Saturday, April 28, 2012
How expensive is fishing tackle these days?! I just went out to my local dealer for a few odds and ends and spent fully 20 notes on next to nothing. Surely it's not that long since I last set foot in Ted Carter's, but I swear that only couple of years ago, a pack of Kamasan B100s was £2.20 - they are £3.10 now. And Stroft! Good God, the spool above cost £7.19 where last year it was under six quid. No wonder we are all struggling financially.
Luckily for me, the lack of tying I have done over the last 12 months means that I'm pretty well stocked on the materials front. All my fly lines are pretty much in order and I've got more rods that is strictly necessary. The only significant weakness in my armory is my completely knackered breathable waders. They were completely knackered last year (and the year before come to think of it), but I have soldiered on with soggy feet and industrial quantities of Aquasure nonetheless. It truly pains me to have to spend a large sum of money on an item which will add not a jot of enjoyment to my angling days; something designed merely to keep my legs dry; something that inevitably will fail in that duty all too soon. But the time has come and next month I will replace the old 'freestones' with a new pair.
They have given me five seasons of sterling service and I will be sad to see them go. I will probably bury them in the back garden next to my wife's pet rabbit.
The reason for my visit to the tackle shop was really only to pick up a couple of packs of cul-de-canard. I wanted to tie up some cdc olive imitations and stocks were perilously low. Back home I got to work assembling a handful of 'stackwing' duns -a style of fly I have tended to neglect in favour of the 'sloping forward wing' method employed on the likes of the 'JT olive' and my own upright imitation. The formation of this type of wing involves flattening and splitting of the thread, after which cdc fibres can be inserted and locked in by spinning the bobbin clockwise to re-twist the thread. The latter process is achieved with the aid of a small bulldog clip into which the fibres of a cdc plume can be inserted before being trimmed away from the stem (you can also get the Marc Petitjean magic tool to do the same job for a lot more money). It sounds complicated but isn't - and the result is a slim bodied, but very buoyant dun which will fool a few trout.
Hook: Partridge SLD #16
Thread: Griffiths sheer 14/0 tan
Tails: coq de Lyon
Abdomen: Hends body quill #32 (with a single coat of 'hard as nails' to protect)
Wing: cul-de canard
As I write, the wind continues to blow hard off the Pennines and those balmy days we had in early spring are a distant memory. The unsettled weather pattern looks like continuing for a while yet and I am becoming impatient for the start of summer evening fishing proper. Hopefully by the time mid May arrives the weather will have settled down a bit. In the meantime I have opening day on Malham Tarn to look forward to......and a forecast of gusts to over 40mph from the north east. Oh joy.