Category: Flies and fly tying


Brian Jones and I headed to the river on Friday evening. In the back of the car we had our fishing gear but also an assortment of fine mesh nets, trays, magnifying glasses, forceps and droppers because we thought it might be interesting to take a few kick samples to see what kind of bugs there were at the bottom of the river. Continue reading

The barbel on my local river will occasionally feed at the surface but, for the most part, they take food either drifting close to the bottom or actually on the bottom itself or even just beneath it in the soft sediment. They are well adapted for taking food this way with sensory equipment well-suited rummaging around beneath them. I suspect that most of what they eat they do not even see but identify with tactile or olfactory senses. Continue reading

Do you want to know how to catch a carp on the fly?

Well bad luck buster, you´re asking the wrong person!

It´s not that I haven´t tried. In the last week I spent a couple of afternoons chasing carp and my personal tally of our old friend Cyprinis carpio adds up to precisely zero. Continue reading

I don´t know whether brown trout are dumb or not. There are quite a few fishermen out there who say that our old friend Salmo trutta is actually pretty thick. Others take the opposite view and consider trout to be smart on account of their fussiness and selectivity, the very same traits oddly enough that are cited by their opponents as evidence of their stupidity. I will leave this debate to anyone whose flies have been refused all day and are seeking solace over a beer or something stronger. My own take on the matter is that trout are smart and dumb at the same time, an attribute, if you think about it, that is not uncommon in human beings. I would go a little further in suggesting that our native brown trout are the intellectual superiors of the rainbow trout, although I´m sure many will disagree. In either case we´re not talking about organisms pushing their way into the higher range of IQ scores. Continue reading

I have just gone and tied up three stupid-looking flies. They are simple variations of the mop flies that seem to be the rage at the moment but, when I look at the things, what comes to mind is the rather strange hairdo of Homer Simpson´s wife Marge. If I were to give a name to this fly, which I won´t on account of their being nothing much original about it, I might go with “Mrs Simpson´s Special.” Continue reading

Every now and then I send off a bit of writing to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Monthly in the hope they may decide to publish it. If they do accept my little article I get a modest remuneration that, as it happens, almost exactly equals the cost of an annual subscription. So, the way I see it, if I get one article published each year I get to read the best magazine out there (the editor may be reading this!) for free. Continue reading

Yesterday I managed to fish in two rivers at the same time which, when you think about it, is a hell of a stunt to pull off. Geographers tell us that when one river flows into another the “new” river conventionally retains the name of the larger of the two and the river with the lesser flow is meekly assimilated and its name disappears from the map. Continue reading

I ought be be honest with you. Until very recently I have felt rather ashamed of my box of flies. Whenever I meet up with another fisherman I am invariably shown fly boxes with everything in order – nymphs, dries, lures all in neat rows. Everything ship-shape and Bristol fashion. Continue reading

I have just come back from the river after spending a very fine afternoon fishing with Paul Reddish. Paul is excellent company and is a very accomplished fly fisherman. Today we were accompanied by Paul´s wife Fiona and her sister Shona who is over from Australia. Continue reading

On Thursday I opened my annual account with the carp on my local river, the Guadalhorce. I made a single withdrawal of what I imagine was about five pounds, or maybe a little more. It was a typically spirited fish and slugged it out like a heavyweight before I managed to ease into the bankside shallows and beach it. Continue reading