Saturday 16 September 2017

a grand day out


so decided to head with duke up to the lovely lomond hills fishery  in fife to chase after pike and perch , im not going to go into my history with perch that is well documented as i cant catch the bloody things by design.  

so with duke arriving fashionably late due to apparently some new dvds he received and stayed up late to watch them  (im not going to go into further detail) we headed over to the kingdom of of fife thankfully its around an hours drive so i didn't have to put up with him singing along to Japanese power ballads for long .

after we arrived and chatted with alex the owner and purchased necessary ticket , well the fisheries prices are pretty much the cheapest in Scotland and superb value so i bought  a 5 fish( rainbow trout) ticket, now the reason i do this even though i was pike and perch fishing is that i actually enjoy eating trout and inevitably i always seem to catch rainbows at some point when pike fly fishing in trout waters and of course its also supporting your local fishery and alex runs a great fishery at lomond hills so im happy to support it .

i also believe there is some very large pike in there its just a case of finding them , never an easy job on a biggish deep water , but been up a couple of times now and im starting to understand the topography of what im fishing into so if you have a look at this video of a slow fly round the water which by the way the water levels are very low , when we fished it was a lot lot higher and at the top end the water was right up to the bank , but very interesting to see fish holding features on the bottom take a wee look at this great video.

and here you can see the lines and where we fished and obviously i chose these for the very reason you can see in the video above in fact the only follow i had was from the top right hand corner and you can see from the video this area has lots of ambush points and small drop offs where the water flows through, great pike territory

so we boarded the boat (and can i say boats are actually free to use on here and if you want to use an electric engine its a fiver i cant think of anywhere else that does this absolute bargain) the boats are a good size with plenty of room and life jackets are provided and very comfy to fish in  

so on advice for the perch my first stop with small silver and blue baitfish fry was at the tower , so we anchored of it and started to fish although the wind was starting to be an arse and pushing us out of position so i kept having to adjust position as the anchor wasn't really holding which was a bit annoying . 

my bro duke has been starting to take his fishing a bit more seriously to the point he has now bought a decent bag and a sparkly new lure rod so some time was spent showing him how things went together and worked , duke loves his perch fishing as its something he used to do quite a lot as a kid in Switzerland so im kitting him out and showing him some new methods and offering some general advice including getting with knots out of his braid which is one thing he excels at. 

after a while being pushed around at the tower and the perch remaining totally out of reach of my flies and dukes dropshot i decided to head up to the left hand corner of the water where we would be a little more out the wind and the water was shallower and a bit more weedy so i thought there may be the chance of some pike up there .  

ultimate concentration duke at one with his lure before the heavens opened  

yea one thing about Scotland , although we had checked the weather its always advisable to take waterproof clothing no mater what as it can 4 seasons in a day 

and this was obviously the monsoon season 

not really much to do except chuck the coat on and sit it out and eat chocolate which we both excel at 

thankfully after 10 mins it had passed and fishing resumed , i had at this point changed over to a red and white fly , an old classic that never ages yup the one below a little devil and all time classic 

you know i said it recently on facebook (dave mcfluffchucker) that this was my favorite fly and still to this day the fly that has caught my biggest pike and the fly to date (a 25lb river fish) such a simple fly and was my pike fly of choice today .

believe it or not 15 mins after the rainstorm we headed up to the right hand corner and the weather went totally typical Scotland and i nearly got the top off , crazy weather but nice to have some calm and watch the flies in the water , craig broke out his lure rod and did some testing of my casting flies 
these actually worked very well and looked like a cross between a surface jerkbait and a fly and worked beyond what i wanted it too (sorry no video this time low battery on the phone and forgot my apeman camera) 

so after having a follow and nothing much more at the top end i decided we should go down to the tower again and as we were losing light and the perch would be hunting , unfortunately when half way across the water the wind started to get up and the engine was running out of juice , so i decided to turn the boat with the wind behind us and head for the bottom corner , this was because if i did completely lose juice i could safely drift into the corner at the dam and go and get another battery .

by the time we got into the corner the battery was pretty much shot so i got the paddle out and helped it along the  dam wall with the engine just ticking over 

of course duke rather than sit and do nothing decided to stick a spoon on and have a cast as i made our way along towards the jetty and off course the one time he has a duff cast it catches the wind and goes over the tower 

im just going to leave this picture here , duke dont like losing lures and yes we got it back , thankfully alex saw we were having an issue and actually bought a new battery along for us top bloke.

being out fishing with duke is always great fun although im not 100% sure why he had these in his cigarette box i know i said he would should have a stiff rod for casting flies but i think he miss understood what i meant .

so as we entered last cast before we completely lost the light territory i threw a long line towards the jetty and moored boats and started stripping back , as i did duke cast a trout looking rubber shad to my left and pretty much had a strike straight away which was a blessing and saved no fish to the boat for the days effort  

of course duke is just getting used to pike fishing so i chinned it out and unhooked for him and as i did it sunk its teeth into my thumb (my darling fiance actually said it looks like the rod went through your finger) battle scares all good .

so again not the greatest trip fish wise but again i love learning about a new water and what makes it tick , so if your up this way and fancy a days fishing check out the website as there is also trout fishing on another two waters at lomond hills and the prices he charges are really good , again alex goes out of his way to accommodate his anglers and his banter is also great  again go check the website out for more info.

lomond hills also does a fantastic breakfast , alex cooks this on an open fire next to the office and flies it out to your boat on a drone , and all for the price of £1.80 per angler , right bargain that 

*disclaimer - this may not always be available and a pot noodle option may be available please ask when buying your ticket    


my dropshot flies for spinning rods are proving ever popular so if you need some please get in touch

i really dont know how many hours i spend at the vice not only tying for clients but developing ideas for flies etc and filling my own boxes up enjoy what i do though and get even greater satisfaction when people send me pics of fish they have caught on the flies i have made for them .

pink colors seem to be appearing in a lot of my bespoke patterns as ive said before this has been a life saver a few times and saved me from a few blanks and along with blue totally under(maybe i should have used it the other day lol ) .

you know when you accidentally buy a reel  

well yea we have all done it , not that i needed any extra reels or anything but well when this came up on my local edinburgh anglers facebook page i was quite taken by it and i thought hell its a great price and then i found a million and one reasons why i really did need them , so purchased they were from the fantastic mr dave mcquiston and have to say on getting them i really actually like them , nice wide spools and fairly light , unfortunately now im going to have to go get a load of fly lines hahahahah it never ends .

i have to say a big thanks also to dave for including some of his home made sea trout flies have to say very impressed really nicely done thanks so much , oh i do sometimes tye trout stuff but its finding the time and always fun after tying flies on 6/0 hooks going down to 22s .


been playing with deercreeks bait fish fiber lately i actually really like this fiber as an alternative to ep fiber which i struggle to get in the uk and tend to buy it from dykers in Holland but if i need it quickly i simply cant get it . so baitfish fiber is actually a really good alternative anyway here is a few flies ive made with it , mostly 6 inchs plus and these will be available to purchase should you wish to on my blog here mcfluffchucker flies    

just a word on buying my flies , i will ship worldwide and usually have a 7 day turnover from order to dispatch usually upon order i will send an email with an estimated dispatch date , usually this works very well although sometimes it can be slightly longer during busier times , as you would expect all flies are handmade upon order and not mass produced . also happy to take bespoke orders , mabey you have an idea for a fly or colors you would like but cant find  then shoot me an email.

this fibre is available in the uk from various outlets i use the following sites for mine , each link will take you to the product page its called various things so names may differ on each page

so have fun with that and remember the links ive put up are small uk businesses that i support they will ship worldwide 


i know have a range of dropshot flies due to popular demand you can find them here 

again i do get a few inquires about all the flies i post and if they are available for sale  and the answer to this is yes all my flies are available to purchase all you need to do is shoot me an email and we can take it from there , it maybe useful if you save the pictures of any of the flies you wish to purchase and also mail them to me as the may not always be on my for sale page.

and finally a massive thanks to cez over at pike and slippers for taking the time to make this awesome underwater video of one of my larger pike patterns doing its thing in a scottish loch 

so with that im off back in the cave , flies to tye and is it me or is winter approaching very quickly , well still a few trips to get in before that  tight lines folks 

a cave in Scotland

Sunday 3 September 2017

everything bigger than everything else please and online ordering


so i saw a thing on bearded rock n roll lure chucker ant glasgoes Facebook page where he had just done a podcast with some weird looking bearded rednecks from rut and river pursuits in the u s of a , and well knowing ant i thought it would be worth a listen and the dudes hosting the show looked a bit out there and a bit suspect so sparked my interest , and im so glad i did.

now of course with a live podcast to america obviously its going to be the early hours of the morning by the time they hook up and i did wonder if he would have had a glass of red before connecting and yup im guessing he did .

without giving too much away i was actually laughing out loud while listening to this as well ant is pretty much like me and tells it as it is , and the dudes asking the questions were also very funny and clearly didnt spot the odd naughty word slip ......classic pod cast well worth a listen , the link is below the picture of his hairy highness , and yes i know its lure chucking but a lot of what he says does relate to predator fishing so worth a listen . great show  

also sent ant some casting flies and dropshot flies the other week and he done a wee video , i have to say totally unexpected a million thanks ant , check it out here 

cheers to pike and slippers .com for sending me the picture below , id sent cez a few streamers to try in the saltwater and he made the most of it cheers pal great catch 

august has been very busy for me theirs a ton of orders coming in for the big pike event coming up on a trout water down south in October so been putting in some serious vice time with special designs which really had me thinking hard and burning brain cells as these needed to be large profile but buoyant but id done similar before for myself and they worked well so just needed to scale it up a bit  

one of the patterns i had to do was a jack pike pattern that has always done quite well particularly like doing this pattern as i get to mess around with blending colors and i really enjoy coming up with totally new designs by blending materials and flash , quite satisfying especially when you nail it   

the final result always a great pattern 

pink has always been such an underused color but its such a great combo to use and its saved me from a blank many a time, making it buoyant  just adds a new slant to it .

to be honest black and red is a color ive only really used for pollock before but doing monster pike flies in this combo i can see the attraction. 

the wall of death 

 finished order , i always lay em out and check em over before i send them because you know bespoke orders are a very special thing to me and id never send something out i wouldn't fish myself , quality is why folks keep coming back to me .


OK im going to have a moan now , recently i made some of my subbugs for a chaps trip to Ireland  and as i do i posted some pictures before i sent them off and i had an email with the picture from a totally random guy asking how much i charge for this fly below (this was a pre trim shot)  now i do bespoke subbug tyes and they come in at around £10:00 per fly wtf i hear your cry but let me tell you each fly has a ton of natural materials in it including top grade metz and bucktail and i have to hand trim each of the heads to my own exact recipe to make em do what i need them to do , each stage of the tye i reinforce the whipping to make each fly bomb proof  against teeth now each fly takes on average around an hour to make .

so look at the minimum wage in the uk per hour and actually you'll find your getting a bargain here for a hand built fish catching machine in fact all your paying for is my time pretty much.

so i mails the guy back with the prices and he says he was looking to pay £4:00 each plus postage for each one , i mean really honestly are you kidding especially when i look at the guys profile and he has boxes of jerkbaits which cost on average £15 to £20 plus for each one yet he wants the fly equivalent of a jerkbait for £4:00 er i think not , i did however turn him down on his kind offer and informed him that if he wanted subbugs for £4:00 each to look elsewhere and good luck finding them out there in internet land . and should he wish to pay the very reasonable price i charge then i would happily help him out .

i just dont get some people      

in the sweat shop 

fishing wise hasn't been the greatest for me to be honest this month besides the monster shad i had nor really been doing much , ive been out a couple of time chasing mackerel for the table but to be honest the fishing aint that great just now , no idea why to be honest  maybe it will improve but even so ive been having a blast with my old pal duke who is doing quite well just now and casting is improving everyday .

i have discovered however that duke dosnt enjoy fishing at night in fact he has said if i take him again sea fishing while its dark he will force me to listen to kiss in the car all the way home, duke also lost a couple of his favorite lures so wasn't the greatest trip .so we are heading to the fresh water lochs next week in search of the elusive perch so stay tuned .


a while ago (2 plus years to be precise) i made some drop shot flies by request and have done a few since and by all accounts they do very well from the feedback i get these are not really designed for fly fishing so ive not really fished them but i understand the fundamentals on how they work ( i was a hard core lure and fly angler back in the early 90s so knew what was needed) 

so when i got a message about the fishing company fox producing drop shot flies i was mildly interested and somewhat excited to see what they had produced , i have always been a fan of fox tackle but i have to say when i saw the video i was slightly underwhelmed at what i saw , i think although they will no doubt catch fish i think the design is all wrong and has not been well thought out and i think an opportunity to produce a  great product has been missed .

im really sorry if somebody from fox reads this but thats my view on it but ill leave you to decide please take a look at the pics below my drop shot flies compered to foxes 

again no disrespect to fox i love there tackle and there pike fly rods were fantastic but im afraid this dont float my boat 

rainbow trout drop shot 5 inchs 

just in case you want to try this method , as a lot of peole fish both fly and lure who read my blog im happy to make these for you for further details and prices please mail me at  drop shot flies  just click this link

below is a diagram from the internet on how to fish the dropshot , pretty much all you do hook the foam at the front of the fly and off you go 


as you may or may not know i do a fair bit of tying , mostly bespoke orders and usually what i do is make a couple of warm up flies before i do these i find it helps me get into the zen space so heres a few that came off the vice over the last couple of days

custom blended 6/0 roach 

custom blended 6/0 bream 


if youve never seen the murdich minnow id advise go check it out , fantastic baitfish pattern and very popular with our american friends , i tie these up on 6/0 hooks for pike and they do catch a fair amount, great flies and fairly easy to make 

murdich minnow 6/0 roach

murdich minnow 6/0  baitfish 

and finally a basic flashy baitfish pattern using harelines ripple ice as a body from here ripple ice  and a custom blended flashy olive and black back on a 6/0 sakuma manta with a generic green eye , im hoping that this may be good for perch (ha who am i kidding cant catch the bloody things ) but hey at least it will look nice in the water .


you know im a great fan of supporting small online retailers so im just going to give a heads up to a few ive used in the last month , and i will say i dont get paid or get kickbacks for this if i use a store and its great ill write about it and if its crap ill write about that also . 

so first up 


i have long been a fan of piketrek there pikesaber flyrod has been my longest ever go to pike fly rod and its still doing me proud and doing the business and ive had it must be going on 8 or 9 years easy .

so i had some massive pike flies to do so needed some extra large material and i needed my standard white belly fiber in big and a lot of it so i placed the order in the morning and it took about a day and a half to get to me , this obviously is great for me as sometimes i run out of stuff and need it fast this is where the time difference  between ordering and goods arriving is essential for me so top marks and the piketrek boys have a great range of fantastic stuff for pike fly fishing so take some time out and visit there site i also must point out i bought one of there fly reels many years ago and its up there with the big names , a fantastic pike fly reel that also has never let me down heres the link to check em out , be warned though these reels regularly sell out , i think that speaks volumes 

check em out for a full range of cool pike stuff 


silverscales is fairly new on the block and i had previously bought things from them on ebay and was always pleased with the service so when they launched the website off course i checked em out and bought a few items i needed . i was presently surprised at the fast and friendly service they provided  

now i purchased some of there flash blend and as most know i do enjoy tying with synthetics so i always like to have my base colors in my box namely white , but i also purchased a few other colors i was quite impressed with the flash to material ratio and it had been blended quite well also in the other colors i purchased

as you will be also aware there are loads of suppliers of synthetic materials out there and you may also be aware i also use deercreeks gliss and glint plus as a stable for baitfish patterns now there is a subtle difference between the two , the silverscales materials seems to be a little stiffer than gliss and glint and almost sits in between that and H20 fiber so a happy medium and goes to show not all fibers are the same . 

so silverscales website is very easy to navigate and has quite a neat fly tying video section also has full shopping basket facilities and is pretty smooth to check out at the end , i understand they are adding more products all the time so keep checking back , you can click the link below to go directly to there site  oh also meant to say the prices are also very reasonable as well so best of luck for the future guys .


as always deercreek continue to provide the goods with outstanding quality products , deercreek continue to be world leaders in fly eye design with there in house designer if you havent seen there range of 3d eyes then take a look here 

as always with deercreek my order came quickly and and without issue 

nick also includes the odd chocolate bar for me which is very much appreciated thanks nick , anyway you can check out the fine fly tying products from deercreek here , oh also worth mentioning that deercreek also cater for the trout angler so theres lots on offer also for the spotty chasers 

and finally 


so my best bud and fishing pal duke popped round for a cuppa yesterday and he decided he needed a few bits , well we ended up heading just up the road to the edinburgh angling center where he ended up with a new rod and reel also (stuff like that happens lol)  , but while i was in there i spotted some very cool little plano boxes so at like £1:70 each i purchased a couple 

you see the thing is i have an absolute ton of flies in various boxes and the pictures below is just a small fraction of my perch and saltwater flies so i needed a couple of smaller boxes to fit in my waist coat as a grab and go really as you can see from the pics below i have a few to sort out 

and i have a pile of newly tied stuff as well to go in , just never ends lol 

for a while i was using the morell boxes and to be honest they are a very good box but they seem to be just that fraction to big to go in the pocket , which is why i went for the smaller boxes

as you can see they fit a lot better and being double sided i can get a whole lot into them with space to spare in the pockets , so all in all a good use of £1:70 x 2 all i have to do now is go and sort them out .

so with that sept is upon us and im heading out next week in search of perch , pike and rainbow trout and you know its been about 10 years since i caught a perch i kid you not last one was 3 and a half pounds on pike fly , but this time i will be actually targeting them so we will see how that works out as i have some good info so im actually quite excited and i think also the last time duke had one was when he was a kid in the swiss alps so i can see this ending in a little competition to see who gets one first .

so anyway the full gory details will be in my next blog post 

seee ya all soon 
(a cave in scotland)