Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Dark Olives

The 'Baetis Rhodani'  or the Dark Olive as commonly termed, probably constitutes the first Dun river fishers observe sailing down the river when the season begins. Witnessing this annual event in these first few days always (without fail) starts my pulse racing - as I struggle tying the fly on, nervous and excited. Sounds familar, yes? As such, when tying for the following season, I always graivitate towards matching the dark olive hatch before anything else. Here are a few of the various styles I recently tied for the river dry fly box:

Dark olive poly dun:
Hook: Varivas Standard Dry IWI S-2000 #14
Thread: olive
Tail: Dub Fibbets
Body: olive-brown superfine dubbing
Wing: blue dun poly
Hackle: Blue dun cock hackle

F-Fly Variant
Hook: Varivas IWI S-2000, #14
Thread: olive
Body: Olive silk
Wing: Two natural CDC feathers
Thorax: olive hare's ear

Para-dun dark olive (looped)
Hook: Partridge SLD #14
Body: olive superfine dubbing
Wing: White poly
Hackle: Dun cock hackle
Para-dun olive
Hook: Partridge SLD #14
Thread: olive

Olive para-dun
Hook: Partridge SLD #14
Tail: Microfibbets
Body: Olive Dun flyrite
Hackle: Blue dun
Wing post: Med blue poly

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

CDC Emergers

I spent time today taking advantage of a fresh batch of quality CDC. It is a joy to use and makes it easier if you use quality CDC - from Marc Petitgean.Good, but expensive. I have tied some CDC bubble style emergers. Winterbourne in his blog has tied a lovely CDC comparadun which should be checked out. Looking forward to using these next season  in both the river and the lake.

Hook: Fine wire scud hook, Size 14-18.
Shuck: Krstalflash
Body: Turkey Boit or superfine dubbing
Wing: Dun CDC (tied bubble style)
Thorax: Hare's ear (colour to suit abdomen)

Obviously the styles for adopting CDC in emerger patterns are numerous. Here are several more.

Shuck: Dun CDC fibres
Body: black thread
Rib: gold wire
Wing case: Dun CDC
Thorax: Peacock herl
Hackle: Grizzle

The next pattern is a generic emerger pattern that can be used to represent a variety of hatches. As with many emerger patterns, it is a 'quick tie' as Oliver Edwards would say, and very easy to throw a batch up quickly.

Shuck: Mirage krstyalflash (two strands)
Body: Turkey Boit
Wing: Light Dun CDC
Thorax: Rabbit or Hare's ear to match body

Check out Dave Whiltshire's fly page on the Dancia fly tying site for some lovely CDC styled emergers, .I really like his crippled emergers - sleek, slim and deadly looking. Another tyer deomonstrating the use CDC for all sorts of flies is Gianluca Nocentini.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Hare's Ear Emerger

Hook: Size 14 Kamasan B100
Silk: Yellow
Body: Hare's ear fur
Rib: Fine pearl lurex
Wing: White poly yarn looped
Thorax: Hare's ear mixed with squirrel dubbing

Friday, 1 October 2010

An introduction

Why I have started this blog? It is certainly nothing to do with the aspiration of captivating you with wonderfully intelligent and humorous prose. As you will quickly gather, I am no Frank O'Connor or Sean O'Faoilan. Nor am I aiming to be the 'John Gierach' of the fly fishing blog world. Nope, this blog is simply about posting flies, sharing thoughts on fly tying and fishing, including trials and tribulations, and of course, for learning. I have taken much from the internet world over the last few years in terms of fly patterns, fishing etc. It would be lovely for me to start sharing and contribute to the richness and diversity of fly tying and fishing.

I hope you enjoy the site.

A magic day!

At the end of July, I returned home to Northern Ireland for a few days to catch up with family, friends and to fish. I never imagined, however, that a day of wonderful nymph fishing lay ahead - it was a day to remember and probably the best rise in a lough I have ever witnessed. As only a small lough of about 60 acres, we quickly observed  consistent number of trout rising in a small corner of the lough. Many of the rises were very agressive. It appeared some they were taking croxia and rising midge pupae. Fishing a team of nymphs on a floating line and long leaders, including buzzers and daiwl bach we connected into fish with my buddy lifting several lovely full finned rainbows. My first fish was this beautiful brown on a cove pheasant tail with an olive thorax:

We proceeded to catch more fish, all exellent conditioned rainbows and several more browns. At this stage, the successful pattern was a daiwl bach vairant (red holographic tinsel).

The rise persisted into the evening and we therefore enjoyed an exciting evening rise demanding a change on tactics. Changing to emerges and dry flies, we added several more fish to our catch. All in all, a truely magical day.
Some of the fish: above.

A week in South Usit, Hebrides

During mid August we visited the South Usit island of the Outer Hebrides for its wild brown trout fishing. It was a great week if not hard fishing. The weather was not the kindest, subjected to either bright days or force gale winds. Nevertheless, caught several decent fsh. The successful flies were the solider palmer, soilder palmer muddler, kate mc claren (jc cheeks) and the silver invicta. On Lough Fada, on the second day hunting for salmon and sea trout, we faced bright sunshine and little wind. Despite this, managed to catch a host of finnock and finally connected with a decent fish on a golden olive bumble. Overall a most delighful place to fish for wild brownies.

A must read!

In a desire to know more about tying emergers inlcuding the use of CDC feathers, I recently acquired this book. What a truely excellent book. Schollmeyer and Lesson have produced a thoroughly researched, documented and presented book on the subject of tying emergers. 344 pages on tying emegers and 20 pages alone on tying shucks/tails. The book smartly clusters hundreds of emerger patterns into several emerger style types (tuff wings, hackle, downwing, para etc), allowing one to really understand how the fly tying style and material positioning (e.g. parawing) determines how the emerger is fished and tied. I agree with authors that "the virtue of this arrangement is that it roups together flies that are generally simialr in appearence, allowing tyers to become acquainted with variations of a basic design" (page 19). At the start of each emerger type, the authors clearly explains how the specific style of emerger, how it is positioned in the water and its contribution to emerger fishing. As you would expect therefore, you quickly learn the effect of materials on fly design and fishing style.

Full dressings are provided along with a short bio and then followed by a clear and easy to follow sequenced step by step instruction how to tie the fly. All the photographs are excellent. There are very informative insights at the start of the book on materials, hooks and tying techniques. This is very much about a book on tying techniques as well as emergers patterns and therefore simply not a pattern reference book. Many of the techniques learned from the book can be used to tie dries and nymphs.

Is this US biased? I am not sure. A large numbers are from the US; whether this reflects a bias or not, I am not sure. There are a few UK stillwater emergers that UK tyers will be familar with such as the Shuttlecock emerger and some CDC patterns but many of the patterns are US orgin. You will not find Shipmans buzzer or Bob's bits in this book. Thus, there will be greater familiarty by US tyers to the patterns and originators, obviously. The book therefore will expose the UK tyer to a wealth of unknown patterns associated with insects commonly found in British waters such as midge, sedge and mayfly.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A joy to read, own and cherish. This has to be one of the most authoritative books in the area.