Tuesday, 30 November 2010

My Inspired Project

I've been tying flies for almost 2 years now and have been using a rotary style vice bought off eBay for about £15. To be honest it has served me well and has helped produce many flies in that time, but there are one or two things that annoyed me with the design and the ergonomics of it.

Fly tying is a hobby that is destined to be a part of my life for the foreseeable future so I'd planned to use my visit to this years BFFI to have a close look at a couple of the vices I'd chosen to be potential candidates for replacing the old model.

To be honest I was impressed with what I saw and found it hard to walk away without a purchase but I think that looking at the vices gave me the realisation that for someone that has spent his whole working life involved in engineering then I should really try and come up with my own creation.

Its a thought I had considered before but the awareness of the amount of time that such a project would take had led me to the route of considering a purchase rather than making my own.

Anyway...after plenty of thought and scribbled sketches and a few weeks of working 'after hours' on the vice I came up with a prototype which was later tweaked to produce the finished product. I have given it some quite extensive testing over the last week and I am finding it a joy to use.

Regardless of how happy I am with the vice I have to report that the quality of my flies has unfortunately remained at the same standard, but I'm sure to enjoy the practising that little bit more.

                 A few of the recent flies tied on the new vice

Monday, 1 November 2010

The BFFI & Autumn On The Clun


The annual British Fly Fair International 2010 was again held at Trentham Gardens in Stoke over the weekend and put on a fine display of all things fly-tying.

This is a great event for catching up on what new materials are available and stocking up on a few supplies...I normally end up leaving with far more than I planned! I managed to resist the temptation of walking away with a new vice but I'm sure its only a matter of time.

This event also gives you the opportunity to watch some of the elite fly-tyers and quiz them on some of their techniques. For me 'tyers row' is what makes the show special with Dave Wiltshire & Andy Baird demonstrating some extremely eye-catching flies, its was also nice to put a face to a few people I met from the Flyforums.

Andy Baird - Master at the art of micro flies.

Seasoned favourite at the show - Oliver Edwards

Next year's event sees a change of venue to the County Showground Stafford and will now be earlier in the year in June.


I couldn't resist rounding the weekend off with a little Grayling fishing on the superb River Clun. Warm temperatures, little wind and the most stunning Autumn colours paved the way to a very productive few hours.

The warmer temperatures had spurred on some flies to hatch which led to a few fish coming to the surface, although a change to dry fly with a small nymph below proved that the majority of these fish were out of season trout so it was back on with the tungsten bugs to get down to where the Grayling were feeding.

Out of season but fighting fit and in beautiful condition

With the clocks going back one hour it all seemed to end too early but the drive back home gave me time to try and think of a possible new Grayling fly to tie up using my new stock of materials!