I got a shock yesterday. Remember that fly tying comp where in order to get to the 'final' a top ten finish was necessary at the public vote stage? Well despite being convinced I'd failed to make the cut, when the final count up was made I'd somehow snuck through........and bugger me if, after the scrutiny of half a dozen respected fly tying judges, I've only gone and won it! To say I'm pleased is an understatement; even though the whole thing was just a bit of fun - and open to tyers of all standards - it was a nice feeling to receive the nod from such luminaries as George Barron and Dave Wiltshire.
For those of you not familiar with the comp, the brief was to produce a nymph - any design, any size, shape, colour etc. This broad church resulted in patterns being submitted from as diverse fields as stillwater cruncher, buzzer and shrimp styles to semi realistic woven river bugs. I went for a middle ground of sorts and created the 'GPO' - general purpose olive: broadly a river pattern, but with a couple of features which might more commonly be found on long-leader stillwater nymphs. The end result is not without its faults I admit, although I must have done something right in the eyes of the judges. I suppose I'd better get a few fish caught on them though....at the end of the day, a fly is useless if the fish don't like it!
Hook: Varivas 2200 #12,14
Underbody: olive Hends body quill (Flytying Boutique)
Abdomen: strip of clear flexibody
Thorax dubbing: blend of sow bug and SLF
Thorax cover: strip of packaging foam tinted with olive perm marker
Cheeks: jungle cock splits
Head: three coats of 'hard as nails' varnish over thorax cover and cheeks
Above photos by kind permission of Rob Denson