Sunday 21 February 2016

manflu and tying


well yes i got it bad , i went into work and my manager took one look at me and said go home dave , to be fair i wasnt feeling great so took the advice and thought id tough it out relax and do a few flies till it was done but viruses can be cruel and by the time i got home i was feeling quite rough so took to the couch wrapped up in a blanket with crap daytime tv , it was hell as i could see my vice sitting a few feet away from me but just did not have the energy to do anything , i sat this was for a few days until yesterday when i finally gave in and headed to the holy seat of fluffy doom and got my brain in gear, manflu is a terrible thing 


first thing i had to do was some things for brian over at highland guided fishing , all top secret stuff for ferox so no pictures but they look the dogs danglers as my esteemed mate would say and look forward to see how he does on them (think hes out next weekend so look forward seeing to the results) although knowing brian im guessing a few tweeks will be involved,   

so keeping in theme of going back to my roots fishing naturals i have a fair few patters still to make before i hit the water again hopefully on the canal if it ever becomes unfrozen (this is scotland maybey june before that happens) im stocking up on some old favourite colours and materials  so my boxes this year will no doubt be filled with bucktail , marabou , and various feathers of sorts flies 

in scotland especially on the lochs ive always done well with black and yellow patterns mabey due to them being trouty type colours which a lot of wild fish feed on in the lochs but ive always done well on them , so a quick marabou and sclappine feather fly with a few strands of gold flashbou and another pike catcher is done , i usually tye a few of the same pattern as theres nothing worse having a catching colour and losing it up a tree or on some underwater snag or even worse feeling sorry for you non catching boat partner which when you do lend a fly you never see it again as it ends up in his box , yea we all have that friend dont we .

latest off the vice is this badass , i took the idea from flies and natural materials guru ken capsey who does some great patterns and naturals are his go to flies for pike and musky , although it looks big and bulky its actually not ive just used the hollow tye method to give it big profile the materials on these flies work well together and are very mobile in the water , even with the slowest of twitches they pulse and sparkle and depending what hook you use they hang with almost neutral buoyancy in the water in fact i remember testing some in crystal clear water last winter and be very surprised at how good they hang and so looking forward to fishing them this year 

when im tying large flies i sometimes have a pile of material left over so ultimately ill gather it together and add the the ever growing perch box , i really hope this year the perch appreciate the effort im going through to catch the feckers .

its not that my flies dont catch perch in fact the 4lb fish below was caught by good friend ernie firth on one of my down n dirty pike flies , its just i think i need to put more effort into catching them i think hence the canal i think is my best bet . 


the great ernisto

i feel blessed to have some great fishing friends and i keep a very close circle of people who i fish with as unfortunately a lot of people only want to fish with you for there own ends be it fishing spots or the methods or flies you use  and this is especially true in these days of social media so i like to keep it close and most of the guys i fish with have become firm friends and fishing pals .

in fact ive just come of the phone with ernie and didnt realise how long its been since we fished together so we have made a couple of plans for this year where ernie will visit scotland and ill travel down to the badlands of england to fish with him again and im looking forward to that a lot , every time ive fished with him its always been a great laugh even if we blank , i laughed a lot today when he told me the story when he fished with a 2wgt for roach on his local and saw a bow wave cast to it and then realised it was a carp of around 25lb which promptly took off and left him with no line on his reel and needing new underwear .....looking forward to fishing with him again soon  spare pants are packed    

brother ken on tv chasing pickerel

this is me a few years ago with a chain pickerel a member of the esox family and this is probably an average sized fish as they dont go very big up to about 3 lbs i belive but pound for pound these fish really kick up a stink when hooked and are fantastic sport , brother ken loves fishing for them and recently appeared on local tv chasing these fun rockets , click the link below to see ken chasing them, top job brother  

so with that im off to check my reels and do a little maintenance on my gear , maybe make some new leaders  and hopefully tye some more flies 

tight lines 
(a cave in scotland)

Tuesday 9 February 2016

bit chilly

bloody cold up north 

so into February and dam its cold , and the uk seems to have been battered by storms for the whole of January , i mean its bad enough fly fishing in winter (well unless your in some hot country) but add to that howling mad Gertrude , jenny, helga or what ever they call the bloody storms and throwing flies about is positively suicidal chucking large lumps of fluff around so i for one have stayed firmly in my cave waiting for better weather .

ok so being in the cave and not fishing usually means tying flies but unfortunately not as its bloody freezing in here so ive been trawling facebook and the internet looking at what other folks have been tying and those poor sods that have been out there catches , alternatively ive also been watching fly vs jerk , now if you haven't seen this on the edge of your seat series then seriously go take a look it brilliant , i think a Scottish version should be made although if its done with the facebook group (lure fishing scotland) it will have to have subtitles , lots of bleeping out of everyday scottish words , and shown after the watershed and be warned theres some right ugly buggers as well , anyway heres clip of the new upcoming episode go check em out 

also really looking forward to what i call project ferox which involves some very special things for half man half fish brian from  been enjoying this project so far with some completely outside the box thinking on flies which acounted for a nice ferox at the end of last year for Brian so looking forward to this coming season .  by the way if you wish to book brian for a trip check out his website or facebookpage 
brian is without doubt the best guide there and his boat and fish finding skills are second to none , and hes one of the funniest people ive ever been fishing with a barrel of laughs and a million funny story's so  if you fancy a custom fishing package in some of the most stunning scenery in the world with the the best then get over to his site and book it . 

check his gadgetry out he can pick out a discarded pair of forceps out in 40 feet of water 

so introduced my lovely fisher lady to the fine art of fly tying a few weeks ago and has to be said shes going to take to it like a natural , she is very creative so i dont think it will take much for her to be churning out some fine flies and im looking forward to getting out fishing with her soon and probably putting mine to shame womans a natural :-) 

so when am i getting out fishing , well thats the big question , i think im going to probably start my year on the local canal , im still chasing those bloody perch so probably the best place to start with some new smaller flies ive been doing , but me and perch have a chequered past so dont hold your breath .

so also this year ive found a cracking mark for saltwater fly fishing for mackerel yup the humble mackerel , but such great sport on a fly rod turbo charged mini tuna and on a 7wgt they are so much fun , so started making up some simple flies for them , lightweight and flashy is pretty all much you need and they will get destroyed eventually so quick cheap and easy is the way to go .

made from flashbou, thin profile like a sandeel and finished with deercreeks uv resin these things take literally a couple of mins to make so you can make enough in an evening to do quite a few sessions i may even try them for perch . roll on summer .

bucking the trend

ok so want to talk a little about pike flies in general , you know when i started way back in the day , and im talking way back when i was being told it will never catch on and if i turned up at a lake people would shout at me "no trout in here mate" and the only materials we had were bucktail and marabou .

so oh how times have changed , i remember back in the day a revolutionary new fly was designed by a guy called alan hannah in ireland called the ballydoolagh bomber .

make no mistake this was a revolution in pike flies and alan released a book and video (yes vhs video) called "fly fishing for big pike" this was mind blowing at the time and the must have fly in any pike fly fishers box and indeed alans video and book probably started off a whole new generation of pike fly fishers (although a amount of them gave up as they were deadbaiters who couldn't work out how to cast flies , i call it natural selection) but heres the thing if you got a group of pike fly anglers together and asked them to open there fly boxes i bet there would be around 1% of them who would actually own one .

now that bring me to an interesting point because fast forward to a couple of years ago and Everyman and his dog owned or wanted a dan blantons flashtail whistler 

now the flashtail was a good fly but was it any better than the ballydoolagh well actually probably not but because a few people caught a couple of large pike on them every bugger became an instant flashtail tying expert and like lemmings the part time predator fly anglers were snapping them up as well , but was it any better well no it wasnt but thats not saying it wasnt a good fly it was just as good as the ballydoolagh but people stopped using the it as the whistler was the to be seen with pattern , now i still fish the whistler but catches me no more or no less than other flies . 

so fast forward to 2016 and we have this wiggletail from Giovanni de pace from gdp fly dressing 

now nothing at all wrong with this fly , but is it any better than than the ballydoolah or the whistler , well actually no its just the next must have fly that everybody wants in there box this year , will it catch you bigger and better and more than the afore mentioned flies well no it wont and trying to keep up with the guy in the next boat if you dont tye your own is going to cost you a bloody fortune .

so if you add into the mix all the new synthetic flies that are out there like mine below 

well thats a whole heap of fluff to be dragging around , and well im as guilty as the next guy although i havent yet bothered with the wiggle tails as i was doing them many many years ago in the form of franken flies and well they didnt catch me more or less than any other flies i own 

so heres the thing , this year im only going to fish my old school natural flies for pike absolutely no synthetics are going to be used by me in my pike fly fishing this year im going right back to the beginning with marabou , bucktail and feathers and you know i cant wait to try this i think its going to be an eye opening year .

ok so now and again i do a few bits for the guys over at i find there blog interesting and thought provoking and actually they have some darn fine articles including the latest on staying warm while fishing in winter so give them a click and have a read , they have some great articles for the pike fly fisher as well as general fishing stuff .


this is my brother from another mother and one of vermonts greatest natural flies fly fisher ken capsey i really miss this dude since he came off facebook and only communicate through email now , love ya bro 

i really miss our 3am coffee on my trips to vermont where ken would try and shoot the coffee cup from my hand with his bow and arrow ken bro i miss your ugly redneck face .

so with that i bid you all farewell until my next post, hopefully not as long now the weather is getting warmer and my fingers are no longer lumps of ice and i can type again 


(a cave in scotland)