Cape Piscatorial Society committee member, Tudor Caradoc- Davies, has been doing an outstanding job with the ‘Vice Squad’ fly tying evenings which he initiated at the Society’s rooms in Cape Town’s CBD.
The format is that he invites three tyers to demonstrate their latest patterns, pizzas are ordered towards the end of the demonstrations and one can then chat to the tyers and glean the information you need.
The range of flies tied has been enormous, from micro-patterns to giant marine streamers and at the last meeting a fortnight ago, I watched Franschoek resident and artist, Marcel Terblanche, tie a fascinating extended body mayfly with a deer hair wing and CDC hackle.
An example of the mayfly patterns you can buy from Marcel Terblanche. (Photograph Ed Herbst.)
I must say I was somewhat sceptical about the pattern, because one of my fly design role models is Datus Proper and in 'What the Trout Said – About the Design of Trout Flies and Other Mysteries' (Lyons and Burford, 1989) he stated unequivocally that a dry fly with a stiff extended body tied on a short shank hook was one the greatest trout preservation systems ever invented.
My scepticism vanished when I examined Marcel’s flies because the body is soft and flexible. Air is captured within the body so this, combined with the deer hair wing and CDC hackle, makes it exceptionally buoyant.
Andrew Ingram and I spent a fascinating morning watching Marcel make the bodies and also how he makes furled leaders and Tenkara lines. The latter have earned the praise of Tenkara fanatics Craig Thom and Stephen Boshoff.
Marcel Terblanche with one of his paintings. (Andrew Ingram photograph.)
He is on Facebook and is working on a website.
He sells his flies, lines and leaders through Craig Thom’s Stream-X shop in Cape Town and the Mavungana shops in Dulstroom and Johannesburg. He has developed a range of patterns for Mavungana's guided tours in South America for peacock bass and golden dorado and for trophy trout in Argentina and Chile, as well as other international destinations.
His greatest passion though is deer hair bass bugs, which I would frame rather than fish.