Fleeting Fly Fishing Fame - We Love An Alliteration

The Sun Is Shining ...

Today's email is a celebration of the weather and especially that yellow thing that's appeared in the sky over the last few days - as it's also a Bank Holiday this weekend I wanted to give you a rundown of the insects you can expect to encounter if you're out and about on the water in the coming days.

We've coupled this with some fly selections which are the perfect accompaniment, and we can get them to you for the weekend - grab them while you can, I'm not sure how long the sun will last!

Plus, we've also snagged a few more of Luke's exquisite fly rods exclusively for us - keep reading to the end of this email to find out more!

But first ... 

As we're based in Yorkshire - and very proud of the fact - it was an honour just recently when we were approached and asked if we could be featured in a Yorkshire-based magazine called The Yorkshire Dalesman - we jumped at the chance, as you would!

Last Friday, the said magazine was published and Mays copy dropped through our letterbox at Barbless Flies HQ, with a 5-page article all about us, and what we are doing in our little corner of Yorkshire (pages 28 to 32 if you want to grab a copy from your friendly local newsagents):

We're not sure what we are going to do with all our new-found fame - but I've roped off a VIP section in the office, just in case 😉!

But, back to matters at hand ...

If you are anywhere near the water in the coming days, you should see that this warming weather has encouraged the insect population to take flight - Spring will have definitely Sprung, so to speak!

The insects you should see around you will mainly be one of three different species:

  • Sedge (or Caddis for our American readers)
  • Iron Blue's; and
  • The odd Hawthorn Fly whirling around

I'm going to take the Sedge & Iron Blue in turn (below) and give you a few details of what to look out for and suggest some patterns to imitate them.

Here goes ... starting with ...

The Sedge/Caddis

The Sedge fly is a member of the Trichoptera family (trichos, meaning hair and ptera, meaning wing) - consisting of around 200 distinct species found in the UK. Throughout the world, there are over 3,000 species of Sedge, with the majority (over 1,200) being found in the USA.

One of the most successful imitations of the Sedge/Caddis is the Goddard Sedge (or G&H Sedge), these patterns are defined by the clipped deer-hair bodies which allow the flies to float very high on the water: 

Sedge/Caddis are easily identified throughout the spring and summer months, just look for the way the insect flies, if it looks very haphazard and like it's about to crash land, then it will be a sedge fly. All sedge flies have wings that fold over their backs to form a silhouette which looks like a roof/tent - that's the reason you may also see these flies referred to as roof-winged flies.

Sedge/Caddis flies are nocturnal and the fish love to feed on them early in the morning, just as the females are returning to the water to deposit their eggs. If you want some fantastic dry fly action this early in the river season, then it pays to get our early and tie on a sedge.

We now have these Goddard Sedges for sale as a selection of 12 for only £16 - which includes the Natural Goggard Sedge and Green Goddard Sedge (two each of sizes 12, 14 & 16). We also have these Goddard Sedge patterns to buy individually at only £1.50 each.

*** Go on, you know you want to ***

The Iron Blue

The Iron Blue is a member of the Baetis family, there are three Iron Blues native to the UK, these are Alainites muticus, Baetis niger and Baetis digitatus, for the purposes of this email we are treating them all as one (Iron Blue is a term used by anglers to represent all three different insects - which are very similar). 

Iron blues are only found in running water, it does not seem to matter the strength of the flow. Iron blues are found throughout the British Isles in all types of rivers and streams. They are easily identified in early and late season (as at present everything seems to be running at least 2 weeks late) as they will be one of the only up-winged species to be seen, with a dark blue/purple body and light wings with dark grey veins. Iron Blues are only fairly small, measuring roughly 1cm long (a size 14 to 16 hook).

We have you covered with a full-lifecycle set of flies for the Iron Blue in one of our Match The Hatch sets:

In each of the Match The Hatch Selections we have produced there is a QR code (which you scan with your phone/tablet), this takes you to a page on our website which contains full insect information and is dedicated to the selection of flies you have just bought.

Our Iron Blue Match The Hatch Selection is now in stock and ready for immediate delivery. It contains 15 flies - 3 each of the 5 different lifecycle stages:

  • Iron Blue Nymph - tied on an Ahrex FW501 - Size 16
  • Iron Blue Emerger - tied on an Ahrex FW511 - Size 16
  • Parachute Iron Blue - tied on an Ahrex FW503 - Size 16
  • Iron Blue Upright - tied on an Ahrex FW503 - Size 16
  • Iron Blue Spinner - tied on an Ahrex FW503 - Size 16

Each of our Match The Hatch Selections is available for only £25 and contains:

15 Flies - Three flies for each of the five main lifecycle stages we are trying to imitate for the Iron Blue.

Full Insect Information - Access to a webpage which provides information on the Iron Blue, it also outlines in detail each of the patterns supplied, giving information on when and how to use them.

Presentation Box - We are supplying our Match The Hatch Selection in a specially designed and branded box to keep your flies safe in transit and also when at the waterside. 

** Go on, you know you want to ***

Grab Your Bannister 8' 4wt River Rod

You may remember, back in February, that Luke Bannister made available to us a limited amount of his NEW river rods. We only had a few and they all sold on the same day we sent the email.

We asked Luke that if he did ever produce some more, could we have first dibs - guess what? He's had some more made up and we have a very limited allocation (only 5). So the deal is exactly the same as earlier this year:

I am placing our order with Luke at 9am on Saturday  morning, if you would like one for only £275, just order one from our site (by clicking any button above or below) before midnight tomorrow, or sooner if we sell all of our allocation - which is more than likely.

Logistics wise, once we place the order with Luke he will send the rods to us and we will then ship directly to you, so you should have your rod in your hands by the end of next week - just in time for the season to really get started!

Each of Luke's rods are covered by a 1-year warranty personally guaranteed by Luke himself. Should you have any warranty queries please direct those through myself in the first instance.

*** I know that nobody NEEDS a new fly rod, but it's always nice to treat yourself every now and then - especially at the beginning of the season ***

Go on, you know you want to!

Tight lines & have fun this Bank Holiday.

P.S. If you fancy 'rolling your own' flies, please take a look at our specialist fly-tying site - Feathersmith - the home of our pattern-specific fly-tying kits and a whole host of other quality materials, hooks and tools - just click on the image below to visit the site: