An afternoon on the river

Around midday I ventured to the river Neath near to my home in the company of my fishing partner Malf Thomas, We decided to fish a stretch that we don’t normally fish and that decision certainly paid off! After a walk of about a mile or so we dropped down onto the river bank by a promising looking spot and straight away saw a couple of fish rising. 2015-04-11 13.25.45

Malf had the first hit but the large brownie quickly threw the hook, try as we might we couldn’t get any more interest in our flies even after taking a coffee break to rest the pool.

We made our way upstream for a while and although we saw plenty of fishy looking water we saw no sign of any rises despite there being a hatch on. So we agreed to go back to the first pool we fished and have a try there again.

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Although there were a few rises happening there was not much activity until one fish started feeding at the top of the pool just after Malf had set down his rod. I took full advantage of this and moved to the top of the pool for the obligatory last couple of casts before heading for home. I’m glad I did, as after a few casts with no interest up came a trout and took my size 18 adams and the fight was on! After a ten minute fight using my Greys 7′ #2  I finally got my best river brownie into the net.

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Estimated at around the 4lb mark and safely released to catch again!

A fine test for the rod as previously the biggest I’d caught on it was only about 1lb.

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Loving Latex

In the post the other day arrived a package from SMFlyman containing a selection of Latex strips in various colours.

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After cutting some strips off approx 4mm wide it was time to play…

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The first fly that comes to mind for me is a simple grub pattern in pink for grayling tied on a size 12 grub hook with a 3mm tungsten bead.

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Or using the natural latex to imitate a maggot, always productive if you get course anglers on the same stretch of river!

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After the nice simple bugs I started to think about shell backs on nymphs. Hard wearing and a hotspot to hopefully attract a take, plus when covered with UV resin can look very realistic.

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Then I thought that the red strip when coated with a fine UV resin would look remarkably good as the shell for a ladybird, so on a size 14 emerger hook I put an underbody of foam for buoyancy, with some black ice dub for legs, the red strip of latex and a black sharpie I ended up with this.

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Then I went for Marcus Hoffmans Overworked Caddis. Without a doubt one of the best looking caddis imitations that I’ve seen (when tied by him), mine do not do his justice!

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These are a versatile material that I will definitely be using to fill my boxes, and look for some other uses that I haven’t tried yet!

Available from along with the beads and Ice dub used

Mayfly True Tails

I recently received a delivery of Mayfly True Tails from Flyman ltd, similar to the micro fibbets I’ve used in the past but with a couple of small differences.


They have a matt rather than a glossy plastic finish that gives a far more realistic look to the fly and have a slight mottled effect  on the fibers similar to coq de leon that looks more natural than a solid colour and are available in a range of colours.


Natural Mayfly



I tried a couple of patterns with them and must say that they are simple to work with and will take a lot of abuse, I tied them in with a GSP thread and yanked them hard to see how they’d hold up to being hopefully attacked by hungry trout, they survived this no problem so I can safely say that the tail of your fly should last!


Detached Body Foam Daddy


Spinner size 14


Simple hackled dry size 14

All in all I am a fan of these Mayfly True Tails and will definitely be using them in more patterns in the future.

Available from

My most successful fly from last year.

 Palomino Midge Variant

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By a significant margin this was easily my most successful fly from 2014.

Hook – Varivas Ultra Midge size 24

Thread – 30 Denier Gsp Veevus in black

Body – Micro chenille in claret or black

Hackle – Whiting saddle in grizzle

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Step one

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Insert hook into vice and catch on well waxed thread

Step two

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Cut a small length of micro chenille approx 10-15mm depending on how long you want the body.

Use a lighter to singe one end of the chenille to stop it unraveling and create a taper.

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Step three

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Catch in the micro chenille just behind the eye leaving enough room to whip finish and secure it the length of the shank and return thread to the eye.

Step four

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Prepare the hackle by pulling the barbs down at the end of the feather and snip off the barbs on both sides leaving small stubs to help hold it securely when tied in

Step five

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Tie in the hackle with the good side facing up and take the thread to the back of the hook

Step six

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Attach your hackle pliers and wind the hackle in touching turns to the back of the hook to meet the thread, catch in and then quickly take thread through the hackle up to the eye. Tidy up the head, put a little varnish on the thread and whip finish.