Tuesday 6 October 2015

standing the test of time


I had an afternoons guided planned , probably the last day i could access the boats on my favourite loch and i was well looking forward to it , although i had to scale stuff down to a mobile bag with basics , wallet of flies , unhooking gear , etc , and that let me tell you is no easy feat with the amount of gear i have  , but when i packed the bag i found i had a spare pocket what do i do with that well obviously chuck in another box of flies just in case as we as anglers do , never have too many flies in your box so a box of gurglers and bangers was chucked in, well you never know when some top water sport will present itself 

so headed off and the weather was showing blowing a westerly at 25mph . now although this sounds like quite lumpy for boat fishing its actually fine when fishing this loch and not really an issue , so full of excitement at the thought of some airborne fighting fit predators going nuts on the fly i arrived with client at loch. 

what i hadn't bargained for was getting there to find the wind had shifted to an easterly gusting to 45mph this is probably the worst conditions for this loch and there was no way i was going to risk going out in that let alone chucking big flies about . again ill say no fish is worth risking your own safety and life just don't do it folks there's always another day , but ive rebooked so hopefully ill get another one in before the boats come out. 


the biggest question I always get is to my leader set up , back in the early days we used pretty much standard pike dead bait traces without the hooks opting for a cross lock swivel instead of nasty trebles  , then we started using fox soft steel wire to make our traces which was ok but you did find they suffered from chaffing on the wire from fish and you’d have to change it quite often , then the titanium revolution happened and to be honest it was great stuff until you discover that it acts like a cheese wire on the fish and if a fish takes a fly deeper in the mouth then you’re going to slice up its lips so that’s now been binned (saw it happen once to a lure angler not nice) please don’t use this for fly fishing it’s just not good for the fishes health .

We then had the range of wire from America hit these shores by forward thinking fly anglers , things like pro leader , surflux etc. , but even these came with their problems , being expensive to start with and most of the time when I used it I found that it was a bit to shiny in the water although it probably doesn't mater to the fish , it bothered me as an angler as I was sure it was off putting to the fish I may be wrong but that was my general thoughts and I ended up colouring the stuff with black marker pens to take the shine of it  ,

This obviously aint the ideal thing to do as it takes a lot of time and is a pain in backside , so I had priviously been using fluorocarbons in the 90 to 120lb range for most of my pike fly fishing and before the “you can’t do that” brigade start I can tell you I did not lose any fish to bite offs with this method , but and it’s a big but , I always had in the back of my mind it could happen although it never did and at the time it was top of the tree where traces were concerned for pike fly fishing .

That was until I came across Authanic wire , I was quite amazed at the quality of this trace material it handles like a braided line which makes it completely knot able which is really quite incredible just check the video , ive now had countless fish on Authanic wire and to date I have not needed to change it to another product , this really is a breakthrough material when it comes to trace material and I can’t think of any product out there that is better than this stuff you may think it’s expensive but actually its bloody good value for money as you can catch multiple fish on a length without having to change it so it actually works out better value than wire , if you haven’t tried Authanic then give it a go and it will change the way you think about leader materials for predators ,ive now been using it for nearly six years and i still have the utmost confidence in its ability that pretty much speaks volumes in my book , do yourself a favour and get some  


bog standard plain old marabou flies, you know when i started tying pike flies all those years ago we had nothing in the way of synthetics no not even ep fibre marabou was the best thing available to us along with chicken feathers and rabbit strips but as you know chucking wet rabbit strips is like chucking a wet sock around , oh home times have changed .

marabou has great properties in the water and has fantastic movement when paused and is the ideal fly to get you started when tying there's a few step by step on my you tube channel you wanna check em out , but marabou still on its days will out fish all other flies .theres a massive range of colours out there and endless possibility's in design, give em a shot  

 so today i have the choice of doing housework or tying flies bet you can guess the outcome there folks 

see ya on the water 

(a cave in scotland)

Saturday 3 October 2015

living on the edge

indeed shit happens , as youve probably noticed ive not posted in a little while well pressures of work and all that and then to cap it all my laptop goes kaput , bang , not working , now to be honest im not on a massive wedge of money for what i do (god i should be) so its taken me a while a while but i know a guy on facebook (itjeff) bless him who rescues my laptop when it dies from my abuse of it , so took me a while to get round to it , so then i gets it home goes on a 24 hour shift come home 24 hours later to find out my effing freezer had packed up and all my food was ruined ....you know its like some f@@ked up version of feris bullers day off .

so its been a f@@ked up year yup it surely has but its not as f@@ked up as the year before as regular readers of my ramblings will know , but to be honest ive hardly fished this year pressures of work and keeping a roof over my head has had to be a priority , dont mean i haven't been sitting on my backside though indeed not , been tying bucket loads unfortunately ive not been able to post pictures of the flies due to, well folks i tie for not wanting there patterns know out there on the interweb but dispersed in-between my ramblings is some stuff ive been doing for my own boxes , indeed like i need more flys buhahahahahahah   

so you know although ive not been overly active on the blog front i have been watching whats going on in the pike fly fishing world and ive got to say WTF is it with all these rubber tail wiggle fly bollocks i mean seriously is it needed are we pushing boundaries too far well actually these latest round of must have flys (and i use the term flys lightly) are too me actual bloody verging on lures for spinning rods , you know way back in the early days of pike fly fishing in this country i making a fly called "franken flies" which were basically rubber sandeels with the heads cut off and spun deer heads with dumbell eyes and you know i got laughed at for doing these , dont get me wrong they caught a few fish but mabey its because im a pike fly purist (if theres such a thing) i felt weird using them but you know a few years ago it was the flashtail whistler was the must have fly and now its these monstrosities with they big wiggle tails ......FFS just go but a lure rod give up the flies your nearly there already and you know what they look like way too complicated changing tails and all that bollocks seriously WTF , do they catch more fish than normal flys NO PEOPLE ITS A FAD DESIGNED TO CATCH ANGLERS i mean whats next year going to bring , bloody crankbaits and jerkbaits for fly rods can you see where this is heading , i mean really .........BAN THE RUBBER NOW its just not fly fishing go back to prober flys dont be a feckin lemming , but if you wanna fish then go for it i just dont see the point they catch no more fish than trad materials  and cost a 
bloody bomb ridiculous 

ok so rant over about rubbery stuff and ive been playing with mixing up materials and playing with what various bits and ive come up with some , well i think some pretty cool 7 inch baitfish , now all ive done here is tied in an underbody of white superhair  and placed some deercreeks gliss and glint plus over the top , what this achived is creating body profile along with some lovely flashy bits in it along the body and if that aint good enough ive added some angel hair around the head (the yellow) , teased out into the body and then ive placed ep sparkle(olive) over the back added an 9mm eye and sealed the head with deer creeks uv fine .........and achived quite a nice looking baitfish pattern , 

same idea as above but ive added a red gill area but used slightly more materials to create a wider bodied fly 

ok so thin one again with no gill flash colour but plenty of flash 

yea floats my boat spotted a bit of orange fibre there not part of the build just my useless photography

had an urge to do an all flash fly after using the flash on the previous flys , quite a simply fly to make and ive found very effective seet of fish a volcano (i think) eye from deercreek and finished with diamond flex 
hook - 2/0 stainless
belly - yellow orvis angel hair 
back - ep olive sparkle 
eye - volcano eye from deercreek
head -finished with diamond flex uv 
bloody cameras i hate em , i find in my cave i need to do videos and picture in the early afternoon to make the most of the best light obviously im no david bailey

although ive not really fished much this year im still enjoying tying i find tying flies a very peaceful thing gets me a real zen place i sort a lot of my day to day problems sitting doing this mabey more of our worlds leaders should do this im sure the world would be a better place   

those final few moments when your just about to tie off and you know youve nailed it  

my lastest of the vice cw"s fancy , why the name well all will become clear soon 

again a mix of gliss and glint plus and peacock herl and has turned out really nice im loving mixing naturals and synthetics and using peacock herl for backs is one of my favourites just now seeing these things work in the water is quite a sight give it a try , when you tie a fly tie in a few pieces and see what you think , you can always cut them off if you dont like it but it really does add a new dimension to tying 

so a few things in the pipeline for the winter months and im going to be teaching a lovely lady to tie flies and then fish them in the spring this is something im really looking forward too as i love to teach , im also working on some epoxy headed predator flies for spinning rods which is quite a learning curve  and a lot of fun to do so hopefully ill have some pics up soon.

so if your out there stay safe this winter 
(a cave in scotland)