Tag Archives: Arts

nature really is our best friend – bees and flowers in the city


When I wrote my first blogpost (appreciation and sharing) I wrote the following:

“Conservation and appreciation of Nature is the primary focus of my blog – sustainable use of the outdoors with a view to unearth and hopefully master long forgotten traditions, celebrating experiences and, through teaching others, paving the way for new pathways into the future.”

It seems fitting to post something that brings all these elements to the fore amongst the hustle and bustle of London’s Sloane Square. I salute people who think in terms of flower superhighways and who take the trouble to hand out seeds that will help build them…

respect to J. Crew for taking the initiative and building walls of flowering plants on their Sloane Square outlet... If you are in London, go and get some of their seeds and plant them this summer...

respect to J. Crew for taking the initiative and building walls of flowering plants on their Sloane Square outlet… If you are in London, go and get some of their seeds and plant them this summer… Photo – worklondonstyle http://worklondonstyle.com

I thank my Darling Wife for her infinite patience and support of metiefly over the last 15 months. As we sip our Twinings English Breakfast, I wish to share a strong message on behalf of fauna and flora all over the world… Thank you J.Crew for this fabulous project!

a picture tells a thousand words... What can you do to make your own little corner of the universe a better place for all living things?

a picture tells a thousand words… what can you do to make your own little corner of the universe a better place for all living things?

Lastly, on my 100th blogpost, I wish thank you, my plethora of very special readers for joining me in my little adventure… I look forward to your next visit.

27 July update... Fantastic to see the flowers opening, just in time to help the bees through the late stages of summer and into autumn. Please share your results if you also grew some this year!

27 July update… Fantastic to see the flowers opening, just in time to help the bees through the late stages of summer and into autumn. Please share your results if you also grew some this year!

August update - a picture tells a thousand words!

August update – a picture tells a thousand words!

JLM Special makeover – back to Abaco?


Constructive feedback is a wonderful inspirer. Esteemed fellow blogger and author of a stunning Bird book, RH (of rollingharbour.com) painstakingly limited his catch rate on my behalf during his last sojourn in the Abaco Marls. Persisting long after his wiser companions abandoned the JLM Special in favour of their tried and tested stalwarts, RH very kindly gathered all the empirical evidence he needed to tell me the following:

These flies don’t work in Abaco! Not even by accident! (These are my own words – RH is far more generous and polite :-))

RH went on to provide constructive insights to help me refine my approach:

“Basically, much too dark for the waters of Abaco, too bushy, no streamer tail, no sparkle.”

My first creative reaction is to take care of the colour tones…

Prototype1 - this albino variant is made by combining arctic fox tail with ginger (yes ginger!) elk hair and white embroidery thread. To give it some colour and fine movement, I used blonde hare fur tips. For the telson, a sliver of red wool . Photo - metiefly

Prototype1 – this albino variant is made by combining arctic fox tail with ginger (yes ginger!) elk hair and white embroidery thread. To give it some colour and fine movement, I used blonde hare fur tips. For the telson, a sliver of red wool . Photo – metiefly

The streamer tail and addressing the bushy profile is a matter of correcting proportions:

Longer and fewer arctic fox fibres , a whiff of red in the main body - each iteration is a little step closer to the end goal!

Longer and fewer arctic fox fibres , a whiff of red in the main body – each iteration is a little step closer to the end goal! Photo – metiefly

I have no idea what the final design will look like – in the meantime, I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the ongoing pursuit of what Abaco’s bonefish consider a tasty morsel.

Ready for postage... Thanks again to RH for his great attitude and collaboration...

Ready for postage… Much appreciation to RH for his patience, great attitude and collaborative spirit. Photo – metiefly

Thank you for visiting – I look forward to your return.

full circle…


Back in March when I ventured into the world of blogging, I experimented with making videos of my favourite patterns… At the time, I knew the videos will put 99.9% of the world to sleep! I fully appreciate they are not everyone’s cup of tea.

My rather selfish understanding is that IF I can help one person learn how to make their own flies or persuade a novice to take a leap of faith and actually design their own pattern, then I will be grateful. Grateful for the opportunity to pass on all the tips and tricks that I have discovered over the last three decades… Sharing is a wonderful thing – especially considering those who continue to learn and grow their skills will also develop more compassion for Mother Nature. They will go on to protect our Natural World as they progress through Life.

On the day I blogged about the Argulus (‘underwater jump jockey’), the fish I caught was hoodwinked by the fly I made in my first tying video. For the duration of Summer, I had set that little fly to one side as a keepsake.

fly tying video no. 1 - size 16 gold bead deer hair damsel nymph

fly tying video no. 1 – size 16 gold bead deer hair damsel nymph

Here it is in action:

gold at the end of the rainbow...

gold at the end of the rainbow…

Hop over to my video page if you wish to watch the fly under construction. If you know anyone, especially a young person who would like to learn to tie flies, please send them a link to my blog and then take them fishing with their newly made creations. Guaranteed you will have fun and produce some sacred memories!

Thank you for reading – you are welcome to return anytime!

more appreciation and sharing


This post is to thank the many readers, followers and critics of metiefly who have engaged, questioned and encouraged me throughout the journey so far. From 30 countries across every continent, I have received enthusiastic feedback and forged several exciting collaborations – friends old and new taking a little time now and then out of their busy schedules to enjoy something a little different.

Statistics are not my reason for persisting however I am honoured, privileged and frankly a little surprised that these pages have been viewed so many times in what feels like such a very short space of time. My biggest dream is that readers (of every age) may be drawn ever closer towards actually trying to cast a line or tie their own fly for the first time… I am convinced that the vast majority of those who do will pry open the door to a lifetime of fun, learning and above all, appreciation of all the joys Nature has to offer.

Return visits are deeply appreciated and I will do my utmost to continue finding interesting, useful and relevant content – please keep your side of the dialogue flowing too!

First fish ever caught on the JLM special - this fly pattern is set to be a huge success all over the world, in fresh water and in the sea...

First fish ever caught on the JLM special – this fly pattern is set to be a huge success all over the world, in fresh water and in the sea…

Thank you for reading, I look forward to your next visit.

still buzzing!


I’m still pinching myself every now and then… What joy.

Here are some more pictures of that amazing fish:

The two marks on the right flank were from previous battles, healing well. This fish was in prime condition and showed recent marks from sea lice on its belly just behind its pectoral fins.

The two marks on the right flank were from previous battles, healing well. This fish is in prime condition and showed recent marks from sea lice on its belly just behind its pectoral fins.

perhaps the most precious silver in London!

perhaps the most precious silver in London!

Thank you for visiting, please return soon!

 

ARKive photo - Brown trout pair spawning

Here’s a real gem!


Good luck trying to put this book down... It's not easy!

Good luck trying to put this book down… It’s not easy!

Not a long post tonight – just passing on a great discovery I made last year… These days many of us do not have much time to read a whole book in one or two sittings.

My challenge to you is to read this in more than one! Don’t pop the roast in the oven on Sunday and begin reading this book – you’ll burn the roast and be forced to order pizza.

Seriously, the way this was written it allows you to split it into reasonably small chunks and still get stuff done around the house.

Please let me know if you enjoyed this and if you like, I’ll share some others in due course.

Thanks for reading, please come back soon!

What a fun Bumper Sticker!


Many truly remarkable human beings have influenced me throughout my Life. I am extremely honoured to have received this message today from a 94 year old man who is friend and mentor to so many very lucky people around the the world – thanks Oupa!

“Dear Mark

Congratulations on your outstanding day of fishing, and your success as a fly-maker.
Before you leave your house, send the following message:

ALL FISH BEWARE ! I AM COMING

Enjoy you fishing.”

Wouldn’t the bit in capitals make a great bumper sticker, or better still, a sticker for a boat?

Thank you for reading, please come back soon!