Friday, December 15, 2017


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:  .

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.


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 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:

Monday, April 24, 2017

Vlog 1

Finally i get a couple of days rest between two groups of fishermen at the lodge. Time for a bit of fresh air! Nights are cool again here, and day temperatures are just nudging around 10/12ºc. Not surprisingly the pikes are sluggish in the morning, only small jacks are active. Stepping away from the shore line and fishing very slowly, i start getting hits from better fish. I like to use a fly with plenty of flash to get  more agressive attack  and a big bulky head made from body tubing to move plenty of water for the fish to "feel" my fly from far away.
So the day started slow, but it went steady with a good string of jacks showing interest and a couple of bigger fish ( around 8lbs). I ended up with a total of 12 pikes and missed about 6.
I hope you will enjoy the show, be gentle in the critics, this is my first one, and i hope to improve as i go along.
A quick note on the life jacket i use at the moment. In Ireland it's obligatory to wear one on the water. I find most life jackets are very bulky and constrict movement a lot, especially in a float tube and while flyfishing. And i hate the self inflating type that make me feel like i am wearing a bra...
Have found a great mid layer vest that is only 3mm thick and it's an approved flotation device.I usually like to wear it under my hoodie, like on this video.
With the weather warming up, i am looking into getting a kayak vest, as the one i have is getting to warm to wear at the moment. Here's a link on the one i use now( and on the video): Zhik life vest.
I will upload a video on the new life jacket soon.Gear reviews will feature on my Youtube Channel as well as these new vlogs.Please, as usual, share, like and subscribe to my channel, so i know you guys are showing an interest so i can develop and grow this channel. Thanks for all the support and see you for number 2 in a while ...I am still very busy at the lodge and guiding until mid patient..But the vlogs are here to stay!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Back to the future, the vlogs are back!

The changes to the blog and my Youtube channel are moving at a great pace. With , this year the edition of a new drone , the MAVIC PRO (a lot easier to travel and fish with than my old phantom 3 pro.) and now a new camera , the DJI OSMO+ . More details about the gear i will use at a later stage.

 The videos are going to take a turn back towards the good old vlogging.Vlogging for the ones left behind is simply a video blog... A mixture of my life here, of course all concentrated around fly fishing ,flytying, gear reviews and my travels here in Ireland and abroad. Costa Rica looks to be on the cards for this winter! Then the Innoko trip summer 2018.
A more dynamic approach, the vlogs will be around 5 minutes up to 10 minutes long maximum...So i don't bore you to death. Its a style of videos that suits me best, so i can still fish and not become a full time filmmaker. I started with this format 6 years ago already! So its long due to bring the blog backbit with a modern, interactive touch.
This was my first ever video...Sorry for the low quality, 6 years is ancient in technologic terms these days.

pike fly fishing,Ireland from Norbert Renaud on Vimeo.
Now for some of the tunes i will be using, in this mad copyright world, its not easy to find great tunes without forking serious amount of money around.But i am very pleased to announce a collaboration between myself and AK Natural for some the music used in the future vlogs. AK Natural , the name gives it away are from Alaska, they are independent fish-hop artists, yes you heard well, fish-hop. Hip-hop but no hoes, no drive by, and no bling, just fishes..If you are not familiar with them, you can find the on Soundcloud , Bandcamp and Facebook.
If you guys have any ideas of what i should include in these vlogs, just mail me or leave something in the comments below.

Thanks for following me and please don't forget to help the Youtube channel to grow by subscribing: CLICK HERE

And a little look at what the Osmo+ can achieve, i think it one of the most practical cam out there for bloggers on the go..One negative, its not waterproof...But i still have my Gopro Black for wet days.

And some AK NATURAL, thanks, you guys are awesome!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


March can be a strange month, coming out of the winter into the spring, each year is different here.
And the pikes usually start spawning around mid march if the conditions are right.So the catches can vary a lot.Its all about location and mobility at this time of the year if you want good results.
Don't stay on top of pikes spawning if you see them, one thing, you will not catch much and two let them be in peace, building the future stocks.
I like to move a lot at this time, travel light and fast, often fishing  two, three maybe four different loughs to find the one where they have finished spawning. It's like the lottery...
Guests are averaging 5 to 12 pikes each every day at the moment, nothing big, mostly jacks and a few 90+ girls, some full, some already empty.
We had an easterly front all last week, sunshine, little winds, not the perfect piking weather.But from today we are changing, back from the south bringing rain and wind.Hope next week will improve.
So a little video is due for march, from scouting small mountains streams for some trouts this summer to the beautiful spawning grounds we have in the neighbourhood.Enjoy.

Mars est un mois qui peut être étrange.La jonction entre l'hiver et le printemps. Et ici , chaque année est différente.Les brochets commencent en general a frayer vers la mi mars (suivant les conditions météo). Les captures fluctuent beaucoup, il faut être très mobile et adaptable pour faire de bons scores. Certains lacs, les brochets ont finis de frayer, d'autre ils sont en pleine action, et il y a ceux qui viennent de finir. Il n'est pas rare de pêcher deux, trois voir meme quatre différents lacs dans une journée pour en trouver un qui est en forme.C'est un peu comme la loterie ... Je n'aime pas trop pêcher sur les frayères, premièrement les brocs ne sont pas mordeur, et deuxièmement il est bon de les laisser tranquille pour assurer de bons stocks dans le futur.
Les clients en ce moment prennent entre cinq  a une douzaine de brocs chaque jour / personne. Mais rien de gros, beaucoup de jacks, et peu de femelles.A part quelques 90+ de temps en temps, certaines vides, d'autres encore bien pleines.
Nous avons eu un front a dominance Est la semaine dernière, beau temps et pas de vent, pas les meilleures conditions pour mettre les brochets en appétit.Mais une météo qui a bien aidé pour le frai.
Cela change en ce moment, retour au vent sud, sud/ouest et de la pluie.
La video du mois de mars est là, deux opposés , un tour sur les montagnes au nord du comté pour trouver de nouvelles rivières et ruisseaux pour quelques sorties truite cet été, puis bien sur l'endroit incontournable du moment, les frayères....Et elles sont magnifiques en ce moment

A few of my latest ties, can't wait to get out now..But i am well busy behind the stove cooking for the clients...An other 10 weeks of work then its my time to play! Dates available for summertime guiding, boat or float tubes. Contact me if you fancy a day out:

Rubber band mice



Wednesday, March 08, 2017


One of the best part of fly fishing is the fly tying. Creating your own flies, your own patterns and catching fish on them. And the best part of fly tying, is that its virtually limitless. Not only you have access to an extraordinary amount of materials in the shops, but there is so much out there that's not ( yet) commercialised. All you have to do is look, be adventurous and inventive.
This is how i started looking into a different breed of materials.We are all used to the naturals, hair and feathers, and of course the synthetics. But i never seen any vegetal fibres used. 
I am not trying to reinvent the wheel here, but to simply broaden my horizon. New fibres are developed constantly for the textile industry. Stronger, lighter and a great choice of colors. The ones that really got my attention were the stronger ones of the bunch: bamboo, hemp and flax. At this stage you are allowed to think that i am crazy and walk away....
White:hemp, Orange:bamboo and yellow:flax.
Bamboo: it looks and feel exactly like polar fibres (made by H2O). Same length and the feel strangely identical. I have made brushes with bamboo and i am very pleased with the results. It moves very well and looks durable. It could be a great replacement for making collars and heads on pike streamers.
I am sure that it can be used too for making small trout streamers as well ( i will make some in the very near future).
Hemp and angel hair.

Bamboo and angel hair.

Hemp brush.

Hemp: one of the toughest fibres out there, used for hundreds of years from textile to ropes on ships.
It feels very soft to the touch and its very user friendly to make brushes with it. It takes on water very well...Maybe too well...As expected it soaks up water and holds on to it giving the effect of  a wet sock. I tied a couple of game changers with it and the final result is pretty slick.Maybe a mix of 50-50 hemp and synthetic fibres could be better...

Flax: it's the longest fibre that i have tried, it feels and act like icelandic sheep. But i have my reservations on how it will last in the long run. 

I have tried banana fibres, but these are very thin and not very good for fly tying ( maybe to make dubbing?)  But i don't thing it will have a long shelf life.

I will keep on experiencing with these fibres, but for the moment, the bamboo looks the best.
Sheep head and 100% hemp body.

Schlappen feather, hemp body and bamboo head.

Hemp bunny.

Game changer 100% hemp fibres.

Friday, March 03, 2017


The February edition arrives a little late due to very bad weather. Low light, wind, and rain kept me grounded. Just managed to fly a few hours on the morning of the 1st of March, sunny and light wind, perfect for the first "big" flight with the Mavic pro.What a drone!

L'edition de février  arrive un peu tard a cause de mauvaises conditions climatiques . Mauvaise luminosité, vent fort et pluie ne sont pas bons pour voler et filmer. Mais heureusement, le matin du 1er mars est plus sympa. Petite brise, beau soleil, parfait pour sortir le nouveau drone.
Il y a quelques semaines de ça les eaux étaient basses, pas de bonne conditions pour un frai optimal. Mais comme vous pouvez le constater sur la video, tout cela a bien changé! Manque plus qu'un petit radoucissement et on va encore avoir une année avec un très bon frai pour assurer les futures generations de big mamas!

Thursday, March 02, 2017


Some cool "new" hooks have landed on my desk this week thanks to AHREX HOOKS from Scandinavia. There is a constant evolution in flytying materials, especially for the predator tier. New flashes, new fibres, new heads and the list goes on. But the hooks generally remains the same. So i was very happy when the guys at Ahrex contacted me to send me some samples of their predator range.

First, before i get into these hooks, let me tell you my views on pike hooks. And it's simple: stay sharp and DO NOT open! I often get strange eyes on me when i play a pike, as i like to play them quick and hard. Now we have to make the distinction between stupid brute force and playing a fish hard.You still need finesse, especially with big pikes.If ever the fish is fought with the reel, my drag is set tight. I fish a lot in confined spaces, rivers with hidden logs and roots, heavy strong vegetation in summer.So i cannot afford to let a fish dictate the fight. Always try to stay in control of your fish. I have been lucky to get many memorable pikes , some dirty fighters, other using just pure force, but i never had one (yet) that took me into the backing.
Why play a pike hard? Two reasons, one the fight is shorter.The fish is less stressed, conserve energy and you can be assured of a strong release. The second is not to loose a fish , in snags, under the boat or other catastrophic situations.
 I have tried many hooks , and many did let me down. Some are too soft and open too easily others dont keep their quality and sharpness. Usually  hooks that get blunt easily are very hard to sharpen back with a file as the steel is too soft and a diamond file just melts the hook away.
Some other hooks held very well...Until the day where you hook a big , fiery pike and the bast@*d opens just enough to loose its grip. My favorite hooks have been the same for a long time now, the Gamakatsu SL12S,from 2/0 to 8/0. It's only downfall is sometimes it's short shank .These primarily saltwater hooks are just amazing, some i've reused three, four times, tying new flies over and over them.
The second is the Sakuma Manta XL , usually the 6/0. This is an other solid hook, one slightly open on me one day but i never lost the fish.
So my first impression from the Ahrex hooks, they look very good straight out of the pack, sharp, nice shapes, black nickel , eyes are well finished,(maybe they could have a slightly larger eye, but thats just me) the quality of the built is high standard.
On this picture we can see the range that they sent me, the two hooks on the far left are the ones that most of my flies are made of for comparison. Two types of very strong stingers, one barbed, one barbless. Perfect for those  wiggle tails flies. The Ahrex aberdeen in 3/0 feels a lot to the sakuma 540.( i had 540's opening on me some as big as 5/0's...)A nice little hook, but i tend to go for the stronger stuff. I'll keep them for my trout flies ... ;)
A texas one, nothing new here, looks good, will be useful this coming summer.

As you can see in this picture, these are the two hooks that really caught my eye. On top the Sakuma manta xl and under the two Ahrex, the PR350 and the PR320.The one one the left (PR350) is lighter than what i'm used to, but it does feel strong, i forced it by hand and on the vice and it feels good.I love the slightly raised point and that slow drop on its back, one thing that the sakuma doesn't have being an Aberdeen shape.
Now this was a very brief look at some of these hooks, i will soon start using them in my next ties, but the true review will come in a few months when i had time to tame a few big Irish girls. Again thanks to Ahrex, my first impressions are very good, and first impressions are always important.See you next winter for a more hands on review.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The drowning rodent.

Since my early beginnings with fly fishing and fly tying i have been attracted to top water patterns. Unfortunately the conditions here in Ireland don't always make the pike go for flies presented on the surface, but if the fly is an inch or two under , for some reasons they will hit it without any problems. I still don't know why they like to attack flies that are just under the surface compared to something sitting on top but that the way it is, so we have to adapt to keep on catching.

I developed The drowning rodent to swim on the surface and to be able  to sink very slowly as well if needed. If you get the ratio of natural hairs and synthetics right, this fly will "struggle" to sink.Giving the perfect imitation of a rodent in distress. And thats the key of the success of this fly. Over the years spent on the water, i was lucky to see many different pike behaviours, and one in particular was pike hitting rodents that were either crossing a river or young ones having their first bath.
There is many different mouse patterns out there, but all of them are made of 100% deer hair compacted to float and swim on top. I tried them with some success, but it wasn't the results i was hoping for. So i decided to sit behind my vice and work on a new type of mice fly. One  that will float and sink a bit as well, giving the impression of a rodent in difficulty, struggling to keep himself afloat.
I am lucky to have access to full pelts of wild deer.

The belly of the fly is made of funky fibres, packed and trimmed to allow to soak up water and act as a keel. The top half is made of deer hair , i don't use belly hair but the hair from the sides or the back of the deer as they are a little less buoyant.These are compacted but not like a diver, just a gentle squeeze while you're adding the layers is enough. Practice with a few ties and you will find the perfect mix. While casting the fly , the funky fibres will shed water fast, allowing for the fly to sit perfectly on top when it will land. A few strips to move some water and give a chance for a nearby pike to locate the fly, and pause, let the water fill the belly and it will feel heavier, strip and it will dive a bit, pause and it will rise very slowly back to the surface. All with a very enticing wiggle from the articulation of the three parts and the wiggle tail. The attacks are always furious, no half measure there. And usually its sorts out the bigger fish (compare to a smaller mice or a Dahlberg diver).

The legs give extra movement as well.I cut these from thin shammy leather. Cut them long as they need to flap a bit on the side of the tie. I add a pair of moustaches made out of coated wire.Tie two downwards so they will act as a simple weed guard as well.

As usual, here's a video of the tie. Please, like and subscribe to my YouTube channel as this support will keep me making more videos in the future.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Back in the air

Following my misadventure with Lily (the start up drone that failed to see production line) i went for the obvious choice, Mavic.

Its the portability of Mavic that attracted me straight away, fits in a small Pelican case, or in a dry bag. I hoping to push this little beast, but i am still in the "baby step" mode...Its not exactly cheap, and it needs time to know and put into practice all that Mavic has to offer. Thanks to Youtube there is a crazy amount of guys flying it and putting up some cool tutorials. But i still feel uneasy having over a 1000€ flying over water.

The very first thing i'm practicing is to hand launch and land to be able to take Mavic with me on my pontoon , boat or float tube. It looks easy, but i know its going to be a totally different story doing these manoeuvres sitting in the middle of a lough or river. So, practice makes perfect and i don't want to get my fingers chopped..
 Putting this aside,Mavic looks like a fantastic piece of tech.It does not feel cheap, its sturdy, flies very well, stable , responsive and the camera is fantastic.But now a new season starts for me at the lodge, first guests are arriving this afternoon, that's me busy until mid june...Be patient my friends, i will try to fill the blog as much as i can.

For those who are interested in the procedure i use to hand launch and land, i think i am doing it the easiest way possible. If you know of a better way please do put it in the comment below.
Mavic is equipped with obstacle avoidance sensors in the front and underneath its body. So if you try to catch it, the bottom sensors will see your hand coming towards it and the drone will fly upwards to try to get away from you. I have seen many videos where guys go into the settings and disable the bottom sensors, but why paying big money for all these extras and not using them?..One easiest way it to use the take off option on the app (DJI GO 4 ) to launch and to use the auto landing from the app as well to catch it.Even if your hand is under, by confirming that you want to land the drone, the sensors will not see you as an obstacle but as a landing platform. Mavic will go down about 20cm and will pause for about two seconds to initiate the landing, all you have to do is position your hand under ( away from the blades and your face) and catch it as it lowers itself, then shut off the motors by holding your left stick down.Simple....well we'll see on the water, for the moment i keep doing this over and over in my garden.