K.R.A.P. Sunburst

The title may be confusing but it is the name of the two main dubbings that I am currently playing with for my winter grayling nymphs.  Both are available from fly tyers dungeon, the K. R. A. P. dubbing was originally available only in one basic colour and is the product of the scrappy left overs after other dubbings have been processed and bagged up hence its name.  What they have now done is taken that and added a dominant colour to create a set of colours that offer the tyer the opportunity to tie a more versatile range of flies. This dubbing can be used for dries as well as nymphs and when wet, the body of the fly has a kind of translucent effect with all the colours from the blend showing through. I have tied set of shrimps with a bright spot in the centre and a shell back which has so far proved effective. More testing next week!

Experimental bugs

           Experimental bugs

The sunburst is relatively new and has been in development over the past year or so with the latest colours arriving earlier this year after the initial test dying. Both the test set and the current produce really nice flies of what appears a glow when wet. But, the colours seem to be a little solid, so a little experimentation with blending has produced flies with a magical halo with all the colours shining through. More colours have been added since my initial set arrived and these have arrived today. I have a few ideas concerning blending for this dubbing including a trial that involves gold crystal twisted tinsel.

The flies shown above are just a tip of the ice burg and I plan to try others, blends of one type of dubbing and others that are a combination.



A Date for Next Year

A few weeks ago I had my invite to tie at the British Fly Fair International which I have accepted. I am really looking forward to this, which is a first for me. I plan on demonstrating a number of patterns and variations of others. The theme as always with my tying is blending the perfect blend of natural and man made material. This will also be  combined with ‘substitution isn’t wrong’. This will hopefully so that you can change a patten to suit both the tyer and what they have available to hand instead of having to spend alot on that expensive stuff. Another reason is that I firmly believe that a pattern can be improved over a period of time as new materials and techniques become available or learnt.

See you there, please bring coffee



Variations on an Elk

In my last post before the crazy busy period started, I mentioned that I thought that a hackle-less Elk hair caddis may work better in the low summer conditions. I tied a few in the caddis olive colour which worked the last time I was out. If this works, I will do a few more colours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve done these on size 14 and 16 Hanak H130BL hooks which I’m giving a try this year and so far I’m happy with them although they are some what pricey so in the Autumn restock I’ll be doing some shopping around.


Meet the Foamies

In my last post I mentioned that I had been playing with Foam Humpies. I went a bit mad with variations (both in colour and size) and now have a core of 4 colour variations.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClockwise, Beacon Humpy, Adams Humpy, Black Humpy and Yellow Humpy.

The first two are old favourites which I used to use to fantastic effect on the small streams of South West England but I have now changed to foam backs and left out the wings of the Adams (I really think they’re pointless on this fly). The Beacon Humpy is a cross between the Beacon Beige and a Humpy and bought into the modern world with foam. I’ve added the yellow because of the E.Dancia Mayfly and the yellow mayfly. All these flies can of course have the foam swapped out for Elk or Deer hair if you so wish (I prefer Elk because its stronger).


CDC Hackled Klinks

One of the flies that was suggested for the Slovenia trip was a pink bodied Klinkhamer with CDC hackle. Well, it was off to the bench and some more book consultation for some experimentation. It really does appear that this tying season is expanding my tying skills because parachute CDC hackle is a another new technique. Its covered else where including Youtube with videos from Marc Petitjean.
The body of the fly was a roped dub ‘dirty pink’ and the wing was Fly Tyers Dungeon Hi-Float fibres. The thorax as usual on my klinkhamers was peacock dubbing. The hackle itself was done using large Mallard CDC or Goose which is rather nice to use. Basically it is done by putting the feather in a Magic tool and using a clip, transferred to a split thread and spun. I have tried 2 or 3 types of thread for this and still not entirely happy with what I have used but have found that Roman Moser thread is better than Uni or Veevus which was the worse to use for this technique because it did not split at all well (it basically didn’t).


Roped Loop Winged Mays

I have been thinking alot about next years fishing trips and high on the list of erm and arr has been Slovenia. I haven’t been for a long time and I miss it. During a recent skype call I was talking to my good friend Kevin Smith who runs a guiding service in that beautiful country. The question “when are you coming over” was asked yet again. I cann’t put it of any more so next July will find me catching an Easyjet flight to Venice and a train journey to my destination. I do alot of driving so I have been collecting necter points to use for this purpose, lots of money of the flight. Loopwings, says Kevin. So I ask what colour but I don’t have any picture examples to work from so I did an Internet search and got some pictures from a set of flies for Slovenia. I tied a couple but they looked wrong. Out with the books and hey presto, I found the solution in Gary Borgers book “Designing Trout Flies”. I was really happy with this fly and how it looks. I have tied some to test on the Grayling over Christmas.

P1000813You may notice that I have also rope dubbed the body for a more realistic body appearance. The body colour can also be changed to match the hatch. I have also tied a couple on Hanak barbless dry fly hooks to try them out.


New materials and nymphs for the Winter

Shortly before my trip to Cape Cod I received a package from the Flytyers Dungeon, not only did it have some supplies for that trip but also some new goodies for the streams. Specifically, Bug Back and Nymph Test Dubbing. I have only this past week got these materials tried out, only for the reason that I was going to get some flat lead but never got around to it. Then I remembered that I already had some, in the form of lead from the top of wine bottles from a few years ago (wonder if this still happens). Why use flat lead instead of round? simply, it lays flatter and I was hoping to have thinner bodies on the Czech nymphs.

I am also trying some new hooks, Tiemco barbless grub hools (TMC 2499SPBL) and Varivas 2300. Nothing wrong with what I was using before but time moves on and I wanted to move to barbless hooks and these are just the start. The 2300’s are because I am looking for a new small hook. These have a much wider gap than the TMC101 that I have been using and hopefully these will be better hook-up wise.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe new midge hooks were used to tie up some Minkies and some greenflies which are excellent this time of year for Grayling. The grub hooks were used on the Czech nymphs on the left side of the picture, TMC 200’s on the the right.

The nymphs on the right were tied using the new Nymph Test dubbing using the rope dub technique and which was found to be more suitable for this purpose. When I tried it on the Czech nymphs I was of the opinion that the bodies were to fat or big however much or little I applied. The bug back was found to be perfect for the purpose and much cheaper as well. The only draw back was that it comes just a little to wide for the nymphs that I am tying but a quick cut with the scissors soon fixed that.

All I need is to try them out, report soon as I have feeling I will get some free time.