What’s In My Fly Box Week #2 Flashback Hares Ear

This weeks step by step is a Flash Back Hares Ear Jig. A variation of the standard Hares ear nymph, this fly is certainly one that is a proven fish catcher, a simple but deadly pattern.

I’m tying this fly on a size 16 Fulling Mill jig hook with a 3.0mm tungsten bead and using it when fishing a french leader. However, when fishing the duo method otherwise known as klink and dink/dry and dropper. I tie this fly on a much smaller hook and usually I’d opt for a hook such as the Fulling Mill Ultimate Dry Fly Hook, and sometimes down to #20/24 this is because the fly In this step by step below would be too heavy to fish under a dry fly and would just pull it under. See how I tie it below and be sure to add some of these in all sizes in your river fly box

The materials I’m using here are the following

• Hook – Fulling Mill Jig Force Hook size 16

• Bead – Lathkill Fly tying 3.0 Slotted Tungsten in Silver

• Thread – Semperfli Black Waxed Thread 12/0

• Tail – Coq De Leon

• Flashback – Semperfli Silver Holo Tinsel

• Rib – Semperfli Bright Silver Wire

• Body – Lathkill Hares Ear

Step 1 – Place the bead on the hook and fix the hook in your vice.

Hook in the vice

Step 2 – Start your thread behind the bead and make thread wraps to secure the bead so it doesn’t move about. Trim away the waste thread

Fixing the bead in place

Step 3 – Taking your thread down to the bend of the hook, catching in your tail fibres, I like a bunch of around 5/6 fibres. For the length of the tail you want to aim for around the length of the body/hook shank Trim away the waste ends of the coq de Leon.

Catching in the tail

Step 4 – Take the thread back up towards the bead tying down any ends of the coq de Leon, making a nice level body.

Step 5 – Prepare the wire and catch in tightly with your thread.

Catching in the rib

Step 6 – whilst making thread turns back towards the tail just before you reach the bend of the hook I like to catch in the flash back, this makes it easier for you to control, adjust and make sure that it will sit directly on top of the hook and not slide around the shank.

Catching in the flash back view from the top
Catching in the flash back side on view

Step 7 – Once you’re happy that the flash back is in the right position trim away the waste piece and tidy up.

Step 8 – Take a pinch of Hares ear dubbing or similar, I like to make sure that it’s nice and spikey! Dub onto the thread. Like I always tell any beginners it’s much easier to add more than to take it off so if your not too sure if you have enough subbed on you can always add more along the way!

Making a dubbing rope

Step 9 – Make the body by wrapping the dubbing all the way up to the bead, your looking to make a carrot shape body, nice and tapered!

Making the body

Step 10 – Taking the tinsel, gently pull it over the top of the body and make a couple of turns to catch it in behind the bead. Make sure that it’s sitting right over the top of the body and not pulling towards the sides of the fly. Once your happy take a couple of tighter turns I like to do one behind the tinsel and one in-front then trim the waste piece away.

Pull the tinsel over the body

Step 11 – Take the wire and make open turns up towards the bead. Make sure that they don’t pull the tinsel to the side of the fly. Take a few turns of thread to secure the wire then wiggle the wire until it snaps off, try not to use your scissors as it will make them blunt! On this size fly I would expect to get 4/5 turns of wire.

Ribbing the fly

Step 12 – take another pinch of dubbing and dub onto your thread make a few turns to make a nice spikey thorax.

Making the thorax

Step 13 – whip finish and add a dab of varnish to secure the fly.

The finished fly
The finished fly

Again I hope this step by step gave someone the inspiration to pick the vice up and tie a few flies! I always like to have a varied selection of these in my box in a range of colours and sizes! Thanks for reading and come back next Monday to see another step by step of some of my favourite flies!

Tight lines

What’s In My Fly Box – Week #1, Orange Hot Spot PTN Jig

Over the next 10 weeks each Monday I will be posting a fly with a step by step on how to tie it and a brief description on how and where I would fish it.

To get the ball rolling the first fly I have chosen is an Orange hot spot pheasant tail nymph. A fly that I use for both Trout and Grayling all year round. I love to fish this fly as part of a team of 2 flies when fishing a “euro nymph” set up. A brilliant method to use while river fishing when nothing much is happening on the surface and a method That is deadly whilst fishing for grayling In the colder months. Its a versatile pattern with many different variations weather that be a different colour bead or a different colour hot spot. its certainly a fly that produces the goods for anglers all over the world. and is definitely a fly you should have in your box!

Continue reading
Fishing Adventures

Fishing Adventures

there’s certainly an autumnal feel in the air and as summer draws to a close and we near the end of the 2020 trout season. I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much fishing as I can before them shorter days and darker nights creep up on us!

Recently I’ve had some fantastic outings, many on and around my local rivers and a brilliant road trip down to the River Itchen to fish my first UK chalk stream where we sight fished for brown trout and grayling. I already cant wait to head back down there and hunt down some of them grayling!

Continue reading
Carsington Water 15 July 2020

Carsington Water 15 July 2020

A week off work saw me and my dad take a mid week trip to Carsington Water near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, one of our favourite waters to fish. And one where you are certain to find some hard fighting rainbow trout.

It’s always helpful to do some research into a water if you haven’t fished it for a while, the fishery websites usually have a fishing reports section where you’ll be able to see where the fish have been caught, what methods and flies you’ll need to use! The night before i had a look and new that they were taking all manner of flies, nymphs, damsels and of course blobs and boobies. So I replenished some of my flies and got everything ready for the early alarm.

We left home at 06:30 and arrived at carsington at around 8:45, like most fisheries of recent due to to the coronavirus we booked and paid for our boat and fishing ticket before hand online. Which makes things much easier when you get there, limiting the time your booking in etc, meaning more fishing time!

From the fishery reposts i had seen the best methods were sinking or intermediate lines, I set my rod up with my Airflo DI3 line an orange blob/boobie on the point, silver cruncher on the middle dropper and claret cruncher on the top dropper. A simple three fly set up. My dad went out on an intermediate line and a hot head damsel lure.

A silver cruncher pattern which proved successful on the day!
Hook – Fulling Mill Grab Gape size 10
Tail – hen hackle
Body – Semperfli silver tinsle
Thorax Semperfli sparkle dubbing orange
Hackle – hen hackle

The fishery ranger said a few fish were caught on the previous day from the dam wall drifting right into the middle of the lake. So we made our way up to the dam, and set up our first drift, a nice ripple on the water, overcast sky’s and a slight breeze. I love these conditions.

As I cast my fly out I had a knock and a little pull, hanging my flies at the end of the cast to entice a take but nothing came of it. It wasn’t too long after that the first fish of the day was caught. I was casting my flies out, letting them settle for around 5 seconds, 2 or three sharp pulls and then a steady figure of eight retrieve. And bang! Fish on! it took my silver cruncher tied up the night before! A brilliant fight, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from a carsington rainbow. I was off the mark and it was 1-0 to Phillippa!

A brilliant rainbow!

I’m a big believer that if you have the confidence in the flies and methods you’re using you fish better and catch more fish. I always have a thought in the back of my mind that although we can’t see our flies doing their work below the surface I always assume that there’s a fish following that fly! Confidence is everything in fishing! It can determine if you have a good or bad day on the water.

As they day went by we had the odd drizzly shower but nothing to put a dampen on our day! As I said above it was 1-0 to me, we always like to have a little competition between our selves me and my dad. I was about to put a downer on his day when I landed my second fish of the day. Another fighting fit rainbow. The same method used as the first one except this one took the attractor fly, the yellow and orange blob/boobie.

A typical carsington rainbow

It wasn’t long before my dad was into a fish, at last! He was fishing the intermediate with the hot head damsel fly, it took him for a Merry run around and a few deep dives for the depths before it was safely in the net! His smile says it all!

A fine rainbow for my dad!

Over all we had a fantastic day afloat this brilliant reservoir. We will be back here for some more action I’m sure! Keep any eye out for my next adventure in a few weeks where I’ll be fishing the river dove! I can’t wait!

Keep safe and tight lines if your out wetting a line this week!

Fly Tying For Beginners – Tips & Tricks

Fly Tying For Beginners – Tips & Tricks

If you’re like me it wasn’t long after I picked a fly rod up that I wanted to start tying my own flies. After a days fishing at Raygil Trout Fishery near Skipton we took a detour on the way home and called in at Fly Only, a fly fishing shop in Huddersfield. Entering the shop I saw the shop owners son, Dylan, tying some flies. After watching him for a while and being fascinated, I looked to my dad and the next thing we were being shown the starter kits they had. I left the shop with a vice and a veniards starter kit. in my dads words “the biggest waste of money, you’ll use it for a week and it’ll get thrown away” if only I knew the journeys it would take me on!

tying

Continue reading

What Is Euro Nymphing?

I remember when I first started out fly fishing there are many methods we can use to catch fish. “Euro style nymphing” was one method that appealed to me. I was just starting to venture out river fishing and I had no idea what I was doing. I was playing a guessing game.

IMG-20190824-WA0011.jpg

I’d go to the river, fish for hours and not catch a thing but leaves and trees. coming home and spend hours and hours scouring the internet on what I was doing wrong. low and behold I was doing it wrong, the length of my leader, no indicator, wrong choice of flies, bad casting. the list is endless. so, if you’re a beginner just like I was, I hope this blog will give you some form of indication or tips on what you can do to improve your river fishing.

Continue reading

How To Tie The Pink Quill Jig

How To Tie The Pink Quill Jig

whem it comes to winter grayling fishing jig flies and bugs are most popular amongst UK fly anglers. In the colder months grayling will oftern shoal together on them really cold days. these weighted flies allow you  to get down to them grayling fast!  the most productive method to fish these flies is using a French and Czech leaders with indicators. see below how I tie the pink quill jig.

Continue reading

Where have I been?

The last 12 months or so have been so busy! Flying the nest, trying to find time to go fishing, moving back home, blah blah blah… Unfortunately my blog has taken a back seat but rest assured I’ll be looking to get back into the swing of bringing you guys some content!

So for those of you who have been wondering what’s been happening while I’ve not been updating my blog.. I have managed to get some decent fishing in the past year, you’ll be glad to hear! Mostly on my local river, the Calder, which one trip saw me catch my biggest river trout to date!

Continue reading

Olive Perdigon Nymph Step By Step

Perdigon nymphs have become one of my favourite flies to tie over the last year. originated from Spain, these mini bullet look flies have fast become nymphs that have found a home in many anglers fly boxes. The thing I love the most about them is that the list is endless for the different colour variations you can tie them in. You can use all manner of materials like Trans Brite, tinsles and my favourite, polish quills!

Invented by Spanish competition Anglers these flies are designed to be fished in fast flowing rivers and sink very quickly. When fishing with perdigons I set up with a 10ft 4wt rod, a French leader and either 2 perdigons or a Perdigon on the point and a lighter nymph such as a simple hares ear just above, I’ve found this to be the most productive in recent outings.

Continue reading

Black and Green Quill Nymph 

Although we’re already almost half way through January, happy new year! I’ve had a great start to the new year with some fishing thrown in and lots of fly tying.

Last week I fished with one of my very good friends Lisa Isles. We ventured out in some horrific wind In persute of some stocked rainbow trout at Barnsfold Trout Fishery. Take a look at her blog Here to see how we faired.

Continue reading