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Newholme House, Stirling

Stimulating Humping

I had sort of hoped to being getting an odd hour or two some evenings by now what with the nights ( when its fair) being light enough to fish until fairly well after nine. However the weather really isn’t settling down. While looking out a window you would be excused into thinking its quite settled spring weather with a wee bit heat. The reality unfortunately is that its still pretty windy and not a warm wind either. In the shade of the hedge in my back garden you can really feel the heat in the sun some days but leave the tall shelter of the leylandii’s and you soon realise its far from calm.

On top of this I have had to work almost every night this week so time is limited.

Instead I have returned to the tying bench ( Ok my home office desk which resembles a tip most of the time), to tie a few more flies that might serve me well on still or moving water.

I don’t know what it is but I love tying Stimulators. At best you can call them a Sedge imitation but really its a dry lure! Something to grab the trouts attention as it streaks by on a fast riffle, or in pocket water, or to use as a sighter fly on stillwater with a couple of buzzers or nymphs under neath. Obviously you can fish it this “New Zealand ” style on moving water too.

While I don’t actually fish them a lot I have had a modicum of success with some of my early, crude attempts at tying them. Especially early season or when the fish really don’t seem to be showing on the top though you know they aren’t deep. I reckon greed gets the better of them and they have it.

Stimulator dry flies

Various Stimulators and Royal Stimulators

A Stimie is a wee bit of a tricky fly to tie especially if you go down the route of my favourite tying, the “Royal Stimulator”. There is a lot of material to pack onto a hook. The book I found this pattern in recommends using a long shank hook, and certainly this variant is best tied thus. However at the recent Angling Active open day I was delighted to be chatting to Ken Oliver, a top Scottish competition angler, who was demonstrating tying Stimies for use primarily at Lake of Menteith. His¬†metalwork of choice was a fairly heavy wet fly hook, and the pattern he tied was fairly straightforward, though he endeavoured to maintain a fairly flat wing. With such a bushy hackle and the copious quntities of deer hair employed it will float all day like a cork. However he was relating to me that in competitions they have considerable success fishing these patterns on a Di3 and pulling them creating a subsurface disturbance.

Makes sense I guess though I wouldn’t have thought of doing such a thing had he not told me.

I often listen to Tom Rosenbauers, Orvis Fly Fishing Podcast, especially when travelling. While its very US centric its still entertaining and you pick up the odd tip or mention of a fly pattern here that catches the attention. The “Humpy” is one such fly. I haven’t really come across anyone fishing these here though no doubt they do get used but again its a fly I see in the book mentioned above so I decided to throw a few together. I think the “original ” is tied with a Deer Hair body hump however the modern version uses foam. I have initially for my first goes employed closed cell foam.

Foam humpies

Foam Humpies in black, red and brown/tan

The thing I like about this fly is I would imagine it should be good to fish all day, even after a good few fish, a wee dry off and re gink of the hackles and it will fish again. Its a robust pattern. I have thrown a few together in a variety of colours from bright red and brown, to black. I reckon the black will stand a chance up at Pendreich, where the black gnat can be a successful fly. The Hawthorne can be a prevalent terrestrial there too so a black foam humpy could do as a passable pattern if the fish aren’t being too choosy.

Regardless of the efficacy of the patterns they are simply fun to put together and that for me is a lot of what fly tying is about. (its certainly not because I need the flies- I have hundreds of the things now!)

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