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Transforming a parachute
20 Jan 2013

Again I’m indebted to Ed Herbst for pointing me in the direction of yet another interesting website and another intriguing fly pattern.  In one simple step the tyer converts a standard deer hair post on a dry fly into a deer hair parachute Klinkhåmer-type pattern! It’s a brilliant, why-didn’t-I- think-of-that-before pattern from a wonderful website!


 - Tom Sutcliffe

19 Jan 2013

Rhodes is the epicentre of fine fly fishing in this country and the conduit for the aggregation of some of South Africa‘s finest anglers. It came as no surprise to hear from the laird of the town, Dave Walker, that the Wild Trout Festival held every year in this picturesque setting is already oversubscribed. Is this not our country’s most successful and prestigious fly fishing event?

 - Tom Sutcliffe 

Book Review - The Trout Diaries
10 Jan 2013

The Trout Diaries

The Trout Diaries by Derek Grzelewski is right up there with the best reads available in fly fishing. This South Island New Zealand based photo journalist has done a marvelous job of drawing you into the fishing life in this part of the world with text and illustrations.

His website is also worth a visit

Guest Blog by Tom Sutcliffe

The Purple Parachute Adams
28 Dec 2012

The colour purple in dry flies is not something new or unique. One of the best examples is Charles Meck’s Patriot, a variation of the Royal Wulff, with a segmented purple body. And I have seen a Purple Para Wulff and a Purple Renegade – though less commonly – and Oliver Kite’s timeless pattern, Kite’s Imperial, is tied with purple silk.

But I had never heard of a Purple Para-Adams until I read the Spatsizi Wilderness Reserve’s 2012 Newsletter, where they record it as this year’s most successful dry fly on their many rivers and streams! It’s a pattern better known as Carlson’s Purple Haze.

The Spatsizi Reserve, by the way, is in British Columbia, many hundreds of mile north of Vancouver and offers some lovely dry fly fishing for trout and grayling ( I wondered if the Purple Para-Wulff would not be a pattern well worth trying on South African streams?



Guest blog by Tom Sutcliffe

Masters of their craft
28 Dec 2012

Says Steve Boshoff: It has become tradition for me to spend the first week of the December break exploring new ideas as opposed to fulfilling orders. Driving this work remains a search for the “Africa rod” devoid of imported components, refinement of the centre axis rod and reel, the all wood outfit, and excluding unnecessary rod and reel fittings. I have also become interested in the work of bladesmiths and their influences are appearing in my rods and nets. 

The wooden rod grip has a long history in rod making. However, weight is a challenge. For lightness, the late Vince Marinaro used balsa, not as durable as hardwoods. Stephen Dugmore’s hardwood mortised grip is built hollow, akin to a traditional aircraft fuselage. Here I use hand shaped hardwood for both durability and weight reduction. The reel has no knob; a finger hole suffices. 

In my view Steve Boshoff ranks right up there with the world’s best bamboo rod makers. He lives in Scarborough, Western Cape.

Guest Blog - Tom Sutcliffe
28 Dec 2012

We are pleased to have received a few guest blog pieces from Tom Sutcliffe; the South African flyfishing legend, author and artist. 

For more about fly fishing, see Tom's website.


Matt Hayes is an accomplished photojournalist with over 20 years experience and a very keen angler, so his book, FISHEYE – A Guide to Angling Photography, promises to deliver the real deal on this subject. In fact it covers everything you need to know, obviously in more or less detail depending on the subject, and this might make the book’s high price tag worth the money.

The pages are sumptuous, glossy, picture-filled and interesting. For example, every image in the book – and there are countless – records the camera settings used and the reasons they were chosen. Among the subjects Hayes covers are the science of composition, the use of light in angling photography, underwater photography, night and low light photography, creative photography and macro work. There’s even a chapter of file formats, HDR and image correction software.

This book will be extremely useful to the keen and advanced amateur, but also to the beginner wanting to move up the ladder in smooth, easy steps. The only downside is the relative large number of typos in the text! But putting that aside, his book is still an extremely informative and valuable contribution to an aspect of angling that daily becomes more and more popular.

200 pages. Published in 2012 by Mpress (Media) Ltd. ISBN Number 978-0-9570398-5-8. Available from Net Books at R599.


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