there, it’s said.
now, i’ll continue my snowflake moment by having some tea, fruit and birthday chocolate cake. mostly cake.
and moon below.
-and a little something in between-
call it novelty, the little boy-like excitement of working out the ins and outs of a new camera kit or just a distraction from fly fishing or whatever you’d want, but i’m having a blast mostly focusing on and recording the natural elements that surround the fly fishing world without actually doing a lot of fishing: i’m really enjoying the break.
regular readers will have noticed over the last few months scarcely any new posts here directly related to fishing, fly casting, fly tying and while that’s probably just a passing thing i’ll continue this current urge/theme until it wears out or something else comes about.
as well, regular readers will also have noticed that The Limp Cobra has acquired a new name: Fiat Lux
which was the name of my photo studio what seems like several lifetimes ago.
it’s Latin for ‘Let there be Light’, the fundamental element of photography (bring it on !) with the added bonus that it sounds weird, funny or rather, funky, just like The Limp Cobra…
i’m changing or maybe just blending to a past self so it seems normal that this site should follow along.
apart from the site’s title all content will of course remain the same.
all previously posted tying, casting, kit and fishing articles are right there where they’ve always been and can be accessed through the top bar menus of any page, in the Categories section at the bottom of any page or by using the Search bar also at the bottom of any page so hopefully there’s a little something for everyone even if i primarily focus on the eye candy.
as always thanks for stopping by, i hope you’ll come back.
some 30 or so weeks from now the FIPS Mouche – World Fly Fishing Championship will be held near Denver, Colorado USA. as far as i know having an app created for the event is a first. pretty cool.
i’m not so interested in the event itself but i do have friends attending so i’ll be able to check out and see what and how they’re doing. very cool.
click either image to download the free app through Apple’s App Store or Google Play to get as-they-happen results, schedule, teams, event and sector maps, venue info and everything else associated with the championship. enjoy !
that’s really big and a wonderful example of perseverence and passion resulting in a simple, good-natured, non-advertising, no glits and glam, always great to read fly fishing ezine.
in a way, Eat Sleep Fish has the feel of your local newspaper but with contributors from around the world and that’s why i like it so much. it’s a combined effort of peers just like you and me and not the same-old hotshots over and over again.
saying how much i enjoy reading a magazine without having adverts shoved down my throat might sound like i’m ranting about most other ezines (all?) but birthday’s aren’t about ranting, they’re about yummy celebrations and what’s better than chocolate cake ? well, nothing. or rather, chocolate cake with a big scoop of chocolate ice-cream on top ! but neither Pete Tyjas who runs ESF nor i can slip you a slice via the web so let’s just slurp down Warren McCarty’s non-fatteneing #20 Olive Dun instead but first you’ll need to tie some up and here’s how to do it.
take special note of steps 10 & 11. i’d never seen this method before and its really special.
click either pic to access the birthday issue and HERE for an archive of all previous issues. enjoy !
#20 Olive Dun Step by Step by Warren McCarthy
“A smaller than average dry fly this month and one which takes inspiration from the dedicated ‘small fly’ websites. Although a size 20 is hardly small compared with the miniscule flies some tie it certainly is as small as I need to go for almost all my fishing. I love all the materials used in this pattern, the natural materials and colours produce a fly which to me, looks and feels right both in and out of the water.
I have been tying duns with quill bodies and long split tails for a while, my patterns having the popular CDC wing with a hackle. But once I started to drop out of my comfort zone into a #20 and even smaller I started to use a thorax/hackle that I had come across whilst reading Andy Baird’s excellent ‘small fly funk’ website. Andy used a mole fur thorax with his hackle in his ‘generic olive’, which when I tried looked great. By doing away with the wing the tie was simplified. Less materials equalled less turns of thread and therefore less bulk, essential in smaller flies.
Material choice is especially important to me with with this pattern.
The hook is always down to personal preference but to me the Partridge hook is a ‘proper’ size 20. I also go a bit smaller with the Tiemco 103bl #21. But I have to confess to using the Flytying Boutique dry fly light hook (which is essentially the same as the Tiemco but cheaper) more and more these days.
Although a #20 is by no means miniscule, the size still creates problems with the tricky tail and making sure there is no excessive thread build up throughout the tie. The excellent veevus thread has great strength for its diameter which certainly helps.
Yes I am afraid it’s another fly with a Polish quill body, but I’m quite honestly struggling to find anything that looks as good in this sort of ‘natural’ pattern.
I find most capes have a fair few tiny hackles at the base which are fine for a #20. Finally, not much to be said about the mole fur except don’t overdo it.
Hook – Partridge SLD #20 or Flytying Boutique Dry Fly Light #20
Thread – Veevus 16/0 AO5 Olive
Tail – Tan Microfibbets
Body – Polish Quill Yellow
Thorax – Mole Fur
Hackle – Cock Cape – Brown
3. Now carefully separate two microfibbets and lay together so as the tips align and then lay on the shank leaving the tail at least twice the length of the hook shank. Carefully catch in the microfibbets with your thread and wind down until just short of the bend. Make sure the microfibbets remain on top of the shank.
4. Follow the same procedure to split the tails as described in detail in my June ESF article ‘Olive Variant’
With the waste trimmed and covered the thread should be left just short of the eye.
5. Wind the thread back down to the bend where the microfibbets split. Select a quill and carefully catch in, then wind your thread back up covering the waste quill finish three quarters of the way up the shank and trim off waste quill.
6. Now using your hackle pliers carefully wind your quill up the shank to form the body, tie off three quarters of the way up the shank leaving enough space for your hackle.I now use a couple of whip finishes to hold the body in place for varnishing. DO NOT cut the thread.
Trim waste and tidy up.
Wind the remaining hackle back through the previous wound hackle/mole dubbing foundation towards the hook eye.
Look out for these:
Take time to ensure the tail microfibbets sit on top of the shank and split with a nice wide ‘v shape’.
Although easier said than done with a small body, try to ensure the quill body still has the definition showing the black edges.
As mentioned before do not overdo the mole fur dubbing.
To me the most important part of the fly is the long split tail; it helps the fly sit well in the water and definitely acts as a trigger point as mentioned before. Although not a ‘classic’ technique I like running the dubbed thread through the hackle, it splays the fibres out giving an uneven finish. And when trimmed underneath the hackle takes on a ‘hedgehog’ effect.
Although I have made reference to the small fly websites, this fly is by no means the ‘work of art’ type patterns seen on these sites. Their creations go down to staggering #28, #30 and even smaller. The thread I use and no doubt the tying technique would be over the top for these tiny masterpieces.
However it is still fun to tie and more importantly, fish with, whilst being a step in the right direction of even smaller creations. After tying a few, a #16 seems enormous.
Now where did I leave the box of #26 !!!!”
having a nasty knee injury at the peak of fishing season leaves one with several options:
get mad, frustrated at everything, everyone, take up religion as a way of thinking that it’s all just part of a greater scheme and/or that i probably deserved it for having stolen candy as a child at the local 7-11 but, that’s dumb.
or, it can be just like all the other times where there’s been physical constraints and you just take care of it the best you know and wait it out and try to turn down-time into something positive because the ex-hippie (i never was a hippy btw) tells me that somehow, some way, just about every situation in life can be turned around into a positive one. at least that’s the plan.
so, this time, the idea was to finally rework TheLimpCobra’s layout and navigation parameters to something that:
a) i really like and feel more at-home with.
b) something you’ll really like or at least find more enjoyable and user-friendly with any viewing device.
c) well, in the same sense that it would be boring to always eat the same things or brush your teeth with the same toothpaste or have sex in the same way over and over, a little change is a good change.
instead of having to open the menu to access behind-the-scenes stuff, you’ll find all the different pages at the top bar while categories, search tab, top views and comments, email subscription and maybe a few other future adornments by simply scrolling to the bottom of any page within the site. photo and video size and resolution have been upped. i’m particularly happy about the photo part as most of my own images are about textures and minute details within the frame and this way you’ll get to see them closer to how i see them and closer to how they where intended to be seen. i hope.
along with the memory that the last time i was out fishing (initially, the plan was to try to seduce a blubber-lipped carp but… ), it was hard to keep an exact count but a conservative count concluded to more than sixty perch landed in what, maybe three hours. none of them where big even by perch sizes but i felt like a kid and was one of the most fishy-related fun i’ve ever had. when Monsieur Knee gets better the plan is to get to a triple-digit perch count. it doesn’t matter if it is or not but if i do i’ll consider it a world record and something i can silently boast about, at least until the next injury pops up which once again reminds me that it’s all the little things that count and make life special and every day and moment are worth celebrating so, here’s some zip-bam-boom fireworks for you that i hope you’ll enjoy.
needles to say, it is an enormous honour to have TLC‘s fly casting reference page mentioned in this recent book by John L. Field !
funny thing, and i sincerely hope you’ll pardon my ignorance, John… is until now i’ve never heard of this gentleman but that’s all about to change as i just downloaded the book through Amazon/Kindle and it’s coming with me on a short trip in the higher Pyrenees tomorrow where i’ll be not only reading in the shade, hiding from the heat wave we’re currently going through if the fishing is slow but also trying out an absolutely fantastic small-stream jewel of a 6′ 3wt Superfast bamboo rod hand made by
Monsieur Hulot umm, Luke Banister lent for review along with a too-nice-for-me hand-made wooden scoop net by Mark Leggett of Alternative Tackle just last week in Cumbria, England.
there’s a real home-mattress in the back of the fish-van and chocolate and coffee is packed: this should be fun.
click either image to access Skyhorse Publishing’s page for more info on John’s book.
and a big thanks for the heads-up on all this to buddy Will Shaw !
is three years old ! and a really nice three years its been.
Pete Tyjas, founder of ESF always pushing on to give us monthly fly fishing accounts from around the world from anglers of all levels in Pete’s For free and not for profit manner, something that’s really close to my heart. just as the link says in its title, you’ll find no boring advertisements, sponsors or commercial anything on ESF, just good ‘ole tales on casting, travels, tying, thoughts on fly fishing and all the other lovelies that englobe our passion.
on a personal note, i’d already contributed to ESF a while back with a piece named Poetry, Grace, Fluidity and the S.R.B. and was delighted to be invited back for this special anniversary, this time a little something on the tricky mind games that can happen when we aim our back and front casts, target acquisition and conscious target disregard while still keeping the target in mind all the while upping our game at: How to lose your fly in trees…
click the ESF logo to access this month’s edition and ‘the snagged one’ for my little contribution. enjoy !
UKFlyDressing or UKFD, has been since i signed up six years ago my favorite fly tying forum among the crowd.
always friendly, unpretentious and with a very rich assortment of fly patterns, step-by-steps, tying tips and you name it goodies to keep the fly tier of all levels learning, creative and more efficient.
the highly read here on TLC, Dennis Shaw’s fantabulous A Complete Dubbing Techniques Tutorial is just one of the gems we’ll find on UKFD, i’ve included another lovely below this introduction.
the forum has been a little slow lately. apart from wanting to share a great source for my readers i’m also hoping that at least a few of you will like what you see and feel inclined to join up yourselves and share your ties and knowledge with the rest of the community and keep it alive and thriving for years to come. just in case: don’t be put off by the UK bit, its an international community making it rich and diversified. dig into the various sections deeply, you’ll find more than a few treasures.
you’ll find the main page HERE but check out this great thread control/twist tutorial first. enjoy !
Don’t get in a Twist by Tango
The majority of threads have a clockwise twist. For a right handed tyer when you wrap the thread around the hook you put another full twist in for every turn taken around the shank. This tightens or cords the thread even more. You must learn to use this to your advantage i.e. when tying in materials/whip finishing/making a rib from thread.
Wrapped to bend and a twist in there, not much but it affects the behaviour of the thread.
If you leave the twist in and try and take a soft turn over the materials the thread will want to lie to the right, this makes it difficult to get the thread where you want it.
Spin the bobbin anticlockwise and it takes the twist out, this make the thread lie straight and it goes where you want it to.
You can also spin the bobbin more to put an anticlockwise twist in the thread, this makes the thread lie to the left, you can use this to make the soft loop over your fingers and slide the thread down to the tie in point.
If you leave the twist in there and whip finish the thread bunches and knots, this usually results in the thread snapping and the whip finish coming undone.
It really does make it easier to tie in materials.
When to take the twist out?
Before tying in materials, whip finishing, splitting thread for dubbing and when you want the thread to lay flat – this reduces bulk.
Pearsall’s silk has an anticlockwise twist, to split this thread you need to spin the bobbin clockwise. There may be more.
When to put twist in?
When you “post” upright wings it will take fewer wraps than untwisted thread.
When making a rib from thread, you won’t see a flat wrap.
For a left handed tyer it does the opposite, it takes the twist out of the thread, with some threads this can weaken it.
There is also two types of thread, BONDED and UNBONDED, bonded thread (i.e. Uni-Thread) will not lay flat but still suffers from the effects of twist. Also bonded thread will not split so you cannot use it for split thread dubbing technique, MP Magic tool techniques etc.
woW ! at just a few weeks shy of TLC‘s third birthday i just noticed this little blog had received its one millionth view.
i wish i could but i can’t give every one of you a hug so here’s some celebratory over-the-water fireworks in a meagre attempt to thank you all for your support.
‘The Man of the Nymph”. if the title alone isn’t just the sexiest thing ever than i don’t know what is !
piscatorial lasciviousness aside, check out the video. Hayter’s enthusiasm gives me the idea that this book’s a winner.
“The long awaited definitive biography of a fly fishing icon. Written with a rare authority by Tony Hayter one of our foremost angling historians, and published by Robert Hale Ltd. We had the honour to film the book launch at the Grosvenor Hotel, Stockbridge, Hampshire, and conduct an interview with the author.
This video contains clips from the launch and excerpts from the interview” enjoy !
i’m very happy to announce the first in a series of collaborations with Carlos Azpilicueta and this one has a nice twist: perfecting your English over a four day course fully immersed in a fly fishing environment.
Carlos’ text being Spanish, the rough translation below should give you a pretty good idea what this course is about but don’t worry if you’re not Spanish because we’ll be speaking English exclusively anyhow… 😉
you’ll find Carlos’ email address at the bottom of the page for more info and reservations. hope to see you there !
A really new and unique in concept with a limited number of participants where I’ll combine my two passions both related to teaching: English and Fly Fishing.
Having already spent thirty years teaching English, the last 10 have been devoted to working with professionals to help them develop their capabilities and skills applied to the business world.
What exactly is this course?
It is a unique experience of four days living together in a great setting while performing various activities in English while engaged in mountain fishing, fly casting and fly tying.
Who else will teach you?
Participating throughout the course I’ll have the help of an expert in two areas: English and fly fishing. Marc Fauvet, US born fly casting, fishing and fly tying instructor and grandísmo guy.
Where does it take place?
In Piedrafita of Jaca – Pyrenees Mountain, Spain. A truly luxurious stay in an absolutely stunning setting.
And will I improve my English?
Definitely. English will be the only communication tool (as well as gestural) as we all live together throughout the course.
We’ll have all kinds of activities depending on the level and needs of the participant. Simulations, roleplaying, analysis of information and a lot of conversation.
What level of English must i have to participate?
From beginner to advanced. The level determines the type of activities that will take place in English but does not alter the intensity or effectiveness of the experience.
What kind of fishing activities
Guided fishing for trout and salvelinus in low fishing pressure high-mountain environments. General fly casting practice and other preparations first thing in the morning for the day’s fishing as well as everything related to fly tying, equipment and entomology according to taste and level of fishing participants defined in advance.
Will there be time for everything?
Summer days are long. Four days give a lot of possibilities if they are well organized and the objectives have been clearly established.
For more information and reservations contact Carlos Azpilicueta at email@example.com
if you need translation help with the text boxes above let me know in the comments section.