Tuesday, 9 August 2016

tying flies man down and life in the salt


i had to take a day off work this week , i had the dreaded manflu and was feeling pretty rubbish , you know throat full of razor blades and a Niagara falls type nose , but i decided to take my mind off things and do a few flies so with hanky in hand i attacked the vice with vigor anyway ill just stock up on this and i should be fine.

ok so a bit of an apology in a previous blog post a comment was made about the guy in the golf oufit now this was done in jest (and actually spoken by somebody else) and the chap in question took umbridge to the comment so i will remove the picture as soon as possible and give myself a slapped wrist so please accept this as my apology i shall also slap my fishing partner of the day although he will probably enjoy it , we are very naughty boys

off the vice this week has been mostly ep and flash type pike flies . i still like using ep although its a bit expensive at my local orvis shop something like £7:00 a pack so i dont use a great deal of it in flies im still tending to go down the gliss and glint route for synthetic flies although i dont compromise on eyes  and im still using deercreeks  which are actually amazing value at £2:29 a pack 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended black ep with peacock and gold angel hair
flash - red angel hair
eye - 8mm deercreek 3d hd cutthroat eyes 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

eyes avalible here deercreek eyes

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended tarpon ep with charterus and silver angel hair
flash - red angel hair
eye - 10mm deercreek 3d hd  
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended olive ep with charterus and silver angel hair
flash - red angel hair-
eye - 10mm deercreek 3d hd 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended tarpon ep with charterus angel hair
flash - red angel hair-
eye - 10mm deercreek 3d hd 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended black ep with black spanflex back
eye - 8mm deercreek painted black 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

and a small guy

hook - 2/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - peacock angel hair
flash - red angel hair
eye - 6mm deercreek 3d hd cutthroat eyes 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

all deercreek products and loads of great stuff for the fly tire can be found here please check em out 

in the usa deercreek products can be found here 

im very blessed to be living in a very beautiful part of the city of Edinburgh and there is some great fishing opportunities if you take the time to hunt them out and you know i often (probably like you) browse forums and facebook fishing pages to read up on stuff and you know what frustrates me is people who ask for fishing spots , now dont get me wrong im all for helping people but Jesus Christ you know when i was a kid i got out there and just chucked a fly or worm and see what i could catch , i mean isn't that half the fun chasing fish down rather than asking for a spot and catching the fish that are in that spot that somebody else has done all the detective work on , i dont know maybe its just me .
but i digress
on with the fishing

as ive said before im blessed to be in a beautiful part of Edinburgh and trust me its been a long journey to get where i am now and a really cool stress free place with some awesome fishing on my doorstep and a girlfriend who enjoys all the same things as me (yes including fishing)  , but sometimes you know work gets in the way , (im a support worker in mental health by day) and i work really bizarre shifts , so i decided last week that i really needed to go chuck some stuff in the surf so i checked the tides and i needed to be up around 4am to get the tide so alarm set i hit the hay .

awakening the beast 

yea im a bit of a beast at 4am but that soon passes when you have sunrises like this on your doorstep absolutely fantastic and you soon snap out of it when you realize your up to go fishing

what voodoo magic is this  

yes the keen eyed among you may notice that this isn't my normal fly rod and reel well far from going over to the dark side im actually using flies and small rubber lures on a spinning rod , yes gasp horror at this but the thing is recently Ive been having some problems with my casting arm that has been causing me great pain and cutting my trips short so Ive decided to invest in some light gear that i can use in the saltwater pretty much a grab and go kit and plus my son is starting to show interest so he can also use it im airing on the side of id rather be out fishing than not able too because of my arm.

shameless selfie shot

yea shameless selfie , and hell why not , my lovely other half  decided to stay in bed this morning and who can blame her i nearly didn't get out of bed either but the lure of the fishing can be a bit like a drug sometimes and i needed my fix today 

i had no preconceptions on what i was going to catch or what i was targeting i was more heading down and chucking some stuff about and well see what decided to take just wandering along the shore casting as i went pure chuck it and chance it fishing love it reminded me of being a kid to be honest 

ive had these wading shoes from orvis for a couple of years and they are fantastic for summer wet wading and although technically i wasn't wading very far well up to my knees i would go wading around in the sea on my own that's a bit dangerous on your own , and the water was lovely and warm great to be out and despite being in the capital city of Scotland not another person could be seen absolutely fantastic  

ship ahoy , well being this close to a major port there's always some cool ships to watch while you fish very relaxing and therapeutic never tire of the views here  

so to the fishing

can you spot the bait fish in the picture above , was great standing in the water and watching thousands of baitfish (sprats in this case) swimming past quite an awesome sight so i what did i tackle up with well , stupidly id forgotten to put my saltwater sprat flies that i had made up in my bag so had to use these rubber prawn type things with a jig on the end for weight

they actually worked really well in the water , plenty of vibration and good colors for the saltwater (ive actually fly fished these before) which is why i had them in my bag and i know they catch fish mabey there were a bit too upmarket for the local city fish though as i couldn't get a bite despite my best efforts 

so i spent a couple of hours wandering up and down the shore casting as i went i fished the tide up and fished an hour after it started to turn then i had to go back home as i promised Caroline coffee in bed but rest assured if the fish were playing ball she may of had to wait a bit longer for it , the long and short of it really for this was a bit of a recon trip to see what the ground was like and any bits i should target on further trips and that's pretty much what i accomplished couple of fish for breakfast would have been nice but i guess that's why they call it fishing and not catching lol

but you know i thoroughly enjoyed that couple of hours and well isn't that what its about you know no politics or ballshit from jumped up little men who run clubs and stab you in the back for there own means but thats a story for another day, but for today i loved every second of going back to my roots.   
second  recon 
(and this time i bought my flies)

above is a picture i found recently on the big www and its im guessing by the way the boys are dressed late 1950s early 60s and it the harbor across the road , whats really interesting is the lads fishing with hand lines really simple stuff a bit of line maybe a hook and a bit of whatever they could find as bait or something shinny  , you know looking at this reminds me so much of my childhood trips with my folks to the local beach where i would pretty much do the same , how far have we come these days with complicated rigs and lures , flies and fly rods, fluro carbon and braided line , camo and realtree outfits  mabey we should look at our past and how we used to fish would we catch more fish or just the same who knows but hey a nice little trip into yesteryear  but whatever i love this humble picture  

so this week i decided to go on another recon but this time i took my son with me to pass on the knowledge and as we were heading to the a few bits i wanted to look at i noticed there was a big ol hunk of warship sat in the docks and well me an the boy being ever curious went for a gander and turns out that it was in town for the start of the Edinburgh festival and was open to the public well it would have been rude not to go take a look really wouldn't it

so we had a great day walking round this big old hunk of royal navy might and my son loved playing with the machine guns (unloaded) talking to the sailors and well all the usual stuff small boys would enjoy doing on a big ship absolutely fantastic  and as we were walking round i kept looking over the side for fishing opportunitys well you have to don't you .

 oh and i got a shot in the captains chair outstanding fun 

so recon done i checked the tides and headed out mid afternoon on a sunday , i was fishing pretty much the top of the tide and fishing as it went back out and this time i remembered my sprat flies , i did wonder if there would be anybody else around at my chosen spot and well to be honest i dont usually fish at weekend unless im somewhere really remote and well being in the city was always going to be a risk especially at the weekend and with the school summer holidays upon us .

i reached my chosen spot and yup it was full of weekend anglers and a gazzillion kids , OK great to see kids out and fishing but i would have rather it not been at the same time as me but hey you know fair enough at least they were out and not in front of a screen i suppose so not going to complain too much

don't they look sexy 

yet again i found myself standing in the water watching baitfish swimming around , not something ill ever tire off i think 

slightly different place this time and closer to the incoming ships and i couldn't but marvel at the casting platform on this boat but no matter how hard i tried i couldn't get them to take me out

standing in water is great , standing in warmish saltwater is also great , standing in any water watching fish swim around (although bait fish) is just brilliant and you know i actually threw my fly in around the bait fish and they started swimming with it absolutely brilliant to watch and most of all i know i nailed my sprat fly pattern , threes no better compliment than having the species you tied a fly to replicate actually thinking its one of there own .

did i catch this time , well nope not a bloody thing , but on the plus side there was around 20 odd anglers around and none of them had caught either so i didn't feel so bad and to be honest it was great to get out so im happy with that for now .


so been messing with a material ive found and its really quite messy and fragile to tie with and at first i thought what i was doing wasn't going to work as when i was pulling the fiber it was pretty much coming apart but i persevered with it  as i knew it would make great flies  

so i made a few in different colors and played around with the tying technique and took enm down the saltwater and to be honest they out performed my expectations of them and one wet the fibers bonded together and became quite strong and most important didn't lose there shape in the water this was down to finishing the head of the fly with diamond fine uv from deercreek which helps keep its shape 

so all in all a good trip but like so many had to come to an end due to work commitments 

below is a selection of flies i tied using my new material 

most of these are small baitfish imitations and all of thenm ive used deercreeks uv flex for the heads as it tends to keep the fish shape and not flatten out and obviously its a lot lighter than epoxy and it bonds to the material really well with a glass like finish and im genreally pleased with the result although ill have to fish them some more to test them fully 

of course i stuck these up on my facebook page and straight away my old friend simon wanted some larger versions for bass which ive happily obliged as you can see in the picture below although these are test flies and im not sure how the larger ones will stand up to the riggers of simons casting to be honest (kidding mate honest) but im sure he will let me know

so in the news lately and quite a shock to be honest was the world famous (or infamous take your pick) ant from savage gear , well ant has parted from the savage gear ranks and is moving on to pastures new , now ive always enjoyed a bit of banter with ant and a nicer bloke you couldn't meet so whatever hes up to next i wish him every success the blokes a fishing machine oh and he has a great taste in music so keep cooking the cajun chicken pal

oh and many years ago ant asked me to do him a load of small flies that he could chuck around in weedy swims and obviously i was happy to help although the bugger has kept his catches under his beard but he loved these little fry flies ........no with hindsight i think he was suing them on dropshot gear but thats just a hunch ......ant your a legend catch ya soon

so as i said earlier i am having a few arm problems but im not giving up fly fishing , far from it , fly fishing is my first love and ill be continuing to do it as well as other methods , and having some great saltwater on my doorstep its also worth me having some grab and go lure gear , i have just recently purchased a really light weight rod to give me a challenge in the salt , in my early days of lure fishing i was always keen on light line tactics and this is something im keen to explore with today's new methods and well having this on my doorstep it would be rude not to.

what i can tell you is with the light gear i have acquired ill be making new flies that i can use on the gear and im really quite excited about it to be honest but more on that along with some more flees next blog as long as i don't pull anymore overnight shifts .....now that's a drag 

(a cave in scotland)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

big step by step flash fly


ok folks i had a recent request to do a photo step by step for a large flashy type fly for pike and no doubt muskies would be up for it as well if you tuning in from the states so as always happy to  oblige , for this fly you will need the following 

6/0 octopus hook 
magnum flashabou in silver
orange uv fritz  
clear mono tying thread 
uv finish (dont use bugbond it cures tacky) or varnish

1 - ministry of the bloody obvious , stick the hook in the vice 

2 - add a pinch of strong glue (i use zap a gap ) i wish they would do croc glue again that stuff was awesome 

3 - take your mono tying thread and wrap around the hook making sure you spread the glue as you wrap round , this give a strong tying base and you materials wont move on the hook when finished 

4 - take you flashabou and place along the hook at the point of the curve , leave enough material to fold a few inchs back over this will help profile the fly 

5 - take a length (around 2 inchs) of chenille and tie in in front of the flashabou 

6 - wrap around until you have a ball of chenille and tie down (the reason for this will be obvious in the next few steps)  

7 - now take a few strands of flashabou and place around 3 quarters of it facing away from the hook  

8 - repeat this on each side and top and bottom and add a couple of wraps of mono to hold in place 

9 - now take each piece from the top middle and sides one at a time and fold back and secure 

10 -  now you can see what the ball of chenille does it give the material something to lye on creating a profile when wet  

11 - take a few full strands of flashabou and tye in this will give you length on the back of the fly , also worth noting you can add any color of flashabou  at this point to create a different back color  

12 - now tie off and seal with a high quality uv (i still use deer creeks uv as quite simply it is the best out there and cures in a few seconds , unlike other brands which dry tacky )

13 - a few seconds blast and its cured 

14 - a fast perfectly bombproof head 

and there you have it a fast simple and very effective predator fly and worth having a few in your box 

below is a few examples of different ideas you can do to pimp em up

have fun 

greetings from the cave