Sunday 28 April 2013

2 men a loch a vice and a doughnut

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finally after what seemed like an age the team got out to throw some flies after green meanies the weather was looking ok although somewhat on the cold side but we really needed to get out

my boat box had been in and out of the cave at least half a dozen times to add a few more flies check lines making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything you know how it is before a trip men and there toys , so the day before all the rods were out and everything was ready to go and to be honest I was slightly excited to be hitting the water …....

well that was until I got a phone call saying the boats had not yet been put in the water because the road to the venue was still blocked with snow and had only been cleared that morning oh bugger , rather than cancel the trip we just decided to stick some waders in the car and fish from the bank , although this would cut down the amount of water we could target I did feel quite confident about us catching .

I spent quite a bit of time in the area above which is usually good for a few jacks although casting is somewhat limited because of trees behind me it was a case of getting in the water and side casting the bank and let me tell you the water was bloody freezing luckily ive had all the children I could ever want which is probably just as well because after today im sure I wont ever have anymore  

talking of trees the destroyer was having some fun getting caught up them and I got this shot of him having retrieved his fly from the branches it wasnt till I got home that I thought it reminded me of something and well there you go mystery solved ….............  

we fished fairly hard around the banks that we could access but we didnt have so much as a pull I was getting the feeling that the fish wernt playing ball but we carried on anyway aint gonna catch if your fly isn’t in the water but it was still bloody cold ….

we continued to fish round the banks with not much going on so I decide to head to a corner near a valve tower on the dam wall for no other reason than I hadn’t been there yet I also changed my fly to a pike sized gummy minnow in silver with a green back , just to try and spark a response as these flies have a great wiggle and flash to them and second cast I had a small jack swirl at it just under the surface , this was enough to get my focus so I got another cast out in the area . I then a few cast later had a large brown trout around 5 or 6 lbs follow my fly and roll away pretty much 6 feet away from the rod tip …..

this was enough to shout the destroyer over as there was obviously a bit of activity around this area and there was plenty of room so without asking twice he was round in a flash and within a few casts he was into a fish , however it wasnt a green lump it was more of the stocked rainbow trout varity 

although it wasn’t our intended target to be honest it was just good to get a pull on a day like this to be honest and conan was more than pleased as it was his first of the year I think by the end of the day we must have hit around 40 odd fish between us and great fun

ive got flies bigger than that 

lovely colours and fin perfect not you average stockie 

the destroyers fishin wagon also passes as a mobile recycling plant 

I mean really am I supposed to sit amongst all that although to be fair I think one item maybe mine , so with that we fired up the in car entertainment and pumped out so metal although the plan for today didnt quite work out how we wanted it was still great to get out and throwing flies and hell theres always next week 

and before we know it, it’ll be summer again and we will be in among all sorts of craziness again , the weather is still playing havoc a bit and even the best laid plans are going a bit to pot but the thing o love about fly fishing is even if you cant get out there’s always flies to tie speaking of which


as always im forever at the vice trying new things and playing with old patterns well this week has been no different and having finished a private shop order I got back on it for me and his destroyerness again with my ties you can click on the links within the recipes to go to the site selling it or you can souce it from wherever you like 

a simple little baitfish to make this one and consists of nothing more that supreme hair from deercreek a bit of flash and a touch up (oh er Mrs) with a marker pen

hook – owner stinger 6/0
thread – phantom thread
belly – chartreuse supreme hair
back – olive supreme hair
flash – magnum flashbou (gold)

hook – owner stinger 6/0
thread – phantom thread
eye – piketrek 8mm

hook – tactical lazer 6/0
thread – phantom thread
belly – fluro chartreuse ep fibre
back – olive ep fibre
flash – chartreuse angel hair

thread – phantom thread
body -white ep fibre
flash – white angel hair
flash gill – red angel hair
eye – hookeye and fly 8mm 

thread – phantom thread
body – 3d mullet ep fibre
flash – angel hair peacock
eye – gator eye

hook – owner stinger 6/0
thread – phantom thread
body – olive ep fibre
flash – peacock angel hair
eye – pike trek 8mm

all my flies are whipped off and sealed with diamond hard tack free uv

so with that I bid you tight lines till next time enjoy
(a cave in Scotland)

Tuesday 16 April 2013

SBS gummy pike fly

(no fly tying equipment needed)

Gummys are a fantastic little bait-fish fly for all manner of predator species , here’s a version I make for pike . Now you may think you couldn't make these in any decent size for pike but you’d be wrong you can actually make them as large as you like myself I like to make them in the 3 to 4 inch range this size will do just as well as any of the larger pike patterns .

You will need 

hooks – this pattern im using a 6/0
eyes – 8mm gator eyes
squid skin
a pro marker (olive)
a pair of sharp scissors
glue or epoxy (to stick the eye on)
(suppliers at the botttom of the page)

1- cut a four inch by 1 inch rectangular piece of squid skin and fold in half

2- start cutting downwards

3 - start cutting the rounded belly shape of a baitfish on the up cut towards the tail  

4 – this is the shape your aiming for , if you using smaller hooks simply reduce the size of the squid skin and if you want it larger increase the size of the rectangle 

5 – place the squid skin on the hook and check for size and make sure you don't mask too much of the hook gape you can at this point trim around the bottom to adjust the shape and size as you like

6 – when your happy peel away the backing try not to touch the sticky side 

7 – place the sticky side on the shaft so the sticky side is facing you , then fold over very slowly and match the edges together , start at the head end and work back , this stops any air bubbles being trapped (if you do get an air bubble just prick it with a needle) 

8 – when you’ve folded the squid skin and its stuck together this is what your left with

9 – now take you pro marker and add the back color (ive chosen an olive color but use what ever you like )

10 – mix up a small amount of epoxy
(of course you can if you wish use glue , I chose epoxy as the weight helps with the action of the fly in the water ) glue will still work but you’ll get a slower sink rate and a slightly different action because of the weight difference over epoxy 

11 – add a small blob of epoxy on each side

12 – place the eyes on 

13 – and allow to cure (I use a rotary dryer s I do around 10 of each in one go) if your using five min epoxy and making one at a time you can just hold it till it cures 

and there you have it a very fast to make versatile baitfish and no fly tying tools needed
(I used a vice in some pics so I could take pictures)

try different shapes and smaller hooks there all good and catch fish
the sky’s the limit with these

for squid skin please contact nick at

happy tying 
(a cave in Scotland)

Sunday 7 April 2013


It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of one of the angling industry’s legends steve parton , I knew Steve some years back when I lived in derby and worked in nottingham and steves little industrial unit making all sorts of fly fishing gear and dyed feathers rods and float tubes was half way between the too in long eaton so quite often I used to pop in for a bag of maribou or other material .

Back then maribou was the only real material I used to make large pike flies with and used to go into steves unit at least once a week to buy it , he was asked what I was doing with all the maribou , I then showed him a 12 inch mauler fly made from just maribou he laughed and said you need a bloody 20wgt to cast that bugger I can build you one if you want.

Steve was just one of the people I think you'd call him a marmite bloke (love him or hate him) because he always spoke exactly what he thought and that let me tell you used to ruffle a few feathers but a nice guy honestly you couldn’t meet , it wasnt even that long ago that I bought some chenille from him and he included a few extras with a card saying “free gift because im retiring”

I suspect steve will be at the pearly gates just now giving god an earfull , steve also did a whole lot more which will be no doubt covered by the magazine he wrote but this is just my way of saying see ya later fella 

steve you will be sadly missed mate  

a beautiful day in the deep freeze

So by some miracle last Friday all the eliminates came together and we were able to get out to fish , we choose to go into the salty stuff to chase bass and pollock to say we were excited was an understatement , when your sitting tying flies all winter and its so cold the lochs have frozen over so you couldn't get out even if we wanted too and the cool flies are piling up on the tying board well it was enough to drive us to drink , so when the opportunity to go fish came up we jumped at it …...

A beautiful day in the deep freeze

 after a short drive from my house we reached are chosen and due to the destroyers weak bladder he took the sign literally   

 it was a beautiful day in the fish tank although to be honest the wind had shifted and was blowing a bloody freezing wind into us (I now know where the term freeze dried means) this was not what I expected and the omens wernt good but hell ain’t gonna catch a fish without a fly in the water.

As it turned out this spot was a no go for me as the waders I had on wernt the best for scrambling around rocks as they had zero stretch in them mental note neoprene next time , so I directed the destroyer to the spot where ive had fish before but I wasnt holding out much hope as I suspected that the fish just wernt there .

 After a few cast into the surf I suspected the destroyer wasnt to confident in my madness so we de camped to another spot on the beach the tide had about 90 mins left till high tide so I was still confident despite the bitterly cold wind , we fished like devils for the next 30 mins jumping waves and getting flies into the zone , much to the amusement of the 3 bait chuckers to our left who by the way were in the spot that I wanted and wernt about to move anytime soon , so with the tide nearly up I decided on one quick spot change to another spot I knew further up around the point

we fished the other area for the remainder of the tide but we didnt have even so much as a sniff of a fish ok so to be honest I dont know why although I suspect we may just have been too early in the year and the fish were just not responsive to flies because of the cold I really don’t know but although frustrated by the lack of fish we were still glad to be out fishing .

Slim but deadly

 ok so although we didnt catch I knew it wasn’t down to the flies as I have supreme confidence in the sandeel fly above but you know sometimes its just the way it is and at least it wasnt snowing …...

so we headed back up the road with the stereo blasting out some funky progressive heavy metal tunes and already talking about the up coming pike trip next week confidence is high were ready  


 I had a large pike pimped bunnybug order to fill last week so I set about getting it done , I had actually run out of white magnum strips but no problem while I was doing the other ones the white would be on its way to me via an internet order , or so I thought , id jumped on to ebay and bought a pack of what I thought was magnum zonker strips but sometimes ebay buys ain’t what they seem and when the pack arrived it was probably OK for large trout flies but for pike if was a no no …....

so I set about checking my favourite online suppliers and for some reason none had them seriously it seemed like all the white magnum zonker strips had simply vanished overnight why is beyond me even the guys at pikeshack didn’t have any white, I eventually found some after a few hours hunting around again on ebay so I ordered them and sat back and breathed a sigh of relief it wouldn’t be here for a couple of days so I decided to muck around with some extra olive zonker strips that I had  

 and the result was this mad looking pimped bunny bug with massive eyes actually I really love this and think it will do quite well for the pike , the eyes are no super new design they are just bog standard Christmas decorations yup every year I see them sitting there on the Christmas tree and every year I swipe a line of them and the next year the wife says “have you seen the Christmas decorations” no dear , more are bought and after Christmas they find there way into my supplies box and so the cycle continues my dear wife thinks shes going crazy

oh and the zonker strips came , but they were still the wrong size , i ended up going into Edinburgh and seeing if the lovley guys and gals from orvis could help me , well would you believe it they only had them in stock on the shelf now isnt there a lesson to be learnt there 


dont get me wrong ive tied big tandems before in fact all those years ago back in the 90s I used tie a fly called a mauler which was made from all maribou and was great in the water but when it was wet it was like casting a big wet sock so I didnt really pursue making them although I did actually sell quite a few , so fast forward to a couple of months ago and fellow deercreek pro staff pter dahlstrom and ben treppa from had been doing a few lately and it got my mind thinking about big hungry mommas so with the advent of lighter materials like gliss and glint plus I could make up some monsters that actually would weigh very little

highland pike mk1 16 inch

 the highland pike why the highland pike well no reason its just a name :-) the way to build these is actually fairly simple although does take a lot of time because its articulated and despite the look there is very little in the way of materials in this which really does add a lot of movement in the water so the first one I was quite pleased about but decided that I wanted something with a different colour and slimmer profile so had a re think and came up with

LOWLAND JACK mk1 17 inch

 so the principles in the tie are the same as the highland but ive scaled back on the gliss and glint plus and although you may not see it ive custom blended some yellow in with green to give it a more jack type look and ive added a pair of large googly eyes to it and blacked them out with sharpies before sticking them on this one is really floating my boat and im pretty sure im going to do ok on this this year better make 2 each as one will no doubt find its way into the destroyers box


 theres some great coloured lures out there and if you think you cant match those classic colors
with flies then think again of course you can and if you think a little outside the box then you can really get some great and unusual colours on the go , ive done this with this classic fire tiger pattern. ive mixed orange gliss and glint plus with a plain yellow synthetic fibre and added a few strands of magnum gold flashbou and the result is a very nice colour combo hard to see in the picture but there is a really nice even mix of color on this variation of a classic

 the other thing you may not realise is that you can also troll these on conventional fishing tackle simply buy adding a wiggle fin at the front of the lure (I pre build them on short wire traces) they can be trolled nicely behind a boat or even better if you have a down rigger these will be deadly sometimes it just pays to think outside the norm.

“if you wish to puchchase any of these the link is here”


  nick over at has just started stocking supreme hair if you havent used it before it makes great small baitfish patterns or even better sandeels the fly above is tied on a 4/0 clouser hook and is around 7 Inchs long (if memory serves me right ,im at work just now writing this) and this particular pattern will catch fish really anywhere you fish it both freshwater and saltwater , if you havent tried this style of fly before the you really should it takes no time to tie and is deadly in the right circumstances if your not sure on how to tie these there is a step by step on my tying predator flies website here (this a free to use and share website and I make zero money from it are you listening mikey pikey zero , nowt , nothing) just for the love people


 also hot of the starting blocks this week are some new thinner but twice as rattly rattles , im a big fan of rattles for murky water or jig flies and these fit the bracket very nicely for smaller patterns , if you need any help on tying with rattles heres the link to my free website (did you see that mikey wilson from paas I said free as its always been)

£2.75 for 20 you just cant go wrong at that price heres the blurb from uncle greg at piketrek and trust me uncle greg know what hes talking about

"Our pike fly rattles have proved so popular that we just had to have some longer ones made for using in bigger flies.
These are a full 5mm longer than our standard rattles, which means that the balls inside have much more room to move around in resulting in a much louder rattling sound. There is also more air trapped inside to improve the neutral buoyancy once they're submerged, which means that they won't affect the way your flies fish.
The greater length actually improves their usefulness in another way, as it makes them more simple to use. Daft as it may sound, having more rattle length to cover up and hide makes it much easier to tie flies as there is more room to tie other materials to.
I had a mess around with these when they first arrived the other day and I was impressed by how easy they were to use and how I could whip fibres along the sides. They cover over really easily with Spectrum Fibre whipped and varnished over them and a simple body dressed over the top tied down in front of the rattle.
I've yet to try the flies I made but they look really good and I can't imagine them not working really well, especially in water that is carrying some colour. And they're loud!
If it's noisy flies you're looking for then try these!"

 A massive shout out to my brother from another mother and vermont fly guy ken “i like barbie” capsey who actually got out to do some chucking with small zonker leeches and stumbled on a this rather nice looking trout respect bro .

Well the blog as you may have noticed has been a little quite over the winter with me posting only 1 post every 2 or 3 weeks , this is simply down to not fishing due to the garbage weather we have had , normally I start to venture out after predators come feb but with winter continuing right through to pretty much spring with ice and snow still on the ground its been a hard start so ive not had that much to write about really except myself and the destroyers fly tying antics over the winter .

This will hopefully be changing in the coming weeks and id just like to thank all those folks who still kept coming back over the winter and left comments for me on my sparse posts and those fellow bloggers who like me kept at it during the quiet spells …....cheers heres to a cracking year of tight lines and bent rods

and to the arseholes out there both near and far “FACE BOTHERED”

(a cave in scotland)