Thursday, 3 April 2014

First pickings

The 2014 trout season has started and it wasn't long before I netted my first brownie of the year. Plenty of fish about although they're lying deep. It won't be long before the Large Dark Olive persuade them to feed on the surface.

The first of the season

The Wild Trout Trust work has started

Another good sized, male fish

Look at that tail!

Great condition after the winter

Another on the jig hook

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Ever nearing...

Probably the longest period of time between blog posts; for which I apologise! I cannot use the excuse either that I have been out fishing since the rivers have been so heavily affected by the extreme rainfall we have had this winter. It has really hampered this year's grayling fishing. That said, I have still managed a few visits to the Test and the Wylye and, despite exceptional flows and river heights, there have been a few fish to be caught.

I have spent a good deal of time preparing for the new season which is just around the corner. I have been working hard to tie up some trusted patterns and also some experimental versions which will get an airing this year.

I am also really pleased to be writing more this year for Fly Fishing and Fly Tying magazine and, over the coming months, there will be some articles on some of my favourite patterns and techniques.

I am really looking forward to making my first casts of the season. I can already see that big snout breaking the surface and engulfing my fly on a warm, early season day. Exciting stuff... see you out there!


Thursday, 2 January 2014

Wet, wet, wet and a Happy New Year!

Firstly, a very happy new year for 2014! Let's hope it's a good one with plenty of fish gracing the net. It is certainly starting as a wet one, and there is more rain forecast. This has hampered the chances of grayling fishing, with even the usually relaible chalkstreams out of action thanks to high and coloured water.

I have had to cancel quite a lot of guiding and fishing sessions, so it has been time to to get behind the vice a get those boxes filled. So, let's hope for more settled weather in the coming on months and some quality fishing.


Wednesday, 27 November 2013


It's grayling time and the Gammarus imitations are on the menu. I'll be tying some of these at this weekend's IFISH show:


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Some River Fly Box goodies available:

As we approach the winter, I have a few offers / last minute sessions available -partly due to cancellations (and partly because we are not a million miles from the festive season!)

If you're interested in booking any of the following, please email me here

Or call me: 07711432055

Sunday 24th November - 4 hour casting lesson (morning) - now only £75 (usually £90)

Sunday 8th December - 4 hours casting lesson (morning) - now only £75 (usually £90)

Sunday 15th December - 4 hours casting lesson (morning) - now only £75 (usually £90)

I also have some fly selections available - some cancelled orders (hence a very low price!) and also some boxes I have from preparation for the IFISH show at the end of the month:

60 River Dry Flies in threader box -  - NOW SOLD

12 Mayfly dries - in plastic partitioned box - usually £30 - now just £25 posted
(2 sets available)

Grayling Bug selection (12 flies) - in plastic partitioned box - usually £30 - now just £25 posted
 (2 sets available)

 CDC Dries (12 flies) - in plastic partitioned box - usually £30 - now just £20 posted
(2 sets available)


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Peak condition and another record.

Another record set then for temperatures? I have heard that October should hit the books for being one of the warmest on record - and that has had a significant impact on the fishing. By the start of November I have usually started my grayling fishing with real enthusiasm. But my nearest rivers remain low and, whilst the chalkstreams are but a stone's throw away, it just doesn't feel right - when the temperatures remain upwards of 15 degrees.

Cased-caddis aplenty

In the last week or so, the winds have been strengthening and the rain has been falling - and colouring up the river. Prospects are good and there are plenty of cased caddis providing a food reserve throughout the winter months. Despite tricky weather and river conditions, I have still been able to deliver some casting lessons and even a little bit of guided fishing - but on stillwaters, chasing rainbows. And it is here that the fish have remained active in the upper layer - clearly hungry and on the look out for late season food.

A solid rainbow ~ the dry fly continues to tempt

It has been more like summer- stalking big rainbows in the shallows - because that is where they are hanging out. So it has been crunchers and mini-lures in the top 12" of water... and even some dry fly action.

3lb 12oz of out of season brownie...

... heading back

3lb 8oz of fighting fit rainbow

So, whilst I am in the midst of completing plenty of tying, I am secretly looking forward to the temperatures bottoming out - and the lady of the stream finding some buddies to shoal up with. I will hopefully be reporting back with news of a few 'big-girls' in the net. As I write, the rain is falling - and hopefully giving the rivers a much needed boost.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Food for thought

The bi-annual AAPGAI open day is always a good event. Not only does it encourage wannabe instructors to meet and experience what AAPGAI is all about, it allows its commited members to get together, chat, cast and catch up. I always exit these weekends inspired and more motivated than ever. The open day also follows an intense week of assessing those people who have chosen to put themselves through these gruelling examinations.

I had the pleasure of being part of the demonstration team this year. I am already looking forward to March's event in Cockermouth.

If you want to know more about AAPGAI, check out the AAPGAI website here.

The weather is set to turn this weekend and there is a hefty storm forecast for the beginning of the week. Fingers crossed I can get on the river and do some teaching this weekend before turns too unsettled.