Archive for December, 2010

The eBook Revolution

December 18, 2010

The eBook Revolution:

Some years back I had my first book published in the traditional print media, “Learn To Fly-Cast in a Weekend” published by Struik, now Random House Struik. This humble little tome has received great reviews from those who have used the exercises within it to improve their fly casting or to learn to fly cast from scratch (the easier option for sure).

It has been very rewarding, perhaps not financially but in other ways to see that book out there and to receive responses from happy anglers from as far afield as America and even Denmark on how the publication assisted them. However (my mother told me you shouldn’t say BUT), there are some problems with this sort of publication, and I have been investigating eBook technology with a view to putting some other thoughts out there. (This eBook thing requires a change of thought process, so I can’t write “down on paper” as I may have previously).

Firstly eBooks can be published by anyone and quickly, that is a double edged sword because perhaps some of the stuff then isn’t of the highest quality, which leads to a negative perception of the genre, but at least we all have a voice and one can sort out the wheat from the chaff over time. I have bought more than one hard copy book that wasn’t worth the cover price so perhaps there isn’t too much change there.

More importantly eBooks provide advantages to both the author and the reading public, the potential audience is world wide almost immediately and there are no stock problems because the book can’t go out of print or be unavailable. There are no eco issues, the book won’t use any paper unless you decide to print it and it won’t be fouling the jet stream with aviation exhaust whilst it is being transported about globe to millions of customers (Yes we live in hope 🙂 ).

Mind you I suppose if my humble books would become so popular as to risk a significant negative effect on the ozone layer and contribute to global warming I am not sure that I would be too disappointed.  I suppose one should be responsible though and if I make it onto the Oprah book club I shall be safe in the knowledge that I have done my bit to protect the planet.

Still the medium offers everyone easy and generally inexpensive access to information, cuts out the “middle man”, provides rewards directly back to the author and allows literally millions the opportunity to gain knowledge or enjoy a good story without any onerous traipsing from book shop to book shop, parking tickets and all of that. (There is potentially some considerable eco benefit in that too, not to mention the lack of stress)

eBooks also allow for the reader to decide and you are not limited to what the large publishing houses or chain store bookshops think you should be allowed to read or put differently, those publications that they think will provide a quick turn over. Most eBooks will also allow you a free preview of at least part of the book, something like paging through a publication in the bookstore, but in the comfort of your own home.

A change of mindset:

There are some quirks to eBooks however which may require a change of mindset, some of the plus factors are that eBooks can be indexed with hyperlinks such that you can flip to the exact page you require instantly, you can link to hyperlinks out there in cyberspace to check out a relevant video, Facebook page, Twitter account or graphic. Many will even allow you to e mail the author directly with the press of a button.

Because they are in effect living documents eBooks can be updated and modified, so that anything from new information, changed contact details or simply typos can be rectified with the touch of a button, meaning that eBooks should in general be more up to date than their hard copy counterparts.

There are however a few things that can at least at first be perceived as negative. eBooks don’t have pages, because the reader can generally change the font, the page size, the colour of the script and more you can’t have traditional pages, that can take a bit of getting used to if you are an inveterate page turner, on the plus side you don’t keep losing your place either 🙂

Then of course one enters the murky world of copyright, eBooks are subject to copyright, as with any intellectual property but they are easy to copy, swap and sent about the place. That means that the author is mostly reliant on the good nature of the reader not to misbehave. Obviously some will but most authors trust that their audience will abide by both the rule and the spirit of the law and pay for downloads that they think worthwhile..

If you have yet to explore the wonders of the  eBook genre maybe you should take a closer look, there are many books available on a wide variety of subjects. Don’t imagine that all the authors out there are failed and rejected people who are determined to do the “vanity publishing” thing come hell or high water. There is some good stuff out there, it is eco friendly, instantly available, you can download much of it in a wide variety of formats from .pdf files to stuff straight onto your Kindle and it will almost always cost you less than a printed version. With Smashwords at least you can’t even lose your book because it will remember that you bought it and you can download it again should something go wrong. There are even many eBooks that are free.


I personally have to date published my eBooks with Smashwords, they have an extensive and growing catalogue of titles from fiction to non fiction, gardening to erotica and you can reach them on

You can reach all of the books published to date under my name at (Tim’s Books)

Three short titles which are completely free:

Who packed your parachute?

A discussion on new ways of tying parachute fly patterns, which last longer are more imitative and quicker to manufacture once you know how. You can download this book directly for FREE from

Available in the following formats: Read on Line,, Epub, PDF, RTF, LRF (Sony Reader) and Palm Doc (PDB)

Learn to Fly-Cast in a Weekend excerpts:

Some information on casting, learning to cast and the myth of the casting clock system. Excerpts from the hard copy book available from various outlets, but almost out of print. You can download this for FREE from

Available in the following formats: Read on Line, EPub and PDF

Make your own Fly Fishing Lanyard:

A simple fact sheet on making this most useful of gadgets, and remarkably the most popular publication of mine to date with almost a thousand downloads. You can download this for FREE on

Available in the following formats: Read on line,, EPub, PDF, LRF (Sony Reader), PalmDoc.

The latest:

100 Fly Fishing Tips , Tricks and Techniques (Tackle Rigging and Leader Options) ,$6.99 (check below for a limited offer festive season discount).

A richly illustrated book filled with colourful and informative graphics and over one hundred little tricks that will assist you to fish more effectively, catch more fish and have more fun, without much of the frustration.

Some 21 000 words of all manner of aspects of rigging fly fishing gear from how to put your rod together (and get it apart at the end of the day), to sharpening hooks, tying knots and manufacturing revolving droppers.. You can download this for a discounted price from

Available in the following formats: Read on Line, EPub, PDF,, LRF (Sony Reader), PamDoc

Want a festive season discount?  For the remainder of December you can use the following voucher to receive a 50% discount on this title.  Discount coupon number JV53 V

Just think that you could do all of your Christmas shopping without leaving the house if you have a a family full of lexophiles.

Have a wonderful Festive Season, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all the readers out there..

Paracaddis.. aka Tim Rolston .

Going Micro

December 1, 2010

Things are still getting going with the season on the streams and there has been that (possibly) fortuitous influx of brownies, which are keeping many of our hopes alive because without the life long education that the stream born rainbows have received to be honest the brownies are still a little naïve.

So right now larger flies still work pretty much Ok and although you are likely to be getting refusals from some of the “bows” the brownies will frequently make an error of judgment. But summer is coming the late rains have added a flush to the system but pretty soon you are going to be reaching for that 7 or 8X tippet and the micro patterns.

Whilst it has taken a few years for their general acceptance it isn’t uncommon for one to find even neophyte anglers on the streams with tiny patterns and fine tippets, it has become accepted pretty much that small is often better when the going gets tough. Of course a quick glimpse at the size of the actual bugs on the river will confirm that much of what the trout eat is pretty tiny and it makes sense to copy that, at least the size if not the pattern. The fish have wised up to the idea that if something appears to be too good to be true then it probably is and I would have to say that most of the better fish that I have caught come on tiny dries or nymphs, particularly in lower water conditions.

So what patterns are likely to be effective and how can you best fish them?

My top producing micro patterns include:

The parachute micro caddis, these flies arrive in great numbers, last a long time on the water and definitely fall into the drink on a regular basis. In fact I am not sure that the hatch is that important, it is the residual caddis flies wandering about the rocks which provide a regular food source. They come in two primary colours, tan and black and you should carry patterns of both although the black one is a favourite.

Micro Spun Dun.

Spun duns manufactured out of deer hair can only be tied so small , after that they become problematic but a switch to using CDC or poly yarn as a wing will allow you to tied these flies down to minute sizes without much trouble or indeed expense. A favourite being the blue winged olives which can be readily manufactured with dun or gray poly yarn and olive thread bodies.

The Compar-ant.

Using similar methods to the spun dun techniques, this is a remarkably visible fly for a micro pattern and fish just love ants. Whilst falls of flying ants aren’t common they do produce superb fishing with almost every trout in the river “on the top”. Even when they are not about in numbers the fish will target them and you can frequently break the spell of a tricky fish by using an ant.

Sunk Patterns:

Fishing micro patterns sub surface is probably even more effective, if only because when reduced to micro tactics it is generally a result of  the water being low and clear and the fish  being particularly troublesome to tempt. The fishing of patterns sub surface not only sinks the leader or tippet but also often seems to tempt the trout more easily, they just seem more accepting of subsurface flies some how.

The brassie:

This is a giant amongst the micro flies and serves as my number one micro nymph pattern when the going is tough. I have switched to this fly after a refusal to a dry and ended up tempting the fish more times than I care to remember. It is simple to tie, sinks like a brick on fine tippet and is one of the few fast sinking nymphs that can be easily cast on the ultra-light tackle that we tend to use on the streams. I carry them in both tailed “mayfly nymph” versions and tailless “Midge” versions.

The drowned midge:

Another tiny pattern which could in fact represent any number of drowned bugs or emergers or stillborn flies. Tied with either a thread or wire body this pattern offers a bit more movement than the brassie and will frequently illicit a response when other flies fail.

Fishing micro flies:

For the dries I generally fish them alone on a fine 7  or 8X tippet, but if you are battling to see them then you can fish them in tandem behind another pattern that is a bit more visible. You will find that it is more difficult to get drag free drifts with two flies but it is better  than missing the take entirely and takes to microscopic dries are frequently pretty subtle so knowing exactly where the fly is can be a huge boon.

For the sunken patterns again I usually fish them with a dry fly indicator, a size 18 parachute will easily support these tiny subsurface flies, there is no need for a giant indicator pattern.

When targeting a visible fish one can forego the indicator dry but the trick then is to watch the fish and not the fly. If the fish makes a sudden turn to eat subsurface a strike will usually find your pattern firmly stuck in the scissors of the trout. No matter that you thought that the nymph was some way off, it is tricky if not impossible to actually guess exactly where the fly is under water and better to tighten on any distinct feeding movement of the fish.

Fishing Micro Patterns with a sighter dry fly.

You can click on the above diagram to see an enlarged version.

So as the water levels drop you will be faced with more sight fishing opportunities and at the same time probably more trouble getting the fish to eat bigger flies. Moving to the micro patterns is of course only one of a variety of options but it is definintely one that should be part of your armoury.

When the going gets tough, the tough go micro, at least some of the time.

Have fun out there.

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There is is, a quick low down on fishing tiny flies, it takes some getting used to, faith has a lot to do with it but time has taught me that the trouble it takes to get used to fishing small can pay handsome dividends come the low waters of summer.

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