Sunday, 16 August 2015

a rant


Ive not really had a rant for a while but sometimes things just piss me off to the extent I have to vent , so this time its at the uks glorious postal system let me explain.

I work in a quite stressful job working shift patterns that can sometimes at least a couple of nights a week do sleepover shifts (12pm till 12pm) so this does effect my fly tying to the extent im limited to how many customers I take onto my books so to speak , so I keep a small list of regulars who place fairly regular orders which im usually able to fulfil within 7 to 14 days , shifts permitting , my regulars understand this and it works well for all concerned and of course my flies catch fish which is why they keep coming back .

So when things are quite I take on the odd bit of extra work, now I had a couple of weeks holiday recently and I had a couple of largish orders come in which I was able to take on , as id just finished 3 regular customers orders one of the orders was to southern Ireland and one to England which although was time sensitive I worked out that even with materials having to be ordered I would be able to do it in time .

So I set to work on both orders and it worked out quite well , the order to southern Ireland was finished and bagged up ready to be posted and I started on the last remaining flies for the other order although I was waiting for materials I could still complete most of it .

So job done I set off to the following day to do a 12 – 12 shift and arrived in work an hour early because this one time there wasn't a Q in the post office so parcels duly dispatched I felt quite relived that it was done and dusted.

So over the coming weeks out of the 5 packets I sent out that week these 2 orders hadn’t yet arrived and I was starting to get concerned after a few more days it became clear that they weren’t going to arrive and I would have to replace them (gutted).ive had to send replacement flies for the time sensitive ones from my stock of extras luckily I get a few orders for chew so I have a stock of these flies which work there , although not what the customer ordered I simply cant afford to refund as ive already bought the materials and again id have to re order the materials for this bespoke order at my own expense meaning id be making a loss let alone the hours and days put in to make them

Now let me tell you im in a very low paid job and I kid you not 90% of my wages goes on household bills , rent , council tax , electricity gas , etc and making ends meet is bloody hard any money I make from flies (which isn’t a lot after buying materials) goes on luxuries like food and the odd night out with friends , which I need to do for my own sanity (my fishing trips are few and far between and they don’t cost much) so having to replace 70 odd flies wipes out any potential extra I would make for these little luxuries and that’s not even mentioning the time it takes to make them .

As to the post office they really couldn’t give two shits about me the customer as far as there concerned its my fault anyway , you know I once had some hooks go missing to a customer some years ago and you know eventually after 4 months they were returned to me with a note saying very sorry we found these down the back of a machine , we will try to improve our practises to stop this happening again , oh great that makes it fine then maybe you can tell the guy that ordered them that  and he may order from me again …..

So im actually sitting here now wondering if its even worth continuing tying flies for folks unless A- im going to go fishing with them or B- they can come and pick them up themselves i.e advertise on gumtree or craigslist ……..really really burned out by this, bastards
Ok so usually before I start on any orders I like to warm up with a few ties for myself so heres what ive been tying , mostly on 4/0 and 6/0 

Murdich minnows are a cracking fly and used quite a lot in the states quick and easy to tie and look great when figure of eight back through the water and you can tie t
Em as big or as small as you like

Gliss and glint flies

Despite having left the deer creek prostaff I still fully endorse there gliss and glint as one of the finest synthetics out there for large pike flies none finer 

Check out there full range at


Brian from is one of my regular customers and all uses my flies as another weapon for chasing the elusive ferox trout around the deep lochs of Scotland, brian comes to me with ideas for trolling flies and I put them onto hooks send him pictures in case he needs to change anything and then we roll from there.

And here is the result 

10lb 6oz of finest Scottish ferrox can’t really argue with that as proof of my abilities, it still amazes me that out there in social media land that there are people who have only been tying predator flies for such a short time and selling them as the best there is and put my flies down as rubbish, jealousy is a terrible thing , when your flies catch such rare fish as this in the hardest of lochs well your argument is invalid frankly , you know ive never claimed to be the greatest tier in the world , far from it and you know I really couldn’t care less , my regular customers know better 

Brian is probably one of the best guides out there and his detail to fish welfare is second to none , no wonder he gets booked up so quick , go check his website and do yourself a favour book a day in the finest of boats in the most beautiful locations in the word .Scotland.


Simply stunning what a way to end the blog

See ya out there
(a cave in scotland)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

alaska bobs first pike on the fly


whis alaska bob , well you may well ask ,alaska bob or (james lafferty) as hes known in other parts is a pal and a member of a small private group who are harder to get into than the masons , now alsaka bob is a die hard out every moment he can angler , as long as theres fish in it he will fish it , now i had arranged a jaunt some mouths ago into the saltwater but unfortunately i was felling not very well (and as it turns out he was ill as well) so we had to cancel the trip , which was a shame as id been looking forward to it . 

so as it was my birthday fish and regular fishing the destroyer is off having a sex change operation and couldnt make it , i put the call out on our jungle drums and as it turns out alaska bob was free so the date was set and as it turns out alaska bob had yet to catch a pike on the fly so i was determined to get him one    

we arrived at the venue not to early by usual fishing standards at around 7:30am and 
of course he usual round of stoopid selfies , well thats what its all about having fun and making memories (selfie alert)

so my choice of weapon for this was my trusty pikesaber (still love it after all these years) couples with a saber fly reel loaded with a 10wgt intermediate line and a 5ft 18lb furled flurocarbon leader , 8 inchs of authentic wire  and a fastach 50lb quick change link , i tend to use a lot of flies during a normal days fly fishing , not because i have no confidence in the fly im using , its just im a complete fly tart and i love to see how they look in the water  fly of choice to start was a small 2 inch olive fried alive 

now i know theres some out there that think 8 inchs isnt enough length on a wire leader well bollocks it is enough , what you have to remember is this isnt a game where pike is picking up a bait of the bottom munching it down the back of its throat , no 90% of the time these fish are lip hooked and even when they do take it deeper its never very far down and i have yet to be bitten off on authanic wire or any pike while fly fishing so your argument is invalid and trust me ive been doing this longer than most in this country and if it doe ever happen i will write about it , 

the bag was my boat bag as we had originally decided to boat fish but there wasnt any available so had to rough it , usually if im doing a lot of walking ill have a small rucksack with me plenty of room for everything you need if you dont go completely overboard on flies (cough) 

the fried alive probably one of my most productive flys ever, absolute fish slayer 

so i tackled up alaska bob with the same set up i had and we headed up to the first spot , nothing to pikey in the way of features but ive always had a few here of the boat so worth a few casts and sure enough after half a dozen casts i had a slamming take  

5 mins later the first was on the bank 

these fish in my local really fight so well and just never give up and yea ok its no 20 pounder but actually i dont give a rats on fish size i really dont , ive done the specimen hunting thing in my youth so had all the big fish i could ever hope to catch but nothing gives me as much pleasure as catching pike on the fly no mater what size everyone's a pleasure on the fly and so sporting and after all isnt that what its all about getting pleasure from your sport and not getting your picture in the local fishing rag , and besides the whole process from putting a hook in the vice to landing on your own creation is good enough for me ........hero worship na stick it    

this particular fish wrapped itself around the leader so last part of the fight was quite interesting but i unwrapped it and cradled it in the water and it swam of strongly probably wondering what the hell had just happened 
so alaska bobs turn , obviously he was full of questions how did i retrieve , how far down i counted etc etc , so was happy to pass on the info and within a few casts he was into his first on the fly and well i just had to do a little video while he was playing it 

as i said before alaska bob is an experienced angler and has caught plenty of pike before so 
he needed no instruction from me on playing or landing 

unhooked in the water as it should be and even for a picture its best to hold them over water , they are a fragile fish and sometimes i cant believe some of the bad handling practices i see sometimes , just no need 

so alaska bobs got his first pike on the fly and an instant fan has been born , im guessing by the look on his face he enjoined that 

random video of the 1

so with the weather warming up i decided to move us further up the bank to another favourite boat spot but one that i had seldom bank fished  , so while i conducted myself in a zen like way to be at one with my fly , alaska bob was again photo bombing the moment ,any resemblance to sonic the hedgehog is purely coincidental 

so according to my weather app it was supposed to be a fine day with 3 mph winds and indeed when we got to the loch it was indeed flat and glass like , as soon as we set up the wind started to rise and after the first couple of fish i decided to move us further up the bank where we would be a bit more sheltered from the rising gusts .

didnt take long to be in amongst the fish again and the fried alive living up to its deadly reputation as a fish catcher , the pike in this instance hit it like an express train and promptly wrapped me round some weed , but with some steady pressure and the aid of the furled leader i was able to free it , at one point i actually thought it had thrown the hook as they do sometimes in weed but no it was still firmly attached and again took off like a rocket , great fun    

one of my favourite things in summer is wet wading just love getting in about the fish and save the expense of having a bath 

so fish firmly landed with a good chin hold and ready for another these fish are so bloody fighting fit its unreal and such great sport on the fly 

a couple more casts and the fried alive claims another victim , bloody small flies are absolutely killer on here ive actually lost count the amount of fish ive caught on them small fly is king up here 


so after a few more fish another move was in order ,this time to the point where the bay starts and where there is slightly deeper water , and has always been a good spot with the fly , what i didnt count on was the wind whipping through faster than a night after a curry , and if you watch the video on here no 5 you can really here it , which made casting bloody difficult if not darn right dangerous to ears and exposed flesh with sharp hooks whipping through the air , but perseverance is the key and casting between gusts was the sensible option in this case 

perseverance paid off with a nice fish that really gave me a run for my money so it was worth sticking in there at this spot , but eventually the wind got to much and then it rained big massive chunks so out of the water and a quick shelter under a tree for 10 mins (yea seems daft when i was already wet from wet wading) so at this point we decided to walk back to the car and have a spot of lunch , how bloody civilised 

(wtf is that on my tounge)
alaska bob bod by this time had stripped down to just his waders (im sure theres some kind of weird fetish going on there with him ) but has to be said his chicken noodles really hit the spot and a welcome break along with much laughs and hilarity watching him topless cooking in waders ....form an orderly que fetish fans

so after lunch we decided to stick close to the truck so we decided to fish the platforms close to the lodge alaska bob was within talking distance so we continued with the fried alives for a bit , after a while with no interest so i decided to change over to a red and white epoxy headed bucktail streamer fished very slow mid water 

the change was obviously what was needed as i banged into a fish straight away 

this fish while playing it had a larger fish following under it so wonder it went like a rocket , get that quite a lot up here youll get a fish and youll have a bigger fish underneath, probably looking for an easy meal

this was one of those rare fish that actually took the fly deeper down , as ive said before most of the fish i get are mostly lip hooked but i still carry a pair of forceps in my pocket when i travel light , so this was a case of just lifting the fish out the water a quick unhook and picture and released in a couple of mins as it should be with as little fuss as possible , theres really no need to keep em out the water for any length of time after all despite being top of the food chain they are still a delicate fish and the less you can handle them the better , if your chasing pike for the first time always wise to hook up with someone whos got experience to go with or go with a guide the lessons you will learn are invaluable.    

aint nature great 

alaska bob fetish fishing website coming soon

social media fishins 

social media like facebook has its ups and downs when it comes to fishing and obviously you get the armchair expert guy ,you get the been there done it guy and and quite frankly there is some right idiots on there , but i find myself privileged to be in a very small invite only group of guys that are spread around the country but we do fish with each other and its really refreshing to fish with these guys as we all come from different backgrounds and have different jobs and even different methods of fishing but what brings us together is the fact we love fishing and we get to experience new waters and even new methods and of course the banter that goes with it is first class 

so the fish kept coming 

at this point poor old alaska bob was having no luck on the next platform so i invited him to take my place as i wanted him to get a few more fish before the end of the session , i even gave him one of the flys i was using but to no eval , i think if i remember he hooked 1 and lost it , but despite my best efforts i couldn't get him another one and with the wind getting up it was time to call it a day 

have to give alaska bob a big shout out as it was great fun fishing with him and look forward to doing it again , well we have some plans afoot so shouldn't be long , and have to shout out to all the fannies in wild loch fishing , bunch of nut jobs ive ever met and look forward to more adventures with these heid the balls as well soon 

so a great day was had alaska bob had his first pike on the fly and i had a i think it was 7 fish so quite a productive day despite the weather and great to get away from the pressures of work kinda good that to get away and as soon as that first line is cast you forget every other thing that's going on i guess thats the zen of fly fishing and why i love it 

so enjoy the videos there not meant to be professional or for glory all they are is a snapshot of the day and the fun we had 

brother ken in the states returns next blog post with more toothy critters and fly tying from vermont just cant keep that guy down 

see ya all soon 

Monday, 22 June 2015

views from here and over there

views from here and over-there 

afternoon dear follower's im going to start with a rant because as you know i love tying flies for predators , i love looking at flies and the thought and skill that goes into them but then sometimes you come across something that defies belief im referring to this commercially made garbage below

this waste of space is being advertised on the net for the pricey sum of £2.50 to be used for pike , now if this was some dude just starting out i could offer a few words of advice and obviously practice makes perfect and like all of us tiers we learn by our mistakes and im not saying im the greatest pike fly tier out there , those who know me will obviously know im just a guy that loves doing what he does and im not out there to make a heap of cash , in fact the small client list i keep helps me put food on the plate and buy materials .

in fact a lot of guys out there do it for just that and indeed there is a few guys who tie commercially but the difference is they make outstanding flies and are fully involved in the predator fishing world and like me actually fish the flies they make as well.

this garbage is probably made in an african or china tying house and is about as far removed from what we do as it gets to me looking at the fly above and ive actually seen one in the flesh , in fact the guy that showed me it looked at his and then looked at mine with a somewhat bemused look on his face when he saw what he could have got for his money , i did the correct thing and swapped one of mine for his and promptly destroyed it .

so folks please your looking for flies just have a look around places like facebook groups and just ask if anyone can make any , have a look at fly pictures and contact whoever made it and see if they will do you some , most folks will happily oblige and that way you get something decent that will last you a long time , unlike the shit above that will get destroyed in a few fish .

avoid this shit like the plague just aint worth the money , support your local fly tier  in fact in the next few weeks im going to set up a data base to do just that so you dont get suckered into buying this crap

from my vice this week

some bad ass sandeel type flies

coming in at 7 inchs long these things are quite large as far as sandeels go but im probably thinking more along the lines of pike with these as my salt trips are few and far between these days but i think they will do well on both the build is as follows 

hook - 6/0 oshaugnasy
belly - yellow bucktail
tail - white saddle hackle 
back -olive bucktail
flash - a few strands of flashbou (pearl)
over back - barred metz feather
head - medium ezy body
eye - 8mm
thread - clear mono

i kinda like this build think it has a few possibilities but will need to get it wet and see how it swims   

thin sandeel

hook - 4/0 oshaugnassy 
belly - white bucktail / white saddle hackle
back -metz olive barred hackle 
flash - pearl flashbou
head - small ezy body braid
eye - deercreek 5mm gator eye
thread -clear mono 

nice thin profile on this and im guessing quite sexy in the water 

more perch ideas

hook - 1/0 long shanked hook
body - deer creek uv chenille with a barred hackle feathered along the body
tail  -orange foxtail
flash - magnum gold flashbou
eye - aluminium seaeye (medium)
thread - ulttrafine 12/0

ok so if it will catch perch or not remains to be seen, i cant catch the buggers much to the amusement of a local fishery owner who keeps sending me pictures of perch he catches   

classic colour pike fly

hook - sakuma manta 7/0
body - white saddle hackle / white deerhair
flash - pearl flashbou 
head - red bucktail
eye - 8mm silver
thread - clear mono

hook - 7/0 sakuma manta
body - yellow sclappin feathers x2 / yellow bucktail
back - olive bucktail
sides - barred hackle 
flash - chartreuse flashbou 
eye - deercreek gator eye
thread - clear mono

hook - 6/0 bleeding
belly - yellow gliss n glint plus 
back - chartreuse gliss n glint plus 
eye - 8mm deercreek gator eye
flash - red angelhair
thread - clear mono

this was an order from one of my regular customers i tied him up some of my favourite perch flies  these always work well and the red hook dives it a little extra bling 

view from vermont 

brother ken is back amongst us and im more than happy to have him contribute to the blog and hes been in amongst the muskys , bother ken is a massive fan of tying big badass flies with natural materials and ties some darn fine flies below is a few recent catches 

ill let the pictures do the talking

musky from the dugout

capsey musky buster just like brother ken , aint pretty but does the job 

prime vt musky held by a prime vt redneck caught on all natural , while brother ken wears shorts we are still in long trousers in scotland .........darn

ken likes big flies big flies catch ken muskys nuff said should make some of these for big green beasties this side of the pond thanks for the pictures bro

ok so me well im back at work tomorrow and back at the vice some point i hate work gets in the way of fishing

see ya all soon