Thursday, 10 November 2011

Sad passing of John Kirton

I'm sorry to have to tell the members that John Kirton has passed away. John's passing was quite unexpected and I was shocked when Gordon Delves informed me at the FDG Weekly meeting last night. Our thoughts go out to his family.

Friday, 29 April 2011

BAA Open Day Cancelled (Sunday 15th May)

Gordon Delves tells me that due to circumstances beyond their control Barrow Angling Association have no option but to cancel the open day. The reason being that Poaka Beck, which is already very low for the time of the year, is going to have more water taken from it to allow United Utilities to carry out essential repairs. 

Gordon understands that they will be lowering the water again by at least 3 more metres which will make it pretty well unfishable.

BAA are not stocking any more fish until later date ( and don't know when this will be ).

Any news on the new date will be posted on this blog.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

06/01/2011 Albert Pettigrew – Tried and Trusted Patterns

Albert started the evening by telling us that he was 'tying three flies, and they're all black'. These are the go-to patterns that Albert uses when there are no clear signs what the fish are doing, not rising, nebbing etc. When you're unsure what you should do.


Black 8/0 Uni thread was caught on to a size 12 heavyweight hook and wound to the hook bend. Peacock Ice Dub was used to dub the body.
Then a black marabou wing was added followed by two cheeks of jungle cock feathers. (You can use goose biots, in differing colours if you wish).

A head was then built with thread, whip finished and varnished.

Cormorant Variant
Then the dubbing was teased out to make a Buggy body.

TIP: Albert does not rib the fly as he believes the straggle effect imparts movement, and said that the more battered the fly becomes the better it fishes!

  Thanks to Simon Butterfield for holding the flies still for the photo's. Each one captured on the first shot!

Copper John

Albert told the history of this pattern, originally developed in the USA as a river pattern to represent Stoneflies. The pattern can be tied in many colours, including Black, Olive and Charteruse.
A Fulling Mill 14 hook was headed with a black bead (not Tungsten) and Black 8/0 Uni thread was caught on and taken to the hook bend where a black goose biot was added to each side of the fly to represent the tail. Albert said that other colours of goose biots could be used. The biots were then wound into the body up to the bead
Then black wire was caught in at the head end, at the bottom of the body and taken down to the tail. The thread was taken back to the head to and a tapered body formed using the thread. Then the black wire was wound up the body. TIP: Albert winds the wire onto a bobbin and uses a bobbin holder and a rotary vise to wind the wire up the body as he find this easier to control.

1/16 pearl lurex is caught in at the top of the fly and a thorax of Ice Dub UV Black is built up. Then the lurex is pulled over the thorax (like a wing case) and the fly is whip finished. Finally the thorax dubbing was teased out to represent legs. TIP: Albert said that the Copper John on the point and the Cormorant on the dropper fish well together when the going is difficult.
Copper John Variant
Black Hopper

A size 14 lightweight barbless hook was vised and once more black 8/0 Uni thread was caught on and a 1/32 pearl rib caught in at the bend. Dub the body with black seals fur rather than any other material as this gives a 'buggy' effect. TIP: Seals fur can be difficult to dub. When the seals fur is dubbed onto the thread, spin the bobbin as it tightens the dubbing up onto the thread. Rib the body with the pearl rib.
Now tie 3 pheasant tail legs to each side of the body. TIP: Albert ties the legs up at an angle to the body which allows the body to sit in the surface film.

Now hackle with a genetic hen hackle which is a bit softer than cock. Albert does not prefer to use a cock hackle as he said 'There's enough on it to make it float'. Hackle the fly with enough turns till it looks right. Whip finish and varnish.

Albert's Black Hopper
Another fly which Albert believes fishes better the more it gets chewed. TIP: Albert prefers to tie and use his own hoppers rather than the shop bought ones as they are sparser.

Thanks to Albert for an enlightening and different slant on these three flies and their fishing styles

Thursday, 6 January 2011

09/12/2010 Simon Johnson – Eden Rivers Trust

Simon firstly explained a little about himself and his background, how he likes to shoot and fish and that Wild Trout are his passion. Simon started as a coarse fisherman and eventually became involved in conservation which led him down the path to where he is now.

Simon started the evening explaining his successes whilst working for the Wild Trout Trust. Now that he had left that in the capable hands of 3 excellent biologists he thought it was time to take up a new challenge.

Simon explained about the Eden Rivers Trust using an excellent and informative powerpoint presentation. Simon oozed enthusiasm, is really passionate and positive about what he does - his passion makes his job sound more like a vocation.

 Simon enthused about the renaissance of industrial urban rivers with help from the Wild Trout Trust’s ‘Trout in the Town’ initiative, such as the Lancashire Colne which once ran blue due to the production of denim by the industries upstream. These places once were treat as ‘wet landfill’ but are in fact reefs of nature within an urban environment, something the community should value and hopefully the tide is beginning to turn.
As for conservation Simon believes that ‘If you get the habitat right’ everything benefits, not just the fish, but insects, birds and the rest will follow
The Eden Rivers Trust is run as a business even  though it is a charitable trust and has many contributors and over 100 volunteers. There is a strategy and a three year budget to deliver improvement work where it adds the most value.

The Eden Rivers Trust aids in many ways including:
  • Conservation
  • Education and research
  • Advice for farmers

As corny as it may sound Simon emphasised quite rightly that Children are the future and unless encouraged will take no active part in nature in the future.

 That's why the Eden Rivers Trust runs many initiatives with local schools with topics as:
  • Mayfly in the classroom
  • Ecology for Children
 Altogether a wonderful and informative presentation by Simon - Thanks!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

25/11/2010 - Dave Nixon – Shuttlecocks

Dave explained that Shuttlecocks can be used on both Stillwater and Rivers and are used to represent emerging insects and stated "It’s a one fish fly".....then went on to tie two flies:

Simple Shuttlecock – Suitable for River or small rippled Stillwater

The first fly was tied on a size 17 TMC 109BL using UNI 8/0 thread:
  • Catch on the thread and catch in a CDC feather
  • Run the thread run down to the hook bend
  • Catch in pearl tinsel and return the thread back ready to build a thorax
  • The tail end of the body is then built using the pearl tinsel
  • A seal’s fur thorax is then dubbed (TIP: use good dubbing which is buoyant and still absorbs a bit of water and don’t use superglue!) 
  • Finally use the thread to cock the CDC above the hook eye and whip finish

Buoyant Shuttlecock – Suitable for rougher water

The second fly was tied on a size 10 Tiemco 921 using UNI 8/0 thread:
  • Catch on the thread run down to the hook bend
  • Catch in copper wire
  • Dub the body
  • Rib the body with the wire
  • Catch in 5 or 6 CDC  feathers with their tips pointing over the hook eye and the plumes over the hook bend
  • Dub a thorax
  • Cock CDC across the thorax
  • Finally use the thread to cock the CDC above the hook eye and whip finish
This fly can also be tied in sizes 10, 8 and 6 and can be used to represent large buzzers during spring.

At the end of the evening having used CDC for tying, Dave proudly showed off his Marc Petijean tools

Dave's Tip: Put all your CDC trimmings into a coffee grinder with some seal’s fur to create a buoyant dubbing.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

18/11/2010 Dave Anderson: Pike / Saltwater Flies

Dave tied three flies which he uses for Pike fishing but which also could be used for Saltwater.

The Pike Streamer was tied on a Fulling Mill 1/0 hook, tailed with large black cock feathers and some DNA to give it a bit of flash.
 Then the fly was hackled with Black / White / Black and a small gap left before the eye of the hook.

TIP Dave explained that he leaves a gap before the eye on all his pike flies because this stops the fly from catching onto the wire trace.

The Bunny was tied on a Varivas 1/0 
 Red Glo Brite Floss was used to cover the shank of the hook then Red DNA fusion was tied on for the full length of the hook shank. Then a large white (artic fox) Zonker strip is attached followed by a red fox zonker strip
The red Zonker strip is used to ‘hackle’ the fly
Then a head is tapering head is made and eyes positioned on each side. (See above how Dave cures the eyes with the UV torch to set the Bug Bond)

The finished fly, which some of the members commented ‘must cost a fortune to tie’

Unnamed fly -- Dave tied this fly on a fulling mill 1/0 pike hook and said he didn’t know its name but had purchased the fly a few years ago and had copied the pattern ever since.
White Marabou and Flashabou are used for the tail. Then a body using woven tubing is slipped onto the shank of the hook and tied in at the head. A white  Marabou beard is added followed by a black Marabou wing.
A head is then built from black chenille and two rattling eyes are added.
The finished fly - Does anyone know it's name? Please contact the guild via the contact page on this website if you know.

Dave finished the evening stating that the first fly was the easiest to tie and most successful. Thanks to Dave for an entertaining bit of tying which many of us at the guild have never attempted.

Monday, 15 November 2010

11/11/2010 Dave Nixon: Boat Fishing and Etiquette

Dave gave a most enlightening and entertaining talk and dealt skillfully with all the barracking from the FDG members.
Which one's Dave Nixon?

To begin with Graeme Meikle explained how his wife had been excited when he told her he was off to the fly dressers for a talk on boat fishing. ‘Can he take me round the Greek Islands?’ she asked and was informed that Dave’s boat was the size of their sofa and that he looked like Stalin.
To get it out of the way, Dave explained how he was presenting the theory of Boat Fishing and Etiquette as he candidly confessed - ‘I have broke every rule in the book’.

Dave firstly explained about the need. When you want to fish a large reservoir it is at a high cost, so taking (or seeking) a partner to share the cost makes it cheaper.

Dave explained the etiquette of which side/end of the boat to fish and explained how when sharing a boat with Paul Procter it was Paul who broke the rule casting across Dave’s half to a rising fish with the comment ‘First come first served’.

During the talk Dave gave a series of really good recommendations:
  • A life jacket is mandatory (Dave’s been in a sinking boat half way across Ullswater)
  • The safety signal is to raise one of your oars vertically (flares can fail)
  • Charge of the boat (2 hours on the engine) is on the flip of a coin
  • Standing is not allowed (the wardens on shore have binoculars) except to land a fish
  • Your boat must be 50-100 yards from the bank – if a bank fisherman arrives you must move the boat
  • You must be 50 yards from any other boat
  • Always approach a boat from behind
  • If another boat is in its drift, do not anchor in its path
  • Pass other boats on left hand side
  • Wear the correct footwear as noise in the boat is a problem
  • Don’t motor the boat at speed across fish holding areas
  • If you have to, pee in the bailing can
  • Don’t start the engine until all lines are in
A few other stories emerged  about himself and his other boating companions and Dave took the time to thank his son (James) for once cutting through his recently purchased (two hours before) fly line with the propeller. Dave completed the talk with words about thwart boards, seats, back rests and comfort. 

For those of us who have not boat fished before it was enlightening and informative, and gave us the understanding and skills to take a boat onto one of the major reservoirs. For those who were already well versed in boat fishing it gave them the opportunity to try and take the mickey out of Dave who as usual metered out suitable reposte.