Friday, 22 November 2013

PhD (Peter Hayes Dun)

Peter Hayes' PhD is pretty much my favourite olive dry fly. I came across it in FF&FT in 2005; Peter was running a series revealing the flies he had developed. The mix of muskrat underfur over yellow thread and paraloop hackle splitting a V wing is superb. 

PhD sbs 1

Start off by running a layer of thread to the end of the hook shank; I am using yellow Gudebrod 10/0. At the bend form a small ball of thread. I use wax to stop the thread slipping off itself. Tie a bunch of microfibbets on top of the ball (around 7-8), bed the thread down as much as you dare, this will help to splay the fibbets. Tie the ends of the fibbets down on top of the shank to a point about halfway to two thirds, the butts will form the post to wrap the hackle around. Tie in a length of yellow Pearsalls silk where the fibbets are tied down.

PhD sbs 2

Wrap the silk back towards the tail.

PhD sbs 3

Now dub the body with muskrat underfur, making a nice taper. the dubbing should be thin enough to allow the silk to show through near the tail.

PhD sbs 4

Tie in a clump of silver mallard flank, leave a gap about a hook eyes width. The wing will be split into a V by the paraloop hackle so you can begin parting it in two half's.

PhD sbs 5

PhD sbs 6

Tie in the hackle - I have used medium grey dun - and dub the thorax; again muskrat is used.

PhD sbs 7

Wrap the hackle up the microfibbet butts to a length that meets the eye, wrap the hackle back down a couple of turns.

PhD sbs 8

PhD sbs 9

Tie down the fibbet butts with firm tight wraps. Pull the butts as hard as you can, this will trap the hackle without needing to tie it in. Fold back the butts and wrap a head, this will prevent them being pulled out inadvertently. Whip finish.

PhD sbs 10

PhD sbs 11

PhD sbs 12

PhD sbs 13

A darker hackle and dyed mallard gives this PhD an overall darker appearance.

PhD (Peter Hayes Dun)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

CDC and Elk

Such a simple fly but one I've not tried before. I have never had much luck with dry caddis patterns, they've been more of a chance it method rather than being the fly to use. I did witness a caddis hatch this year, though the fish were taking to ascending pupa rather than the adult I was pleased to actually see a proper hatch. Most of this really does boil down to my fishing times being of a social nature. I rarely fish late. I'm too considerate to my partner, it would be unfair to fish into darkness and leave bedtime duties solely to her. Despite all this it would be foolish to not have any adult caddis patterns in your box. This is one I have now added to mine, I'll make an effort to use it when I can.
White cdc dyed with a Kurecolor marker colour 504
Dark brown cdc
Dark brown CDC

Monday, 11 November 2013

50 shades of grey bodied dries

I wonder if I'm alone in having several successful dry-flies that possess grey bodies. A fail safe pattern that I would never leave without is the Adams Klinkhåmer.

So it would be safe to presume that the original Adams along with other variations would serve well.
Adams in its original guise
Adams paraloop emerger
Another established pattern is the Grey Duster. Originally tied to represent an emerging midge, many use it to imitate olives.
Grey Duster with golden badger hackle

What about Oliver Kites Imperial. Tied as a Large Dark Olive pattern it incorporated heron herl for the abdomen.
Kite's Imperial variant tied with a medium ginger hackle

Peter Hayes' PhD is without doubt my favourite olive imitation. Muskrat provides the grey in this pattern; also in common with another successful grey bodied fly it has an underbody of yellow thread.
PhD showing the underside. The hackle is tied paraloop style.

Front view showing the paraloop hackle and split wing
The Waterhen Bloa is one of the all time greatest north country spiders. A body of yellow silk with a misting of mole fur for dubbing. So it would be safe to apply the same to a dry-fly. Having never spoken to john Tyzack I don't know if the WhB was the inspiration behind his JT olive, but I like to think so. I have never used this pattern before but I have plenty tied up for the coming season.
The JT olive
JT olive tied with a sparsely dubbed body

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sculpin, Trout and Shrimpy went fishing up North.

Took a rare trip up North today. Met up with Mike (Luke Troutstalker) and Danny (Pinkshrimp) and fished a couple of rivers for grayling. A blip in the river levels kept us anxious, I've been trying to arrange a trip with Mike for a couple of months but childcare being the reason for postponement.
One of Danny's fish
The fishing was hard today, recent reports suggested the fishing would be good but proved to be less than anticipated. We started on a smallish river that carried a dark peaty colour, with the water level at a good height. It was stark contrast to what I'm used to fishing, although the river sizes are similar, this river has a larger volume of water flowing in it and not being able to see the bottom made for interesting wading.

I started on a nice run with the current flowing down the far side creating a crease down the middle. Mike and Danny headed downstream to fish a different part. I fished the run through but only an OOS trout caught on a JP pupa rewarded me for my efforts. Mike caught a 14" grayling from the section he fished.

Danny and Mike fishing a run
We all made our way upstream leap-frogging and fishing various stretches. I managed a size-able grayling on a Utah killer bug and Danny added a couple of grayling to his tally. We fished for an hour or so and once we'd reached a weir we turned and headed back to the car.
For once I had a picture of  me
A quick drive took us to another river, this being larger with a greyish tinge to the water. A productive riffle was our port of call. A side stream flowing created another crease which we focused our efforts on. Only one grayling came out on this part to me; this was after Mike had fished through moving upstream. Further upstream collectively we winkled out about half a dozen grayling of various sizes. Another weir signaled the end of this stretch. Just above the weir sill I could see a grayling rising, but the rises were sporadic and the fish was moving around a lot making it hard to pin point it's location. A quick fly change saw me tie on a klinkhåmer but I failed to locate the fish.

Another move; same river different part. A pacey run failed to produce but Danny found a lone grayling in a small tongue of current. I found my biggest grayling along with a shed loads of sprats at the top of the run lying hard in a crease. By this point Mike and Danny had moved off downstream. After I had fished out the run I ventured down to find the other two. On the way down I caught another OOS trout.
Plenty of sprats about, bodes well for the future
My biggest grayling of the day
Danny told me that some fish had been rising upstream of them. I had almost had enough by this point, it had been long day and I was starting to get cold but the thought of catching one on the dry fly renewed my vigor. Off came the bead heads and on went an Adams klinkhåmer. Danny told me where a fish had rose. It was lying just off from a tussock of grass. Second cast saw it suck down the fly, an almost immediate lift connected the fish. I took a further two more to the dry, one was a sighted fished that took my fly four times before I finally connected with it. The other was found with some classic watercraft. Near the bank I could see all the floating and submerged leaves being funneled showing what probably was a food lane. An accurate cast located another grayling and Danny managed two grayling on dries too.
Despite squally winds and lower temperature the fish were willing to look up

One of Danny's dry fly caught grayling