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Exotics

Long, long ago when I was learning to tie flies as a young fella back in Aberdeen I fell under the enchantment of the traditional salmon fly’s siren call. So I spent time and treasure on creating some of those gems from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, along the way learning how to make built […]

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Time and Tied

I need a wee project on the go to give me a bit of focus. With the end of the ’32’ I had to dream up something else to keep this over active mind of mine occupied. It is not as if I don’t have plenty of other things to stop me from hanging around […]

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Mixing dubbing

Disclaimer – I am not an expert on mixing dubbing materials. I do occasionally use dubbings straight out of the packet but to be honest that is pretty rare. Instead, I almost always add something else to the fur. In my head this adds ‘life’ to otherwise flat colours. Whether the fish appreciate my efforts […]

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The war on waste

This post will no doubt confirm your worst suspicions about me, that I am obsessed with waste. Fly tying, by its very nature is a wasteful process, we spend hours clipping and cutting then disposing of the waste in the bin. Some of this is necessary but we can reuse some of the bits we […]

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Black goldhead

I realise most of you already have this fly or something very similar in your box but for the sake of completeness here is the one I use. It has a lot going for it, easy and quick to tie, cheap and easily available materials and, most importantly of all, a proven fish catcher. Stockies, […]

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The International Dabbler

A very popular fly over here, this variation on the dabbler theme has been working well of late on lough Mask. You can find the pattern easily online but here is my take on the fly. Apologies for the flies in the accompanying photos, they have been well chewed by the trout and I have […]

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Near the end

Afraid this is a rambling and at times barely coherent tale which spans decades and continents but at the end I will give you a really good salmon fly pattern. Trout and Salmon magazine was an integral part of my angling education. When I was still living at home with my parents my bedroom had […]

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Old Mayflies

Creamy pints of porter before us, I was sitting in the warm half light of the Cobweb bar on Linenhall Street with Patrick McHale a few weeks ago. We had met up to do what we always do, talk about fishing. Like a pair of old fishwives we gossiped about prospects for the season, who […]

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My favourite mayflies.

I know it is only April but the merry month of May will soon be upon us so with that in mind here are a few of my favourite Mayfly patterns. My own fly boxes are full of old masters and new patterns and most of them will catch a fish or two. Finding consistent […]

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Pulling flies

I should have started my trout fishing by now but work and some other obligations have got in the way so far. I am hoping to sneak out for an hour this weekend but there seems to be an awful lot of chores to get out of the way first before I go swishing a […]

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