Friday, December 15, 2017

Hooks&Leader.



From next season i will be stocking Sakuma hooks at the lodge. These hooks have never failed me. From freshwater to saltwater, they remain sharp, don't bend like rubber and dont snap like glass. I have tried many hooks over a good few years now and in many different situations.Many big brand hooks have broken my heart a few times by losing some good fish. And if it happens only once with a type of hook, you can be sure that i won't be using it ever again. There is great hooks out there now, some cheap others more expensive.I like Sakuma as they offer a fantastic quality at a very good price. This is the reason that i got in touch with them and i am now stocking my favorite types at the lodge. And i only keep in stock what i use and trust.
Three types will be available:
The 410 in 4/0 and 2/0 :my baitfish hook! And perfect for saltwater and exotic.No flex with these bad boys!

The 545 manta extra, great for many types of ties.I whip all my t-bones and articulated flies with these guys. Extra long shank, and super strong with a little flex.

The phantom in 4/0: a new addition for me, i use this one when you really want to tie light flies, perfect for those hanging streamers, deer bugs, rats, poppers....Made from a lighter wire, a little more flex, but they remain super strong. I only use these for freshwater.
Spools of Amnesia will be available as well. I used Amnesia for my leaders since the very first day i fly fished for pike. Its inexpensive and does the job EVERY time without any disappointment.
Next post, a few ties....Its been a while..

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Big Shoals Raft (early) review.

So it's already December...Time really flies.. An other year finishes, as i am now in my off-season at the lodge. Doing some winter maintenance work  at the moment and  getting the place  ready for next year.
Weather is not the best, dark skies, melted snow, windy, cold, humid, damp.... I can't wait to get away for some sunshine.

Looking back on the last few months in my picture files, and the big shoals rafts is the main subject i can see in most of my last pics.I had nearly a full week guiding clients on the raft so far, from single guest,pairs and couples. We went out from late august until mi november, so we had all sorts of weather. And the raft performed very well, from heavy rain as there's is no need to empty the raft with its self bilging floor to really shallow waters in late august. This raft rides on nothing! Even fully loaded and three people on it, it glides on super skinny water. We even pulled it from the river  onto the grass bank and pushed it across a field to access a secluded small lough.That's impossible to do with a conventional boat...

Manoeuvrability is amazing, from holding the raft on the same spot in fast waster to get a client to cast again at a missed fish ( and hooking it) to spinning it 180 to assist sudden direction change during a big fight.
These i believe are crucial attributes in putting people onto more bites, more fish and hopefully specimen fish. This raft has it all.
 The only struggle i had was on a very windy day, with the wind mainly facing us, at times it was hard to hold it.But i wanted too really test it,(and myself) so i didn't shy away from going out in bad conditions. So now i know its possibilities... and my limits.
I honestly had a great time on the raft guiding, and all my clients went away with only compliments for the raft. I definitely had no regrets in making this investment.Thanks again to Ethan at SMITHFLY for all his help and professionalism.

The three days guiding and lodging for summer 2018 are all booked out as well as the 7 day summer packages. Some single day rafting are still available mid august and mid september. If interested, drop me a mail for details and availability: norbertfwa@gmail.com  .

Now we're in the middle of winter, and i am becoming very impatient to depart for Costa Rica.This is my second trip to this wonderful place, i am going back with experience now....Hoping to bring you guys some great footage. I have been very quiet on the blog lately and i am working to bring more regular blogs and vlogs.Don't forget to find me on Youtube and sub.Thank you for the support.
New things are coming to the lodge as well, stay tune all will be revealed soon.

Constant changing landscape at the moment!
Winter sunrise above the lodge!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Back to school!

Enfin les premieres sorties avec le raft. 19 brocs en deux sorties, mais 39 de loupé....Pas facile quand ils prennent du bout du bec...Les niveaux sont biens montés, mais les eaux sont bien claires.
Dommage pour Pascal qui a loupé une très grosse mama....Il va y arriver un jour c'est sur!
Le raft est superbe, confortable, stable, parfaitement conçu pour les rivières de la region.



Finally i get to go out and take my first clients afloat. They landed 19 pikes, but sadly missed a further 39 fish in a two day trip.One of them was an absolute brute of a fish, but was lost at the first head shake.Better luck next time Pascal!
The raft performed flawlessly, it's comfortable, stable, very safe, easy to manoeuvre.Its like it was built to match the local rivers here.This is my favorite way of fishing and guiding.





Thursday, July 27, 2017

Big Shoals raft.

Finally the raft has arrived! It wasn't an easy process. First the choice of raft, something that is suited for the local rivers, not to expensive, robust and  practical.
I purchased the River Boss jacket from Smithfly earlier in the year, and it was a pleasure to deal with Ethan. So i tried my luck to see if he wanted to export one for me. And to my surprise it was not problems. I was a bit worried if it was a good idea at the  start, because i had other companies that were asking for so much money to import it here, and this before paying any import tax...
I'd like to take the other that tried to help me in this quest, Grant Fraser at Killeloop, Toby at Funky fly tying and Mark from Smartlures in Holland.But i found a perfect balance, in price and quality with Smith Fly.
Here's a quick video of me collecting the raft from Dublin port. Next i will film it on the water!

Ca y est! Le raft est enfin arrivé a l'ile verte! Ca n'a pas été si facile, entre le choix du raft, le prix, les taxes d'importation, le cout d'envoi.
Il y a quelques mois de ca j'ai acheté une nouvelle veste respirante ,la River boss de chez Smith Fly .C'est la que j'ai eu les premiers contacts avec Ethan, propriétaire de Smith Fly.
Son raft et parfait pour les rivières du coin. Les guidages commencent bientôt, et deja une bonne partie de septembre 2018 est réservée. Ces séjours commencent en juin jusqu'a septembre et pour deux personnes max.
Merci a ceux qui m'ont donné un coup de pouce pour importer un raft ici, Grant Fraser a Killerloop, Toby a Funky fly et Mark a Smartlures.
Une petite video de la bonne reception du raft au port de Dublin:




Sunday, May 21, 2017

F.W.A river pikes

Flies With Attitude on tour....This time going down a river. A day off is rare at the moment for me being in full season at the lodge, so when the opportunity rises i just have to get out...
I just love river fishing, no matter how many times i fish the same rivers, i still get a great kick at being there. I just cannot wait to finally get my hands on the Big shoals raft to fish these spots in total comfort. Every time i go out on a river its different. The scenery changes, water levels are different, and you never know whats waiting round the bend, could be a new PB.
This time, the levels are still low, even after the bit of rain we had. Water was a bit coloured but nothing bad.This is why i kept fishing a large wiggle tail for most of the day.Giving plenty vibrations to tickle that lateral line.
Fishing was slow, but we managed to get a few fish on the day, i think a couple of feet higher and the fish would've been more responsive.
Flies with attitude is changing and developing at the moment, keep an eye on my social medias and on this blog for updates and news of these changes.
Here's vlog number two, hope you guys enjoy! And as usual, thank you for the support.



Lunchtime 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mail time!New gear!

Some new gear has just landed on my doorstep this morning! Who needs an other jacket?..Look no further. Here's a first look at the River Boss jacket  from Smith Fly.
You might have seen on my previous blog entry about the new raft coming this summer at the lodge from Smithfly. In fact i have found the jacket first , then looked at the Big shoals raft. I really like the whole range of stuff that Ethan has developed. It's quality gear at a very reasonable price.


I currently own a Simms G3 Jacket and i have nothing but good to say about this jacket, but this new jacket is different in so  many levels. A breathable, 5 layers! Yes, 5 layers, the same stuff the bottom of your waders is made from.I like venturing to difficult lake and rivers, and i'm always paranoid of the vegetation around me when wearing the G3.We do have plenty of different thorny weeds and bushes here that can easily puncture a quality jacket. But i never really worry about my waders, as the bottom half ( like most waders nowadays ) is made of 5 layers.I  walk without fear of damaging them only a barbwire can do serious damage...or a rottweiler. The jacket certainly feels more "chunky" when first holding it, but i don't find it heavier than the G3. Once i'm wearing it, that first "chunkiness" feel disappears straight away. It feels comfortable and allows plenty for movements. A nice fleece collar and hand warmer chest pockets give a more luxurious feel. Add to this, a large back pocket,  a D-ring, nice handcuffs and a nice hood to get you closer to a very good fishing jacket.But there's more,the laser cut molle panels at the front we're what made me want it in the first place.You can add anything you want, tippet holder, pliers, nippers...The molle is of a strong material that doesn't feel weak when attaching something to it.
To finish, the best part...The price: at  129$ its a steal! But don't wait too long, regular price is at 349$ (i think this is an introductory offer at the moment ).


Monday, May 08, 2017

Wubba Dubba Dubbing


This is a new dubbing, easy to work with, light and very fine but very resistant to pikes teeth.It's not wool, and its not craft fur.It's 100% synthetic.
You can create small baitfish patterns very quickly and with a serious amount of volume! Alternatively you can use it to finish heads on big streamers.

An other advantage of this dubbing is that you can customise your own patterns by using permanent markers.The ink stays very well, and it does not absorb like a sponge, creating a "bleeding" effect. You can achieve very clean stripes on your baitfish. The length of the fibres are about 10 to 12 cm long. I am working on creating my web store at the moment ( long due) where you will be able to get this dubbing, along other things in the future, flies, t-shirts, decals and many other items.
Store should be up and running this summer, i will let you guys know when its open.
For the moment, here's a quick tying tutorial using the Wubba Dubba dubbing using the "X" method. You can of course tie with this technique using  many different types of  fibres.




Wednesday, May 03, 2017

River guided tours, update.


Its been a hard few weeks trying to secure this raft...But to cut a long story short, the PAC1300 from Outcast is no longer on the cards...Partly due to two things. Firstly, its a very expensive raft from the start, put on top of this the shipping and VAT, it's basically the price of a small car...After speaking to a few guides that regularly guide State side on this type of boat, the majority said the same thing..its expensive, and its a nightmare for catching fly lines due to the shape of the frame. So back to my search and this time i finally have found something that looks fantastic.The BIGSHOALS raft from SMITHFLY. A lot lighter than the Pac1300, (120 lbs compare to 225lbs). This means many things, ease of transport, rides higher on the water and if we need to carry the raft over some obstacles that we may find on wild rivers (drift wood, fallen trees, shallow stretch of water).
Plenty of room for every one, plus gear.

One other big thing that i like about the big shoals is the smooth frame, far less bits to catch your fly line. Space is greatly improved too, especially for the angler sitting in the back.
The model being sorted out for me will have an arched supports under the seats, meaning a higher sitting position for the anglers.
Arched seat supports. Front and back lean bar.

 Ethan from Smithfly is very easy to deal with, professional, and knows the needs of guides.The raft will be ready at the end of the month, so i'm hoping to take the first bookings at the start of july.
For any inquiries mail me directly:norbertfwa@gmail.com More details will be revealed as soon as i have fresh news.







Apres plusieurs semaines de négociations pour arriver a me procurer ce nouveau raft pour les guidages en rivières, je laisse tomber le modele de chez Outcast (le PAC1300). Pour deux raisons, premièrement le prix, entre le prix de vente, l'importation et la TVA, c'est presque le prix du petite voiture neuve!
Puis après avoir discuté pas mal de fois avec des guides aux Etats Unis qui travaillent beaucoup avec ce genre d'embarcations, ils m'ont donnés pratiquement  la meme réponse...le Pac est lourd et son armature en metal est un cauchemar pour coincer la soie.Donc de retour sur le web...Recherches, e-mails, textos, messages..pour enfin trouver le raft qui me convient. Le BIGSHOALS de chez Smithfly
En effet le big shoals est beaucoup plus approprié, plus léger, 120lbs comparé au PAC1300 qui pèse quand meme 225lbs.Ceci est un énorme avantage, il se déplace dans très peu d'eau, facile de transport, et on est jamais a l'abri d'un arbre couché au milieu de la rivière...
L'armature métallique du Bigshoal est très bien pensée, il y a très peu de coins pour emmêler la soie.Il est un peu plus long, ce qui donne un avantage énorme, surtout pour le pêcheur placé a l'arrière. Le modèle que j'ai choisi à des support de sièges courbés pour donner une assise plus haute et plus confortable.Ethan , directeur de Smithfly est très professionnel et connait bien les besoins des guides.Le raft devrait être prêt a la fin du mois.Normalement les premieres sorties sont prevues pour le mois de Juillet.
Pour plus d'infos sur des séjours de guidage en rivières, vous pouvez me contacter par mail: norbertfwa@gmail.com