Incredible change in the weather, it feels like Spring is here, for last few days there has been early morning mist, which by 10:00am, has burned off and given way to brilliant sunshine, so much so, that steam is rising off the plastic sheeting covering my stock of ‘chord wood’. To those of you who have gas Ior oil central heating, and don’t have to feed a log burning stove, its lengths of tree trunks, de-branched, that I saw, split and store to dry into useable chunks. I don’t know if its just me, or if its a male thing, but conkers had the same effect on me when I was a kid. I don’t covet anyones wife, or their mule or their oxen, but I do covet other mens log pile, (and some mens fly boxes), a man can’t have too many dry logs (or too many flies).
Since early morning, I’ve been busy with the tractor, pto powered circular saw, log splitter and a heavy axe wedge. Splitting and stacking in the barn for four hours, and my back has had enough for one day, one thing I’ve discovered in recent years is that I don’t repair as quickly as when I was twenty something, and that I don’t have to work at something until exhausted. Maybe you’ve heard the Confucian saying, – (I made it up years ago as a hint to family members who brazenly, and regularly raided my stock because they were busy) ‘the man who chops logs experiences greater warmth than a man who sits in front of them when they’re burning’. Once they’re done and I’ve cleared up, the rest of the day is my own, is it down to the river nymphing for Grayling, or is it tying more flies in readiness for the coming season ? Tying flies wins, for some reason I feel that the close season for Grayling is so near that I should really leave them in peace, the warmer weather of late may have induced them into spawning earlier than in colder years, besides, I don’t want to unknowingly stand on any of the numerous trout redds that have appeared in the river in recent weeks. Maybe it is because of the lower flow and water levels, that over the past couple of months I’ve seen lots of them the whole length of the river. The clean gravel indentations and sideways heaps are easily visible if the sun is in the right position, but if the angle is different or a dull overcast day, then its very easy to stand or walk through them. Wading in the river margins is not something I want to do at this time of year, and the bankside growth and overhanging trees makes bank casting almost impossible. This winter I’ve seen more large Salmon moving up the river than any previous season possibly because of the low water, and so it makes my thoughts turn to what the river levels might be when the trout season begins.
Fly tying leaves you in absolute peace with your own own thoughts. Time to muse over fishing and river issues, so here’s a few pictures of some of the flies I’ve just tied this past few days. If you would like details or a set of step by step pictures, just contact me and I’ll email them to you, as I get more proficient with this blog I’ll learn how to post them in seperate pages of the blog.
There is of course the standard klinkhammer in three or four different thorax colours,
and then there is this very tempting ED Emerger that I found on the Hans Weilenman website www.danica.com
I tied half a dozen of them last year and fished them, they proved to be very successful and so I’m doing a couple of dozen, I’ll give some away of course to other members I meet on the riverbank. It is tied with the long hairs of Muskrat extending like tails, and a deer hair wing, and the brown thread rib tied up the body makes it a very durable fly.
This little non descript olive is so quick and easy to tie, you can vary the thorax colour, and have a couple of dozen in your box in no time. I tie them in 16’s to 20’s and often they’re good at times when fish seem picky and there doesn’t seem to be any hatch occurring. Email me for the picture step by steps.
At the top of the article is a picture of my Greenwells Glory, I decided to post the picture because I’m currently thinking that it will be end of me tying flies with paired wings, I’ve got the impression that tying slip wings has somehow become old fashioned, admittedly they’re not easy, and whilst I find them pretty and the archetypal dry fly, I don’t think they catch any better than parachute or collar hackled flies – the fish just don’t appreciate the work I put in tying them, – so its probably that I’ll just do them for a few friends to keep my hand in.
This week I’ll post frequently as I tie, or if other thoughts cross my mind. I’m trying to get up to speed as quickly as I can with the blog structure and photography in order to make it more attractive, so if there’s anyone out there looking at this, bear with me.
Possibly the next post will be about the exquisite 6′ 6″ 3weight rod I had built a couple of years ago, its been a delight to fish with on some of the overgrown narrow streams.