“Those anglers who think trout will take no fly unless it is an exact imitation of some one of the immense number of flies they are feeding on, must suppose that they know to a shade the colour of every fly on the water, and can detect the least deviation from it – an amount of entomological knowledge that would put to shame the angler himself and a good many naturalists to boot”.

some interesting points there. Stewart was said to be an old grump that didn’t hesitate to yell at people who didn’t share his opinions.

just to be on the safe side, from now on i’ll tie all my flies in either fashionable Black

or in multi-colored swirls as this Starl’-Wing Cripple so the fish can pick and chose their color.

i don’t like being yelled at…

quote by W.C. Stewart

silver and gold

made with-

hook- Carlige de Musca G800BL #16
thread- Veevus 14/0 yellow ‘goldened’ with a permanent marker
abdomen- Veevus silver wire small
thorax- Hends Spectra dubbing gold flash
hackle- hen cape furnace

North Country Wets

by Ben Spinks

as i’ve been recently researching and learning about and tying a lot of flies inspired by the North Country Wets or Spiders style and getting quite a few comments and questions by pm in the process, i thought i’d share this inspiring article that has a lot to say about these minimalistic flies and why they’re so effective.

two extracts from an insanely great article that might make some ‘convert’s  to these types of flies if they aren’t already.

” Pritt’s argument for the spider pattern was based around something so simple and obvious that it must have been immensely infuriating to hear arguments against it. Life!
Pritt saw that it was nigh impossible to imitate an insect perfectly from an aesthetic point of view, but not from that of an impressionistic one. The theory goes that it is far more difficult to create a perfect imitation and to impart life afterwards, than it is to produce an impressionistic resemblance of an imperfectly developed insect struggling in the current. Basically saying that rather than having a solid body and somewhat rigid wing needing direct manipulation from the angler, you would have a slim, translucent body with a sparse, webby and very mobile hackle capable of moving naturally with the action of the current. It is a wonderfully simple idea that never has and never will fail to catch. “

” Stillborns, cripples and blown over duns going through this process are battered about like there’s no tomorrow, they get tumbled through fast water, bounced off rocks, stuck in weed and generally mashed about. At the end of this, if untaken by a trout, the fly no longer has the distinct uniform appearance of a dun or the crisp outline of a nymph, but appears as rather more of a contorted mess and from the point of view of a trout, a rather effortless meal.
Look at it this way, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow and ended up with my legs pointing backwards and my head up my arse, I’d still be recognisable, just not quite as I should be. People wouldn’t ignore and walk past me, completely the opposite in fact, pretty nurses would come running with ice cream and loosely buttoned tops. Trout are creatures of habit; they don’t like expending any more energy than is necessary to fill their bellies. The ever-present stillborn/cripple therefore provides an excellent opportunity for an easy meal. Ever wondered why the scruffiest of flies often prove more fulfilling than their prim and proper counterparts? Well this I like to think is why: they conform to the trout’s view of normality rather than our own. “

 as a nice bonus, there’s some rather good explanations on wing parts that’ll help when trying to make sense of the original recipes.
all in all a great read, enjoy !

click HERE for the full article

for a little look at the tying process, here’s two excellent patterns from Davie McPhail, the classic Stewart’s Spider and an ingenious winged personal concoction, Davie’s Spider.

Peacock Quill and How to use it.

by Lucian Vasies

WoW ! here’s a real gem with virtually everything we need to know about peacock quills, how to prepare and use them. thanks Lucian !

” When talking about peacock quill everyone thinks about the stripped barbs of the feathers from the peacock’s tail. Everyone expects it to be wide, nicely colored, gradually from white to dark grey, with a glossy look as if it were waxed. The peacock quill is used because it imitates very good the abdominal part of the dry flies and emergers.
The problem is that a quill of high quality can’t be found anywhere in the feather but only in the area of the eye of the feather. Even so, good feathers are from peacocks older than 5 years. The young ones have thinner feathers and the quill is not so brightly colored.
You can see in the pictures below how to get this quill easily “

go from this-

to this-
 by following just a few easy steps. enjoy !

click on either pic to access the complete tutorial.

be sure to check out Lucian’s online shop troutline.ro for a great selection of fly tying materials, barbless hooks and all sorts of fly fishing goodies.
you’ll find fast and friendly service and all at the best prices.

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

quote by Dr Seuss

driving back from a carp & bass day in northern Spain.
good thing the driver stayed awake to dream of the fish !

The Basic Cast

by Joan Wulff via MiddCurrent

what a treat !
here’s a wonderful tutorial of the most basic fly cast, the Pick Up and Lay Down.
the PU&LD is what leads to just about any and all aerial casts. with a few slight variances we’ll find the same principles with water-born casts as well, making this foundation invaluable for any fly fisher.

i do feel the need to add just two minor critiques: for the life of me i can’t understand why Joan felt the need to say that this cast is specifically used for nymphs and streamers and personally, i can not recommend using the thumb-on-top grip for someone learning to cast. it’s not that a caster can’t be efficient with this grip style because many excellent casters do use it. however, in my experience this is the grip style that leads to the most errors in wrist control which is one of the hardest bad habits to get rid of.

grip choice is of course style related, meaning that it isn’t substance, the ‘meat’ of casting or it’s Essentials.
it’s an individual’s choice. if it works, use it. if it don’t, find something that does.

MiddCurrent’s Vimeo account wont allow me to embed the video here so simply click the image below to see it on their channel. enjoy !

the trout appear like “sharks” in the waves !

as you’ve noticed, i don’t put up a lot of fishing-for-the-sake-of fishing videos unless it’s about fishing techniques but this one isn’t about technique.
i really like and find this one interesting, not only because it’s made by my friends Paul and Ronan, has campfire explosions, fly rods thrown off cliffs, ‘experienced‘ far away gazing, porn-flick music and drunken ramblings of fish past… but it’s such an interesting mix because it’s extremely exciting and quite boring at the same time.  enjoy !

the First Fly

via Jeroen Schoondergang

” forget the Egyptians and Macedonians with their feathered hooks. The oldest record of fly fishing dates 40 million years back. As you can see the fly is tied on a barbless circle hook and is a pretty realistic tie. Bummer that the owner dropped his fly in running amber… “

a pretty good example that things aren’t always what they seem and that we mostly see what we want to see.
good one Jeroen ! 😉

image: George Poiner
source: Astrobiology Magazine

yesterday’s bugs

Thomas‘  new friend, Mr Mayfly

lunchtime bee

and the caddis that got away…

despite the great number of bugs under, on and around the surface, the hot air and water  temperature combined with low water conditions put the fish to sleep and very few where interested in playing.
it was still a beautiful day.

kind of a big deal

and it isn’t because whatever the outcome it’s all just normal.
whooping, high-fiving, post production loud music and feet stomping from lost takes only take away from the experience; its much better to listen to the water’s song and let the inner glow shine through to the outside.

wind drawing

“Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, to global winds resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the climate zones on Earth. The two main causes of large-scale atmospheric circulation are the differential heating between the equator and the poles, and the rotation of the planet (Coriolis effect). Within the tropics, thermal low circulations over terrain and high plateaus can drive monsoon circulations. In coastal areas the sea breeze/land breeze cycle can define local winds; in areas that have variable terrain, mountain and valley breezes can dominate local winds.

In human civilization, wind has inspired mythology, influenced the events of history, expanded the range of transport and warfare, and provided a power source for mechanical work, electricity and recreation.”

what they forgot to mention is that once put in the right hands, wind can also create art.

wind quote: Wikipedia
image: author unknown

the Reverse Hackling technique

by Hans Weilenmann

i originally learned this technique of hackling flies from several Oliver Edwards fly tying video where he uses it mostly for North Country Spiders but Han’s brilliant demonstration here shows us the finer points to consider when doing this, whether it be for dries or hackled wets. there are several aspects that make this a very good, if not better method than the usual ‘back-to-front, the more important in my eye being simply that it’s easier to get a great result without any chance of bulking up the fly specially behind the hook eye, something we all can have difficulties with.
on dry flies this reduced bulk means less place for water to get in and bog the whole fly down and on wet flies, less place for trapped air to keep it from going under.
i’ve put up several of Hans’ videos recently and apart from the fantastic flies produced, what really stands out is his technique, most notably the all-important thread control and even what i like to call ‘thread confidence’.
his minimal use of thread wraps amply demonstrates this confidence and is an important part of any fly tier’s development, something we should all strive for.
every wrap of thread should contribute to the fly. if it doesn’t it’s either superfluous or can have an unwanted effect.
this is one of the best technique tutorials i’ve seen. i hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from it.


made with-

hook- Maruto D04 BL #16
thread- Veevus 14/0  brown
tail- Pardo fibers
abdomen- Polish Quills (peacock) brown
thorax rear- Mad Rabbit (hare) dubbing natural
thorax front- Hends Spectra dubbing
hackle- partridge


for the love of water… (part two)

hmm, it seems like the prankster’s been pranked !
our mystery man’s magical blessing endowments have turned out to be nothing more than a plastic bottle… but at least we can feel a little better for our slimy fishy friends !

like they say, it’s best served cold but this one’s gonna happen in the heat of summer… :mrgreen:

(here was part one)