Saturday, 7 November 2015

busy days ahead , busting Pollock and Scottish pike

 at least somebody's getting out to fish, yes indeed and getting some stonking pollock , i was recently away with work for a few days when i got these pictures from stevie at guided pike fishing , he was away for a few days and decided to throw a few of my gliss and glint deep sandeels from the shore and bugger was he at the right place at the right time and absolutely hammered them 

from stevies account the pollock were chasing smaller fish and putting one of these in front of did the trick with him landing bucket loads and apparently he got smashed by a monster as well , if you havent caught pollock on the fly you really should get out and try it even the smaller fish go like rockets so i can only imagine what these went like , and cool pics as well never easy taking good pictures when your on your own well if your a photography Luddite like me , so appreciated the snaps

stevies set up was as follows
rod 10wgt (trust me needed)
intermediate line
and 25lb seager flurocarbon

not a complicated set up but then you really dont need to complicate things and as you can see the old adage of keep it simple paid off big time 

stunning looking fish 

and obviously better with one of my flies hanging out its chomping gear 

what its all about the end of a good fight and its still hanging on thanks to stevie at 
for the pictures 

so not only is stevie bagging up in the salt one of few guys i tie for (as you know i only tie for select folks ) darren barcik has recently become a total convert to the fluff and is getting some great results in scottish waters doing short sessions (never easy) so total respect there heres a few of darrens recent catches (photos used with kind permission cheers darren) 

again darren was on his own and never easy taking pictures by yourself but nice to see the fish being unhooked in the water as it should be done 

sneaky peak at the fly in the corner of the picture , a blend of naturals and synthetics (and some people scoffed at me making these flies a few years ago bit of humble pie being eaten just now i suspect) i like to think outside the box now and again and the proof is in the eating , i think the pics say it all 

again big shout out to darren for the pics and please as has happened before dont ask me to disclose locations as this aint happening , unfortunately the internet has been influential in the killing of a lot of waters in scotland so i aint going to add to that and client confidentiality is everything .

darren gets out a lot more than me for shorter chucking adventures and he has agreed to keep me up to speed on his catches so youll probably see a few of his pics popping up but maybe not all the flies 

cheers again darren    
and remember folks theres no pike like a scottish pike 

so still doing a lot of tying bespoke flies , but in-between been getting some other stuff out ,the flies below were for nick at   

blended gliss n glint with an 8mm gator eyes (i still think these are the sexiest eyes on the planet)

synthetic and natural deep down weighted head baitfish 

blended breamer streamer weighted head 

blended lite tye - although this looks quite bulky there is actually very little materials in this, which gives it the most translucent and awesome movement when in the water 

welcome to the freak show 

just got to love these eyes.

in search of perch  

as some of you may know perch drive me crazy i just cant catch the bloody things so ive started to fill up a new fly box with some patterns for the local canals , im determined to get a load at some point , my biggest perch is 3.5lb  on the fly and that was by accident on a pike fly , always happens to me whenever i catch a perch its big and ive not targeted it so next year im on a mission to actually target the things this space 

so winter is pretty much nearly upon us and the days shorten so its the time of year i get most time to myself on the vice and this winter will be extra cool as ill be teaching the lovely caroline the fine art of  tying predator flies so that will be interesting and just watch her out fish me next year and probably catch a shed load of perch on the flies she tyes , i can so see that happening .

so with that i have to get off and feed my son lots of e numbers before he goes back to his biological mother and i have to go finish some neutral buoyancy flies im working on (yes ill be filling up the bath to try them out) so hopefully some pics next blog post .

see ya all soon and if your out on the water this winter , stay safe and stay warm 

(a cave in scotland) 

this is the only wire i fully endorse , buy it from the uks original supplier 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

standing the test of time


I had an afternoons guided planned , probably the last day i could access the boats on my favourite loch and i was well looking forward to it , although i had to scale stuff down to a mobile bag with basics , wallet of flies , unhooking gear , etc , and that let me tell you is no easy feat with the amount of gear i have  , but when i packed the bag i found i had a spare pocket what do i do with that well obviously chuck in another box of flies just in case as we as anglers do , never have too many flies in your box so a box of gurglers and bangers was chucked in, well you never know when some top water sport will present itself 

so headed off and the weather was showing blowing a westerly at 25mph . now although this sounds like quite lumpy for boat fishing its actually fine when fishing this loch and not really an issue , so full of excitement at the thought of some airborne fighting fit predators going nuts on the fly i arrived with client at loch. 

what i hadn't bargained for was getting there to find the wind had shifted to an easterly gusting to 45mph this is probably the worst conditions for this loch and there was no way i was going to risk going out in that let alone chucking big flies about . again ill say no fish is worth risking your own safety and life just don't do it folks there's always another day , but ive rebooked so hopefully ill get another one in before the boats come out. 


the biggest question I always get is to my leader set up , back in the early days we used pretty much standard pike dead bait traces without the hooks opting for a cross lock swivel instead of nasty trebles  , then we started using fox soft steel wire to make our traces which was ok but you did find they suffered from chaffing on the wire from fish and you’d have to change it quite often , then the titanium revolution happened and to be honest it was great stuff until you discover that it acts like a cheese wire on the fish and if a fish takes a fly deeper in the mouth then you’re going to slice up its lips so that’s now been binned (saw it happen once to a lure angler not nice) please don’t use this for fly fishing it’s just not good for the fishes health .

We then had the range of wire from America hit these shores by forward thinking fly anglers , things like pro leader , surflux etc. , but even these came with their problems , being expensive to start with and most of the time when I used it I found that it was a bit to shiny in the water although it probably doesn't mater to the fish , it bothered me as an angler as I was sure it was off putting to the fish I may be wrong but that was my general thoughts and I ended up colouring the stuff with black marker pens to take the shine of it  ,

This obviously aint the ideal thing to do as it takes a lot of time and is a pain in backside , so I had priviously been using fluorocarbons in the 90 to 120lb range for most of my pike fly fishing and before the “you can’t do that” brigade start I can tell you I did not lose any fish to bite offs with this method , but and it’s a big but , I always had in the back of my mind it could happen although it never did and at the time it was top of the tree where traces were concerned for pike fly fishing .

That was until I came across Authanic wire , I was quite amazed at the quality of this trace material it handles like a braided line which makes it completely knot able which is really quite incredible just check the video , ive now had countless fish on Authanic wire and to date I have not needed to change it to another product , this really is a breakthrough material when it comes to trace material and I can’t think of any product out there that is better than this stuff you may think it’s expensive but actually its bloody good value for money as you can catch multiple fish on a length without having to change it so it actually works out better value than wire , if you haven’t tried Authanic then give it a go and it will change the way you think about leader materials for predators ,ive now been using it for nearly six years and i still have the utmost confidence in its ability that pretty much speaks volumes in my book , do yourself a favour and get some  


bog standard plain old marabou flies, you know when i started tying pike flies all those years ago we had nothing in the way of synthetics no not even ep fibre marabou was the best thing available to us along with chicken feathers and rabbit strips but as you know chucking wet rabbit strips is like chucking a wet sock around , oh home times have changed .

marabou has great properties in the water and has fantastic movement when paused and is the ideal fly to get you started when tying there's a few step by step on my you tube channel you wanna check em out , but marabou still on its days will out fish all other flies .theres a massive range of colours out there and endless possibility's in design, give em a shot  

 so today i have the choice of doing housework or tying flies bet you can guess the outcome there folks 

see ya on the water 

(a cave in scotland)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

living on the edge

indeed shit happens , as youve probably noticed ive not posted in a little while well pressures of work and all that and then to cap it all my laptop goes kaput , bang , not working , now to be honest im not on a massive wedge of money for what i do (god i should be) so its taken me a while a while but i know a guy on facebook (itjeff) bless him who rescues my laptop when it dies from my abuse of it , so took me a while to get round to it , so then i gets it home goes on a 24 hour shift come home 24 hours later to find out my effing freezer had packed up and all my food was ruined know its like some f@@ked up version of feris bullers day off .

so its been a f@@ked up year yup it surely has but its not as f@@ked up as the year before as regular readers of my ramblings will know , but to be honest ive hardly fished this year pressures of work and keeping a roof over my head has had to be a priority , dont mean i haven't been sitting on my backside though indeed not , been tying bucket loads unfortunately ive not been able to post pictures of the flies due to, well folks i tie for not wanting there patterns know out there on the interweb but dispersed in-between my ramblings is some stuff ive been doing for my own boxes , indeed like i need more flys buhahahahahahah   

so you know although ive not been overly active on the blog front i have been watching whats going on in the pike fly fishing world and ive got to say WTF is it with all these rubber tail wiggle fly bollocks i mean seriously is it needed are we pushing boundaries too far well actually these latest round of must have flys (and i use the term flys lightly) are too me actual bloody verging on lures for spinning rods , you know way back in the early days of pike fly fishing in this country i making a fly called "franken flies" which were basically rubber sandeels with the heads cut off and spun deer heads with dumbell eyes and you know i got laughed at for doing these , dont get me wrong they caught a few fish but mabey its because im a pike fly purist (if theres such a thing) i felt weird using them but you know a few years ago it was the flashtail whistler was the must have fly and now its these monstrosities with they big wiggle tails ......FFS just go but a lure rod give up the flies your nearly there already and you know what they look like way too complicated changing tails and all that bollocks seriously WTF , do they catch more fish than normal flys NO PEOPLE ITS A FAD DESIGNED TO CATCH ANGLERS i mean whats next year going to bring , bloody crankbaits and jerkbaits for fly rods can you see where this is heading , i mean really .........BAN THE RUBBER NOW its just not fly fishing go back to prober flys dont be a feckin lemming , but if you wanna fish then go for it i just dont see the point they catch no more fish than trad materials  and cost a 
bloody bomb ridiculous 

ok so rant over about rubbery stuff and ive been playing with mixing up materials and playing with what various bits and ive come up with some , well i think some pretty cool 7 inch baitfish , now all ive done here is tied in an underbody of white superhair  and placed some deercreeks gliss and glint plus over the top , what this achived is creating body profile along with some lovely flashy bits in it along the body and if that aint good enough ive added some angel hair around the head (the yellow) , teased out into the body and then ive placed ep sparkle(olive) over the back added an 9mm eye and sealed the head with deer creeks uv fine .........and achived quite a nice looking baitfish pattern , 

same idea as above but ive added a red gill area but used slightly more materials to create a wider bodied fly 

ok so thin one again with no gill flash colour but plenty of flash 

yea floats my boat spotted a bit of orange fibre there not part of the build just my useless photography

had an urge to do an all flash fly after using the flash on the previous flys , quite a simply fly to make and ive found very effective seet of fish a volcano (i think) eye from deercreek and finished with diamond flex 
hook - 2/0 stainless
belly - yellow orvis angel hair 
back - ep olive sparkle 
eye - volcano eye from deercreek
head -finished with diamond flex uv 
bloody cameras i hate em , i find in my cave i need to do videos and picture in the early afternoon to make the most of the best light obviously im no david bailey

although ive not really fished much this year im still enjoying tying i find tying flies a very peaceful thing gets me a real zen place i sort a lot of my day to day problems sitting doing this mabey more of our worlds leaders should do this im sure the world would be a better place   

those final few moments when your just about to tie off and you know youve nailed it  

my lastest of the vice cw"s fancy , why the name well all will become clear soon 

again a mix of gliss and glint plus and peacock herl and has turned out really nice im loving mixing naturals and synthetics and using peacock herl for backs is one of my favourites just now seeing these things work in the water is quite a sight give it a try , when you tie a fly tie in a few pieces and see what you think , you can always cut them off if you dont like it but it really does add a new dimension to tying 

so a few things in the pipeline for the winter months and im going to be teaching a lovely lady to tie flies and then fish them in the spring this is something im really looking forward too as i love to teach , im also working on some epoxy headed predator flies for spinning rods which is quite a learning curve  and a lot of fun to do so hopefully ill have some pics up soon.

so if your out there stay safe this winter 
(a cave in scotland)

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