It’s been a while since I have posted I have had a really good summer I took a month away from my beloved Trout to peruse my summer Carp, sixty carp this year over five trips and although I didn’t take any in the twenty’s there were plenty of fish .
I spent allot of time fishing the evening rises at Garnffrwd the dry fly fishing has been superb I don’t think I have caught so many Brown trout in any summer before . These are some of my successful patterns .
And some of the stunning fish .
Some of the other fisheries I fished Ravensnest Woolaston court and Manningford trout fishery all providing excellent sport .
I have also spent a lot of time at the vice and also had my first trip for sea trout on the river Afan although I didn’t catch one it was a great experience .
Over the last five years of fly tying I have used many of the uv cure resins Bug Bond , Deer Creek, Bug off and clear Goo. Much has been discussed on social media and through the various fishing forums about uv resins, the main bug bear seems to be the fact that after curing they have a tacky finish. My personal preference over the last 12 months or so is for the bug bond lite and even with the bug bond pro torch there is a slight tack to the finish and I have always given a top coat of clear varnish hard as nails or similar. So when Gareth at Harvey angling told me ha has a new uv resin coming out I was quite excited as hopefully this would be one I could finally hit with the torch and put the fly in my box. I have to say liquid glass is exceptional giving a rock hard finish with a clear glass look with no tack after a few seconds with the Harvey Angling torch , the consistency of the resin is very workable and gives you plenty of time to work the resin on the fly without being to runny.
A mention about the torch the main drawback with the Venyards torch is the cost At around £35 the Harvey’s torch costs £18.99 and is twice a bright and the Venyards one so this is also worth a look. For me the me this new resin will be my choice from now on and Gareth informs me there is a lite version on the way as well.
Last Sunday saw myself and my boat partner and chauffeur Ian make the 2 hour journey to Llyn Clywedog for the Scierra Pairs run by england international Phil Dixon. A little bit of a back ground on the event the Scierra Pairs carries the highest prize fund in British competition fly-fishing,the format allows a pair of anglers entering to fish in the same boat. Restrictive rules are kept to a minimum and the competition allows all flies permitted by the fishery. There are 21 heats all around the country with the grand final at Rutland Water – Sunday 6th September. Placings are determined on the basis of the pairs total weight, including time bonus where applicable, and all fishing is done from a drifting boat.
Neither of us had fished hear before so it would be a learning curve all-round I had spent the last few weeks tying all manner of flies but with the weather conditions and this being a comp with time bonus we both felt that pulling flies would be the better option and the name of the game is to catch our 16 fish limit and get in as soon as we could.
The fishing was hard I didn’t have a fish for the first 3 hrs and with Ian on 2 we had our work cut out for us, 2 blobs and a booby on the point and a di 3 line saw me find some fish and I took 5 in just over an hour we spent the last few hrs of the comp around the nets and down towards the sailing club but with only 2 more fish to the boat taking Ian to 6 and a total 11 to the boat we headed back to the dock , the event was won by Gareth Dixon and his boat partner with a 34lb total including time bonuses they had their 16 fish by 12.30 . Our total weight was 11 fish fro 16lb 2 oz and a thoughrally enjoyable day .
The last Months has been a very busy time for me what with Easter and Morgan’s birthday, we have had several trips out and the fishing has been very good with lots of fish being taken on dries and the weather being very warm the fly hatches have been exceptional for the time of year with huge Sedges and Buzzers hatching at Eglwys Nunydd and the same very large Sedges and some large March Browns showing at Bigwell. I had my first go at boat fishing last month and to be fair I really enjoyed it I have made several trips out over at Eglwys and Morgan has had his first taste and Is very excited about his next . For his birthday he asked us to take him to Lechlade so we booked a Premier in and thought we would make the most of the two days and call in at Bigwell on the way .
We had an early start with a home cooked breakfast before loading the car and making the 70 mile trip to Bigwell, Morgan decided he wasn’t going to fish as he was saving himself for the following day so I had the opportunity to take my time and enjoy the afternoon. It was very busy so I didn’t have the chance to get on gin pool which is my favourite I spent my time switching between middle and lodge pool, I prefer to use my 9ft 5# set up with a Rio grand floating line as I find I can cover all the pools and the varied depths, not to mention the great sport a 5# offers rather than my usual 7#’s . The day was very enjoyable and I had my 10 fish limit over four hours on a verity of flies pink eggs being the most productive and the international hopper.
The following day we were at Lechlade somewhere I had wanted to visit for a few years I had heard lots of reports good and bad, I never pay to much attention to the reports preferring to make my own mind up and form my own opinions as we are not all the same one man’s meat is another man’s poison so to speak . Lechlade is a stunning venue Tim small certainly has done a superb job, Morgan set up his 9ft 7# with a floating line long leader and a selection of damsel patterns on a long flurocarbon leader. The fishing was not easy but very fruitful Morgan took both his personal best rainbow of 7lb 4 and brown of 8 lb .
I have been persevering with my boat fishing and putting in lots of practise for the Scierra Pair’s no Lyn Clewedog ,
On our latest visit to Bigwell I took my personal best rainbow of 10lb 3 oz from the gin pool a beautiful fish that was safely released and has been caught several times since.
On a final note Morgan qualified for junior trout masters from both Lechlade and Bigwell for the month of April.
I Had the pleasure this week of trying the New Zealand Strike Indicators. These have recently become very popular among both stillwater and river anglers. This simple ingenious idea, designed by Barry Dombro has to be the leading strike indicator available.
The tool is supplied with a sample pack of wool and additional tube. There is enough tube to keep you going for a season at least. Placing the indicator on to the line is simple. All you have to do do is pop the line in to the eye of the tool and push the tube over creating a small loop. Insert a piece of the New Zealand Wool and pull the line back creating your indicator.
There is a fantastic video on Harvey Angling website showing how the New Zealand Strike Indicator works. It really is a simple as the video
A few days ago I had the opportunity to go on the boat at Eglwys with my boat partner and comity member Ian (noddy ) Thomas you will see why from the photo late on, we arrived at the lake at around 830 am I made the coffee’s in the lodge while Ian set up the engine we tackled up and motored out from the jetty around 915.
As I have no boat experience I relied on Ian’s experience and soaked up all the advise I could get we motored up to the bay and set up for our first drift in to the bay. My initial set up was an intermediate and two blobs while Ian tried a di3 with the same set up, we saw lots of fish moving and a few starting to rise but after a couple of drifts we were still fish less. We spoke to the guys on one of the other boats who had taken four fish on the di5 deep , we made the switch and set up for another drift from the inlet both of us having a few tentative plucks but no solid takes Ian switched to a floating line with some nymphs while I changed to a sink tip staying with the blob set up. No takes on the drift we set up again from the inlet I gad a few more plucks but it was Ian who was in to the first fish on a di5 under the boat on the hang taking an orange blob.
After two more drifts we came in to have lunch and a brew after which we headed over to the Boc wall and with no fish showing I changed to a di5 with a three fly cast a black and green booby on the point middle dropper an orange blob top dropper a hot coral blob, drifting back over at the inlet I had my first take which broke me of , after a quick re tackle I was in to my first fish on the black and green booby the fish put up a huge fight before being netted.
back at the start of the drift Ian took his second fish.
and a couple of casts I was in to my third fish which again gave a superb account of its self .
Lots of fish were rising so we both switched to dries I couldn’t get a take but Ian took his third fish on a suspender buzzer similar to the one below but tied on a straight hook.
After several more takes with no hook ups and concious of time we decided to have a couple more drifts in front of thre Boc wall as the wing changed quite dramatically. I changed to a couple of buzzers and had a solid hook up but the fish decided it was happier flying rather than swimming and threw the hook at the boat . we then headed in as time got the better of us I had a really good day and would like to thank Ian for a very steep but tremendous learning curve and for making me fall of my seat while pulling of.
Today I made the short journey to Monmouthshire to visit what has to be my favourite small still water Bigwell in Tinmans Green owned by the wonder full couple Gary and Sue, just a little bit of a back ground on the venue Gary and sue took over the fishery nearly two years ago in may at the time the fishery was run down with a rather un favourable reputation. What a transformation they have put in some immense hard work with and excellent fishing lodge full catering and toilet facilities with free tea and coffee for the anglers good food as well as a very healthily stocked tackle shop that carries prity much everything you need. There is a variety of tickets available for the catch and release angler catch ant take angler and a bit of both with evening tickets available in the warmer months. Gary has his figure on the pulse as far as fishery management goes and himself is a seasoned fly fisherman him self and former trout masters finalist, always on hand to give advise on fly selection tactics and even a hand with casting . And with the venues reputation booming and the word on the grapevine that the fish were fighting very hard I couldn’t wait to get started.
My set up for Bigwell is simple 9ft 5# rod and a 5# floating line I really don’t see the need to go much heavier that this as you can cover most of the venues three pools with minimum effort , fly selection is a little harder and is all dictated by the fish on the day and conditions. a quick word with the man in the know at the start cats whiskers buzzers daddy’s and a few small dries sedges ect have been working in the last few days as well as the ever reliable egg fly early season. so I set up a black and green buzzer for me and yellow egg for Morgan, And it was Morgan who was in first cast with his yellow egg.
We started on the middle pool and a few casts later it was my turn with very hard fighting rainbow in the bag I tell you something Alex Higgins needed beta blockers to play snooker he aught to try Bigwells trout they are mental hang on to your hats. the morning session was very eventful with us taking three each from the middle pool mainly on the egg fly and then me taking a further fish on gin pool on a black red tag buzzer before heading to the lodge for a brew and lunch.
After a nice leisurely lunch and Georgie munching her way through half my tuna sandwiches It was time to get back to the fishing on the bottom pool , again setting out with the egg flies we both picked up a few fish before the action tailed of , I had seen a few fish rising so it was on with a small size 14 hopper rising two fish and missing the take third time I finally got it rite and the fish bolted for cover and after a manic fight a superb fish of around 3lb was safely netted and returned.
The action slowed and we moved between all three pool and decided to see if a pink squirmy worm would do the trick maybe something they hadn’t seen much of and boy dis that do the job Morgan hit a run of four fish consecutive taking him up to his ten fish limit with me lagging behind by two.
I switched to the pink worm quickly taking my last two to take my limit giving us twenty fish between us all safely returned .
I really cannot praise Bigwell enough if you want a sound days fishing an beautiful surroundings and good company this is the venue for you!
Bigwell is now a Trout Masters water for 2015 sou you have the chance to get a badge and qualify for the final .
I spotted these coming in last week and as I had bought some Hemmingway’s dubbing already in this type of container and with the large amounts of dubbing packets I have lying around I had to order some great fro your general storage, but equally handy for the travelling angler I now have two of these in my travel tying kit saving valuable space . As you can see I have found a new home for Andrew’s dubbing .
Hear is a link for you Clear compact dubbing box
As I tie all my flies on barbless hooks I have been on the look out for a good quality traditional bend hook that I could use to replace the kamasan b175 . When Harvey Angling had their Partridge range of barbless hooks I bought the sproat wet pattern , these are a perfect alternative to the b175 the sizing is almost identical and no more de barbing hundred’s of hooks before you tie. They are available on the Harvey angling website at £3.95 for 25 .
I was recently fortunate to buy a range of Andrew Ellis squirrel dubbing, after playing around at the vice I can tell you its an amazing quality dubbing that produces the mos amazing effects both combed out to get the scruffy buggy look or dubbed as a thorax and is extremely easy to dub.
A but about it’s inventor ;
Andrew has been fly fishing for 40 years he learned to tie flies before he learned to fly fish. Andrew has been dying and making his own dubbing for a number of years because in his own words ” I got fed up of having to buy lots of single ‘flat’ colours and materials to blend together to get exactly what I wanted colour and texture wise.” The dubbing’s are supplied ready blended that’s got just enough spike but is easy to dub. It’s invariably made with a number of blended colours because in nature nothing is a single plain colour! “Just dub as a noodle, touch dub or split thread, give it a wee scrub with Velcro and you’re good to go. I tie a lot of scruffy flies, by design, over the years I’ve always found that the scruffier a fly gets, the more fish it catches, so I now start fishing them looking like they do when they’ve already caught a few.”
The star of the show is the Appleby Olive blend which has caught fish all over the uk and in Newzeland , and is this named as it has caught one the biggest fish on the Appleby beat of the Eden last year a fish of just over 4lb.
This is the fly designed by Andrew.
A few of Andrews personal scruffy buzzers .
These are a few more of the colours available with 10 colours in the pipeline selling at £2.50 per pack with £1 postage for up to 5 packets I cannot stress enough how good this product is please give it a go you wont be disappointed.
Andrew can be contacted on his email address firstname.lastname@example.org
and also has a face book page
as soon as I have experimented I will be putting up my own photos of flies tied with this amazing dubbing .