Happy Birthday Paracaddis

A year in the life of the Fishing Gene Blog.

Goodness me, it is pretty much the Paracaddis Birthday and what started out as a means to occupy some time and perhaps do a little good in the cold days of a Cape Winter has turned into something a little bigger than expected and perhaps a little smaller than was hoped.

The paracaddis blog has to date published some 34 Posts, received 35 comments and had well over 4000 views. Not exactly Facebook I suppose but the activity has been pleasing none the less and it certainly has been an interesting project.


Of all of those posts the most visited in a single day “The Ultimate Catch and Release” was in fact not directly a fishing one at all, but about the release of two Ragged Tooth Sharks from the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. The blog not only focused on the release of the sharks but also the dreadful abuse of the sharks of our seas and the seas in general for that matter. Great to know that there are so many concerned and eco-minded people out there.

The release of two sharks back into the wild and its focus on the plight of our much abused marine life proved the most popular piece of the year.

Over time the most visited blogs were related to fishing small streams, particularly those in the Cape Province of South Africa.

Fishing Cape Streams part 1 focused on preparing for a new season. Primarily about what could be done over those gray weekends of winter to get ready.

Fishing Cape Streams part 2 was all about the tackle that would serve best and what modifications you could make to be best prepared for your new season.

Fishing Cape Streams part 3 featured information about all those gadgets and gizmos some of which you might actually need.

To start with though with the rivers closed most information related to fishing stillwaters:

Drift boating: a bit about experiences with this style of fishing, particularly in a place where it is still a fairly new phenomenon, where lakes don’t have their own boats or bailiffs or day tickets. It was one of the first posts on this blog and set the tone for many of the future posts.

First find the fish: Experiences in drift boating when the going is tough and the mantra of all boat anglers is to “Find the fish, find the depth, find the fly”.

Targeting Daphnia Feeders: Experiences with targeting deep water daphnia feeders. A frequently difficult proposition but one that can be over come with the right search tactics and a handful of flies.

All of the above posts received a good amount of attention and that was most rewarding as above all else it was always the hope that this blog would actually help people enjoy their fishing more, primarily by getting better at it.

Of course it couldn’t all be too serious and there was the odd post that was more than a little tongue in cheek. Perhaps the most notorious being the rather naughty new version of the DDD, perhaps one of SA’s most famous flies.

Would the real DDD please stand up?: Well what can I say? This post elicited more comment than most, it seems to still get regular hits and when all is said and done perhaps reminds us that sometimes we take this fishing lark all a tad too seriously.

Duckworth's Dirty Dangler, caused some comment.

On the flip side, there were some onerously detailed, near scientific bits, such as the piece about weighting flies and the myths and unscientific assumptions of anglers about what difference more weight on your fly has. Sure it took a bottle of Jack Daniels, a late night on the keyboard and the revisiting of some long lost school boy maths but the results were interesting. Sink rates, Brass, Tungsten and the great unknown took a seriously detailed look at beaded flies.

Just occasionally we included complex mathematics and got serious.

In the same vein sometimes I took the view that what was really needed was some “talking turkey” and of all the limitations of most fly anglers it is my belief that it is their casting that provides the most trouble, and creates the greatest limitation. Fly Casting Is Yours letting you down? An exploration of why it is that people don’t tend to sort out their casting once and for all. Maybe not what people want to hear but more than likely what they should, call it social responsibility or maybe crass marketing of my book “Learn to Fly Cast in a Weekend”, either way that post still gets quite a bit of attention.

Finally there were a few bits about flies and fly tying, you can’t really have a blog about fly fishing without including some stuff on flies and fly tying I suppose.  Flies, Compara’ and Spun Duns. A pretty detailed look at what I consider to be some of the very best dry flies ever invented and a step away from the more normal Halfordian, Catskill style and parachute patterns.

All in all it has been a busy year, those weeks seemed to whizz by and often times fishing took a back seat, having something worthwhile to write about was on occasion a struggle when I hadn’t been on the water. But now a year later I hope that those efforts provided all the readers with something of interest, something to amuse and occasionally something that really did help you enjoy your fishing more and improve your catch rate.

When I was a child the recipe for our Christmas stockings went along the lines of: Something to eat, something to play with now, something to use long into the future, something educational and something frivolous and my mother would try to include all those things. Hopefully the mix of this blog hasn’t been too different.

Variety is as they say “the spice of life” and one hopes that in writing this blog over the past twelve months I have achieved enough variation to entertain, educate, annoy, amuse and stimulate the readership. Thank you to those who have supported the blog and taken time out to read the musings contained within. If you are a newcomer then I hope that some of the past posts will still prove worthy of your time and that future blogs will prove to be better as experience grows.

Thank you all and happy Birthday “Paracaddis”.


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