the problem with the Highlands

is that wherever you look it’s friggin’ beautiful.
that in itself shouldn’t be problem but it’s highly distracting, fishing-wise.
it leads to missed rises, missed strikes, quite a few tumbles in the tussocks and just as much time spent with the camera as with the rod.


even putting the Evil Black down for a moment makes it difficult to pick up.
often subtle, the wow is everywhere.


thank goodness for the bleak food and hotel rooms found there, they help establish a balance and keep whichever part of the brain that deals with aesthetics from going into overload.

Fly Tying- Making an Easy flat Lead Tape substitute

“If you can’t find Lead Tape/Foil then why don’t you make your own using a Seam Roller….. ?”

Davie McPhail‘s question/suggestion says it all. first of all, flat lead tape, whether sticky-back or not isn’t always easy to find and it’s more expensive than it should be. on the other hand, round profiled lead wire is easily abundant and quite cheap, specially when bought in larger spools.
secondly, unless we’re going for a bulky build-up of the fly’s profile, flat lead has several advantages the round stuff can’t do. flattening round wire doesn’t change it’s weight which means that for the same amount/weight of wire we can get either get a slimmer profile and not end up with a small, short, squat obese nymph… or, add approximately twice the weight of round wire with subsequent layers of the flat stuff without getting a fatter profile than a single wrap of round. (i hope that makes sense… :lol: )

finally, the flat stuff lets us be more creative and specific as to how much weight we add to the fly while easily controlling the profile that we want: its all good.

tip- although a seam roller works best and is worth the purchase in the long run, any burnishing-type tool, an old Bic pen or even a hammer will work great in a pinch. lead is soft and takes little pressure to deform.

Davie’s on a how-to/tying tips and tricks roll these days so, here’s a first for us to eat up, enjoy !

ps- don’t forget that lead is poisonous. don’t go picking your nose, scratching your eyes, eating fried chicken while having sex and licking your fingers after without washing your hands first, Ok ?

Presentation Casts- DownStream Dry Fly

here’s another great presentation casting tip from Aitor Coteron.

along the lines of Jason Borger‘s downstream presentation ‘Undercut Drop’ (see diagram) and similar in concept as Jim William’s upstream ‘Pull-back-Slack‘, Aitor’s videos show us a super-easy way to get better drag-less drifts.
the common denominator casting-wise is these casts are all based on the same principles and casters of all levels can rejoice because there’s no need to learn and practice any fancy twists, curves, unreliable and wind-dependant tricky piles or wiggles either during-or-after-the-cast movements.
the bonus here is these casts are real, effective fishing casts of great value to any fisher: bread and butter stuff we can consistently rely on and not some iffy maybe-may or maybe-not presentation. in other words, the simpler the better.
everyone who knows me knows how much i love fiddly, curvy casts. outside of the fun factor, i firmly believe it make us better casters because we need to get creative and try to deal with several exterior elements like wind or body movement inconsistencies or whatever else you’d care to add but as more time goes by i try to get the same results in simpler, more easily repeatable manners and today’s videos are super-fine examples of just that kind of practical/effective reductionism.

Jason Borger ffw-undercutdrop

with either one we’ll want to:
– cast directly in line with the current. this is the key to making these casts work and means the angler needs to position themselves in the seam or just to the side of the lane to be fished prior to presenting.
in river fishing we’ll almost always have micro currents to deal with but the big nasty drag issues happen when we have to cast across conflicting currents and the most difficult part of dealing with drag is eliminated, or at least greatly reduced when the fly line and current seam are the same. it just makes sense.
– as previously mentioned, cast straight to the target and the best part about that is just about any fly angler already has that skill down pat. the only thing to keep in mind and as in any other slack line cast, we’ll need to plan the use of more line than when presenting ‘straight to the rise’.
– last somewhat denominator (but i’ll still put them in the same cast family because all rod tip mend movements are basically vertical) is all three casts require either keeping the rod tip high, where it stopped at the ‘stop’, (Jason’s Drop), or drop the rod tip (Jim’s Drop and Pull-Back) or Zeljko’s ‘Drag-Back’ after the ‘stop’ and before line touch-down.

“Very conflicting currents, like those shown here, are a killer for fishing the dry fly with an upstream presentation. Using a downstream approach (when conditions allow it) leads to incredibly long drag-free drifts. Master fly fisher Zeljko Prpic shows how to do it right.” and he sure does… enjoy !


and a variant with the very same ‘in-the-seam’ presentation as above but using a reach mend, rather handy when getting into the seam is difficult to wade to or off of the bank.
one last thing, the video says dry fly but this’ll work just as well with whatever fly you have tied on, wet, nymph or dry.

ps- Jason’s blog Fish, Flies and Water is currently under reconstruction but be sure to check it out regularly if you don’t want to miss out on the good stuff and, if you’re not familiar with Aitor’s blog One More Last Cast, you should be…

good hurt

Al had warned me, ‘This place has a visceral, solemn, painful beauty to it”.Loch Cul Fraoich m.fauvet-TLC 6-10-15Loch Cul Fraoich, Scottish Highlands

he was right and i like this pain. its the kind that feels like home.

Fly Tying- Tim’s Double T

by Tim Flagler via MidCurrent

here’s a nifty wee bug sure to unsettle more than a few for more than a few reasons.
firstly, it looks like a dry fly but it isn’t, it’s a wet.

flies with sprouting wings tend to always be associated with in-or-on the surface patterns but anyone, and i guess that’s most of us, have caught fish with a dry fly when it was drowned and just like it’s often very productive to apply floatant to a wet fly and fish it in the surface, the opposite holds true as well. it’s not like either example is a secret but these not-so-conventional methods are very often game-changers, specially when we haven’t sussed out the necessary tactic of the moment or when the fish aren’t really in the mood to play. this tells us a couple of things, at least one of them is fact.

a) bugs don’t always make it through the surface film, or they’re born handicapped, or they got injured during the hatching stage by waterfalls or something, or they got exhausted and couldn’t break through, or maybe Hydra hit it with one of its goofy heads as it was thrashing about or, or, or…
whichever the reason, they’re doomed to helplessly tumble downstream and they’re an easy meal for any subsurface creature that likes to eat bugs.
b) it also subjectively proves that fish aren’t half as selective as some numpties might state since the fish are eating what should be on top of the water, beneath it.

part 2 of the unsettling bit is this fly’s size but for most fishers, that’s more of a mental block than one of visual capabilities. the thing with creating flies this size is they couldn’t be simpler to tie, not only because they require so little materials but mainly because there’s no need for details we tend to find important on larger patterns. this bug has tails, a thread abdomen, some whatever soft fluff as a wing (my preference goes for the tip part of the fluffy part at the base of feathers or even marabou) and a spittle of dubbing. furthermore, it doesn’t need to be all fancy and neat because its a drowned and undevelopped bug.  right ?

how are they fished ? upstream, across, downstream on their own or on a dropper just as you would with any other dry or wet. i like to fish them in teams of two, the point fly tied to a 50 or so cm dropper off the bend of the first fly’s hook bend with two slightly different colour patterns and/or sizes. ’nuff said, get you some and let us know how they did for you. enjoy !

bye-bye Broonies

time to say so-long to my darlings till next spring.
get big, get strong and more importantly, fuck your little micro brains out and make a whole bunch of gorgeous creatures just like yourselves for the world to admire.

Fly Casting Instruction Breakthrough- How to control someone else’s casting arm with your brain

you’ve attempted everything; you’re trying to help out this lost soul with his casting but whatever you do he has no control whatsoever over his wrist and it’s flip-flopping-flailing all over the place, so is the rod and of course so is the fly line.
he’s embarrassed, frustrated and is having second thoughts about suicide and you, poor instructor are wondering how this guy has gotten through life so far without swallowing his own tongue.

casting hammers

snickering blatantly, motherly insults and verbal threats start the healing process but remain sterile. the Casting Hammers aren’t working (one for each knee), there’s blood, snot and tears all over the rod you lent him for the course (he doesn’t know it yet but he’s just bought your whole outfit at four times its original cost), your Xanax bottle is empty and if you’re not lucky to be bald yet you’re probably pulling out enormous grey tufts whilst trying to figure out what to do next when low and behold, all of a sudden some science geeks in the form of helping angels working out of their parent’s garage have come to save the casting world with just a few old radio parts, suction cups, alligator clips and a low-end model iPad, the whole lot is easily transportable to the casting field in a messenger bag.

wipe the sucker down (be sure to over-charge him for the towels and antiseptic) plug him in and finally get him to cast properly for the first time in his life. at this point it doesn’t really matter if he’s conscious or not because we’ll be working on electrically-induced muscle memory that’ll automatically be stored in his inner him. you’re now in charge, just as it should be.

yeah i know, that was silly (except for the Casting Hammers. i do use them frequently and they work a charm, believe me) but you know, casting, fishing, chocolate, science, dreams and realities all blur into one at a certain point…