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It Ought To Be Banned! Fly Fishing Hot Tip of the Month.

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The IOTBB Humpy - give it a go - if you can see it that is! The IOTBB Humpy - give it a go - if you can see it that is!

GAIA member Stephen Cheetham ruminates further on fly fishing in general and then gives the nod to a little fly with a big reputation - the IOTBB Humpy.

IOTBB Humpy (It Ought To Be Banned - it is so good)
Aka IOTBO (It ought to be outlawed)

I am now into my eighth year as a qualified fly fishing and fly tying instructor. Over the past years it has been my privilege and honour not only to work with the finest instructors in the country but also to teach some of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. What is it about people who want to learn about standing up to their waist in cold water, stand in the pouring rain and sometimes snow, thrashing a rod backwards and forwards? Who wants to learn about insects that fly so fast over the water that identifying them is an art in itself. Who wants to learn about tying fiddly knots with cold fingers in line that they can hardly see? Lots of people do by all accounts.

I arranged to teach a lady at Bolton Abbey in March last year, it was blowing a gale, raining, snowing and hailing. “OK Louise shall we come back another day?” “No! Lets get on” she said cheerfully. “I will give you a full refund” I pleaded shivering in my waders. “Come on” she said “I have been looking forward to this all winter” What is it about lady anglers? My wife is just the same, I cannot drag her off the riverbank no matter what the weather is doing.

A few years ago I was asked to take over the Malham Tarn Field Studies Centre fly fishing course. This is a one week residential course and over the seven days, working with men and women of all ages, 16 hours a day, eating, talking and fishing you get to know them very well. My mind is full of wonderful memories of the success of the first fish, the laughter and the occasional accidental falling in particularly by me. Only one traumatic event will stay with me for the rest of my days. Cast your mind back to the film The Lord of the Rings the first one, Frodo is being dragged across the marsh and dead faces are looking up at him from beneath the waves. I had a similar experience when one of my students passed out, straight into water, when I got to him all I could see was his face looking back at me from under the shallow water. Ah! Memories. Fortunately, it was easy to get him out and revive him, a pure unavoidable accident but we instructors are trained in first aid but that was a real first for me.

Anyway I digress. Last year I had the pleasure of fishing as a guest of Roger Beck on the river Derwent near Scarborough. There I met David Southall who introduced me to a rather small fly tied on a size 26 hook. YES! Size 26. One hook, one CDC feather and Spiderweb thread.

As Roger always says, most anglers will fish with flies on hooks two sizes too big - go smaller. This one is a superb fly for those times when the trout or grayling are sipping those unidentifiable minute flies from the surface. Go on give it a go.

Stephen Cheetham - GAIC Trout, GAIC Fly Dressing

Stephen Cheetham is a qualified member of the Game Anglers Instructors Association (GAIC) and member of the Angling Development Board (ADB). He has fished for trout all his life and runs various fly fishing courses for the Salmon andTrout Association and is also a demonstrator and a course tutor at Otley Prince Henry's Grammar School in Fly Dressing. Stephen, a published author to various magazines, is heavily involved in a monthly fly fishing column in The Yorkshire Post newspaper. Stephen is a firm believer that: "Fishing should be fun".

See Stephen Cheetham's Instructors page for further information.







Articles by the same author



Comments (16 posted):

mancfly on 24/03/2011 00:08:07
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Very intriguing! What strength tippet would be best for this fly? When i was into match fishing, (coarse), the smallest hook i used was a 24 for squats, (tiny maggots), and bloodworms. Number 2 elastic, (very soft), on a pole.The hook length was at the most 12oz B.S. I tied some IOTBBs up a while ago in size 16 + 14, but not given them a dip yet.
SteveC on 24/03/2011 09:04:20
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Very intriguing! What strength tippet would be best for this fly? I tied some IOTBBs up a while ago in size 16 + 14, but not given them a dip yet. Hi Mancfly Tippet strength always depends obviously on the size of fish one is after but as I mainly fish the IOTBB on rivers I go down to 2.5lb Rio copolymer which is ample. Cheers Steve
JCP on 24/03/2011 10:18:01
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Hello Mancfly I alway go for the highest BS to diameter I can get away with.I have not tried the lower BS Rio but do use stroft GTM which I find to be very good with the IOTBO Humpy.;) Best JP
mancfly on 26/03/2011 00:25:45
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Hi Mancfly Tippet strength always depends obviously on the size of fish one is after but as I mainly fish the IOTBB on rivers I go down to 2.5lb Rio copolymer which is ample. It also depends on the size of the hook and presentation of the fly. A size 26 on any 2.5lb line seems like a tiny thong on a thick washing line.
mancfly on 26/03/2011 00:32:47
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Hello Mancfly I alway go for the highest BS to diameter I can get away with.I have not tried the lower BS Rio but do use stroft GTM which I find to be very good with the IOTBO Humpy. I use Stroft too, it is a verified strength line, unlike some other mentioned tippet lines.:( But for a size 26, as in the post, what strength?
mancfly on 26/03/2011 01:07:11
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Would anyone care to specify what strength tippet they ACTUALLY use for a size 26 fly, if they do at all? 2.5lb seems extremely thick. Also, why a size 26 and not a 20/22? When i target smutting fish, a 20 works just fine. Alan
JCP on 26/03/2011 06:13:29
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Sorry Mancfly never been there.Guess I fall into the agricultural stakes on fly size. JP
guest54 on 26/03/2011 07:28:39
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I was introduced to this pattern a couple of years ago , Personally I could not lay my hands on a 26 in fact I tie it on a 22 anyway anything smaller and I reckon I wouldnt be able to tie the begger on. I used 1.5lb Rio as a tippet and managed ok. It certainly saved a few days from the blank... Especially later in the season. Andy Becks and Brown Trout
BRUCE1 on 26/03/2011 17:42:27
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and how is this wonderful fly tied then ????
JeffR on 26/03/2011 18:49:33
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Well it says 1 CDC feather in the article, looks like its tied in at eye, wound down to form body (or maybe just laid flat) then doubled back over and up to form shuttlecock "wing"? Will have to try that, simple enough even for me:) (....but maybe not on a 26:o) ...just a thought, I have some white CDC - would make a good caenis pattern!
Viking on 27/03/2011 11:48:34
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and how is this wonderful fly tied then ???? Here you are Bruce, same method just use a very small CDC hackle. The fly in a 24 or 26 fishes fine on 2.4lb rio, I've seen DS fishing this fly on a regular basis, 2 or 3wt set up with a 9ft leader plus 2 1/2 - 4ft tippet.. Here Regards, Gary..
BRUCE1 on 27/03/2011 11:55:25
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Thanks Gary ........;)
spider316 on 27/03/2011 12:15:59
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I love this fly. Saved my bacon on mulberry whin last year. Baking hot sunshine and nobody was catching. I tried everything in the box and ended up on this pattern. The size 24 caught me 6 good trout. I couldnt beleive they could even see it, let alone bother to rise to it. I tried the same fly in a 22 (after the 24 fell to bits) and couldnt get any interest at all. Okay, that could simply be coincidence, but it did give me the confidence to fish these tiny patterns. They were shop bought versions IOTBB - It Ought To Be Banned! - Trout Flies But I now tie my own and fish them down to a 26 (I have tied some 32's, but not fished them). For the small stuff I use grand max in 8X / .104mm / 2.4lbs or, if i need to go really fine I raid my coarse fishing gear for 0.08mm silstar matchteam (1.8lb). One thing I will say about fly sizes though - depends on the hooks you buy. One manufacturer's 26 is like another's 24. So, unless the fish have hook guages, the good old match the hatch or trial and error is far more important than the number on the box.
Viking on 27/03/2011 19:46:55
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I love this fly. Saved my bacon on mulberry whin last year. Baking hot sunshine and nobody was catching. I tried everything in the box and ended up on this pattern. The size 24 caught me 6 good trout. I couldnt beleive they could even see it, let alone bother to rise to it. I tried the same fly in a 22 (after the 24 fell to bits) and couldnt get any interest at all. Okay, that could simply be coincidence, but it did give me the confidence to fish these tiny patterns. They were shop bought versions IOTBB - It Ought To Be Banned! - Trout Flies But I now tie my own and fish them down to a 26 (I have tied some 32's, but not fished them). For the small stuff I use grand max in 8X / .104mm / 2.4lbs or, if i need to go really fine I raid my coarse fishing gear for 0.08mm silstar matchteam (1.8lb). One thing I will say about fly sizes though - depends on the hooks you buy. One manufacturer's 26 is like another's 24. So, unless the fish have hook guages, the good old match the hatch or trial and error is far more important than the number on the box. Very typical of a day and venue what can see the little humpy at it's best. I wish the producers would get the sizing issue sorted, there are some wild variations :(, one or two of the varivas range could be at least 2 sizes adrift, and as for the Partridge Klink hooks!!.. Regs, G..
wobbly face on 27/03/2011 21:45:24
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Just tied some up today, slightly different tying technique but same result. Tied them on 22 Orvis Big Eyed hooks, they do them down to 26.
SteveC on 28/03/2011 09:44:40
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Well it says 1 CDC feather in the article, looks like its tied in at eye, wound down to form body (or maybe just laid flat) then doubled back over and up to form shuttlecock "wing"? Will have to try that, simple enough even for me:) (....but maybe not on a 26:o) ...just a thought, I have some white CDC - would make a good caenis pattern! That tying is exactly right Jeff, I lay it flat on the shank and bind it down with thread, too bulky if you wind it. I used to tie on Tiemco but have now switched to Varivas. Cheers Steve
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