Spent Mayfly

A newish version of this fly, an earlier version was seen in an order from a club. An odd change here and there and this is the current version. I haven’t had a perfect evening with the spinners yet so I haven’t had much chance to try it. I did try it over the last trip and had splashes and rises to it but I think the fish aren’t totally keyed in on the spinner at the moment as the hatch as only been going a week or so. Its late this year due to the rains and cold during the middle of May.

Hook- x3 shank size 12 or 14
Thread- Uni 8/0 black
Tail- Dyed black cock pheasant tail 4-5 (fish cann’t count so a few extras doesn’t do any harm).
Body- White foam, wrapped
Wing- grey with black in front congo hair.
Thorax- dark chocolate brown dubbing synthetic.
Hackle- Badger palmered over thorax.



Emerging Klinkmay

So named after the original klinkhamer but several changes have been applied. I first came across this fly when I was asked to tie a large number for an order. Needles to say I kept a few for my self. A year or so ago (likely longer) I came across a material called Mr. Peacock which is a synthetic peacock blend in various colours. I tried the natural peacock with excellent results. Then last year I tried the claret as the thorax, something I had done with my detached mayfly with fantastic results (not this year, so far). The claret colour seems to add a something to the thorax to possibly suggest a hatching mayfly and on this fly, deadly at times. It has attracted fish this year but no positive takes. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the fish are not truly keyed in on the mayflies at the moment.

Hook- R200 nymph hook size 14 ( a friend swears by a grub hook but I think it looks totally wrong for this fly), first 1/4 from eye bent slightly ala the original klinkhamer.
Thread- Uni 8/0 black
Body- dubbed lemon mohair (fibres pulled from ball and dubbed on). I find I have trouble finding the right shade of lemon or pale yellow and will buy a full skein/ball of it from the wall shop.
Rib- black thread with 2 think bars near the tail of the body.
Wing- pale deer hair tied in as a post
Hackle- Grizzly
Thorax- either peacock or Mr.peacock dubbing in claret or natural peacock blend.


Roadkill Wulff

One of my most effective and long serving flies is the Roadkill Wulff born during a trip to Lough Sheelin in Ireland when I was shown a large Grey Wulff but I didn’t have all the materials. So the wings were replaced with grey squirrel tail and the body from the same squirrel. The source being a deceased  animal from the road side hence the name. The rib as also changed to what it is now.

Hook- x3 shank hook size 12 or 14 (14 seems the right size for mayfly)
Thread- Black 8/0 uni
Tail- Grey Squirral (choose the tail carefully as some of a size which give smaller barring so you don’t get so much white tips)
Body- Grey Squirrel body (back and flank mixed)
Rib- fine pearl thread. Braid like.
Wing- As tail
Hackle- Dyed blue dun cock hackle (either neck or decent saddle feather).

The wings can be tied either normal wulff style or spent for the evening spinner fall.


The weekend that got cut short…..day 2…

Following on from the day before, there was a noticeable drop in the temperature so I wasn’t that fussed about missing getting up at the break of dawn. In my estimations it would have been to cold for anything to be happening. The original plan was to fish at West Amesbury but access to the car park was denied due to some concert (more of this later).

So plan B was put into practice and drive up the road to Durringtion gave me another stretch of the Avon. From arrival at 9 ish there was very little taking place with few rises and very little hatching. Thankfully a few Mayfly put an appearance in at 11ish. A few rises from Grayling and the odd trout and lots of casting resulted in one very perfect wild Brown and a few Grayling. The successful fly again the Anadelle, with a few rises to the Roadkill Wulff, upside down Mayfly and Emerging Klink May.

Met some guy on the bank who told me about a stretch of the Wylie, 2 actually, he suggested that they rarely get fished. I would not be surprised as the Avon gets most of the pressure especially the Durnford and West Amesbury stretches. This may be due to the closeness of the rivers to the main road and Salisbury and peoples non willingness to go far. Better for me, a trip is being planned for later in the year when I can get away.

After a while of fishing I decided to return to West Amesbury….I had posted on the club forum concerning the car parking and our beloved leader had replied with suggestion. By this time I was getting a head, not good.

Even less hatching on this stretch, surprising as great hatches can happen here and  the trout appeared to be not interested at all in rising though they did have a look. I am strongly suspecting that due to the fishing pressure here that they may have lock jaw or very educated.

With an increasing head ache, likely to be heat stroke, I decided it was back to camp time. Close to the path from the fishery to the car I found this.

The rest of the day/ evening was a loss due to illness, to say I awake early evening to perfect fishing conditions I was not happy as I was still unwell. The following day the temperature was low for the time of year so the early session was again a no go and still feeling pretty rough I returned home.

I am now looking for a book on camp site cooking and some advice on photographing buggs!


The weekend that got cut short….day 1…

This past weekend was a long one in the UK, extended for the Jubilee, the kids were away with there mother and so I had a few days to my self….campsite booked. Last year I found a nice campsite within a few miles (about 1mile to the nearest river) of the rivers I fish.

I arrived on Sunday with some cloud cover and after setting up camp went to fish one of the beats at Durnford on the river Avon. Managed to get one of favourites but when I saw it, I noticed one or two changes. But there was a few fish rising, with several Mayflies coming off as the afternoon progressed, so did the hatch. Didn’t seem to be many Grayling but I did manage one of the Chub that were rising (some good ones to). Many years ago I learnt via a 3lb chub that they can fight harder than many trout so shouldn’t be ignored.

I did find a mayfly in the grass and took the chance to take a couple of pictures so you get come idea of size and colour.

I won’t go for numbers or fish pictures because that would just make things repetitive (I forgot to take pictures and numbers don’t really matter). The most productive fly was once again, the Anadelle. With a few risies to the roadkill wulff and hatching mayfly. Also, my new version of the spent mayfly made its maiden voyage and got some interest but no positive takes.

Either the fish are keyed on to the mayflies yet or the are becoming more selective.

As the evening got darker and the clouds came in I decided to call it a day. The fish had suddenly stopped rising apart from the odd one and the hatch had died right down although a few spinners were about bout not as many as I would have thought…then the rain started.


The Andelle

I’m sure I promised a post about the Andelle fly so here it is. I first read about the French fly in Neil Pattersons book ‘Chalkstream Chronicle’, one of my all time favourite books. Like many French patterns, this fly comes from a time in French fishing history when professional fishers used flies to catch the fish and many had one thing in common, soft hackles. 

When I fish it, I use dry fly floatant to mold the hackle into a dry fly shape otherwise they go straight to ‘wet fly mode’. The floatant simply helps to make the fibres stick out that bit longer, after 2 or 3 fish   they become to wet to float and and the fly needs replacing, although once dry (the following day), it can be used again. This fly as been a consistent producer for me but for some reason it is THE fly this. It seems that each year there is a fly preferred with other just getting a look or just the odd fish unless it changes as the hatch progresses.
Hook- size 12 x3 longshank
Thread- Camel uni thread 8/0
Tail- 3-5 cock pheasant reddy brown 
Body- Pale yellow shuck yarn (Fly tyers dungeon) but any yarn thats pale yellow should do.
Hackle- Dyed olive green silver mallard (not to long), 
Front hackle- brown partridge
I finish the fly with the melted wax method instead of varnish.