For me, tying is an ever evolving discipline. Combining basic principles with a fluid mix of creativity and experimentation, I try not to be governed by rules and am always on the lookout for improvement. Form and function remain key and whilst there are an infinite number of potential permutations (think different species in a variety of conditions), it is great to have proven favourites to fall back on.
Here are some of my own designs, incorporating specific materials and tying techniques to produce a desired effect. Often I work with a particular species in mind, or I cater for certain conditions. Please go ahead and reproduce your own versions and I would be delighted to hear from you when you catch a fish on a metiefly pattern!
metiefly Mitchi mayflies are made with cat fur dubbing and ethically sourced cat’s whiskers discarded naturally by my housecat. They are perfectly proportioned to mimic the local mayflies that hatch from London’s Thames river
JLM Special, originally designed for spotted grunter and bonefish. It mimics saltwater shrimps and mud prawns… so far, field tested on rainbow trout with spectacular results. Further afield, my Dad – after whom the pattern is named – has caught Tigerfish and red breasted bream from Lake Kariba and most recently a puffer fish from the sea in Breede River.
Deer hair damselfly nymph. This weighted version is great for long distance casting and fishing swift currents
Deer hair damselfly nymph. These are tied on size 16 hooks, with coastal deer hair and a single strand each of white and khaki embroidery thread.
this pattern caught my sea trout in the River Thames in London – can you please help me name it?
Each fly is unique by virtue of how they are made… Use each opportunity to aim for perfection and the extra care you put in will yield massive results. These crabs are tied for future pursuits of Permit and Bonefish.
Size 16, green and white embroidery thread, ring necked parakeet feathers, white size 6 uni thread tying silk.
I can hardly wait to test this in the spring and summer… More tweaking is necessary to ensure the correct proportions and buoyancy – there is a fine balance
metiefly damsels – three of the finest – coarse deer hair tips and a striking colour combination. In the morning of 22 March 2014 I caught eight fish on the middle fly in this picture then lost the fly on a bad back cast. I tied on a replacement, caught a ninth and final fish to end my season… What happened next was even better than I could have dreamt: a young man caught his first two trout ever on it – hopefully the beginnings of endless adventures for him and his Dad!