Yes, you are certainly keeping us busy at the moment so - either people are stockpiling flies ahead of political and economic uncertainty ahead or lots of you are out fishing!! If you're not getting your share of the action put things right and get a day booked right now. The work will still be there when you get back.
Whole lotta fishing going on!!
Just to whet your appetite have a look at this monster tarpon caught in Nicaragua a few weeks ago by Selectafly Pro Team member Matt Harris. Estimated (conservatively, according to some Florida tarpon specialists) by Matt at c. 160lbs I wonder how many fish bigger than this will be caught on the fly this year? Hats off to Matt for his dedication. This is his second trip chasing these huge fish and over the two weeks total time on the water he has probably made fewer than 10 casts which had any realistic prospect of connecting with something this size - and not much happening between those casts.
A fish worth putting in a few hours for!
If that is just a bit too exotic (or slow) for you then how about this a little closer to home? In a spare week between trips Matt (again!) dragged me off to Grafham for the day. We headed straight for Savage's Creek, hoping to find some better fish from last year's intake and we weren't disappointed. The fish below was the best of more than 20 over-wintered (yes, amazingly, all of them!) fish we caught on catch and release tickets, almost all on buzzers. And the good news from the big stillwaters continues - huge rod averages and some seriously good fish amongst them. Like an old trout myself I've risen to this news and I'm off to (hopefully) join in the fun this weekend!
That's what they call 'a proper one!'
I'm also lucky enough to be headed to Scotland next week for three days on the Spey at Wester Elchies. In spite of little recent rain and my track record on that beat over the past 4 years (one trout!) I'm full of excitement and anticipation, putting all my gear together and tying yet more deadly new flies. It's not that there haven't been fish around - I've seen a fish caught by a girl having a casting lesson on the other side, one of our team took my rod for half a dozen casts to 'try it out' and found it worked very nicely - he caught a sparkling 16 pounder, whilst another guest pulled in his line to let some canoes go past and afterwards wondered why he couldn't make a cast - well that would be the salmon with his fly in its jaws of course! Will it be my turn this year? Well I'm certainly going to give the water a damn good thrashing to try and make it so!!
I'm delighted to say that we've had some really great feedback recently about success with our flies. Here's just a few snippets:
(from a good friend and hugely talented fly-tyer, from whom I 'borrowed' the Bug Eyed Damsel dressing) - "I'm rather irritated to say that the Selectafly version works just as well as my original"
"I was fishing the Voodoo Cat the other day. The 3 guys nearby had three or four between them - I had over 20"
"I was picking up a few fish on regular blobs but getting lots of bumps and follows. I switched to your T15 Translucents ('Jelly Blobs') and the fish nailed those every time"
(from Matt Harris, talking with a friend before they head off to Cuba again together) - "Shall I pick you up a few Avalon Shrimps from Selectafly?" "No, I get mine tied by a real expert - his flies are just the best" "Mmm, the score for the past 2 trips is Selectaflies 7 permit, expert's flies 0"
Meanwhile, our Baby Snakes (Snakelets) have been the most popular flies we've known since we've owned Selectafly. They must be as deadly for everyone else as they are for me. The last lot sold out in less than 48 hours. We have more arriving soon. We thought we'd ordered plenty - now I'm not sure it will be enough!
Another imminent arrival - for the pike and other predator fishers out there is the upgraded 'Mk2' Gamechanger, which should be with us in early May. You can see the deadly way it wiggles in the water on our Facebook pages (see below), plus a pike I caught whilst testing the prototype new version.
Scierra PairsI am very pleased to report that Selectafly is now a sponsor of this popular annual event, providing free flies to every entrant. Run by our very own Pro Team member (and regular England team fly fisherman) Phil Dixon, the spirit of this competition is that everyone should have a good time rather than 'win at any cost'. Qualifying heats are held the length and breadth of the country and you fish with your chosen partner to the fishery rules, rather than 'international rules'. If you think you might be tempted, find more details HERE - but be aware that boat availability is shrinking quite quickly.
The Kilchoman Saltwater Fly FestivalStaying on the subject of 'events' the saltwater fly fishers amongst you (or anyone tempted to join them) are reminded that the third UK Saltwater Fly Festival takes place in St Mawes from the evening of Thursday 21st September to lunchtime on Sunday 24th. This is a great chance to spend a few days in a lovely part of the country, learn more about fly fishing for bass, mullet and more, enjoy good company, good food - and maybe win one of the many prizes on offer. I've been at the first two and it's a fun weekend. We sponsor and support this one too - find out more HERE.
Social MediaWe are happy to announce that Selectafly has joined the world of Facebook and Instagram. It would be rather sad if fly fishing became something only for ageing males (like me!) so we need to reach out to different groups in ways that they want. We're very lucky to have Marina Gibson looking after this side of things and here's what she has to say: 'we can't wait to share our adventures with you and keep you up to date with any news. Please become our friend to see our fly of the week, hear about latest catches, find out what pro team members have been up to - and more. We'd love to feature your news and photos too so please tag us in and we will re-post them. We look forward to seeing you there!'
Prospects for the next week or twoThe Salmon fishers could do with some rain now to top up the rivers and get the fish moving upstream in numbers. However, fish are being reported, especially from lower beats. I called a friend yesterday, forgetting that he was fishing up in Scotland. He answered saying "can't talk now - just seen a fish show and I need to cover it" then called back 20 minutes later to tell me "just returned him, 8 lbs, sea-liced"! In fact the fish wasn't initially tempted by the small double which suited conditions but couldn't resist a bigger conehead tube - a reminder to always be ready with a change of tactics should plan A not prove successful. I will certainly be mindful of that later this week, so - although the first flies to get a swim will include favourites such as the Durris Shrimp, Silver Grey and Kinermony Killer I will have my 'super subs' ready including the Dee Monkey or a Franc n Snaelda - or maybe going smaller could work, with an Oykel Gunn or a Tyne Toucan?
How can I fail with these!
For trout on the rivers many people will probably choose something like the ever reliable Parachute Adams or a Hare's Ear F-fly to start the day, changing and adapting as hatches and fish activity dictate. Or maybe go down the 'Klink & Dink' route, with Jeremy's Oppo on the dropper and an Anato May, or Holy Grail as the nymph? And - coming soon! - it will be Mayfly time again so why not invest in our Magical Mayflies selection?
On the smaller stillwaters it's hard to ignore Damsels. Our new Bug Eyed Damsel is proving a big hit with the trout, whilst the Kingfisher (Blue Flash) Damsel is always our biggest seller. Alternatively, invest in a range of proven patterns with our Deadly Damsels selection. Do remember that, when the action slows with the pattern that was doing so well earlier, a change to something new, something the fish haven't seen yet, can often bring results.
15 Deadly Damsels, no distress.
On the reservoirs buzzers are in full swing right now and my current personal favourites include the SBD buzzer, the Green Glow and the ever reliable Stripped Quill with maybe a beadhead like this Red Neck Black to get them down a bit when the fish are lying deeper - perhaps because it's a bit colder or the sun is shining. And sometimes they just want something different, as was the case on my last day out when all but one of the fish came to the ever reliable black & green, in the shape of the Black Eyed Pea.
Do get out there and enjoy the action - the swallows have arrived now so it must be summer soon!
Get fishing soon and Tight Lines from us both when you do!
Martin and Jessica
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