So I am always partial to getting some free stuff in the post however generally the requests I get to review stuff or promote I knock back as they want to retain control of what you write about and usually the stuff is shite anyway.
I have had a few folk asking me to write about their flies over the years and I have never really needed to as I tie the majority of my own – I generally do not tie my loch flies but have a fair old stock anyway (or I steal em’ off mates).
So when I received an email from David at Fish 4 Flies asking me to take a look at their flies I was about to press delete when I remembered Spring is here and I do actually need a few flies. Firstly I needed some Stimulators as my meagre supply are all up trees and I ran out of hooks to tie any up (plus mine are rubbish anyway) and secondly I could do with some loch lures for my local ponds. “Aye ok” I messaged back and promptly forgot all about it until a wee packet popped through the door this morning and out popped the goodies.
I wondered where they originally came from, as in who tied them. I bought some lovely loch flies up in Lewis and it was obvious they were tied by a local, probably after digging up some peat for the fire while having a dram.
I suspect these come from slightly further afield.
On the Fish 4 Flies website it states :
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so we understand the importance that every fly we have tied meets our quality standards and is made from the very best materials so that they don’t fall apart in the water.
- Chemically-sharpened Japanese hooks.
- Hoffman/Whiting hackle.
- All soft materials sourced in USA or UK. No substitutes
- Manufacturer has been in business for 35 years.
- All flies tied by experienced tiers, in factory, under constant supervision.
- Hourly quality control checks during tying.
Right, so what this tells me is that they are tied outside the UK – seeing as how I do not know any factories that actually advertise for tyers I suspected correctly they are from Kenya. Additionally after I asked they are also tied up in Sri Lanka.
Not that I am against buying flies from Kenya – 99% of the flies you buy online and in shops for that matter are from Kenya so I am not having a dig. Just stating that if you think some pipe smoking old timer is slaving away over the winter to fill up your box they are not. Fulling Mill have all their flies tied in Kenya and they are seen as the cream of the crop which they are not – in fact in my opinion Fulling Mill flies are rubbish (like their tackle).
So anyway, I opened my bag of goodies.
For hot days on highland streams Stimulators are the buzz and now I have a stock of them. Look buddy I am not making out I am some kind of expert reviewer here when it comes to flies – they looked in proportion to me and quite frankly I could not tie any better ones. In fact mine would be a lot worse.
I took a photo next to one of my wee parachutes just to show you how big they are (you can take that sentence how you want it.)
Look I am not going to lie to you I do not think I would ever tie up a fly like this but it looks damn fishy. The Hornberg is one of those flies that can be pulled as a stream or fished as a stimulator – it is a new one on me.
The Apache white and black
They say “
The Apache White is probably the most exciting and devastatingly successful pattern to hit lakes, ponds and reservoirs.
The pulsing movement of the white mink body plus the stimulating flowing and eye catching movement of the marabou and flashabou tail make it a serious killer.
Two to three short jerks followed by a steady retrieve, repeat and be ready for savage takes. “
Oh man – if there is something I like it is savage takes – especially on my local ponds. I reckon the trouties will love them.
All in all I am impressed – if you must buy some flies and you do not have access to a vice you could do a hell of a lot worse than going to Fish 4 Flies.