Friday, 31 August 2012



According to national radio, folks are calling flying ants “flants” these days...  Now, we’ve already had these little beggars swarming over Cumbria and given recent weather trends, I thought that was the last of them for 2102.  However, despite frequent dollops of rain, humidity levels remained high which suits these winged armies.  Consequently they seem to have found their second wind.  Admittedly, I failed to connect with one of those biblical events, but enough adults landed on water for me to dig out an ant pattern of sorts-namely my NDT (next Fly of the Month).  Whatever fly you choose, be sure its backside penetrates the surface film, just like the swamped natural below.  Paul~

Eden 11 050











~With their bulbous abdomen, ants tumbling to the water quickly become swamped.  With little chance of escape now, they’re sitting ducks for watchful trout.  Obviously, our imitations should mimic this posture~

Trapped Ant 11

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Sept Fly Fishing Courses:

River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey on Sat 22nd Sept 2012

Join A.A.P.G.A.I. instructor Tony Riley and Myself for a day on the River Wharfe, covering all aspects of river trout fishing. The morning session will be spent discussing watercraft, basic entomology, tackle selection, leader set up, knots and casting techniques. Following lunch, participants will disperse for fishing with one-to-one tuition concentrating on tactics of your choice.

Cost: £135.00 per person (includes: lunch, refreshments and fishing permit)

Tackle available on request

Bigland Hall Trout Fishery on Sunday 23rd Sept 2012

Tony Riley and myself will address stillwater trout tactics at Bigland Hall with an emphasis on imitative fishing. The morning session will be spent discussing; basic entomology, tackle selection, leader set up, knots, casting techniques and the trout’s habitat. Following lunch, participants will disperse for fishing with one-to-one tuition concentrating on tactics of your choice.

Cost: £110.00 per person (includes: lunch, refreshments and fishing permit). Tackle available on request

For details and bookings email or call: 0786 665 4091

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Gripping Stuff:


All this damn rain has kept me off running water for almost a week now.  Aside from a spot of fly tying the only thing keeping me sane are regular casting jaunts.  Funny, when you take rising trout out of the equation your focus shifts to the sheer sensation of fly casting.  One thing which really stood out was the grip on a fly rod, or more precisely, how gentle this should be!  Now feeling is both subjective and unique to every single one of us.  However, something we can all relate to is toothpaste (bear with me here).  A great analogy to adhere to when holding a rod is imagine you’re grasping a tube of toothpaste minus its lid.  Your grip should be snug, yet relaxed enough to prevent toothpaste oozing from its nozzle.



~Toothpaste tubes might might not throw dynamic loops… but they’re great for teaching a relaxed grip~ 

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

From a Land Down Under:


Visiting the Land of the Long White Cloud for the past three seasons, I became very good friends with top New Zealand guide and fishing addict Ian Cole.  Hoping to avoid the NZ winter, Ian planned a visit to the UK for three months, yet all it’s done since he arrived is rain …“talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire”…  Despite high water, Ian was more than up for exploring a few rivers.  Granted, we were pushed to headwaters or tiny side streams, but thankfully the trout showed willing. 




Aside form the obvious factor of modest sized specimens our fishing is very different from Down Under.  Ian couldn’t believe the huge number of trout which responded to a his dry fly.  I too was flabbergasted, as he seemed determined to throw huge, bushy Wulff patterns which the Dales trout went bonkers for. 







~Some way short of the NZ apes we encounter though a perfectly formed fish nonetheless and according to my Kiwi friend “trout are trout wherever you are”…a sound maxim to live by.



~Ian: reckons our waters are much more intimate than the brawling rivers of NZ and given free reign he’d happily wander for mile upon mile, annoying the local trout population with that damn Wulff or Humpy pattern of his~ 


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Bela Bank High:


Hailing from deepest Somerset, Toby Merigan of Funky Fly Tying was up doing the rounds and I was keen to show him what we had to offer here in Cumbria.  As is always the case when guests visit, our rivers fail to behave themselves…  With rising water on the Eden and other places, we found refuge on the Bela catchment.  Clarity might well have been good but levels remained high.  Amazingly, a good few trout seemed prepared to poke their noses out and meet our dry flies.  No whoppers today, but at least I fulfilled the promise of showing Toby rising fish, something he’s been deprived of further south.








~Toby reaches out to claim another Bela Brown~












…By his own admission, built like a wrestler, trout never look big next to Toby…