Guest Speaker: Karl Humphries – November 2017

Karl started fly fishing in the late 1960’s on the Isle of Man, fishing the small but productive River Sulby. From these beginnings, he has worked to become a Master Instructor and assessor in both single handed and double handed rods as well as fly dressing. He
has demonstrated casting techniques all over the globe, even demonstrating to The Queen and Prince Philip. As a qualified instructor, he is able to help clients in any aspect of game
angling and fly fishing, be it on the river, still water or saltwater.
Based at Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, he has clients thought the country.

He also runs the website called The Adipose Fin and serves on the committees of The Prince Albert Angling Society and the Grayling Society.

The evening started with an informal dialogue about the planned new controls to salmon and sea trout fishing in Wales. Karl felt that the method restrictions (Bait, barbless and treble hooks) and
compulsory catch and release for salmon would probably discourage many game anglers from fishing in Wales and may consequentially have a deleterious effect on Welsh tourism. Before tying
his first fly and during the evening Karl mentioned the techniques of free line nymphing (e.g. French, Polish or Czech styles) and conventional fly fishing with weighted fly lines. Karl’s preference was for conventional fly fishing with light (3 wt) tackle because this gave greater flexibility allowing more water to be covered: unlike free line nymphing approaches which restricted the distance an angler could cast. He also suggested that that with practice, experienced conventional fly fishermen could minimise water disturbance and so mitigate the perceived advantage of free line nymphing.

Karl demonstrated fly tying five of his most productive river nymph patterns and also included a two novel takes on conventional flies, a buzzer pattern using Veniards ‘edge bright’ for wing buds and a
mayfly parachute pattern using a Japanese ‘umbrella hook’. The nymph patterns that Karl demonstrated could be used either for nymphing or conventional fly fishing.

The Free Swimming Caddis (Hydropscyche)

Hook: Size 10 Fulling Mill Magic Circle.
Thread: Dark brown UTC 70.
Shellback: ‘Thin skin’ marbled and green 4 mm wide strip cut
with a ‘chiselled’ end to aid tying in.
Rib: 7lb (0.25mm) monofilament.
Dubbing: gradated colours; cream, olive and golden olive (fine
SLF), followed by muskrat, dark brown – from bend to the eye (ca
2mm of each)
Head: varnished thread

The fly contained no added weight as Karl generally used it as a dropper above a weighted nymph. The bed of thread was tied as far around the hook bend as possible. The thread bed was coated with varnish after the rib and shell back were tied in to anchor them. Dubbing was sparingly applied and the shell back drawn over ensuring that it was evenly distributed on both sides of the hook and ended approx. 2mm from eye to leave room for the head. The shell back was trimmed with a fine
pair of scissors by a ‘nibbling’ action to avoid leaving protruding material at the head. The varnish was applied to the head and shell back material.

Bobesh nymph

Hook: Size 10 Hends BL599 barbless weighted with 4-5 mm of fine round lead.
Thread: Black UTC 70.
Shellback: ‘Grating foil olive’ 5 mm wide strip cut with a ‘chiselled’ end to aid tying in.
Rib: fine gold wire.
Dubbing fine SLF: gradated; peach, off orange, olive green and heavy pink with UV flash – from bend to eye (ca 2mm of each)
Head: varnished thread.

As for the previous fly.  The thread bed was laid over the lead wire to even out irregularities and then continued to the bend of the hook.  The shell back was cut slightly wider than the previous fly as it was thicker due to the lead.  Dubbing was picked out to give the appearance of legs and the head and shell back material varnished to finish.

Hi-vis Shrimp (Grabber)

Hook: Size 10 Hends BL599 barbless weighted with 4-5 mm of fine round lead.
Thread: Hot orange UTC 70.
Shellback: Orange ‘Edge Bright’ (Veniards) 5 mm wide strip cut with a ‘chiselled’ end to aid tying in.
Dubbing: UV-ice hot orange.
Rib: 7lb (0.25mm) monofilament.
Head: 2-3 turns of fine holographic silver tinsel as a collar to varnished thread head.

As for previous flies.  Additionally, a length of fine holographic tinsel was tied in and 2-3 turns used to create a collar to the head.

Midge pupa (reverse presentation fly)

Hook: Size 14 nymph hook.
Thread: Brown UTC 70.
Head (at the hook bend): UV-ice black dubbing.
Thorax cover: Natural cock pheasant fibres tied in at bend and folded back to the middle of the hook, overdubbing and trimmed.
Target point: Orange thread turns between thorax and body.
Breathers: Rolled teal flank feather fibres tied at the eye.
Body: Stripped peacock quill.
Finish: varnish to quill body.

Fished with gink applied to the dubbing at the head to encourage fly to stay in the surface film.

Hairy green butt prince nymph

Hook: Size 8 long shank hook weighted fine round lead
Thread: Whisper burgundy tied over the lead as before.
Tag: Fine green chartreuse tied down 2 mm from a bed of thread (end of tag thread tied into the body over the tag to secure tag).
Rib: Medium gold tinsel
Tail: Brown goose biots tied over a thread ball to splay.
Body: Dubbed red fox squirrel fur with the guard hairs to give a ragged appearance, ribbed with 5 turns of tinsel.
Hackle:  Ginger game hen hackle.
Wings: white goose biots 2/3 length of body tied in at the head.
Head: Varnished thread.

Edge Bright Buzzer

Hook: Size 10 Karmasan B725 black nickel Carp hook.
Thread: Black UTC 70.
Rib: Fine silver wire.
Body: Thread.
Thorax: Black UV-ice dubbing.
Thorax cover: Medium orange holographic tinsel.
Wing buds:  2 slivers of Veniards fluorescent orange edge bright.
Head: Varnished thread.

Umbrella Hook May Fly

Hook: Large umbrella hook.
Thread: Olive UTC 70.
Detached body: Olive ‘realistic may fly tube body’ (Hemingway’s).
Parapost:  Antron wool.
Parachute hackle: Dyed olive grizzle.