It’s All In The Name..

What is it with the rehashing of fly pattern  names?

Yup, I get the fact you want to take the credit for inventing a new, ultra-successful fly pattern that’s annihilating all the trout in your local stillwater but please, have a little restraint.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally guilty, I’ve done it in the past, one of my most successful flies on the river is what I call my or (Steve’s) Bug. In fact it’s something I copied from my mate Tam Mcleish, BUT, I never had the same dubbing as he’d used on his, I had olive seal’s fur he’d used fox squirrel! His was called Tam’s Bug, see where this is going?

Of course it wasn’t Tam’s Bug, it was a Fox Squirrel Nymph tied on a grub hook!

I still catch myself doing it now, I really must stop!

When I used to do fly patterns for the magazine, I came up with all manner of weird and wonderful fly names, I had to name them as my boss made me, but each one was merely variations on specific themes.

We all love a tinker, and we all love to name something, get our moniker on it, we like to take credit. Perhaps a better bet is to name it, whatever you wish, and then mention the fact that it’s a version of something else, your own tying of something you saw out on the bank or indeed on  the interweb. It’s still got a name and you’ve done the decent thing and gave credit where it’s due?

A great example is the Troutmaster Tying Challenge, is that what’s t’s called?… just check out the names of some the flies that grace those pages, Dave’s Dark Destroyer, Derek’s Damsel, Peter’s Peter Ross and of course, Mrs. Simpson’s Mrs. Simpson!

But the real reason  for the Blog is just to highlight the shameless naming  of flies which have been in existence for decades, one of my good pals and by the way he’s an exceptionally neat fly tyer, but sadly he snores like a drain, so he does have a down side, posted some (Fluff Cats) last week, this is what started this train of thought.

Now, I get the fact that they have been tied with a dubbing loop of rabbit fur, and that they now have this sexy name, a name that wouldn’t look out of place in the (toy) section of an Ann Summers catalogue, Fluff Cat, jeez!

However, to anglers that are my age this fly is no more than a palmered rabbit, a fly that we used to use to great effect up at Moffat Trout Fishery, Tie in a strip of rabbit as the tail and then wind on, palmering, a rabbit strip up to the head. It’s a simple bulky fly that works very well indeed.

I could go on, with the old (it’s called this now but it was called that then)….

App’s Bloodworm, Red Diddy…

Blob, a Fat Idiot Proof Nymph

Flapper, Double Zonker

Popper Hopper, John Emerson’s Bibio, which I believe was pinched form Bob Worts?

Crippled Midge, a small Big Red

Creeper, a Zonker with rubber legs

Ugly Bugger, Montana with a long tail

Martini cats, Humungus with some long chennile

Trust me I could go on..

But I have to say that the best platform for the fly tying (naming brigade) is in the world of River Nymphs, Christ on bike! Sticking a red tag on a PTN, does not make it Paul’s PTN!!

Similarly, a Grayling Slayer is a hot-spot hare’s ear and has been used for decades!

I’ll stop now.. before I lose my mind…

Go on, name it!




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My Two Most Memorable ‘One-Eyed’ Fish!

Now then, I’ll bet you £10 that you’ve never witnessed a blog post with the above as the title?

It’s a strange one granted, but one that I thought may well be worth telling as they are both very interesting stories and just go to show that at times you need to think about things a little more before you proceed in the normal manner.

Fish 1. ( Sky TV Grayling )

I had been asked by the SKY TV fishing show, Tightlines, to present a little piece about targeting big winter grayling, and so I had agreed.

The venue was the top end of the River Dove, a place called Wolfscote Dale. I’d secured the fishing through a mate, Glen Pointon, through him I had managed to get access to this special little river. This far up the river it’s only 10 to 12ft across, less in places places and gin clear and quite shallow. A hard place to catch fish at the best of times! But the scenery was / is stunning!

Glen ( he’d volunteered to help out ) and I waited at the little parking spot near the ford at the top of the beat for the SKY boys to turn up. I’d done some filming with them before and so knew that there’s be shed loads of gear to be humphed around.  But jees it was cold while we waited!

We ended up waiting ages too, as the boys were late, it’s a hard place to find right enough and there’s no phone signal, so they could call us or us call them!

Anyway, eventually, they made it, I introduced everyone and the SKY boys started to get ready… which was fine, until they both started to put on their final layer, each of them had a bright red, and I mean BRIGHT red jacket with them. Now, did I mention that the water was low and gin clear?

When these guys are filing you they can’t do it from miles away they are literally on top of you, it was a worry to say the least!!

Okay I could go on, but back to the fish.

So, it was tough but I was catching, but it was all about BIG graying remember, so numbers was no good size was important ( as it is in other areas).

Glen had scouted down stream form us and came back to tell us he’s spotted a huge one…. game on!

We kept the camera boys -in their day-glo jackets -well back, and Glen and I checked the fish out. It was a good one, over two pounds, some going for this little river, it was catchable but it was tough as it was a afoor or so off the far bank and add to that there was a tree branch over hanging the water a few feet above the fish, I’d have to cast well upstream and let the tippet sag under the tree branches, watching the fish for any movement.

I did a little piece to camera, ” we’ve spotted a big grayling but it’s in a  tough position, here’s whet I’m using to catch it and how I’m going to try and present it…”

The boys kept well back and filmed me form about 2o yards away up stream.

As the fish was so close to the far bank, I cast in such a way that my fly tracked on my side of the fish.

My red beaded nymph ( used so I could sight it) was ignored, four drifts the fish never moved. I changed flies, a shrimp this time… nothing. So I rigged up with thinner tippet, 0.08mm a smaller fly, a natural looking nymph, PTN. Again nothing, and weirdly the fish despite being cast at about 12 times never budged?

Bugger it I thought, let’s go shock tactics, a big pink EGG! As I was tying this Tungsten beaded egg on the fish moved, not much, but enough. It dropped back down stream a touch and moved closer to me, this meant that I could get the fly to drift right in front of it, rather to it’s inside line, it wouldn’t have to move in order to take the fly.

The change in the grayling’s behavior was immediate, as soon as my egg hit the water and started to sink, the grayling moved toward it and with utter conviction and inhaled the fly!

The result, a great sequence of me playing and landing a big grayling for the cameras!

Admiring the fish it became obvious why it had ignored so many flies drifted down it’s inside line, the fish’s right eye totally white and milky, it was BLIND on that side. It had never seen the fly! Basically, if it never moved I’d never have caught it as I couldn’t present a fly ( due to it’s closeness to the far bank and the overhanging branches) in such a way as it cold see it!

Nuts but true!

Cheeky wee egg hoovering session…..











Once upon a time, there was a real rarity, it was called the land-locked salmon, it’s more prevelant now, but my story is form the mists of time, 2006!

The fishery was called Woodhouse, up by Manchester, it had these mythical beasts, and we’d heard some real monsters too!

A pal and I rocked up, the place looked scary, as if some gangster had hastily dug a big pit and filled it with water then fish and then charged people to visit, using it as a tax dodge or somewhere to rinse dirty cash. To be fair it had not long been created and it’s now stunning apparently.

The fishing however as amazing, loads of fish and good ones to, my mate had a salmon about 7lb, brutally strong and great fun on his 5-weight! It had taken a pink rabbit lure!

I was having no luck with the salmon, so decided to walk around trying different spots.

As I slowly walked out onto one platform looking into the clear water as I went, I saw, just in front of the platform something that resembled a baby seal a foot below the surface!

It was  salmon, big about 3 feet long and dark coloured and about 6-inches across it’s back!

The way it was sitting, its left side nearly under the platform, I could only drop my fly down in front of it’s right side. I had on the same weighted pink rabbit that my friend had caught his fish on and no matter how much jigging I did with this in front of the fish the damned salmon never budged.

It’s at times like this that weird thoughts go through your brain, mines was ‘is it sleeping’ daft I know but hey it happens, we all space out every now and again.

So I banged my foot down on the platform, BANG! The fish sh*t itself and shot out into to open water. It was about 20 feet away, but again it’s left side toward me, slowly it turned , but not quite head on and made slowly heading back to it’s platform. I flicked the fly at it, it hit the water with a plop to the right handside if the fish and started to sink down.#

The HUGE salmon, locked on and ever so slowly edged to it, the fly vanished and I lifted into the biggest small water salmon I’ve ever had. It thrashed like mad thing turning the water all foamy, but as I had hooked it so close to the platform I managed to get it’s head up very fast and with it the rest of the fish came willingly to the net.

The hook was secured firmly in the right hand side of it’s jaw, just under a bright shiny and very visible eye! The complete opposite to the other side, eyeless, weird and creepy…. The biggest, blackest and certainly the most ugly stillwater salmon I’m ever likely to see..

I used my masterful skills to fill in the manky eye for your own safety..


Feel free to share with me your own one-eyed fish captures, I look forward to it!

EURGH!!! & EURGH!! And sweet photo-shopping skills!



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The Good, The Bad and the Ugly!

It appears to me that these days, thank christ, that we have lost our fascination with large, overweight farm reared, rainbows, these things were classed as ‘fish of a lifetime’, why? I can assure you they are/ were and never will be.

Let’s be honest we have witnessed some really ugly rainbows and browns in many fly fishing publications in the past and now on FB and the likes, but these days, thanks to modern fish farming methods and indeed angler’s preferences, trout are normally in a pretty pristine condition, looking good and fully fined, the ‘Saturday night, out on the town trout!

For me, and I’d guess the majority of the UK fly fishing fraternity, a large, grown on or better, wild fish is what it’s all about these days? It doesn’t have to be huge just ‘proper’!

Many of our large reservoirs and even a fair few of our medium sized small waters will see a sharp increase in the size and the quality of the fish being caught form now to the year’s end.

Right now the water is cooling, following some of the silly and at times prolonged temperatures we saw through the summer and the trout are now ‘hopefully’ coming back on the feed. They are looking to pack on weight for the winter ahead and as they do they become a little less wary in their need to survive.

Trout that have been at large for some time are on the prowl and are imminently more catchable. It’s these beauties that we, as anglers, want to catch more than anything.

Trophy trout now are the fin perfect, streamlined, muscle packed variety, not the heavy hitters of the late 80’s early 1990’s, thank goodness.

Unless you’re stalking there is – and this is strictly MY opinion – no skill to catching, massive, recently stocked trout from any water. You can’t see what’s going on, you cast out, with whatever fly, pull it back in whatever way you see fit, and if one of the lunkers manages to see it, then they’ll have it, it’s total and utter luck!

These page three pin ups of the trout world however, take some skill in order to be fooled.

As with most things in life, timing and patience are the key to getting it right.

You’ll need to offer them something that they are feeding on first of all, you can’t get this wrong, if you do you’re not catching.

I recently fished a very difficult and moody Rutland Water, there were only a few stockies playing ball but the big resident trout both the browns and rainbows were there to be caught, tough but if you stuck it out in the right area, you had a few chances.

Nymphs were the majority’s line of attack, Crunchers and Diawl Bachs and Nemos fished on long leaders using a floating line were the best bet. Myself and few others went with little fry patterns. Although the anglers that braved the tough conditions never had many trout, the standard of the ones were caught  were second to none!

Sadly, these fish came on in the run up, three weeks before, to the English National Final, I was catching the for fun. Then, a week before the final, they stopped, weather, pressure or they were just being absolute a*******s! Who know’s, but they were great fun while it lasted, give it a few weeks though and they’ll be back on it and we’ll hopefully, like that bird that’s married to Kanye West, have a great back end!



the BAD

the UGLY

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A Black Cloud On One Side Of The Boat

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Flyfishguide Website It’s funny  the old boat fishing malarkey, your mate asks you for day out in the boat, you go, things turn violent! Okay, I’ve grabbed your attention, they don’t really get violent, but let me tell the tale… … Continue reading

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Summertime Not So Blues

Fishing at this time of the year is a total pain in the a***!

It’s hot, too hot, the overnight temperatures are staying high and the result is a surface water temp of around 20C, algal blooms and trout that couldn’t give a rat’s eye for whatever it is that we throw at them.

I leave the ressies alone at this time of the year but every now and then the urge is too much for me to leave them totally alone. When I see a low rod average I take this as an opportunity to go out and prove that these fish can still be caught. And often they can!

So, at the weekend I hit Draycote Water, I haven’t touched the place since March, I’ve had far more important things on this year, which is a shame really as I really like Draycote, the staff are both knowledgeable and friendly, I get treated very well also the boats and the pontoon, everything is clean and tidy, immaculate even.

Tom making me a cup O tea


Super tidy boat

In the car park I see Ben Beckwith and Simon Lucas, two very capable guys but I notice a flaw in their plan. As they are both set up with Di3 and pulling gear.

Ever the helper outer I said, “Guys, take that off and put a floater on with dries. This, despite a good blow on the water… they looked at me funny, “ C’mon Steve, seriously?”

Oh how they would rue the fact that they never listened!

Sinking lines, NOOOO!

I let them get on and I go in to have a cuppa with the boys Tom and Alan, both good lads, ask them anything they’ll help out.

The place has been fishing hard, the heat, a brown algal bloom meant some days the tod average was up, some it was down, no two days were alike. Turns out later, the day I’m here it’s down!

Looking out over the water, as I get my shiz together, it’s a little bit more blowy than I would have liked, the wind coming over the tower dam and blowing down into Toft. I’d rocked up pretty late, so a lot of boats were out and it looked like, to me anyway, to a man they were all parked up at the boils, BOIL RAGE!! I’d be keeping well away from that lot if I could help it.

I set up two rods, both featuring floaters and dries, one with a team of three flies, close together and one with a team of two, far apart. One or the other would be the best bet, it would be a case of seeing what’s what when I was out there.

The cast that I have every faith in is my two fly set up, a big Carrot fly and a smaller Bob’s Bits, a fly that has accounted for most of my big fish across all the English reservoirs.

Double trouble























Dries or dries?






The fish finders

I head straight up to the top dam, looking to drift straight out to B buoy and deep water. The lake is not a good colour, like a strong pale ale, but at least the damwall is kind of protecting me a little, the water is rippled here not like the two foot waves down the bottom, so I’m happy to see what’s what.

I start with the two fly set up, but I see nothing moving, so just flick and fan cast every five seconds, and in no time at all, a trout sips down the Bob’s Bits. I knew it would work.

I love this fly, love, love, love it!

I drift this area for most of what’s left of the morning, from B all the way along to A Buoy, long drifts and with all of the water pretty much to myself…and I pull fish up, hook them  and even occasionally land them, they are finicky bollocks the day, before the sun gets out proper. I find that once the sun’s out, that’s you, you’re goosed on the dries.




When the sun does come out I have another little trick up my sleeve, one that works for me on most occasions here. The dries come off and I leave on the same long leader, to the end I attach my little Popper Fry. It’s early I know but it can bring fish up in shallow water.

I set up short drift, no drogue over the weeds at the inlet, this little area is a haven for little coarse fish, so it will often hold bigger fish, but they can be an a****** to catch!

It never took long for the first bit of interest, I short cast, give two long pulls on the line to RIP the fly through the water and then figure-of-eight it back.

The water behind the fly started to bulge as something decent locked on, keep going, look away, do not change what you’re doing, if you stop or speed up, forget it. I kept everything coming back to me at the same speed and finally a mouth open over my fly and it vanished in swirl of water and spray. Fish On!

It’s a better fish, a good, grown on rainbow, the fish I’d caught In the morning were smaller, small by last year’s Draycote standards anyway. The trout fight s well in the shallow water, tearing off like a bonefish on crack, but my ‘just enough to keep good pressure, but not enough to snap the line’ drag does its job admirable, and soon the trout is netted. A nice one, but one that keeps going belly up as I try to release it in the shallow water. It’s no good, it’s going to die so it’s shown the priest and kept for my neighbour who’ll have it for his BBQ on Sunday.

“20 minutes later I get a smaller one, more the size I’ve been catching, this one I can horse in quick, and it goes back to the water after a quick photo in the net…

Proper job



Popperfry guy

That’s it for that area, the sun is too high and too hot and whatever fish were there are packed up and moving on!

I do know that there are fish out to A and B buoy though so I change tack. A four fly cast, fished on my favourite Hoverer fly line, a slow sink inter that does a great job of fishing your flies higher up in the water column.

Point, is a Disabled Daddy, dropper, Hackled Cormorant, next dropper Red Holo Diawl Bach and on the top dropper a Biscuit Fab, simple stuff, Black bits of s*** just in case, and two foam filled flies each side to keep everything high.

I fish the water hard in the above two area for some time, I take another three fish and miss a few other super soft takes, I fish this back with slow figure-of eight, taking care to create perfect loops in my retrieving hand a good habit to get into, the better this bunch of fly line looks the neater and more measured your retrieve.


I head out past A Buoy toward the sailing club and see Ben and Simon, they’ve not been so lucky, they’ve had a very hard day of it. I tell them what I’ve been doing but that I have had to switch to twiddling now. I offer them my cast, they’ve just watched me land one so know it works, Simon takes up the offer and I head for home.

It’s been a tough old few hours, but I managed to get things working, and hopefully put the rod average up a touch that day, as it was pretty low form what I heard.



Disabled Daddy








Oh, dont get Sainsbury’s Roated Veg Pasta for your dinner, even with me buying and adding my own tomatoes, it was blander than several ‘Pro Team’ members facebook posts!

Blander than bland












That’s my last trip out in the UK for some time, Grand Cayman next week, ‘DIY Boning’, nope it’s not a sex act, it’s bone fishing without the rigmarole of a guide!

My website

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Testing The Water

It was way back in early 2013 when I last posted… a BLOG.

Jeezo that’s a long, long time ago! So why the lay off. Well, simple really…. kids… !

Boy, oh boy do they take up your time, like you just would not believe, love them like you can’t imagine but hard work. Two things you never expect to happen to you:

Your six-year old daughter painting your nails, and doing your make up..

Having your little boy – who by the way is not so little – jump off the couch, reach an apex of around three feet and land full force, knees first, into your private parts.. oh the joys!

But they’re getting bigger now and so I can afford a little more time on other things, things like this BLOG nonsense.

The plan is, I’ll use this BLOG to get over some nonsense stuff, stuff to do with fishing, fly fishing. Oh and fly tying, the house is getting a major overhaul just now and when it’s done I’ll have my own little ‘Man Cave’, Turntables, Techno, Flytying bench and Photo studio, so I’ll share some cool patterns with you too, ones which I hope you’ll like. Trout and grayling patterns to saltwater and everything in between, flies like this little beaut, a hybrid wet fly….

I should also try and get some video, who knows it may work, also expect lots of cool photos of fishing related shizzle, like this…

When was the last time you saw a white horse eating grass on an island in the midle of a river…?

So, that’s the brief overview, if you’re interested, then follow me, can  you do that with this thing, not sure I hope so…, you can also keep pace with things here:


Much Love…

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The Thrill Of Shrunken Rivers, one, 50-yard stretch

The heatwave has been long, longer than we’ve seen for some time now, and by the looks of things, it may well continue.

People mump and moan, “it’s too hot!” These are the same people that have a moan at the weather when it’s, wet, cold, windy, muggy, overcast, snowing, bright etc etc, in fact these are often the same people that spend most of the time in the house sitting on their arse! The ‘do nothings’ , however come work on Monday they moan about the rubbish weather, despite the fact they spent the weekend looking out the window at it!

I’m loving the heat, although, admittedly a lot of small waters are suffering, the larger waters, too have become rather tricky, which I like as the BLOB brigade are toiling trying to nail the stockies. I’ve found the best methods to be a di8 and buzzers over 40ft of water as the fish are about 30ft down, still there, just deeper!

The rivers can be a tough and challenging place when we’re suffering in the heat, but the grayling and trout will stay play ball, just tailor your tactics and you’ll have a good time catching both.

A recent trip saw me on a very low Derbyshire Derwent, the regulars were struggling, in fact most were spending their evenings on the water, rather than enduring the slow fishing that was being experienced during the day.

However, having fished this river for several years now I know that the river can be exceptional during a heat wave, you just need to know where to look, the fish can be in very localised areas.

When it’s hot and bright, and the water temperature is up, then you’ll find lots of grayling and trout in fastish, shallow water.

My starting point was slightly deeper water that came off very shallow rapids, dropping from a foot to two and finally into about three foot, not fast water and not slack, just right.

The key here was small CDC flies 19’s and 21’s just bits of fluff really, fished up and across, with maximum drag free drift, on 0.08 point with the aid of a 9ft tapered leader.

This first section resulted in several nice grayling, five, none big but good for this part of the river, 12 inches to around a pound and a bit, awesome, super-fast action.

Once i’d fish it up, I quickly swapped the tippet to 0.12 and the fly to a huge, size 10 sedgey thing, all foam, deer hair and hackle.

I fish this across the ripply water, high sticking and then, keeping the rod high, kind of make my arm jiggle, like having a small seizure, so that the fly skitters across the surface. this technique can be devastating on this type of water and even more so on slow on dead, lifeless summer pools, fish seemingly just can’t help themselves!

It proved to be te case here to, four more grayling and a trout, lovely.

Next step. Walk back to the top of the run, same leader, change the dry fly to a 3mm tungsten beaded PTN, size 12, with a bit of funky, Spectra as a thorax.

Up and across casting try tracking the flies back and then letting them swing to the vertical, and then fanning to casting down and across. None of this needs and indicator, on the upstream, track the fly faster than the current, takes will be felt, also keep an eye on the minicon leader, it helps register anything.

On the downstream to vertical, flick the wrist so the rod tip rises six-inches to a foot every now and again, basically you’re doing induced takes throughout the retrieve.

By the time I have finished with this small stretch, I’ve taken another two grayling and a staggering, seven trout, two wild and five that probably went in at the start of the year.

An amazing few hours fishing, and all that in a 50-yard stretch of water.

Awesome fishing, and in a summer low, all very surprising.

Fancy a day out:

A lovely brown, high-sticked on the numf



They love a teeny dry fly

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I’ve ‘peed’ bigger streams!


I’ll fish for anything with the fly and pretty much anywhere too, ask my friends, it’s embarrassing!

I’ve fished in ditch at the back of the Tesco store in Rugby once, that got me some looks, catching large perch and some half decent jack pike too, a white rabbit, tied large usually fools these greedy little buggers. It’s silly that I fish for them as I’m actually quite scared of the things but hey ho, needs must and all that jazz!

I had a great trip recently to a tiny totsy stream, my mad as a brush, and to be frank he looks likes one, all hair and bones, the legend that is Skateboard Dave. This guy knows small rivers and trouting on them too also knows about coarse fish on the fly more than anyone I know in the UK, by a mile!

A great story, Dave was at some fly tying fair, and he was introduced to Dom Garnet, the guy that wrote the Coarse Fish on the Fly book, in the words of Dom, ” NO WAY, YOU’RE SKATEBOARD DAVE!”  That is true!

Dave looked at Dom’s book and he reckons, in his words, “the guy is where I was about 10 years ago!”

The man is uttterly eccentric but a great fly tyer and the number one person you want with you when combat fishing, in amongst the undergrowth or in the urban sprawl!

He told me of his new ‘secret place’ a little river, little is an understatement, it’s teeny and  is in the middle of Leicestershire, I shan’t give the name away though, tis special!

“It’s full  of trout Steve, you can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!”

I needed no more prompting.

I picked him up the following day, silly really as it’s such a small river it needs rain, we’d had none before the trip, it was on it’s arse when we got there, I saw it and said “Dave, are you serious?”

No matter, wee rod, one fly and catapult casts were the order of the day and so we proceeded, pool one we spooked everything, including, I noticed, several fish of half a pound or more!

Two pools up and Dave had one, small about 8 inches, I was impressed nonetheless, next pool was mine and what a beauty, a tree had fallen creating a deeper hole up against a tight bank on the bend, it must have been all of two foot deep, fish heaven in small stream

Creeping up and lowering my fly down – a black bugger, size 6!!! into the floating raft of mush, I jiggled the rod tip up and down… Whack something nailed it and shot under the tree, I leaned over the bank and put some pressure on, you can with 6lb fluoro, no messing!

I had it out of here in no time, it was a cracker, wee but very handsome!

This continued all the way upstream we were spooking fish, some small and some not so and taking a few from all the likely looking holes, twas AWESOME!

After a while we decided to go down stream, it’s different totally open and featureless, not like upstream, tactics are lean the rod over the bank, THERE IS NO COVER, and swim the Buggers up past any overhangs! This was SOOOO exciting, one minute you were watching your fly the next a large dark shape would shoot out from under the banks and nail it!

Each one was like an electric shock, Jesus I loved it!

Soon enough we came to a manky horrible looking stretch where a barrel in the water created a large pool, but the whole pool was covered in brown crappy foam, we couldn’t see anything!

“Get your flies in there Steve, there’s a biggy in there!”

“You sh***** me Dave! It’s bowfin!”

“Go for it”

I did, I could feel my fly hit bottom, I lifted it and started to jig the thing when the it was nailed and nailed big time, a trout, no kidding all of three pounds came hurtling out of the brown crap, it jumped all of two feet high, before hitting the barrel, bouncing off and slipping the hook in the process… Bollocks!

If this is the river when it’s fishing crap imagine what it’s like with some water the things will be going nuts, probably their only chance to feed properly!

We caught about a dozen between us but when it’s got flow, we’d be looking at that each and more!

I’ll be back!

Oh by the way the best fish Dave and his mates have had, 4lb 3oz!!

A wee beauty

What River?

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No Beer, well very little, fishing and fly tying

I’ve not blogged for a while, I’ve been busy, so busy in fact, I’d make a worker bee ashamed of it’s lack of activity, fact!

Our baby is due any day now, the wait is killing us, but it’ll be worth it. One of the downsides to waiting for the bay to come is that I can’t really drink beer, BOOO!

If Bethan suddenly says, in a  pained voice… ” It’s coming!” I need to ensure that I’m able to jump in the car at a moments notice, so very little beer for me. Don’t feel too sad for me though, I’m lucky in that my job, means that I HAVE to go fishing.


A couple of weeks ago, my mate Glen and I finally managed to get on our ‘big fish’ river. We’d been waiting, waiting for the river to get something like a reasonable height as it had been too high since the middle of December!

We met up, and headed off. The water was still high and pushing through with only a slight tinge of colour, it would not be great but we figured if we never tried it, it may well rain again then we’d be buggerd for even longer!

I set up with my usual, braid, straight through to a five foot section of tippet of 4lb fluoro, these are big fish we are after! Three flies, bomb on the point, and two little flies, MY BUG and a Disco Shrimp were the dropper flies of choice, can’t go wrong with these two actually!

The day was a long one, we walked frickin miles and after all that rain everything was sodden.  When we were out of the water it was like walking through treacle half the time. Still we managed a few fish, but too many, bare in mind ‘big fish’ river.

At the end of the long day we must have took 12 to 14 fish between us, BUT we did both manage fish around the two pound mark, steady. Glen’s on his Soft Touch shrimp and me on the Discos.

Can’t wait to get back, next time we’ll hit it at a perfect height!

A belter of a round a couple of pound, it took a Disco Shrimp.

Hairy Wee Flees

Next on the hit list of things I’ve done recently is fly tying, lots of.

As I’m housebound at weekends, if I get five minutes, usually when my daughter becomes engrossed in a film, goes out with mum or falls asleep, then I’m on the vice like a shot. I love fly tying, good fly tying not the Blob fly tying, proper flies for proper fish.

I recently received some wonderful turkey biots from my mate Toby at Funky Flytying and couldn’t wait to give them a go.

There’s a fly wee, actually it’s HUGE use up in Scotland it’s called the FMF, I shan’t say what it means – that would be rude, but it works, and works well for big, tricky fish.

That’s why it’s so popular. There are two version, the dunn and the emerger, I love both but thought I’d have a tinker with the emerger and get to use my biots in the process.

Stevey Thornton is a pal of mine and a great tyer he is too, one of the best at rivery stuff, one of his flies that I love is the CAM Emerger, a pain to to tie but very effective. I wanted to marry his CAM up with an unsinkable Klinkhamer.

Here’s the result, it’s obviously good as I’ve had several people call me to ask me to tie them some up, what do you think?


While I was at the vice I tied the one below up for Hugh Skeoch, a pattern that was shown to me by Tor Groethe over in Norway.

Hook: Hanak 130BL, size 12

Thread: Nano silk

Tail: Coq De Leon

Body: Stripped herl

Thorax: Fox squirrel

Wings: Paired CDC

Hackle: Genetic cock, stiffer the better, make sure you cut an inverted ‘V’ from the underside, it’ll land upright on the water each time:










A BIG Surprise

Shooting a feature the other day, I had a field day, I caught so many fish I lost count, and on a very unusual method in the end, I’m calling it the reverse hang, twas carnage.

Anyway not long after starting, I caught this, big and scary eh, but even more impressive than this, was the fly I caught it on, a size 18 nymph! I can hardly believe it myself, what on earth was I doing fishing a size 18  lymph in the first place!?

Massive fish, with a tiny fly, can I get a Blue Peter Badge?

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Mouzer and Monster Browns!

What can a man do to make sure everyone’s aware of the testicular and prostrate cancer? Become a Mo Brow and grow a MO.

Each Mo Bro must begin the 1st of Movember with a clean shaven face. For the entire month each Mo Bro must grow and groom a moustache. There is to be no joining of the mo to the sideburns (that’s considered a beard), there’s to be no joining of the handlebars to the chin (that’s considered a goatee) and each Mo Bro must conduct himself like a true gentleman. ‘Don’t I always?’

Mo Bros effectively become walking, talking billboards for the 30 days of November and through their actions and words raise awareness by prompting private and public conversation around the often ignored issue of men’s health.

While doing so, they may well look a right tit, like me!

Sadly, I have never been blessed with any facial hair growing abilities, my undercarriage however could be harvested and manufactured, to be used as matting that could put to good use as stuffing for dog baskets. Anyway, I thought I’d give MOvember a go, seriously, what was I thinking? I have been likened to Blakey from ‘on the buses’ a sad comparison but even sadder, one that is true!

The MO, has not however hampered my fish catching abilities.

On a recent outing to  small water , a friend and I took several, small semi wild rainbows from the surface using small dry flies and thin tippets during small hatch of buzzers. The action was fast and furious and I must say very enjoyable with or without a beard.

As my friend played one fish out in the crystal clear water, we both saw a rather hefty BROON TROOT give chase, this fish, make no bones about it wanted to eat this 1lb 4 oz rainbow!

Interesting, very interesting!

We worked our way around the water taking many trout off the top as we went. At the other side we opted for a change of tact, Lures on slow sinking lines. I went with a colossal three inch choccy brown Minkie. My reasoning was the abundance of small roach and rudd, I was hopping for a fry feeder.

We caught stockies more or less straight away but my mind was still on the big brown trout. I got myself into the fish’s vicinity, cast out my heavily-leaded fly and began a jerky retrieve. Ten seconds later… BANG! Fish on. As soon as it took it came to the surface shaking it’s head like a mad thing, it was big that was for sure but was  it the brown I’d been hoping for?

Yes, yes it was. it fought very well in the clear water but given that the fly was tied on an 8 lure hook it was NOT getting off!

Soon enough I had him netted.

What better way to show off the MO than with a pearler of a bownie to take the focus away from it?!

Look at that trout, oh and the hairy lip!

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