My name is Paul Slaney and I live, work and fish in the Usk Valley, in South Wales, UK. I may be biased, but the river and landscape here is a constant source of inspiration for me. I’m a lucky guy.
Many years ago I was captivated by a photograph of a box of Canadian salmon flies tied by the late Warren Duncan. This started me down the path of tying and fishing these bugs and when I heard that Warren was coming to the UK, I tied a box just like his and traveled to his demonstration to show him.
I quickly sensed that I was in the presence of greatness and instantly realized with some embarrassment that my offering was a parody of the real thing. However Warren showed nothing but interest and support and took the time to help point me in the right direction.
I’ve wrapped a lot of hackles since then and somewhere along the way I’ve worn the finish off the jaws of my vice, but after all that time, it still amazes me that a dry written recipe in a dusty old book, can be turned into a beautiful Salmon fly that inspires hope for the big one.
Tying flies (any flies) and researching their history became an obsession that has stayed with me all my adult life and I’m honored that Paul contacted me for some photos for this great blog.
Email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org
Made famous by the late Lionel Sweet of Sweets Fishing Tackle in the town of Usk in Monmouthshire. It’s the archetypal Usk Salmon fly. Some say the it’s the fly that all other shrimp flies are based on. I don’t know about that? but ask any fisher around here and they will have a few in their box. This is how I like them.
Another local fly to my area, the Leslie Peters shows the black and yellow colours that are also popular on our river. And I dare say, anywhere else salmon or sea trout swim.
If I only had one fly!….. well this is it. Well perhaps a Blue Charm as well.
A beautiful fly from Canada. Where many fantastic tiers uphold a long tradition and style of tying that I admire. This just screams to be put on the leader in clear, cold water.
A striking fly from Iceland, this variation is a great fly for Sea Run Browns here in Wales.
Born from the famous Ally’s Shrimp, this must be one of the most popular Salmon Flies in the UK and I suspect in many places worldwide. A wonderful combination of materials and colours.
Originated by Megan Boyd, this one has always been a favourite of mine. Alan original would be a collectors item.
A new fly to me, one I found recently in a modest book by Jimmy Younger. I need to contact Jimmy and find out more about it. It’s got to be a killer.