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Top Ten Pictures Taken From Inside Your Fishing Bivvy!

Views from you bivvy - Simon Howells Lakemore Fisheries

Views from your bivvy – Fishtec’s Simon Howells at Lakemore Fisheries.

We recently ran a Facebook competition on our Coarse fishing page where we asked for pictures taken from inside your Carp fishing bivvy,  with the best one winning a TF Gear Airlite baitunner reel. We had such an enthusiast and varied response we just had to share some of these images on the Fishtec blog! Here are our top 10 favourite images- each featured bivvy photographer will get a TF Gear Cuban style baseball cap, with the winner of the TF Gear Airlite reel announced at the end. Good luck!

1. Simon Naylor – With what looks like a giant killer swan emerging from the lake – Swanzilla?

Swanzilla attacking Simon Naylor's bivvy

Swanzilla attacking Simon Naylor’s bivvy.

2. Al Maclaren – It looks like he has all the creature comforts you will ever need inside a bivvy; including a TV and electric kettle! The bivvy is an almost house sized  Avid Carp Euro HQ, which he calls the ”armordildo” for some reason!

Inside and out of a monster Avid euro HQ bivvy

Inside and out of a monster Avid euro HQ bivvy.

3. Harry Robinson – A crack of dawn close up of kit on the pod. You can tell this man is well into his carping gear – this is a lovely neat and ordered selection of fishing tackle,  and those Delkim TX-I alarms are a great bit of kit!

Close up Carp tackle shot. Harry Robinson.

Close up Carp tackle shot. Harry Robinson.

4. Nick Stroud – Morning mid-summer sun burning off the mist.  A great shot, which really makes you want to get out there and fish!

Early morning sunshine over the Lake.

Early morning sunshine over the Lake. Nick Stroud.

5. Christopher Millward – Two mates in a bivvy. This is what it’s all about fella’s! Good times on the bank with a pal. Who cares if you blank?

Two pals carp fishing.

Two pals carp fishing. Chris Millward.

6. Anthony Locke – Looks like he is set up to fish a narrow urban water with his excellent TF Gear compact carp rods – 10 foot long so great for getting into tight spots.

TF Gear compact rods - set up on a pod. Antony Locke.

TF Gear compact rods – set up on a pod. Antony Locke.

7. John Fletcher – Best bite of the day. We would have to agree John- those sausages look awesome, just the start to the day us fishermen need.

Bite of the day - John Fletcher

Bite of the day – John Fletcher.

8. Michael Liddell – Man’s best friend. A fishing dog – a great fishing buddy and invaluable company for those days when not much happens.

A Fishing dog - man's best friend. Michael Liddell

A Fishing dog – man’s best friend. Michael Liddell.

9. Stephen Dean – An evening shot that almost looks like he is fishing on another world with two suns- perhaps a binary solar system like Star War’s Tatooine?

Sundown with two suns in the sky. Stephen Dean.

Sundown with two suns in the sky. Stephen Dean.

10. Lee Freeman – This is great shot on a tranquil lakeside setting, hope the swans didn’t start playing with your bait!

Sunset and swan - Lee Freeman

Sunset and swan – Lee Freeman.

And finally the winner of the TF Gear Airlite reel – Brent Parkinson has come up trumps, with this classic carp fishing image of a beautiful rainbow over the lake. Lets hope as well as a pot of gold there was a nice golden bellied carp at the end for him.

Rainbow over the lake - Brent Parkinson

The winner – Rainbow over the lake – Brent Parkinson.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Top Tips For Sea Trout by Steffan Jones

If you are thinking of dusting down the fly fishing tackle and heading down to the river this summer to try for sea trout at night, then take a read of these top tips by Welsh angling guide and sea trout supremo Steffan Jones. All you need is a pair of fishing chest waders and your standard trout reservoir fly fishing rod and you are ready to go! It is often the simple things that you help catch fish, and these invaluable tips will help give you a great head start when in pursuit of these silver river warriors.

A monster sea trout caught at night

A monster sea trout caught at night.

1.Don’t move into the slow, glassy water until it is properly dark; – unless the river is carrying some colour or extra height. Sea trout are not that wary at night, but can be incredibly so in the daytime or when significant light remains at dusk – more akin to a brown trout than anything else. They will start to move from pool to pool at dusk and will also move into the faster water at the head of the pools etc. so target this type of water before darkness descends, rather than the slower holding water where the fish may be easily spooked. Only venture into such water when it is completely dark and do not get tempted because you are seeing fish jump in these areas – they will still be there in half an hour. If, however, the river is carrying some colour then the fish will be less easily spooked and since night fishing is rarely productive in such conditions you can target such fish before darkness falls.

2.Do not fish with a light leader; otherwise a fool and his sea trout will soon be parted! Sea trout are not leader shy at the best of times, with this being especially so at night. Fish with a minimum of 10lb breaking strain, with 12lb or even 15lb being preferable. Fluorocarbon is not always needed; you can stick with the likes of cheap and cheerful but very reliable maxima ultragreen if you wish. If fishing in the daytime or at dusk with smaller flies, then fluorocarbon should be utilised, with my preference being the Airflo G3 or extreme in 8lb.

A welsh river sea trout which was caught with the help of a Forty plus line from Airflo

A double figure welsh river sea trout caught on a Forty plus line from Airflo.

3.Make life easy for yourself; use an Airflo 40+ line, an Airflo sewincaster or one that’s +1 line weight heavier than your rod’s rating. You are rarely going to be fishing longer than the belly of your line, so utilising a slightly heavier line for your rod helps casting at night – especially when you cannot monitor your loops and especially when you are using heavy flies that can hinge on lighter lines. As for the rod; do not fish a fast/tip action; this is a recipe for disaster! Tight loops are the last thing you want at night, as tangles will soon follow. Choose a slightly softer action (middle to tip), which will also help keep a good hook-hold on fresh fish – these have softer mouths where a stiff rod will rip the hook-hold.

4.Keep artificial light to a minimum. The fish are not particularly ‘shy’ of artificial light and will not go scurrying back to sea if they sense such things – even though old literature may have you believe this. Prolonged exposure will make them wary, so it is best to avoid this, of course. However, the main reason to keep it to a minimum is to maintain your night vision, which is soon lost once you have utilised your fishing head torch. A red filter can help with this, but keeping any light to a minimum is the best cure. Also, when changing flies, sorting out the inevitable tangle etc. always turn your back to the water before turning the torch on.

A simple yet effective selection of sea trout flies.

A simple yet effective selection of sea trout flies.

5.Don’t over complicate your fly selection. I would much rather see someone fish for sea trout with every fly being black and silver but then in various length, weights and profiles (silhouettes) than a myriad of different colours in the same length and style. I often hear people saying that they like slim flies for sea trout. Yes, you need slim flies, but you also need fat flies! Try flies with palmered bodies, thick head hackles etc. along with the slim flies. Both are needed in your armoury to present different silhouettes to the fish. As a simple rule fish with flies up to one inch long before dark then an inch and above after dark. That should hold you in good stead!

Steffan has been guiding people on sea trout on the River Teifi in West Wales for twenty seasons now. If you would like to gain more of an understanding about these fish and how to target them then drop him a line to set up a package or guided night. Check out www.anglingworldwide.com or you can email him at steffan@anglingworldwide.com

Dave Lane’s Top Carp Fishing Tips Competition

We recently ran a competition on one of our social media pages where carping legend Dave Lane asked for Facebook fans carp fishing tips for the month of May! We had a great response. Dave has looked through them all, and he decided that the best one was from Paul Scott. We thought we would share all of the tips here. If you are a serious carp fisherman these tips are well worth reading, you never know they may help you catch the fish of a lifetime!

Here is Paul’s tip-

Paul Scott. This time of year the fish seem to be on the move quite a bit so although the key is to find fish, maybe take a bit more time in watching the routes they take and spotting traffic lanes they use. If your intending to fish that lake for the rest of the year, it will prove to be invaluable on the rest of your campaign!! Happy hunting.

The Key is to find fish - take time in watching the routes carp take.

The Key is to find fish – take time in watching the routes carp take.

Dave also really liked Charlie Halliday’s tip-

Charlies tip–  When you want an accurate cast , mark your standing position and use a quick link to your lead’s swivel (for rig attachment) then un-clip your rig and cast to the desired area with just the lead , if you go into an snag or on an island you can get your setup back with ease and just keep casting until you hit the mark , then put your line in the clip and attach your rig ! Accuracy made easy with less fear of losing your rig don’t forget to use marker elastic for the next time and unclip after the cast for safety.

And here are the best of the rest-

Ashley Gray.
Make sure your bedchair is level before you attempt to go to sleep. It’s frightening when you slip down the end and then the bed tips up!!

Jonathan Ryder. I like to use solid bags but with a twist. Use a syringe to inject hemp oil and coconut oil into the centre of the bag mix. Has worked well for me!!

Anthony Bates. Coat your free baits in oil (i use tuna) then coat your baits in a good amount of salt its a big edge before they spawn.

Leigh Harmer. Keep mobile, watch the water and zigs are always a option

Dave Guy. Outside my bivvy I have three solar panel garden lights not bright but I can see my rods and nets and there not heavy and charge during the day.

Steff Parr. I found a pretty effective way to fish margins and near rushes if your able to lower your lead instead of casting and have your rig closer to the rushes than your lead and when baiting the area just plop a single boilie at a time and no more than 5 had a bite within minutes each time I do it now I always have one rig out and a popup near the rushes and if there is berry trees around the lake pick a few and use them as hookbait the lake fish know it to be a natural food.

Terry Robert Spurgeon. If using a long zig, loop the line then lick and fold over PVA foam at 2 or 3 places on the loop. Tangle free!

Kev Hudson. When using zigs I find placing a piece of pva foam below the hook , then cutting a few pieces of foam down and placing them a couple of feet apart down the zig line all the way to the lead negates tangling on the cast and makes sure your zig is sat correctly in the water column

John Buckingham. Always put my head torch in my boots at night!!! Or else I forget it.

Paul Jarvis. Check all your kit for wear and tear epically if it your first outing of the year, as mice can chew through anything

Glen Marshall. Don’t be afraid to move swims had one then nothing so moved swim had another two to 16lb…

 Colin Smith. When zig or top fishing dip your bait’s in oil of clove’s work’s every time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carp Fishing On Crowsheath Fishery Essex

Gareth Morris, our resident sea fishing sales adviser at Fishtec tries his hand at fishing a commercial carp venue in Essex for a few days. Take a read to see how he gets on with his first attempt at landing some hard fighting carp.

I visit some family members each year in the South east of England. This occasion I had decided to combine the trip with some carp fishing, having never really done any serious carping or any overnighters before. I had heard my destination, Essex, is basically the birth place of modern carp fishing- where Team Korda began their epic journey, as well as Nash and Mainline Baits. I packed the car up with the carp fishing tackle and began the long drive from Brecon in South Wales, to fish a fantastic well established Essex fishery called Crowsheath.

Crowsheath Fishery Essex

Rods out on Crowsheath Fishery Essex.

Crowsheath has been established for many years and is actually within the Essex greenbelt making it very peaceful, you can’t even hear a car go past and the only view you have is pleasant greenery and the only sound you will hear is the birds and bank side wildlife. Nick who is the onsite bailiff and owner of Crowsheath is a great character, who constantly strives to improve the fishery.  As well as the main carp lake that is situated here there is also the ”cat canal” which boasts some of the biggest catfish in the UK, with some knocking over the scales at 100lb+ and also including the unique ”mandarin” breed. There is also a predator lake on site with pike to  the high 20’s, and a new match lake is in the pipeline.

We arrived at the fishery with very high expectations of that dream big double figure carp, our hopes were somewhat dampened by the news from other anglers that had been there all weekend. Nothing was coming out, and even if it was something it wasn’t what they wanted… Myself and my brother in law Sean moved quickly to get settled into our bivvys and pre-baited our swims ready, and got the rods out onto the pods- eagerly awaiting that first run to the alarms. My chosen set up was a TF Gear Compact 10ft 2.5lb matched up with DL Speendrunner 6000 reels, with 12lb TF Gear Nantec Gunsmoke Mono Line. This set up is perfect for the size of carp we were looking to encounter this week.

 

TF Gear Lok Down bivvy - home for the next few days

A TF Gear Lok Down bivvy – home for the next few days.

The baits that I had selected were the Mainline Frozen Cell 15mm boilies– a perfect all round bait used all over the country with great results. I used a Korda DF size 10 Barbless rig, with PVA bags fully loaded with mainline Cell Stick Mix and hempseed. It wasn’t until the next morning we had the first run, but here she is, a nice little common to start off the day.

 

8lb 6 oz Nice little common carp

8lb 6 oz Nice little common carp.

After a nice start the weather was soon on the change from ideal cloudy and mild fishing conditions to heavy rain and extreme winds! The lake soon turned choppy and it felt like I was sea fishing on the South Wales sea coast and not on a lake. Everything just switched off. A few hours later watching the rods and with a break in the weather it seemed the perfect opportunity to try a bit of stalking a few other swims closer to the main island on the lake. With my brother In-law pulling another 8lb carp out from there earlier that morning. As the sun was staring to come out the fish were on the rise, but they were not interested in the bait, even if you dropped it in front of their nose. We tried the new Korda Ready Tied Zig Rigs, but absolutely nothing was happening.

The next day things picked up somewhat, after a night of heavy rain and wind.  The Lok down bivvy thankfully kept me bone dry all night, and at 4.30 am the alarm was screaming once again. After tripping over the bivvy door and stumbling over the bait bucket I was quickly into the second carp of the trip. Again not the biggest but a nice welcome after such a horrid night!

Another mint condition common carp - 12lb in weight.

Another mint condition common carp – 12lb in weight.

The weather had really picked up and this was out perfect opportunity to rove around the lake before other anglers had arrived later that day. Moving up a few swims with the rods in hand I wasn’t long before the carp were jumping out the reeds. After carefully putting the two rods in just before the reeds it was time to sit back, relax and wait. Less than 30 minutes of the rig being in the spot the rod almost got pulled off the deck. This fish was a proper rod bending, drag running carp! Having picked up the net to safely get the carp it darted into the reeds near the deck and bolted, this is when I knew it was over, he got off the hook. Gutted wasn’t the word that was used. It had a lovely dark colouration to it and it felt a really nice fish.

A welcome 10lb carp

A very welcome fish.

After relocating back to our swims it was back to the drawing board. I got out out the spod rod and baiting up a large area not far off the reed beds, and placed the rods over it. It wasn’t long before I had a run, It was a double figure carp but only tipping over at 10lb 10oz. Things were going well for Sean too, with several nice double figure carp to 12lb also gracing his net. We didn’t have long left to fish, and the rods where still out and fully loaded, whilst we packed up to make our way home, but I was still hopeful of latching into a bigger carp before time ran out. The bivvy and kit were packed away, with the rods of course being the last thing you bring in. Looking at the reel closely as I was just about pick up the rod, I saw the line twitch… and suddenly the TF Gear Magrunner alarm screamed off with the spool releasing line at a rate of knots! The hard fighting  carp was welcomed to the net after a strong fight.. After letting her settle down in the net it was weighing time. Sean announced it was another PB, 15oz 2lb! Not the 20 I was after but it was a very welcome fish after a difficult fishing session with challenging bankside weather.

15lb 2 oz Common Carp

15lb 2 oz Common Carp.

We were very happy to leave the fishery with ten nice Carp landed between us – no giants but it had been great fun on balanced fishing tackle. Being an experianced sea fisherman  this is the very first time I have been proper carp fishing- and what a buzz it was! I had well and truly caught the carp fishing bug, and hope to return to Crowsheath next year. Many thanks to the bailiffs Nick, Darren, Connor and Jason for a very memorable trip, and advice given over the few days.

For more information and catch reports please go www.crowsheathfishery.com and follow them on their face Facebook page. If you are in the area, pop in and have ago. There is a good head of carp at this venue and it’s worth every moment!

 

 

How To Take Care Of Breathable Fishing Clothing and Footwear

Hi tech modern fishing clothing is seemingly indestructible… or is it? There is a lot of misconception about modern fishing clothing and footwear. It does need some maintenance to stay in full working order! Read on to find out why it is necessary to take care of your precious fishing gear, so it performs well in the long term.

All of the waterproof, breathable fishing clothing sold at Fishtec has a durable water-repellent finish applied to the outer surface- also known as DWR. This makes the water bead up and roll off, rather than soaking into the fabric. You will find this on fly fishing waders, fishing jackets and bib and braces, and  waterproof fishing boots.

Waterpoof breathable fishing boots - in need of a quick clean and re-spray

Waterproof breathable fishing boots – in need of a quick clean and re-spray.

If the water is allowed to soak into the fabric it will impair the breathability.  A build up of dirt and fish slime will do this over time. If the breathability is impaired, moisture will build up inside the garment, so the fisherman will get wet and uncomfortable from this condensation.  When the DWR process fully stops working over time the outer fabric will actually start to soak up the water, this is known as ‘wetting out’.

It is therefore essential to look after your breathable fishing gear, and maintain the Durable Water Repellent finish, to keep it at peak performance. We always recommend the use of a spray on treatment such as Grangers fabsil , applied after the garment has been washed and cleaned of dirt. In the case of footwear the same thing applies – maintain the DWR finish, and the water will not start to soak in and seep into the material  and seams making your feet clammy and damp. Brush and clean your boots down and spray them with a treatment every month or so.

 

 

 

 

 

The pros’ favourite fishing tackle

In the market for some new tackle? You’re in luck!

We asked our pros for their absolute must-have, favourite fishing tackle, so you can make sure your next purchase is pro approved!

Without further ado, here are their favourite bits of kit.

Coarse Fishing

Carp caught in net

Image source: Kletr
The pros’ favourite tackle to net one of these.

TF Gear Centre pin, smooth, fast and the ideal trotting reel for my grayling fishing.”
Nathan Walter

“DL Carp rods, produced with the intent of making one of the best, mid range carp rods on the market. I’ve helped make it too, so it has proper use and testing. Great rod.”
Dane Lane

“A decent mud anchor – this is essential when I’m targeting specimen pike on the UK’s large reservoirs. Keeping the boat stable in high winds means a better presentation, and ultimately more pike!”
Leighton Ryan

Fly Fishing

Man fly fishing in a river

Image source: Annette Shaff
The pros’ recommendations, from waders to fly lines.

“Simms waders. For comfort and durability they are the best on the market.”
Terry Bromwell

“Airflo Super Stik fly rod, the best mid range fly rod there is.”
Dean Kibble

“Forty Plus fly line from Fishtec, a market leader and game changer in the fishing industry for sure!”
Gareth Jones

“Personally I love the Greys Strata quilted jacket, perfect for the cold weather we’re experiencing.”
Chris Ogborne

G.Loomis fly rods and Airflo lines, they go very well together – you buy cheap, you buy twice.”
Kieron Jenkins

“It must be my Airflo outlander mesh vest – its extremely comfortable and holds all the gear I need for a full day out on the river.”
Ceri Thomas

 

Popular Fly Fishing Fishing Products

 

Sea Fishing

Sea fishing gear on boat at sea

Image source: Paul Prescott
And lastly, a quick sea fishing tackle suggestion!

“I would not be without my trusty TF Gear s-mag multiplier reel, it helps give me extra distance and has superb cranking power for hauling in outsize leads all day.”
Gareth Morris

Want more top fishing tackle tips? Check out our post on our readers’ favourite fishing tackle!

Fishing Luggage Explained

We get asked quite regularly about the various types of fishing tackle luggage we sell. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the key differences in the various products. Perhaps the most commonly asked question is what are the differences between a quiver, holdall, a sleeve and a carryall? Take a read to find out more!

Korum 3 rod quivers

Korum 3 rod quivers

A quiver is an open ended item of luggage. Therefore they can accommodate any length of rod – the sections stick out of the top.  Most quivers are around 3 to 4 foot long. The way these work are the fishing rods are clipped into place onto the outside of the quiver. The rods are exposed and can be either kept made up or unmade. There is a central pocket inside most quivers, and usually side pockets to accommodate shelters, bank sticks,  pods and so on. Quivers are very lightweight so are ideal for carrying long distances – for example when river roving or if its a long walk to your chosen swim. They are also great if you carry made up rods and want to set up quickly. The down side is they offer very little protection for your rod and reels in transit.

A 6 rod TF Gear hardcore quiver opened up

An open 6 rod capacity TF Gear hardcore holdall

A holdall is an item of luggage that carries complete made up rods, fully enclosed and zipped up inside padded internal compartments. These often take between 3 – 6 rods, as well as extra tackle items such as banksticks and landing nets. Most holdalls are 6 foot long to accommodate 2 section carp rods, although in some cases they can be shorter, i.e for the TF Gear compact fishing rod range. They provide outstanding protection for your fishing tackle due to their padded and robust nature, and are perfect to leave your tackle in storage long term. The downside is they are heavy and cumbersome to move around.

A single Korum rod sleeve

A single Korum rod sleeve

Sleeves are basically an extremely slimmed down version of a rod holdall – designed to take just one rod with a reel fitted. They make a inexpensive way to purchase protection for rods, and come in handy for short sessions with less fishing tackle than normal. Some manufactures combine quivers with sleeves, to make a modular system such as the TF Gear hardcore quiver and sleeves.

A typical fishing carryall bag

A typical fishing carryall bag

Carryalls are your traditional fishing bags. They tend to be square or oblong in shape, with sizes varying from a quick day session size to accommodating everything for a full week – and the kitchen sink to boot! Many of them combine other features, so you can use them as a bivvy table, or have removable drop in cool bags and reel storage pouches.

 

Early Season Tips For Small Stillwater Trout Fisheries

Spring time is just round the corner, finally its starting to warm up and small stillwater fly fishing will be coming into its own! There will be no sign of troublesome summer time weed, the water will be well oxygenated and fresh fish will have been stocked. However this is still no walk in the park! Read on to find out how to kick off your early season stillwater trout fishing campaign.

Early start on a small stillwater fishery

An early start on a small stillwater fishery

1. Don’t reach for sinking lines first – For the early spring in most years people opt for sinking lines and deeply fished lures. Try a floater first with a co-polymer leader and fish the upper layers nice and slowly. By doing this, the leader and flies will not hit the deck or fall too quickly through the water column, giving fish more time to see the flies. You can then search the lower layers if your unproductive. One of my favourite set ups is an unweighted black or olive woolly bugger on the point, with a buzzer on the dropper. The heavily palmered fly means you can retrieve nice and slow without hitting bottom, and catch fish on the buzzer. When you strip in to recast you often prompt a take on the point fly – giving you the best of both methods!

2. Get to the fishery early – Set your alarm clock, and beat the crowds! Small stillwaters have a confined area, so pretty soon the fish get used to seeing flies of all description whizzing past, and wise up after a few hours. The earlier you get there, the more chance you have of connecting with some fresh fish that have not seen another anglers flies.

3. Cast to moving fish – It amazes me that more anglers don’t cover topping fish on small stillwaters! Always make the effort to pick your fly line up and cast to a moving fish. Try to work out which way it’s heading and drop your flies in its path. Its also extremely satisfying when that fish turns and nails your offering!

Indicators and flies all ready to fish

Indicators and flies all ready to fish

4. Use a blob under an indicator – when blobs first hit the scene, the in method was to rip them back in at break neck speed on fast sinking Di lines, and hang the fly for a few moments before lifting off. This can be a devastating tactic on a small stillwater, but the fish soon get used to it. Fished under a bung such as an Airlock strike indicator they are absolutely lethal. I think its about the way they behave in the water column when static, they drift slowly just like trout pellets do. The bright colours simply make the trout take notice of them.

5. Use a forty plus line – With increased angling pressure the fish can eventually move out of casting range, and seemingly all group up in the middle. This is very frustrating if like most 25 to 30 yards is your maximum range . Give your self the edge with an Airflo forty plus extreme fly line. These lines will give you that extra distance you need and of course make you look like a casting hero in front of other anglers! I would not be without a selection of these fly lines on a small water, they are easy to use and you should see at least another 5 – 10 yards on your added on to your normal range.

Double figure rainbow caught right in the margins

A Double figure rainbow caught tight along the lake margin

6.Cast along the edge – Of course the trout wont always be right out in the middle, they will also look to follow the most defined feature of the lake, the margin! Watching the margins can often pay dividends for an early fish. These margin cruisers will take a fly fished close in.  So take care to cast parallel to the bank,  and stand a few steps back from the edge – especially when you arrive at a new swim. You often hear of beginners and youngsters landing the largest trout stocked in the lake, these are anglers that cant cast far. Those big trout were hugging the margin on a patrol route.

7. Mix up retrieves – Try to vary your retrieve to keep the fish interested, use a jerky figure of eight, fast strip, twitchy two foot pulls with a long pause, a steady very slow crawl or even a rapid rolly polly, and don’t forget to hang the flies for a few seconds before lifting off. The more you mix it up, the less bored the trout will be and you will eventually trigger a strike.

Nice brown trout from Ellerdine lakes

A Nice brown trout from Ellerdine lakes

 

 

 

 

 

Getting The Most Out Of Your Fishing Waders

I am pretty certain we have all  invested in a nice expensive new pair of fishing waders,only to find that after a relatively short period the waders start leaking like a sieve! Which is quite frustrating to say the least when you are up to your chest in icy cold river water.  Read on to find out how to avoid such a wader calamity, and also how to extend your chest waders life.

Not the way to look after your waders!

Not the way to look after your waders!

1 . Get the correct size
Make sure you try your waders on in the fishing tackle shop, or call or email them with your exact sizes if doing mail order before purchasing. If waders are too tight they will strain at the seams, especially in the feet and the groin areas and eventually leak prematurely. Too baggy and the stocking feet may rub in the boots and wear out, and you may have inner leg abrasion when fabric rubs against each other when walking.

2. Avoid harmful objects
It sounds obvious but many people think waders are just indestructible! Sitting on rough or thorny ground, ploughing through beds of thistles and brambles. Impaling the fly into your leg, standing on them on stony ground while getting dressed and of course barbed wire! All of these things do no good for your wader. To avoid such damage just think twice and use some forward planning when walking the banks and deciding your entry into the water.

3. Proper care and storage

Always store the waders by hanging them in a ventilated location so the inside of the wader dries out.  If the inside of the wader is not completely dried, mildew will form which in the case of breathable waders will damage the breathable wader membrane and cause seam tape to peel and eventually water to seep through.    Don’t leave wet waders inside the stuff sack or car boot for extended periods of time.  Boot foot waders do no like being hung by the braces, it can ruin the braces and stretch the seams between boot and fabric due to prolonged pressure.

Simms wader retired after 8 years

A Simms wader finally retired after 8 years hard use

What can I do if the waders are leaking ?
Well if its too late for them you could always contact a wader repair specialist, like Diver Dave’s wader repairs up in the Scottish highlands. This man really knows how to fix a pair of waders at a very reasonable price. Or you could do a self repair – some wader companies like Simms manufacture their product from Gore-Tex, which means you can repair them with the help of rubbing alcohol. One member of the Fishtec team kept his waders alive for eight years using their method. Check out this video on how its done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Trouting on the River Usk

March the 3rd was the fishing opening day on the Welsh rivers for trout. Unfortunately for Fishtec employees this was during the week, so for us the fly fishing season could not start until the weekend!

The fly fishing gear was eagerly dusted off and we hit the local river Usk for a few hours. Marketing director Tim Hughes chose a river Usk beat near Brecon, and landed 9 nice wild trout, all on deeply fished nymphs tied on jig hooks. Check out his cool video using a GoPro here-

Tim captured his fish on an Airflo Streamtec nano rod, 10 foot rated 3/4 which is ideal for short line nymphing.

10 miles further upstream near Sennybridge, Ceri Thomas battled a brutal head on wind which made casting and line control extremely difficult, but still managed to land a nicely marked 15 inch brown trout on a deeply fished nymph, presented under an airlock strike indicator.

River Usk brown trout

River Usk brown trout

The conditions were still very cold and blustery, with few flies hatching in the upstream reaches to bring the fish near the surface. As the conditions warm up the fly hatches the river Usk is famed for will kick into life – and should provide some world class dry fly sport.

River Usk early spring

River Usk in early spring

For those looking to book an early season river fishing trip in Wales we recommend the Wye and Usk foundations booking office.  Their superb online system makes selecting and then paying for your chosen stretch extremely easy, with up to date river level information and anglers reports readily on hand.