Category Archives: Sea Trout Patterns

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.

Guest Speaker: Karl Humphries – Spiders for trout, sea-trout and grayling

8th January, 2015 – Karl Humphries

Karl visited Congleton Fly tying Club on January 8th, 2015 where he tied a variety of spider patterns and described how he fishes them.

Karl Humphries (600 x 400)

Karl described how the basic spider pattern forms the basis for a number of variants that are distinctive from the classical North Country spider. In particular, it is a versatile pattern that anyone can tie and it is very effective, so much so that Karl has fished variants of this pattern exclusively on the Welsh Dee for the last 2 years. Karl fishes a team of three spiders with a bright coloured spider as an attracter pattern on the point and a more drab coloured spider on the top dropper. Spacing is generally 4’, 4’ 5’ for the leader using 11lb bs fluorocarbon or copolymer. Gink can also be applied to fish the fly higher. Karl favours reds for grayling and blues for sea trout. These are also great daytime spiders for sea trout which have been fished successfully on the Welsh Dee. The soft hackle is from a variety of game birds (woodcock, plover, partridge, grouse, moorhen, coot and woodpigeon) which give greater movement than spikier cock hackles.

Lagartun flatbraid (600 x 400)

One of the flashier spider patterns tied by Karl uses purple Lagartun mini flat braid to form the body. This has probably been the most successful all round pattern that Karl has used, catching salmon, sea trout, brown trout as well as grayling. This fly is used as a ‘search’ pattern on the point.

More details of the patterns and how to tie them can be found here.

Karl is  an AAPGAI qualified fly fishing and fly casting instructor for both single and double handed rod as well as a AAPGAI master fly dresser.

Find more details about Karl here