Fly Tying- Herman’s Roy-style Reversed Parachute micro caddis

Herman as in deGala and Roy as in Christie !

i of course don’t mean any disrespect as i really like this video and Herman’s demeanour but ! apart from the bright green egg sack, to be honest, i can’t for the life of me see this fly as anything caddisy… but (again) ! lets have a closer look at this fly’s other component, one we can easily transfer over to countless other dry/emerger/floating nymph patterns; the Christie-style Parachute hackling method.

no style is an end-all but this one really stands out from the crowd on several levels, most notably by its ‘puffed-up in a ball’ fibre positions but also overall strength and resistance to fish teeth and other abrasions.
more ‘traditional’ hackling around the hook shank has the fibres oriented vertically when the fly is resting at the surface whereas others where the hackle is wound on a post such as the Klinkhammer or Christie styles have them horizontally, parallel to the water’s surface.
generally speaking, vertical fibres will have only their tips in contact with the water’s surface, thus the fly’s body is suspended above the surface whereas horizontal fibres are splayed out on the water. the latter leaves a bigger imprint on the surface but also does a better job at suspending what’s beneath it, in this case, the fly’s body or ‘floating nymph’ as it where.

as to it’s sturdiness, what makes this one so close to the proverbial bullet-proofness is that the hackle stem is enclosed within the nylon loop. should one segment be torn, the rest still hold their place, something traditionally wound hackles can’t claim. one little nick and the fly needs to be changed.
i don’t loose a lot of flies so how they hold up through time is important. (i’m also very lazy when it comes to tying sessions, or rather, it’s hard for me to actually start tying flies. once i’ve started i can’t stop and it’s not like flies are precious but i just don’t know when i’ll feel like tying again so the ones that have hatched are expected to last. i’ve digressed enough….) anyhow !

a while back we’d already seen Roy’s Reverse Parachute step-by-step and complete video tutorial and while Herman’s version isn’t a night and day variant, something about it makes the whole nylon post and hackling method seem simpler, something that should be of great interest for the person wanting to learn and try out this hackling method.

my guess is the ‘simpler’ part might have to do with using a Gallows tool to hold the nylon post vertically and tight whereas Roy does without. i’ve been tying mine for years without the tool and it of course works very well but i’ll give it a try soon as i suspect it makes winding the hackle easier and more importantly, easier to keep the winds compacted close to the hook before tightening the loop.
in a pinch, you can make a little metal hook from a paper clip and attach that to a rubber band, the lot suspended from your tying light or have someone hold the nylon post while you wind the hackle. it only takes a few seconds, plus its a good way to put your partner/spouse/sexdwarf/roommate/butler or whomever’s handy to good use… ummmm, enjoy !

some previously seen yums. i loves yums !

Roy’s Flat Spent Mayfly Spinner

yet another lovely-lovely bug and step-by-step by Roy Christie

flatspentspinner R. Christie

“This is another cabin-fever fly, the result of sitting down with a notepad, drawing what we want the trout to see; then building it in a useable form.
This and many of my other working flies come from this process.
Concept flies may eventually become working reality.
This fly will always land gently, right side up and can be easily presented on a sunk tippet.
Build it from materials chosen to match your local fall of spinners.
The fly is built on a curved hook of your choosing, which is cranked about twenty degrees toward the tyer, a quarter way back from the eye. It is dressed round the bend to get the tails to support the weight of the hook shank over the greatest possible area, so it can be dressed sparsely.”
very astute thoughts there showing us what creative and effective fly design is all about: studying the naturals, the prey, how the imitation should ‘behave’ upon presentation and do its job of enticing that prey.
a fly designed to catch fish, not inspired by what other tiers have done but one inspired by trout.

to access the step-by-step and learn how to tie this little cutie click the image.
for more of Roy’s flies previously posted on the Cobra click here. enjoy !

Copper wire and hare’s mask pupa

just to go out a little bit on a limb here and maybe mostly as a way of expressing my growing overall mehness at the view of so-called ‘realistic’ flies, specially the recent trend of ‘kit flies’, where wings, backs, legs, heads and whatnot are factory made and just applied on a hook by sheepishly following the manufacturer’s instructions…
today’s little gem by Roy Christie via Hans Weilenmann’s most excellent Fly Tier’s Page is a gentle yet humble slap in the face reminder that effective fly design is more about what the fish wants than what the tier wants. specially when that want is mostly geared towards getting a lot of likes on facebook…


Fly: Roy Christie, Photograph: Hans Weilenmann
Hook: #16 -18 wet
“Thread”: dark copper wire
Thorax: hare’s mask
Note: Take a pinch of hare’s mask guard hair. Dub it on a fine piece of dark copper wire. wrap wire along hook & finish.

first shown to me by Roy in situ on a wee burn in Northern Ireland a few years ago, outside of being an excellent trout tempter because it looks like an emerging mess which is what emerging pupae messes happen to look like, the other too-cool and charming aspect of this design is you simply carry a matchbox-sized container with some hooks, wire and dubbing on the water and make them as needed without any tools, which in turn gives us more time at home to spend pressing the ‘dislike’ button to realistic and kit fly posts on facebook instead of tying flies.

Roy'n Me weeburn 2010

Roy tells me the fly on the image is ages old so, if we squint a little when looking at it we’ll loose the ghastly barb’s details…

Fly tying step-bysteps: Harelug & Plover, Stewart-style

by Roy Christie via UKFlyDressing

Origin of LUG
Middle English luggen to pull by the hair or ear, drag, probably of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian lugga to pull by the hair. “Tiny pinch of dark fur from root of hare’s ear”

Plovers (/ˈplʌvər/ or /ˈplvər/) are a widely distributed group of wading birds belonging to the subfamily Charadriinae.
“Golden plover hackle, long enough of fiber to reach almost into the bend, NO longer, long enough to reach the barb is fine.”
The plover group of birds has a distraction display subcategorized as false brooding, pretending to change position, to sit on an imaginary nest site…


“This fly is tied here – NOT in the traditional collar hackled version, but Stewart Spider style, it is my preferred spider construction for action and durability.”

by Stewart-style we’ll take the example of his notorious Black Spider where instead of tight wraps of the hackle against the hook eye (collared), the same amount of wraps (and therefore volume) is distributed over a longer section of the hook shank. fish find this sexier.
the tier unfamiliar with traditional UK patters should take note that the wax used is cobbler’s wax which is usually black or brown and not the ‘average’ light-beige or clear wax typically found in the tying section of your local shop. as you might guess, this tints the tying thread in a more irregular buggy tone difficult to achieve with straight store-bought silks and threads. more sexy.

Harelug & Plover 1 - R. Christieat over two hundred years old and as productive now as ever this fly is well worth having in different sizes as a staple in any trout box.
it’s construction is pretty straightforward but be sure to click either fly’s pic to access Roy’s step-by-step for all the fine details.

Harelug & Plover 2 - R. Chrisie

related articles

Trout Fly Design: The Avon Special

by Roy Christie

just two words: simply genius…  enjoy !

When I was a youth in the late 1960’s experience with the trout on my home river had showed me that, when they were feeding on tiny midges in the surface film, they could be caught on a short dressed hare’s ear stuck on the film. The water in the late summer in a dry season would drop to a depth of six to nine inches in the pools and about a foot and a half in the holes at the neck. The trout would only accept my ‘imitation’ when the tippet had sunk below the surface for a minimum distance of about five inches. That suggested to me that any nasty tippet distortion on the surface was outside the feeding fish’s cone of vision.
Then some scientifically talented anglers showed me how to get a good presentation of a trout fly at the surface of the water. My influence was that excellent book by Brian Clarke and John Goddard – ‘The Trout and the Fly’. Particularly with reference to the trout’s view of the fly in his mirror of vision, flies were photographed from beneath the surface. Naturals, imitations on floating tippet, imitations on sunken tippets and more were shown. The floating tippet severely distorted the mirror. The sunken tippet is in my opinion always preferable.
Fishing the Avon at Durnford in the 1970’s I found an interesting problem. The trout were gorging on large dark olives. The problem encountered was that the trout were ignoring the hatched duns coming down the glide and stuffing themselves with emergers. I needed a floating nymph. I wanted a sunk tippet. I retired, troutless, to think – skunked is a term I believe universally understood in context.

While I want to design a fly I sit down with a pen and draw it. I believe myself effective in this. I draw what the insect is doing and then look at the ways of attaching the hook while sinking the tippet at the same time. If one has an evening free this is probably an artistic pursuit; I don’t, so the drawings take seconds and then flies are tied. With practice we get faster.

Sitting at the bench, I drew a nymph, reversed on the hook and upside down, as that was the easiest fly to tie and present at the surface on the, by now obligatory, sunken tippet. With short hare’s whiskers for tails the body would sink, thus mimicking the thorax, abdomen and tails of the emerging nymph. The hackle, spiralled through the bend of a longshank Yorkshire grub hook #16, and a pretty mallard wing or just the cock hackle tips left in looked about right.

In design terms the fly is aerodynamically built to fall through the air hook-point up. This is achieved by tying the wing in around the bend. The effect of tying soft mallard fibres in at ninety degrees to the point is to make the hook fall below the fibres which act as an aerofoil. Gravity versus aerodynamics is the secret of floating fly presentation, as how it lands is how it sticks.

Attached to a tippet we want to present the hook and its aerofoil prettily in the surface film. In order to make it stick there we add a hackle to fill the gap between the point of the hook and the shank. Floating is guaranteed if the hackle and wing are treated in permaflote.

Avon Special

To make this dainty presentation at the surface more appealing to the target fish we endow the shank of the hook with a body matching his current menu, be that mayfly midge or caddis. It can be further developed on a long shank hook into stuck-shuck emergers with excellent results.

Build the thorax and abdominal areas to match the general colour and profile of the emerging fly. Bodies, as a matter of interest, are best made from complex seal fur and hare mixtures. Blend them to match the insect’s general colour in daylight, against the sun – presuming 1/ you can catch an insect and 2/ the sun is still up when you do. 

Mix furs by an open window in sunlight or outside on a calm day for an even better look.
Base colour thread should be sympathetic to the natural. The seal’s fur makes a little halo around the thread so it looks like the internal layers of the ecloding insect. Some of the modern fine dazzle mixtures of furs added to the base fur mixture can give it an oily appearance for that extra-juicy look.

Ribbing is advised for strength and segmentation. Fine wire is good, coarse wire needs a longer hackle fibre to support the weight on a larger footprint. For lightness on smaller hooks use monofilament or invisible mending thread. Less and smaller hackle will then serve well for flotation. 

The overall appearance of the fly should never be bulky, unless you want a caddis emerger. Tails on a mayfly emerger are most effectively imitated by a short bunch of three or four short, thick hare’s mask guard hairs to withstand the pressure of casting and produce a lifelike visual impression. On midges use clear Antron fibres, clipped short.

When this mini miracle lands on the water, attached to a fine degreased tippet the body and thus the tippet penetrate the surface. The fly sticks on its hackle and the tippet continues to sink quickly. Four feet downstream it is perfectly set up. Casting this fly on a slack leader gives a long float down a glide. I am convinced that there is less drag just below the surface than on it. So I view sinking the tippet as a standard requirement, for this and reasons previously stated.

On a lake, as a midge, mayfly or caddis emerger this fly is a star. In a flat calm on a hot day it is one of the few flies – ah! there’s Skues’ Little Red Sedge too – that I know will pull a fish to the top when all appears asleep.

A size 10 in a gale is an excellent choice on a March afternoon when your fingers are freezing and the bottom of the lake is being churned up. Then you see the shake of a head in the side of the wave where the fly was and a spade of a tail to follow. This fly has given me some great fun as a reversed emerging buzzer; the Avon Special Emerger in it’s various guises of mayfly and as a caddis cripple.

If you lack faith in USD flies for whatever strange reason, please try these out, remembering that they need the same delay on striking as does a dry fly. Whatever that is depends on where you are fishing and how the trout are taking  the fly. One thing you can be sure of is that they should take with confidence as the fly is the right shape, size and colour and it is in the right place. What is more, the light pattern is unencumbered by any hawser effect in their mirror of vision.

Preferred hooks are short point longshank grub/scud hooks. The recent popularity of the Klinkhammer style has produced some good emerger hooks. Extra long shanks are useful for an occasion where the shuck is apparent. Whereas some of my designs require modified hooks this one is fine on a standard version.

The original inspiration was 1975-ish – an emerging midge which I watched on a lake as it came slow out through the surface on a sunny but cold spring afternoon. He took his time because, I think, the water was very cold, but then maybe he was just shy or photophobic.  Will we ever know?

Drawing and building that representation backwards and upside down and ‘inside out’, has been a revelation for me in my fly tying adventures. I’d be lost without my notepad – now where did I put it?

 see ? told ya…

the EasyPeasy USD Mayfly

by Roy Christie

“My EasyPeasyUSD is a ‘concept’ fly for presenting an effective light pattern to fish feeding on the adult insects and the Flat Spent Spinner for the tail end of the hatch. Tie it to match the colour of the hatch.”

landing delicately, sitting low on the surface with a very ‘eat me’ profile and a very visible wing all makes this pattern outstanding for just about about any bug-eating fish. be sure to follow Roy’s recommendations below. click the pic for the step-by step, enjoy !

“treat with liquid floatant and leave to dry before losing it in a tree. ~ Roy”

one fish, two fish, three fish, eight !

a Reversed-Parachute Midge Emerger
the other day we had an article, step-by-step and tutorial video on Roy Christie’s fantabulous Reverse-Parachute emerger and while viewing it again the idea of incorporating Roy’s hackle and thorax design to an emerging midge abdomen lit up and this is what came out of it.

this is a size 16 copy of the original, the first one having been selfishly brought home by some overly-excited slimy brute, Mister Nine.

the title of this post kinda says it all but it was rather a special moment so here goes again. it’s pretty rare that a fly gets so much attention on it’s first try , specially without additional tweaking.
so, first cast with the new pattern = first fish. second cast = second fish, third cast, ditto. in the excitement i lost count but one of the trout jumped out of the water to take the fly on the way back down, making an enormous big splash, instant and automatic hook-up while having me WooP-WooooP for all to hear.
now, i  rarely WooP-WooooP but this kind of fishy action is as good as it gets !  i’m pretty sure the only ones who heard it where a local gang of crows but i’m also sure that just like me they’ll never forget. Mister Nine kept it for his own collection and the special half hour moment ended.

another one size 18 with it’s little dropper nymph size 20 to hang just below the emerger-

made with:
hook- Maruto C47 BL #14 – 20
thread/abdomen- Veevus 8/0 black. tied in ‘ messylumpy’ because ‘messylumpy’ is well, sexy…
rib & hackle loop- Maxima nylon tippet 4 lbs brown
dubbing/thorax- Mad Rabbit natural & black with a few drops of peacock Hends Specta
hackle- genetic saddle ginger

for the hackling method click the link at the top of the page and don’t be intimidated if you’re trying this out for the first time. it’s a lot easier than it may first appear, enjoy !

Fly Tying- Roy Christie’s Reverse Parachute Fly

just like their creator Roy Christie, born on the wee ‘Putting back the rocks’ burn * , these very much ‘out of the box’ flies are an ingenious alternative to the more classical patterns.
i’m still in awe with this hackling method. not only does it leave  a perfect ‘puffy’  and buggy imprint on the water’s surface but they’re also as durable as imaginable. to prove the point, at shows, Roy throws them on the ground and stomps and grinds them under his cowboy boot !
other parts of the fly, specially the hook, might get a little wear and tear from this rather extreme exercise but the hackle at least always come back in very fishable form. as we see below and on the sbs, the hackle is wound then later entrapped by the monofilament support. in actual terms, even though the feather’s stem is still there, the strong mono takes over as the major support of the fibers.
designed as emergers, the abdomen/tail section lies below the surface, further helping the degreased leader tippet sink and stay under the surface where it’s most discreet to the fish. f’n brilliant…
i could go on and on but i’ll let Roy explain all this and more on the video below.

so, to make this lovely little number-
 painted by Jeff Kennedy

you’ll need to start by making this,

then this,

and this.

sure, there’s a few more steps before, during and after and to find them you can click HERE for another great step by step via UK Fly Dressing

and if that doesn’t do it for ya, here’s Roy himself tying and explaining how to make this amazing fly. enjoy !

a few in various colors and variances from one of my boxes. some where tied by Roy, some by myself.

don’t leave home without ’em !

burn 2  (bûrn)

n. Scots

A small stream; a brook.[Middle English, from Old English burna; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.]

Putting back the rocks.

by Roy Christie

this piece has always been one of my favorite reads.
it’s about not giving up, finding solutions, hard work and making a little part of the world a little better. and it’s not just about fishing.
i contacted Roy years ago to ask him if i could translate this to french and he was immediately enthusiastic about the project and project it turned out to be. this was my first rather extended translation and it wasn’t about just exchanging one word for another, but getting the tone and meaning to do justice to the original. given the feedback from all the different francophone forums and groups i shared it with, it seems like it worked.
here, in it’s entirety and in english, let’s put back a few rocks.

” When I was growing up, a hundred yards from the nearest trout stream, I led a sheltered life. I was, however, educated to some extent in conservation and wildlife; bred bantams, ducks and pheasants for their moults, made my own flies by hand and used them on the small stream at the bottom of the field. My library consisted of Skues, Hanna, Stewart and Pritt. The world was very small; tractors more common than motor cars.

The river trickled past wellington boots in the wider parts in summer. We had competitions to jump across and as we got older we would succeed. After snow melt or heavy rain she would burst her banks and come up the field, banking up behind the little bridge, rising maybe twelve feet; a torrent in the fields.

She drains a bogland of about ten square miles and about twenty square miles of farmland with woodland and lakes. She rises fast and runs off slowly, draining those lakes and bogs.

When we went off to fish the falling spates our mothers worried, but we knew the right holes through the hedges so we all came back intact, all with bags of fish, taken on worm or fly. Between spates the fishing was different. Some of the lads reckoned the trout only came into the river during a flood, though where they went to between times remained a mystery. Fishing downstream wet fly on a small stream, with a total ignorance of fieldcraft, the mystery remained unsolved for many seasons. Fieldcraft came later. Little olives and midges covered the water and filled the air. I learned that if you sat still behind the fish they would come to ignore your human presence. Later we learned to use the upstream approach and would come up from behind, keeping low, unseen.

One day in early summer I was going down to the bottom bridge to fish the mile back toward home. I noticed that the neighbour downstream had a new digger. Yellow and shining, the dragon posed at the bottom of the field. I carried on downriver to chat with the owner who would pay us to help with haymaking and picking spuds. George was feeding his animals if the acoustic fuss were to be believed. When I finished giving him a hand and the din had subsided, I learned from George that the new machinery was there courtesy of the River Authority; sent to clean out the riverbed and relieve the flooding.

Devastated! They were going to kill the stream.

It started on the Monday above the second bridge. By the time I got back from school – I carried on unto the next stop to get an aerial view from the bus – the dragon had eaten about a hundred yards and was attacking a rock face above the ledge which it had just chopped out. The walls were tapered mud and the bottom was flat.

I went home and passing up, for the time being at least, a choice of four shotguns, picked out my seven and a half foot fly rod. Putting up a team of three spiders at two foot intervals – a Greenwell’s on point, black spider on dropper and an orange partridge – I proceeded downstream to face the dragon. I was so angry I did not cry.

Arriving at the scene of devastation and corruption, I strayed so close that the dragon had to stop. A few minutes of respite for the stream ensued. The respite was brief. The digger driver asked me if I had a death wish as I had come way too close; then he realised what the problem was. We had a bit of a chat.

John was a salmon fisher. He tried his best to console me with some strange logic. John’s job was to dredge almost two miles of river, my house being halfway along the proposed canal. The new course was to take away the winter rains at an improved pace. The work was subject to inspection by the Authority and, if deemed satisfactory, John would get paid. He said there was little point in cutting rock to make the new course, so when he hit bedrock he would leave a little waterfall. Also where possible he would follow the original streambed. As he passed he left a pile of rubble, rocks, weed, larvae and eggs four feet high on one bank. The inspector should be delighted.

John explained that he was not killing any trout. They were frightened off by the machinery and ran off in front of it. He told me to catch as many fish as possible in the pools upstream of his work every evening and to drop them over the ledge into the newly cut river. This proved relatively simple, as any trout upstream of the digger had been hiding under rocks all day developing an appetite. Every evening we would catch trout up to a huge ten ounces, rarely more, and transport then downstream, where they could get safety in natural surroundings. We probably moved three hundred in a couple of weeks. After that, cutting through gravel and bog, John said let them fall over or get driven upstream.

It proved, in the end, that the driver of the dragon was one of the good guys. John did a neat job. I have only recently, over thirty years later, come to realise that in showing me how to rebuild the pools, he made me his co-conspirator and his right hand man in restoration. I had never thought of it like that before.

Progressing upstream, he made sure to leave a few good-sized boulders alongside the banks. He even managed to find a couple of invisible rock faces, coinciding with a tree hanging over a bend – just a couple. He followed the bends of the old river. He told me that when the work was completed the stream would be good for drainage for twenty years, but that it would eventually silt up again. He also told me that, if I wanted to prolong its longevity, I should make the stream clean herself.

John explained that a good trout stream rushes around without really going anywhere, except slowly to the next pool. A sprinkling of boulders, placed strategically on the streambed, could divert the water just about anywhere you wanted. Like before a drop into a pool or above a bend – placing a boulder on the outer edge of the stream would divert the water, speed it up, aerate it and force it to scour out a hole behind and downstream Another rock in front of this would protect the bank from erosion – so build a wall. Make sure the boulders are secure against the heaviest flood. Put a dozen boulders where the neck of the pool is to be and this will reinforce the pools above and below. Let the torrent do the work for you. Nature will recreate the environment. You do the planning.

Installing rocks in the pools that form has to be done with care. The rocks have to be big enough to remain stable in severe flood; yet not be so large as to overpower the stream at low water. You are after all trying to create the perfect fishery. Slabs about two feet across and a foot deep are a great help, any length over a couple of feet is good. Drop them into the river at a point above where you want to place them and the current will help you get them home. As you go, put in stepping-stones so that you have the best places to stand and cast a line up into the pools you create. You do not want to build a great holding area with nowhere to stand and fish it; nor do you need a tree behind the best casting spot.

When dealing with a length that is straight and flat, you need to build the neck and tail of the pool, then go upstream and do it again. Use boulders to stagger the flow, trying to divert it right and left, to and fro, over the rocks. In time the tail of the pool will silt up and the neck will get deeper. I found that the best pool is about three times as long as it is wide. Depending on the flow, you may see this differently. For the neck/tail area I used rocks about a foot across -combined with a few bigger slabs to stand on.

In detailing the structure of the riverbed, you can define the holding areas for the fish. Knowing where you want them to sit you make that spot the best in the pool, so you can approach it blind and catch them – on a good day. You need to provide good cover for the trout. One way to achieve this is to place good sized boulders just out from the bank. This will force the flow to speed up, erode the bank and provide shadow and a slack which will silt up and support life, weed and fish food. By providing areas of slack and turbulence you will create an environment capable of supporting a diversity of life. Thereafter you wait and will find midges, later the mayflies, caddis flies, beetles etc will come back because the headwaters and downstream areas still harbour the native species. We are talking massive destruction here – not pollution. We still have to look to the powers above to protect against that.

The digger finished. The inspector said it was a good job. The stream looked like a canal, the man had to be subnormal. John got paid, I guess. I never asked. The next inspection would be in twenty or thirty years. It was time to start work.

My pals thought a rebuild was a great idea, so they lent a hand. By now it was summer holiday time. The lads had time in hand so they worked hard for a few days, got to hand that to them. Then someone got the idea to dam part of the stream to create a swimming pool. They created a pool about two feet deep and forty yards long on a flat stretch. This became a playing ground for the young pretty and talented for the summer and, as if by magic, my workforce disappeared. There were even a few good trout showing there, more difficult to tempt in the flat water. I learned finesse.

Overall I suppose it was about two years of hard work later – with hundreds of wheelbarrows full of weed being moved; tractors borrowed to move rocks; experimentation with currents, worn out jeans and soaked pants – that the riverbed again became stable.

The stream had helped herself to the bounties of nature. The winter floods had scoured and silted. Weed was regrown, bankside vegetation was regaining a roothold. The fly life was again thick on the water and in the air and in early winter the spawning gravels looked like a herd of steers had stampeded up there. The dippers were the first birds to come back on the scene. I even saw a kingfisher one day. The best trout were now just on sixteen ounces, an increase, I believe of about fifty percent in weight across the herd; and they appeared more silvery, which I attributed to the reduced bankside cover.

One day, after a downpour that had lasted for days, I went fishing again with the lads. They had given the stream up as lost. We caught about ninety fish over a couple of hours on the falling spate, keeping a couple for the grannies, who liked a brace for the dinner.

Another balmy evening, having returned about twenty, I approached a lovely little corner pool, up near the school. I was using a size #16 copper wire and hare’s ear nymph developed from the school of thought of the great Sawyer. Taking out the rearguard and slipping them back into the next pool down, I managed twelve trout averaging about ten ounces before they stopped rising at about two A.M. Next day I crept back with a pair of polaroids and took about a quarter of an hour to count thirteen in the pool. RATS. missed one.. Thinking about it, I did prick one just before the rise stopped! That pool was about twenty feet long and at low water was five feet across and two feet deep at the neck, the rest of the width being silted up and full of cress.

Now, nearly forty years after the rebuild, she still rises fast, she drops a bit more quickly than she used to, she still drains the bogs and lakes and she keeps herself clean.

I could go on forever about this little stream as she goes on forever to the big river and to the sea. I will stop, instead, and let you get out and throw a boulder in your secret stream.

Before you go, please take a moment to join me in respect to the late John Shaw who passed over some years ago now, and whose gift of knowledge and love of nature I was privileged to receive and which I hope to have passed forward to future generations. “

 Roy guiding me on the wee burn. it was a special moment and always will be.