Thursday, 31 December 2009

Parachute Emerger - A new addition to the RFB

I have just added a step-by step for tying parachute hackles on the River Fly Box.

Hook: Varivas 2200BL-B #14
Thread: 14/0 Sheer, tan
Abdomen: Orvis Spectrablend, Light Olive
Wing post: Funky Fibre, yellow
Thorax: Orvis Spectrablend, ginger
Hackle: Whiting, Golden Badger


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Biot Nymph - A new addition to the river fly box

I've just added a new addition to the River Fly Box: The Biot Nymph

Hook: Varivas 2120WB (Wave Barbless) #14
Bead: Tungsten 2mm
Thread: Sheer 14/0, tan
Tail: Coq de Leon fibres
Abdomen: Turkey Biot, olive
Thorax: Argentinian Hare, dyed olive


Monday, 28 December 2009

Swedish Fly Fair, March 2010

I am delighted to say that I have been invited to tie at the Swedish Fly Fair in March (11th - 14th March). It'll be great to see some old friends and meet some new ones. This will be my first vist to Sweden too, so I'm really looking forward to it.

More information can be found here: Swedish Fly Fair 2010


Friday, 25 December 2009

A very happy Christmas to everyone who visits and reads my blog. Since I started the records of visitors, the blog has received over 12000 hits from more than 80 countries. I am delighted that so many people have taken an interest and encouraged me to continue with the blog. I wish you all a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

I have always tried to keep the blog dedicated to fly fishing and tying. However, I wanted to add the news that my son, Oscar, was born on Christmas Eve. A better present you could not receive.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

When the going gets tough... #30

A couple tied on #30 hooks... they really do have their day:


Hook: Varivas 2210 #30
Thread: Synton 0.05 x2, olive
Wing: CDC, brown, fibres in split thread

CDC Shuttlecock

Hook: Varivas 2210 #30
Thread: Synton 0/05 x2, olibe
Abdomen:Light Olive
Wing: CDC
Thorax: Ginger


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Smutting Shuttle

Small flies can save the day. When tying in the #24 and below sizes I very much like the use of CDC. There's little weight from such a small hook and, as a result, just a small amount of CDC will keep these floating all day.

Here's an example:

Hook: Varivas 2300 #28
Thread: Synton 0.05 x2, olive
Tail: 2 strands DNA Frosty Fibre
Abdomen: Tying thread
Rib: Tying thread
Wing: Natural CDC
Thorax: Superfine, #19 Sulphur Orange


Frosty Reception

I saw a window of opportunity today to take the rod out and pursue a few winter rainbows. I rarely fish small stillwaters, but with good water (with excellently conditioned fish) just a few miles from home and usually a good winter fishery, I thought it was worth a crack. As I drove further up the valley, there was a little snow on the ground. When I found the lake, it was heavily iced over. Back home to the vice then to tie a few for warmer days.


Saturday, 19 December 2009

CDC Loop Emerger (spray)

I've mentioned it many times, but the effectiveness of the CDC loop emerger can be, I believe, credited to the footprint. It floats well, but also gives a busy, fussy foorprint in the surface film. There is so much scope with which to play here with endless possibilities of materials and styles. Here's another varaition ~ a little similar to the method used for the CDC Spent Spinner, with a CDC thorax allowed to spill from either side of the loop ~ hence 'spray'.

Hook: Partridge BN15 #16
Thread: Sheer 14/0, tan
Abdomen: Orvis Spectrablend, light olive
Rib: Tying thread with Zelon (caddis amber) inserted between strands
Trailing wing: Woodduck fibres
Thorax: CDC, olive, inserted in split thread
Loop Wing: CDC, natural


Monday, 14 December 2009

CDC Spent Spinner

Hook: Varivas 2100 #12
Thread: Sheer 14/0, tan
Tails: P. Whillock Antennae, black
Egg sac: Glo Brite Floss #12 green
Abdomen: Turkey biot, rust
Thorax / Wing: CDC, light brown / Khaki blend
Wings split with 2 plumes of natural CDC.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Shrimp à l'orange (et rose)

Shrimp à l'orange (et rose)

Hook: Partridge SHR #14
Ballast: Flat lead
Thread: Moser Powersilk 10/0, olive
Shell back: Orange raffine, varnish over
Body / legs: Rabbit & pink seal-sub, in split thread
Rib: Tying thread

The orange raffine takes on a lovely pink hue in certain light conditions.


Sunday, 6 December 2009

Hook: Partridge SHR #14
Ballast: Flat lead
Thread: Moser Powersilk 10/0, olive
Shell back: Cream / White raffine, varnish over
Body / legs: Rabbit, in split thread
Antennae: Partridge
Rib: Tying thread


Hook: Partridge SHR #14
Ballast: Flat lead
Thread: Moser Powersilk 10/0, olive
Shell back: Wapsi Thin Skin (coloured at thorax wth black pen)
Abdomen: Speactrablend, cream
Thorax: Argentinian Hare , olive / natural blend
Rib: Tying thread


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

...and on a #20

To demonstrate the versatility of the CDC dun patterns for the River Fly Box, here it is on a #20 Partridge SUD. (A great hook for dries & nymphs)

Hook: Partridge SLD #20
Thread: 14/0 Sheer, tan
Tail: Coq de Leon
Abdomen: Orvis Spectrablend, brown
Wing: CDC, brown (in split thread)

Now both together:


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

CDC Dun - fast water

A variant of the CDC Dun, this pattern does away with the microfibbet tails and introduces hackle fibres instead.

This is a big 'searching' pattern. At times, a larger, high riding pattern can persuade a fish to take and the extra CDC it carries allows it to cope well in faster riffles of water.

Hook: Partridge SUD #10
Thread: 14/0 Sheer
Tails: Rooster hackle fibres, honey dun
Abdomen: Turkey Biot, tan
Wing: Light brown & dark brown CDC blend


Sunday, 29 November 2009


Trailing Shuck & Biot

Hook: Kamasan B175 #14
Thread: Moser Powersilk 10/0, olive
Hackle: Hen, badger
Tail / shuck: Zelon, mayfly brown, sparse
Abdomen: Turkey biot, olive
Thorax: Seal sub, amber

(Materials in the order they are tied in)


Saturday, 28 November 2009

The rain has hardly stopped, and with the arrival of a Northerly breeze, winter is certainly here. With the amount of water we have had, it is amazing that the rivers have remained within their banks; unlike some areas of the country. When I crossed the River Chew the other day, it was pleasing to see a few spinners fluttering above the stream, ever hopeful of making the most of a slighly warmer, drier spell in the middle of the day. It always amazes me that upwings will hatch, even when the air temperature is so low. With the persistant wind and rain of recent weeks, my chances of casting a line have been very limited. Hopefully, the wetter weather will ease and we can get down to some proper cold-weather grayling fishing. I will certainly report back when I do.

The River Fly Box seems to be getting a good number of visitors - so thanks if you have taken a look. There are more updates soon - so you can thank the wind and rain for that at least.

~ Dave

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The CDC Dun - new addition to the River Fly Box

I was asked alot about the CDC Dun when I was tying at the BFFI. As promised, I have added a tying sequence to the River Fly Box for the pattern.

Please check out the River Fly Box - Tying the CDC Dun.

~ Dave

Pheasant Tail Nymph - New addition to the River Fly Box

I have just finished a new addition to the River Fly Box: Tying the Pheasant Tail Nymph


Saturday, 21 November 2009

Another excellent online resource. I was asked to submit the tying sequence for the Brassie to Front Range Anglers.

Front Range Anglers

Front Range Anglers - November Newsletter

The smallest things...

...can make the biggest difference.

Here are two very similar soft-hackled flies tied this morning. Only changing thread type, the simplest of changes can bring a pattern into a new light:

In the order the materials are tied:
Hook: Grip 12003 #14
Thread: Moser Power-silk 10/0
Hackle: Starling
Tail: Woodduck
Body: Rabbit
Rib: Tying thread

In the order the materials are tied:
Hook: Grip 12003 #14
Thread: Sheer 14/0, orange
Hackle: Starling
Tail: Woodduck
Body: Rabbit
Rib: Tying thread


Friday, 20 November 2009

Check the BFFI 2009 on Sky Sports.,26691,13019_5707799,00.html

Specifically featured is Ulf Hagstrom: fly tying genius & good guy.


Thursday, 19 November 2009

As we get hammered by wind and rain, it really feels as though winter is on its way. So for the time being, the rods are on stand-by and when we get a break in the weather-front, I'll try and get out for an hour or two. It's not looking hopeful at the moment. Although also limited, time in front the vice has been welcome, and I've just finished a couple of new articles for the new year...

If you're in need of a little 'warming up', take a look at the Catch magazine #8


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

BFFI - the reflections

It was a fantastic show, as expected. Every year it seems to go from strength to strength and this was no exception. Bundles of amazing talent and some serious, serious skill to watch, experience and hopefully absorb. It wa all well supported by some serious humour and all round fun. It's great to see some friends there and meet some new ones too. If you visited, I hope you enjoyed it. If I chatted with you, thanks for coming over - your contributions made the weekend go fantastically. A big thanks to Steve Cooper for the invitation. His (and his family's) organisation and hard work has paid dividends - a great, great show.

If you couldn't make it (or even if you could!) enjoy the following:

Here's Johan's (unfinished) efforts to give the concept of tying spiders a truly different slant:

No pressure as I am watched by George Barron (a pleasure to tie next to him all weekend - a great guy and superb tyer):

Some of Roy's flies:

Ulf Hagstrom (Sweden)

Ulf Hagstrom's SRM Emerger (of which I am now a proud owner- thanks Ulf!):

Hans Weillenman (Netherlands)

Nik Dahlin (Sweden)

A copydex variant of Ulf's Killer (tied by Dennis Shaw):

Dates for 2010 are already released. I'm sure there will be more photos on the BFFI site soon.