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.
We have just received a shipment of a new Hot Tip Fly Tying tool. Base on electronic scalpels used in surgery today this tool has a fine hot wire to trim any unwanted threads or hackle fibres from your fly. It can also remover materials encroaching over the eye of the hook.
Each unit requires 2 AAA batteries (not supplied) and has a free spare burning wire neatly stored in the battery cover.
This little tool can really help achieve that high quality finish that you want for your flies.
I have finally tracked down some surgical spring scissors at a reasonable price. I have been using spring scissors for several years and find them really easy to use.
The surgical steel keeps a good edge and the action is good, giving control and long lasting cut.
The blades are fine enough – but not too fine, fly tyers are naturally obsessed with scissors, this is understandable, and looking after scissors should ensure a long life. One of the ‘old wives tails’ I still remember is my mother telling me that with small embroidery scissors you can sharpen them by cutting some kitchen foil – I have tried this and it does seem to work. This advice is given with no guarantee and of course it will not undo the damage to fine scissors caused by cutting wire or kevlar, but is not the worst advice I ever got from mum.
I have been doing a lot more catch and release fishing lately and while nine times out of ten removing the fly is not a problem – in fact it is often in the net! But there is always that time – particularly if you are using a lure or a blob the trout manages to get the fly right in the back of the throat you need something to get it out.
Increasingly catch and release fishing is becoming the norm – even in competitions and if trout are to be released the sooner they are unhooked and back in the water the better.
There has been a great deal of research on survival of released fish – mainly in North America and there are some critical factors that should be born in mind. One of the most commonly mentioned is water temperature and most researchers agree that higher water temperature increases the mortality rate of rainbow trout – however this is outside the anglers control. Two other key factors are not, time out of the water and handling deep hooked fish, the longer a trout is out of the water the higher the chance it will not survive release, while we can all relate stories of fish being out of the water for photo’s, being weighted etc. swimming away – but researchers study survival for more that the time it takes to swim away.
Deep hooking is also something the angler can control – if you are fishing passively or using buoyant flies on sunk lines there is a greater chance of the deep hooking. So what do you do if you deep hook a fish? You could consider cutting the line and releasing both fly and fish, in a study more than half the fish released with deep hooks still in place had shed them within 4 weeks. Further research found that removal of hooks from deep hooked fish did more damage than the hooking – so if you are going to try to unhook a deep hooked fish be prepared to kill it, which is the final alternative.
So if you are fishing catch and release the more quickly and efficiently you can get your fly out of the fish and the fish back in the water the better. The disgorgers available are plastic and will not fit over a fly – so all in all they are unsatisfactory and prone to breaking . By contrast see anglers have some awesome tools to remove their bait hooks – so for the fly fisherman their should be something in between, this is my first offering. The business end is a simple loop like a rod tip ring but with an opening allowing your leader to slip in. The overall length is 24cm, which should allow a trout to be unhooked in the net, which will reduce any risk to the fish.
Having had a bit of down time after the christmas rush I have had a chance to look around the net to see what has been going on. One of the things I came across was a really comprehensive sight just for knots.
Net Knots not only gives you instructions on how to tie all the knots you will ever need – but they also give animations and video clips on how to tie them. They have also ‘productized’ the site by offering sets of cards with illustrations and instructions that you can slip into your pocket as an aid memoir. And for the techies you can get a knot app for your phone or pad.
What really interested me was seeing the knot I swear by to secure my flies with shown as the Davy Knot – I was introduced to it as the ‘Figure 8 knot’ – but since using it in preference to the blood knot I was shown when I first started fishing a cannot remember loosing a hook.
A really interesting site and I am sure that any angler will pick up something new.
Have been flat out this week getting orders out for Christmas – it seems that Scottie rotary has been more popular than the Scottie this year – which is an interesting development.
Many thanks to all my customers and retailers who have helped sales growth for us here at PWW Designs. A special thanks to staff at the magazines who have helped with our advertising which has really raised awareness of the Scottie vices.
A few more packages to get to the Post Office today and then back to the workshop and another batch of vices!!