I honestly thought I’d stumbled onto the set of Jurassic Park.
We reckoned it was a small bird that the cat had brought in late last night, judging by the volume of flapping sounds coming from cylinder of our vertical fan in which the creature briefly took refuge.
Then this thing emerged.
Say hi to the privet hawk moth. That is not a retouched, photo, by the way.
Now, given that even the conventional moth, with its creepy, buzz-less flap, spooks me a little and given that Mrs P, halfway through getting ready for bed, is stomping around the kitchen half-naked, screaming in blind terror like an out-take from a Confessions movie, you’d think my mind might be anywhere other than on fishing at this juncture.
Not so, however. Even as it flutters furiously straight for me, a nagging thought at the back of my mind refuses to yield.
Oh, to see a trout go head to head with one of these things…
Pic of the Day
That the fabulous flies showcased on the Streamers 365 blog should have this dedicated non-tyer wondering about the cost of a vice for the first time in his life, is one thing.
This chocolate nymph over on Fly Fishing Forums, however, takes it way too far.
First fly I’ve ever seen that makes me want to have a nibble myself.
Whatever the remonstrations over the England rugby team’s decision to wear an all black change strip in the World Cup in New Zealand this autumn*, I must accept that some of my countrymen may find it all a bit of a laugh.
If you’re one of them and you’re planning to fish New Zealand at the turn of the year, I have just the fly. I’m sure your hosts will consider it quite hilarious.
[*to put this into perspective for trans-Atlantic readers; picture an NFL expansion team opting for green shirts, yellow pants and the nickname 'Pickers'. Yes, it's that crass.]
Pic of the Day
“Just open up a box of musky flies in a room full of ladies and watch their reaction… now try that with a box of nymphs.” – WinMag300 spells it out for you over at the Georgia Outdoors News forum
Suitably inspired, go and find the lowdown at the excellent Pike Fly-Fishing Articles, whose proprietor Simon Graham probably has restraining orders out on women all over Finland…
Pic of the Day
Being one of those philistines who buys all his flies (or relies on the donations that come with the job) it takes a lot to keep me interested when elderly men gather around clusters of marabou and snipe wings to talk tying.
So hats off to roughflyfisher.com, which lives up to its name with this testimony to a bass fly that, if I may make so bold, probably isn’t one for the purists…
“No horndogigin’ bass assassin can resist this piece of ass. Good for those hood rat smallies from around the block. Those sluts will be begging for more.
I’d hit that”
Not terribly PC, perhaps, but it had my undivided attention. Credit where it’s due.
Pic of the Day
You’ve left your dry flies at home by mistake, you’re just starting to hit your strides with the nymphs and what do you know, a hatch starts.
Well not for long, if this Mexican gizmo passes muster. Overhanging branch not included.
“The refraction of the water, amplifies the colors and movements for the sensible [sic] eyes of a fly reflected on this sphere, scaring it away.”
Even if doesn’t, I’ve seen worse conversation-starters.
Pic of the Day
Irish hurling star Tony Browne is interviewed about the other great sport in his life by the Irish Examiner and it’s interesting to note that famous welcome in the parlour only goes so far:
“Around the Blackwater would be my home turf, though I’m not sure if I’d be sharing the exact spots, we’ve been successful there so we’ll keep it quiet. A certain fly might be taken on a certain night, and you’d have lads shouting over the river, ‘what are they taking?’, and the father would shout back, ‘blackbird’s fancy’ – which means a worm…”
Ah, anglers, anglers…
“The Truth About Trout Flies has been out of print for over 15 years.
It is now free to read online. Original text and tying instructions for the flies featured in Rob’s first book The Truth About Trout.
Usual copyright restrictions apply”
If, like me, you still tend to rate your rods as ‘broom handle’, ‘wispy’ or something in between, Orvis has come to our rescue with this handy chart that allows you to marry up the numbers regarding line, species and fly size…
“draw a line straight down from the middle of the size range for your species (green bar) to where it intersects the middle of the fly line size ranges (yellow bar). This will not only give you the best all-around fly rod for that species, it will also give you an idea of what other kinds of fish you can chase with the same fly rod”
I don’t know if applies abroad but there’s a certain cachet that attaches to fishing lures in the UK. Not a particularly flattering one, either.
The fisher of lures (as we call them here: ‘streamers’ to a Brit means downmarket bunting of the kind found in village halls over the Christmas period) is seen as an unimaginative clod who stands rooted to the same spot for eight hours, dragging a lure through the water at the speed of Michael Phelps in the hope of not so much tempting a fish as harpooning it.
Having written a couple of lure features for Trout Fisherman in recent weeks and spoken to the men who thrive on such methods, I was soon struck by how the essence of this type of fishing is not in fact monotony but variety.
Like a baseball pitcher or a bowler in cricket, the lure fisherman must constantly mix it up to succeed, from the point of delivery to the manner of the journey. Philip Monahan expounds on this theme for MidCurrent…
“All you need to do to fish a streamer is cast quartering downstream and let it swing through the current. You don’t even have to strip the fly if you don’t want to. But of course, that’s not true. More than anything else, I think, it is this impoverished view of streamer fishing that keeps anglers from tying one on in a wider range of angling situations”
It’s the fishing equivalent of Marilyn Monroe fluttering her eyelashes at you. Someone only has to mention a killer fly that’s all things to all fish and he’s assured of our undivided attention.
ESPN Outdoors‘ Gary Giudice looks nothing like Marilyn but he knows which buttons to press when developing a ‘must have pattern’ story…
“there is one fly that caught as many fish as all the others combined” (heavy petting)
“You can’t buy it; you have to tie it yourself” (foreplay)
“over the years I catch, on the average, 50 percent of my fish on the thing” (oh go on then, Gary: take me, I’m yours)
The object of desire here is a caddis fly pattern, whose particular appeal is to those of us whose ambition is to be known not by how many fly patterns we own but by how few we need:
“The Weber’s is a dead ringer but fish don’t always think caddis when they see it. The Weber’s does it all for the very few other fly fishermen who know about it. It fishes as a nymph weighted with split shot, in the surface film, swing and twitch and even dry. This thing is better than an Adams and a lot easier to fish!”
It is possible to grown cynical about such tales, of course but the latter claims are not to be taken lightly. Trout Fisherman‘s The Complete Fisherman’s Fly describes the Adams as “probably the most popular and widely used dry fly in the UK”.
Giudice’s report includes full tying instructions.
I’m off for a lie down and a cigarette.
Ignorant as I am when it comes to salmon fishing, it’s gratifying to read that salmon flies will occasionally take a trout.
Just as someone once asked why the Devil should have all the best music, so I peevishly question why salmon anglers should have all the best flies…
It’s not right. And don’t even get me started on casting envy…