Better safe than sorry

Better safe than sorry

Tracy&James | Thursday, 9 March 2017

Tracy has been busy working with the BFCC committee this week trying to finalise the event calendar for the year. I believe that most venues and dates are set, with the first meeting of the year to be held in Cullompton, Devon on the 23rd of April. Unfortunately Tracy and I won’t be able to attend this one as we’re away on a fishing trip, this is unfortunate as we really enjoy travelling down to the South West (apart from when I got a speeding ticket on the motorway last time). The BFCC have again been asked about running the casting competitions at the Game Fair this year at Hatfield House, just north of London. This is at a very early planning stage, however it is good to know that the organisers of the fair are very supportive of casting sport. I’m sure that Tracy and the committee will be contacting BFCC members in due course to ask for support for this event, so please look out for that. Last year was great fun, even with some raging hangovers (honey JD slips down too easily).

I’ve started tying some flies for the trip I mentioned above, with Clousers being first in the vice.  Previously I’ve finished my Clousers by varnishing the back (the underbelly as the fly swims), however I’ve always felt that this didn’t result in the most robust of flies (probably why I had so few left).  I therefore decided I’d toughen them up a bit with the use of UV cured resin.  After completing a couple a thought struck me about the safety of what I was doing; I tie whilst looking through a cap-mounted magnifier, I was also curing the resin using a ‘laser’ pointer pen by viewing in the same manner.  You certainly wouldn’t want to look directly at this light, but there I was having it reflected back into my eyes via a magnifying glass.  Knowing the precautions that my dentist takes when using UV light sources I sought advice as to whether I was right to be concerned.  As it was I got a reply from another dentist who commented that although they personally don’t use the protective orange filters (although my dentist does), neither do they look directly at the beam when working.  I suspect this fine if you have a torch with a fairly wide illumination, however with my pointer pen I know I’d miss if I looked away.  I therefore decided to wear sunglasses with 100% UV filtering for all subsequent curing operations.


Next up I’m going to tie shark flies.  These are just baitfish patterns, but smaller than you’d imagine – perhaps 4 inches maximum length.  The type of shark that’s going to eat your fly tends to be moving quite actively on the flat, therefore the delivery needs to be quite quick (although not snakehead quick) and accurate.  I’m always a little reluctant to start tying these flies as they use up so much material and I’m prone to messing them up.  It doesn’t matter how many videos I watch of people producing perfect tear-drop shaped patterns, mine end up looking like something has already taken a bite out of them.  But maybe this is a good thing – certainly the sharks don’t seem to mind.


Tracy and I will be attending the casting instructor’s day at Theale this Sunday where I’ll be giving a distance casting demo – although I may ask Tracy to do all the casting.  There’s lots of other presentations planned (see below) plus refreshments and bacon rolls, so if you’re interested please contact Bryan Martin, Sekhar Bahadur or Roger Miles.  I hope to see you there if you’re going.

10:30 Single Hand Techniques - Phil Ratcliffe

11:00 Skagit Casting - Alun Rees

11:30 Distance Casting - Tracy and James

12:00 Double Hand Techniques - Ally Bremner

12:30 5 Essentials - Sekhar Bahadur

13:00 Switch Rod Techniques - John Boon

All the best, James.