See The Fruits Of Our Canadian Trip - The Tom Thumb

The Tale Of A Tom Thumb

You may remember, back at the end of March I emailed to say that I was going on a 'research & development' trip to Canada.

It was definitely a learning experience - one which I will be hopefully repeating later in the year - when everything's not so frozen over!

In the meantime, please read right through to the end of this email, you'll be glad you did!

So, read on McDuff ...

Canada is a place I've always wanted to explore - I did work there for a few weeks in the late 90's, but didn't get to see much outside of the office and an airport!

I know that the fly fishing scene in Canada is very diverse and different to that of the UK and took the opportunity to combine a trip across the pond with visiting family and learning more about the Canadian fly fishing scene - and the flies that they use.

We were in the Calgary/Banff area and with everything frozen solid - there was no chance of getting any fishing done:

So, a tour of the local fly shops beckoned. The first stop was the obvious one - Bass Pro Shops:

Those places are always way bigger than you ever remember!

They had a really good fly selection which included loads of patterns which I'd not come across before. The stand-out one was the Bow River Bugger - a huge streamer designed to fish the Bow River running through Calgary & Banff - keep an eye out in Autumn when we do a range of these for the UK!

I spent a week just going around all the fly shops in the area (both large multi-nationals and small 'mom & pop' fly shops), chatting with the owners and getting as much info as I could - fly fishing folk really are a friendly bunch!

The one thing which really caught my eye was that around 90% of the dry flies were all made from some form of Deer Hair:

From chatting to Mark, one of the local proprietors, it's pretty obvious really, the one animal in abundance in Canada is the Elk/Moose/Deer, so there are plenty of raw materials just wandering around outside.

Also, deer hair is hollow, so it floats really well - but only if you get the right deer hair!

As it turns out the very best deer hair to use when tying flies is that from the animal in late season - this way it has already grown its winter coat and there is more air in the bristles (to better insulate the animal when the mercury hits -30 degrees) - all the air allows it to float much better.

Over a freshly brewed coffee (thanks Mark) we discussed the in's and out's of dry fly fishing and I asked the question: "If you could only use 1 dry fly, which would it be?"

His answer surprised me, as he chose a fly I'd not heard of before - The Tom Thumb:

This is the fly the majority of locals choose for wild river fish (and stillwater trout) in central Canada over the warmer summer months. Think of it as a close relative of the IOBO Humpy, but tied with deer hair and peacock herl, rather than just CdC.

Picking through the flies Mark had on display, lots were variants of the Tom Thumb - with some great names: The Devil Bug & Klipspringer were just two that stuck in my mind.

So in an attempt to cement Anglo-Canadian fly fishing relations, we asked if we could reproduce our own versions - just slightly smaller and more suited to UK waters, here they are, all included in our new Tom Thumb Selection:

The flies we've included in our own Tom Thumb Selection are:

  • Tomb Thumb - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
  • Klipspringer - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
  • The Cooper Bug - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.
  • The Devil Bug - 2 each of sizes 14 & 18.

All are tied as close to the original patterns as possible, using the correct materials, and perfect for summer fishing on your local rivers or stillwaters.

Our Tom Thumb Selection is now available as a selection of 16 flies (4 different patterns - see above, 2 each of sizes 14 & 18). We are supplying all of these for only £22.00. All are supplied in our eco-friendly packaging. Just click on any image or button in this email to view the flies in more detail.

Please Note: If you would like a set, please be quick, as we only have a limited supply of our Tom Thumb Selection, 30 to be exact.

Or, why not include one of our Super-Slim Silicone fly boxes (now back in stock) for an additional £5.50 (total £27.50):

If You've A Thing For Deer Hair ...

The Deer Hair Emerger is a classic summer-season pattern (for both rivers and stillwaters) across the whole of the UK. Made popular by Bob Wyatt in his classic book 'Trout Hunting - The Pursuit of Happiness' - do grab a copy if you ever see one for sale:

As you can see the patterns is quite 'rough and ready' - by design. The key to this style of fly is in the rough body and the deer hair used - it has to be hair from the winter coat of the animal as this is more buoyant due to the increased amount of air contained within each strand (each strand of deer hair is hollow and is a great insulator).

The key to fishing this style of pattern is how you treat the fly when dry - just apply a little floatant to the tips of the deer har. This will cock the fly to sit correctly in the water, you need the fly to sit so you can only see the tips of the deer hair on the water surface.

Our Deer Hair Emergers are now available as a selection of 16 flies (4 different patterns - see above, 2 each of sizes 14 & 16). We are supplying all of these for only £20. All are supplied in our eco-friendly packaging. Just click on any image or button in this email to view the flies in more detail.

Just a gentle reminder that all our products are shipped FREE OF CHARGE to anywhere

Fancy A Car Sticker?

Cool Car Stickers

We've had some of these stunning car stickers made - would you like one?

Well, these are not for sale - but, we will give you one for free, just place an order with us for over £30 at any time during this month and as well as getting an extra 5% off your order you'll also receive one of our car stickers - until stocks last! 

Go on, fill your boots!

Tight lines.