8 March 2014

The LDO Compara Plume Tip Emerger

It's a hybrid, the love child of a few patterns: the answer to all ills, for this spring at least...

The LDO Comparadun Plume Tip Emerger (I know, it's a mouthful)

This pattern is the love child of a few olive imitations that have worked very well for me for some time. I was looking at my fly tying to do list for the spring recently and saw "LDO and BWO adult". Rather than leaping into tying the patterns that worked well last season I said to myself, "Slow down, relax, think about the objective here, maybe there is an opportunity to evolve and create something better.":  So I did and there was. 

I like adults that ride low in the water, almost like emergers in posture. In fact, I probably prefer emergers over true "dries" when imitating uprights (or mayflies as they're known outside the UK).

I have combined what I believe are the "best of" triggers from a few patterns which when combined could make for an amazing olive or BWO (or any upright) emerger. We will know in a few weeks time when the season opens on the chalkstream down the road.

And the triggers are:
  • The tails shout "Baetis"
  • The abdominal gills say "yes, I'm the real thing!"
  • The comparadun hackle gives the right impression of legs (not pin pricks but fibres lying horizontal).
  • The plume tip announces itself to fish as it floats downstream "emerging upright coming through!"

The pattern:

Hook: Grip 14711 #10 (for the LDO imitation you need a big enough hook to include the nymph's abdomen and the sub imago's thorax and head)
Tail: 3 fibres of Golden pheasant tippet dyed olive 
Abdomen: Olive turkey biot with an underbody of thread
Thorax: Olive flash/natural dubbing blend. I like Hemingways Beaver Dub
Hackle: Dirty brown cock cape (I have used a "Photo dyed" cape from Chevron Hackle in this one)
Wing: 2 small wild mallard CDC plumes paired 

The patterns that led to this?

The Olive Biot emerger:
The Olive biot emerger (based on Mike Mercer's Trigger Nymph)

 The Compara LDO emerger:

The Compara LDO Emerger (a pattern I fused together out of previous ideas some years ago)

The Plume Tip Variant:

The Plume Tip Variant (not sure who "invented" this pattern but my friend Jeremy Lucas showed it to me in Poland a few years ago. I tie it with a CDC tail rather than the original Coq De Leon)

24 November 2013

The Olive sparkle Emerger saves the day... I'm demo'ing it at ifish on November 30th.

I don't know why I've not posted for over a year but it's not because I've not been fishing. I suppose most interests wax and wane so why should blogging be different?

Anyway, I spent a few hours on a little stream near home this afternoon. I told Gina (my wife) that I had a hunch some olives or BWO's would come off in the early afternoon. The weather looked about right on the forecast. So I packed the tackle, said I'd be back in the late afternoon and headed off.

I started on a stretch I've not fished for 3 or 4 years. It's only a few hundred metres downstream of an area I fish quite often. It looked good and I figured the slightly deeper water might hold some grayling given the browns would probably be in faster water spawning.

I worked hard. I worked close in, far off, the surface, the middle and I dredged the bottom. I fished small, large, dull and bright. I worked my drifts with extreme care. I worked them dead, I jiggled, skated and swung the flies.

Not a fish. I didn't even see one. No olives or BWO's either. Some small midges though.

Then I thought I'd have a look at the little tributary on the way back to the car. I love this little trib. It was gin clear and with my first peak over the edge I spooked a really nice grayling holding in shallow water.

I walked up a little way, slid into the current behind a fallen tree and adjusted the rig to a dry emerger olive with the Olive Sparkle Emerger a foot below.

The bend pool was just ahead so I stood still for a few minutes to let the fish settle after my entering the water.

I made the first drift... a nice brown ate the dry and he dropped off.

I waited a few minutes to let him chill.

I made the second drift. Nothing.

I made the third drift and moved the nymph ever so slightly as it passed in front of where that brown ate. He came up and ate. Nice.

I climbed out of the water with a big grin on my face. This pattern has pulled tons of fish for me since I started fishing it again this season after probably 8 years of having forgotten about it.

There are 3 highly effective elements to this pattern. The first is a trigger to attack, the second and third convincing imitative elements: First, the wing buds emerging from the thorax which say "I'm emerging %^&*! now so hurry up and eat me!". Second, the olive dyed golden pheasant tippet tail fibres and third, the olive turkey biot body.

I'll be tying this pattern as well as my dry emerger and dun imitations of the same olive uprights at ifish on 30 November. This is the first year for this show, put on by the Sussex Fly Dressers Guild, so please support it. There'll be quite a few of us tying as well as casting demonstrations by some seriously good casters as well as lots of tackle stores and maybe even some beer!

Come say hi and I'll tie you an Olive Sparkle Emerger.

12 November 2012

It's all about love

cheesy and funny and cute... all at once!

5 September 2012

1 September 2012

Striper in the bay

I was in Boston this week on business and took the 8 weight just in case. The tides looked flat for most of the time I'd be in town but thursday evening had a low at 5, giving me a few hours before getting to the airport at 8. Although they have had a very slow August, with the water starting to cool and the bait piling up along the beaches Dave and Vlad invited me to tag along to a gravel bar that should have some fish on it on the rising tide.

About a mile from the car park we rounded the bend and looked down on the area we'd be targeting. Blitz! Birds smashing into the water and fish blasting through the surface.... we waded out onto the bar and Vlad was into a fish on his first cast. I was strapped into an angry striper just a few casts later. For an hour the action was pretty hot.
Vlad connects on his first cast

The fish wanted 2-3 inch long, white patterns fished pretty slowly. I hooked over 10 fish and landed 4 or 5 up to 30 inches between 5:30 and 6:20.

Not a bad way to say goodbye to the Boston area.

walking back...

Dusk over Boston on a warm evening

8 August 2012

Flymage ezine- pretty cool!

stumbled across this ezine last week, very nice content, quite unique.

23 July 2012

Slovenia 2012

Well after lots of prep and tying (and remarkably little new tackle purchasing) I got to Slovenia on 15th July and returned a week later: Starry eyed and still processing what I experienced.

The rivers are beyond comprehension with little exception. The amounts of fish is remarkable (even if you subtract the stocked rainbows which I seldom encountered thankfully).

The fishing was incredible. I don't know how many fish I caught, it will have been hundreds. I stopped counting on day 1 at 27 and that was the least prolific river by a long way. The mix across the whole week was probably 50% grayling, 25% rainbows and 25% browns. I am happy with that ratio and more, big, grayling would not have been a problem either. The vast majority of fish were on small Plume tip CDC emergers, even some of the biggest fish, especially grayling. The big browns and rainbows ate streamers and big stonefly nymphs predominantly.

I love fishing small dries but the scope for streamer fishing to huge fish is magnificent and could have sidetracked me for the whole week.

The fish are beautiful and quite unique in their markings.

We didn't get around to the rivers on the other side of the country that hold the endemic Marble trout, we played to the weather to maximise our fishing. A pity but not a massive one given the amazing fishing we did have. Next time....

I took 2 rods, both Hardy Zeniths, a 9' 4wt and a 10' 3wt. I fished the 10' 3wt exclusively, even for big fish with streamers. This rod is truly incredible and this week of close work in so many different applications only makes me more convinced of my thoughts when I reviewed it in April. Everyone that touched it last week wants one. When you're fishing a long fly rod for long hours you want something that is weightless in your hands but highly responsive, this is the rod to beat.

The Slovenian countryside is dominated by high forested mountains, huge clear rivers and relatively few people (population less than 2 million). While there are few English people about almost all the locals speak good English which was helpful because my Slovenian is very very bad. 

see the photo album here

Thanks to Jeremy and Wojtek for organising an amazing mission into Slovenia!