Fly box fillers

Step-by-step in­struc­tions for a sim­ple but ef­fec­tive mini Buzzer, per­fect as win­ter ap­proaches

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

TALK­ING to some of my fish­ing friends lately, we all agree that it has been some­thing of a strange year for fly life. The re­ally hot spell ear­lier in the year def­i­nitely put a crimp in some of the top-of-the-water sport that we nor­mally en­joy through the sum­mer. It’s only now, as the rain and au­tum­nal tem­per­a­tures in­flict them­selves upon us, that some of the back­end fish­ing is be­gin­ning to re­turn to some­thing like nor­mal. I rather fancy that Novem­ber and De­cem­ber could be ex­cep­tional this year as a lot of the sum­mer stocked fish be­gin to wake up. Hav­ing said that, those who know me know that buzzer fish­ing is one of the meth­ods I en­joy most. Yet this year has not been a good year for buzzers, at least not in my neck of the woods.

Odd buzzer sea­son

I’ve been spoon­ing fish on and off since Easter and found com­par­a­tively few buzzer in the au­top­sies. It’s only now, as the weather has started to cool, that I’ve found a few more and, strangely, the buzzers are all quite small, such as you would nor­mally ex­pect to find at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son. I can’t say that I can ever re­call such an odd buzzer sea­son as this one. Hav­ing es­tab­lished that the nat­u­ral buzzers are small and skinny, I put my nor­mal Buzzer box to one side and started a new one with a few Buzzers tied on size 12 hooks, a lot of 14s and a few ex­per­i­ments tied on 16s. But I have to say the most suc­cess­ful pat­terns have been skinny size 14s. Nor­mally on small waters and when bank­fish­ing the reser­voirs, I like to fish two Buzzers. Very oc­ca­sion­ally, if the wind and the weather gods are smil­ing, I’ll fish three Buzzers on the leader, but so far this sea­son it has just been the two. A 15-17 foot leader with a weighted Buzzer on point and a nor­mal un­weighted Buzzer off the drop­per four to five feet from the point fly is my nor­mal prospect­ing rig. If I can see fish mov­ing near the top, then it will be just two con­ven­tional un­weighted Buzzers fished off a thor­oughly-de­greased leader and moved with a very slow, fig­ure-ofeight re­trieve. If you’re a novice Buzzer fisher don’t worry about dis­tance cast­ing. Try to get your line and leader to lay straight on the water right from the cast, then wait, and wait some more – let the Buzzers fish on-the-drop. If you’re not sat­is­fied that your leader is straight right af­ter the cast, pull a yard or so to straighten your leader and to make sure that you’re in touch with the flies. It’s then a case of a slow re­trieve, with lots of stops and starts. Re­trieve at dif­fer­ent in­ter­vals, maybe very slowly lift­ing the rod to bring the flies up in the

water again, un­til you find the depth at which the fish are feed­ing. There are times when the cloud of buzzers are sev­eral feet deep in the water and then you have to go prospect­ing for them. Some an­glers do this by putting a weighted Blood­worm or some­thing else weighted on the point, a small Bead­head Damsel is an­other good one. This can be a very pro­duc­tive ploy on oc­ca­sions but, to start with, I tend to use a Bead­head Buzzer to pull the leader deeper in the water.

Buzzers on bar­b­less

Ty­ing a size 14 Bead­head Buzzer is not nearly as dif­fi­cult as you might think, es­pe­cially if you choose a bar­b­less hook. Now I know some an­glers don’t like bar­b­less hooks in case they lose a fish. I lost a few fish over the years un­til I learned a les­son the hard way and that les­son is very sim­ple – never al­low the fish to de­velop slack line. Al­ways keep a bend in the rod, even if it’s only a slight bend in the tip, and it’ll be rare that you’ll lose a fish on bar­b­less hooks. This ty­ing for a Bead­head Buzzer is ac­tu­ally a very sim­ple ty­ing but it works and you can’t ask for more than that! The beads I use are small but heavy tung­sten beads (www.tung­sten-beads-plus.com is where I bought them) in 2mm and 2.5mm di­am­e­ter. On the size 14 Do­hiku 645 hook, the 2mm beads are to­tally in pro­por­tion and pull a 5 or 6lb leader un­der quite quickly. Feed the bead onto the hook, small hole first and start your thread right be­hind the bead to hold it in place. The thread is size 8/0 black Uni, which – be­cause of its quite fine di­am­e­ter – makes a nice, slim body to the fly, es­pe­cially if you spin the thread anti-clock­wise to flat­ten it. Take the thread down the hook to about a third of the way around the hook bend, catch­ing in a strand of pearl Flashabou tin­sel, which

“I also tie this fly with­out the rib so that it has a plain black body. It’s de­bat­able which works best, but I think the ribbed ver­sion has the edge.”

will be the rib. I also tie this fly with­out the rib so that it has a plain black body. It’s de­bat­able which works best, but I tend to think the ribbed ver­sion has the edge. Bring the thread back up the body in touch­ing turns. Even two lay­ers of size 8/0 thread still gives a nice, thin body to the fly. Bring the Flashabou rib back up the body in open turns and tie off be­hind the black bead. Now just be­hind the bead, tie in a hotspot of 8/0 Uni-Thread in fire or­ange or red. Just a few turns and tie it off, that’s all that’s needed. At this point you can coat the fly and there are a few op­tions, all of which work. The first choice is bru­tally sim­ple and, while not mak­ing the pret­ti­est fly, is quick and easy. Just paint the fly with Su­per­glue and that’s it. The sec­ond op­tion is ap­ply two or three coats of a thick varnish such as Sally Hansen’s or clear Rock Hard varnish from Fly Box. This is ca­pa­ble of mak­ing a lovely fly but it will need two or three coats and you have to ac­count for the dry­ing time be­tween coats. Thirdly, the quick­est and, in my view, the best op­tion is to coat the fly with UV resin and cure the resin with a UV light. At the mo­ment I’m com­ing to the end of a bot­tle of Deer Creek Di­a­mond Fine Flex Coat, which does dry tack­free, but it seems to need a few hours to fin­ish cur­ing prop­erly, in my opin­ion. I’ve never been sure which I en­joy the most, the hump and splash of a trout tak­ing a dry fly or the bump and slash of a fish tak­ing a tiny lit­tle Buzzer. Both are ex­quis­ite!

The hotspot Baby Buzzer is par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive in the au­tumn and early win­ter.

When fish­ing these small Buzzers vary the style of the re­trieve un­til you find the tak­ing zone.

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