Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Fly Tying League - Round 1

I have just completed the three Yellow Dancers for the Fly Tying League and sent them off today. An interesting fly to tie and not something I would use very often. I finished 46th last year, so it will interesting to see if I can progress this year.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Fly Swap

For the club fly swap I have tied Alan Bitchell's Bi Colour Nymph. It's a lovely simple pattern which produces an effective nymph that is pleasing to the eye. You need to tie a few to get your eye in as the pheasant tail that forms the thorax is brought down the back to form the tail, getting this right is tricky, in this example the tail is bit long.
The fly has been tied as follows:-
Thread - brown
Underbody - copper wire to suit
Body - tan rabbit dubbing
Back/Tail - golden pheasant tail
Rib - fine copper wire

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine Competition

Having been laid up with a cold for sometime and busy horse racing at Cheltenham last week, not much fly tying has been done.

I need to get my finger out and complete the flies for the first round of the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine Competition. Oddly I have tied the additional fly first. I have elected to tie (Rob's) Welsh Green Peter. It seemed a very straight forward fly, however getting the wing to lie at the correct angle proved troublesome. The fly is tied on a size 14 Klinkhamer using olive thread. The body is Arizona Synthetic Dubbing ribbed with silver tinsel. The tail is a small red feather and the wing tied from bronze mallard.
So on now to the Yellow Dancer.
I have been reading the The Floating Fly by Malcolm Greenhalgh. It's a good read, a nice mix between history and opinion.

Monday, 3 November 2008

BFFI 2008

I arrived back late yesterday after two days at the show. Once again it was a great show. I enjoyed watching and speaking with both Roy Christie and Chris Watson both of whom tie flies to catch fish. Chris's fly, pictured, is just fantastic. Roy as ever, was interesting to watch and listen too, you will always learn something.
I bought plenty this year including a nice furnace hackle and Malcolm Greenhalgh new book, The Floating Fly. One of the tyers had a silver badger hackle in a colour called champagne, it looked lovely, but I never found one at the show.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Light Cahill for Izaac Walton Trust

Last night was club night, we tied flies for the Izaac Walton Cottage Trust with a view to giving them to the trust this weekend at the BFFI for fund raising.

I chose to tie a Light Cahill on a size 14 using yellow thread, wood duck for the tail and feathers, pale yellow superfine dubbing (I found the light cahill a little pale) for the body and a light ginger Whiting saddle hackle. I ensured I had a couple of layers of yellow thread over the hook before dubbing to give a depth of colour. In this instance I did not split the wings.

I always look forward to this show, and will stay over for the weekend. I like to take in as many demonstrations and talks as possible over the days but predominantly watch the tyers, you cannot fail to pick up new ideas and techniques.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph

I have good intentions next season of returning to more basic traditional patterns, I think sometimes we over complicate our patterns. With this in mind I have been tying some Gold Ribbed Hares Ear's.

To add some interest I have tied them using Arizona Simi Seal Dubbing in amber olive for the body and Arizona Synthetic Dubbing in dark hare's ear for the thorax. The dubbing was recommended to me by a friend and I obtained some from the US. The wing case is golden pheasant tail fibres.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Hello, welcome to my Fly Tying Blog.

I have been fishing since the age of 10, and up until 5 years ago fished mainly for coarse fish. I became increasingly frustrated with crowded banks and over fished lakes and so turned my attentions to fly fishing. For the first 3 or 4 years I fished almost exclusively on lakes, but this year I have broadened my horizons to some small rivers in the Cotswolds.

I started fly tying at an evening class run by Ian Hockley of Westlake Fly Fishing. This was a superb course covering all the basic techniques and I would recommend Ian’s courses to anybody, more details of which can be found at

Fly tying has really captured my imagination. I tie mainly trout flies; enjoy learning new techniques and applying them to flies that I use, but equally respecting the history behind many of our traditional patterns.

I have set up this blog to record the patterns I tie and use, and maybe provide some encouragement to others.

I hope you find your visit my blog worthwhile.