Tuesday, 1 March 2016

It's been a while

It's fair to say things have been pretty quiet on the fishing front for me, I don't think I was prepared for how disruptive changing jobs as well as having a newborn would be. I'm certain a balance has now been reached as I have settled into a routine and begun to find time to tie flies and even a trip or two fishing recently.

As mentioned in the last blog post I have been tying dry-flies for the Wild Trout Trust annual auction, these are now finished and the box is complete and ready to go. Of course calling the selection early season dry flies is stretching it a little as I have included the devastatingly effective Adams Klinkhamer, which in certain parts of the UK fall foul of a dry-fly only rule and a variation of Gwilym Hughes' Cul-de-Canon which is another emerger pattern.

So now that the box is finished, what is included:

WTT Auction Early Season Dry Fly Box

Barbour Paraloop Dun
10 size 14 Barbour Paraloop Duns in dark variation
JT Olive
10 size 16 JT Olive
Cul-de-Canon Variant
10 Size 12 Cul-de-Canon variant
10 size 14 Jingler
March Brown Jingler
10 Size 12 March Brown Jingler
Adams Klinkhamer
10 Adams Klinkhamer - 5 size 12, 5 size 14
Along with the box of flies I am also offering a days fishing guided by me on my club rivers; you can see the illustrated catalogue on the Wild Trout Trust website here, lots 32 and 247.

Winter Serenity On The Dove
Tom Changing flies
Tom and I took a trip to Dovedale in the middle of January, perfect conditions greeted us, it even felt like winter after recent snowfall. I have always found the Dove a fickle temptress, this was only the third time I had fished the river, luckily I saved myself from a blank again as did Tom.

A real winters day
Tom took a few black and white pictures
We both caught trout and grayling although our ratios were opposite, Tom catching three trout and one grayling, I caught one trout and four grayling. One of those grayling was around a pound and a half and gave a very good account of itself which Tom caught on film, unfortunately as usually happens with grayling it slipped out of my hands as I was measuring it so there is no trophy shot.

I also managed a short afternoon on the town stretch I fish, the river was well coloured but fishable and the trout agreed as that was all I could catch, all three of them; I could not find the coarse fish or grayling that day.

More recently I visited this years British Fly Fair International at Stafford, a mob of four of us went to spend our hard earned dosh and take in all the excellent flies being constructed on Fly Tiers row. I didn't quite manage to fulfill my shopping list and came home with a sum of unspent money, but Tom and I did go halves on a couple of superb Whiting Coq de Leon saddles in medium pardo and ginger pardo. I also picked up a new partridge skin from Cookshill along with a chickabou pelt from Chevron Hackle. Picking up a few extra spools of silk from the Langleys stand, a superb bright yellow was pointed out to me as being the colour for the Partridge and Yellow spider so naturally I bought a spool and I have of course tied with it.

Grey Partridge
The highest quality, as you'd expect from Cookshill
Partridge and Yellow
Partridge and Yellow - rather pleased with these
I'm hoping in the near future to really start knuckling down and tying streamers, I have a few sculpins which I have shown previously but I really want to get on with some baitfish patterns, having struggled to find hooks that are made small enough for my needs I found some Sakuma 410 in sizes four and six from the Funky Fly Tying stand; ideally I would like the find hooks similar to these in sizes eight and ten to satisfy my needs.

Chickabou Bugger
Brahma Bugger using the Chevron Chickabou complete skin
Coq de Leon - Medium Pardo, Ginger Pardo
Medium and ginger pardo Whiting Coq de Leon saddle
Quilled Coq de Leon Dry Fly
A generic hackled dry-fly using CDL for wings and tail, the hackle is a cree sent to me by Hugh Rosen
Quilled Coq de Leon Dry Fly

More recently I took part in a little social gathering on the Dove at Dovedale. I met Steve on the way and we traveled together and Tom drove with Eliot. We met up with Mike Johnson, Jon Kerr and their companion Lester. We spit up a little and made our way up and down the river in small groups spending time fishing likely runs and pools. Meeting up at one, Jon pulled out his Kelly Kettle and set about boiling some water for a much earned hot drink. Only Steve didn't join us for lunch, he had yet to score and was determined not to blank.

Get The Kettle On
At the watering hole
Pink Always Works
Pink shrimps = grayling
Eliot Dredging A Run
Eliot working through a likely run
Pink Bead Biot Nymph
Pink bead-head nymph
The biggest fish went to Tom, indecently it was also his first and by the end of the day we had all caught fish, grayling predominantly but also a number of trout. No particular type of water favoured either species and fish were caught in some surprisingly shallow fast runs as well and deeper slower water. I caught fish on pink shrimps and small tungsten bead head nymphs and my final tally was ten - seven grayling, three trout. I was hoping to catch a fabled dry-fly caught winter fish as there were a number of olives seen coming off and a member of the party saw a rise late morning but that was all, I will have to wait a little while longer before I catch off the top again.

Tom's biggest fish of the day
Pink bead-head nymph caught for both Tom and myself
Pink Shrimp
Skinny pink shrimp caught me several fish
Dovedale Bathed In Sunshine
Our view of lower Dovedale, the sun greeting us as we made our way back to the cars


  1. I really like Brahma Bugger's, use them more often than wooly buggers actually.

    1. I look forward to giving them a go Ben, do you weight yours at all?

  2. very nice mate, especially the partridge & yellow, a fly I use heavily on the dales.

    1. Thanks George, hope to give them a swim this season.