Waters & words

Archive for February, 2014

It’s still a delight….in any colour

The DDD is old hat here in South Africa.

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(Photo courtesy of Tom Sutcliffe)

I did a quick google search for DDD. First time around I got all sorts of weird stuff, so I added the words “Dry Fly”, and still got no less than 89,000 hits!  That says something, doesn’t it? I will admit that after page three the real DDD gets replaced by tent fly sheets, and obscure digital equipment, but let’s just say you won’t struggle to uncover information about the real thing.

Probably the most comprehensive article about tying and fishing it, is written by none other than its inventor, Tom Sutcliffe. I wont even try to top that!  Take a look here.

In one’s online search, you will find debates about which deer hairs are acceptable, (most notably the wonderful Klipspringer hair vs conventional deer hair). You will find debate on what to use as a hackle, whether to tie it roughly cut, as Tom does, or neatly. You will see discussion on whether to use a deer hair tail, or a hackle tail. There is mention of using some krystal flash in the hackle. And there is talk of colour.

In the colour debate, the primary discussion goes around natural vs yellow. I remember many years ago, getting Hugh Huntley’s help to dye a patch of klipspringer bright yellow, and the fear and trepidation of dunking an entire patch of highly sought-after klipspringer hair into the simmering cauldron. I still have that small patch, and I still tie up a few yellow versions.

But in recent years I have gone off on another tangent with the DDD, and that is the black one. Maybe it has something to do with a sub conscious affection for  the new South Africa and political correctness, I don’t know.

What I do know, is that you wont find a whole lot of information on the black DDD.

I got an unexpected result when I did an image search for the black DDD:

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The FMD revisited

The FMD on video

Tying the FMD from Andrew Fowler on Vimeo.


Journeys through the journal (4)

It was mid winter in 2012. The fishing club committee had arranged a week-end on a large stillwater, for us to see if we could help the hatchery there boost it’s brood stock with some hens and cocks.

On the Saturday I enjoyed taking my good friend Win out on the canoe. Win had had a rough year, health wise, and I enjoyed the opportunity to help him “break the fishing drought” so to speak.

Some of us took a few minutes to find our sea legs!  The boat is stable in that it will never tip over, but it has this little “wobble zone” where it rocks without resistance through about five degrees. It’s the sort of thing that is a bit disconcerting when the Great Dane stands up and leans over one side for a drink. Win was a lot more co-operative than the Dane, and we soon settled happily into the fishing off a steep side on the Northern shore.

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(Note the box between us: used for keeping brood stock)

The water was just seven degrees C, according to the journal, and the air temperature around 12 degrees, but with a moderate Easterly wind blowing.  Despite an apparently mild mercury reading, it was cold. Properly cold!  Win was wrapped up for the occasion.

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A Bustard no less

 

I still call this one a Stanley bustard, but they tell me it has changed its name.

I wonder if it knows, that it’s is now called a Denham’s Bustard.

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It is a really large bird, that struts confidently in the veld. I haven’t often been able to get as close as I did this day.

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South African Shelduck

 

The shelduck is most distinctive in that the male and female are equally striking, but different, and I always seem to see them together.

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They inhabit our still-waters here in KZN, and provide a welcome distraction on slow days.


Lang my yer lam reek

To my fishing buddy on his birthday: