Saturday, 10 September 2016

stick another fly on the barby mate

coming over here nicking our fish 

indeed a whole can of whoop ass , well been around 4 weeks since i last posted been busy with a few things and quality over quantity i always believe and well ive also been working weird shifts as well and obviously a few bespoke fly orders to do as well , including some for an Australian tv crew who were over here doing some filming for some fishing thing which escapes me at the moment  

kitted out with authanic wire and a dozen of Scotlands finest snotrocket snacks (by yours truly)  and the australians had a ball and caught fish shame they dont have pike in oz , but then they Aussies have all sorts of other cool fish and plenty of them so pressure was off well done fellas and welcome to scotland and the scottish pike hardest fighting beast in these waters 

deercreek bag of sexyness 

make no bones about it i love deercreek stuff there uv resins are the best on the market and i have always championed them because quite simply it does what it says on the packet drys tack free unlike other resins which despite there claims dont , so it was with great pleasure that i heard that deer creek has been picked up by hareline so you should be able to pick deercreek products up from your local hareline dealer soon , so cheers to nick at deercreek for this little care package  

thankfully he included a couple new bottles of uv in hard and flex with the new caps which are far superior to the old ones 

nick also sent me a new lazer pen as i think my original one was finally giving up the ghost after 10 or so years and a gazillion curing hours although it hadn't bitten the dust i still appreciated the new one , and these pens really are the dogs danglers , really comfortable to use and batteries last for ages , i usually buy a pack of Duracell from my local discount pound store so cheap enough to buy and really with these lazer pens you really want a good quality battery as although cheap and cheerful will work  you'll find they run out very quickly so its a false economy to buy cheap , splash out and get decent batteries folks 

so the uv revolution and whats it all about well take a look at the info below and it may give you an idea 

to be honest i have been using this for many years and it has fitted in very well with my epoxy resins as another weapon in my box and although it wont completely replace epoxy it does has some fantastic uses for me the greatest thing is the instant curing and with diamond hard i can build up fantastic heads on saltwater and small baitfish patterns like this stickleback i was playing with earlier 

the eyes are 4mm cutthroat eyes from deercreek and with these i just stick em on and fill the gap with diamond hard in about 3 steps so apply a little, cure and repeat until you are level with the eye , then do the same with the bottom fill the gap cure repeat then to seal it all in i apply a thin coat all round the eye and keep turning the vice for an even coat and apply jedi mind powers , well uv tourch ,and boom superb lightweight head  

ive been making up a couple of big articulated flies as well and again diamond hard is an important  part of making the sections on these flies and with the new dispensers it makes it even easier to apply   

a quick zap with the lazer pen and your ready for the next one 

remember the dark old days of using a whip finishing tool (still cant use one) or tying off by hand well using uv negates the use of such primitive methods (the traditionalists have now left the blog) well all i do is put a touch on the head and uv for a secure finish and then cut off the thread close to the head boom job done , i mean really it makes our life easier dosnt it really

so if you want the best uv on the market head over and visit deercreek or your local hareline dealer 

got a few new packs of gliss n glint as well and in my favorite colors 

 so big stuff to tie 

i originally wanted to make a standard favorite baitfish with the colors i received but then i thought hmmmmm i have some schlappin feathers that would look nice with the yellow and chartreuse gliss n glint plus and as always from a basic fly idea it grows arms and legs and bits added to it   

so i added the sclappin feathers and then overlayed the back and belly with gliss n glint plus but then i thought hmmmmm a nice lateral line would be cool so i added that as well  

and i thought well that will do so as i mentioned before i just added some uv to seal the head and cut off the excesss 

chuck a couple of eyes on in this case quite heavy eyes as it will effect the action and make this look like a jerkbait in the water where using flat 3d eyes will give it a more gentle strip and pause floatey   action as there is less weight and to be honest with bigger flies i like that jerkbait action 

and boom a bang tasty snotrocket snack 

articulated beasties 

havent made a lot of articulated flies (game changers for those who follow fashions and fads)  lately for no particular reason than i haven't , but i thought after a conversation with with mr musky in vermont (brother ken) while i was on a particularly long overnight shift i decided to do a couple to top the box up a bit , these flies are actually a delight to fish with , when fished slow they bump and grind away and replicate a dying or distressed baitfish very well and you can fish these very very slow almost at a dead stop , great when the pike are being finickarty and not swithed on , it can give you the edge and make the difference between catching and not catching when days are tough 

gliss n glint plus 3 x articulated baitfish (with a sting in the tail)

another gliss n glint plus baitfish white and olive and ive gone heavy on a custom mix on the olive gliss by adding some peacock angel hair just something i though would benefit this build and im very impressed with the final result

basic sparkly baitfish  

making basic baitfish flies is quite cool and fun to do , and they also look great in the water and to be honest anybody can make em quite simply choose you hook (longer shanks are good) add a touch of red in the tail and the form an angelhair dubbing rope then wrap round the shank till you get the desired body shape then take your back color place at the front and have a couple of wraps to secure then add your eyes and i use a uv head to finish (this is where deercreeks uv comes into its own) diamond hard in this case  

and there you have a snazzy little baitfish 

of course you could just have a basic angelhair body like this little stickleback pattern ive used a peacock feather for the spines although i should really shorten them a bit on hindsight actually coated these with diamond flex on these , quite a cool little pattern 

so while i had the gliss n glint out thought id top up the smaller baitfish boxes with some new tyes 

again working with gliss n glint is so easy and theres so much you can do with it from making your own custom blends to adding your own flash stuff is amazing 

of course again the deercreek eyes are still as far as im concerned the best out there and indeed no matter where you are in the world they have an eye to match 

these green eyes have along with the red cuthroat eyes have always been my favorite eyes in the world ever and really add something to my flies so if you want the best eyes ever just click the link below and youll never look back 

been working a bit with natural fibers as well and the eyes again are a big feature to making the fly look realistic (more on these flies next time)   

so mission accomplished for today just need to get em put away in the fly caves till i get out again and have some bespoke flies to do as well so should keep me busy for a while and i have a couple of weeks holiday soon thank god , i bloody need it 

right back to the vice have fun folks
a cave in scotland 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

tying flies man down and life in the salt


i had to take a day off work this week , i had the dreaded manflu and was feeling pretty rubbish , you know throat full of razor blades and a Niagara falls type nose , but i decided to take my mind off things and do a few flies so with hanky in hand i attacked the vice with vigor anyway ill just stock up on this and i should be fine.

ok so a bit of an apology in a previous blog post a comment was made about the guy in the golf oufit now this was done in jest (and actually spoken by somebody else) and the chap in question took umbridge to the comment so i will remove the picture as soon as possible and give myself a slapped wrist so please accept this as my apology i shall also slap my fishing partner of the day although he will probably enjoy it , we are very naughty boys

off the vice this week has been mostly ep and flash type pike flies . i still like using ep although its a bit expensive at my local orvis shop something like £7:00 a pack so i dont use a great deal of it in flies im still tending to go down the gliss and glint route for synthetic flies although i dont compromise on eyes  and im still using deercreeks  which are actually amazing value at £2:29 a pack 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended black ep with peacock and gold angel hair
flash - red angel hair
eye - 8mm deercreek 3d hd cutthroat eyes 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

eyes avalible here deercreek eyes

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended tarpon ep with charterus and silver angel hair
flash - red angel hair
eye - 10mm deercreek 3d hd  
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended olive ep with charterus and silver angel hair
flash - red angel hair-
eye - 10mm deercreek 3d hd 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended tarpon ep with charterus angel hair
flash - red angel hair-
eye - 10mm deercreek 3d hd 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

hook - 6/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - blended black ep with black spanflex back
eye - 8mm deercreek painted black 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

and a small guy

hook - 2/0 octpuss 
belly - white ep 
back - peacock angel hair
flash - red angel hair
eye - 6mm deercreek 3d hd cutthroat eyes 
thread - clear mono 
head - deercreek diamond fine uv 

all deercreek products and loads of great stuff for the fly tire can be found here please check em out 

in the usa deercreek products can be found here 

im very blessed to be living in a very beautiful part of the city of Edinburgh and there is some great fishing opportunities if you take the time to hunt them out and you know i often (probably like you) browse forums and facebook fishing pages to read up on stuff and you know what frustrates me is people who ask for fishing spots , now dont get me wrong im all for helping people but Jesus Christ you know when i was a kid i got out there and just chucked a fly or worm and see what i could catch , i mean isn't that half the fun chasing fish down rather than asking for a spot and catching the fish that are in that spot that somebody else has done all the detective work on , i dont know maybe its just me .
but i digress
on with the fishing

as ive said before im blessed to be in a beautiful part of Edinburgh and trust me its been a long journey to get where i am now and a really cool stress free place with some awesome fishing on my doorstep and a girlfriend who enjoys all the same things as me (yes including fishing)  , but sometimes you know work gets in the way , (im a support worker in mental health by day) and i work really bizarre shifts , so i decided last week that i really needed to go chuck some stuff in the surf so i checked the tides and i needed to be up around 4am to get the tide so alarm set i hit the hay .

awakening the beast 

yea im a bit of a beast at 4am but that soon passes when you have sunrises like this on your doorstep absolutely fantastic and you soon snap out of it when you realize your up to go fishing

what voodoo magic is this  

yes the keen eyed among you may notice that this isn't my normal fly rod and reel well far from going over to the dark side im actually using flies and small rubber lures on a spinning rod , yes gasp horror at this but the thing is recently Ive been having some problems with my casting arm that has been causing me great pain and cutting my trips short so Ive decided to invest in some light gear that i can use in the saltwater pretty much a grab and go kit and plus my son is starting to show interest so he can also use it im airing on the side of id rather be out fishing than not able too because of my arm.

shameless selfie shot

yea shameless selfie , and hell why not , my lovely other half  decided to stay in bed this morning and who can blame her i nearly didn't get out of bed either but the lure of the fishing can be a bit like a drug sometimes and i needed my fix today 

i had no preconceptions on what i was going to catch or what i was targeting i was more heading down and chucking some stuff about and well see what decided to take just wandering along the shore casting as i went pure chuck it and chance it fishing love it reminded me of being a kid to be honest 

ive had these wading shoes from orvis for a couple of years and they are fantastic for summer wet wading and although technically i wasn't wading very far well up to my knees i would go wading around in the sea on my own that's a bit dangerous on your own , and the water was lovely and warm great to be out and despite being in the capital city of Scotland not another person could be seen absolutely fantastic  

ship ahoy , well being this close to a major port there's always some cool ships to watch while you fish very relaxing and therapeutic never tire of the views here  

so to the fishing

can you spot the bait fish in the picture above , was great standing in the water and watching thousands of baitfish (sprats in this case) swimming past quite an awesome sight so i what did i tackle up with well , stupidly id forgotten to put my saltwater sprat flies that i had made up in my bag so had to use these rubber prawn type things with a jig on the end for weight

they actually worked really well in the water , plenty of vibration and good colors for the saltwater (ive actually fly fished these before) which is why i had them in my bag and i know they catch fish mabey there were a bit too upmarket for the local city fish though as i couldn't get a bite despite my best efforts 

so i spent a couple of hours wandering up and down the shore casting as i went i fished the tide up and fished an hour after it started to turn then i had to go back home as i promised Caroline coffee in bed but rest assured if the fish were playing ball she may of had to wait a bit longer for it , the long and short of it really for this was a bit of a recon trip to see what the ground was like and any bits i should target on further trips and that's pretty much what i accomplished couple of fish for breakfast would have been nice but i guess that's why they call it fishing and not catching lol

but you know i thoroughly enjoyed that couple of hours and well isn't that what its about you know no politics or ballshit from jumped up little men who run clubs and stab you in the back for there own means but thats a story for another day, but for today i loved every second of going back to my roots.   
second  recon 
(and this time i bought my flies)

above is a picture i found recently on the big www and its im guessing by the way the boys are dressed late 1950s early 60s and it the harbor across the road , whats really interesting is the lads fishing with hand lines really simple stuff a bit of line maybe a hook and a bit of whatever they could find as bait or something shinny  , you know looking at this reminds me so much of my childhood trips with my folks to the local beach where i would pretty much do the same , how far have we come these days with complicated rigs and lures , flies and fly rods, fluro carbon and braided line , camo and realtree outfits  mabey we should look at our past and how we used to fish would we catch more fish or just the same who knows but hey a nice little trip into yesteryear  but whatever i love this humble picture  

so this week i decided to go on another recon but this time i took my son with me to pass on the knowledge and as we were heading to the a few bits i wanted to look at i noticed there was a big ol hunk of warship sat in the docks and well me an the boy being ever curious went for a gander and turns out that it was in town for the start of the Edinburgh festival and was open to the public well it would have been rude not to go take a look really wouldn't it

so we had a great day walking round this big old hunk of royal navy might and my son loved playing with the machine guns (unloaded) talking to the sailors and well all the usual stuff small boys would enjoy doing on a big ship absolutely fantastic  and as we were walking round i kept looking over the side for fishing opportunitys well you have to don't you .

 oh and i got a shot in the captains chair outstanding fun 

so recon done i checked the tides and headed out mid afternoon on a sunday , i was fishing pretty much the top of the tide and fishing as it went back out and this time i remembered my sprat flies , i did wonder if there would be anybody else around at my chosen spot and well to be honest i dont usually fish at weekend unless im somewhere really remote and well being in the city was always going to be a risk especially at the weekend and with the school summer holidays upon us .

i reached my chosen spot and yup it was full of weekend anglers and a gazzillion kids , OK great to see kids out and fishing but i would have rather it not been at the same time as me but hey you know fair enough at least they were out and not in front of a screen i suppose so not going to complain too much

don't they look sexy 

yet again i found myself standing in the water watching baitfish swimming around , not something ill ever tire off i think 

slightly different place this time and closer to the incoming ships and i couldn't but marvel at the casting platform on this boat but no matter how hard i tried i couldn't get them to take me out

standing in water is great , standing in warmish saltwater is also great , standing in any water watching fish swim around (although bait fish) is just brilliant and you know i actually threw my fly in around the bait fish and they started swimming with it absolutely brilliant to watch and most of all i know i nailed my sprat fly pattern , threes no better compliment than having the species you tied a fly to replicate actually thinking its one of there own .

did i catch this time , well nope not a bloody thing , but on the plus side there was around 20 odd anglers around and none of them had caught either so i didn't feel so bad and to be honest it was great to get out so im happy with that for now .


so been messing with a material ive found and its really quite messy and fragile to tie with and at first i thought what i was doing wasn't going to work as when i was pulling the fiber it was pretty much coming apart but i persevered with it  as i knew it would make great flies  

so i made a few in different colors and played around with the tying technique and took enm down the saltwater and to be honest they out performed my expectations of them and one wet the fibers bonded together and became quite strong and most important didn't lose there shape in the water this was down to finishing the head of the fly with diamond fine uv from deercreek which helps keep its shape 

so all in all a good trip but like so many had to come to an end due to work commitments 

below is a selection of flies i tied using my new material 

most of these are small baitfish imitations and all of thenm ive used deercreeks uv flex for the heads as it tends to keep the fish shape and not flatten out and obviously its a lot lighter than epoxy and it bonds to the material really well with a glass like finish and im genreally pleased with the result although ill have to fish them some more to test them fully 

of course i stuck these up on my facebook page and straight away my old friend simon wanted some larger versions for bass which ive happily obliged as you can see in the picture below although these are test flies and im not sure how the larger ones will stand up to the riggers of simons casting to be honest (kidding mate honest) but im sure he will let me know

so in the news lately and quite a shock to be honest was the world famous (or infamous take your pick) ant from savage gear , well ant has parted from the savage gear ranks and is moving on to pastures new , now ive always enjoyed a bit of banter with ant and a nicer bloke you couldn't meet so whatever hes up to next i wish him every success the blokes a fishing machine oh and he has a great taste in music so keep cooking the cajun chicken pal

oh and many years ago ant asked me to do him a load of small flies that he could chuck around in weedy swims and obviously i was happy to help although the bugger has kept his catches under his beard but he loved these little fry flies with hindsight i think he was suing them on dropshot gear but thats just a hunch ......ant your a legend catch ya soon

so as i said earlier i am having a few arm problems but im not giving up fly fishing , far from it , fly fishing is my first love and ill be continuing to do it as well as other methods , and having some great saltwater on my doorstep its also worth me having some grab and go lure gear , i have just recently purchased a really light weight rod to give me a challenge in the salt , in my early days of lure fishing i was always keen on light line tactics and this is something im keen to explore with today's new methods and well having this on my doorstep it would be rude not to.

what i can tell you is with the light gear i have acquired ill be making new flies that i can use on the gear and im really quite excited about it to be honest but more on that along with some more flees next blog as long as i don't pull anymore overnight shifts that's a drag 

(a cave in scotland)