A New Sergeant Major…

The squadrons were depleted in last year’s campaign of trout hunting by various means. Lost in action they were – up trees, on boulders, very occasionally in fish, sometimes on shopping trolleys and on one memorable occasion on the back of my jacket. Brings a tear to a glass eye that would – those little lads flying through the air – their mission to sit proudly on the surface of the water in a perfect imitation of a spiky insect. Occasionally (of course) they must dive underwater and imitate some kind of nymph – the danger for the boys makes me shiver at night, the thought of them hooking a boulder or shopping trolley, however the joy they feel when their training and camouflage fool some wily trout is really something to behold.


However, a full year has almost past since the first initial training of the troops from the Academy of Vice – sure there has been reinforcements as the campaign has progressed however these have been in dribs and drabs as time allows. Sadly, now the troops are weary, there ranks depleted – they look at the gaps in their ranks where their fallen comrades once stood proudly with there wing posts ready to be ginked and are crestfallen…


Like I say, it was sad during the season seeing my boys coming out of combat. however they are brave lads…I can only imagine what they face in their watery combat with some hungry trout – those big lips full of sharp teeth ready to rip and tear..


I try not to think about the boys that tempt Pike – maybe one day I will feel strong enough to talk about em’

The Sergeant from the Academy of Vice  is battle weary and due to a rather rash buy unable to clamp properly on to a new  kitchen table to prepare and train more troops (thanks to  the Supreme Commander)

The Sergeant decided it was time to let a young one take over, one that was up to the task of rotary techniques  


Merely standing easy – ready to stand to attention at the first hint of trouble – he now has a companion to share the burden – a comrade in arms if you will. A new recruit from the United States has arrived – a place where they insist on calling the Academy of Vice the Academy of Vise – over here we understand the nature of fly tying – it is a vice – like an addiction!


Oh yes – the Nor Vise has arrived – the untrained troops are looking forward to these new fangled American ways with their spinning hooks and automatic bobbins . The Nor Vise attaches to iether your fly tying bench or a piece of wood you can move about from place to place – the Supreme Commander hinted at close to home fatalities if the Nor Vise was attached to new kitchen table so a piece of wood is currently being located – Being impressed by Tamanawis and his Stand of Majesty  he was duly dispatched to locate a suitable mount for the Academy.

End of Current Dispatch – More to Follow!


  1. matt · January 11, 2009

    Top quality stuff SIR!!

    I’ve been replenishing my battle-ravaged band of renegade balloons myself. Never have I seen so many open wounds to delicate foam bodies, so many broken ribs, so many scarred abdomens. It will take several weeks of intensive rehabilitation to get the sorry troops ready for action once again…..now where’s that whisky.

    Another great post Alistair,


  2. Alistair · January 11, 2009

    Matt said
    “Never have I seen so many open wounds to delicate foam bodies, so many broken ribs, so many scarred abdomens”


  3. The Trout Underground · January 11, 2009

    It scares me when you go all Battle of Britain on us.

  4. j d buchanan · January 11, 2009

    maybe the wives are right and we are all mad,but roll on the season and i am out of the house again,ok love i will make the coffee,yes i was wasting my time again making flies,paint the kitchen,weeeeeeeeeeell not today

  5. Stuart B · January 11, 2009

    Well it’s either the drink or the drugs …What a state he’s got himself in ..Wait ’til the sleepless nights start .:-)

  6. alan atkins · January 11, 2009

    Alistair, all the best for the arrival of your child. I found that night fishing for sea trout was the way forward when Ruben was a baby. I would go out at 11pm and return at 3 and do the night time feeds thus giving the boss a full night’s sleep and then i woul get to sleep in the morning. This worked for us, but all new parents have to find a way that suits them and that allows both of you enough sleep and time for yourselves. So, sea trout is the way ahead for you !!!

  7. kbarton10 · January 11, 2009

    Did I spy a dozen conscientious objectors hiding from view?

  8. Stuart B · January 11, 2009

    Are some of them wearing kilts ? Have others collapsed with the heat ?

  9. Alistair · January 11, 2009

    Peace Activists,
    The troops are too well trained to be anything but 100% efficient fishing catching machines.


  10. Peter · January 11, 2009

    I could do with a good laugh now I`m back at work,so I wondered if any of you gents have heard from our hard working,infinitely wise,ever approachable and extremely efficient commitee,about this year`s A.G.M?

  11. Alistair · January 11, 2009

    That is a point Peter – it is usually around the middle of January !

    I take it noone has had a letter through the post?

  12. Stuart B · January 11, 2009

    Acccording to the permit is 8th Feb,1900 Hrs at Pertik Burra Halls.
    Not had any letter yet .

  13. Peter · January 11, 2009

    The reason I ask is, I heard there was a fire at the halls recently.I don`t know how extensive it was.I`d phone Dougie but I don`t think he`s too involved these days.With any luck,Santa might have brought the other members of the committee phones for Christmas.

  14. Stuart B · January 11, 2009
  15. Blanefishing · January 11, 2009

    alistair I cannot believe that you have purchased such a useless piece of kit. Totally inflexible useless jaws even needs a bloody board to carry around with it for that type of money you could have bought a decent vice instead of a gimmicky contraption that is totally inflexible and you need a video to work

  16. Alistair · January 11, 2009

    The Sergeant Major will have you up on a charge with that kind of talk!

  17. George · January 11, 2009

    Hey Alistair , remember me … the wee hobbit from Saltcoats ??

    Not heard from you in ages. Mega congrats on the family addition .. still to arrive ?

    Whats your thoughts on the nor vise ?
    I was going to get one, still deciding on the justify to myself. If the girlfriend was to discover the details and price .. I’d be in casualty with a couple of items on ice … wouldn’t be attached 🙂

    Hope you and famly good man.

    Oh, Happy New Year ….. see, no contact for ages

    George :o)

  18. Alistair · January 11, 2009

    George – how are you doing buddy!! – yep, I am still awaiting the arrival of number one child – my better half is drinking lots of funny tea and eating spicy foods.
    To my shame I remember getting an email from you a while ago and have only just now realised I never replied – sorry about that – been as busy as a monkey with a new tire 🙂

    I have still not mounted the Nor Vise on a board yet – look out for an ongoing review over the next month or so – dont listen to blanefishing he does not like these new fangled things like electricity and cars!


  19. Blanefishing · January 11, 2009

    Mount the thing on a plastic bread board, but i cannot see what it does that a quality rotary vice would not do better.
    1. The jaws are fixed in one position at right angles to the pedastal and only have a rotary capabilty personally I seldon tye with my vice jaws at right angles
    2. The Jaws are the worst that I have seen on any vice and I am not certain how long they will last
    3. the only benefit that I can see is that you can apply bodies easily but you can do that anyway with a true rotary
    4. For the sort of money that they are asking buy a LAW or dynaking rotary and enjoy life without a video
    5. Because of the need for a bread board its not the easiset thing to transport

  20. George · January 11, 2009

    Hi Alistair –
    Yea been a while man 🙂 .. no worries .. you’ve been busy 🙂
    Ah the spicey food and the tea .. as long as better half good .. and from the latest posts .. the wee man are doing great 🙂

    The Nor Vice .. non of this Vise patter .. lol
    Well, I took the plunge, just over a week ago, sent my credit card to hell … The Nor Vise arrived .. TODAY !!
    It would have been sooner .. but there was a bloody import charge on it .. thanks to good old cust n excise
    No matter, if we want the good gear, then I think we have to pay …. well my justification is .. I get regular bonus at work so .. bonus pays .. works for me.
    I’ve still to get a board sorted out .. maybe a peice of 4 or 5 ply and a bit of felt for base 🙂

    Im looking forward to sorting it out and getting some tying done.
    Being a bit of a chunky bloke doesnt make it too comfortable wrapping material around a hook, so the hook spinning technique will be a big plus 🙂
    … I’ll look forward to your review … i doing listen to negative opinion .. not that i’m saying anything about CARS and ELECTRICITY being bad …. maybe candles are the NEW DURACELL

    George 🙂

  21. Alistair · January 11, 2009

    Hey George,
    I got a plastic chopping board from Macro – a big one – I then drilled two holes in it – I did not countersink them though as I then bought some rubber feet from Maplin:

    It is all set up and ready to go – just not got around to getting my stuff together yet – I am amazed at what I used to do in my spare time before the wee tyke came along – now I tend to just sit and stare into space 😉

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