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.


  1. Nice flies.
    The ones in the first photo are very representative of baitfish.

    1. Thanks Alan , i hope the fish see them as prey.

  2. Getting out and about with a fishing rod lately has been pretty hard my end too, I must be cracking on for a month without casting a line. I have a chance on Saturday (maybe) all things going to plan, I'll be after grayling with a new tenkara rod I'm reviewing so fingers crossed. Love the flies Col, the surf candy's look very cool, I may tie a few on jig heads for lure fishing next year :-)

  3. Thanks Douglas, the surf candies did ok with the mackeral in the summer great for just under the surface . cant wait for spring to come round again when the fishing opportunities really open up.having said that just received a new pair of neoprene stocking foot waders today so suppose i'll have to brave the elements at some point.

    Best of luck with the grayling at the weekend, hope they are playing ball.

  4. Nice skills, satisfying to catch on you own creations no doubt. Resigned to watching DVD's this weekend I'm afraid. I did a re-run of my Danish saltwater Sea Trout series. Must admit I would like to tie & try the alive ragworm, hindsholm fly and final shrimp come the spring...


  5. Thanks Martin, flies for the seatrout are something ive still to do, ive got some size 6 hooks in the post with these in mind, was thinking of sticking to the Blonde series, probably just a orkney variation of the platinum blonde plus a few orange jobs such as whiskey flies. Ive been looking at bays in skye which ive a week booked up on next year (Waternish) which has some potential, mainly for pollack but seatrout also looks a possibiliuty. scanning the map for possible spots but keep finding salmon farms .

  6. Yes Col, dont think Salmon farms help things...

    Dont really know Skye but you want be short of Pollack from what I see reported, good fish at that. You should get a few good pics for the blog on that trip. For me, any fresh running across a beach regardless of volume seems to hold a few fish, if there are ST in the area. Did a fair bit of this last year in areas I knew nothing about, did ok so I'm sure you will get them.

  7. Thanks for the top tip Martin !