Friday, 27 April 2012

A super day with the brownies

Returned to my local resevoir recently. With  a reasonable temperature. a small hatch of black midge and fish rising near the dam wall, the scene looked very promising.  I set up a 18ft leader with three nymphs on a floating line; with a JC Dawl Bach on the top, the black buzzer on the middle and a black cruncher on the point.

It turned out to be a thrilling and highly memorable day- with the action fast and furious. Fish in the 10-12" bracket were falling to all three flies on the cast. On two occasions, two at a time took to the cast - great fun!

The fish were all in superb condition and fought very well.

A stunning looking brownie, to me - on the black epozy buzzer, Size 10.

Another Brownie being patient while I stumble with the camera!
The variant of the Welsh super-nymph, a small JC Dawl Bach, works its magic again. The peacock herl body has unravelled and they still want it! 
Another one falled to the Dawl Bach JC, Size 12.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Fishing notes: On the bank at Winterburn

I visited my local club water for an afternoon on the bank.  With a solid cold south easterly wind and average temperature of 7c, I guessed this to be a hard day's fishing - I was right. I persisted with a floating line and three nymphs, to no avail. Around 3 o clock, I changed to the midge-tip line and connected with three fish, landing none. When thinking this was 'action time', no further takes came. I resigned to a fishless day and yet it was great to be out on a fresh April day, roaming the banks, without hindering bags and landing net. 

The Gold-Head Hare's Ear was on the point all day. 

At the end of the day, I met my son and wife at the Dam Wall of the reservoir. He was checking my new 'Loop Evotec 10ft 7'. Or was he checking the flies on the rod (ha ha)? Well, he seems happy.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Irish oldies spliced with dabbler and ice

This was fun! E.J Malone's book on Irish Trout and Salmon Flies contains hundreds of flies from as far back as the 19th Century. I find it very enjoyable dipping into the book and seeing any potential gems. Indeed, I thought it would be fun to take a selection of lough wet flies from the book and modestly adapt each pattern - largely with a dabbler style wing and with some flash. I do like the 'Ice Head' here and think it complements the dabbler wing. I know other tyers have incorporated Ice dub, Lite Brite etc on Dabblers. So here are a few of my examples:

Mallard and Green Variant
Hook: Ken Sewada - Old Limerick Wet, Size 10
Tag: Silver Holographic tinsel
Tail: Orange dyed GP Tippets
Body:Grass Green seals fur
Body hackle: Sootly olive cock saddle
Wing: Bronze mallard dabbler style
Head: Caddis Green Ice Dub

Black Olive Variant
Hook: Ken Sewada Old Limerick Wet, Size 10
Tag: Orange Holo tinsel
Tail: Orange dyed Golden Pheasant Tippets
Body: Black Seals Fur
Rib: Fine Olive Gold
Body Hackle: Golden Olive Cock
Wing: Bronze Mallard Dabbler style
Head: Black Ice Dub

 Olive Partridge and BrownVariant
Hook: Ken SewadaOld Limerick Wet
Tag: Silver tinsel
Body: Med Olive seasls fur
Rib: Fine oval silver
Body hackle: Med Olive cock
Thorad hackle: Brown Patridge
Wing: Bronze Mallard tied dabbler style
Head: Olive Ice Dub

Torc-Lan Variant
Hook: Ken SewadaOld Limerick Wet Size 10
Tag: Orange Holo
Tail: Orange Golden Pheasant Topping
Rear: 1/2 Orange Holo
Front: Black seals fur
Body hackle: black cock over black seals fur
Hackle: Blood red cock
Wing: Bronze Mallard
Head: Orange Ice-Dub

Guinea WickhamVariant
Hook: Ken Sewada
Tail: Natural Guinea Foul
Body: Gold holo 
Rib: Fine gold wire
Body hackle:Ginger cock
Thorat Hackle: Natural Guinea foul
Wing: Bronze Mallard
Head: Pearl Ice blue Dubbing


Just in case the dabbler is a new fly to some readers, the following extract from Peter O'Reilly's book may be of value:

"The Dabbler is one of the great Irish wet fly patterns of recent times and has several variants as well. It was invented by accident when Donald McClarn of Co.down phoned a freind for the dressing of the Gosling. The fly took the trout angling competiion by storm in the early 1990s and was the cornerstone of the success of the Dromore trout-fshing teams. It is without doubt a great killing pattern when stripped fast and then dibbled, on an intermediate, sinking or floating line in a good wave. It, and its variants, have accounted for numerous big wild lough brown trout, many into double figures" (O'Reilly, 1995; p.16).
Malone, E.J. (1984), Irish Trout and Salmon Flies, Colin Smythe, Gerrards Cross.
O'Reilly, P, (1994), Trout and Salmon Flies of Ieland, Merlin Unwin Books, Ludlow.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Tying the Golden Olive Dabbler

Golden Olive Dabbler
Hook size: Ken Sewada Summer Sproat size 10 (or any standard wet fly hook)
Tying silk: Black (some prefer golden olive).
Tail: Natural Cock Pheasant tail fibres
Body: Golden Olive Seals fur
Body hackle: Red game cock
Rib: Fine Oval gold
Body Hackle: Red Game Cock
Collar Hackle: Red Game cock
Wing: Bronze Mallard tied in a flat bunch and allowed to break up - to form a cloak style wing.

Step 1: Make a base of tying thread along the shank of the hook.

 Syep 2: Tie in a  bunch of pheasant tail cock fibres.
Step 3: Tie in fine oval gold rib.

 Step 4: Dub on golden olive seals fur for the body. Move along the body towards the eye.
 Step 5: Pick out the golden olive seals fur with a dubbing needle.

 Step 6: Tie in a red game cock hackle at the eye and wind down in even turns. At the tail the oval gold is brought forward to trap the hackle tip and wound through the hackle fibres to the front and tied in.

 Step 7: Tie in a shoulder hackle and give two or three turns. Push forward with the thump to form a bed for the bronze mallard wing. The shoulder hackle allows the cloak style wing to sit up.


 Step 8a: Prepare the wing: Take two slips of bronze mallard - one from the left wing and one from the right. Place them on top of one another. Cuting the mallard away from the stem can help split the fibres of the wing.

Step 8b: Holding the wing slips between thump and index finger use the pinch and loop method for winging - three turns. Avoid holding tight to break the fibres up and form a cloak style wing. Use the dubbing needle to split the fibres further, if wish.

Step 9: Whip finish. Further pick seals fur body out. Varnish.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Early season frills!

I had my first outing on a local reservoir. I was bursting with excitment to make the first cast of the season and hopefully to feel that addictive tug on the line. It was a bright, warm day with a gentle breeze - with some fish rising on the top later that afternoon - not a day one usually associates with early season fishing. Yet I persisted with the tactic of two lures and a daiwl bach on the dropper on a floating line. Although I did hear of fishers catching on the top with hoppers and shipmans.
I hooked five fish and landed them all - which is simply strange for me. I usually miss more than I catch.

Here are the killing flies:

Viva Variant
Hook: B175 size 10
Tag: Flou green thread
Body UV straggle fritz chennile black
Sides: Flu green goose boits
Wing: Black marabou (tied thinly)
Head: Flou Green thread

Olive Tadpole
Hook: Size 10 B175 Kamasan
Wing: Black Marabou
Body: Olive UV Straggle Fritz chennille
Underbody: Fine lead wire
Hackle: Natural Black Hen (tied collar style)
Paul Proctor advised this as an early season favourtie in the latest copy of Trout Fisherman magazine. Needless to say, I am glad I tied a few up. Gareth Evans (the Welsh fly fishing International) and writer in 'Trout Fisherman' advocates leaded underbodies when tying lures such as tadpoles. His theory is that leaded flies along the body only ensures the hook stays level to the fish throughout the retrieve and always fishes in the correct plane, making for more effective hook-ups when a fish takes.