Early Season Update

Early Season Update

It’s been an up and down start to my trout season this time round. In all honesty some sessions on the river I’ve stood and scratched my head as to what I might be doing wrong. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had some really good sessions but a few early season blanks too! But at the end of them tough sessions I soon remember we are still very early on in the season!

Some stunning markings on the smaller trout of our rivers

April saw hardly any rainfall resulting in summer time levels on our rivers. The temperatures have been low, barring a small period of time when we hit the high teens. All making the fishing that little more tough, that said. Us anglers like a little challenge and after all that’s why it’s called fishing and not catching.

One of the better fish I’ve connected too this season! A beauty!

Now we’re allowed to travel that little further to fish a few weeks ago I had a couple of friends Jonathan McGee and James Stokoe over for some fishing. We had a cracking little session, not huge numbers of fish. At the moment it’s a struggle to avoid them pesky out of season grayling and we as anglers can’t tell them not to take our flies, a reminder if you find you are catching them it’s a good idea to move spots on the river and reduce the amount of time we are handling these fish until they are back in season! we finally got some connections to some beautiful wild brown trout. Both me and James catching some stunning fish!

Beautiful wild brown trout
James with his brown trout caught

As we moved out way up the stretch of river we finally found some rising fish. They were taking super small midge from just under the surface, right on the far bank. Our casts had to be spot on, mending the line to reduce drag. After 2 or three different flies we tried they refused all of them. It wasn’t meant to be!

Despite the hard fishing conditions we had a fabulous day and more importantly it was just nice to fish with other anglers and have a laugh on the way! Huge thanks to Jonathan for some cool images!

Moving on a couple of weeks and this last weekend just gone I hosted my first guests that had come for a days fishing through Fishing Breaks.

I knew the day was going to be tough just like when Jonathan and James came. Again we were met with low water, little fly life and cold winds. There were fish rising but not actively feeding so we opted for the dry and dropper method. A nice buoyant sedge with a pink sighter and a small size 18 copper beaded nymph suspended below was the choice of tac tic, again it brought some success but not the right species we were after.

A quick break for some lunch which we had to eat in the car due to a 15 minute downpour and we were back on the river, this time a little further upstream to see if we could find a trout or two!

We were struggling to get the trout in the net, a couple of misses and the ones that got away we made a decision to jump in the cars and head upstream in the hunt for some wild brownies!

A quick fly change to an olive quill perdigon nymph fished euro style and almost instantly one of my guests had a really decent fish hooked, “please don’t be a grayling” I was saying in my head. When we knew it was a trout and it was in the net we all cheered! It really was the highlight of the day! Ironically my guests were a lovely couple originally from Spain and the fly we caught the trout on, the olive quill Perdigon which is a Spanish fly! It was just mean to be! Smiles all round!

The trout that saved the day!
The release!

I really enjoyed our days fishing but as I said above it’s just nice to be able to be out and about seeing and fishing with anglers again isn’t it! I hope you are all having success and let’s hope for some rain in our rivers!

Fly Tying Materials – Semperfli Kapok Dubbing Reviewed!

Fly Tying Materials – Semperfli Kapok Dubbing Reviewed!

In the latter stages of last year Semperfli released a whole new and exciting bunch of fly tying materials. Included in these was Kapok Dubbing.

what is Kapok Dubbing?

Kapok dubbing is a highly buoyant, resilient to moisture and quick drying material. This making it the perfect material for tying your dry flies. A little fact – Kapok has been used before in life jackets due to its superb buoyancy and at Semperfli HQ the team there have ran tests on this leaving it in test baths where its taken days to absorb water.

Using This Dubbing

It has to be noted that when tying with this material it is dubbed on correctly. The best way, and to get the most out of it is to NOT dub it on to your thread like you would with a standard dubbing, but split your tying thread. this ensures you don’t crush the fibers and maximize the floatability.

working with the dubbing is a wonder. its super easy to use with sort fibers make it easy to tease apart, especially when your looking for a more sparse and natural body on your dry flies.

some examples of flies i have tied with this dubbing are below.

This dubbing from Semperfli is available in a dubbing selection box or in individual packets through you local semperfli dealers worldwide!

overall Kapok dubbing is definitely my new favourite dubbing for my river dry flies, with the fantastic range of colors it makes it a definite game changer in the dubbing world!

What’s In My Fly Box Week #8 – CDC & Elk Hair Sedge!

What’s In My Fly Box Week #8 – CDC & Elk Hair Sedge!

These weeks are flying past us and already I’m onto week 8 out of 10 of my step by steps! This week I’m going to tie you a CDC & Elk Hair Sedge pattern. A slight disclaimer – I couldn’t find my elk hair so settled for deer hair! However this works just as well I find!

The CDC & Elk hair sedge is an extremely popular pattern and one that you’ll no doubt catch fish on all over the world! Imitating a caddis, this fly is a brilliant pattern through the warmer months fishing in the latter part of the day! I also use this fly or a retirer sedge when fishing the duo on the river. Every fly angler will have a CDC & Elk in their box! If you don’t, follow my tying sequence below and get some tied up!!

Materials –

Hook – Fulling mill Ultimate Dry #14

Thread – Semperfli waxed thread, brown 12/0

Body – CDC

Wing – Elk hair (or what I’m using in this fly, deer hair)

Step 1 –

Place your hook in the vice and start your tying thread behind the eye. trim away the waste piece.

Step 2 –

Take your thread down to the bend of the hook.

Step 3 –

Take a CDC feather, hold the tips with your right hand and draw back the fibres with your left. Tie in where the fibres of the feather are separated. Gently pull the feather from the but and draw through so you have just a little bit of the tips poking out like below.

Step 4 –

Take your thread back towards the eye making a nice bed of thread for the body to be wound over.

Step 5 –

Take your hackle pliers and grab the but end of the CDC, gently wind the cdc around the hook. When you start to wind loose fibres round with your free hand draw back fibres with each turn. Stopping just before the eye and Secure with thread turns. I like to make 3 over the top and 2 in-front. Make sure you leave enough space to tie in the wing. Trim off the waste piece of cdc.

Step 6 –

Take your elk or deer hair, cut a bunch off and place them in your hair stacker, tips first. Give it a couple of taps to align the tips. Gently take them out of the stacker and measure up against the fly. Just so they are going a little beyond the bend of the hook.

Step 7 – when your happy, with your free hand pinch the tips where they are. Making sure you holding them directly on top of the hook shank.

Step 8 – to make things less “fussy” take your scissors and cut the buts of the elk hair off so your left with something like below! this makes it much easier to tie in!

Step 9 – at this point I like to make 3 tight turns all the while make sure you keep hold of the tips as if you let go the hair will spin around the hook and you want it to stay right on top of the fly. Take a couple of turns in between the buts of the hair at 45° to secure the fly. I then like to try get a couple of turns under the fly just behind the eye before whip finishing!

Step 10 – whip finish the fly with a dab of varnish or super glue and if your super picky tidy the fly up trimming away any lose fibres of deer or elk hair with your scissors! Although I’m not sure this makes much of a difference to the fish they like them when they are more on the scruffy side!

The finished fly!
A couple of rows of these excellent flies!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this step by step! I’ll be back next week with another fly for you to try! Keep safe and tight lines if you get out fishing this week!

What’s In My Fly Box week #4 Pearly Butt Dry Fly

What’s In My Fly Box week #4 Pearly Butt Dry Fly

This weeks fly tying step by step is a Pearly Butt dry fly. its a fly that is super easy to tie. I generally fish this fly to represent all manner of upwing dry flies when out fishing the river for trout. However, its also a fly I’ve had tremendous days fishing in the colder months for grayling. the pearly but can be added to many different fly patterns such as the F Fly or the Water Hen Bloa. with the pearly butt added to the fish is not only a glimmer of attraction to them but also represents a part of the shuck of the real fly. more often than not, fooling them into taking the fly!

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