The Orvis Fly Fishing Report: Paul Procter reports on current fly fishing conditions in UK and abroad.

No. 55 Orvis Blog

October 2014
Written by: Paul Procter

Black Gnat

Orvis ladies fish for trout and grayling on the River Test during Ladies Day.

Ladies Let Loose:
Recently, Orvis UK held a Ladies Day on the Waitrose Leckford Estate in Hampshire.  
Supported by Claire Zambuni, some 30 ladies turned out on a beautiful day by the River Test.  The group consisted of mixed abilities from out and out beginners to those who had several seasons under belts.  Naturally, fishing ranked high on their agenda, but the ladies met first thing for tea and coffee in the Orvis Stockbridge store to browse amongst the latest clothing collection.  Suitably armed, they headed venture onto the Estate water in search of trout and grayling.  Supplied by the Leckford Team, lunch went down a treat and perhaps lasted a little too long when another bottle of prosecco was uncorked! With such a positive response, several more Ladies Days are in the pipeline for 2015.

Cottis in Cuba:
One of our stalwarts, Martin Cottis, led a group of eight to Cuba recently.  Given it was prime season, their expectations were clearly high.  Fortunately the party had been blessed with some magical weather, which makes a massive difference when you're chasing shadows across extensive flats.  Obviously, bonefish dominated their adventure, but tarpon featured, too, with the best of them going some 70 lb. Interestingly, the group got amongst a fair few snook, one of the more secretive predators, usually found close to mangrove roots.  Although Las Salinas isn't known for its huge fish, plenty of bones in the 5-7 lb bracket were recorded.  Following this success, Martin is already busy planning a 2015 trip.

Contact Martin:

Peacock Quill Nymph
Dropped Arse Gnat

Partridge jig size 12-16

Olive 14/0 Sheer

Coq de Leon


Dyed olive stripped peacock quill

Peacock ice-dud
2- to 2.5-mm slotted tungsten bead

Fly of the Month – Peacock Quill Nymph:
A generic tying, this nymph lends itself to being dressed in a range of sizes and colours to suit your needs. Obviously, where baetis nymphs dominate, a size 14 or 16 olive-bodied pattern works best.  That said, a natural peacock quill or those dyed an orange shade will have their day, too. As peacock quills tend to be fragile, a coating of UV resin (bugbond) makes this absolutely bombproof.  Well marked and virtually transparent in appearance, Coq de Leon feathers make great tailing fibres and are nigh on indestructible.  For my money, a black or gunmetal bead works best; though in mucky water a more conspicuous orange or pink bead will have worth.

Black Gnat

A wee black dry did untold damage on trout and grayling in recent weeks when black gnats were present on many waters.

Slimming Down:
As the season draws to a close once more, I’m already reflecting and thinking about revising my fly boxes for next year.  I usually end up promising to carry less in my fishing vest or pack.  Yet paranoid about being caught out by that once-in-a-lifetime hatch, hundreds of flies are faithfully lugged about on each outing.  Whilst not heavy, loaded into standard fly boxes, things tend to get bulky.  The Orvis Super Slim Fly Box, however, is trim enough to fit in the tightest or smallest of pockets, even on a shirt.  Best of all, the original box is capable of holding 168 flies.  Having a couple of them on hand means you’ll be well armed for any eventuality without having to put up with bulging pockets.

Check out Orvis's Super Slim Fly Box.

Crying out for Rain:
These days it seems its feast or famine when it comes to rainfall.  Following what can only be described as an exceptional Indian summer, our spate rivers are at an all-time low.  More so than many, Orvis Guide Steve Rhodes knows the consequences of such extreme conditions.  Whilst late season hatches might not have lived up to their billing, the black gnat bonanza came good.  Steve reported some especially fine days on the Dales rivers and those bordering Lancashire with dry flies at the forefront of his campaign.  

Contact Steve:

Earlier Reports