Written by: Paul Procter
Best Boots in the Business:
The Christmas Island flats boots have served me well for a number of years now, leading me to believe there’s little room for improvement here, expect maybe shaving off a few ounces here and there to render them lightweight and nimble. However, on a recent saltwater expedition, Pro Guide Toby Coe turned up in the new Andros Flats Hiker boots. At first glance they seem a little over embellished for wading sandy flats or tropical shorelines. Yet, for negotiating more rugged coasts, hard coral flats, and reef edges, they really come into their own. What’s more, the lightweight design of this boot belies its toughness—a must for those with adventure coursing through their veins.
Final Fling for Grayling:
Traditionally, our grayling season draws to a close at midnight on March 14th. However, many clubs and associations wrap their season up at the end of February with the notion of resting rivers for a few weeks before the brown trout season kicks off. In many areas, this is our last chance at tempting a fish or two! As ever, conditions dictate what methods we might adopt. Blessed with mild days and moderate water levels, we can expect dimpling fish, calling for dry-fly tactics. Conversely, raging floods or arctic temperatures will see us delving into a fly box for heavy bugs. Either way, I’d wholeheartedly recommend you get out for a final fling with the ladies.
Viewed from Beneath:
We tend to critique our flies at the vise by inspecting them side on. That approach isn’t much of an issue where nymphs, wets, or other subsurface patterns are concerned. However, surely our dry flies should get the thumbs up when viewed from beneath, very much how the fish would see them. Ever wondered what something like a parachute dressing looks like from that angle? Well, take a look at the picture below. This olive-coloured fly appears grey, almost black, due to surrounding light. Arguably, nothing new there, as many fishermen have long argued colour is less important on dry flies. Less obvious and almost invisible is the wing post, which on this particular dressing happens to be fluorescent yellow. Incorporated as “sighter” for our benefit, such garish wings are thought to alarm fish, which surely has to be questioned from the evidence here?
Fly of the Month:
Purple shades appear on plenty of salmon patterns, yet those who tie trout flies seem a little reluctant in embracing this colour. Odd, really, as nymphs dressed using a hint of purple have certainly been catching the eye of grayling recently. The Purple Haze in particular has been an extremely successful little number of late, so much so that it’s taken pride of place in my box.
2015 Schools and Courses:
In 2015, Orvis look to extend their already comprehensive range of Schools and Courses. Aside from the usual chalkstream days and stillwater schools, they are offering beginners’ courses and remain committed to ladies’ days, following lots of interest and consequent success during 2014. Free beginners’ days are also scheduled at participating Orvis stores, and take place at the weekend. Click here for details on all of these exciting and informative days.