Mr. Saito developer of Itoushiro Catch and Release area has developed a group of like-minded fishers to help promote fly fishing to the next generation. These youngsters who live in the township of Itoushiro enjoy the bi-monthly instruction. The helpers include rod builders, net-makers and rod mandrel designers, all of whom give their time willingly to help preserve the future of this special river. As the session progressed the children caught on quick and laughter quickly filled the room as the past principals looked on.
Half of the previous school principals.
Mr. Saito introduces the session.
The students wait with great anticipation.
A great first fly.
Tomo and Akihiro trade notes on how to tie a uni-knot.
The mountain regions of the Aichi Prfecture Japan are still a bit chilly for a good hatch, according to the local farmers. Coming off the back of a NZ season meant the legs and casting were still fairly in-tune. For my fishing buddies it was a slightly rusty start to the season as they shook off their winter chills. The casting was soon up to scratch, but the river feet took a while to engage. I had forgotten the feeling of a 3 weight and I broke several flies off as the 5x tippet gave way. Bill, Shouzo, Sugita and I had a great day on the river.
Both of these colours were used. Note the old price!
One of N.Z.'s favourites the Red Bully - Hamill's Killer.
Back in the 80's I met Robert Bragg, an English gentleman with a wealth of knowledge of fly fishing and fly tying. He created iconic N.Z. flies like Bragg's Dragon and Bragg's Blue Bottle Blowfly. These are all featured in Keith Draper's Trout Flies of N.Z. He would often drop by the fishing store I was working in as a youngster. We spoke about the Hamill's Killer and he penned the history for me, which I would like to share. I was lucky enough to visit his home and tackle collection which unfortunately went under the hammer after he passed away. His draws of flies that he had collected from all over the world were amazing and his fishing room was adorned with cane rods, framed lures and old reels. I can still remember the smell of the old canvas rod bags and old tackle.
Here is a little snippet about "Bob" that I found online.
Bob Bragg emigrated from England in 1939 after working for many years in fishing tackle and hook-making, and gun-smithing firms, including Cogswell and Harrison's of Piccadilly, and Ogden-Smith's of nearby St James Street - where he once met the great G.E.M. Skues, who wasn't at all impressed with the shop's nymphs. Tisdall's of Christchurch , brought Bob to New Zealand . He worked in the tackle trade in Christchruch for the next 36 years. Over this time he conducted considerable research and recorded much information about trout and salmon angling, especially fly tying and the study of the trout's food. Bob's book if beautifully illustrated with photographs of framed sample selections of various fly patterns. Many of these are dated enabling the keen fly tyer to reproduce early New Zealand patterns.
Here is a transcript of the description he gave me.
Bully Yellow - Red ( Later named Hamill's Killer early 60's)
First batch forwarded to -
Marlborough Sports Ltd 3.12.1951
& W.Y.M. Pakes & Son Rotorua
According to reports this pattern tied with a yellow body is one of the best when fish are feeding on Dragon fly larvae .
Dye (as Dragon Larvae)
Base Veniard Lemon yellow
follow with Veniard Brown olive.
Two pairs of partridge dyed, tyed on top of hook.
Best hook Capt Hamilton size 8
There is no mention of the golden pheasant tippets, but these were commonly tied into the Hamill's near the tail.