My last day out on Eyebrook a couple of weeks ago gave me a great day on dries and made me realise that there were some glaring absences in my fly boxes. It is amazing how over the season the variations of your old favourites seem to just disappear!. I was ok in the morning as they were taking large orange daddies, once I remembered not to strike as they drowned the fly I had some good sport. As the day wore on the fish lost interest in the daddy and there was a hatch of some small rusty brown buzzers, my fly box had nothing small enough in my favourite fiery brown seals fur, there was some interest in a ginger Shipman’s, but I knew I needed something smaller. Finally a dug out an Adams from my river box and I was back into fish.
I know – “It’s not the fly, it’s what it does for you.” I find when fishing dries the way they sit in the surface is the most important thing. The daddy gives a large impression in the film – I like to use a hackle as well as legs give an impression in the surface and for some reason at Eyebrook orange is a killer colour. But other dries can vary a lot in the way they sit in the water – choosing the right one can make all the difference.
The sketch above indicates how three patterns sit in the film – each being the best dry fly on the day. One of the problems you can have when tying the Shipman’ and the Bob’s Bits is dressing them too heavily – both work well when very lightly dressed. You might be very adept and dubbing using tying wax to create a dubbing rope, but there is a lot to be said for using a spinner and a dubbing loop. I find it easier to create a fine rope and also it means that you do not have to rib the patterns, some times less is more!
Of course at other times a fine rib of holographic material can be what is needed, so to make sure you are equipped you need each of these patterns in size 12, 14 and 16, in olive, claret, orange/ginger and fiery brown, both ribber and un-ribbed. If you have three of each, one to use, one to loose and one to give away that is 72 flies – one box filled ready for next year. Not to mention the CDC shuttlecock that hangs below the film – tied with picric died peacock stripped quill – another fly that can be lethal on still water.
I have just received some new stocks of Grip Hooks , these really are a fantastic range of hooks for the fly tyer. Grip Hooks come in a wide range of sizes, patterns and wire weights.
The nymph hook is the bread and butter pattern that we sell most of and there are plenty of competitors our there and we all have our favourites. Like all these things we need confidence in out hooks -so we stick to what we know.
However if you are looking for variations on a theme Grip offer a range of nymph hooks in three gauges of wire and shank lengths.
There are also barbless patterns with unrivalled hold.
Dry Fly Hooks
Again there are plenty of dry fly hooks out there – but the Grip range has just that extra choice, including the top selling 11801 in extra light wire.
In addition there are some variations in pattern that give improved presentation, hooking and profiles. Such as the 11413BL shown on the left.
This has variation on the Sproat bend to give better hooking and hold for this barbless variation.
Once again Grip offer something more than just variation in sizes for their we hooks. There is the choice of wire weight and shank length over the range of patterns offered that is designed to improve the performance in specific applications.
As usual Grip offer barbless patterns that are designed to give the angler good hold without the barb.
Caddis and Grub Patterns
These patterns give the profile for a wide range of patterns such as shrimp and and Czech nymphs. They can also be used for buzzers and the light wire patterns can be used for emergers.
Grip also offer up eye variations for these emerger patterns which improves presentation and hooking.
Of course there are also barbless patterns for the increasing numbers of catch and release fisheries.
Check out the Scottie Products Shop for Grip hooks here
To see the complete range of Grip Hooks see the Scientific Fly web site
Using copper wire to your patterns as a rib not only gives your flies segmented bodies but also adds strength to them and increases their longevity. I have sourced a super quality soft copper wire in a wide range of colours for your patterns. This standard wire comes in 0.2mm and is supplied in a ‘soft’ state this means that it is easy to used and is very strong. As wire is worked it becomes harder, as we know by twisting a wire round and round it becomes brittle and breaks off, breaking your wire off like this rather than cutting it does not leave an exposed end on your finished pattern.
The image below shows the range of colours available:
From left to right: Silver, Dark Copper, Dark Green, Claret, Red, Copper, Black, Gold and Green.
All if the wire are coated for corrosion resistance, copper will tarnish if it is not coated with a material that protects it from the elements.
Extra Fine Wires
I have now available finer wires for use with dries, this is the same high quality wire but drawn down to 0.15 and 0.1mm. It is still supplied in the soft condition for strength and ease of use. but only available in silver, gold and copper.
The Gold Ribbed Hairsear pattern is the classic pattern where the copper wire rib is an essential element of the fly, but ribs on Pheasant tail nymphs are as important. Obviously the GRH uses gold, but the PTN can use a variety of rib colours – to add a target or make a change in the pattern.
Another classic still water pattern the Diawl Bach can be ribbed with coloured wire rather than holographic material to give a more subtle pattern that can be what is wanted on some days.
There are also those essential river flies where the body is made just using copper wire with a peacock or dubbed thorax, again colour can add impact to these.
Because the wire we supply is soft and string it can be used to create a dubbing brush. Tie in a loop of copper wire to create a dubbing loop and using your favourite dubbing create the dubbing brush for your thorax. When wet the wire can be seen through the dubbing and adds that extra dimension to your fly.
I have had a very busy couple of weeks since the BFFI – it was a hectic run up to the event and just as hectic getting back – but cannot complain about being busy!
I am just about sorted stocks of the Scottie vice which has been selling very well and still working on a new rotary vice – but these are projects for the future. I have a couple of new products available now.
The Scottie Camera Mount
This handy device allows you to take a photo of your latest creations or even make a video.
Light yet robust allows you to attach any camera with a 1/4″ Whitworth thread to your vice and position at just the right distance.
We have been supplying the Buzzer Coat UV varnish for some time, but for light use it is rather too thick. I can now supply a much less viscous UV varnish that sets to a glass hard finish using a standard 365nm UV light.
This time of year we are all thinking of what we can buy for a really useful Christmas present – either for yourself or someone else.
We have all the usual lines – but to help you out we will be offering discount on some of our lines – particularly useful for those little stocking fillers.
Fritz Bobbins– These are really handy for using and storing fritz and chenille materials while keeping them tidy, clean and organized. We have them in two sizes, the standard/small size that can even be used for thread or flosses and the large that will handle those thicker plush chenilles
Hook Pallet– This is a small hook pallet that will prevent you loosing hooks on your bench. All tyers have different solutions to the common problems, do you put your hooks straight on the bench or take them out of their box or package one at a time? Why not try this handy little hook pallet?
The Tourbon Fly Patch – These have been selling well and really popular with those of us who are fishing barb-less flies. The fleece inner holds the flies well, but by closing the flap over them you can ensure that they stay in place
The Scottie Hardwood Tool Rack – These have been one of our most popular lines, but unfortunately when current stock has gone we will be discontinuing this item as we cannot find the recycled timber we use.
The Scottie Tool Caddie– This handytool caddie has a small footprint and holds a good number of tools as well as your varnish pot.
Scottie Vices – There are of course all of our Scottie vices available for Christmas Delivery.
We all have our own solutions to that problem of where do you put that fly when you have used it? We see them stuck in hats, on open patches and there are some clever boxes that are also driers.
Since I have been using barbless flies for catch and release this has become more of a problem as without a barb the fly will not stick in your hat or stay in your patch – unlike the barbed flies that once stuck you cannot remove without pulling another thread on your hat or straightening the hook.
So when I had the opportunity to buy some Tourbon products made for the US market I thought they were worth a try. They are very traditional patterns that seem to have disappeared from the UK market – a leather folding fly patch and a canvas fly wallet.
The leather fly patch fold over to secure your flies while drying and allows a free flow of air. The clip can secure the patch on any part of your clothing without needing a D ring.
I have several old fly wallets – they were all the rage a few years back – I have one that was given to all Benson and Hedges competitors one year. But just because they are old does not mean they do not still do the job.
With all the plastic and foam fly boxes on the market this old faithful design has been all but forgotten – but it fits the pocket well, the breathable materials allows flies to dry and once a fly is in their it stays there.
After a year of thinking about making a gallows tool for over a year and having experimented with a couple of designs I watched a demonstration of tying a paraloop fly and finally came up with a flexible design for a gallows tool.
The tool can be used for tying clink-hammer, paraloop and detached body flies, it can also be use as a bobbin holder. The design sets the tool away from the vice to minimize it’s interference while tying it is also very rigid and the horizontal bar can be used with other accessories.
These photos are of the prototype – the retail version will be in our usual black powder coating.
We now have in stock Softened Bees Wax for fly tying. This product is available in two formulas -the standard formula provides an easy to use product for treating tying thread at room temperature. It is also available in a super soft formula that is tacky at room temperature and can be used in colder environments.