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  1. #1
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    Question Winter fly tying

    So who is preparing for their annual winter fly tying season, stocking up on materials and ideas?

    It would be interesting to hear about your favourite flies of this season that worked well for you and what you all plan to be tying ready for next?

    Thanks

    Paul

  2. #2
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    I did not fish at all for sea trout at night this season but always used to do well on the simplest of patterns. Quite honestly, I feel that if I fished a season, using just three patterns in three sizes, the catch return would be about the same.

    There was a time when I used to stock up at the season's end, with all manner of different materials and tried anything new which came out or was advertised in the fishing magazines..and spend a small fortune doing so! Even though I now mostly only tie a few trout flies at a time, my material stock is less than a quarter of what it was-and even a lot of that is seldom used!

    Only in my twilight years have I realized what few materials you ever need to make successful night flies..What you do need a lot of however, is sound faith in what you do use, and-what's more-your ability to present and use it well. The best-dressed fly in the world is less than useless if badly cast and sloppily fished, whereas a size 8 hook, lightly dressed with a silver body, three turns only-no more-of good quality black or blue hackle and a thin, flat, sparsely dressed wing of black squirrel, carefully cast and fished without dragging, over a pool at night, will catch you a fish more often than not in most of the rivers in these islands..

    ..and that's about all I use now, though I do use both bigger-and smaller sizes and still like a tandem version in coloured water, with a few strands of silver or gold Krystal flash mixed in the wing, but the rows of multi-coloured flies in the wallet seldom now see water.

    One thing which has been replaced though, is the great majority of my old hooks. I keep a few old packets for sentimental reasons, but it has to be said that modern hooks are so much improved in metal quality and sharpness from the old ones, that I don't use anything else now.
    Tying threads have also improved no end from the standard, Pearsall's Naples silks of yesteryear.. so much finer, flatter and stronger and more dependable.

    Leader material seems to have reached a peak with the latest offerings and having tried Rio fluorocarbon, think I will stay with this for now..

    ..well, that's about enough of my ramblings for now..

    Best regards to all,

    watermole+

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  4. #3
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    I'm a bit of a fly tying addict, I do however agree with Watermole that you can get carried away with patterns and materials. I've tied a few different types and styles over the years, I've got some 'orders' for some needle tubes from Andy Nicholson as he did well with one pattern I gave him, but most of the ones I tie are fairly basic, then you don't feel too bad if you stick them in a far bank tree.

    Most of my fly thing for seatrout will focus on wet flies tied with hair wings with some teal 'shielding ' on either side, just adds to the baitfish variegated look. My tubes will be the usual plastic with Mylar and black squirrel, and my needle tubes will consist of a wound hackle and basic squirrel wing. At night I don't tend to go for some of the longer or more mobile wings as I'm a little concerned if I get a 'hook wrap' at night, that I'd detect much easier in the daytime, for example if I was salmon fishing......

    I will be tying up some more surface lures for next season, and trying some sunk muddlers- sounds daft but I think there's a certain 'buzz' that some seatrout flies have ( like Mocs Cert or the Dyfi bumble) that are effective at night, just a theory I want yo test out....

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  6. #4
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    I've got one tube pattern that I almost exclusively fish and it has caught me fish in every river I've fish it. Nothing too special but one or two key things that I think work well when they're all together.

    I've got a bushy dropper thing that I use on the dropper (obviously!)

    I've got a surface lure that I've played about with for a while and now pretty happy with

    I've got a silver stoat variant in a small and not so small double, with a few little tweaks to give it that something extra.

    And that's 95% of my fishing covered! But of course there is always the search for that one killer fly...

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  8. #5
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    PS great to see you posting and to hear you're still fishing watermole!

  9. #6
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by watermole+ Click here to enlarge

    .What you do need a lot of however, is sound faith in what you do use, and-what's more-your ability to present and use it well.

    watermole+
    Ah, but there's the rub! Faith only comes with regular success, of which I have little...so I have to keep trying something different.
    One that has worked for me, sometimes, is a small (size 12) white muddler as the dropper. With a larger sunk fly on the tail, this fishes just sub-surface.
    I also sometimes use a light deerhair surface lure, which brought me some success a few years ago, but now seems to have stopped working for me I haven't caught anything on a surface lure for the past 2 or 3 years.

    Paul

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  11. #7
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    ..forgot about the teal Andy..

    A thin strip added to each side is certainly a big plus.

    Many thanks for kind words T7...good to be back!

    Faith in your fishing can be an odd thing, isn't it phl..sometimes you can be on the river in perfect conditions with everything going for you, yet, for some unknown reason, you just cannot put it all together!
    Then there can be times when it just 'clicks' and you have perfect empathy with everything going on around you!

    The trick is to empty the mind of everything else and try to develop that harmony.. I can only liken it to that old T.V. Series 'Kung fu' when the old blind sage..was it Master Po?-had developed his senses to such a degree that blindness wasn't really a handicap. I am not saying that we should mimic the actors but I am sure that it is possible to develop the senses that matter and ignore trying to see at night, instead of relying on sight for success all the time.
    A lot of fishermen have a great armoury of rods these days and constant switching of tackle isn't necessarily a good thing. When I started fishing, most only had the one set up and by using the same rod and line-which is very important-you knew exactly where the fly was and how it was fishing.
    What I am trying to say is that, if you have that sensory link to what is happening to your line and what is on the business end of it, it puts you back in control, instead of blindly thrashing the water and leaving the fly to the mercy and whims of the currents, hoping for the best..

    In most cases, when a fish takes your fly, it comes as a pleasant surprise...even though that is precisely why you heaved it out there! But do you not sometimes find that, when you are fishing and everything is "in tune" as it were, you really expect a fish to take, the surprise being when it doesn't?
    I feel that such occasions prove that you really can have genuine faith in a fly and your own ability to fish it, but the other odd thing is that, you have to be fishing alone to do it. When you fish with a companion, there is always that slight 'sideways' mental distraction that prevents full concentration..that unquantifiable factor which lets you 'switch off' the world and 'switch on' to fishing!

    wm+
    Last edited by watermole+; 09-11-2016 at 11:52 PM.

  12. #8
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by watermole+ Click here to enlarge
    .
    In most cases, when a fish takes your fly, it comes as a pleasant surprise...even though that is precisely why you heaved it out there!
    wm+
    Isn't that just the truth! :-)

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