By Vagabond Fly
At Vagabond Fly HQ you will always find a vise setup ready to bash out a few flies for our next trip. The (awesome) problem we have these days is that varied trips fall within close succession of each other; one moment we are swinging Caddis pupa patterns to Smallmouth Yellowfish the next we are skating Shrimp patterns over white sand in skinny conditions to solitary Bonefish. As much as we love ourselves some vise-time it has become increasingly difficult to steal this time away from editing content, publishing new articles and managing our various social media pages. First prize is always to tie our own flies for a trip and 80% of the time we still manage to but of late we have gravitated towards commercially tied flies for some of our trips.
Sounds somewhat like a confession at an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting doesn’t it? “Hi, we are Vagabond Fly Mag and sometimes we use commercially tied flies…”
Going this route and from the perspective of avid fly-tyers it means we do not venture into it lightly and are pretty specific (read anal) about our expectations of these flies as the success of a trip often hinges on having the right flies to do the damage at hand. Apart from having the right patterns (which relies on YOU to do your homework) any fly that you tie on and send off on its journey to the jaws of your next trophy should be:
- Tied on a quality hook
- Made from materials you would use yourself – only the best
- Durable within reason
- For commercial patterns, be what it says on the packet. If it says tungsten beads it better be tungsten and not brass over lead-wraps as an example
- Consistency between the same flies – very difficult to replicate success if there is too much variation between flies
Though we were not on the hunt for a supplier of commercial and custom tied flies that will meet these requirements we were stoked to find out that one of South Africa’s local fly-tying legends, Murray Pedder, has started a new venture that will amongst other things be specializing in commercial and custom tied flies. All of the tyers at Flyz Inc. have been personally coached by Murray and he is actively involved in the quality control of the flies that leaves their vises.
Do your worst!
His timing was perfect as we found ourselves strapped for time and our boxes looked pretty slim for our trip to Ichingo Chobe River Lodge to chase Africa’s personification of a baitfish’s worst nightmare, the Tigerfish. What more could you ask for to test these flies? Tigerfish hit like a freight-train, their teeth are engineered to annihilate everything in their path and you cast your arm off to get them – test lab heaven aka review gear hell!
The beast tamed…
All of the flies are tied on Gamakatsu Hooks and with Murray being a very strict, widely published and precise fly-tyer himself you know that only the best materials are used to construct these gems.
For four days we cast until our elbows ached, our hands blistered and our casting arms had inflated biceps but man it was worth it. Every Flyz Inc. fly we used was exquisitely tied, so much so that we even commented that we are unable of doing a better job ourselves, and endured days of relentless casting. Most survived at least two Tigerfish but the trophy fish made sure that a mandatory fly change was required…hooks and dumbbell eyes still intact but the rest of the material mangled beyond recognition.
Those that have fished for Tigers will know that often you are fishing fast sinkers and so late in the season with low water levels we often jammed our flies into rocks, especially in the rapids that flow right in front of Ichingo Chobe River Lodge. With a bit of TLC from a hook-hone the Gamakatsu hooks were ready to continue on their path of inevitable destruction.
The photos speak for themselves and from a technical stance each Flyz Inc. fly we used passed the test and ticked those crucial boxes we stated upfront – every Tiger hooked was landed and every fly survived the abuse to make it happen.
We will be embarking on several trips to exciting destinations to chase equally epic fish over the next 8-months and will be running reviews and feedback pieces like this on the Flyz Inc. flies we use on these trips.
Flyz Inc. caters for both our local market in South Africa and already have a growing international customer base that they supply to. To get your order of Flyz Inc. flies in and stock up those neglected boxes you can contact them at:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone : +27 79 882 8286