Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Losing My Hare

So, what do you get when you fall in love? (Again, with fly fishing). You get bloody moths, or more specifically you discover that any natural material not sealed properly has been devoured. I have skeletons where I use to have wings, my seals fur has been consumed and my squirrels tails are just bone. Whole capes have been decimated. It’s that time of year where I am spending ages trying to find out what the fish are feeding on. I suppose I could take the short cut and kill the first fish and spoon it but I really don’t want to so, as it’s been many years since I have fished regularly, I am a bit flummoxed. I suspect it’s time to dust off some old books and do a bit of studying. Anyway, I decided to tie some flies I think may be effective. Having an unexpected day off and it’s pouring down and blowing hard, so fishing really isn’t an option, I decide to tie some flies and discovered the carnage. Luckily all my Whitings capes were sealed but most of my Indian and Chinese capes, or what’s left of them, have been consigned to the dustbin, no big loss really, just annoying. Seals fur is another matter though, it’s all gone and I will have to restock sometime. I found one pheasant tail just about usable for ptn’s and daddy bodies but my hares mask is dust so no grhe’s for a while until I get it replaced. Of course, before I buy any new material I am going to have to go through all my stuff and root out the anything suspect. We have a spare freezer at the moment and I will chuck it all in there for a week or two and see how they like that.
The Big Question is, what are the bloody fish taking. They have been cruising around, just showing a dorsal and top of the tail obviously taking something just subsurface. They rarely take off the top. Buzzers you are all shouting, and it’s true I have caught several on them, but not consistently. In fact I rarely catch on the same fly more than twice at the moment. Six fish and four different flies yesterday, for instance. I’m not seeing a hatch going on but they are on something. They will chase though, so I have tied some old fashioned lures to see if I can provoke them.
Re the knots I have talked about before. Mark Surtees insists that the uni knot and the grinner are the same knot, they are not, or at least the way I tie them they are not. I tried his uni knot and guess what? The first fish I hooked pinged the knot. Back to the blood knot, which hasn’t let me down so far, so long as I give it a really good pull after tying it. I have had the odd one slip when testing it so I always double check now. The grinner/uni always appears to lock down nicely but breaks at the knot when I strike into a fish. Yes, I do wet it as it beds down.


June 20, 2016 Posted by | Fly Fishing | Leave a comment


I’m writing this here because by the time I get permission to put this on the BFCC web site the moment will have gone. I can always move it over later.
Until proved otherwise I think the BFCC is unique in Europe and, possibly, the world. I am not saying other countries don’t have casting clubs but we are quite possibly the only one that travels to the people rather than expecting them to travel to us in a centralised location. We travel, at our own expense, to several parts of the county. It’s still early in our season but so far we have been to Devon, North Wales and Kent, with more events still to come in other parts of the country (and we are always on the lookout for suitable venues in some regions we have not covered). We not only offer competition in various disciplines but also offer tuition as part of each event. It was always tuition added on to the competitive day but recently it seems to have switched around and we get more coming for tuition than competition. As I get passed my competitive era I find this slightly alarming. Where are the competitive casters? We, apparently, have a GB, or possibly English, Welsh and Scots casting team(s) who are supposedly going to the world championships. Not one of them, as far as I know, has cast in any BFCC event in the last two or three years. I find that very odd. If I was preparing to represent my country I would not only be practicing ( which I assume they are) I would also be wanting to get in as much competitive practice as possible as well and I would make sure I got to a few BFCC events to get that practice. There is just no substitute to actually competing against others. Hells teeth, if I was good enough to cast for my country I would go along just to take some of the records, I mean they must be easy, just ripe for the picking. A mere 130 something for the five weight and a piddling 140 plus for the seven, a piece of piss for a caster of world championship class surely. I appreciate that some of our rules do not conform to world championship disciplines but if there was enough interest I am sure we could do something about that, if necessary. Personally I really don’t see a need because casting is casting after all, and, it’s our records under our rules that you should be trying to beat, and be getting competition practice while you are at it.
Thats it, rant over. Come and have a go if you think your hard enough.

June 12, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Other Than Casting

Now I am back fishing regularly I have other things to think about than casting. Things like, why aren’t I catching fish? Or, why do my knots fail? Stuff like that. Knots are a bone of contention, for years I used a grinner for everything but they started to be unreliable for some reason. I put it down to old tippet material so binned the lot and bought new but the breakages still happened so I have temporarily turned to the good old blood knot, it has reduced the number of breakages but I am still not fully happy with it. The main weakness with the grinner was the tippet to leader knot, that was where 90% of my breakages were, I now use tippet rings and blood knot both sides. I need (don’t we all) to have confidence in my knots, I tend to play fish hard. Anyway I now spend time on the internet looking for alternatives to try out.
On the why aren’t I catching fish front, it’s that time of year when the fish are just cruising around taking something, I assume buzzers, just under the surface, and bloody frustrating they were becoming. If I fished buzzers they were ignored or I might pick up the odd one on an amber nymph, but nothing consistent. I eventually found the answer by mistake. I put on a fly I use for fishing deep, it’s taken the vast majority of the fish I have caught this year. I felt it tick something on the delivery cast and didn’t see the plop of it landing, I thought I had broken it off and started a fast figure of eight retrieve to check it and suddenly found myself connected to a 3lb rainbow. Result. I has three more in quick succession in the time I had before I had to pack up. That last one was best, it was as far as I could cast and took it within a couple of seconds of the fly landing. I get a real buzz from hooking a fish at long range, there is something special in seeing a flash of silver over 80′ away and knowing you are attached to it.

June 8, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments