Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Woven Nymphs

A good few years ago when some Polish friends came to Ireland to visit our river in Wicklow, they also showed me how to do weaving on nymphs. Sense then I have done very little and probably should have practiced more because this style of tying is very effective and the nymphs do produce good catches. Last year with all the high water in the rivers late in the season I was messing around on the vice and I tied some of these woven nymphs. They proved to be very good in the dark post flood water and a selection will be tied and fished for the upcoming season. 
With the aid of you tube it is fairly easy to discover the method of weaving but where I fell down a lot was the materials used to weave correctly, the different flosses or wool's were either to heavy or not compatible with each other and just didn't look right. I then used Glo Brite for the under body and I used stretched cassette tape  for the back and they look really great on the hook, the Glo Brite under body really stands out in the dark water and gives the fish something to really attack when visibility is poor. The back has a lovely shine and the materials weave well together.
These nymphs are tied on B100's, either size 10/12 with a 3mm gold tungsten bead followed by some turns of flat lead behind the bead. The thorax is a turn of the under-body colour in Hends micro flash dubbing and some hair plucked from the skin of a hare or squirrel would probably do the same job. I will spend some time over Christmas practicing weaving and I am looking forward to giving these cracking looking nymphs a good swim next season. 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jig Hook Nymphs

Jig Hook nymphs are growing more and more popular every season, and rightly so, there are very effective as the point fly to a cast of nymphs or fished on their own. I first came across these hooks in Poland some years ago at the European Fly Fishing Finals and they had the bead head cast on to the hook. They were interesting looking and effective in that environment at the time. Sense then their popularity has grown and the development of the different styles of hooks from different manufactures has also grown. With the rise of demand for Jig Hooks the development of the slotted bead has also increased and now we see a huge range of sizes, colours and finishes to the beads. Over the last couple of seasons I have used more and more of these style nymphs with great success and here are a few of the ones that stand out in my fly box. I use the Hends Jig hooks for my nymphs and I have great confidence in their strength and hook ups.
The nymph above is tied on a size 12 jig and a 3mm tungsten bead, behind the bead is several wraps of flat lead. The Tail is natural Partridge and the rib is Hends fine Pearl Tinsel. The main body is light Hears Ear dubbing and ribbed over up to the thorax. The thorax is grey Hares Ear dubbing just tied in behind the bead and brushed out once the fly is tied off.  Here are a few more of my successful nymphs.

On a size 14 jig hook put a 2.8mm tungsten bead and some flat lead behind it. The Tail is Long hairs from the skin of a hare and a gold wire rib. The body is just Hares ear dubbing with a turn of Green Hends Spectra Dubbing behind the bead.

Also on a size 14 hook put a light pink slotted bead size 3.3mm. Coq De Leon tail and natural Pheasant Tail body ribbed with gold wire. The thorax is mixed Hares Ear dubbing with Hends Green Spectra dubbing and using red twist thread form a red spot behind the bead and tie off the fly.

Using a size 10 jig hook put on a size 3.5mm black disco bead or just plain black slotted bead. The tail is Glo Brite NO: 11 and a fine sliver wire rib or a pearl rib can also be effective. The body is Jan Siman Hares Ear Plus dubbing and once ribbed up brush out really well. For the thorax use Hends Dark Green or as I describe it peacock dubbing just behind the bead and also brush out once the fly is tied off.

I hope you try out these nymphs next season and have the success that I had so far on them, fishing them as the point fly or on their own should produce some good catches in most river systems. 
For your hooks and Materials head to http://www.irishflytying.com/ to find what you need and enjoy.  

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Olive Body Quill Dry Fly

Matching olive hatches in April and May is always tough and getting the right shade, profile and size is some of the key factors to lure a feeding fish. In the fore mentioned months of last season I had good catches with this dry fly and the body is the same as the nymph on my previous post. I love using Hends Body Quill, it has a lovely natural look and is very durable and versatile. Both these flies worked really well and will have plenty of swims in the forth coming season. Here is  a step by step of tying this simple and effective dry.

Using Primrose tying thread tie in some fibers from a Coq De Leon feather and leave some of the thread exposed as a butt. Then tie in a piece of Hends Body Quill, Olive and wrap it up the body. Give the upper body a second wrap to darken the body.

Add in 3 CDC natural feathers and secure tightly.

Put two turns of the thread at the back of the CDC wing in-order to make the wing stand up from the body. 

Dub on some Hends CDC Olive Dubbing and wrap it around the wing and form the head. Tie off and brush out slightly to create the legs of the fly.

This fly sits beautifully on the water and even in small sizes of 18 and smaller is easy to see. These Quill bodied drys and the nymph in my previous post can all be tied in a variety of colours to suit the hatches on your river. http://www.irishflytying.com/ for all your fly tying needs. 

Olive Body Quill Nymph

This Nymph I find is very effective in catching trout through out the months of March, April and May. It is not hard to tie and can be fished as a dropper under dry flies in smaller versions as well as a large olive nymph on the bottom. The CDC thorax with the foam cover make the nymph very fishy and with the right presentation it can catch a lot of fish. I had unreal success with this nymph last season in low water and I fished it on its own on a 20 foot leader. Here is the step by step tying of this must have nymph.

Using a SKALKA WN1#12 hook add a 3mm tungsten bead and put several wraps of flat lead behind the bead.

Tie on some primrose tying thread and add in some Coq de Leon for the tail.

 Bring the thread up the hook slightly to leave a primrose butt and add in Hends Body Quill Olive, then bring the thread up to the bead.

Wrap the Hends Body Quill up the hook putting a second layer nearer to the thorax so the body is from light to dark.

Add in some cream flat foam as the thorax cover.

Using Hends Olive CDC dubbing  form the thorax and brush out slightly.

Bring the foam over the CDC, tie off and remove the waste. Put a very small pinch of CDC dubbing on the thread and wrap it just behind the bead to finish off the fly and whip finish. 

Try out this nymph and you will be pleased with the results follow this link to find all the materials you need. http://www.irishflytying.com/

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hends Micro Cactus Chenille

Recently I got sent some of this product from Hends as a new addition to there ever expanding range of tying materials. On first glance it dose catch the eye with its range of colours, its size and its durability. I have been mucking around with it lately and I have discovered that it is a fantastic material to have in any collection, it is very versatile and can be used for micro nymphs, ribbing, bodies, thoraxes  thorax covers and pretty much anywhere you want to  stick it on the fly. It is very strong for such light chenille and the UV centers in the brighter colours give thoraxes on nymphs a new life and good targets for fish.   

When tying small nymphs like Montana's it can be tricky enough when you get down to the sizes of 14-18, but thankfully with this product which is only 1mm thick you can tie these classic nymphs in such small sizes. I also have ties up some micro streamers as seen on the top picture, this is ties on a size 14 and they look great with the chenille on the body. Even tying wets and spiders it gives the body a lovely suttle sparkle and is strong enough not to need a rib. I would recommend this product for all fly tyers and don't be afraid to experiment and use it where ever you want it in your flies. If you would like to find this material then just click on the picture of our shop or logo to the right and look it up 

Friday, November 2, 2012


I enjoy fly tying but there is something about tying large bushy lake flies on large hooks that I really enjoy and always look forward to. Using large hackles and bronze mallard wings with glo-brite tags a fly tyer can create fantastic lough flies that really can catch trout and the big ones too. When I first came across these flies was fishing on the Corrib  some years ago and using them in a big wave at any time of the year would produce good fishing, sense then I have always had a large stock of them in my box made from ever colour under the sun to match the natural fly colour on the lakes. These flies can also be successful when fished on sinking lines on stocked and natural Lakes in calm conditions just like streamers. Some fly tyers tie their dabblers bushy or slim in body I guess this is up to the persons own confidence in their patterns  also the same can be said about the contents of the pattern  I personally like tying in some sparkle or glo-brite tags to give the fish something to aim at in the deeper waters we fish. However I  find Dabblers are most effective in the second half of the season when fish are looking to feed on the fry, in a large rolling wave I fish them on a floating line or slow intermediate and pull them fast through the wave.
Here are some of my favorite Dabblers that have caught fish through out the season:

The Lime Green Dabbler
One of my more recent additions to my Dabbler collection, very effective during the olive hatches and may fly hatches. Tied on a size 10 -8 hook with a glo-brite no.12 tail and natural pheasant tail fibers over it, the body consists of lime green Hends Spectra dubbing, the rib is green Hends Wire.  The body hackle is grizzle dyed green and a green french partridge hackle in front of it. The fly is finally cloaked in natural bronze mallard. A cracking fly that is well worth tying. 
These two Dabblers are often seen in a lough fishers fly box. The black and claret dabblers are good reliable flies that always deserve a swim anytime of the year. For the black dabbler the pattern id standard but I added red holographic tinsel by Hends in the tail. For the claret dabbler I put in glo-brite no.5 under the tail and I mixed Red metallic Hends dubbing with some black seals fur to create a natural looking claret with a nice flicker in it.   
Two more Olive dabblers that have proven successful in the past. A dabbler with a muddler head will always pull a fish, it is tyed just as a standard dabbler but the mallard wing is not cloaked it is sitting on top of the fly and the deer hair is dressed over it. The other fly has some sparkle in it, the tying is a preferred for a olive dabbler but with Hends Krystal flash in the tail and under the cloak, also a pearl rib is added to make the fly a real target for those overcast spring days. 
This fly is my center forward on dabbler days fished best on the point of a cast, tied with black or red thread. the tying of the fly is pretty standard but with Hends Sliver Krystal flash in the under wing. All these flies and many more dabbler patterns are reliable fish catchers and should be in a lake fishers fly box. All the materials you need to produce these flies and better are available at http://www.irishflytying.com/ so stock up for the forth coming season and happy fish catching 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Top Five Buys in 2012 Season

Here is some of my purchases during the 2012 season, I am not sure if any or some of them helped me catch more fish but they did add to my angling for those fish.

NO: 1
Has to be the Hends 3 weight Fly rod with the extension bar to transform a sweet 9 foot dry fly rod into a cracking 10 foot nymphing rod. The difference between the two is noticeable and it is so easy to change over. The presentation of the rod is class and comes with a tube that will hold three fly rods which I found so handy in the World Finals this year. The price range of these rods is  also competitive around 260 -270 euro. Its fish-ability is top class and can hold big fish too. I like it so much I am buying a second one for the forth coming season. 

My second best buy of last season was the Korkers Guide K8700 wading boot with changeable soles and no laces. I found these boots very steady and give good support to the ankle area. The closing system works really well. I cant fault them in any way and I have fished all types of terrain this year.

This was a toss up for second and third theses Guide Choice knee pads and shin guards were a great buy and offer great protection to the knee and shin but also to the waders when walking through bushy ground. They are comfortable enough to wear and walk in and don't slip, like the knee pads on their own. If you don't own a pair its a must buy for 2013 and price is around 35 pounds. 

NO: 4
I love tying flies and there is nothing worse than tying on hooks that are just not what you are looking for in wire strengths and weight. Hends hook range is designed for the modern day angler and fly tyer. there BL 404 dry fly hook in my experience for what it is are top class with a fine wire and great strength I even found myself tying nymphs on the at the later half of the season and I had no problems. There BL 200 hooks are a heavier wire for wet flies, nymphs and streamers the have a super shape and large gap for better hook ups. Hends also do a lovely range of sedge hooks and Jig hooks, a range that no river fly tyer should be without for next season.

NO: 5
For my number five it is this little device that costs only a few euros and has nothing to do with catching fish or nearly nothing. This clicker hangs from my vest and counts all fish over the competition size. When I first came across this a friend gave me one and I was so surprised at the difference of the number of fish I caught and what I thought I had caught. this is a good investment for competition anglers that want to keep account of their catches.

I did but other good rods, lines, leaders, and much more but these five items are the stand outs of the 2012 season all all of them hopefully will get more use in the forth coming season. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wet Flies and Spiders

Wet fly fishing is traditionally achieved by casting across stream and allowing the current of the river sweep your flies down and across, the flies are normally swimming just under the surface film and it tends to be on the sweep that a fish will take. Some anglers prefer to mend once or twice up stream to give the fly a chance to drop down to the trout before the current moves the fly into the bend or sweep. Also it can be productive when the sweep has finished and the flies are straight down stream of the angler then to use the figure of eight retrieve back towards you and any fish lying in the by the edge of the river might take.
This method of catching fish is how the majority of anglers begin to fly fish as too did I, it can be the easiest form to introduce young anglers in to the sport. I like fishing spiders in spring especially two spiders behind a weighted nymph, and spider fishing this way can be very successful. The spiders should be tied sleek and small, and have pulsating hackles that will work in the water as the nymph trot through the current. All spiders can have a little bit of lead added in there under body this can allow the fly to penetrate the surface film much faster on contact with the water when not using the nymph to fish the require depth. Fishing a single spider pattern during late spring and summer upstream behind rocks in fast streamy water can be very tempting for an opportunistic fish.  
Also using a wet or intermediate line will help these flies’ fish better and get down to the fish. It is most productive using very light tippet material and you can have one to four flies on the cast.
Spider fishing can be very productive and entertaining it is also, without making it a lesser form of fishing than others, a relaxing and simpler method of catching fish. 
When I moved from the wet fly to fishing nymphs and spending a few years working on those techniques I forgot the importance and the reliability of the wets and spiders. Last season I once again tied a stock of spiders and of course they produced plenty of fish. These spiders are some of my successful patters.
Pheasant Tails spiders with different coloured partridge hackles tied on size 18 to 20 hooks were very successful in the early part of the season and the spiders above took lots of fish during the olive hatches of April and May. 
During the Knat hatches I found this small black fly was very apeeling to the trout. It is tied on a size 18 and has a blue holographic tinsel rib with a black spectra dubbing body from Hends and a black hen hackle. I also tied in some white CDC as a light wing on the same body and 
hackle that worked just as well. The small Jungle Cock and black below also snared quite a few trout during the same time when the small black flies are on the trouts menu. Keeping your wet flies and spiders small and sparse will improve your chances of a catch and retrieving them up along the banks on a very slow figure of eight retrieve will also produce good catches. I am already looking forward to next spring to enjoy some more wet fly fishing and hopefully some good fish. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Bass of a Mark

Four or five years ago I first fished this mark along the Wexford coast line and it produced a lovely sliver bass, ever sense then when I get the chance to fish up there it nearly always has a fish in it and in the exact same spot every time. Tuesday afternoon was the very same I was up at my parents house and decided to pop down to the coast to have a look, even though visibility was poor I gave it an hour or so and landed one nice fish. Working a lure on the bottom of the sea.
There is some good fishing to be had on the East and Southeast coast at the moment, however Wednesday  proved to be to stirred up and no fish was caught, I visited several marks on the Copper Coast and spotted four bass in one location but couldn't get them to take. The day was misty and was a tough day to be out and about hopefully we will still have a few good sessions left before the bait rods come out, I am  hitting Cullenstown next week for a few days and hopefully there will be some action there.