Guest Speaker: Paul Little 21st February 2019

The Lady Caroline Classic Salmon fly

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Hook: Partridge HE 2, Size 1/0 long shank blind hook with silkworm gut eye
Thread: Danville 6/0 Olive changing to Black for the head.
Ribs: Flat gold, Oval silver, Oval gold tinsels.
Tail: Golden Pheasant breast feather.
Body hackle: Heron back quill (Palmered).
Body: Mixed brown and olive Marino sheep wool dubbing
Hackle: Golden pheasant breast feather. Wing: Bronze mallard slips

Paul described the importance of attention to detail in tying this beautiful fly – using touching turn thread wraps even when they would not be visible in the final fly, not adding unnecessary wraps on the head and selection and preparation of the materials. 

The silkworm gut eye was secured with thread wraps and superglue followed by touching turns to a position not quite opposite the point of the hook.  The GP breast tail feather was stripped of the fluff and a small V-shape removed from the tip before tying in with the natural curve upwards. The three ribs were tied in (looking down the hook) at 10, 8 and 6-o’clock positions on the shank for the flat gold, oval silver and oval gold tinsels, respectively.  The palmered heron back quill feather has more sparsely distributed barbules at the tip so, it needs to be tied in by the tip at the hook end (on the opposite side of the hook to the ribs): thus, giving the greatest density of barbules towards the head of the fly.

The body was dubbed with an even dubbing rope producing a parallel profile the full length of the hook shank.  Five clockwise turns of each of the three ribs were tied in sequentially: flat gold, oval silver, oval gold, such that the oval silver was just below the trailing edge and the oval gold just above the leading edge of the flat gold rib.  The heron feather was palmers between the two oval tinsel ribs. For the head, a hackle of GP breast feather (tied in at the tip) was added above the body hackle). Both hackles were smoothed down below the hook shank to a throat position and the odd stray barbules removed.  The thread was changed to black for the head and two slips of bronze mallard (taken from towards the rachis end of the feather) tied in to produce a profile similar to the keel of an up-turned boat.

The Smokey Dun Classic Salmon Fly

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Hook: Partridge HE 2, Size 2 blind hook with silkworm gut eye.
Thread: Grey 14/0 Sheer changing to Danville’s Black 6/0 for the head.
Tag and rib: Flat silver tinsel (equivalent to size 16 mylar).
Tail: Four peacock sword feathers.Body: Natural ‘blue’ rabbit underfur dubbing.
Throat hackle: Natural dun hen feather.
Wing: Two heron secondary feather slips.

The eye was secured as described in the previous fly.  Touching turn thread wraps were taken to opposite the point of the hook.  The flat silver tinsel was tied in to produce a tag (4-5 turns). The peacock sword feather barbules were held flat to encourage the natural upward curve and tied in as two pairs on the left and right side of the hook. 

The rib was tied in and the body dubbed to the head area with a tight dubbing rope to produce a parallel body profile. A five-turn clockwise rib was added and the hackle feather (selected barbule length to mid shank) tied in by the tip at the head area. 

The hackle (3 to 4 touching turns towards the head of the fly) was tied in and the grey thread tied off with a whip finish. The hackle barbules were stroked downwards to produce a throat and the black thread for the head tied on. The left and right Heron secondary feather slip widths were half the gape of the hook.  They were tied in as a pair by an intricate procedure: the slips were adjusted so the ends were level and aligned with the tip of the tail; they were held tightly between finger and thumb at the tie-in point and a single loose thread wrap made; the rachis end of the feather was pushed towards the tie-in point to produce a valley for the thread to fall into and finally the thread pulled tight.  The wing slips were trimmed and tied-in and the fly finished with a small head.

Spider patterns

Fly 1
Fly 2
Fly 3

Hook: Partridge L2A spider hook (Modern Day L3A)
Thread: Pearsall’s Orange silk (6A).

Fly 2 only: Sparse Hares ear underfur dubbing

Hackles

Fly 1: Grouse Covert Feather
Fly 2: Woodcock Covert Feather (dubbed body spider)
Fly 3: Brown Owl covert feather (The Brown Owl)

  1. Grouse covert feather 
  2. Woodcock covert feather (dubbed body spider)
  3. Brown owl covert feather (the Brown Owl)

Guest Speaker: Stuart Crofts 15th November 2018

Stuart gave an enthralling 90-minute presentation of fly tying during which he tied 4 dry fly patterns and gave many fly tying and fly fishing tips.  In particular, he recommended the practice of tying several flies at one sitting aiming for consistency. He used a pair calliper to ensure that tails, thorax and body were the same lengths in each fly.  He also mentioned fishing tactics reminding everyone not to neglect the use of ‘down-stream’ presentation of flies as this gave them a natural appearance.

The Posh Olive

Hook: Size 14 Partridge SUD 40 dry fly hook
Thread: Olive 8/0 thread.
Tail: Coq De Leon; 6 – 8 fibres.
Dubbing: Fine light olive poly dubbing (Orvis fly rite) tied very sparingly.
Wing: Two natural CDC feathers – placed back to back (curving away from each other).
Thorax and head: Dark olive pine squirrel fur as dubbing.

Emerging Midge (Chironomid)

Hook: Size 22 Varivas 2200 BL.
Thread: Olive 8/0 thread.
Body: Fine light olive poly dubbing (Orvis fly-rite) tied very sparingly.
Outriggers: Veniards Micro Flash.
Wing: Fine poly yarn.
Thorax and head: Mole fur as dubbing.

Thread started at the curve of the hook with touching turns around the bend.  Very sparse dubbing applied with thread turns back to start of thread. Single strand of micro flash tied-in to near side then turned back to produce outriggers on either side of hook and cut to length (to curve of hook).  

Thread then taken to eye with touching turns and fine poly yarn wing tied in approx. 1 mm from the eye and cut to size (Stuart mentioned that a single CDC feather could be used as an alternative winging material, but that this could be problematic on cold days so he felt that poly yarn was the better). Mole fur (one of the finest dubbings) was sparingly used to provide a darker coloured thorax.

Tying very small flies relied on careful use of materials ensuring that excess is not used as it could spoil the fly appearance.

Stuart used this as a single fly when the fish were only rising for small flies such as aphids.

The Wedding Day May Fly

Hook: Size 10 long shank dry fly hook.
Thread: Olive 8/0 thread.
Shuck (tail): Tan poly yarn.
Wing: Pink (or white) poly yarn with a 2 -3 mm width of black ether foam tied underneath.
Body/thorax: Tan or cream dubbing.Parachute
Hackle: Dyed olive Grizzle cock hackle feather.

Thread started at the eye of the hook with touching turns the length of the shank.  The poly yarn shuck (at least twice length of hook shank) tied in with thread to provide a shuck length equal to that of the hook shank with touching turns back to the eye (full length of hook).

The pink (or white) poly yarn wing tied in across the hook, approx. 3mm from the eye and posted with ‘figure of 8’ turns.  The hackle feather tied in over the eye of the hook with the rachis towards the bend. Approx. 20 mm length of black ether foam (2-3 mm wide) was laid under the wing and used to ‘sandwich’ the poly yarn and hackle feather and tied in place with ‘posting’ turns of the thread.  Thread then taken back to the bend and the body dubbed with tan (or cream) dubbing all the way up to the eye of the hook. The hackle was then wound around the wing post starting at the highest point and winding down. The hackle feather was tied in and the fly whip finished at the eye.

The Skippy Sedge

Hook: Size 12 Partridge SLD dry fly.
Thread: Pale green 8/0.
Tail: Butt of green dubbing.
Body: Pine squirrel dubbing generously applied.
Wing: Three natural coloured CDC feathers tied in 2mm from the eye (with quills over the eye): one on near-side, one on top and one on far-side.

This fly was developed for the 2001 world championships in Sweden and can be used throughout the year as Caddis hatch in every month.  

Thread tied on at eye with touching turns the length of the hook shank.  A sparsely dubbed bead of light green applied to butt, followed by a ‘chunky’ body of brown pine squirrel dubbing to thorax region.

CDC wing is tied in one feather at a time and each adjusted to length by pulling the rachis.

Head finished with more dubbing and CDC feather ends cut over the eye of the hook.

The fly is best fished in fast-moving currents so that it sinks at the end of the drift – as the final retrieve mimics the Caddis returning to the surface after egg-laying.

Guest Speaker: Karl Humphries 11th October 2018

Following on from Karl’s last demonstration (2ndNovember 2017) he was asked about the current situation with game fishing in Wales. We were told that the National Resources Wales (NRW) were finalising new regulations which would probably be ratified by the Welsh Assembly in 2019.  (The following link gives the current proposals: NRW proposed fishing controls 16/3/2018).  In the North West the Border Esk and tributaries (Liddel and Eden), were made catch and release for all salmon earlier this year.  Karl thinks that the decisions being made are based on statistical analysis of poor quality data and consequently the current estimates of migratory fish numbers are probably inaccurate.  He was concerned that the Environmental Agency (EA) and NRW were not interested in and do not understand the needs of fishermen and were not the best groups to manage river fisheries.  Karl was also concerned that the proposed changes would be impossible to implement.  He felt that the salmon and sea trout license was becoming redundant (hence losing the EA revenue), as unless an angler was specifically targeting these species, any accidental catch would be released! Although Karl felt that changes were impacting negatively on game fishing, he was still enjoying and actively participating in the hobby, as evinced by his enthusiasm during the evening.

Karl then went on to demonstrate six flies that he personally found to be productive in rivers.

The Orange Spider

Hook: Size 10 or 12
Thread: Orange Glo-brite No. 5 floss tied to produce a carrot shaped body tied off and finished with 3 coats of varnish (as for a buzzer pattern). Smokey grey 14/0 thread was used for the thorax and head.
Hackle: Two to three turns of a grouse neck feather tied in by the distal end of the rachis.
Dubbing: Dun ice dub tied sparingly at the thorax to flare the spider hackle.
Head: varnished thread

Comments

A variant was also demonstrated with an orange tag and watery olive body. The fly contains no added weight; the heavily varnished body ensuring the fly sinks.  Karl recommended a technique of turning the fly through 90 °to whip finish the head as this reduced the risk of the thread unravelling over the eye of the hook. Karl generally fishes this as a team of 3 with a fly such as a ‘Greenwell’s’ as top dropper.

The Avon Bomb

Hook: Size 10 or 12 Jig Hook
Thread: Gordon Griffiths Sheer 14/0 – Burgundy
Rib: Fine Silver Wire
Hackle: Two to three turns of a grouse neck feather tied in by the distal end of the rachis.
Body: Three strands of bronze peacock herl
Wing: Short length of pink Antron mused with 6 to 8 strands of Krystal flash
Hackle: 3 to 4 turns of a ginger cock hackle
Head: 3.5mm Facetted Silver bead

Comments
A layer of tying thread, with touching turns, to the half-way down the shank.  The thread was returned with layers of thread built up to secure the bead. The thread was then taken to a point on the hook opposite the barb with the rib and peacock herl tied in and returned to the hook eye.  The herl was wound up to the thorax (leaving room for wing and hackle), secured with thread and then ribbed (opposite direction to the herl).  The wing and hackle were tied in with the thread and the wing cut to 2 to 3 mm.  The thread was varnished at the bead after whip finishing.

Hairy Green Butt Prince Nymph

Hook: Size 10 long shank, weighted with lead if desired
Thread: Veevus B17 14/0 Yellow/Chartreuse for butt, Charcoal grey 14/0 for body and head
Tail: Two brown goose biots, trimmed to 2/3rds length of shank and flared over the butt.
Rib: Medium Gold Oval Tinsel
Dubbing: Fox squirrel mixture of fur plucked from pelt.
Wing: Two white goose biots, trimmed to length of shank.
Hackle: Mid-section of a brown furnace feather, upper surface forward, tied in at distal end of rachis.
Head: Varnished head.

Dry F-Fly

Hook: #16 Medium or fine wire
Thread: 14/0 in charcoal
Body: Very sparsely dubbed fox squirrel fur
Wing: Three overlaying natural coloured CDC feathers tied in on top of head
Head: Varnished head.

Comments
The body used he residual dubbing from the Green Butt Prince Nymph. A nice way of conserving materials. Use a little CDC oil when fishing for extra buoyancy. 

Haslam Varient (Salmon / Sea Trout Fly)

Hook: #8 low water double
Thread: Gordon Griffiths Sheer 14/0 Burgandy
Tag: Glo-Brite No2 Fluoro Pink Floss
Rib: Small Oval Tinsel
Tail: Golden Pheasant crest feather
Body: Glo-brite fluorescent tinsel (or pearl mylar).
Throat Hackle: Dyed blue guinea fowl.
Wing: Natural hen pheasant tail feather.
Antenna: Two blue/gold macaw barbules from centre tail.
Eyes: Jungle cock (placed both sides).
Head: Varnished head.

Comments
Karl’s tips employed in tying this fly included:

Flattening the base of the golden pheasant crest feather to ensure that the barbules did not splay and they stayed on top of the hook.

Throat hackles and hen pheasant wings were easier to tie in using a vee-shaped section of a feather prepared by cutting the rachis above and below the number of barbules required.  The barbules from the left and right side of the ‘vee’ could then be folded together and tied in long with 2 thread wraps and pulled to the required length before securing with tight thread wraps.

Split jungle cock eyes could be repaired by the dipping in a light varnish then using finger and thumb to encourage the split eye to mend.

New Members Open Evening – 30th August 2018

New Members Open Evening

Congleton Fly Tying Club will be holding an opening evening on the Thursday 30th August 2018 starting at 8pm at the Cygnet Club in Congleton.

Frank Moors will be demonstrating a few simple patterns on the night for those thinking of taking up this fabulous pastime or for those who would like to improve their skills.

Fly patterns for the evening will cover:

  1. Simple Thread Buzzer
  2. Pheasant Tail Spiders
  3. Pheasant Tail Dry Fly
  4. Black Marabou Lure Tadpole style and wing /hackle
  5. Predator Fly – TBC

Those new to tying are more than welcome to tie a pattern on the evening and for those who want to improve their skills, feel free to bring along your gear.

This is the first meeting in our annual calendar so come along and enjoy the evening with like-minded people.

Address:

Congleton Fly Tying Club
The Cygnet Club
12 Swan Bank,
Congleton
CW12 1AH

Club Competition Patterns: 5th April 2018

Please find below photos and pattern details of the competition patterns which Frank demonstrated last night. Good luck in the forthcoming club competition.

CDC Loop Winged Emerger

Hook: fine wire sedge/scud hook size 12.
Thread: black  8/0.
Shuck: one to three strands of pearl Krystal flash.
Rib: one strand pearl Krystal flash.
Abdomen: fine textured brown dubbing.
Thorax: dark brown haretron dubbing or similar.
Wing: two grey CDC feathers.

Bling Spider

Hook: wet fly size 12.
Tag: red copper wire.
Body: holographic silver tinsel.
Thorax: black UV ice dub.
Hackle: Woodcock /grouse.

American Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear

Hook: wet fly size 10.
Tail: hare body guard hairs.
Abdomen: hare body fur.
Rib: gold wire.
Wingcase
: goose/turkey feather slip dyed black.
Thorax: hare body fur well picked out.

Guest Speaker: Roger Smith – October 2017

Roger is a secretary of the Grayling Society, a life member of Wild Trout Trust, an active member of the Worcester Branch of the Fly Dressers’ Guild and author of ‘Flyfishing the Welsh Borderlands’ (Coch-Y-Bonddu Books, 2011).

Roger gave a 40-minute presentation followed by a fly tying demonstration of five dry flies suitable
for Welsh Borderland rivers and their tributaries.

Trout and Grayling fishing on the Rivers and Streams of the Welsh Borderlands through the Seasons

Roger introduced the presentation by describing which rivers and streams he fished in the Welsh borderland. These comprised; the Dee, Severn, Wye and Usk, and he made specific reference to the
Lugg and Arrow tributaries of the Wye. He recommended the use of the environment agency flood information service to monitor the levels of these and other rivers to prepare for fishing expeditions
so that they could be timed to coincide with stable or falling river levels. Describing the entomology of the rivers, Roger initially discussed the use of marker insects to monitor river health – Caddis,
Gammarus shrimp, Stonefly nymphs, Mayfly nymphs (including Baetis and heptagenid), and then the seasonal variability of these and other insects.
Then Roger turned to a discussion of fishing tactics including use of; upstream nymphing, Czech nymphing, dry fly and trotting. He described the use of a team of flies (up to 4) and ‘duo’ teams – dry
fly dropper with a weighted nymph or vice-versa (washing-line presentation), and stressed the importance of the ‘induced take’ to capitalise on the, sometimes, impetuous feeding habit of game
fish in fast flowing water. To help identify takes he advocated the use of indicators and specifically recommended the use of a sliding ‘sight’ made from coloured strands of Aero Dry Wing tied to the line
with a short length of fluorocarbon using a half blood-knot tied back on itself.

The final section of the presentation brought together the tactics and fly selection approaches that Roger had found most successful in the different seasons on these waters. Of particular note, he described the use of March brown, Gold Ribbed Hares Ear, Dark Olive nymph and Orange Tagged Hares Ear for early season nymphing and Hawthorne and Grannom as early season dries. The recommended summer patterns were the Black Gnat and May Fly. Autumn patterns comprised; Crane fly, Red Tag, Treacle Parkin and Coch-Y-Bonddu and in winter he advocated Czech nymphing with Pink Shrimp and Cased Caddis patterns. Roger found by experience that reverse hackled flies (See reverse hackled Barrett’s Bain fly below) improved the presentation when fishing a downriver wind. Finally, Roger referred to use of Trotting and Tankara as additional approaches that he had found to be successful in Welsh Borderland rivers and streams.

The DogsBody

Hook: size 12 medium wire
Thread: Dark brown
Tail: 10 -12 natural pheasant tail fibres
Body: yellow Labrador fur
Rib: fine gold wire
Hackles: grizzle and red game cock feathers (5 – 6 turns each)

Orange Otter

Hook: size 14 Fulling Mill all-purpose light wire
Thread: Dark brown
Tail: bunch red game feather fibres
Body and thorax/head: Orange baby seals fur dubbing
Central hackle: Red game (approx. 10 turns)

Baby Sun Fly

Hook: size 14 Fulling Mill all-purpose light wire
Thread: Dark brown
Tail: Black cock hackle fibres
Body: grey rabbit underfur dubbing
Hackle: Coch-Y-Bonddu feather (3-4 turns)

Barrett’s Bain (Reverse Hackle)

Hook: size 14 up-eye dry fly
Thread: Dark brown
Body: 4-5 natural pheasant tail fibres
Hackle: Blue dun cock feather (5 – 6 turns)

Baby Sun Fly (Jig Hook Variant)

Hook: size 16 Jig-eye
Thread: Dark brown
Wing: Aero Dry wing (Pink or suitable colour for visibility)
Body: grey rabbit underfur dubbing
Hackle: Coch-Y-Bonddu feather (4 -5 turns)

Illtyd Griffiths – August 2014

A selection of flies tied by Illtyd Griffiths when he visited the Congleton Fly Tying Club last season

The first three flies were the patterns Illtyd uses on the river Dovey for sea trout during the day. Fished as a team of three . Hook size 10 or 12 in each case.

Top Dropper

  • Butt   Fluo red floss
  • Tail     Golden Pheasant topping crest feather  (G P Topping)
  • Body   Holographic silver tinsel
  • Rib     Silver wire
  • Body hackle    Silver Badger Cock
  • Throat hackle   Blue Gallena
  • Wing     A folded slip of Teal
Illtydd-top-dropper

Middle dropper

  • Tail     G P topping dyed red
  • Body   Rear half – red Holographic tinsel, front half – black claret dubbing
  • Rib   Silver wire
  • Hackle    Black hen
  • Wing   A folded slip of bronze Mallard
Illtydd-middle-dropper

Point fly

Tied on a double hook

  • Body    Flat silver tinsel
  • Rib    Silver wire
  • Wing and Hackle    Dyed black squirrel tail tied in to lie evenly around the hook shank
  • Cheeks     Jungle cock
  • Head   Red thread
Illtydd-point-fly

Coloured Water fly

Fished on it’s own or replacing the point flie of the above team

  • Hook    Gold Salar double
  • Thread  Red
  • Butt    Fluo red Floss
  • Body   Pearl tinsel
  • Rib   Silver wire
  • Hackle   Sunburst yellow cock . Tie as a beard.
  • Wing   Arctic Fox Dyed Black
  • Cheeks   Jungle cock
  • Head    Red thread with a collar of pearl tinsel at the rear of the head
Illtydd-coloured-water-fly

Skating fly

  • Tail    Red Arctic fox clipped  short and square
  • Body    Deer Hair dyed black and clipped into an elongated oval
  • Body hackle    Black Cock
Illtydd-skating-fly

Flood water fly

Fished on it’s own , on a strong leader, in high coloured water.

  • Thread    Fluo red
  • Hook    Size  8  Partridge down eye bronze double
  • Eyes / weight    Brass dumbell eyes
  • Anti-tangle loop    Stiff monofil line
  • Tail    Yellow bucktail
  • Body    Red ice dub
  • Wing   In two layers. Bottom layer, pearl flashabou/ crinkle flash to form approx one third of the wing.  Upper layer, gold crinkle flash or similar to form the final two thirds.
  • Head    Red thread.
Illtydd-flood-water-fly