Category Archives: Fly Tying

See our favourite patterns and the ones that work best on our local rivers

Welsh river trials on the river Tawe , leg 1

Well we asked for rain and we got it but way to much and on the day of the bloody trial. Typical hey!

Condition are not the best river rising and slightly coloured but the weather says it’s going to pass over around midday, Fingers crossed for the boys because it’s going to get interesting.

Today I’ll be controlling Terry Evans / Wales manager and good friend!

Always a tense time waiting for the time to kick off, it’s like time slows down. Your thoughts go onto that first fish and to get it the net to settle them early match nerves!

My thoughts on condition and looking at the water and height, Ide be using the French leader with a variety of colours, silver beads, black, orange and even white but with black pearly body’s and flashy Darker flies, Not forgetting the streamers in places!

It’s going to be interesting how Terry is going to attack the first beat and get the best out of it. Fast runs with good depth and lovely long pools, Looks quite fishy

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Well terry headed into the head of this run and took a fish straight away but didn’t measure at 17.2cm Very unlucky and was needed due to conditions changing quite fast. Water was coming up and all the branches and rubbish started to come down. Most casts coming back with weed or small branches attached.

Finally a measure came in falling to a black small streamer pulled through the edge!

Not long after terry hooked a good fish but spat the hook while playing, Not a good thing to happen in a comp that is tuff Fishing but you must not think about the what ifs and carry on looking for the next one!

Conditions are changing by the minute now, There could be a few blanks in these early sessions for a few but that’s comp fishing, you haft to fish to the conditions and this could happen on comp day, You must be able to adapt to the changing conditions as quickly as possible.

As you can see in a short space of time the difference in water level after the first sessions below. The river was getting big and nasty!

The day was turning into a nightmare for the anglers and I was very glad I retained my place due to winning the brown bowl and didn’t haft to trial

There was much talk about blanks and how hard it was getting but the rain blew over and the river peeked so it started to drop quickly and the colour started to run out in the afternoon session. Look at that rise :S not good!

Still pushing but more fish able Terrys afternoon peg was a cracker but it wasn’t going to be easy due to a small river running in on the left side looking up river giving it more colour. But there was a seam between rivers that screamed fish. Terry managed 1 in the 3rd session and 3 in the last session.

Good angling in the condition for sure.

Overall a very tuff and hard trial but fish were caught and the first part is over. Next the taff for the final! Good luck to boys and good hunting for that one. Hopefully better condition

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the day below and what the boys had to contend with. If it was a normal days Fishing you would have packed up and gone for a pint! But this is comp fishing ūüôā

Finale results for leg 1

Nice to be back tying after such a long time

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve posted sorry guys and girls. Due to an eye condition it put everything on hold for over 9/10 months but I’m Back doing what I love, fly Fishing and fly tying.

I’ve started tying new boxes and sorting my gear ready for a day on the water. Well soon as we have water! What a crazy few months it’s been with this hot weather. Rivers are on there bones and fish are stressed. But tonight the heavens have opened:). Well here is what I’ve been tying the last few days ready for my trip!

Grayling candy

Well the grayling are back in the crosshairs and the vice has been red hot getting ready for it!

Hopefully the weather will be kind this year, giving us many chances to fish for the stunning fish!

Been tying all sorts and in all manner of colours,Pinks,purples, Flo orange and Gold. Always great to have a wide selection of colours in the box but also don’t forget the drab flies, the more natural looking colours, brown, tan, black, and greens!

Below there are a few selections of my favourites ready to hit the water. I’ll put up the more natural patterns soon. Warning please wear dark glasses with these images ūüôā All materials are bought from Funkyfly tying, Great company and great products!

Grayling in the margins

Well what a bloody mess this weather has been, rain rain rain! Rivers are in full flow and haven’t dropped much at all. I almost gave up and thought I would wait for the trout season to kick in but finally the rain stopped just enough for the river to drop and clear a little. Not ideal conditions but there we are, we have to make the most of it sometimes!

The river was still pushing and with a fair amount of colour but it’s the best it’s been for sometime so me and my butty Dan headed out hoping to find a few grayling tucked up in the margins out of the main flow!

Dan with a fine grayling below!

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Me and Dan went for more the czech nymping style of fishing, fishing close and under our feet and with a heavy bug at the point with a smaller more natural pattern on the dropper. The point fly with the most weight was to¬†slow the drift and get down deep and to keep the smaller more natural nymph in the feeding zone! If it wasn’t dead drift they didn’t want to know at all! I did induce¬†a few fish by giving the tip a jiggle and lifting the flies and dropping them, works well sometimes but not always!

Top dropper fly and the killer of the trip!

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Dan was well into the grayling, taking good numbers of all sizes tight in, we both switched back and forth going fish for fish working up the sides. Just wish we could have coveredd more of the water but it was impossible. I was glad the rain held off just enough for us to have a few hours to break the cabin fever.

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First session on the grayling.

The trout season has just passed so the grayling are the next target.  Thymallus Thymallus, the lady of the stream!

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Waking up nice and early with a zing in my step I was soon out the door and down the river setting up the 10ft 3wt. due to being so early and cold the nymphs were what I started on!

The  point fly was a size 16 squirrel and partridge jig with a 2.5m bead and the dropper fly was an olive caddis pattern also with a 2.5m bead. These two nymphs are great all year around!I

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I headed¬†for the slower waters around 3/4ft of where the grayling like to hang around this time of the year, I opted for the two nymph setup with the French leader. I slowly¬†fished up river casting a long line covering a lot of water with not much disturbance.¬† It wasn’t long and the leader slipping up river¬†to a fine grayling around the 1lb mark! First of the session and in perfect condition.

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As the afternoon went on a few small olives started to hatch and it wasn’t long and the grayling started to rise. Problem was there were so many small grayling it was quite impossible to hook a better size grayling due to the fast little buggers taking the fly or dragging it under, so¬† I changed back¬†to the nymphs and fished hard on the bottom and it worked quite well.¬† I still caught many smaller grayling but there were¬†many more¬†bigger fish than small so result!

click on the images below to enlarge

 

 

 

 

Late season trout

Only a few days of the trout season left now and to make the most of it my good friend, Nicholas Steedman, and I spent a day on a small stream hoping to find some late season trout. A cold night meant that the fishing was slow in the morning although we both caught some lovely small trout in their spawning colours:

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A superb hatch of various insects in the afternoon brought some great dry fly sport. The fish were clearly feeding hard before the winter and we were both able to pick off a number of fish that were picking off duns and emergers.

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The standout fly of the day was this hot spot nymph:

 

The hot spot is¬†tied with the new Harvey Angling micro fibre which is perfect for creating a bright target point on nymphs. However, it’s so fine that you can also use it for bodies on nymphs. The olive fly in the photo below was particularly good during hatch in the afternoon:

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Liquid Glass UV Cure Resin

Cold, damp spring days aren’t favoured by many but for the fisherman, they can offer superb fishing.¬†Inverterbrates seem to favour these dour days and hatch en masse. None more so than the dimunitive¬†Iron Blue Dun which can often save the day when you might have second thoughts about going fishing. Today was one of those days and my good friend, Nicholas Steedman, and I experienced a hatch of Iron Blue Duns of biblical proportions. The river was covered with duns! These rare occasions can prove frustrating – with more food available than even the greediest trout can feed on, they become selective and tricky to fool. Surprisingly today the stand out fly was a Large Brook Dun ’emerger’ which is generic enough to pass as¬†a general olive emerger pattern. Large Brook Duns are frequently claimed to be of no interest to the fisherman but these large upwings often get blown onto the water or hatch mid-river (despite only being meant to hatch by crawling up stones on the side of the river). With thousands of Iron Blue Duns and a smattering of Large Brook Duns plus a few other species the trout were spoilt for choice today but the larger imitation certainly proved the most effective at fooling some tricky trout:-)

I’ve included a few photos of the fly below (previously posted on an earlier post). The body is natural stripped peacock quill which is protected by Harvey Angling’s¬†Liquid Glass UV Cure Resin which dries clear and tack free – exactly what you want from a UV resin! Give the fly a try, you won’t be disappointed;-)

Dressing:
Hook Tiemco TMC 200R #14
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Stripped quill (natural) and liquid glass uv resin
Thorax: Fox squirrel
Wing: cdc
Hackle: Metz Honey Dun

The Liquid Glass UV Resin is available from Harvey Angling

march brown

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March Brown Fly Pattern!

It’s that time again that the March browns are starting to show up in and around the large dark olive hatches so I had to restock the dries box for the pattern that I use to match the hatch. I didn’t have many left from last year so it was a few hours on the vice and I was ready to go!

I do enjoy this time of year when the March Brown’s starts to hatch because this is the time that the larger trout start to show looking for a mouth full after¬†the¬†long winter months!

I find the key to catching the larger trout of the river is to spend a lot of time watching the water and timing the hatches perfect In certain spots of the river.¬† Most large deep pools hold the bigger fish but they¬†are not always seen! I can spend the whole hatch watching one place of the river and waiting for that tell-tale sign or sound, the dimple or the slurp! This can get the pulse going and the hands shaking for sure. It doesn’t ¬†always happen but when it does its fantastic!

This trout below was one of them fantastic days ūüôā Watching and waiting will pay off in the end!

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When I get to the river bank I decide there and then what im going to do after looking at the conditions. if it feels right I go looking and watching. But other days I just like to amble my way up river fishing most spots and taking in the scenery and the local wildlife..

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I’ve also been tying the March brown nymph that works very well before the hatch starts. I like to fish this with the French leader in the long slow pools where the larger fish tend to wait around waiting on the hatch to start, I also fish this nymph if there is a tricky fish feeding that don’t want to eat the dun. I like to put a small¬†amount of gink to the cdc and the tail, this helps to slow the fly down as it goes through the water column.¬† This can be a killer and has worked on so many occasions for me!

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Large dark olives are out in force!

Headed out this morning around half past 9 with a plan ūüôā

The plan was to see if the trout had moved into the shallower glides and runs already with all the fly life that has been going on, I did turn a few rocks over at the start to see what was going on under there. loads of stone clingers and olive nymphs ready to emerge ūüôā The wind and the bright sun was a bit of a pain from the start so I did wonder if the flies were going to make a appearance later on in the day with any good numbers. Only time would tell.

As ive said in other posts, early season can be tough and frustrating but it does get better as it goes on so hang on in there!.  I started with fishing the French leader with only the single nymph. set up was 4ft of 1.40 stroft around 3ft from the indicator to the point fly, the fly choice was a 3m silver head hares ear hotspot, scruffy as hell thing but a good early season fly for me!

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¬†The dry fly patterns I use to match the large dark olive hatch are the cdc emerger for the start of the hatch that works a treat and as the hatch goes on and the trout switch to the dun I use something a little different ūüôā Both patterns below!

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As I was bugging my way into the second run of the¬†morning my good mate¬†Sion Lewis AKA¬†Lewy¬†give me a ring asking where I was, not long after Lewy met me on the river hoping to brush the cobwebs away after a long absence off the river due to work commitments. It wasn’t long and lewy was into his first trout of the season for him.¬† Not a bad trout for the first either, lucky bugger ūüôā

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As we moved our way around the river the olives started to hatch and the trout started to feed hard, we both¬†were taking fish on the¬†nymphs and the dry but¬†we both decided¬†on moving out of the faster flowing¬†waters to go on to the flat pools¬†concentrating on the rising fish!¬† The olive hatch was in full swing and fish started to rise all over the place. I did see a good number of March brown going by. I did catch one and give it a good looking at and they were march browns! It’s nice to see them in good numbers on the river Taff, over the years the hatches of the march brown have been¬†very¬†rare. I’ll try to get a good photo next time out, my little camera just doesn’t do the job so ill have my kit with me on the next outing. .

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the trout that we both caught ūüôā

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Pheasant Tail Emerger Pattern

It’s great to have the dry-fly setup once again and my go to pattern early season is the pheasant tail emerger. Fishing is still slow but I enjoy just creeping around the river when the hatches start. At the moment the large dark olives are coming on around 11am to about 2pm and then they tend to peter off, but in this time you can have a little fun, they don’t turn their noses up to this pattern and It have accounted for many of my big fish that I’ve managed to catch over the years on my local waters!

 I tie this fly in size16/14/12s

  • SONY DSCHook. Kamasan B100.
  • Thread, Black UTC 170.
  • Body. 4 pheasant tail fibers
  • Rib. 2lb mono.
  • Hackle. Blue dun.

I like to tie this pattern on the kamasan due to the quality of the hooks and the strength. It’s Very important to have full confidence in the hooks when you hook into that fish of a lifetime! These have the thumbs up from me! Here is a link for the hooks so please check it out they won’t let you down! ..https://www.cliff-harvey-angling.co.uk/search_prod_list.asp?maingroup=HOOKS&thirdgroup=Kamasan&cha_product_category=8