I was extremely honoured to be approached by Fulling Mill to enhance and add to what is already an excellent portfolio of sea trout flies.
I did so with pleasure, but stressed one caveat; there were no shortcuts when it came to quality control. I have seen too many sea trout flies dressed poorly; if patterns I introduced to Fulling Mill were to be copied and get my stamp of approval then they were to be copied properly and to the such a standard that I would be happy and confident enough to fish with them myself. Indeed, when the main part of the sea trout fishing season arrives and I am in guiding mode then I have little time to hit the vice. As such, these patterns should be of a standard that I would be happy to have them on a client’s leader.
After my core samples were sent it felt like an eternity before the first copies arrived back; a watched pot never boils! When the package arrived in the post my first feeling was that of disappointment and bemusement. This was not because of the quality of the flies, it was because I honestly thought there had been a mistake or that my patterns had been rejected at the last hurdle as what was presented looked identical to what I had sent to Fulling Mill as core samples in the first place. They really were that good (or that bad if you take my lack of tying prowess into consideration). There were some tiny adjustments to be made on closer inspection, but these were pedantic points as these sea trout flies themselves were perfectly fishable.
Care has been taken on hook selection; there is not a cheap or flimsy hook in sight. Small elements such as passing trailing hook wire/braid through the eye of the front hook for security have not been overlooked either. Again, these are important elements and provide reassurance that the patterns can be trusted when you need them the most. I would not fish them any other way, so neither should you.
The following are those that I have brought to UK sea trout flies range, but expect to see the S.America selection in the Fulling Mill range sometime next year; watch this space…
An introduction to the patterns.
A fantastic dropper pattern that has served me well now for almost twenty years, certainly lasting the test of time. A must for rivers like the Teifi in West-Wales, but has now proven itself across many rivers in the UK. This is probably my favourite pattern and I would hazard a guess at it producing over half my sea trout; granted, it is rarely off my leader, but for a very good reason. A fly to fish with confidence, especially from July onwards.
FAG (Foam Arse Glow) Daioni
This pattern is an amalgamation of the Daioni and then foam arsed patterns that are popular for lake fishing. The concept behind this pattern is to enable you to either fish it as a muddler type pattern or to fish it on the point with another single above it on a dropper when you need to fish very high in the water during low flows etc. In addition to this, the tip of the foam arse section has been treated with glow in the dark materials, which means that it can be charged with a torch for some added attraction.
Night Stalker (Surface Lure)
More time and thinking and intricacies go into creating the perfect surface lure than any type of pattern. There are several elements that the fly needs to achieve, which I believe this fly achieves perfectly. It stacks the buoyancy towards the head and on top of the shank, which, in turn, ‘cocks’ the fly and makes the hook and body ride subsurface. This essentially equates to your wake and buoyancy fishing in the surface film, but the hook being subsurface to maximise the hooking potential. A gaudy treble hook has been replaced with a large, wide gape single, which assures a fantastic hooking ratio but also makes for easier release. Also, the materials used are largely synthetic, which means they cannot get waterlogged. This means they will keep their buoyancy whilst also being easier to cast. Another added feature of the fly is a glow in the dark post. This makes the fly great fun to fish with, as you can see it coming back across the river towards you and even disappearing when a fish intercepts it! It is amusing when the fish is close to you, as you see the little light source dashing around below the surface; this can aid the netting process for those that prefer not to utilise a torch at such times.
A pattern that has been producing well over the last few season and a great pattern when you are looking to add length without too much weight. Great for those that find tube flies cumbersome to cast too. These are great hookers and will sort out those tail nippers. There is no excessive rigidity in the mount either; enough to stop the hind hook from looping over, but not overly stiff that it could hinge the hook-hold.
I had tied a batch of these for a given season and had started to have success with them. They combined a lot of different elements and patterns into one; the best of all worlds. I was guiding a client and good friend one night when I decided to put it on his dropper. A few casts later he landed a fish just shy of 10 lbs (I would not give him 10 lbs, much to his dismay) on the pattern. His nickname is ‘Mr Fish’ hence why the pattern has been honoured with the same namesake. Again, a great dropper pattern.
NB* All of the sea trout flies from Steffan Jones are slowly trickling into stock and should all be available within the next couple of weeks. sea trout flies, sea trout flies.