29 December 2012

shiver me silvers

With cabin fever setting in and no fish in over a month i needed to get out fishing, the weather as usual was pretty miserable so a local reservoir for some coarse fishing seemed like the safest bet for the chance of a fish  . At my chosen swim i  set up with a loaded waggler with maggots for bait, introducing some free offerings every other cast to try and get the fish on the feed. An hour or so into the session my float still hadn't  registered a bite and to make matters worse it started raining heavily . I was shivering away feeling pretty uncomfortable when the float finely slide under and a wee perch was brought to hand

normally i would curse the pest wee perch but today i was so pleased to catch him, this spurred me on a bit and i forgot about how cold and miserable i was feeling, for a while anyway! i was beginning to get the odd bite and soon added a lovely roach to the catch

followed by a wee bream or bream hybrid of some sort?

i noticed an angler on the opposite bank from me catching the odd Ide and was hoping they would put in an appearance in my swim too,unfortunately it wasn't to be though, but Inbetween shivering away a few more of the above three were welcome captures before the end of play in the late afternoon.     

15 December 2012

Not Waving but Drowning

  The weather is really making fools out of us over the last month or so. The rain fell last night,  which would help thaw out the currently frozen   ponds/ canal etc it did however put the rivers up so what was left was a trip to the seaside for a shot at the flatties. Unfortunately  the sea was wild , and coloured ,and carrying a  lot of weed so after giving it a couple of hours we agreed we were flogging a dead horse.We are ready to hoist the white flag and surrender our fishing gear in exchange for golf clubs , the current scenario reminds me of that  poem based on the life of Sylvia Plath , a misunderstood  cry for help "Not Waving but Drowning  .

 Anyway back home and my 3d epoxy  eyes arrived through the letter box  , so thought I'd spend a bit time on the bench as i had a pattern in mind .

I was "googling" for my swff  trip next year , and on a sea fishing forum i came across some interesting info, that there was many small 4-8oz mackerel around and the big pollack were preying   on them .  With this in mind So i got busy on the vice.

These are what i came up with dressed on a 2/0 saltwater hook. Perhaps a close copy isn't really required especially when the damage on those particular fish was done with a jelly worm tipped with mackerel strip, but , to me it's one of the pleasures of fly fishing /fly tying is matching the hatch.

hopefully the weather will improve enough for some fishing in the new year.


9 December 2012


Still in swff mode, although i really should be churning off the nymphs and dries for next seasons trout fishing.

Weedguards are not a thing you hear much about in uk swff , i dont know why that is as pollack like to live amongst kelp, perhaps it's the hooking issue? Anyway one pattern got me thinking, the bend-back design.

the bend-back design works by masking the hook with the materials yet doesnt lose it's hooking power.

Any material can be used but i decided on Bucktail simply because of its stiffness.

First up was bendin the hook to shape with pliers.

  It's very easy to take it too far .
It's another pattern that needs to be tied upside down. i'm fairly pleased with the results but only time will tell how effective they are in there roll, and handful of these will be tied anyway in various colours.

4 December 2012

Call of the Coast

It's been a difficult  couple of weeks to get any type of fishing in, last weekend was off the back of a really wet spell which caused flooding in many areas, ended up at a tackle shop (angling active) , for a few fly tying purchases , mainly buck tails and a fly wallet , followed by a few fruitless half hearted casts on a muddy pond for pike.  This weekend we had grayling planned with conditions being frosty it seemed a good option , but then on Friday night it rained for 3 hours , looking at the conditions we decided for a change and go for the bass , sure enough going down towards our location the rivers were out of condition, but unfortunately a north wind also put those plans  to bed, we then tried the canal but it was frozen and as i type it's snowing , So no fishing of any sort to post about.

Ive been spending a wee bit time at the vice though, mainly tying up saltwater patterns for next year, it's the  form of fishing i really crave at the moment, my heads rarely been out of  Lefty Kreh's "Saltwater Fly patterns" book, dreaming of and planning future trips for next year, digging out the OS maps looking for rock marks etc , with possibilities of  bass , mackerel , pollack, coal fish, sea trout and maybe even flounder   on the cards.

Ive also been doing a wee bit dying with certain patterns in mind and i think the efforts have been worthwhile despite dying my fingers every colour of the rainbow during the process.  First i halved a Metz silver badger cape dying one half hot orange. and also dyed a few grizzle hackles hot pink, chartreuse , and teal blue. these
were mainly for flanking  feathers for deceivers.

Ive stayed pretty much to the tried and  tested patterns , the Clousers , deceivers and half and halves in colours and sizes suited for species of baitfish (sprats , sand eels, launce) or preferred attractor colours of the quarry. Here's a few of my efforts. First up the deceivers.
I just had to include what looks to be almost considered the standard pattern of white over lay ed with chartreuse buck tail with it's red crystal flash beard , I've dressed it on a size 2. The other two pictured i had with loose sprat imitations in mind dressed on size 4 hooks in grey and white and aqua and white. I guess any colour which takes your fancy can be used or more importantly what catches the the fishes eye .

  Next up are the clousers,there are  many ways to tie them up, with all materials under the hook, the tail or along  the shank, or perhaps the best known way with the white on top and contrasting colour on the bottom bearing in mind that clousers swim upside down.i guess they give them slightly different tapers . Traditionally buck tail was the material  used to tie these and i must admit i do think they look the part.
Buck tail Clousers (3 styles)

But theres no restrictions, and with the countless synthetic materials available to the saltwater/pike fly tyer today anything go's like frizz fibre, fish-hair, supreme hair , H2o's slinky fibre or flash n' slinky etc,  but here I've used kanekallon hair extensions (aka jumbo braid) which is much better value and IMO just as good as the above it also comes in a huge array of colours some more useful than others .I guess one advantage synthetics have over buck tail is they can be tied really long. 
Synthetic hair Clousers


Other clousers that will be in my box next year will be flash based  clousers, i had a bit success earlier on in the year with a mixed blend of pearl gold and silver.To add to those i got hold of some micro tinsel from Castle feathers , they do quite a spectrum of colours in this material and I'll have to add to my colours i currently have shortly as i really like the look of it .
Flash Clousers

So that's the trusty clousers sorted for now anyway.

Another  lot I'm really quite excited about trying, are the half and halves, that's half deceiver half Clouser and is a genuine pattern from the inventors Lefty Kreh and Bob Clouser not some dodgy hybrid  concocted in my head . Ive tied mine slightly different from the examples in the book , but i think they shouldn't be any worse for that.

The orange and black ones are tied very much with Pollack in mind , as I'm told that combi as well as all-black is a good option.  The above are tied on sizes 1/0 and 2 .

A few surf candies wont go a miss.

Last of all I've done a few gurglers, just in case theres some good surface blitzes to take advantage of.

A bit of time on the vice at this time of year can be  time well spent, hopefully it'll pay dividends  come next summer. Just hope we get a break in the weather soon.

22 November 2012

Jumping Jack Flash

The weathers been a shocker this week . Really windy and wet, but mild with the southerlies. Tuesday offered a  tiny window the dog sacrificed his walk for a stand as he would chaperone  me up to the canal  . First thing was first though i had to tie up a flash fly , as my stash was looking a bit weathered.

 That coupled with a few other flies and essentials i was ready , it was also a opportunity to try out my new telescopic  long-handled net which i bought for pollock fishing off the cliffs next summer but is equally useful for the canal withn its high banking and weedy fringes.

The flash fly worked it's magic first cast despite me thinking the canal might be on the dirty side.
 Five more fell for it's enticing charms and a few more lost before losing it up a  tree.

 Decided to try a chartreuse hair extension baitfish, and it took a further brace again nothing big ,  if i had more time  might have explored further try and locate a bigger fish  but the days are so short just now.The net worked great although it is pretty heavy, not really a problem though as what i bought it for may see it get some abuse.
 Tied up a couple more flash flies for a future opportunity .

17 November 2012

Bass-ic Instinct

A Last minute decision , had us shying away from those fickle  grayling, and  as the tidetimes being suitable and weather being fair we  looked to the coast for our sport. Not flatties this week for a change we decided to look out the SWFF gear for shot at the Bass.

The Usual clouser minnows were our flies of choice.
 It was quiet for the first couple of hours , and eventually i found the need to explore other areas. Changing to a fast sinker and casting for perhaps a pollack? That lasted all but five minutes and i then decided to go and see how Brian was getting on . When i eventually got back to him , after changing back to my intermediate, he told me he had just had one. Result!
It was good to get off the mark , shortly after i got my first.
and then i had another an hour later.

It wasn't  exactly  lots happening. Thats  until i moved , finding a  wee unoccupied corner i managed to sneak in amongst the ranks of "combat anglers " fishing there controller float rubber eel set-ups, and the sport became hectic  much to the bemusement of some.  

Brian was getting sport too!

  A good days fishing , a nice change! Just a note to myself " although it was a largely calm sea  the swell coming over the reef was at times pretty big also, it was a spring tide" never can give the sea enough respect and you cant watch those waves enough as well as being aware if wading what is behind you as you dont want a wave to wash you in a pothole.

 Hopefully wont be too long before we get another bite of the cherry although it will be very  weather dependant.

7 November 2012

easily side tracked

The last couple of nights I've tried to buckle down and start re stocking my boxes with some essential patterns

 the cdc and elk seems to be the fly of the moment and an easy one tie
some brown wire nymphs, not nearly enough though
the trouble is i get bored bulk tying these patterns and end tying up flies i don't really need!
orange Ke- He
royal coachman
parmachene belle
They might come in handy for loch Stenness one day, i'll get around to more wire nymphs another day!

4 November 2012

A Touch of Frost

First thing i have to say is Happy birthday to the Auld yin (Brian).

We arrived at the burn just after mid-day . Still there was the odd patch of frost . The water though looked in great condition, and still the odd olive hatched  , and from the off, we caught fish, but these were out of season browns not grayling.

The grayling though almost on our cue put in a appearance , In "Brians pool" , there were the infuriating risers from last week. And once again unfortunately they had the upperhand  with two takers  escaping the clutches of Brians hook.
Next pool , i hooked a fish only to lose it at the net , then landed a  grayling.
  Brians luck just wasnt in today, raising and  pricking  plenty to dry flies some of them quality fish too.
Lady luck was smiling down on me with a few more grayling to nymphs and dries .
As we headed back downstream we stopped off to fish a few selected pools , we fished a few hours earlier and i was fortunate, to hook up the best of the day at 1 1/4lb.

 Shortly afterwards darkness was upon us , and called an end to the day. Looking forward to next time just hope the weather plays ball.

1 November 2012

F.A (Flattieholics Anonymous)

It had been nearly two weeks since  my last Flattie, so i needed to feed the habit. Bait was required and i drew a blank in the supermarket so i gambled with the fishmongers in the high street in Portobello where i was fishing , they had one mackerel and i made up the rest of my bait with a few sides of herring.

I was fishing about 30 minutes after low tide with a relatively calm sea, a set up in a nice looking crease that caught my eye and soon i took a wee flounder.

Off the mark i was thinking they were going to come thick and fast but i was wrong i moved closer to the burn and took another. But   it was slow going.

I have a hunch  my bait wasn't up to scratch today , the mackerel looked a bit dull or maybe the flatties  were having a off day one thing noticeable was despite it being calm it was a big tide.

Before i decided to call it a day i hooked into something different , i was hoping it was a bass , but no a sea trout that was festooned with sea lice. One of these days i will get a bass from these beaches!

31 October 2012

tinsel traditionals

With the darker nights kicking in ive had a wee inclination to tie up some tinsel bodied traditionals in the way of a change, there not flies I'll use very often although a couple of lochs have been on my mind whilst tying them.
The loch of Stenness in Orkney with the stones of Stenness in the background

this loch is brackish and garish patterns are recommended for the resident browns and the sea trout which enter the loch. Ive only caught a few wee sea trout on the handful of times Ive fished here, but its one of those lochs where the next cast could be to a monster,  i look forward to fishing there again next year, so a good reason to tie up some tinsel traditionals.  
silver cardinal

Stenness stinger

bloody butcher

Ive also tied a couple of gold bodied patterns which are probably more at home on the next door neighbour of Stenness, the loch of Harray.

Harray is on the left, Stenness on the right

the Dunkeld
Cinnamon and gold

 the trout are more numerous in Harray compared to Stenness, and lightning quick on the take!

last season i never fished any lochs for trout,  next season i intend to put that right.