Lack of fishing = More time tying flies
Firstly I must apologise for lack of posting recently. However. until the previous weekend where i managed to get on the river (new post to follow) I haven't been able to fish much of late. With family commitments, the weather being as it was (rain, snow, more rain), I have been turning my attentions to fly tying. Ever since I got back into my fishing, my goal was to tie my own flies.
When I first looked into tying, I have to say I was a little overwhelmed. Where exactly do you start? Hook size, hook type, tying thread, furs, feathers, beads and so on. Despite having guidance and help from friends and fellow anglers it took me a while to sit down and start. Now that I've started, I'm thoroughly enjoying it, even if I do need some more practice!
One of the things I found most difficult was gathering together all the materials I needed to create any one fly. Not wanting to pay a fortune for a fly tying kit I stated off small. My friend Lee gave me a vice and I picked up a decent pack of tying tools off eBay. Having checked out some tying guides and, like most people I have talked too, Dave McPhail's tying videos on YouTube, I set about picking up some materials. A basic variety of threads, some beads and a pile of pheasant tails from the boss (who is a keen huntsman). Oh and of course some hooks.
Naturally, with the materials I had, my first attempted flies were buzzers and PTNs. All of which were terrible and destined for the bin. Now, people say ‘Practice makes perfect’, I don’t agree! I say ‘Perfect practice makes perfect’, if you teach yourself or others the incorrect technique then they will only continue in the same vain……..incorrectly, not matter how much they practice it!
More visits to YouTube, and more, and more, followed by a snatched lesson here and there and I was finally comfortable enough to sit down and tie a decent selection of flies that I was confident of using on the water.
I tied up some PTNs and Buzzers and took them to the lake in Builth (before the conversion to a coarse fishery). The result, some lovely little brownies, caught on my very own PTN, fished under a strike indicator.
As my skills developed I tied more flies including Elk Hair Caddis and took these out on the river. On a day when I fished with 2 Welsh International Anglers, a very quiet day I must say, my Elk Hair Caddis out fished one of them. I must be doing something right?
I also tried one of my own flies at the Christmas Competition at Garnffrwd and managed to catch – incidentally, that competition back at the end of December was about the last time I fished properly!
One thing that still frustrates me a little is settling down to tie up some flies but when I comes down to the tying there always seems to be one 'ingredient' missing! The result, substituting for something I have – sometimes successful, sometimes not. However, I do feel this is where I can really get some enjoyment from tying. Following a pattern but making subtle changes and creating your own variation. Something I find quite satisfying there, especially if I manage to catch a fish on it.
Having seen my first snowdrop (in my opinion that is the first sign of spring), the weather is warming and the fishing should improve.
I'm hopeful of getting down to Garnffrwd soon and have a trip planed to Llyngwyn in April - hopefully these trips will warrant a post or two, fingers crossed. However, before that I intend on spending plenty of time at the tying table and more time in the river (preferably catching fish). Fingers crossed.
|Snow Drops next to the Wye|
With trout season starting on Sunday (3rd) and summer just around the corner I thought I'd share a couple of pictures from last year - lets hope of more the same, and some bigger!
|Tom Mills with a lovely Chub|
|One of the few Dace I caught on the fly last year|
|Feisty Brown I caught down the 'Fly Run', Wye, last year|
|Dan Graham with an awesome Grayling taken above Builth bridge|
Until next time…