Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Has the worm turned? San Juan hits fisheries near you!

Photo courtesy Nathan Poland

Photo courtesy of David Brown, Glasgow Angling Centre

Where to start... the San Juan worm has intrigued me for a while... I've tied it with BUG-BOND and without and fished both styles with equal success... 

The last week of February was busy... Thursday I was driving up to Glasgow for the Glasgow Angling Centre Spring Open Weekend... it is the biggest free fishing show in the UK. It's a great show... the people are great and many regular faces have become friends! However, my week started on the Monday fishing a fishery in Shropshire as the guest of a long time pal of mine... Mike Helliwell. 

I won't bore you with the detail save to say that I and another guest cleaned up... on the worm... of my 22 +1 approximately 11 +1 were caught on the worm... the +1 was a perch... happy days. I think of Paul's 18 fish a good proportion were on the worm... possibly 9 or so... 

Now... back to GAC after my Monday high! In amongst BUG-BOND demonstrations I tied the San Juan... primarily for my own box... However, I did get 3 young fly tyers to watch and tie a fly. Of the apprentices Nathan Poland has written back to me after tying his fly and the week after the GAC show caught 13 fish including this magnificent 6lb brown trout! Nathan had travelled 4 hours by train with his mum to the show and was able to meet his heroes including Paul Young... showing his commitment. For me getting youngsters like Nathan to tie a fly is a buzz but to get them writing back the following week with the fruits of their labours well that is just brilliant!

Thank you Nathan for sharing your catch... great work! Tight lines for the future!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

BUG-BOND is 5 years old and we hit the Orvis catalogue in the US!

Enough said!

I can't believe it is 5 years since I started on a path that would give birth to the BUG-BOND brand... It is and remains the UV cured resin with the longest track record of tack-free performance in fly tying. Why? Because it came to the market tack-free from launch and it was hailed as such by Toby Merigan of Funky Fly Tying...

"BUG-BOND™ is the Holy Grail. It makes tying and finishing flies so much quicker than normal epoxy or varnish"  Toby Merigan.

Back in April 2009 Toby was the first person outside the family to know of its existence and became the first retailer of BUG-BOND the following year. The cast of folk who have helped and supported me along the way has been immeasurable and it is truly a cast of thousands... every member of the BUG-BOND Pro-Tying Team, distributor, retailer and BUG-BOND user is responsible for where BUG-BOND UV Cured Resin is today. Many of you have become friends and a few have become mentors.

I am fortunate to have the full support and backing of Veniard Ltd and WAPSI Fly Inc... to add to this I'm pleased to announce that we have hit the line up of new products for Orvis in the US for 2014!

BUG-BOND is a world brand... Thank you for believing!

PS... You can see BUG-BOND at the Glasgow Angling Centre with me this weekend whilst Barry Ord Clarke and Chris Sandford will be at Rutland on Sunday!

Current BUG-BOND Pro-Tying Team line up...

Theo Bakalaar (Netherlands)
Grant Bench (USA)
Lee Blanton (USA)
Jobina Chia (Malaysia)
Ian Christie (Scotland)
Barry Ord Clarke (United Kingdom/Norway)
Sergio Cordoba (Argentina)
Paul van den Driesche (Netherlands)
Andy Elliott (Ireland)
Ilan Evans (Wales)
Fabrizio Gajardoni (Italy)
David Gourong (France)
Simon Graham (South Africa)
Pete Gray (USA)
Ulf Hagstrom (Sweden)
Finn Jensen (Denmark)
Peter Joest (Germany)
Trevor Jones (Wales)
Skúli Kristinsson (Iceland)
Holger Lachmann (Germany)
Jerry Lee (United Kingdom)
Dougie Loughridge (Scotland)
Thomas Magnusson (Sweden)
Mario Malarczuk (Germany)
Hywel Morgan (Wales)
Davie McPhail (Scotland)
Johan Put (Netherlands)
Chris Reed (United Kingdom)
Chris Reeves (United Kingdom)
Barry Reynolds (USA)
Chris Sandford (United Kingdom)
Jono Shales (Australia)
Steve Silverio (USA)
Riny Sluiter (Netherlands)
Jo Stephenson (United Kingdom)
Rune Stokkebekk (Norway)
Andrés Touceda (Spain)
Hendrik Wiegand (Germany)

Monday, 3 February 2014

Flies, Leukaemia and Valentines

Haydn Edwards 1964-2012
February is never an easy month, in the Northern hemisphere most are deep in the grip of winter and suffering post-Christmas blues but it is punctuated with Valentine's Day to lighten the dark days. Two years ago it took on a different meaning for me personally and one that I have struggled with and not written about before.

It is a post about the loss of my brother almost two years ago… a loss that I have struggled to come to terms with. They say men are not good at sharing emotions… they also say it isn’t a man thing… I’d say it is a personal thing and sometimes joined up thinking is hard.

This post has been driven out of me by circumstance and a phone call from Ian Christie, friend, BUG-BOND Team member and owner of Flybox International in Scotland. Ian rang me to say that he’d set up a monthly NOT-FOR-PROFIT Charity Fly Event via the Flybox Facebook page and would the greater BUG-BOND Team get involved. I said that I was sure they would… have you got a charity in mind and when is it going to start… No and February was the response. I don’t know why or how but I said that February was a key month in my life because of the loss of my brother and I’d be pleased if Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research was chosen… Deal done and now to email the team… the support has been phenomenal, not only from the team but from people who have never heard my brother’s name before.

Generously donated by Ian Christie of Flybox International
So a bit of background as to why Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research…

I have two brothers… rather had… Haydn & Jonathan (Jon) both younger than me – Haydn was the middle brother. Born in December 1964… he went to Art College from school at the age of 17… he was a talented artist, photographer and film maker.  Above all though, he was a car nut and the Mini designed by Sir Alec Issigonis was the constant thread in his life… he was a self-taught welder and with his artist’s eye rebuilt Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Porsches and of course very many Minis… He did it as a job but it was more of an art form to him.

Back in the summer of 2011 he became ill and his business had to be closed… he was diagnosed with a blood related cancer and went through courses of chemotherapy… he did well with it and had a stem cell transplant in the November that year.

In January 2012 I phoned him before I got on a flight to New Jersey for The Fly Fishing Show in Somerset... he sounded great and I promised I’d visit him on my return to the UK. I was buoyed by his voice and the knowledge he was OK. I was away for 4 days… what can happen in 4 days? I touched down in the UK to find that he’d gone for a check-up and was back in hospital. The events of the following 13 days are still difficult to compute and are too personal for this blog, save that I spent most of my time during his last 5 days being with him. He sadly passed away at around 10.20 in the evening on 13th February 2012 at the young age of 47, his strength and resolve beyond reproach and his dignity intact.

Haydn and I... the same at the end as it was in the beginning
The next bit is “the how” the how you can help and this is where Ian Christie comes back into the frame. The Flybox Facebook page contains pictures of individual Lots of flies and fly tying ephemera… just like a real auction or Ebay… the auction is open for a specified period of time for each Lot, usually 7 days. The winning bidder then places the funds they have bid in the JustGiving page that Ian has set up. Click on my brother’s photo to take you there. The funds go directly to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to where they are needed.

Ian will generously cover the packing and postage unless it is a big item that needs posting internationally… then I suggest you contact him for a shipping quote.

The idea is that it is a FUN auction BUT with a serious message and whatever you give will hopefully help to save someone from a blood related cancer… so from this one loss I hope that many will benefit.

What can I bid for to help? Well...

Two Lots that may interest you the first is a framed fly by a great friend, Barry Ord Clarke... you'll know him from his blog and combines a fly pattern's of Barry's that was tied by him and became part of a BUG-BOND advert... in addition to the fly there is an original photo of Barry's of a brown trout... it is signed and numbered and would be a great addition to any fly tying room, den or man cave.

Generously donated by Barry Ord Clarke

The second Lot is from another great pal of mine, Chris Sandford... there is tons of STUFF about him on his website Chris has kindly provided a signed copy of Mayflies & More a booklet and DVD combination...

Generously donated by Chris Sandford
Chris is well known for his fishing – as a fly fisher, a vintage tackle collector and a fly tyer. Many of his innovative patterns have been featured in Fly Fishing and Fly Tying  and on Sky Sports' TV show Tight Lines. In this DVD he demonstrates tying flies that he has developed for fishing the rivers and still waters of southern England. The 70-minute DVD contains 10 fly-tying films demonstrating the tying of 10 flies. The accompanying 32-page, full colour booklet gives step by step details for tying the same flies, illustrated with detailed photographs.

In addition to the booklet and DVD the lucky bidder will also get 9 hand tied flies... all tied by Chris and including the two patterns that won The Dream Team, 'The River Test One Fly' competition in two consecutive years. The patterns were the Ducking Feadly and the BUG-BOND-Glass-Bug...

...and of course Sandford's Bullet... a successful pattern that has featured in a few BUG-BOND adverts
Generously donated 9 hand tied flies by Chris Sandford

Happy bidding...and a massive thank you to you all!

Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 Starting as we mean to carry on! (and a bit of painful learning along the way)

Last of 2013

First of 2014

After a good mauling in January 2013 and still going strong!

2014 got off to a good start... a day earlier than I did in 2013! The same fly is still being mauled (a good twelve months of it!) and its simplicity and durability is paying off big time! BUG-BOND on the head... nice and simple!

I got back into this game through fly fishing for pike... I love fishing for pike... I love pike... period!

Today was bitter sweet... today I started the account for 2014 in pretty much the same way as I ended it... small fish on and off and then a capture... both short sessions. Today it was in the midst of a storm... I was lucky and though I do know where to winkle them out... most times!

That was the sweet...

The bitter...

Another angler was doing some mixed fishing... roach and roach hybrids... with a bung in the side with a smelt on. He'd had nothing. I moved and heard him shout that he had one on... went over to see him land it and it was a fine pike of 5lbs or maybe 6lbs. 

His forceps weren't long enough and I carry a set of 12 inch forceps... just in case! This was the second time I've used them in about 6 years or so... both occasions on other people's fish! Sadly with spectacles on I could see that the smelt had been taken well into the stomach of the fish along with a set of trebles and these were not coming out and were fixed. No matter how carefully I worked I knew that if the fish was put back it wouldn't survive... these are fragile fish. I've never actually killed a pike before always choosing catch and release... I think in all honesty the fish was dead before the last rites were issued... great shame but a learning experience. I felt sorry for the guy who was obviously gutted (excuse the pun) he'd never lost a pike before... and was visibly very shocked. 

The key I think is that the strike in these cold days should be the instant the float moves otherwise the torpid pike may swallow and ingest the bait along with the ironmongery rather than picking it up and running and being hooked in the mouth... OK, so maybe you risk missing a take but I'd rather that than... well you know! 

I know that the fly takes have been gentle on the last two outings. Well those are my thoughts - I haven't bait fished for pike (or any fish) in years and prefer the single hook - fly approach!

We'll park that experience and carry on with the fly.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

2013 it's almost over!

At three in the afternoon on a cold winter's day stood by a river casting flies... can't think of a better way to burn off the Christmas excess! Potentially the last session of the year and looking forward to 2014...

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas everybody!

To all BUG-BOND supporters,followers and friends,
have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
Tight lines for 2014!

Friday, 20 December 2013

BUG-BOND gets the thumbs up from 'General' Lee

Social media and the internet is responsible for folk not getting out and about as much and experiencing the great outdoors... they want a "cuddly" and  "gentle" outdoors... it isn't, fact, it is red in tooth and claw... nature is wild and at times unforgiving. For those of us that do use the great outdoors the internet is a great method of collection and exchange of information... I have a Twitter account and I tweet occasionally! One of my Twitter followers (Lee Blanton) contacted me from the US and sent me some photos of his flies.

Lee is based in Texas and in his repertoire he ties poppers and decorates them using the Copic marker pen/airbrush system and then coats and cures using BUG-BOND. I am intrigued by the Copic system... Lee's local fly shop stocks a lot of WAPSI products and as regular readers will know WAPSI is the North American distributor of BUG-BOND resins in addition to Veniard Ltd who are the Worldwide distributors of the BUG-BOND brand. Inviting Lee onto the team will add another dimension to the team and increase what we do in the US.

So here is a little bit about Lee and some images of his poppers!  

"My name is Lee Blanton; I was born and raised in the South Eastern U.S. I started my fishing on small creeks and streams of north east Alabama, and fishing the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.

I first picked up a fly rod at age 10, it was a Wright McGill Aristocrat that was my great grandfather’s.  Shortly I was addicted and began tying flies, mainly warm water popping bugs to catch those pesky little sunfish.  Living on a farm we were lucky enough to have a small stream and a creek running through the property. These waters were where I tested my latest fly.   By age 16, I was fairly confident in my tying and starting turning out some trout flies for those small mountain streams in East Tennessee. During my high school years I got involved in water quality assessment, which was not only great for checking water quality but also with aquatic entomology.

My professional tying career started in 2007 in a local shop for some demonstrations and lessons. From there it has evolved into four or five shows a year mainly around my home in Texas (hopefully growing in the near future).  My speciality in tying is warm water flies and poppers, but my true passion is trout, especially those small mountain brook trout of East Tennessee."

Welcome to the team Lee!