27 June 2008

The Yarn Spider

Last summer I was looking for a quick to tie, highly buoyant dry fly that throws a large silhouette on the surface without being bulky. I looked at yarn strike indicator material and reasoned that it is light and bouyant enough to be the basis of a pattern, but what about legs for silhouette? Partridge parachute style would do surely?

If you were at the Spring show in March this year you may have seen me demo this pattern in various colours, it has also been featured in the new publication "Fly tyers of the world".

It takes less than 60 seconds to tie and is really easy. Remember to apply some flexament under the shank where the partridge is hackled around the yarn post to ensure it is protected against those little teeth on wild brownies.
A light wire scud/emerger hook is best to keep the point below the surface where it will produce good hook up ratios on trout and especially grayling and yellowfish (for the South African readers) with their sub terminal mouths.

Well we threw the yarn Spider at some wily wild browns on a tributary of the Usk and they wouldn't leave it alone. With a bit of silicone gel flotant applied to the yarn this pattern floats all day after dozens of fish... give it a shot and let me know how you go...

23 June 2008

Damsels eating Mayflies!?

I went out yesterday and there were a lot of large Mayfly coming off in the afternoon, in spite of the heavy winds. We encountered something amazing, damsels attacking mayfly (yes I mean the big Danica) and eating them... I have asked the people at Bug Life to educate us on this behaviour, I'll let you know what I learn...

UPDATE: 27/06/08

The British Dragonfly Society have confirmed that Damsels and Dragons will predate on their own and other species up to almost their own size (no wonder the creature in the movie "alien" was modelled on these nasties) although there are no known reports of them eating E. Danica (until now that is)

21 June 2008

Welcome to Flies and Stuff

Some of you may know me from my blog focussed on the yellowfish of the Vaal River in South Africa.
I moved to the UK (Kent) from South Africa about 16 months ago: I've been fishing quite a bit in the UK since arriving, mainly for trout and grayling in Wales, the West Country and around Kent on what are now my home waters.

I have also had a shot at sea bass on the fly with some success: I think Bass are under rated as a fly species in the UK and I look forward to getting to know them better given my proximity to the south coast... and it's summer!

I'm going to blog whatever is on my mind regards flyfishing, flytying and the associated issues of conservation, sustainability etc... I'll try to keep it varied, not to be too serious too often and have fun... please give me feedback and post lots of comments!

thanks for reading...

15 June 2008

Mayfly magic

With all this sunny weather and given that we are in the middle (or maybe the end) of the maylfy season I had to get on the water this week. Boy am I glad I did! Those wild brownies threw caution to the wind and engulfed my mayfly nymph and adult patterns with conviction.

Does anyone know what the typical dates are over which the big Danica mayflies hatch in Southern England? I thought late May to mid June but they seem to still be coming off. Maybe, like so many things in nature, the mayflies don't follow the Roman/human calendar and track instead to the rythms of the seasons: so if the summer is "late" in terms of our human calendar the mays might emerge later into the summer, but on their calendar they are hatching consistently on water temperature or some other indicator of where they are in the progression of the seasons... make sense?

I'll go out tomorow and see if they are still hatching...

UPDATED on 23/06