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Double Bubble!

15lbs Rainbow

11lbs 6ozs Blue Trout

Olive Leadhead

Goldhead Vibrator Daddy Longlegs

Yes, it was certainly a day to remember when friend and Selectafly customer David King visited Rockbourne Fishery recently. In his own words….

Hi Martin, I thought I’d share a couple of chunks from the weekend.

Fishing our club end of year comp on Saturday big fish were very much on the menu... 

My first and largest fish of the day was this tremendous 15Ib Rainbow. Stalked while cruising approximately five foot down the water column, a well presented Selectafly Olive Leadhead intercepted the monster. Wasting no time the fish pounced on what appear to be a free offering…. 

As if that was not enough my fortune continued later that day with what I can only describe as a fish of a lifetime, when one of Rockbourne’s impressive Blue Rainbow Trout lunged towards a Selectafly Goldhead Vibrator Daddy. Living up to its reputation, powerful runs ensued as the beast insisted on swimming thought every section of weed and reeds. With a huge sigh of relief the immaculate looking fish was secure in the net. Tipping the scale at 11Ib 6oz a truly memorable fish. 

David didn’t actually say whether or not he won his club competition – but I would be rather surprised if not! We love to hear of your success with our flies so please do send us a photo when you catch something that puts a smile on your face.

Fly Tying

We are sometimes asked whether we tie the flies we sell ourselves. Nice though the idea of a piscatorial version of Santa’s workshop here in the office might be the answer is sadly ‘No’. Quite apart from my feeble level of productivity I (Martin) don’t think I’ve ever managed to tie more than 3 or 4 of the same fly before drifting off on a new flight of fancy. I rarely tie 'regular' patterns, instead I'm forever trying to find that little bit extra that puts more fish in the net. Quite a few of these actually work (!) and go into production so we thought you might like to see some recent efforts. Here’s a photo of the output from a couple of hours or so spent at the vice recently – with a day on the Grafham bank targeting the shrimp feeders in mind.

At the top we have a few tiny Minkies – these are very much proven in action and are just top ups of my tweaks on our own Mini Minkie and Mini Minkie Booby, which account for huge numbers of fish (as do our Snakelets - which are very much the same fly with the hook at the rear of the mink strip, thereby avoiding tail wrap and ‘tail nippers’ both of which can sometimes be a problem. Incidentally, this is how our Snakelets evolved, not via the shrinking of bigger snake flies as is commonly believed – and we were selling our Snakelets more than a year before other ‘Mini Snakes’ arrived on the scene!)

 Moving down are a variety of shrimp patterns using a pinch of mink hair as a highly mobile tail – I did quite well with these last week and wanted to take the thinking a bit further.

The weighted chewing gum worm is there because there are some big (3lbs +) perch on the scene at the moment and they are a very tempting target. Perch do like Snakes but they also love Squirmy Wormies so I want to give this variation a try!

The Olive Snakes are the Fulling Mill pattern but when I was bass fishing two weeks ago I was introduced to the newish and highly effective Savage Gear Seeker ISP lure. The ISP stands for Intense Strike Point and the theory is that it is an important additional attraction element to the lure. Not too long ago we also had some specials tied up for a customer who wanted the hot spot on his Snakes at the back where the hook is (because fish kept hitting the bright point at the (hookless) front of the fly) So, picking up on this line of thinking, here are my modified flies. I even put hot-spots on a couple of shrimps too.

Finally I just doodled a couple of Diawl Bach variants with the mink tail and a hot head. Whether they will work better than the regular and super deadly marabou tailed DB (which was the top fly again last week) I don’t know but I never tire of new product testing for Selectafly - it's my best ever job!

Out and About

The weather recently has been pretty benign and fishing activity, whether by us or others, seems to have been very successful, with reports of good catches from both small stillwaters and the big reservoirs. With luck, this current phase – without it becoming seriously cold – could last for a few more weeks yet so do get out and make the most of the cool, clear water and hungry fish!

On the bigger tides a couple of weeks ago I had an excellent bass session with nearly 20 fish, 3 of them over 50cms, all on Oz’s Euro Bass Clouser, fished on an intermediate line. Make the most of these fish now because most of them will soon be moving into deeper water away from the coastline where we can reach them.

The salmon season is either over or very quickly drawing to a close for most of us but we were delighted to hear that William Shaw’s love for our Blue Flash Cascade continued until he put his rod away for the year with that fly accounting for all but one of a number of fish he took on his last trip of the season. Another nice message from regular customer James B covered the super value gems to be found in our Bin Ends section, with the comment 'thank you again! The Gaula Thunder seems to be lethal this season.'

Although we haven’t yet been out chasing grayling we know from our fly sales that lots of you are, so don’t miss out on this hugely popular part of the fly fishing scene and tight lines when you do!

Finally, whilst - like all the rest of us - Pro Team member Matt Harris wasn’t able to travel to his usual exotic fishing locations he discovered a new (for him) and exciting aspect of fly fishing here in the British Isles. He is now besotted by big pike and, as you can see from the toothy beast below, seems to be getting the hang of it. Next year we're going to try to get him on to bass!

Time to Top up the Fly Box?

This time of year is perfect for filling in the gaps in the fly box that have appeared during the year. You can still just about remember what’s gone missing and it’s a great opportunity to put your flies into some sort of order. That way you’re not faced with quite such a filthy mess when you next decide to head off for the water! The timing is also good because we can’t put off the inevitable price increases beyond the end of the year. Our suppliers’ prices have been moving upwards and, after two years, so must ours. Invest now before they do!

Do get out if you can - It's very rare that we end the day thinking 'I wish I hadn't bothered!'

Tight Lines and very best wishes from us both,

Jessica and Martin