The Pink Spot Shrimp

When I last fished I got thinking about the colours used in one of the most effective flies that I use for Grayling. The Red Spot Shrimp has been one of my go to patterns for many years but there are times that I feel that it should be working when it isn’t. Still, I may be using it when I shouldn’t! So, my thought was this, what if I changed things a little. Over the past couple of years I have found that pink is very effective on Grayling and trout at times so why not swap the red spot for a pink one?


The top shrimp is the dull pink version with the bright pink dubbing example below.

It was with this thought that I sat at the tying bench and set to work. I found that I had no suitable bright yarn to use but had the next best thing. A dull pink which was similar to one of the dubbings that I use was found in the drawer. The resulting fly looked OK and will be tested if the conditions are OK this week. I also tied a second version with a bright dubbing which looked even better and will trial this one this week.

I have also felt that the fly may also better tied in colours other than an orange/orange mix and may benefit from other dubbings as well (I’m looking at rubber legged ones and possible different seals fur mixes) the variations on this is end less. It all seems to be an endless excuse to play at the vise, more fun in the winter evenings! (beats the crap on TV) The flies in the picture were tied with K.R.A.P. dubbing from the Flytyers Dundgeon which is basically the scraps left over from the dubbing mixing table (apparently).



Good result while hunting sewing shop for something else!

Last week I was asked to tie some flies for someone, I found I had the materials but one was a shade to dark. Being somewhat fussy about this kind of thing and not 100% happy with what I had I went searching. In the end I couldn’t find what I was after. I was told that it was best to get the sparkle yarn on the ‘net because noone is stocking it (at least in Swindon) because its not in fashion.
I did find one new sewing or craft type shop that I haven’t tried before. It was a gold mine of stuff but due to time constraints I was only able to have a quick look. It had long craft fur but I couldn’t get at it because the owner was in the way so I don’t know if tan was in stock. I did however find Jelly rope. A fine elastic/rubber type material which I have only found in the thicker size in clear before. This place had black and green, plus the clear and I think other colours. An added bonus was that I found the thinner size. I bought the fine green to try it out. The results of my first trial with this stuff is in the picture.

greennymphI used this stuff to tie caddis type patterns but I expect others can be done. Simply by changing the body material to this stuff!

I will be returning when I get the chance to buy more but it will be by the spool in stead by the metre, just in case of supply problems in the future.


All Beaded out….

Over the past few years I have observed Trout and Grayling feeding on nymphs in the clear streams that I fish. Most of this feeding takes place at mid water or below, the resulting attempt at trying to catch these fish has often proved unsuccessful. This is likely due to the flies being used not reaching the correct depth and driffting over the fishes head. The problems lies in that although I have beaded flies as well as leaded, the fish I was watching needed some thing between 16 and 22 and the flies I had were either to light or to heavy. Unsuccessful searching of the UK fly shops proved that beads that were small enough and of high quality were largely unavalilable. Recently I have been using a company from the states which produce exactly what I needed. I also didn’t have much tying time due to University to tie the flies I needed.

I have just finished a batch of flies that should prove useful in this situation but the trout season doesn’t start for another couple of months so they will have to wait.

picture for web

The flies are Pheasant tail nymphs with natural reddy brown tail fibres and red thread (to replace the copper wire in the original) and olive squirrel thorax. The others are the brown flexi body nymph which I have covered before. Both have been tied in sizes 16 and 18 with different coloured bead heads for when the trout prefer one colour over the other. I haven’t tied any with gold beads because I am of the opinion that trout have got shy to this coloured bead. I also found that the beads were difficult to get round the bead of the TMC200 hooks as well as the occassional bead sliupping over the eye of the hook.


A weighty problem

If you live in the UK then you will know about the excess of rain over the past few months. It wasn’t too bad during the summer because I was at least able to get out occasionally when the rain actually stopped long enough for the rivers to settle a bit. But the past 2 months have been worst. This has been due to the saturated ground that hasn’t been able to hold any more water. In turn, this has resulted in the worst flooding in many years and currently the situation doesn’t look like changing. It does however have its plus’s. At the beginning of the Trout season they were banning hose pipes and bringing other water saving ideas in as well as the aquifers of the chalkstreams being extremely low with the result that the chalkstreams were threaten. Now, this has changed, it is now being reported that the aquifers are full and healthy.

The streams are currently unfishable due to the high water and it has been like this long enough that two trips, one in October and one last month to be cancelled and fishing over the next few days as gone as well. However, a friend who I was supposed to fish with over the past couple months has been able to get out and catch fish but the flies needed to be heavy, hence this article.


The only way to get the fly down to the bottom for the Grayling is with the use of tungsten. Even brass bead heads weren’t able to get the depth so tungsten beads were used (top hook in picture). The middle hook has a ordinary bead with tungsten sheet under body. The bottom hook shows another for Czech nymphs and red spot shrimps. I tie these up in batches before the rest of the flies are tied for ease and convenience when tying large numbers of flies which is the case at the moment as I didn’t have many heavy flies.


The Beady-Eyed Damsel nymph

Its that time of year again, the one where the Trout fishing starts and the Grayling take a break. Its also the time when I finish winter projects such as tying for others and fly swaps. Todays subject is the Beady-Eyed Damsel nymph which I have just done for a swap. I haven’t tied or fished these for a while so took the chance when the swap came up on the vfb mail list. The web site may be gone but the list still lives. I changed a few things!

The tail now is tied with the fluffy stuff at the base of the partridge feather which is normally thrown on the floor in the bin. The wing case as now changed to olive shell back material, much stronger than the previous feather wing case. The other change was the tying thread, on the old version I used olive thread but this time, I chose monofilament or in my case invisible thread from the craft/sowing shop. Its basically the same thing and cheaper which means I can use it more. This stuff appears to come in different strengths, even more if you include the mono from the fly shop (or just a plain simple fishing tackle shop).

The materials required are-

Hook- 8-12 nymph hook (your choice)

Thread- Mono (fine)

Tail- The fluffy waste (plus a few mottled fibres) from a dyed olive English partridge feather

Body- Olive Sparkle blend (I used umpqua).

          Olive ostrich herl is wound along the body as a rib and gold wire
          is also used as a rib but in the opposite direction to try to add some 
          protection to the herl.
Thorax- Same as body dubbing
Wing case- Dark olive scud back. Tied in over the eyes and then pulled back over the fly so that small wing buds are left over the body when the waste is cut of.
Hackle- Dyed olive grey English Partridge, wound before the wing case is pulled over.
Eyes- Pearl strung beads from the craft shop, coloured after the fly is finished with water proof pen.
Notes- Damselfly nymphs come in other colours such as brown, olive brown, etc so the colour of the imitation can be changed to match the nymphs in your waters.