Tying Time…

So tonight I suddenly realised that the season is around 39 days away. I also suddenly realised that all my big talk about tying up plenty of flies for the start of the season was all….well….big talk. Actually, I did start around a few weeks ago and tied up some nymphs but it was a half hearted thing – a couple a night. So I got in from work, got the gear out and decided to dive in at the deep end and tie myself up a dozen balloon elk hair caddis. Considering I have not actually tied up any before using foam they actually turned out rather well, they should work well once the caddis are on the water and in the meantime should suspend a nymph at the start of the season when fishing the…cough cough…duo.

So a dozen were tied from around 7pm until 9pm. Not bad going I thought….at the rate I lose flies I should have enough to last me the first month.


  1. Paul · February 5, 2008

    Hi Alistair,
    I fish with Elk hair caddis a lot,and you’ve now inspired me to tie up some of these wee guys.
    Did you buy special plastazote foam from the fishing shop?I know you can get cheap big packs of various coloured foam sheets from Hobbycraft,wonder if that would do the job?
    All the best.


  2. macky · February 5, 2008

    alright alister, took yer advice and looked up the casting tuition sites you gave me .some good stuff in there . im gonny book a lesson with alberto laidlaw in the next couple of months and hopefully be whipping them oot the kelvin when the trout season starts. so cheers for the advice mate yer sum man

  3. Matt · February 5, 2008

    What’s wrong with the duo? If it wasn’t for this method, I’d never catch anything!! Thinking of experimenting with floating putty this season……

  4. Alistair · February 5, 2008

    Macky – chances are you will probably catch more and bigger trout than me during the season – most people do 🙂

    Matt – floating putty ? you are just two steps away from a float and a worm !!

    Only kidding – probably the reason I dont like the duo is because it is so unweildy to cast – last year I had a season long battle with myself about using it, however this year I have decided to embrace the concept and give it a serious go when know trout are showing! I used that floating putty and found it to be not very good – I then moved on to yarn however it soon became waterlogged as well. I have pretty much decided that a nice bushy fly is enough to suspend the fly as well as act as an attracter. It took me a year to work that out and one of my fishing buddies about a day.

    Stuck in my ways….moi?

  5. George · February 5, 2008

    Hey Alistair – howzit hangin ?
    Liking the latest on the blog … Hey, like he look of that box .. wonder what type the box is ?

    Not much going on down here, permit/membership night this coming Monday, will have to miss it due to working .. will getto the second one though .. week from Monday

    All the best man .. fi the Saltcoats Hobbit :o)

    George :o)

  6. Alistair · February 5, 2008

    Hi George – I bought the box from this site

    It was under a fiver if I mind correctly !

    Permits, permits, permits – oh aye I passed by a lovely wee river on my way to Irvine last week – cannae mind what it was called though – you know it ?

  7. macky · February 5, 2008

    alright alister a few quick questions about the kelvin . whats in it ? is it only trout . whats the best flys to use ? and whats the best fish youve pulled out of it ?and this ones optinal do you know any hot spots in it . ill leave the last one up to you if you tell me lol

  8. alan atkins · February 5, 2008

    Alex and i headed for grayling Shangri – La on Sautrday. After weeks of rain and swollen rivers, at last Saturday dawned with new hope of chasing the lady of the stream. The river was at a reasonable fishing height, if a bit big for ideal conditions. Anyway, we needn’t have worried as the day proved to be a cracker. The grayling were soon coming to hand and we enjoyed great sport with fish mostly in the 1lb – 1.5lb class, although Alex picked up a lovely hen fish that must have been aroung the 2.25lb mark. With lower conditions, this river could really turn up trumps, in fact, Alex and i are confident that given more attention this river could well produce grayling of 3lb and over !!!

  9. Alistair · February 5, 2008

    Hey Macky – check out http://theriverkelvin.co.uk/
    for more info on the Kelvin 🙂

    Alan – sounds great fun !

  10. Jim · February 5, 2008


    Don’t know which route you would take to Irvine so can’t help on the river I’m afraid.. Unless you drove through Darvel, Newmilns and Galston ..A71 I think.. in which case it’d be the River Irvine.
    We were down checking it out last week as a friend of mine has a friend in Darvel, it looks nice, we’re going to get permits for it this season.


  11. alan atkins · February 5, 2008

    Alistair, if you drove to Irvine via Kilbirnie, Dalry and Kilwinning , the river you would have seen would have been the River Garnock

  12. George · February 5, 2008

    Hi Alistair 🙂

    Yea, know the Garnock … that was the river that I used to fish. It was more a place to cut my ” fly fishng ” teeth on .. then got the membership for the present club .. which reminds me, need to get membership next week .. Monday night .. or its a cheque to the member sec.

    Still working away .. need to really .. got my MOT and Tax to pay for the car this month .. got the tax in .. stunned to see an extra £85 !!

    Cheerz man .. got to skoot

    George 😮

  13. Alistair · February 5, 2008

    I did not know you drive George ? you should head over this way sometime !

  14. Salmonoid · February 5, 2008

    Hey!! I am a very keen fly dresser any chance you could sent me the recipe for balloon elk hair caddis.
    If you could it would be very much appreciated

  15. Alistair · February 5, 2008

    Hi Salmonoid – I use a different pattern than most – bear in mind this is the first year I have tied them up – I got this recipe from an old magazine and it should be a pretty much unsunkable fly.

    Body:olive squirell
    Underwing: Fiery Red Polyyarn
    Wing:Deer hair
    Baloon: foam.

  16. nicolas valentin · February 5, 2008

    Got my first pike on the fly near balmaha last week (+- lb4 )talk to you sometime alistair.your blog is great!nicolas

  17. Alistair · February 5, 2008

    Hi Nicolas – sounds great – you fancy meeting up sometime ?


  18. James "The Fly Fishing " Mann · February 5, 2008

    I haven’t looked at my fly tying table for a while but I am all stocked up with the flies I need and ready to go.

    We still have 42 days to go and this will be the first time I have been allowed to go fishing since my heart attack in 2004 so I am suffering quite a bit from cabin fever.

  19. Alistair · February 5, 2008

    Hi James thanks for commenting – 42 days yikes that seems like an age we are now sitting at around 13 days until the start of the trout season.

    If you fancy you can tie me up some 🙂


  20. Billy · February 5, 2008

    Well, my season doesn’t start until the last Saturday in April so I’m confined to the basement study until then. It’s taken me two years to try and get some local trout fishing here in Indiana. The humidity pushes the temps into the 90,s here in Summer so the waters are too warm for trout. Recently though I tracked down the Brookville tailwater which runs out of Brookville Resoviour http://mvff.tripod.com/Brookville.htm
    The Army core of engineers manages the Dam and the guy in charge is a trout man who understands the need for coooold water. They release water from the bed of the dam which keeps the tailwater cool in summer and supports a decent head of Brown and Rainbows. We are not allowed to kill Brownies under 16″ which gives you some idea of the feeding here. The insects here are weird and wonderful (And infuriatingly itchy!!) We only have a two mile stretch before the tailwater reaches the main river and becomes to warm again so its pretty packed at the weekends. I plan to fish on Mondays when everyong else is slogging away at work.
    Glad I found this blog. I have fond memories of the old Kellie and how far it has come over these past few years.

  21. Dan · February 5, 2008

    No browns under 18″ my friend. Also,
    Wednesday, May 14 will be the day we’re stocking this year’s bunch of new browns. Show up at the parking lot in the city park around 2pm to help. http://www.centralindianatu.org

Comments are closed.