CFFC Inaugural Fly Swap - February 99

The Crediton Fly Fishing Club Inaugural Fly Swap has been completed on time by fifteen of the sixteen participants.

On the 22nd March there was a meeting at the Exchange to admire everyones' fly tying finesse, and to arrange the handover of each participant's share of new flies.   It was extremely well attended, and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening,   particularly Mike Weaver's demonstrations of the Klinhamer short cut and the Sparkle Caddis.

After considerable deliberation on my part, Jon Ponting was awarded the prize for the best entry for his Pheasant Tails.   Eighteen flies, and not a hackle out of place... Every one identical.

It was really good to get so many members together at the beginning of the season, and I hope that there will be a similar response next year if we repeat the event.

All those who took part are listed below.

Just click on the fly pattern to download a picture and the materials.

Participants Fly Pattern Received
Mike Weaver Orange Sparkle Caddis (dry)January 10th 99
David Pope Yeo BugFebruary 20th 99
Howard Thresher Iron Blue Copper Variant (dry)January 19th 99
Tony Whieldon Grey Duster (dry)February 17th 99
Bryan Martin Greenwell's Glory (dry)February 13th 99
Greg Mason G R H E NymphFebruary 9th 99
Bob Swinhoe Hairy NymphFebruary 18th 99
Jeff Clark Sun Fly (dry)January 30th 99
John Ponting Red Tag (dry)February 20th 99
Jon Ponting Pheasant Tail (dry)February 20th 99
Ted Riseley Williams Favourite (dry)January 6th 99
Dierk Ströle Cul De Canard (dry)February 18th 99
Roddy Rae Hackled Adams (dry)February 9th 99
Keith Hicks Sellafield SheepJanuary 17th 99
Mike Squance M J SpecialFebruary 10th 99

Fly Tying by Keith Hicks

The prospect of sitting in front of a roaring log fire, on a wet and windy night, tying flies and supping a 12 year old malt is my idea of heaven.     My thoughts wandering back to last season, the warm balmy evenings, the tinkling of the Creedy, trout taking on every cast and my trusty pipe hanging from my jaw wafting the delicious aroma of Bovey Honey.

But back to reality,  Howard wants 18 flies for his 'Fly Swop' by early Feb, not a daunting prospect to most of our members I guess,  however to me, not a thrilling prospect.     I've always wondered why we tie our own flies, tennis players don't make their own racquets, or golfers their own clubs, so where do I begin ?

Mike Weaver seems a decent sort of chap, someone who knows how to catch the odd fish or two, so I thought a browse through his book, The Pursuit of Wild Trout, would be the ideal place to start.
The first thing I noticed about the noble art of fly tying is the unusual materials required...  Where do you get hare's ear hair, slate blue cock hackle, swan herl and so on?     I mean will these creatures happily let you have just a little of their prized accoutrements?     Thank goodness I dont need rhinoceros ear hair, or elephant herl I thought, taking another considered sip of Glenfidich.

I selected a simple fly to tie, anyone could tie this I thought, a 'green caterpillar.   So next day, I'm off to see Charlie, my friend at Brailies,   he doesn't know he's my friend, he probably doesn't know me at all, even though I pester him about something or other every Spring.     Charlie found me just the hook I needed which was a good start and even the copper wire didn't cause a stir,   however caterpillar green wool was too much to ask for, and I was directed to the Bridal Shop just around the corner.

The shop assistant was most understanding when I explained that I needed caterpillar green wool to make some fishing flies.    She confessed that fly tying was not her forte, however, she listened intently while I described exactly the colour I needed ...... according to Charlie, that is.

It transpired that the little bit of green on the bush just left of the cottage above the cart in a tapestry called 'Cottage and Cart' was just the colour I needed, and I bought a small skein of the beautiful apple green tapestry wool, which I reckoned would make me at least a few hundred flies.     With spectacles, spotlight, magnifying glass, and bright paper background assembled, I start to tie my very first fly....

At an earlier fly tying evening, Mike Weaver made it look so easy, whizz round the shank, flick a bit here and there, and you have it, a beautiful fly.     Obviously I had chosen the most difficult one in his book to tie, the wool wouldn't stay on the hook but kept slipping around the shank and the copper wire wasn't co-operative either, it too was sliding around and ended up wound around the point after catching on anything in it's path en route.......

Many hours later and some judicious use of super glue and I had finished, the sweat and frustration showing in every wrinkle on my face, however a warm feeling of satisfaction and pride bathed over me as I thought of the joy the other fly swoppers would have when they used my fly to catch the 'fish of the year',..   They will, won't they?

My over enthusiasm with wool and wire became more obvious when I discovered that I couldn't fit my eighteen flies into Howard's regulation film canister,  though I gather that big game fish will take 'Small Woolly Sheep' so you can always use your green caterpillar offshore if you find yourself fishing off the continental shelf.

Roll on the next fly swop..................


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Last updated 9th February 2000