I have made a start on a hexagonal wooden rod tube for the bamboo rod, it will be nice to have something a little different to keep the rod safe. I collected some hardwood slats back while I still worked at ITM, they had small wood worm marks that I thought would create a cool old recycled look to the tube. Richard (Pedigree Drums) my brother in-law has a pretty sweet workshop so I cheated and dropped the timber to him to machine, that way I knew the angles would be correct and accurate rather than my builders technique of a rough old rip saw and plenty of sanding.


wooden rod tube


I plan to varnish the finished tube with the same Spar varnish I coated the boo blank with, I have coated the inside of the slats prior to gluing it up to seal and protect the inside of the rod tube. I got a little more varnish on the edges than intend so I will have a bit of clean up before I glue it up. Pretty happy with the colour and grain that has come out with the varnish…


wooden rod tube-2

wooden rod tube-3


Once dried, a quick sand and scrap the edges, it will be time to glue up and sand down for the outside to be varnished… keep tuned!



I finished the bamboo build and finally got a chance to fish it… I’m loving it! Matt from Iconoclast Fly Rods has built a fantastic taper… all I did was give him a few points I wanted the rod to do and he hit it on the head. The taper is faster than the demo model he sent with just the right amount of stiffness to the butt section, it’s going to be a fantastic rod on some wee Southland streams this season.

I went up the top of the lake today with my brother to fish the rod (was good timing to have a photographer on hand, thanks bro!)… first cast and I was impressed, very impressed. It presents well and feels great with a fish on, it wasn’t the biggest of fish first up but felt lively playing the fish while having the feel of power to drag in any good fish. I look forward to targeting a few willow grubbing trout this season with it!


Bamboo christened-2

Bamboo christened

Bamboo christened-3


Unintentional middle finger photo… not sure how I did this one???


I have to give a huge thanks to Matt at Iconoclast Fly rods, he has built a fantastic rod… it does exactly what I asked him for it to do. All I need now is to make the hexagonal wooden rod tube and a rod sock, got the fabric and my brother in-law is machining the timber this week, the project nears an end.

So earlier I mentioned I was hosting a fly swap for streamers hence the reason I was playing with the macro shot on the black background and the mirror. Pretty happy with the results my main issue is relying on natural light as the main source so the first couple were great then the sun dipped behind some clouds and the others needed a little more tweaking in lightroom. All in all I still think they look pretty cool…





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Still playing with my macro lens so had a play with a shot in my wee pop up tent using the black drop sheet and a small mirror…

Pretty happy with the results!

Swap photos-12 Wee nymphs


Amazing how much detail shows in the macro shot, I cleaned the mirror, or so I thought! I did a little spot fixing to tidy up the dust marks that showed up!


Living by a lake, I always have a range of midge nymphs in my fly box… I have been playing with a way to get a smaller lighter hook for the shallows but keep the bloodworm about 12-15mm (the size of  a sample scoop we did on Lake Dunstan). I have had some hollow red midge tube lying around for a while and something caught my eye on the net that got me tying an extended body version…


Mike flies-5 Mike flies-6


This is a size 18 TMC 2457 hook… I managed a little time on the lake for some field testing last weekend…




I have tweaked the fly a little more since the top picture, I now pull a  stem of a white CDC feather through the tube to create the breathers. I’m sure this isn’t the last midge pattern I’ll tie but just another one to sit in the box for when it’s needed! Funny how flies  have their day, I tie so many flies and go through phases fishing a particular pattern, I’m sure they would all still catch fish but I guess I like a bit of variety in my tying…


Just to add a pic, had a play at crimping the tube with heated forceps to give the body a segmented look after seeing something on the net… I doubt it makes a difference for the trout but makes a pretty cool fly!




I’m hosting a flyswap on a NZ forum, the swap is for streamers… I don’t fish streamers that often, usually only during winter or if fishing off a boat. I enjoy tying them and have been tying a few for the light salt on our coastal river mouths, it also gives me an excuse to get some new materials to play with. I just got some Congo hair in a range of colours  for tying baitfish… had a wee play this afternoon to try and decide what pattern I’ll use for the swap!


Mike flies-10

Nice material to work with and so many colour combos, I will need to make some time to get to the coast to wet these at some point or a trip overseas maybe. Some nice colour blends for a crab pattern or two also!

Now it’s time to tie a few streamers for the fresh water, I have my new Forty Plus line rigged on my new Hatch reel, just need to find a leader and set to go!


Hatch reel


Over a month since I last posted, no surprise I haven’t gone for a fish as the weather packed it in for nearly all of May… I’m sure there was fishing somewhere but I wasn’t in the mood to go out. I have been busy setting up my business, back building and drawing plans… loving it! I must admit, the body is taking a little convincing, after the last 3+ years at a desk, I’m starting to feel fitter again.


Now that the main season is over, I have been looking to hit a little winter fishing, I haven’t fished a lot through winter but have finally sprung for a good sinking line. I have a slow sink line so opted for an Airflo 40+ to get down fast at a couple of river mouths, now to just rig it to a reel. That’s another project… I need to sort my lines and reels, do the winter clean and switch out a new floating line etc. I picked up one of the Airflo SuperDri Elite for next season, now I just have to decide what line I want on what reel???


One thing the foul weather does have going for it is to help motivate me to hit the vice again, a decent tidy of the desk and sorting everything back into the appropriate containers. I have been playing with a couple of streamer patterns so been getting a few new materials to try and hosting a fly swap based on streamers (a good way to see other’s thoughts and ideas on streamers). But more on that later, I will post the results in about 5-6 weeks…


Here is  a couple of pics of some flies I have been playing with, using hollow midge tubing…


Mike flies-2 Mike flies-5 Mike flies-6


The House build is nearly ready for the roofer and I think there is likely a short delay so might just be time to hit the water and breath some fresh air soon, may even get around to wrapping the Boo guides!