Tiemco ‘Flykerchief’ Review

A review by Rainbow Lodge Head Guide Christopher Bassano.

I love using CDC in my dry flies, especially on the rivers. I am not Robinson Crusoe there as I am sure that almost every angler feels the same. That being the case, likeminded anglers will have the same problem that I have with CDC. It needs continual drying.

There is no way around this if you are catching fish which means you either have to change flies every time it gets wet or, you have to dry the fly out. I prefer the latter option because if a fly is working, I don’t want to swap it, even if it is for the same fly. Besides, if you are catching a lot of fish, you will eventually run out of flies

I have used Amadou for a long time and it has always served me well. It is expensive which is quite off putting but its biggest weakness is that when it gets wet, it is useless. 

A few years ago on a trip to Japan, I noticed that our guides used a combination of different desiccants, to dry the fly as they but always after using a tissue. The fly seemed to float better after treatment than it did when I first took it out of the box!
Tissues where also being used by my good friend, Martin Droz, from the Czech Republic when I first met him and he still uses them to this day. Again, cost was a reason for him using it along with the fact that it is doubly helpful when nature calls. This was hard to argue with and I have been using tissues and powder desiccants ever since. Again, however, the weakness in the system is if the tissues get wet after falling in or heavy rain. This has happened to me even when I have them in a zip lock bag but I was generally happy with what I had.

A few months ago, I was sent the “Flykerchief’ made by Tiemco to test. I read the name, looked at it and thought it was a little Gimmicky. My first impressions were not great. I thought that there was no way it could be as good as what I was currently using because it was too simple. I put it into a small zip lock bag in my fly jacket and forgot all about it.

In May this year, I was fishing in Japan with a group of clients and as always, we were using CDC flies. I had seen the Flykerchief in one of my pockets and was reminded that I should try it out at the next opportunity. It wasn’t long before I had landed a fish and the fly was covered in slime. The plastic bag was removed from my vest and as I went to unzip the bag, the Flykerchief dropped out of a split at the bottom of the bag and landed straight in the water. What are the chances of that happening? It absorbed the river water very well, much to the detriment of my fly. I rang the blue material out and left it pinned to the outside of my vest to dry out while continuing to use my tried and proven system. I forgot all about the Flykerchief.

The following day, I was determined to use the Flykerhchief but it was pouring with rain. By the time I needed it, there was only a small corner of the cloth that was not ringing wet and I carefully dabbed the fly with that. It seemed to do a wonderful job and soon the fly was clearly dry. I was immediately surprised. The rain kept pouring and the little blue cloth got soaking wet as it had done the day before. Not long after this had happened, I caught another fish and decided to wring the cloth out and see if it still had any absorption properties. I was astounded when, after ringing it out, it dried my fly perfectly. Not well, but perfectly! I continued to use it for the remainder of the trip and it was simply amazing. It was so impressive in fact that when we returned to Tokyo a few days later, my clients bought every one they could find in the store we visited.

Having the ability to direct the cloth behind hackle fibres or through delicate parts of a wing and have the moisture sucked out of there was very helpful as there was no crushing or squashing of the fly. It can also sit on the outside of your vest (through the use of a safety pin) and be quickly accessible without fear of it getting wet and not working.

The official Tiemco "line" about the Fkykerchief is actually unimpressive and not very convincing which is the opposite of the norm. They say, "The Flykerchief is made of very water absorptive, state of the art synthetic material, the Flykerchief absorbs the water of your fly much better and faster than the taraditional amadou. Perfect to use before treating the fly with the Dry Shake."

The only thing I am yet to test is its longevity. This can only happen over time and I will be sure to add to this review once I have tested this too. 

What I can tell you is that the little grey Flykerchief will make your fly stand up better than any other material or desiccant I have used and unlike the others, it works when it is wet. If it keeps performing as well as this, I will have one in my armoury for many years and can clear some of my pockets of redundant weight.  

Christopher Bassano

Rainbow Lodge Head Guide

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