20 June 2012

a new shrimp pattern

in my preparation for Slovenia next month I wanted to produce a heavy, realistic and quick to tie shrimp. this is what i came up with...
simple, quick, rough, heavy

It's pretty rough-looking although sufficiently imitative I think. Have you seen  a shrimp "in the drift" or scampering across the substrate of a river? They're pretty rough looking. 

So how do I tie it? 

I start with a pre-leaded hook, the ones in the picture are on a Partridge scud hook that comes with a sausage-shaped lump of lead moulded to the shank.  I use some flat nose pliers to squash the lead thinner so it is narrower and taller. 

Next I wrap plumber's tape around the lead mould to give the thread something to find purchase on and to hide the lead. This is much quicker than wraps of thread and adds little bulk (you want the pattern to stay quite lean so it looks real and cuts through the water).

Then I take a few wraps of any white thread from eye to gape, tie in some latex, scud back or other elastic, clear stuff for a scud back. Now I tie in a small partridge feather by the tip, concave side up. Take thread back to eye and throw in a securing knot. 

Mark the plumber's tape with light coloured pens to taste (I used a sandy/tan/human skin tone on these).

Mark the dorsal side of the underbody with markers to taste, bring the partridge feather forward and tie off. Bring the scud back stuff forward and tie off. More marker on top of the scud back if you want. 

Position the partridge fibres (legs) so they're nicely spaced out.

Cover the the thing in a thin film of Bug Bond and show it the light!

Simple (honestly it takes less than 3 minutes per fly once you're up and running) and imitative. I'm going to need some good imitative patterns in Slovenia after the Worlds took place their last month, those fish are probably still wondering what hit them!

19 June 2012

a fish finder that is driven from your ipad or iphone... what next!?

need a fish finder? there's an app for that!
I spend most of my fishing time standing in small to medium sized rivers wafting flies about so I can't imagine using one of these things. I can see how the coarse and boat fishermen might like one...


18 June 2012

The heavy stuff for slovenia

I focussed on depth charges on Saturday afternoon. Nasty stuff! But I believe there are some deep and fast stretches that hold some large, challenging fish. I'm not really planning on spending my time dredging the river bed. I far prefer the surface action with small dries. But I've decided to be prepared for all eventualities or I could find myself wrong-footed.

Top row: "Egg flies" made up of 4 tungsten beads of tapering sizes and Bug Bond
Bottom row: Steve Thornton's Ammonite nymph, a brilliant heavy nymph and control fly.  I add an "overbody" of Bug Bond because it makes the pattern more robust and it just looks so good!

 Back to #24 midges now, much more my thing!

16 June 2012

Slovenia here we come!

Well done Howard on placing 4th in a difficult draw in the world champs in Slovenia. You can read his great account of the competition and his approach to it here I'll be there in a month's time, can't wait!

8 June 2012

A great video on Coq de Leon and flyfishing in Spain

this is a short video and it reminds me a lot of the week I spent with some friends fishing in the Spanish Pyrenees a few years back...

6 June 2012

Prepping for Slovenia

The tying is in full swing now with only 5 and a bit weeks to go!

Tying everything from little emergers to heavily weighted nymphs for the deep fast water to massive streamers (for the Hucho/Danube salmon)

the trick is to have all the patterns you really need, but not too many!
I love little CDC emergers! This is a stripped peacock quill body with 2 small CDC plume tips as a wing.
.... but the bulk of the focus is on the small dries because I love them most and [I'm hoping] the big grayling will too!

3 June 2012

An amazing afternoon on the Stour

I was the lucky winner of one of the lots in the Wild Trout Trust auction. I bid on a few lots but the Stour was the one I wanted to win the most. I have been interested in visiting the Stour for a few years now after a number of people had told me such good things. The stretch I fished was really only a few meters wide in most places and suited my little 6' 10" 3wt perfectly.

hard fighting, red spotted brownies gulped adult mayfly patterns all afternoon...
I timed it in the hope of hitting the mayfly hatch and boy did luck go my way! I started fishing just after 1pm as the mayfly started coming off. The hatch got heavier and heavier and continued through the afternoon. It slowed a little for about 30 minutes mid afternoon and then the spinners started hitting the water. Duns coming off, spinners laying... it was mayhem. Early on the rises were sharp and powerful and required a stout 4.5lb tippett but by late afternoon most of the takes were extremely slow and subtle. It was almost painful watching the fish sidle up and ever so slowly close their mouths around the natural or my imitation.

a bedraggled Mayfly emerger "Klinkhamer" style.
I tested 3 new adult mayfly patterns. one was a Klinkhamer style, the other 2 extended body things. I constantly changed between the 3 and the "Klinky" version was the clear winner. I was amazed how the frequency of takes shot up when this pattern was on the water. The extended body versions drew interest but not as much and a lot of the takes didn't convert to hook ups because the fish were grabbing the extended body so the hook didn't find purchase.

A little wildy that sucked in the May emerger. 

A lot of the fish were holding in open water but some were tucked into the narrowest, fastest channels in shallow water, hemmed in by ranunculus.

What a day on the water! Text book stuff. One of the best days on the water I can remember in 30 years of hurling flies about. Thanks again Paul and friends, you guys have done an amazing job of rehabilitating this little piece of the Stour.