Monday, 6 January 2014

BFFI 2014 
8th-9th February

This Years BFFI really is going to be the show of the year in the UK with some amazing fly dressers from all over the world coming together and showing their skills in thier respective fields. 

Whether it be Pike, Realistic, Salmon,Seatrout,Trout,Grayling, there will be something for everyone to get inspiration and ideas for future patterns.

This Year Deer Creek have a number of Pro Team Members tying at the show to demonstrate their skills and Usage of Deer Creek Resin and Materials.

Deer Creek Stand Tyers


Andy is a allround tyer but specialises in UK Stillwater flies and River Flies.


Markus is emerging as one of the top realistic fly tyers in Europe but also create great river and pike flies.


Dave Lindsay is one of the UK's most popular Pike fisherman and creates some very successful patterns. 


Conan is one of Scotlands finest wet fly tyers and is a up and coming Pike expert under the tuition of Dave Lindsay.

Tying on Tyers Row we have;


Dai is one of the countries finest Salmon and Seatrout/Sewin Tyers.

JOHAN PUT(Netherlands)

Johan is a fantastic all round fly tyers and really is a expert in his field whether it be Realistic tying or Trout flies.


Niklas Really does tie a Beautiful Dry fly so why not check him out on tyers row

SCOTT KANE(Scotland)

Scott is a Allround tyer but specialises in Clyde Style Flies and River patterns. 

So with this amount of tallent at the show there is no excuse for you not to visit and have a great time.


to buy tickets or for further info visit

Saturday, 28 December 2013


A month or so ago i decided to head out to a a fishery in North Yorkshire called Belflask, Its a Privately Rub fishery stocked with rainbow and brown trout and is a little gem hidden away amongst the countryside.

Autumn is the time of year where i cant wait to get out with my Zeech and Zonkers to target the fry feeders.

Nothing beats the aggressive pulls and takes you get when the trout are heavily on the fry. With cooler water conditions the trout really do put up one hell of a fight.


We arrived at the fishery for 8am with no other cars in the car park. The fish could be seen boiling and rising all over with the occasional flash of small fry in the margins. As you can imagine at this point i am itching to get into the fish in a big way.

A light Wind was kissing the surface of the water creating a perfect ripple. Conditions couldnt be better.

I set up with 2 rods, My 10ft 6" Sharpes Gordon and 10ft Atom Six Switch rod which i have been given to test by Deer Creek.

On my Atom Six Roid i set up with a #8 Clear Intermediate (for that added bit of stealth), 15ft of 8lb Airflo Sightfree Leader and a Black Zeech.

On the Sharpes Gordon i set up with a #8 Floating Line, 6ft of 6lb Airflo Sightfree leader and a Black Zonker.

Upon setting up iu made my way round the lake to a Double peg on the far side.

With anticipation i made my first cast with the Atom Six rod and started with a slow figure of 8 retrieve, Nothing !! 
Second Cast, Nothing! 
Third Cast, Nothing!

Hmmmm, i was wondering as normally this is a good go to pattern for fry feeding trout, after trying white and olive zeech,s i had managed to get a couple of fish to the net but sport was slow. 

I then remembered i had tied up a few natural Grizzle zeech,s the day before as i knew the fish would be on the fry. I tied one on to my leader, made a long cast exiting the full line onto the water and started my figure of 8 retrieve. After only a few seconds the line shoots off and i realise i am into something large. A long fight ensued and a Nice 13lb rainbow trout struggled to fit into my net.

I continued fishing and added a few more trout to the net on the same fly and then decided to move to a different peg. with high banks nehind casting can be tricky but by standing on a rock and my hieght at 6ft 3" i manage to get out some nice casts and the sport is fantastic. In the next hour i land a further 15 fish to the same Grey Zeech, including another nice fish of 7lb.

The day continues like this untill it is time to leave so i have a few more casts down from the lodge before i call it a day on this great venue.

I tell my fishing partner peter this is my last cast, So i make a extra effort to bank all my line out plus some backing and have a 5 count down as i am in deep water (25ft). I start with a twitchy pulling retrieve and about half way through the retrieve i get a solid hit and line shoots off in the other dirrection. Immediately i knew that this was a good fish and after a good battle a cracking 10lb trout was netted.

So it just goes to show if you get the colour and tactics right the fish will follow. I ended the day with 38 fish and many long range releases, including a 3 fish bag of over 30lb.

Normally i dont kill fish but these were beautiful after being marinated and smoked on my friends smoker.

tight lines


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Pike Fly Fishing

Recently I had the chance to go Pike Fly Fishing with one of the countries top Pike anglers Dave Lindsay (McFluffchucker). 

I Must say over the years i have always wanted to go out pike fly fishing but have never really known where to start. I thought it would be very similar to trout fly fishing but in fact i had to learn a number of different techniques.

The Set-up for the day consisted of a 10 weight rod and WF10 Floating line, a short twisted leader (which was all done by Dave Lindsay) and one amazing looking fly called a SUB BUG tied by the same man.

The Sub Bug is a awesome fly and really does make the fish come up and show you who is boss. Being close to 8" long and weighing close to that of a house its a pig to cast but what i lacks in finesse it surely does make up in pure effectiveness.

Depending on how you pull the line the fly will duck, dart and dive in all directions. 


Needless to say i was very excited about fishing for these aggressive species having never done so before.

We fished up the margins on a private Loch called Portmore for the first hour with no success other than a few weed pulls and the occasional branch snag.

With our guide Dave Lindsay rowing the boat we headed for a bay at the top end of the lake where what only can be described as a small alligator came from nowhere and smashed at my fly, Unluckily it missed and attacked my Friend Conan Fyvie's Sub Bug.

After a number of takes and a few missed few I finally hooked into one of these powerful fish, which lead me on a fierce fight before finally heading towards the boat and a landed fish, again caught on the deadly Sub Bug.

Conan hooked a number of fish before i finally caught my second, i was really having a'lot of trouble keeping the fish on the hook. After some advice for Dave Lindsay i finally seemed to get the hang of the new technique of hooking these fish. Unlike trout fishing where you lift into the fish to set the hook, with pike you let them pull with the rod down for a few seconds then slowly lift up to play the fish.

Even with this technique employed i still managed to lose a number of fish, but finally after some persuasion and patience i managed to hook and land my second fish of the day.

After this fish was caught things went very quiet as we did 4 more drifts in areas where fish had taken previously in the day but to no avail.

I would like to say thank you to Dave Lindsay for giving me his Time,Patience and the Opportunity to fish for these beautiful fish.

To learn more about Pike fishing Please Visit Dave Lindsays Blog Page or Facebook page.

SUB BUG In Action

Deer Creek Pro Bros
Conan Fyvie
Dave Lindsay
Andy Saunders

Monday, 26 August 2013

Tying Flies

Fly tying for me over the years has become a real passion and something that i do to relax and sometimes to push the limits of my tying abilities.

Even though i have been tying for over 20 years i still feel like i am learning. No matter how long i have been tying i still love to learn new techniques from other fly dressers around the world.

Allot of time in the tying world than can be a certain snobbery about taking advice from another fly dresser. If like me you want to still learn and develop new and unique flies then my advice would be to learn all you can from everyone you can.

For me i started developed my tying skills by watching people like Davie Mcphail on Youtube, He was and is to this day one of the best fly dressers around, and yes i still like to watch his videos even though i have a number of years experience behind me.

A great place for new fly dressers to go would be the BFFI which will be held in February 2014. There will be a multitude of fly dressers from all over the world, which i would recommend anyone to chat with.

I spoke to a number of fly dressers at the show and it was great to learn new techniques and speak to guys who maybe fish for pike and salt water species, as this is a realm which i haven't delved into so far.

Recently i decided to do my own videos on youtube and if i am honest i found this very hard indeed. Tying perfectly in front of a camera is something that took time and i even re-shot some videos as i wasn't happy with small mistakes.

As i fly dresser i am a perfectionist and i like my own flies to be the best they can be. 


No matter how long you have been tying don't be afraid to learn something new, even if its from a beginner. Over the years i have learnt things from people with varying abilities and backgrounds.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Indicator Fishing!!!

Love it or hate we all have to realise that this method for catching fish is here to stay in the UK and believe it or not it can be one of the most productive methods to use.

I was First introduced to indicator fishing about 10 years ago by a good friend of mine Mark Walker. I had a few year break from fishing and at the time i couldn't believe how much the fishing world had changed. 

It was one day at Lockwood Beck where i really got to grips with fishing the indicator and do i dare say it?? .......OO welll ... Yes, a Cats Whisker under it, Phew!!

The day was very cold and we were out fishing on the boat with a very slight breeze and snow imminent on the horizon!!

I set my G-Loomis Rod up with a short 12ft leader and a Indicator set to a 3ft Depth. Within 5 minutes me and mark had had 3 fish each to the boat. This continued all day long untill the snow finally started and we had to come in.

We managed over 50 fish to the boat in 6 hours with many more lost. which proves this method can out-fish any other on a particular day.

Now i am not sitting here telling people to stop pulling their ,ures and fishing nymphs etc BUT to have a open mind when it comes to fishing. There is nothing worse than alot of this Snobish behaviour when it comes to fly fishing. 

I have seen people Abused and slated for fishing the indicator over the years and for no other reason than foolish snobbery and pride.


There are alot of newcomers i have seen over the last few years being taught to cast a fly with a indicator.

This is something i strongly do not agree with, Surely as a Casting/Fishing coach new comers to Fly fishing should be taught the fundamental basics, such as;

* Retrieving Flies
* Different Retrieves
*Depth Finding
Different Fly Set Ups

Not just how to cast a indicator out and how to watch it drift round waiting  round waiting for the inevitable "Dip" which might not come depending on how the fish are feeding. 

As modern anglers we need to adapt to our surroundings and adapt to how the fish are feeding and what the fish are feeding on?

As an angler i like to consider myself as a all rounder, being able to fish dry fly, Nymph fishing, washing line, Lure fishing, and yes Indicator fishing if the conditions are right and fish want it static at a certain depth.

Many people think fishing the indicator is juts a case of chucking out a fly and leaving it. Far from it! 
The whole point of indicator fishing is to suspend your flies at a depth at which the fish are holding to maximize the chance of you getting a take, Hence increasing your catch rate.

So in conclusion i think indicator fishing is a string to your bow but not a "Be all and end all Pattern" like alot of people are being taught today.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Nymph Fishing 

Nypmh fishing is pretty much the bread and butter fishing in the UK all year round, admittedly the winter months favour more toward lures. However many anglers still have great success on montana's and Bloodworms during these colder months.

As anglers we should always be trying to read the water and determine the best approach for catching our intended quarry, whether that be Grayling or Brown Trout in our rivers or Stocked fish in stillwaters.

I bet alot of you reading this have gone to a fishery and before you have even reached the gate you know exaclty what flies you are going to try before you get there. Yes, i know we have our favourites as us fisherman are things of habit after all.

Chiromonid's make up around 80-90% of a trout's diet throughout the year and as anglers this is something we cannot miss out on. When the fish are on buzzers its very important for us to set up with a approach that will target these feeding fish. 

Admittedly over the last few years i have worked very hard on improving my nymph fishing and this year on a recent trip to Belflask Trout Fishery near Ripon, North Yorkshire i finally decided to try fishing nymphs for the full day.

On Arriving at the fishery the weather was mild around 16C with a Light 10pmh westerly breeze. I opened the car door and i could see fish topping all over the lake, by the look of the rises the fish were feeding just sub surface.

After setting my rods up i walked down to my first peg and looked along the shore line to see hundreds of large Black buzzers Shucks. So having seen this i decided to set up with a 3 fly cast, opting to fish the washing line method on a floating line.

On the point i opted for a Black Boobie Diawl Bach, Middle Dropper i opted for a Black Buzzer with orange Cheeks and on the top dropper i decided to add a #14 Pheasant tail Nymph.


Middle Dropper

Top dropper

My tactics were very simple really, I cast out a long line from the bank and continuously Fan casting in the same area to make an attempt at covering new fish with each cast. My retrieve was a very slow figure of eight. Instantly i had a smash take which almost pulled the rod out of my hands. After a nice struggle the fish came to the net with the Booby in its mouth.

Second and third casts had the exact same reaction with very strong takes and great hard fighting trout both around the 3lb mark.

Throughout the day i changed the flies very slightly to keep the fish interested and ended the day with a total of 33 fish. To put this into perspective i spoke to 2 other anglers on the same day who had only caught 5 fish between them. When i asked what they had been fishing they told me buzzers and lures. But the main difference between me and them was the point fly (boobie) holding all my flies in the taking zone throughout the entire retrieve.

A Few Photos from fishing at Belflask

(Not all were taking on this days fishing)

Happy Fishing and Tight Lines

Andy Saunders

Sunday, 14 July 2013

BFFI 2013

Well this year was my first experience of tying at a show and i have to say it was great. I know alot of the guys there have been doing it for years so are use to people coming to chat to them about tying, flies, techniques and certain materials. For me this was new but enjoyable at the same time.

I would have to say for any aspiring fly designer its a must, with so many top fly dressers on show you will come away with more knowledge and ideas than ever before. I have been tying for over 20 years now and still find people who can surprise me and help me understand new ways of tying flies.

                                  Dave Lindsay Renowned Pike Fly designer at the Vice

 I was lucky enough to be tying at the Deer Creek Stand for the 2 days of the BFFI and even luckier to be tying next to people like Conan Fyvie, Dai Jones, Dave Lindsay, Rich Johnson, Olive Johnson, Scott Kane, and Christopher Rawle.

                                                         Dai Jones Busy at the Vice

One thing i have learned from tying at the BFFI and also from watching many other people tie flies, is that there is no such thing as a exact wrong and right way of designing your flies. 
One problem i feel nowadays is that there is a snobish attitude towards people designing new flies and calling variants of old patterns the original names.

Recently a great example of this were my Diawl Bachs, yes i admit they are not exactly like the originals BUT they are still variants and by definition still diawl bachs, which brings me to my next section.

                                                       Conan Fyvie and Dave Lindsay

Learning is one of the key features of fly tying and luckily for me a sat next to Conan Fyvie and Dave Lindsay who helped me tie my very first pike fly. As fly dressers i believe we have the expectation and responsibility to help others no matter what their ability is to tie a better fly. I can find nothing better than a angler tying better patterns from help i have given them. 

Although apparantly this year the BFFI was quieter than normal years i thoroughly enjoyed it and would encourage all anglers to have a look no matter your skill and experience im sure you will learn something and maybe get some inspiration for tying that killer pattern. 

My inspiration came from a young irish fella who was tying beetles which inspired me to give them a go and these are what i came up with the day i got back home.

Thanks to all the ladies and Gentlemen who came and chatted to me over the weekend at the BFFI 2013.

Andy Saunders