All in a day’s tying….

I haven’t really had a lot of time for anything fishing related over the last couple of months; it seems the story of my life lately. Then again, the short days, constant rain and bank high rivers, I suppose everyone’s been suffering from cabin fever. Unfortunately for me, all that free time got taken up with work. But, I’m making a stand and have put a plan together to ensure the play/work balance comes down firmly in the play side!

Part of that plan has meant making an effort and getting out there, even if other things are holding you back. I attended the recent British Fly Fair and have to say it was the best one for a few years. Lots of retailers and lots of visitors in attendance; it kind of got my mojo rekindled. It’s all to easy to forget what’s beyond the four walls of your home and, now it’s so easy to click on a website and make a purchase, you tend to forget all those retailers out there, especially local tackle shops trying to make a living.

Well, one Saturday I popped down to my local tackle shop and fly tying emporium Harvey Angling. I only needed a couple of things but the shop is so well stocked that retail therapy in a well stocked fly tying department is highly cathartic; food for the soul especially when you can’t get out fishing! It’s a reasonable size shop but what Gareth Harvey the owner packs into it is nothing short of a miracle. Anything not in stock…..a word with Gareth and he’ll sort it. It might take a bit of time but….sorted. As well as satisfying my need for (yet) more materials, it gives me an opportunity to catch up with news and what’s going on in the hot bed of angling that is the South Wales valley’s. Initially, I thought Gareth and (the ever present) Chris were interested in my thoughts and what I had to say but I’ve come to realise, it’s a ploy to maximise their sales and is a very canny technique; the more I talk, the longer I stay, the longer I stay, the more I spend! Ha! Ha! I just can’t help myself sometimes.

Anyway, on with the post…… I ended up only spending a couple of quid on some calf tail, a black cape and a couple of colours of glo-brite floss. I already had the hooks because I use them on a regular basis…but I still couldn’t stop myself from getting some. They looked so good in the box……Kamasan B270 doubles….mmmmmmm 270’s….You’ve all been there! So what was I tying? Well really, I was looking to tie some daytime seatrout patterns and these do the job in various sizes from 6 to 14. They all work. The secret though is knowing where and when to change. Trial and error will let you know. The idea isn’t an original one and neither are the flies to be honest with you. I’ve fished a lot with good friend Jonathan Jones and he uses similar flies regularly to take seatrout and salmon during the day. So I suppose, although I’ll give a nod to Jonathan for his introduction, as we all do, we change and manipulate things to suit ourselves.

These are just variations on a theme…the seatrout theme being black and silver. However, during daytime, I think holographic silver has the edge. These then, as I said are not original but variations of the seatrout anglers standby armoury favourite, the good old silver stoat. The only difference is, they have a fluorescent butt of floss:

Three in a row

Top to bottom – the Plagiarist, Charlatan and Cavalier

Call them what you will, variations of a theme, silver stoat variants it doesn’t really matter. When you tie them, they’ll be your flies. However, the names I’ve given them have a story behind them. As you can see, just by adding a different colour butt, we can change how the fly looks overall:


Plagiarist -Holographic Stoat with fluoro red butt


Charlatan – Holographic Stoat with fluoro green butt.


Cavalier – Holographic Stoat with fluoro yellow butt

The addition of JC as cheeks also adds a different dimension but is not essential. The flies work regardless:


All the flies work with or without the addition of JC

All you need to understand is what size suits the conditions and what colour is most useful on the rivers you fish? That’s something I could advise about, but words just won’t do it. You have to get out there and give it a go. There’s really no substitute for experience!

A nice box waiting for the right conditions.

A nice box waiting for the right conditions.

And all of the above…..just by visiting my local tackle shop. If you’re in the vicinity

Harvey Angling Open Evening 26th March 2014

Harvey Angling Open Evening 26th March 2014

I hope to see you there but don’t buy all the materials!