The Wildfish brand just keeps on turning out some fantastic fly gear. The new Wildfish fly selection packs from JM Gillies are real eye catchers and sure-fire winners not only for those new to fly fishing but also for some of the more-experienced fly fishers out there.
There are six packs in the range and these are divided into two groups: the Trout packs and I guess what could be called the Saltwater packs. The reality is that there’s plenty of overlap. For example, the Trout Streamer Pack would very easily slot into the kit of a bass fisherman or in fact a fly fisherman just about anywhere around the country. Conversely, the Bass Pack contains flies that are just as at home in many tropical freshwater systems right across the north; and in the Billabong Pack are flies that would light up the eyes of a bass fisherman. It’s a very versatile selection which has been put together by NAFA Fly Fishing Editor, Peter Morse.
Each pack consists of 10 flies. Many are classics and some are new patterns but they all seem to be very-well-tied flies. The dry fly trout pack seems to cover a summer’s day on just about any trout water in the country. There are some classics (such as the Red Tag, Elk Hair Caddis and Royal Wulff) but also some other extremely useful patterns (such as the Black Ant and the very handy Irresistible).
In the nymph kit, the range varies from an unweighted scud pattern through to the deep-and-fast-sinking Copper John. Some of the patterns are bead heads and several are lightly weighted so there’s a good spread of flies in the range.
Consisting mostly of Woolly Bugger variations, the Streamer pack is a very useful looking selection that would be just at home in the freshwater pools of the Kimberley and the waterholes of Cape York as it would be in the Tasmanian Highlands or lake Eucumbene; there are some great-looking flies here. Again, some have bead heads to get them deeper and others are unweighted. The Woolly Worms are great carp flies.
The Bass Pack is another well-thought-out selection. There’s one big, eye-catching popper but the rest are good, subtle, fish-catching flies that range from Muddler styles and a smaller popper to a conehead Woolly Bugger and some Vampires. It has just about any bass water covered but, like the other packs, there is some versatility here as far as locations and species are concerned.
The Billabong pack has four poppers with weed guards tied on needle-sharp Tiemco stinger hooks, a couple of Things and some Clousers; a basic and very effective selection. As an observation on the importance of the Woolly Bugger, there’s one in this pack as well, a size 4 black-bead-head version tied on a chunky hook which looks like a special for tarpon and sooties.
The Saltwater Pack has a lot of species well covered — from bream to tuna and just about everything else in between. The little epoxy baitfish are well tied and the Clousers are sparse, well-made flies tied on the bend side of the hook only. Some bream flies and Deceivers finish off this excellent selection.