Over the past ten weeks we’ve been learning to tie our own flies for fly fishing with Pat Stevens from FlyTek Fly Fishing. We’ve learnt a lot and although we are by no means experts at least we now know how to tie the majority of flies we use.
As Pat is the manager at Foxhouses Lake Fishery the class were invited to join Bolton Fly Tying Club for one of their matches where we each had to choose 3 flies we had tied ourselves and only use those 3 for the 3.5 hours of the competition. It was a tough choice but as we’d not been to this venue before Wendy and I selected almost the same flies of a Cats Whiker Lure, A Buzzer and an Elk Hair Caddis – which in theory covered all bases.
The weather was grim when we arrived and through the match got progressively worse and with the wind gusting we were glad that we’d had a few extra lessons to help our casting from Mike Roden at Curleys. We fished mainly at the bottom end of the lake where the wind was producing fairly large ripples and after a few violent takes where Wendy actually got snapped off on the take, I eventually managed to land a beautiful Rainbow Trout of about 2.5 lbs on the Elk Hair Caddis, a fly that sat in the surface and I saw get engulfed by the fish before it took of like a steam train.
These fish fought and hit hard, a lot harder than any other ‘stocked’ fish I’ve encountered.
After the match end we enjoyed a BBQ put on by Bolton Fly Tying Club then we stayed and fished for another few hours (after upping the breaking strain of our tippet line from 5 to 10lb) and I managed to land another Rainbow on a replacement for the fly that got wrecked during the competition. Wendy got one to the bank but it threw the hook just as we were about to ‘land’ it.
Pat is going to be doing an ‘intermediate’ as opposed to a ‘starter’ fly tying course over the winter so we may join him for that but first, we’ll see how many more fishy denizens we can tempt with what we’ve leaned so far.
A full report of what flies caught can be read on the Bolton Fly Tying Club blog here.
It was (and still is) a great feeling, my first fish on a fly I tied myself, off the surface, in fairly tough conditions – brilliant.