Fly of the Week – Mayfly Dry Fly

Fly Of The Week - Mayfly Dry

Most fly anglers long for the day that the mayflies start to hatch. Some of the best fishing in the UK can be found on large, silty or sandy bottom lakes. The trout are very fond of the mayfly in its adult stage and as you can imagine it will provide a very satisfying meal. There are many versions of the mayfly you may like to use such as the humpy, wulff or realistic mayfly pattern. My favourite though is this ‘ducks dunn’ style fly, which the colour and size can be altered to represent almost any upwing fly.

Simply attach your thread to a hook of choice. Here I have used a Kamasan B170 size 10, you need something fairly strong but lightweight, as these flies are extremely large. Tie in four or five strands of pheasant tail as a tail, keeping them fairly long to add to the length of the fly. By the tips, attach another three strands of PT, this will act as a rib to give the fly a very pronounced segmented body.

Dub some light tan dubbing to the hook, tapering in a teardrop shape towards the eye of the hook leaving yourself sufficient room at the head to tie in a wing and hackle. This gives the flies body some volume. Wind the rib through the dubbing and secure off at the thorax.

Lay a bed of thread at the thorax to give a solid platform to tie in the wings. Select four full CDC feathers and marry the tips together and secure on top of the hook laying flat over the back.

Tie in a grizzle hackle at the head and fill the thorax with some hares ear dubbing, ensuring to bulk up behind the CDC feather to get it to kick up. Wind the hackle through the thorax and behind the wings. Secure in with your thread and wind through the hackle ribbing it, securing tightly in place. Whip finish off and you’re complete!

Make sure to varnish the head of the fly as this pattern will get a beating from hungry trout!

Hook: Kamasan b170 Size 10
Thread: Brown 70 UTC
Tail: Pheasant Tail
Rib: Pheasant Tail
Body: Tan Dubbing
Wings: 4x CDC Feathers
Thorax: Hares ear mix
Hackle: 
Grizzle Feather

See more fly tying video on Fishtec TV

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Fly of the Week – Black Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig

Fly of the Week - Black Pheasant Tail
‘Jigs’ or J hooks have been getting increasingly popular over the last couple of years, with most post-jig anglers becoming jig-maniacs! A lot of anglers only have jig style flies in their box, but that isn’t a bad thing as they are growing in popularity with the fish, too! One thing that hasn’t changed though is the tendency for fish to eat pheasant tail nymphs, so this weeks, fly of the week has both attributes, Pheasant tail and a Jig hook.

Start off by threading a 3.5mm slotted bead onto a Fulling Mill Force Jig Hook, size 12.  Bulk up a layer of UTC Thread behind the bead to secure it tightly in place. This ensures the bead doesn’t wobble and become dislodged. Take the thread down the hook and stop just as the curve takes shape.

Take around six or seven strands of black cock hackle and tie in roughly the same length of the hook. Strip four strands of black pheasant tail and length of gold wire from the spool and tie both in, running the thread to around 2/3s of the way up the hook. Wind the pheasant over the thread and then rib the wire in the opposite direction to secure, and tie off.

Attach two strands of Glo-Bright Flo Orange to the hook at around four inches in length. These are used for the hotspot, so bulk each turn up on top of each other, around five or six times, tie off, and tie in a strand of natural peacock herl to create the thorax. Wind the herl towards the bead, again bulking the head up so the head appears tapered to the bead. Simply tie off and whip finish.

This fly can be varied in colour, size and style by changing the hotspot colour or thorax material.

Black-Pheasant-Tail-Hot-Spot-Jig--1

Written by Kieron Jenkins

Anglian Water Airflo International Final

A full list of results from the Anglian Water Airflo International which was held at Rutland water, 2nd and 3rd October.

In it’s 31st years of running this competition has been held at many of the top fishing waters around the UK and has been sponsored by some of the largest fishing companies in the UK. Sponsored by fly fishing tackle supplier, Fishtec,  the prizes are always top quality and offer all anglers a great incentive to fish the qualifiers to hopefully compete at this prestigious final time and time again.

Day One

With a strong westerly wind Rutland water changed it’s face from the previous few days practice. With a wind forecast to get up to 15mph and gust almost double that things weren’t looking great.

Team practise sessions all seemed to throw up the same areas, methods and flies as most other teams, with the most prolific area being the Dam wall. As the boats headed out of the jetty the total tally of boats heading to the main basin was 40, a further 17 to the North arm and just 4 to the South Arm. It seemed obvious where the most recent stocked fish had ended up!

As the armada of boats dashed to the closest point of the Dam wall the odd few broke off and started their drifts a long way from the bank in open water, what we found in practice day was that with the big wind we’ve had over the last week or so the majority of the food had been washed close to the wall, just out of bounds for boat users. So the closer you can start to the wall the more chance, we thought, you’d have of catching.

The first drift was manic, rods bent all over the place from Fantasy to the far side of the wall at Sykes Lane. As the boats grew closer the wall the fishing hotted up with some anglers taking 3/4 fish in the first drift. This is usually short lived even with less boat pressure and it wasn’t any different now. The initial hit of 40 boats, 80 anglers and with most people using a three fly cast, that’s over 200 flies going through an area at any one point, the fish soon feel the angling pressure and push off or go down.

This was the same all over the lake, speaking to some of the anglers who came off the water early with their bags they mentioned the fishing died after the first drift. Then it was a scratch to finish off the bag limits.

Kieron Jenkins of the Nymphomaniacs took his 8 fish limit in an impressive 2 hours 15 minutes, him and his partner signing his card at just 12:15. It wasn’t long after that the next bag ups were recorded. Rob Edmunds of Team ACA  finished just after 13:00 and Steve Winstone 13:08 with a fish of over 5lb in his bag winning the day with over 20lb of fish.

Anglian Water Airflo International 2012

Image courtesy of Cliff @ www.fishypics.co.uk

Day One Result:
1. Hanningfield 39 fish for 92lb 111/2oz
2. Team Airflo 32 fish for 81lb 61/8oz
3. Thallassa AC 31 fish for 76lb 9oz
4. OFTA (Kirkwall) 30 fish for 75lb 67/8oz
5. Rio Masters 32 fish for 73lb 101/2oz
6. Flextec Emerald Islanders 35 fish for 73lb 91/4oz
7. Nymph-A-Maniacs 32 fish for 73lb 15/8oz
8. Margam Fly Fishers 29 fish for 66lb 1/4oz
9. Elinor 28 fish for 65lb 111/2oz
10. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 29 fish for 62lb 15oz
11. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 28 fish for 62lb 57/8oz
12. Welsh Crunchers 23 fish for 61lb 91/4oz
13. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 28 fish for 60lb 115/8oz
14. Weardale FF 26 fish for 59lb 5oz
15. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 24 fish for 54lb 21/2oz
16. Peninsula Pirates 22 fish for 47lb 11/4oz
17. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 19 fish for 42lb 141/8oz
18. Iain Barr FF 15 fish for 39lb 77/8oz
19. G.Loomis Team Belgium 17 fish for 36lb 41/4oz
20. Shetland AA 17 fish for 36lb 13/4oz
21. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 16 fish for 35lb 143/4oz
22. Froggies FF 14 fish for 34lb 9oz
23. Neilston FF 13 fish for 30lb 85/8oz
24. Stocks Falcons 13 fish for 25lb 111/8oz

Best Rainbow: Richard Cooper, Iain Barr FF 5lb 71/2oz
Best Brown: Tony Donnelly, Bristol Reservoirs FFA 3lb 43/4oz
Best Bag: Steve Winstone, Team Airflo 25lb 63/4oz

Day Two

Day two started much the same as day one. The boat split was almost identical but with a few more boats heading to the south arm. The anglers, testing their leaders and knot strength headed towards the Dam in anticipation for another fish frenzy in almost the same conditions as the day before. The fishing, not so. Out of 40 boats which headed back to the main basin I don’t think 10 fish were netted within the first two hours which was strange after the performance of the day before.

After the first two hours was up the boats slowly started to dwindle away and move to the top of the ever increasing wind, leaving just a few boats on the dam wall. Most anglers headed up the South arm and few across to Belgrano and Barns-dale steep bank.

The winning bag of the day come from Nymphomaniac, Allen Hughes who managed to bag his 8 fish in tough conditions by 13:00. Only a handful of anglers managed to bag up the second day with many fish being caught right at the death, increasing anglers catches and making the results of the competition tighter than ever.

As the weigh in commenced there was talk of who’s ‘up there’ in the results. The rumours were that ACA and Nymphomaniacs were fighting for first position with some of the top teams from day one dropping down the rankings with just a few fish to the team on day two.

Day Two Result:

1. Nymph-A-Maniacs 23 fish for 59lb 33/4oz
2. Iain Barr FF 25 fish for 58lb 33/4oz
3. Rio Masters 23 fish for 50lb 4oz
4. Elinor 20 fish for 46lb 73/8oz
5. G.Loomis Team Belgium 18 fish for 45lb 5oz
6. Team Airflo 17 fish for 39lb 31/2oz
7. Welsh Crunchers 17 fish for 35lb 101/8oz
8. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 15 fish for 35lb 33/8oz
9. Margam Fly Fishers 15 fish for 31lb 153/4oz
10. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 14 fish for 31lb 11oz
11. Shetland AA 13 fish for 30lb 83/8oz
12. Peninsula Pirates 12 fish for 30lb 7/8oz
13. Thallassa AC 13 fish for 28lb 153/4oz
14. Neilston FF 12 fish for 26lb 11/2oz
15. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 11 fish for 25lb 135/8oz
16. Froggies FF 12 fish for 25lb 75/8oz
17. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 11 fish for 23lb 21/8oz
18. Hanningfield 9 fish for 19lb 11oz
19. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 8 fish for 19lb 73/4oz
20. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 8 fish for 18lb 43/4oz
21. OFTA (Kirkwall) 7 fish for 16lb 67/8oz
22. Stocks Falcons 7 fish for 15lb 65/8oz
23. Weardale FF 6 fish for 13lb 14oz
24. Flextec Emerald Islanders 4 fish for 9lb 11/8oz

Best Rainbow: Tony Perin, G.Loomis Team Belgium 5lb 33/4oz
Best Brown: Brian McKenzie, Neilston FF 3lb 45/8oz
Best Bag: Allen Hughes, Nymph-A-Maniacs 22lb 143/4oz

As the results emerged after great food and hospitality by the Greetham Valley golf club it came to light that the Nymphomaniacs had beaten ACA by exactly 9lbs in weight. The bag up on day two by Allen Hughes brought the Nymph’s up the table also with some good luck better fish were landed on day two by the whole team, all of which make a huge difference when the final positions come close. Well done Nymphos!!

Overall Results

1. Nymph-A-Maniacs 55 fish for 132lb 53/8oz
2. Rio Masters 55 fish for 123lb 141/2oz
3. Team Airflo 49 fish for 120lb 95/8oz
4. Hanningfield 48 fish for 112lb 61/2oz
5. Elinor 48 fish for 112lb 27/8oz
6. Thallassa AC 44 fish for 105lb 83/4oz
7. Margam Fly Fishers 44 fish for 98lb 0oz
8. Iain Barr FF 40 fish for 97lb 115/8oz
9. Welsh Crunchers 40 fish for 97lb 33/8oz
10. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 43 fish for 93lb 15oz
11. OFTA (Kirkwall) 37 fish for 91lb 133/4oz
12. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 39 fish for 86lb 21/8oz
13. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 38 fish for 85lb 131/2oz
14. Flextec Emerald Islanders 39 fish for 82lb 103/8oz
15. G.Loomis Team Belgium 35 fish for 81lb 91/4oz
16. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 37 fish for 81lb 33/4oz
17. Peninsula Pirates 34 fish for 77lb 21/8oz
18. Weardale FF 32 fish for 73lb 3oz
19. Shetland AA 30 fish for 66lb 101/8oz
20. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 27 fish for 62lb 57/8oz
21. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 27 fish for 61lb 23/8oz
22. Froggies FF 26 fish for 60lb 9oz
23. Neilston FF 25 fish for 56lb 101/8oz
24. Stocks Falcons 20 fish for 41lb 13/4oz

Top Bag: Allen Hughes, Nymph-A-Maniacs 14 fish for 36lb 151/4oz

Statistics:
Number of Anglers: 144
Number of Fish Caught: 912
Rod Average: 3.17
Total Weight of Fish: 2102lb 3/8oz
Average Weight of Fish: 2lb 5oz
Average Bag Weight: 7lb 5oz

The method over the two days seemed to be pulling blobs and boobies on heavy sinking lines. All of the top three teams took the majority of their fish using Airflo 40+ fly lines, in di5 and di7 sinking densities. The wind caused many problems with casting so a line such as the 40+, which easily loads the rod on the back cast, was the ideal tool for the job. Orange, Tequila and Black blobs and boobies seemed to pull most of the fish with very little seeming to come out on nymphs.

Anglian Water Airflo Nymphos

Images courtesy of Cliff @ www.fishypics.co.uk

anglian water airflo winner

Images courtesy of Cliff @ www.fishypics.co.uk

The Taff Demise? I think not.

Fly fishing on rivers has become vastly popular over the last eight to ten years, I remember days when we were the only anglers on the river. You could go anywhere, on any river and not see ten other anglers throughout the whole winter! There would seem to be just the few hardy grayling fishers, standing in the river with the water below 3 degrees and the air temperature even lower. Then, we had two techniques. Czech Nymphing and the Indicator.

Overtime, our flies and techniques have evolved, the Czech nymphing has more or less turned into french nymphing, using tapered leaders with short indicator pieces. The indicator, superbly impressive on its day – using a foam indicator (fish pimp.etc) has become the ‘Duo’ and ‘Trio’ fished with a dry fly as the indicator. All, very, very effective.

The lower Taff is designed to relieve the valley of water quickly. The steep banks and pools gather the water and lets the water flow  uninterrupted downstream in theory reducing the risk of flooding. Over the years, pools have changed and water flow has increased and subsided in some areas, obviously pushing the fish around into more comfortable areas.

Fish caught czech nymphing Mid winter 2009

But. There’s always a but. Especially on the Taff, the numbers of large grayling getting caught have dropped dramatically. Fish in access of 1.4lbs, which were very common in previous years. There is much speculation on what has caused the decrease of large grayling, angling pressure, cormorants and their life cycle.

I fished a tributary of the River Wye, the Irfon on the weekend with two friends last weekend, Tim Hughes and my usual fishing buddy, Jon. Tim has been around for some time, representing Wales at Rivers and Lake internationals and World-championships.

Tim had observed anglers from European countries fishing the Czech nymphing style whilst fishing the World Championship in Wales 1991 –  The Euporeans swept away the glory through fishing deep with heavyweight nymphs, something he wanted to master, and went on to qualify for river teams and take top welsh rod at one international on the Dee too.

We got talking at the bank about techniques, flies, fish, the usual stuff when on the bank and holding a rod. Tim had opted for a Czech nymph set-up, the way we used to do it, two heavily weighted, pretty large czech nymphs – Pink on the top dropper, a hotspot pink & hares ear in the middle, and a tungsten headed red tag hares ear on the point. Me and Jon, the usual, french leader setup.

Looking for a pool which the three of us could fish, we walked from the mouth of the Irfon upstream and eventually broke off the path into a long run. The kind which is only up to your knees, easy to wade and has plenty of pea gravel… The perfect grayling tertiary, right?

I pitched my fly into confluence of the slow & fast water on inside seam, and within a few seconds, I struck into a feisty browny on a pink bug… skill eh? Into the same crease, Jonathan made the same cast, and the indicator shot forward… it was a lady of around a pound. Again, third cast, I had another brown. A small shoal was located and as we move upstream it was obvious why, a small depression in the bottom with a dip of around 10 inches. Only if all pools where like this? We met up with Tim after he ‘bugged’ his way downstream to no apparent avail.

From there up, the water started to deepen, pools started to get larger and our catch rate seemed to go down, many trout but less grayling. This is how we usually fish the Taff, two nymphs.. change the weight and leader length accordingly to the depths. Tim on the other hand was ‘whacking ’em’ – Fishing these pools with heavy czech nymphs and double tungsten caddis patterns. I had heavy bugs on, 4mm tungys, I seemed to be fishing the bottom, but I couldn’t get them.. I quick change from the french leader to a braided fly line and three heavy bugs went on. A few casts in I was into a lovely grayling. We continued fishing picking off grayling and the odd trout in the fast and powerful water.

Talking to Tim later in the day we were discussing the lack of larger grayling in the Taff, their there, because their caught sometimes.. Usually when the waters low.. When we can reach them. It suddenly hit me, with the same situation happening that day, Jon and I would have had a pretty dower day for grayling if we hadn’t switched to the Czech style of nymphing. When fishing the Duo, Trio and the French Leader – Our flies are naturally lighter – Its our mind set. Dryflies can only suspend so much weight before being submerged, and two flies are never going to be as heavy as three.

Maybe we’re not catching any large grayling because were not fishing like we used to? Our flies may be too light, and not getting down to them. Trout don’t usually feed on the bottom unless grubbing, maybe that’s why trout and small grayling catches have increase.

Are we REALLY getting down there?

Written by Kieron Jenkins