Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Open The Box

I have several boxes of flies, there must be thousands of flies in them, some of them thirty years or more old. I am now on a mission to tie up one box full that I won’t be ashamed to open in public (and catch fish). The only ones I have that are worthy of calling good are the ones I have received over the years via the annual Sexyloops fly swap. I have tied some decent flies in my time mainly as a result of having a go at the Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine winter tying competitions but of all the patterns I tied for that comp only one has turned out to be one of my go to flies. I caught a couple of nice fish on a version of it this morning as a matter of fact.

I have tied with, and watched, some really good fly tiers over the years from Davy Wootten to Paul Arden. I shouldn’t really use Paul as an example as it always involves Palinka or Unicum and trashing the house we are in as we search for suitable materials to tie whatever the challenge is that night. Unfortunately none of the skill or artistry I have seen others has rubbed off on me. Another strange thing is that while I would never buy a book on casting I am a complete sucker for books on tying flies, I’ve even read most of them!

My problems start as soon as I sit at the vice, hmm, what to tie? How about ……no I don’t have the right shade feather. Alright I’ll tie …… nope I haven’t got that either. I have drawers, cupboards and boxes full of materials, wire, tinsel, capes, fur, beads……but never the exact requirement for whatever it is I have decided to tie. I don’t have anywhere locally that I can go and buy whatever I need and I want it NOW not several days hence if I order it from the internet. I do the next best thing, improvise. If I was even the least bit artistic this wouldn’t be a problem but I’m not and it is. You have heard the saying ‘it’s not what you fish, it’s the way that you fish it’. Whoever came up with that saying hadn’t used my flies. I mentioned earlier that some of my flies are thirty years old. There is a good reason for that, no fish will look at them, no matter how you fish them.

One of my main problems is proportion, I tend to over dress most of my flies. I would love to tie some of the old spider patterns but I know I will over do the thread and put a turn or two too many on the hackles. I bought some Clyde style spiders a few years ago and just cannot bring myself to fish them, they look so fragile, no fish will look at them…will they?

I am determined to have a box to be proud of and that actually catch fish.

One of those fish this morning was a bit special. I had noticed him a few days ago sitting on a clear bit of the lake bed and he was back there today, I stalked him, cast to him and he took it. A lovely 4lbish brownie.

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November 18, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. my god Mike, you fish ?! :mrgreen:

    Comment by Marc Fauvet | November 18, 2011 | Reply

  2. If your owt like me Mike I sit at the vice and tie just to relax, and like you a lot of mine are the old spider paterns, I find it takes a great deal of the stress out of life.

    Comment by nirogers | November 18, 2011 | Reply


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