Charlie Craven is one of the best tutors of fly tying I have come across. I first came across his marvellous work in John Barr’s book ‘Barr Flies’ – Charlie did the tutorials in that book backed up by superb step by step photos. I think they set a new standard in fly tying tutoring.
Now Charlie has his own book out , ‘Charlie Craven’s Basic Fly Tying’.
Basic fly tying? I guess it is if you look at the flies he has chosen to present, but on every page are tips and tricks that I guarantee will have you smacking yourself on the forehead, and thinking “why didn’t I think of that.”
Anyone working through this book will have covered most of the ground needed to tie almost any fly. If anything Charlie’s photos and words have exceeded the standard he set in the Barr book.
I have been fly-tying for over 40 years, and I still learned heaps. If you are starting out fly-tying get this book, do not delay – so you do not learn the bad habits we old tyers have picked up. If you have a friend or family member just starting tying, buy it as a present, they will continue to thank you for it for years to come, every time they sit at the fly-tying desk.
I have just updated the hook-removal article to include information on how to use both the ‘loop’ and ‘forceps’ method one-handed to remove hooks from yourself. This is usually required when the hook is buried in a hand or arm.
When using the loop method, make the loop long enough to go over some immovable object, such as a tree branch. Hold down the eye of the hook and pull your hand away in the direction shown in the diagrams in the article.
If using long-nose pliers or forceps, hold the hook eye down with the thumb of the hand holding down the forceps.
A broken rod tip-ring is pretty common, jamming the rod tip into something solid usually does the trick quickly and efficiently.
As usual the most efficient method of fixing a tip ring is to take it to a tackle shop who should fix it while you wait, and at no charge. But if you must go it alone, here is how:
If the tip ring itself is brokengently heat the tip with a cigarette lighter or match, and gently is absolutely critical, too much heat and you will soften then rod itself, and this is unrecoverable. Once the glue that holds on the tip is softened by the heat the rod tip should easily slide off.
Then using hot melt glue, melt some glue and rub it over the rod tip area, then slide on the new tip, make sure it lines up with the other guides and that is it – easy! (whatever glue you use, but I recommend hot melt glue, make sure the glue will release if the tip gets broken again).
If the rod tip is broken, clean up the tip to make sure there are no loose strands of fibreglass or graphite. Roughen up the rod tip where the new rod tip ring is to go with sandpaper, then glue on a new tip as covered above.
Most thinking fishermen will be aware of the need to release at least some fish – those that are undersized, or surplus to immediate requirements spring to mind, and for some anglers, releasing fish as a matter of course. But there are ‘rules’ for releasing fish that will ensure the fish has the greatest chance of surviving.
Rule 1: Speed Does Not Kill
The faster you can get a fish to the boat or shore the better its chances of survival. The longer the fight the less chance the fish has of surviving.
It is likely that the survival rates decrease exponentially as fight time increases. That is as fight-time goes up, survival chances decrease at an ever increasing rate. If you fish on a catch-and-release basis you should use gear that will minimise the fight time.
Rule 2: Get Wet
Lifting a fish out of the water, decreases its survival chances. The longer a fish is out of the water its chances of survival decrease expotentially. Try and remove the hook while the fish is in the water…
The Number 1 Question Asked on This Site! Fishing Smells – how do you get rid of them?
The smell of fish and fishing really gets some people going – and at the risk of being sexist it is usually at its most strident when female partners are involved in the discussions.
Getting the smell off hands, etc is best done with any lemon scented soap or a mild dose of lemon detergent. Clothes are best attacked with good old NappiSan or any oxygen bleach, give them a soak first.
But the very best thing of all for removing fishy smells from body, boat, clothes and children is “Simple Green”. It can take a bit of finding, but it does a great job.
Trout fishermen are well advised to take a small flask of Simple Green in their fly fishing vest – it gets rid of the smell and residue of insect repellant and sunscreen – both of which you don’t want on your flies or leaders.
Just One Other Thing (And it Is Important):
If you are preparing fish to eat and it has a strong fishy smell, it means the fish has not been cared for properly, and it is unfit for consumption – see this and this