Tying The Competition Tan-Draig Blog
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 | Admin
Competition Tan Draig Step by Step Fly Tying Guide
The 3D FAB Blobs have been designed by Frances Davies from the Welsh Ladies Fly Fishing Team and fly designer and tyer.
About the Tan Draig Blob
In fly fishing things do not happen by mistake, they are frequently thought out and developed from years of observation, experience, experimentation and analysis. Fishing with the Welsh Fly Team Frances achieved 5 caps and had the top lady rod in last year’s Ty Nant competition on Llyn Brenig there is no doubt about Frances fly fishing skills.
Indeed in the development of the Tan Draig Blob has been a case of development through observation and experience of Frances Davis then working with the team of Andy Kitchener and Sandy Dickson to develop the perfect Trout Blob fly for the competition scene. What is the Tan Draig Blob? Tan Draig in Welsh is “Fire Dragon” or “Until the Dragon”.
In fishing the competition scene Frances regularly used the tradition Blob as part of her fly rigs. However with her skilled observation she frequently noticed that trout would chase her blob flies and turn at the last minute, something was turning the trout off too often for her liking at the last minute. What was putting the trout off that final lunge? What could be done to make the Foam arsed blobs more attractive to the charging trout to ensure its aggression meant that it would take and not turn away at the last minute? It was one of those moments sitting at the end of a competition looking at a traditional Foam Arsed Blob (FAB) that Frances has her Eureka moment. Looking at the FAB in her hand she realised that there was simply a flat ring of foam at the rear of the fly, not the most attractive for a trout. As a member of the Semperfli Pro Tyers team which had access to all of the materials developed through Semperfli and The Essential Fly Frances saw Sandy’s Flutter Disks and realised that these could provide significant attraction if put on the rear of the Blob.
One year of experimentation, development and testing then occurred leading to a fly which is a true killer, one which trout fight to get hold of. Initially the Flutter Disks were held on with Monofilament and caused some knock off’s of trout at they hit the fly hard. Working with Andy and Sandy from Semperfli specifications of the new fly were developed from its initial experimentation stage. The new fly needed strong hooks as the new flies provoked significant attacks from trout, the Umpqua U501 Egg Fly hooks were selected because of their large gape helping reduce knock off’s and allowing the Flutter disk to sit correctly and their strength.
Firstly Frances decided that a fly needs to be attractive at all angles and directions to a trout so huge development of the traditional foam arsed blob occurred. Firstly at the head a fluorescent hot-spot was developed. Frances used the new Semperfli Glow Brite threads, radically different from traditional fluorescent flosses the Semperfli Glow Brite allowed tying of the fly with the fluorescent thread from start to finish with a great hot spot on the front of the fly providing a trigger point when viewed from the sides, front of the fly. Frances worked with the Semperfli dying team to enhance its range of Blob Chenilles to provide colours that suited the competition scene developing a range of chenille colours from Sunburst to Wimbledon Yellow which provided the body of the fly. Special Booby Eyes were developed at 6mm diameter to provide a perfect foam seat for the Flutter Disk. However the magic came when playing with Sandy’s Eye Lock and Hackle Stops. Using these as the hook extension tied directly to the back of the fly Frances found that the foam and Flutter Disk would sit perfectly and not move and create as many knock-offs as occurred with her experimental monofilament tied Flutter Disks.
Fishing in competitions last year Frances was extremely careful not to let people see the fly she was using. Over winter move experimentation and developed proved the Tan Draig Blob to be deadly accounting for fish even in the depths of winter.