Wednesday, 23 September 2009

That “Killer” fly….not!

I’ve never been one to just fish with the same pattern day in, day out……..Yawn – Booooooring” ! Don’t get me wrong, if you feel comfortable using just one or two patterns for the rest of your life, tied with the same materials over & over again, then good for you, you’ve found your comfort zone!. Unfortunately fly-fishing for pike with this mentality, limits your knowledge of not only how other materials perform under the water...but also how other types of flies can be fished.

4 months ago I had a couple of clients arrive from the USA. Once we’d got them settled the one chap couldn’t wait to show me his arsenal that he’d been furiously tying through the winter. When he opened his 4 boxes I was amazed to find 80 or so flies all tied with the same materials and style. He’d been fly-fishing for pike 3 yrs and had learned the pattern from a friend, and had stuck with it….only changing the colours and material type slightly, every now and then. He called them his “Tora Tora Killer” and gave me a few to keep, saying that I’d never need to use another fly again. Granted they were stunning looking flies, well tied with a good mix of materials but definitely not worthy of the cult status he’d revved them up to be. You’ll never hear me bang on about a specific style of fly until I’m blue in the face saying it’s the absolute bollocks or “You’ll never need to use another fly again”…blah! blah! blah! Those that do, to me, have found their comfort zone and aren’t prepared to delve into the realms of pike fly design and materials that much, which is sad in a way as you eventually end up fishing with blinkers on. Anyway if it was the only fly you ended up fishing with the rest of your life….wouldn’t you find that fucking boring as well !!!!!

Anyway that afternoon we spent 5 hours chuckin fluff and only managed 4 pike…. So much for the killer pattern I thought!. Anyway the next day I took a large selection of my own flies along and before we departed we sat down over a couple of cups of coffee and disgust the previous days fishing, where it transpired that both were basically self taught pike fly-fishermen & fly tyer’s (Respect fellas) This though had unfortunately stunted their progression in the sport some what. I told them they both needed to look further than the comfort zone they’d obviously fallen into, & just for that day use a multitude of different flies I’d tied, instead of the flies they’d brought….Which thank Christ they agreed. By the time we’d stopped for lunch both chaps had bagged no fewer than 15 pike….The most pike they’d ever caught in a single 4 hr session.

Before each change of fly, I explained to them the action it would give off under the water as well as how to fish the fly through different depths and speeds. By the end of the day the pair had caught 27 pike. In one day they had learned more about the engineering and esthetics that goes into different pike flies, than in the 3 years they’d been pike fly-fishing. This wasn’t because my flies were better, but because we used all types of flies, tied with all manner or materials & colours, fished at different speeds and depths and it opened their eyes up to a whole new world………..More tomorrow!