Monday, 6 March 2017

A Furling We Shall Go....

Yesterday I left the Dales and headed over the Pennine's to that land known as Cumbria, thats the bit of land just south west of (Gods Country) Scotland, To meet up with my longtime friend Steven Dawson, AKA Mr Trout as some know him by.
As discussed in an earlier post I've been using Steven's furled leaders for more years than I care to remember and wouldn't go anywhere else as I class Steven as the best furled leader maker in the UK and is widely known for this in the Fly fishing circles of UK & abroad.

The invitation has always stood for him to teach me how to make them, but with most things we never got around to doing it before, but this time we made it happen as we have been discussing floats and an array of other things via emails etc but we really needed to get together to extract the grey matter from each other's brains over various tactics. The float making side of things didn't take that long and after a few pressies from me to Steven we got down to the leader making.

Steven is very much old school and has the patience of a saint as the first couple of furled leaders I attempted ended up in the bin with broken threads, and the laughs were just as plentiful.
Remembering that furled leaders are simply that, a load of thread furled together to form a leader, wound at speed with the aid of a drill/dremel.

The tools were very much familiar to what Im used to using with fly tying and the use of baiting needles for when I was a river coarse angler.

After mastering the furling it was the shorb loops that flummoxed me next, as my big fat fingers are not designed to work with twelve small threads tightly woven together and a few threads were missed in the creation but after a few more tries it became second nature and the old saying of practise makes perfect certainly came to fruition.

The rewards of Steven's tuition & patience, my own handmade furled leaders.

Steven kindly showed me an array of styles from the normal shorb loop to furling in leader rings and sighters when fishing with nymphs and also the manufacture of nylon furled leaders.

After a lovely lunch made by Steven's wife Irene we concentrated on practising the techniques learned and before I knew it I had made enough furled leaders to last me a couple of years.

It didn't just end there as Steven then set about making me a large furled leader board to create my own furled leaders and before I knew it I was practising on the one he had just made me to take away, it certainly saved me the time of looking for the necessary materials to manufacture it myself, and if in future I want to make smaller ones then its the same design but scaled down on a smaller board.

The 6ft + board now home and with a few added labels as reminders to myself ready to go, It will sit nicely fixed to the top of my desk to allow me to practise, and be stored away when not in use.

(Good job I listened to the wife and cleaned my room & desk)

Before heading home another cup of coffee and a choccy biscuit whilst discussing fly tying and a few pattern I was familiar with but wanted to clarify with him, mainly the Appleby Olive Nymph and a few extracted from his fly box were placed in my hand together with some dubbing to create my own.

Appleby Olive Nymphs.

Before we knew it , it was time for me to leave and after loading up the car with all the gear Steven had graciously given to me to make my own furled leaders I had one last pressie for him in the way of a bottle of my Sloe whisky which I knew he would enjoy and off I set on the trip home still buzzing from all the new techniques learned from throughout the day, something I wont forget in a very long time.

Another dark art learned and ticked off on my to do list, I know Old Peter the man who taught me to fish and make my own tackle would very much approve that I had learned from another master of his trade.

( an email arrived last night confirming that both Steven & Irene had indulged in a whisky and approve of it, so to sleep I went very contented in the knowledge)


  1. George another time taker...learn it all buddy.

    1. Ive learned as much as I can cram into my brain Alan & I had an excellent tutor,Steven is the best furled leader maker in UK in my opinion.

  2. Very interesting as usual, after your last post and what you said about furled leaders set me off searching you tube and watched a couple buy Luke Bannister who had them for bugging and dry fly. I am going to give a try this year.

    1. Well dont buy them Neil, I will gladly knock you up a couple for you to try and show you how to use them if you drop around for an hour.

  3. your a natural when it comes to keeping people interested in what you are saying George, keep them coming.


Your comments will be added after verification by the moderator.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...