Last week I finally got round to doing a tying demo for Grafham Water Fly fishers. I'm saying 'finally' as it's been in the pipeline for a couple of years but something usually popped up. Well, actually two things popped up: the births of my son and daughter!

As this was going to be a 800 mile round trip for just one tying demo evening, I decided to tie it in with a days fishing on one of the Anglian Water reservoirs. These terrific venues are renowned for their superb trout fishing but my target was going to be the Pike which grow large on the prolific shoals of coarse fish which abound in these food rich environments.

As time was short, to maximise my chances I called upon a mate of mine Nigel Savage who, being a warden with AW, knows these waters particularly well. I've fished with Nigel a fair bit now and he is in my opinion, the top Pike-on-the-fly-man in the U.K although he'll hate me for saying that! The forecast for Grafham wasn't looking great so Nigel suggested we have a go on Pitsford which was fine by me as it's a venue I'd never fished before.

The fishing started well with a couple of Pike following the flies on the first drift of the day. It was to prove fairly consistent with follows and takes coming regularly. I finished the day with 9 Pike, we didn't catch anything big but to get decent, hard fighting fish on a new venue was a good result in my book. Thanks to Nigel for the day and sharing his knowledge. 

Incidentally, most of the fish were taken on a Flashtail Whistler tied on a 3/0 Partridge Universal Predator hook.

So after a 40 min drive back to the digs, I got sorted out, donned the PRO-Team shirt and set off to Grafham Water for the demo. It was the Clubs first Winter meeting and was very well attended so I couldn't help feeling a little nervous when the murmurs and chat simmered down and it was time to tie!

I figured that a good starting point would be to tie the fly which was so effective that morning so I knocked up a Flashtail Whistler. This is a great demo fly as it contains several materials and tying techniques. I also did a Surf Candy Sandeel fleye for the saltwater enthusiasts as well as a stealth-style baitfish pattern. I thoroughly enjoyed my night and feedback is that the demo was well received. Thanks to Colin Brett for the invite and Peter Waterhouse for his hospitality. I can't wait to go back.

Now it's time to prepare for the big one, the Irish Flyfair in Galway........

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Dougie Loughridge

Dougie Loughridge is from Glasgow, Scotland. He is a passionate angler and being from Scotland, is spoilt for choice when it comes to fishing locations. A relative late-comer to the sport, he first started fishing around the age of 13 on a small farm pond near his family home, dangling a worm on an oversized hook on crude, old fashioned tackle. However, there was always an accommodating little Perch waiting to engulf the offering….those bristling spines, vivid orange fins and stone-cold, killer’s eyes…..what a fantastic creature. As they say, he was hooked.

As early as a year or so later he started flyfishing for trout, fishing small put and take fisheries as well as some of the larger local Lochs and Rivers. Fly-tying also started around the time he first got interested in flyfishing. As a bit of an artist, the creative side of flyfishing appealed greatly, particularly creating flies for Pike and other predators. In the past few years he has practised this art at FlyFairs in Britain and Europe. As well as having had several Pike over the magical 20lb mark on the fly, Dougie has also featured in numerous magazine publications.

Dougie is also an S.G.A.I.C qualified single handed casting instructor and can be contacted for tuition as well as guided fishing.

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