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  1. It's all over! The cake (well not quite!), the pudding, the wrapping and opening and all the other related bits to Christmas.

    Now it is time to start planning for the next season, which is not that long away.

    I am fortunate to be able to fish running water in the summer and winter and stillwater through the normal trout season. Consequently, I am tying flies all year round.

    However, due to a slight problem last Spring, my river fishing was almost completely written off but trout fishing (stillwater) compensated adequately.

    As I am currently suffering my second cold of the winter, I am not planning any visits to the river (for Pike and Perch) any time soon. But I will be busy at the tying bench as I am producing a traditional pattern with a modern twist for an existing Customer and it is the Competition season, which is currently occupying my mind. I also have a few new patterns, or materials that I want to play around with, so that will keep me occupied over the next few months until I can finalise my fishing for this season.

    Good luck to anyone else doing the same.....!

  2. The production of the popular Salmon Fly brooches, is now ongoing. However, due to other non-fishing factors, most brooches may not be available until later this month, or early November - still plenty of time for Christmas delivery!

    I tie most of my brooches on gold coloured 1/0 size (Veniard) pins. Unlike conventional flies, Salmon fly patterns usually have three applications of varnish on the tying thread at the eye (head). Each application will take up to 24 hours to dry.  So, it will take approximately 72 hours from first application until the brooch is ready for sale. Hence the delay in availability.

    I will have the usual range of patterns available and also plan to increase the range with trout fly and sea-trout fly patterns. There may be some other variations of patterns that have been previously successful.

    If you have a particular favourite pattern in mind, please contact me in the first instance. If I have suitable materials, and a description of the pattern, I will do my best to accommodate your request, but please bear in mind that when I am in full production mode, diverting off to tie a 'special' may attract a higher price or delay in production.

  3. It is well known that many fly patterns for Carp are composed of deer hair. This material is very bouyant, due to the hollow fibres that help trap air. Also some well-known trout patterns are similarly tied with deer hair - the G&H sedge for one.

    I tie a lot of deer hair carp flies that I supply to my local fishing shop. I also use the same when I go carp fly fishing.

    But, I also use the pattern when trout fishing and recently, I have been doing that at my 'club' fishery in Oxfordshire. I was fishing the other evening and there was a steady ripple blowing across the lake. Some fish were moving at the edge of the ripple, presumably taking flies that were hatching in the ruffled water. I tied on a large-ish deer hair pattern and chucked it out (technical fishing term) into the ripple.

    It wasn't too long before fish started to take an interest. I had a query as I retrieved the line, then another (it may have been the same fish). On another cast, I had a solid take (I felt it) but the line snapped at the fly. I was using 5X (5lb bs) nylon, which I suspect was too fine for the hook. One thing I did before using, was to clip away some of the deer hair under the shank, so that the gape was better for hooking. I have started to trim the hair under the shank for my carp flies also, as I noticed last time that a wider gape increases the hook-up rate.

    I need to tie up some more deer hair patterns, both for trout and carp. With these hot sultry days, I should start my carp fishing soon. I bought the dog pellets last week from a bargain shop, so I am well set up!

  4. Since I had a mini-stroke earlier this year, I have had to take life easier. Apart from dietary changes and taking more exercise, my fishing adventures have been slightly reduced. So, when I have been fishing I have been accompanied either by friends, or more usually by my wife. There is an increased risk of having another stroke, having had one already. I hope this is a long time coming if at all! 

    Most of my fishing recently, has been in quite remote places, so naturally, it is worrying for my wife especially, if I have another stroke when I am out by myself. In order to reduce her worries, I have bought myself a Wavehopper Life Jacket, which I now wear when out by the water. It is very lightweight and fits easily over my fishing vest. It is also an olive colour that blends in well with any fishing apparel. So, even if I do not fish from a boat, I will be wearing my life jacket. I am comforted by the fact, that if I fall into the water, the jacket will inflate and ensure that my head is kept out of the water. A small price to pay to ensure Safety near the waterside.