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

Saturday, 13 July 2013

River Pupa - Using Cat Gut

Well over the years i have tied probably thousands of River patterns using various materials from around the world. I had heard of Cat Gut a number of times but never really thought about using it until Deer Creek were kind enough to send me some for free last week.

My first attempt at using it wasn't as successful as this one as i only soaked it in water for maybe 1 minute and the Cat Gut was too stiff to work properly, (Yes even someone who has tied for almost 22 years makes mistakes).

So the day after my first attempt i decided to leave in water for close to 20 mins and then tie with it, Wow what a difference. The Cat Gut was soft and easily workable when winding it the shank of the hook.

Cat Gut if you hasn't used it is worth a try as you can see from the fly i tied above it makes a great translucent juicy body, which I am sure the grayling and brown trout will like. :)

Andy Saunders

Friday, 12 July 2013

UV Resin - So whats it all about??

Well UV resin has taken the world by storm over the last few years and has revolutionized the way we finish our flies. 

I myself have only been using UV resin for the last 2 seasons and have to admit i will never go back to using Varnish to finish buzzer bodies and heads.

Resin vs Varnish

UV Resin really is a Treat when it comes to tying with speed. Alot of commercial fly tiers only need one coat of the resin on the heads and bodies of thier flies compared to maybe 2 coats of varnish on a head and up to 6 coats to create the glass affect on a Buzzer.

Where as UV Resin might be alot easier to use sometimes i do believe it doesnt quite have the Toughness that we have come to know from varnish. However its very easy to make it super strong by adding a thing layer of varnish over the top of it.

I know some people might say "well doesnt that defeat the object" The answer is 'NO' You add your layer of resin to a Buzzer and set using your torch, add a thing layer of varnish and hey presto the pattern is finished. Im sure you will agree that is a far easier and less time consumikng way of finishing your nice buzzers. 

Here is a example 

I finished this fly with one coat of Deer Creek Diamond Hard UV Resin on the body and then a thin coat of varnish over the top.

The reason for "Nano Flake" is that i use some Deer Creek Nano Flake Resin over the top of my Orange Varnished Cheeks to add a bit of sparkle. Did it need it? Probably not but i liked the way it looked.

Here is one of my videos using Deer Creek UV resin;


Saturday, 6 July 2013

Black Rainbow Diawl Bach !

Black Rainbow Diawl Bach.


Many people over the last few months have asked what my thinking is/was behind this pattern?   

As we know many fresh water insect larvae have segmented bodies. The Chironomid, which makes up 90% of a Trout's diet is case and point in this discussion.

Although the Black Rainbow Diawl is not a true representation of a Chironomid is does have a number of characteristics in which this insect larvae displays. There are a array of other Fresh water Nymphs/Larvae that also have segmented bodies and i think its very important as a angler to study these to ensure you create a pattern that isn't realistic but more imitative. This assures us a good catch rate throughout the season.

Such as;

Segmented Body
Moving elements between the segments
Wing Buds  

Why the Rainbow Section?

This basically was a after thought and something which i think creates a target point for the trout to home in on. We know that trout are very reactive at time and will grab at something fleeting across their faces. 

Why add Dubbing to the head?

Many Larvae/Nymphs have legs toward the front of their bodies, so i added seals fur to represent legs moving in the waters as you retrieve the fly. 


This is a great all round nymph and with the array of colours we have on the market the sky's the limit. My most successful colours in this pattern have been Olive, Black and Picric. 

So why not gives these a try!

Andy Saunders - Deer Creek Pro Team Member
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