flies

Five New Fishy Quotes and Sayings

More musings on fishing and fishermen.

“The first principle in all fishing is simple: never let the fish know he’s being fished for.”  #1271

“The whole notion of trout fishing would not be so romantic if the trout did not win, too.”  #1272

“I’ve never had all the flies I wanted, probably never will, and couldn’t carry them all if I did.” #1273

“Most fly patterns should be works in progress.” – Lou Tabory #1274

“Confidence is the best lure in your tackle box.” #1275

see all the quotes here

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing quotes

Get Down and Get Ugly: Chris Dore’s Creeper Fly

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Chris Dore is one of New Zealand’s top guides; specialising in the south of the South Island of New Zealand. He has a a very refreshing attitude to fishing and fly tying – and ‘keep it simple’ seems to be his watch-word. But making things simple requires a lot of knowledge and experience – Chris has a heap of both.

Chris ties these ugly brutes for early season headwaters on size 6 to 10 long shank hooks ( I think I will use Tiemco 200R to give a slight bend). The rest you can pretty much work out for yourself.

Wrap some lead (or substitute) around the hook, tie in a bunch of black hair or fur for a tail, tie in copper (or gold?) wire, and some black flexi-body or any stretchy sheet, dub up to 2/3 with hares ear, then some black dubbing, for thorax and head. Pull the back over the fly and tie down at the head. (Quick tip: before you cut off the back, pull the excess back towards the tail and throw in a few ‘locking turns’ to really secure the back). Follow with the wire to form segments, and tie off at the head, whip finish and give it a dab or two of head cement. Simple. Quick. Done.

I suggested adding some wriggly rubber legs – Chris said he used to, but now does not bother because the fly is just as effective naked. Simplicity again.

Chris describes the fly as his ‘get noticed fly’, to fish in edge waters and boulder runs. Go easy on the lead, you want the fly to move through where heavier flies would snag.

That is about. I will be tying up a bunch of Creepers and Glister Nymphs for a trip to the central North island in early October, as Spring gets into full swing here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly tying, Fresh water how-to, New Zealand Fishing

Tenkara and European nymphing, a link?

Tenkara fishing is getting a lot of press, but the link to an ancient Japanese method to ‘modern’ techniques is very interesting.

Tenkara and European nymphing – where the old becomes new.

Sometimes it happens that some apparently disconnected events come together to open a door to something new. A case in point.

First apparently disconnected event.

I had been reading a lot about the Japanese Tenkara style fishing, and had bought a Tenkara rod and used it a few times, with some success. It is fun!

Then a few months on I was reading an UK fly-fishing magazine. Two articles in the same edition of that magazine, apparently disconnected, except that both were about fly-fishing, melded together to open a door neither author knew tenkarafly1existed.

The first article by a well known fly-fishing author and fly-tyer, was taking someone to task about his notion that wet flies tied with hackles pointing forward over the eye of the hook were ‘invented’ about 25 years ago. Not so wrote our eminent author, they were invented about 50 years ago in the Clydeside area, in the UK.

Both these gentlemen were only about 2000 years out. Japanese ‘Tenkara’ fishermen have been using wet and dry flies with hackles tied forward for around that many years.

O.K. So a marginally interesting, piscatorial and historical matter cleared up.

However this historical fact becomes more interesting when melded with the second article, on the ‘European’ fishing style.

Read on..

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing, fly fishing gear, fly fishing how-to

How to Get Started in Saltwater Fly-Fishing

It May Be Easier To Start Than You think.

Saltwater fly-fishing gets a lot of press. An exciting branch of our sport it is too. Marlin on a fly rod -  tuna, sharks and yellowtail kingfish  too. But maybe all these stories of going toe to toe with big game fish on the specialist gear required, rather than encouraging people into this sport, has actually discouraged them?

This may be especially true when many articles talk about complicated leader set-ups and the like. Most of this stuff is about complying with the rules to register record fish. If you are not chasing records, or fishing in a contest, none of these rules apply.

A pair of average kahawai that provided great sport on a fly rod

Here is some good news – just as in all other aspects of fishing – there are horses for courses. Fact is the majority of fishermen have never, and may never, go fishing for big-game fish, whether with big-game fishing gear or on a fly rod.

In fact it is highly likely that the majority of big-game fishermen have never and will never chase big-game fish with a fly rod. Fishing for big-game fish with a fly rod is a specialised branch of a sport that is already specialised.

Salt water fly-fishing is not necessarily about catching big-game fish on fly rods: for most, it is about catching exciting fish like kahawai, trevally, snapper and  smaller  yellowtail kingfish on fly rods.

Here is some even better news – the gear for catching these exciting fish can be the same gear that you could use to catch trout as well.

Here is what you need to chase snapper, kahawai, small kingfish, trevally, and the like in salt water.

[Read full article]

Posted by Tony Bishop in salt water fly fishing

Fugly Foam Flies for Fabulous Fishing

I was first introduced to foam flies around ten years ago. One of my favourite dry flies up to that point was the big ugly ‘Madam X’, which is basically a big clump of deer or elk hair, over a yellow body, with rubber legs in the shape of an X, hence the name.

Madam X was very successful for me, but it had a major drawback, the same one that affects all fur, hair and feather dry-flies, you have to dry the damn things every five seconds.montanahopper

So when I saw foam flies I was hooked, and as it transpires so were plenty of fish. I would back a big fugly foam fly splashed down over fish feeding on miniscule somethings, to an imitative pattern any day.

Read the rest of the story here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing flies, fly tying

What About That Hook

A while ago I penned an article posing the question, why don’t fish seem to take any notice of the hook hanging down below a fly? It is not like it is not in plain view.

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So I was intrigued to read this article which postulated…

“Hooks are not part of the trout’s developed searching or matching image. Therefore, in grossly oversimplified form, trout don’t care about the hook.”

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing

The Mystery of the Ratty Fly

“It’s an ages-old question: Do trout sometimes prefer a beat-up pattern?”
The excellent MidCurrent blog features an excellent (of course) article by Paul Schullery on the old question of whether ratty, beat-up flies catch more fish than neat’n’tidy offerings.

I’m a believer. I have written a couple of articles on this theme, Rufazgutz, and Imitation or Approximation.

If you buy store-bought flies, have a read of these articles and then take to your flies with something rough like a piece of hacksaw blade or a piece of Velcro. Picking out some fur with a pin or needle will help too. And as the article says if your fly gets a bit ratty, but is still catching fish, for goodness sake keep using it.

Commercially tied flies are tied to meet the demands of the first rule of fishing tackle retailing; ‘First Catch Your Fisherman’. I should know – I owned a tackle shop for ten years.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing flies, fly tying

Easy Way to Dry Fishing Hooks and Flies

Those little packets that seem to come in all pill bottles, and a myriad other products, contain a desiccant, moisture absorbing beads. Usually known by the name “Silica-Gel”, these little packets are ideal for drying used hooks and flies, and keeping them dry.

Placing one in your fly box will help stop fly-hooks rusting, and fur and feather detiorating. I have a small, lidded box with two or three packets of Silica-Gel inside, into which I drop wet flies. By the time I get home the flies are dry and ready to go back into their fly-box.

And once safe and secure, I add a couple of the gel packs to ensure the flies in my fly boxes do not rust.

I also have a small lidded box for my used salt-water hooks. A couple of Silica-Gel packets in the box stops salt-water doing any mischief.

Used Silica-Gel packets can be ‘refreshed and renewed’ by ‘cooking’ them in a microwave for ten or twenty seconds. If you need more Silica-Gel, good places to try are, camera stores, garden supplies, dried flower supplies, and local pharmacy.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing tips, salt water how-to and tips

Bead Fly Update

A short article I wrote on my site in 1998 had been near the top of site visit numbers ever since. But the information contained in the article needed updating, and some additional explanation.

So finally I have found my round-to-it and updated the article and included some photos of this dead-easy fly to tie, well actually not really tie, more like assemble.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly tying