The Chequers at Lamberhurst hosted another very entertaining evening last night for the Teise Fly-Tyers, most of whom took advantage of their excellent 'Fish and Chips and a Pint of Harveys' for £15 offer, plus all the flies you can tie. A number of the usual maestros were away on holiday this time, but we were treated to a virtuoso performance by Keith.
As well as a brief recap of his deadly Pink Squirmy, he tied a brilliant Humpy using one CDC feather (and a lot of skill), then a woolly Grayling Bug, and later a tiny Pink Shrimp.
For a bit of light relief, there was a demonstration of a number of gadgets by yours truly, including a long-range fly retreiver. When (not if) you snag a fly on a high branch, you can of course try winding the line in until you can try and unhook it with your rod tip, which is great when it works, but can damage the tip, and doesn't usually work with droppers or duos. I was inspired to invent something more robust when I saw the tragic spectacle of a dead bat hanging from a fly that had been left dangling from a branch over the river, and I now to go to extreme lengths to avoid leaving any flies dangling.
This gadget is simply a very short (50cm) telescopic landing-net handle plus a small weed-cutter attachment and a length of old fly-line.
This is designed to be small enough to fit in a bag or rod-carrier, but it extends to 2.7m, and the blade will usually strip off the offending twigs, and I have attached a tiny neodymium magnet to help catch the fly if it comes loose. Of course these telescopic handles have no strength if you pull on them, hence the fly line. I've rescued an awful lot of flies this way, not all of them my own, but I also like to think I've preserved a few bats as well.
Next time, another brilliantly simple gadget for collecting those odd bits of tippet or line that you've recovered from a tree.