Forgive the excitement but lots of hot new flies arrived yesterday and when I open that box it's just like my birthday every time!
New Flies Just Arrived!
This shipment brought new stock of Snakelets so not only do we have - for the time being at least! - plenty of barbed versions of the Black and Pearl(white) but we've now added a new soft Pastel Brown version (this one is on the barbless hook). All these are made from 'fur coat grade mink!' - natural colours rather than dyed. These natural shades are an integral part of what has rapidly become our fastest selling fly. The reason is simple - all the feedback we receive tells us that these flies really do deliver results, on many occasions when nothing else will. (The white version accounted for more than half of the19 fish I caught and released at Grafham last Thursday)
Next, some of you may have seen Andrew Flitcroft's 'Small is Beautiful' article in the November Trout and Salmon magazine - featuring the 'Mini Mink' patterns he has recently developed. Well, less than a month later, we have them here for you to try! - tied according to his own recipe. Give them a swim, let us know how you get on and I'll give him your feedback next time he and I meet up.
Mullet guru and long time Selectafly Pro Team member Colin Macleod just can't stop coming up with new patterns which are transforming success rates when targeting these enigmatic and elusive fish on the fly. We do our best to keep up with him and the new Romy's Mud Shrimp has now been added to the range along with the Red Wool Tagged versions of several of his earlier patterns. For those of you who missed the news over the past few months Colin's catches show that the simple addition of this tag has been a revelation!
The Hi Float Hopper was one of our success stories of the summer and today's delivery means that they are now back in stock. The winter months are not usually the best for dry flies but it can happen and at least you'll have them in your box when you do need them.
We also have some rather good looking Straggle Palmer flies which have done very well for me (and others) in the past. They come in both subtle natural colours and more striking black and fluo orange versions. All these colours have their times and places. Andy Taylor, the editor of Total Flyfisher magazine was very taken by these flies and my description of them as 'Gentleman's Blobs'!
Group photo of some of our New Arrivals
Original RangesIncidentally, if you haven't visited the Original Range pages of our website recently it may be worth trying again sometime soon. The process of totally upgrading these flies is well underway and many of them - the Czech Nymphs are a good example - bear little resemblance to the flies we inherited 5 years ago. And these days they're all tied on tried, tested and trusted Kamasan hooks. Also n.b. - for those targeting grayling over the winter months - we have plenty of new stock Stroft ABR in the diameters you need.
Fishing ReportSince my last email several members of the Pro Team have been globe-trotting. Marina Gibson defied some less than perfect weather in Belize to enjoy success with bonefish and tarpon whilst Matt Harris was targeting the mighty Arapaima in Brazil, with some success, as can be seen below, although the real monsters eluded him. More stunning photos from his trip can be seen on his website (the shot of the Hoatzin is worth the click on its own - the ceiling of the Opera House in Manaus too!) After a quick week at home to recover he headed off to Cuba for a couple of weeks when no doubt he will be focussing on the permit. He certainly stocked up with plenty of our Pro Range Avalon Shrimps and Sideswiper Crabs before he set off. I'll tell you how he got on in next month's email!
A First - and probably Last!Two weeks ago I decided to do something I’d often thought about but never got round to - to walk all the way round Grafham Water, fishing as I went. The circular track is about 9 miles - how hard could it be!? Well, the circular track doesn’t incorporate a vast, dense, breathable wader eating field of prize winning thistles which must be conquered in order to reach some of the most inaccessible (and therefore interesting) bank. Nor do most walkers complete a large percentage of their stroll by wading through 3-4 feet of water. One highlight of the expedition was - almost literally - bumping into Andrew Flitcroft, the editor of Trout & Salmon magazine, who was boat fishing in shallow water. He congratulated me on my sense of adventure (stupidity) and kindly gave me a huge chunk of the most delicious pork pie! Thank you Andrew. I would only recommend this walk to people rather younger and fitter than me.
This is NOT one of the big ones!!
Meanwhile over in the middle of the Pacific yours truly was enjoying the superb fly fishing on Kiritimati (aka Christmas Island - the world's largest coral atoll). Located 3 hours south of Honolulu the journey isn't great for those who don't like flying but once there it is worth the pain! With lots of bonefish on the flats - at up to 8lbs plus much bigger than I had expected, plus testing triggerfish, marauding GTs and, out in the blue water, milkfish on the fly plus pelagics such as yellowfin tuna on lures. The sailfish had sadly left in September, although we did have a black marlin lazily follow a big popper to the boat!
A solid Tiggerfish on an Itchy Trigger fly - tricky to tempt and brutal battlers!
Planning a trip?As well as giving us the chance to show you some exotic photos this part of our newsletter serves as a reminder that between us the Selectafly Pro Team really does have a wealth of recent experience of destinations both here in the British Isles and way beyond - and you can use that to your advantage if you're planning a trip. Just call the office on 01753 883366 and we will offer all the advice we can to help make your trip a success. If you are thinking about making a trip, again, give us a call because Pro Team members and other friends/contacts are leading trips like this every few months.
Closer to home the Selectafly 'Grafham late season Banking' day took place last Thursday. Sadly, as it turned out, only one of you was able to join me. Despite fishing for only a short time due to a recent bout of tennis elbow he caught six fish and promptly ordered more of the flies that did the trick on the day! (which were, as so often on this water at this time of year, the Red Cheeked Diawl Bach on the top dropper and a Snakelet on the point - floating or midge tip line, 18 foot Grand Max Soft Plus leader, slow figure of eight retrieve and away you go!) I ended up with 19 fish, all released.
After scary rumours a few weeks ago I was relieved to hear that trout fishing will continue on the legendary Bristol Waters reservoirs Chew and Blagdon for at least one more season. It is hard to think of these places, the subject of so many dreams and memories, closing their doors to fly fishers and the threat is still very much alive - this seems to be a stay of execution rather than a long term decision.
I was delighted to be invited to attend last week's reception to mark fishing legend and great friend Brian Fratel's retirement after 49 years working at Farlows - the only place he ever worked! It was an excellent evening with a great speech by the well-known writer David Profumo (with whom I once shared the coveted 'Fratel Gudgeon Trophy') Many is the time that a dreary day at the office was brightened up by a lunchtime visit to Pall Mall to catch up with the great man - and maybe a little light retail therapy. Things will never be quite the same again. Thank you Brian and enjoy your retirement. Look out Cuban bonefish and permit!
A true gentleman - who else would wear a tie when fishing for gudgeon on the canal?
Finally, Christmas is coming...
OK - it's a week or two away yet but we're already putting festive bargains together. Top of the list will - as in previous years - be the now famous 'Selectafly Christmas Fly Box' 111 flies in a seasonally red box. Good and bad news here - the bad news is that we have less than 30 of these lovely boxes, crafted from the finest plastic, remaining in stock - once they're gone that's it! The good news is that, to ensure they go out with a bang, the 111 flies crammed into the box will be joined by a free selection of 20 traditional wet flies. Our best ever value at just £24.99 (plus £3.99 P&P - because it has to be sent as a parcel)
Tight Lines and very best wishes from us both,
Martin and Jessica
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