 6/0
thread – phantom thread
belly – electric chartreuse
back – olive ep
flash – gold blobtail (from castlefeathers on ebay)
eye 8mm black

the results  

 looks like hes pretty much got it now so im looking forward to seeing some of his own ties

see ya next week
a cave in scotland

Friday 11 January 2013

and were off


indeed it is very positive. ive got a whole heap of stuff going on this year and a lot of it will include hairy sidekick the destroyer which include tackling some monster night feeding predatory brown trout in the summer on the surface at an undisclosed location in the highlands with floating baitfish flies (that is really going to be a blast) .

I’m also on a mission to get a big perch from a local venue that I know are there but had little success last year , although I wasn’t trying that hard really , there’s also some saltwater opportunities that im looking into and of course im heading to the usa in october after musky and big northerns (and maybe the odd bass or two) ill be doing this in the company of my brother from another mother and vermont fly guy ken capsey having fished in vermont with ken before and catching over
200 fish in a week im really looking forward to that trip .

And of course the fly tying , ive got thousands of ideas floating around for various patterns and no doubt there will be some new colours of gliss and glint plus to throw a spanner in my plans

im also going to be doing a bit of wild brown trout fishing this year something ive not done for a while , the other thing ill being doing and notice I said “doing” and not maybe is to get the destroyer his first double figure pike , he came so close last year but the fish chucked the hook , nothing to do with the destroyers fishing ability’s it was just one of those things so that's high on the cards seeing his big beaming doughnut shaped face with a large croc in his arms .

First tie of 2013 
 I was on the skype the other day and brother redneck was tying up bucktail baitfish which I thought looked really cool so I tied one up but I used a thin layer of gliss and glint plus matching the colour of the bucktail on the back to add some length to the fly , there is some fibers out there that you cant mix with other fibres but so far ive used gliss and glint plus with ep fibre , slinky fibre , sf fibre , deerhair and DNA and it mixes quite well with these if you mix the likes of congo hair (called funky fibre in this country ) with the likes of ep or the fibres mentioned they don’t take well with each other and act pretty bad in the water so stay well clear .

Anyway the fly aboves recipe
(highlighted is the links to products used)
hook – esox 2 5/0
thread – phantom thread
belly – white bucktail
back – olive bucktail

the bucktail in this picture is pretty much generic you can use whatever you favorite brand is I favour the buctail from orvis and the glasgow angling center as a close second if I cant get the colors I need from orvis  


 im thinking im needing a clean up in the cave or maybe some more boxes to keep stuff in , I usually come up with some great storage solutions while sitting tying flies unfortunately I usually forget what they are the next day   

 the boards starting to fill up again and im in need of a bit of a tidy up putting fly boxes away and stuff because by the end of this mouth this board will be full and then they will be heading over to if you fancy some new flies tied directly by me and not some tribesman in a mudhut in Kenya

Small is beautiful

 I saw with interest an article in a fishing magazine which was written by a guy in the UK called Dominic Garrett in which he ties a funky little fly with horns for coarse fish in the UK I actually really liked his design and the way it works so I tied a couple up using diamond hard flex .

I do love to tie smaller stuff now and again it takes me back to my roots as a young child living on the banks of the river tweed and because I lived in a castle in fact the one in the picture below

yea yea I hear you say but actually I did , as a young boy my dad was a butler here to the duke of roxburgh and we lived on the premises and the river tweed in front of the castle is where I started my fly fishing life I think I was around 8 or 9 years old , I used to go down to river with my dad and watch him (try) and fly fish for trout he caught a few and it sparked my interest as a hobby it wasn’t till I was around 10 or 11 that I was given a small wooden box with some feathers and other fly tying stuff and I started making small flies like march browns which I got quite good, at after a short space of time I progressed to greenwells glory’s and butchers in fact these were the only flies I ever used as a kid because they caught me trout , grayling and sea trout from this stretch of the tweed all season I knew nothing about hatches and the like , Id get home from school grab my cheap woolworths fly rod walk across the field and fish for an hour catch fish and then go home for food id do this every chance I got and my crude little homemade flies kept me entertained all summer .

So its nice to sometimes get back to my roots after long periods of tying big predator munches now im noway in the same league as people like Conan the doughnut and other guys out there that I respect for there skills like Fred hannie , Andy Saunders, ulf hagstrom indeed just check out pro team on deercreeks website or facebook page to see some of the most fantastic creations out there

class nymph courtesy of the destroyer

 im now gearing up the fly tying again and I was asked to do a quick video to make a tube fly for pike , as you probably know ive messed with tubes before and am still undecided about them for pike and predators but I shall be fishing them a lot more this year to get a wider picture on there usefulness , in the meantime here’s a little video I did

 so we have a lot of really horrible weather on the way which for me equates to more time at the vice , I had a tying day planned with conan today ,the last few weeks its been called of due to illness both fro me and conan and work stuff so I was really looking forward to getting together for a chinwag and some tying but it again wasn't to be this week ,

at the start of the week I came down with the dreaded noro virus but by Thursday afternoon I was feeling great so I texted the doughnut to arrange a time and what we were going to tie , then this morning (Friday) my step daughter came down with it , then my wife came home from school sick (no my wife isn’t a schoolgirl she’s a teacher just in case you were raising an eyebrow) so today was also called off sorry pal pencil in next week this will be waiting for you buddy

 see ya soon

(a cave in Scotland)