Sunday, 26 April 2009

Demos, realistic fly tying & furled leaders

Yesterday was the Open Day for the Orvis stores, throughout the country. Burford is a really beautiful town situated in the Cotswolds, between Cheltenham and Oxford. Near the store runs the river Windrush.

There were alot of people through the doors - often sporadic. There was a fait bit of interest in the fly-tying and certainly we managed to fuel the interests of some of the children that watched - the future of our sport. It was great to see the look on their faces when they managed to tie their first fly.

Here's a great shot from the day, when Dennis Shaw's Ammonite Nymph met a living Alder fly:

Love at first sight!

The artificial is pattern designed by Steve Thornton. Click here for a tutorial by Dennis Shaw for its tying.

Here's a shot of Dennis Shaw's Hopper flies - not a usual pattern in the UK, but certainly effective. It's accounted for some big wild fish!

I mainly tied dun and spinner patterns, with a few nymphs and soft hackles thrown in. Here's the sort of thing:

The idea behind this particular fly was to use the tail splitting floss as the top of the abdomen.

Also present was Jim Williams from the Wiltshire Fly Fishing School. He was demonstrating how to tie furled leaders. This was a really fascinating process - simple, but incredibly effective. The turnover in these leaders is truly amazing. I certainly plan to road test these this season. They have so many applications from Czech nymphing through to dry-fly - and everything in between. Take a look at the Jim's Furled leaders website - he isn't taking orders at the moment, but will do very soon. Definitely worth the tiny price for something so long lasting and effective. When I get my hands on the leaders, I'll let you know how I get on.

By the way, I've just added a rolling gallery to the right.

The link takes you to some of my wife's art work. Please take a look ;-)

~ Dave

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Orvis Demonstration - Burford

This is turning out to be a busy week with work which is preventing me from getting on the river. However, on Saturday, I will be doing a demonstration at the Orvis store in Burford.

All the stores will be running events on the Friday and the Saturday. If you can, please pop in have a chat. Dennis Shaw will also be tying - and having watched a recent demonstration of his tying, you will certainly be impressed.

To get into the mind-set for Saturday, here are a couple of soft-hackled spinner patterns from last weekend:

Hook: Grip 12003 #12
Thread: 10/0 orange Powersilk
Tail: DNA frosty fibre
Abdomen: Awesome Possum, olive
Rib: As thread
Hackle: Greenwells hen

Hook: Grip 12003 #12
Thread: 10/0 Orange Powersilk, orange
Abdomen: Wapsi superfine, grey/olive
Rib: As thread
Tail: Lemon Woodduck barbs
Thorax: Peacock herl
Hackle: Coq de Leon hen, dyed light olive

I hope you can make it to say 'Hello'. I'll report back, hopefully with some photos.


Monday, 20 April 2009

Soft Spinners

It won't be long before Lady Danica starts to put in an appearance. I have had alot of fun fishing soft hackled spiders when the Mayflies have started to hatch. Here are a couple of patterns for just that this season:
Hook: B175 #12
Thread: Orange Powersilk 10/0
Tail: Lemon Woodduck barbs
Body: Yellow floss
Rib: Thread
Thorax: Yellow / sulphur Wapsi superfine
Hackle: Sunburst hen
Hook: Grip 12003 #12
Thread: Orange Powersilk 10/0
Tail: Lemon Woodduck barbs
Body: Yellow / Amber Awesome Possum
Rib: Thread
Hackle: Sunburst hen & Olive Coq de Leon hen wound together

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Suede Shrimp

Not that I am finding spring has much call for shrimp patterns, especially with the warm wether we have been experiencing, but here's a little heavy weight pattern. Tied on a #14, it has layers of lead wire built as a mound on the top of the hook. The 'shell' back is tied with 'Super Suede' which I have just started to try out.
Hook: B100 #14
Ballast: Lead wire, tied in layers on the top of the hook
Thread: 14/0 Sheer, tan
Legs: English Partridge
Body: Olive Awsome Possum
Shell back: Super Suede, chocolate
Rib: Fine silver wire

Thursday, 16 April 2009

On Tuesday I was lucky enough have a day's fishing on the Honddu at the Pandy beat. This a lovely river which is part of the Monnow system, in Wales, just a few miles from the border with England.

I was fishing with Dave Smith whose knowledge of these rivers is exceptional. We fished together taking it it turns to fish the runs, gutters and pools that made up the river. It was in need of some rain really as the water was pretty skinny in places. There were a few rises, but I opted for a heavy nymph. Dave fished a dry caddis pattern with a beaded nymph tied off the bend. The first few pools produced very little, however, as we waded up carefully, we spooked a couple of fish that were obviously lying low, right against the edges and amongst the boulders. A change to a tungsten-beaded nypmph made a the difference and I hooked a very clean wild fish - about 10". It put up a good scrap and introduced me to the quality of fish on offer in these rivers.

Eventually, with a few more takes between us to the nymphs, the sun came out and we started to see more olives and Large Brook Duns scome off. Even a few caddis were showing and we were persuaded to fish single dry flies. We both took a few fish, but we needed some creative casting to make the most of the tricky lies the fish were choosing. This is favourite type of fishing - using a 6'6" #2 rod, casting between the trees and bolders, 'hunting' the wild browns.

There is clearly fantastic fly life in these rivers. The may-fly hatch is supposed to be excellent - certainly I plan to return very soon to experience this. My thanks to Dave Smith for such a great day's fishing, excellent banter and the best pork pie I've ever had. Please take a look at the Monnow's link below. The fishing I experienced is available though the Wye and Usk Foundation.

Monday, 13 April 2009

CDC Loop Emerger

I have just posted a step-by-step for the CDC loop emerger:

"The CDC loop emerger, in all its guises, has become one of my favourite emerger patterns. I have posted a few pictures recently and thought it was about time I produced an SBS for the pattern. I’ve chosen a specific example to show you here, but you can change body and winging material to produce some great variations, that all have their day. Look at this on the water and you’ll see why it is so successful. It hangs beautifully in the surface with the hanging abdomen. The footprint of the emerging wing and CDC is very busy and suggests the stuggling, emerging adult."

Friday, 10 April 2009

'Quill' Buzzers

Along the same lines, this time with darker porcupine quills. A couple for the buzzer hatches of late:

Buzzer Pupa

Hook: Kamasan B100 #14
Thread: Powersilk 10/0 orange
Body: Porcupine Quill
Thorax: Peacock herl (2 strands twisted)
Cheeks: Glo-brite floss, orange
Breathers: CDC tips


Hook: Kamasan B100 #14
Thread: Sheer 14/0 tan
Hackle: Golden Badger
Post: TMC Aero-wing
Thorax: Possum, dyed orange

Thursday, 9 April 2009

'Quill' Emergers

A couple using porcupine 'quills':

Olive Loop Emerger

Hook: B100 #12
Thread: Powersilk 10/0 orange
Body: Olive Porcupine quill
Thorax: Hare, dyed olive
Loop Wing: Natural CDC

Paraloop & CDC Emerger

Hook: 15BN #18
Thread: Powersilk, orange
Body: Olive Porcupine Quill
Thorax: Hare, dyed Olive
Wing: CDC
Hackle: Golden badger in monofilament loop

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Deer Creek

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of making contact with Nickolas Wright from 'Deer Creek' flies. Based in North Wales, the company sells flies and some interesting fly tying materials. I have been lucky enough to have some flies endorsed by Nik and the company, and these will be available to order some time towards the end of the year.

The quality of the tying is superb and I am really looking forward to seeing my own patterns available from the Deer Creek stable. The patterns that will be available of my design include:

There are some stunning salmon and sea-trout patterns available too, alongside some really interesting trout patterns.

Take a look at the Deer Creek website:

Friday, 3 April 2009

Opening the 2009 account

This evening, I had my first session of the season on the Wellow Brook. The weather today had been pretty misty throughout the morning, but this cleared to leave a lovely bright afternoon. The brook looked lovely when I arived at half past four - very clear and a good height. Although the water was cold, there was a fair bit of activity from small olives, a few caddis and lots of midge.

I started fishing about 5pm and just had a few hours. I was delighted to take my first fish of the season - a very pretty brown trout - and off the top with a CDC biot loop emerger. I managed several other too - all on emerger patterns.
I can't remember a first session of the season where the dry fly has outfished the heavier, weighted patterns. Now I'm looking forward to even more.