fly tying

Five New Fishy Quotes and Sayings

More mind fertiliser from the pens of the true tellers of fishing tales.

“How to become a millionaire by fishing? Start out as a billionaire.” #1336

“Chris Yates is an angling legend who presented A Passion for Angling, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next month. It is still considered the best-ever television programme about fishing. Part of the problem with extreme fishing shows is the nature of modern television, thinks Yates. “They are tearing apart whatever the beauty of the subject is and showing one populist image,” he says. His series took four-and-a-half years to film. “No one in their right mind would make a TV film about fishing. I was insane to agree to do it. Fishing doesn’t translate into TV, unless you can somehow convey the sense of tranquility and mystery, as [A Passion for Angling’s filmmaker] Hugh Miles managed to do. There’s this mystery about why you are doing it and there’s this unknown world happening below the surface of the water, and your line is connecting you to it.” #1337

“There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.” #1338

“Because fly lines are wild snakes that need to be tamed…” #1339

“People get the Politicians and fishing tackle they deserve.” #1340

See all the quotes on fishing here

Posted by Tony Bishop

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

To UV or Not UV

An excellent and deeply researched article on the MidCurrent site will provide answers to any and all questions you might have on the relevance of Ultraviolet light to fishing.

The money shot:

“He found that ultraviolet photographs of trout food looked “pretty much exactly the same as any other black and white photographs of the same subject.” He also went on to say that this was not surprising: “… trout food insects just simply don’t possess strong UV-reflectance patterns, and that trout are not likely to identify their food by looking for UV reflectance”.

… But for fly fishers, there seems to be no reason to elevate this trait to any significant status. For trout and a number of other species we target, ultraviolet-sensitive vision does not seem to be a component of the adult fish’s behavior, and it is especially unlikely to be an important part of the way they locate and identify their food.”

Read more here.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing flies, fly fishing, trout information

Simple to Make Fly Holder for Fly-tying batch tasks.


OK this is not about to be earth shattering, but I was looking for a fly holder that would hold flies securely, so I could “batch” process tasks i.e. adding UV cure resin, or head cement.

So I grabbed an old fly-line spool, joined the two halves together, put a blob of 5 minute epoxy regularly spaced around the outside edge, and added line-testers. Just one thing, make sure the  clip of the line tester is parallel to the edge of the spool.

Jobs done. ‘

Now I can hold the spool in one hand and do what I have to do to finish off the flies. It is also good for taking outside on a sunny day to get a really good UV resin cure.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fishing flies, fly fishing how-to, fly tying

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



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

Pretty accurate hook size chart – if you print it

Finding an accurate hook size chart has been difficult, many are wildly inaccurate, even from reputable manufacturers – but at last I found one.

I have just uploaded a PDF document of Tiemco fly and salt water hooks. The sizes appear to be fairly accurate, but only if you print the chart at 100%. Sizes on your screen are not accurate as they are distorted by the pixel setting your screen uses.

The hook styles and shapes do not cover all hooks, but all the basics are there, so it is an excellent overall guide.

For full run-down of hook information see this.

Posted by Tony Bishop in Articles and stories on fishing in general, big game fishing, fishing flies, fly tying, salt water fishing, salt water fishing tackle

Charlie Craven’s Fly Box


I have just read Charlie Craven’s latest book, and yet again it is a superb piece of work. The extremely high standard of the fly tying tutorials, both in terms of the writing and photography makes the construction of the flies very easy to follow.

While it is probably true that none of the flies in the book are truly new, it is also probably true that most ‘new’ flies are variations on a theme. In Charlie Craven’s case it is the value of the innovative materials he uses to construct his flies and the equally innovative tying methods he demonstrates, that sets the book apart from others.

I defy even experienced fly-tyers  not to learn a good deal from the pages. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. You can get it at Amazon.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly tying

Fly Tying – Put a cap on the mess

Cap rubbish collector

One of the more irritating features of fly-tying is the mess that can be created by the cut, hacked, sliced and diced bits of fur, feather, wire, thread, and more. The mess invades the fly-tying desk and the floor. All guaranteed to create disharmony in a previously happy home.

I have tried all kinds of proprietary gizmos to capture the dross – typically expensive, invariably pretty much useless.

But I have come up with a cheap and effective demessifier, that takes seconds to make.

Grab an old baseball cap, cut off the peak, undo the clip at the back of the cap and place it around the stem of your vise. Job done.

That is it – harmony returns to your desk, floor and home. Beaut eh!

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly tying

A magnetic little tip for finding fumbled flies

There are in this fishing world of ours thousands of hints, tricks, and tips to make things easier or more effective. Most of us I guess read them, say to ourselves, ‘now that is a good idea, I must use that’ – and promptly forget around 99% of them!

Well a couple of months ago I read a tip in a UK fly-fishing magazine that was simplicity in itself, designed to solve a problem that affects us all, sometime or other.

So there I was on a nice piece of water, catching a few nice trout on a new fly I was trialling, till one a bit better than my skills took it away. So I opened my fly box and the other one of the two I tied fell into the grass at my feet. Do you think I could find it – no chance.

Now back to that tip that drifted out of my memory when I was not looking. Simply tie a small  but powerful magnet onto a length of string, and when you drop a fly ‘troll’ the magnet around the area where the fly fell. Beautiful – but forgotten. So no magnet, not string, no fly. Bugger.

OK, so just when I needed it, the magnet on a string tip snuck back into my memory. But as I said no magnet, no string. But I finally thought, my landing net is tied to a magnet, that connects to another magnet attached to the loop  behind my neck.  I detached my net and slowly ‘trolled’ the magnet through the grass at my feet, and a fly attached itself. Actually not my fly but a well trampled previously dropped specimen by someone as clumsy as me.

I can report that I did find my fly – but also have to report that despite the fact it’s brother caught a number of fish, the ‘lost’ fly failed to live up to the promise of the former. Still I did manage to cement the magnet tip into my brain cells, and at my age that is a good capture in itself.

Postscript:  If you tie flies, the magnet on a string tip has another use. When you drop a hook on the floor, as you do, especially a carpet covered floor, and more especially the dropped hook is small, a magnet on a string finds the little blighter quickly.

Posted by Tony Bishop in fly fishing how-to, fly fishing tips, fly tying