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May 2018

Here comes the Sun!

Let's hope for a little cloud too - and a nice, gentle breeze from the south west. After all, optimism is an essential part of the successful fly-fishers make up!

On the Water

News from around the country shows that the fishing has generally been pretty good in spite of the less than ideal weather. With the water still cool and clear, many people have enjoyed solid success on stillwaters large and small, whilst on the rivers flies are hatching and getting hoovered up by the trout and by the swifts and martins etc. that have recently arrived from Africa. Although salmon numbers are modest - as usual in the early weeks - the size of these beautiful spring fish can more than compensate, as one of our customers found at Dess on the Aberdeenshire Dee, where he caught a magnificent 25 pounder on a Conehead Willie Gunn - sadly no good photo of this one. Meanwhile, over on the Spey, even I (Martin) managed to get in on the action last week with a fish weighed in the net at 21lbs - here he is:


Buzzer Time

We are in prime Buzzer time right now and it's a lovely way to fish - slow and imitative. Here's a few thoughts to share with you, based on many years' experience and learning from others.
  • It's all about presentation. A leader that is too heavy, too stiff or generally a bit mangled will cost fish. I have witnessed results totally transformed by a change from mono to fluorocarbon and by switching to a lower diameter/breaking strain of the same material. (My personal choice is Grand Max Soft Plus, 0.218mm/10.4lbs if possible, dropping to 0.185 mm/8.2lbs for more spooky fish/clearer water)
  • Small and drab can often outperform big and brash, especially with wised up fish that have been in the water some time.
  • Buzzer action doesn't happen evenly across a whole lake. The fish will know where the buzzers are hatching and we need to follow their example.
  • Like it or loath it the bung can provide great depth control and detection of subtle takes. My own preference is for our own Ultimate Bung rather than something the sailing boats make corners around but both work!
  • When the fish are taking hatching buzzers near the surface use light wire hooks and patterns like Matt's Hatching Buzzer or the Slow Sink Buzzers from Fulling Mill - and maybe go for the washing line approach with a small Booby on the point.
We have a huge choice of buzzer patterns in all our ranges and newly upgraded 'Top Performer' and 'Essential' selections as well as Fulling Mill's 'Must Have' buzzers.

On the rivers this is a wonderful time of the year with many key 'trout food' insects hatching now or in the next few weeks. As well as various shapes and sizes of upwings/olives, don't forget the Grannom, the Hawthorn and - very soon - the mighty Mayfly. This month, for the first time, we've put together a small (and far from exhaustive) number of interesting patterns you might want to consider for your fishing in May. Find them here.

Globetrotting Pro Team member Matt Harris is just back from Cuba where he and his fishing partner Tim caught seven permit in a week - on Pro Range Avalon Shrimps and Sideswiper Crabs. Well done Matt - I'm hardly envious at all. One of the reasons for mentioning this is that this experience feeds directly into our fly development process and the next batches of these patterns will reflect tweaks and adjustments which are only really valid when they are based on many days actually on the water - that's one of the key reasons that we have our Pro Team.

Another thing to bear in mind is that Matt's experience is on hand to advise Selectafly customers who might be planning a trip to a new overseas destination and who might welcome some input from someone who has (in all probability) been there. Just call us and we'll do our best to get the information you need - either directly from Matt (noting that he is away fishing for many weeks each year!) or via ourselves.

Father and son team (and great friends of both Matt and ourselves) Ian and Andy Blyth joined Matt on a recent trip to Argentina where they enjoyed great sport with big brownies and sea-trout at
El Rincon de los Morros.

Selectafly News

Our mini 'taster' catalogue went out with Trout & Salmon magazine last month and is in the current edition of Trout Fisherman. The design work involved and the cost of printing means that this can only be a taster of the full extent of our ranges, showcasing less than 20% of all the flies we offer but we do like to take the chance occasionally to let people know we're here and show them what we're up to. You can find a PDF of the catalogue here.

Another limitation of 'hard copy' is that it's quickly out of date as we introduce new patterns. Most months see something new coming into stock. Recent examples include the hugely popular saltwater Spawning Shrimp, another shrimp - the Phoenix (this one's for the salmon fishers) and the Blue Flash Damsel Mini Booby. Find all the new stuff under New Flies, by range - here are the links - Original Range, Pro Range, Barbless and Fulling Mill. And if you've read in the magazines about Fulling Mill's new premium Masterclass Fluorocarbon, we have it in all sizes.

So far this year we've sent flies to happy customers in 18 countries outside the UK - as far apart as Russia and Australia, so if you know someone overseas who might be interested in buying from us tell them to give Selectafly a try - it's easy and delivery is quick and reliable.

We are currently in the process of upgrading all our own fly selections. There are two main options:
1: Essentials Selections
- made up with flies from our Original Range. Each pack is chosen to give you a good range of the latest and most popular patterns in each category at a great price - ideal for building up a well stocked fly box, or filling in any gaps.

10 Essential Buzzers £4.45

2: Top Performer Selections
- here we simply choose the best sellers in each category across all our ranges, including Fulling Mill, - ensuring that the selection contains a good mix of types, sizes etc. With nearly 4,000 different patterns for us to choose the selections from you can be sure that every fly that needs to be included is available.

15 Dynamite Damsels £12.95

We also stock the complete Fulling Mill 'Must Have' range!

Out and About

I enjoyed my visit to the London Fly Fair in March - as well as a good range of exhibitors it's a great chance to catch up with lots of old friends and meet some new ones.

Having just read his new book on Sea Trout fishing I was delighted to meet Steffan Jones, a lovely guy with a vast amount of experience of sea trout fishing coupled with a hugely thoughtful, open minded approach. Find out more about him - and his book - here. His patterns are all currently in stock should you (and the sea trout!) be tempted!

Over on the Kilchoman UK Saltwater Fly Festival stand I caught up with organisers Amelia and Tim Whitaker and discovered that this year they have introduced serious cash prizes for the winners! I have attended this event since it began and it's been hugely enjoyable each time, with something for every level of skill and experience - and increasing numbers of bass caught every year so far. Get on down to Cornwall in September and test your saltwater skills!

Bank Holiday!

It's a Bank Holiday this weekend so treat yourself by using the extra day to go fishing - and if you need to top up on some super new flies before you do we're here to help. Don't leave it too late - we are rather busy at the moment!

Get fishing soon - Tight Lines when you do, and very best wishes!

Martin and Jessica

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