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.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Peeping Caddis Nymph

Some years ago I traveled to the Welsh River Dee, to learn how to upstream nymph with Gwilym Hughes. Over the course of the weekend I learned many fly patterns and methods to catch fish, some have stuck with me ever sense. I returned home with a nymph tied on a size 12 jig hook and was told that it would catch fish in the dark waters that I normally fish. Armed this one of many new flies I approached a pool in my local river with the water slightly colored and deep, I flicked the nymphs into the water and held my arm out straight as I had been told to do and stay in contact with my nymphs. The nymphs sank to the bottom and hardly traveled more than a foot along the bed when the fly line that was on the water acting as the indicator snapped forward and I struck into a lovely wild golden brown trout. For the rest of that day I took fish after fish on that fly it was called The Peeping Caddis.
This nymph has remained as one of my favorite and most productive nymphs I have ever tied, I have fished it in rivers across the World and it has never let me down some days producing more fish than others. I have often been told by great fly-fisher men that simplicity is often the best when it comes to fly-tying and fly-fishing and this nymph is surely simply. It can be tied on several sizes to fish different depths of water I tie it as big as a size 6 and the smallest being 14 preferable on Hends jig hooks for the smaller ones. You also can vary the colour of the tail and mix some different colours into the dubbing to match the bed of your river, including some different colour dubbing behind the beads. This nymph is also tied with a lead under body; with this and the tungsten head it will search those deep pools and pockets where some of the better fish tend to hang out.

The peeping caddis can be fished either as an anchor nymph in fast heavy waters or I get great success in flooded conditions, also on its own on the smaller sizes in good fast water, either conditions of the river this nymph is undoubtedly one of those trusted flies that in your box and will always return good sport fishing in all conditions.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Quill Bodied CDC Dries

Another season has just gone for the trout fishing on the rivers and looking back at a busy 2012 I have to say I had some great sport on the various rivers I fished through out Ireland and Europe, unforgettably the heavy rains that fell from May on-wards did slow down the productive fishing that was had in March and April. Some of the tributaries to the River Nore fished outstanding at this early part of the season and the quality of the trout that theses small rivers were producing was almost unbelievable at times. So soon enough ill begin to ponder over last seasons successful fly patterns and remove or develop the ones that did not lure the fish. Above is one of the flies that will remain in my fly box for another swim next year. Its a quill bodied CDC dry fly and is an excellent trout catcher; on a size 16 Hends 404 Dry fly hook, Coq De Leon Tail, stripped peacock quill body and natural CDC wing with a spun light brown CDC hackle to finish it off. A simple and very effective fly that worked right from the start of the season for those early olives.
Some more flies that will hold there slots in the fly box: is this fly also tied on the Hends 404 hooks with the same body and tail of the above fly, it has a white CDC wing and darker brown CDC feather hackled on instead of being spun. The fly below is a great fly for fishing the faster waters of the river, its under wing of deer hair with the natural CDC top wing give it great floating ability. The body is natural Peacock stripped and it has a lime green Hends Body Quill tag for to help get the attention of the waiting fish in the stream. 
The fly below is for those late spring and early summer evenings when the rise is developing, it is tied on a size 18 and is very slender in build. The body is primrose under thread with olive Hends body quill wrapped over leaving a tag of primrose thread exposed. The wing is one small CDC natural feather with a turn of thread behind the wing to keep it standing up from the body slightly. 
These patterns are well wort having in your box for the start of next season. Tying with the two main components of quill bodies and CDC is very simple and very productive, you should not be afraid to experiment with these materials in different ways and discover there ability to catch fish. Over the next few months ill be posting some of the nymphs, streamers, and wet flies that I will be stocking my 2013 boxes with so check in and see whats in store for the trout.