Upcoming events – See the FishSpy underwater Camera in action at three major UK Carp Fishing shows!!!

The unique FishSpy camera is one of the biggest products to ever hit the carp fishing scene – there simply hasn’t been anything like this since the invention of the bait boat!

The guys at FishSpy and parent company TF Gear appreciated you might want to take a closer look at the innovative new underwater camera everyone has been talking about.

FishSpy will be on the road this winter and spring at three of the biggest carp shows in the UK. This is the perfect opportunity to try and buy before the carp fishing season kicks off in earnest so why not come along and see what you’re missing?

Been thinking about buying one, but can’t decide?

Seeing FishSpy first hand will truly open your eyes to what this ground breaking device can offer carp anglers. Discover exactly how it can improve your carp fishing and give you insights you had never dreamed of.

You will be able to speak to FishSpy’s inventors, meet the TF Gear development team, and talk with Dave Lane, one of the UK’s foremost carp anglers who has been heavily involved in the intensive two year field testing of this product.

The show team will be able to answer all of your FishSpy questions and will have plenty of them on hand for you to test and take a much closer look at. FishSpy underwater cameras and accessories will also be available to purchase from ourselves at each show.

In running order, the 2016 FishSpy shows are:

1. The Brentwood carp show.
Dates: 6th & 7th February, The Brentwood center, Essex.

Packed full of exhibitors from all of the top carp fishing tackle brands, the emphasis this year is on NEW tackle – and that includes our revolutionary FishSpy camera! Make sure you check this show out – what else it there to do in February anyway!?

For more information and ticket prices click here.

2. Carpin’on – THE carp show.

Dates: 12th & 13th March, Five lakes resort, Essex.

Carpin’ On is the UK’s #1 carp fishing exhibition, covering all aspects of carp angling and bringing all the biggest tackle brands together under one roof!

Over 90 exhibitors, outdoor demos and displays and the best entertainment line up of all the UK shows including live forums, slide shows and tell-all interviews from leading anglers. This is your chance to meet the experts including TF Gear consultant Dave Lane!

For more information and ticket prices click here.

3. The BIG One.
Date: 19th & 20th March, Farnborough Hants.

Fishface promotions bring you THE BIG ONE! With well over 180 exhibitors, as the name suggests this is simply the largest UK carp show of 2016. This year will see the exhibition jam packed with carp fishing celebs and top tackle marques- just in time for launching your full-on spring carp fishing campaign!

For more information and ticket prices click here.

(Please note: Dave Lane is unable to attend this show.)

For further information please email the FishSpy Team: info@fishspy.com

10 Awesome Fly Fishing E-Zine’s

The internet is literally awash with online fishing magazines, also known as E-zines. Taking you anywhere from the UK to New Zealand, Germany, Patagonia, the tropics and beyond, E-zines are jam packed full of fantastic fly fishing imagery and great articles. The question is, which ones do you read?

Our hand filtered selection of E-zine’s will help transport you to another time and place, whilst the rain beats down on the roof. And the best part? Most of these fly fishing E-zines are totally free to view, or available at a very modest cost. Enjoy!

Eat Sleep Fish

Eat-sleep-Fish contributor Lewis Hendrie with grayling.

Eat-sleep-Fish contributor Lewis Hendrie with grayling.

One of our favourite’s, this non-profit E-zine is put together by Pete Tyjas, a full time fly fishing guide based in Devon. Here you will find the very best UK fly fishing writers, covering diverse subjects including chalk stream fishing, winter grayling, highland rivers, UK reservoirs and loch’s, plus lots more. Completely free this essential E-zine is well worth following, especially if you love fishing for wild fish in natural water ways.

Fin Chasers – Fly Fishing Magazine

Fin chasers

Fin Chasers.

A free online magazine striking a balance between unique and inspiring journalism and high quality pictures. From Belize to Iceland, Bolivia to the Seychelles, this is destination fishing, pure escapism and fish porn at it’s very finest.

Catch Magazine

Catch magazine

Catch Magazine

Catch magazine captures incredible awe inspiring fly fishing imagery from all over the globe. Visually this is one of the best E-zines out there. You get to see a lot of it for nothing, and for full access it’s only going to cost you a paltry $12 a year. Well worth it in our opinion. All we can say is take a look – you wont be disappointed!

Vagabond Fly Mag

Vagabond Fly

Vagabond Fly

Hip uber cool south African based digital fly fishing mag, with awesome free content from around the globe. In vagabond fly you will find plenty of video content, destination fishing articles, fishing tackle reviews, water-side style and even fish carving techniques!

Fly Fishing Nation

Fly fishing nation

Fly fishing nation

German based fly fishing nation’s tag line is ‘untamed fly fishing worldwide’. This is true! Featuring high quality trip reports and draw-dropping images from everywhere remote and savage that you could ever cast a fly.  Passion and love for our sport and planet really shine through on this boundary pushing E-zine. Well worth dipping into!

This is Fly

This is fly

This is fly

One of the first online fly fishing magazines. Appealing to hardcore fly anglers and those who love excellent photography. A collective of the worlds most adventurous fly fishing journalists make this one of the best reads on the web. Now on issue 54 – and guess what? It’s on the house!

Fly fishers Inc

Fly fishers Inc

Fly fishers Inc

Looking for an awe inspiring online read? Then take a close look at New Zealand based Fly fishers Inc, a charge-less magazine from our friends at Manic Tackle Project. Featuring some truly breathtaking fly fishing imagery and informative tackle reviews, its one of our favourites for sure!

Wild Fishing Wales

Fishing a Welsh river

Fishing a Welsh river.

Closer to home, Steffan Jones is the editor of the wild fishing wales E-zine. Bringing you beautiful photography from all corners of Wales, this great E-zine is also informative, with articles on tackle choice and tactics. Discover Welsh fishing and stunning catches from rivers and lakes across the principality- all free of charge!

Hardy E-zine

Hardy's Howard Croston at the European championships

Hardy’s Howard Croston at the European championships

Hardy fishing tackle just re-vamped their website. Formally known as fish & fly their E-zine is now simply known as the Hardy E-zine. Here you will find numerous articles from experienced Grays pro’s on salmon fishing, grayling, fly choice, European river competitions, chalk stream angling, stillwater angling tips and many more intriguing fly fishing subjects. Free to view by all.

Gink & Gasoline

Gink and Gasoline

Gink and Gasoline

Our number one online magazine from across the pond. Gink & Gasoline features many thought provoking articles from the best fly fishers in the USA. Take a read – you might well learn something here that you can apply to your fishing adventures back home.

GAFF Magazine

GAFF magazine

GAFF magazine

GAFF magazine is a free tropical saltwater fishing and life style E-zine based in the Southern United states. Although it does have some fly fishing content, it mainly features other disciplines, like lure and big game. There are however plenty of bikini clad ladies with gulf of Mexico fish species – which cant be bad! We included it because for pure escapism on a drizzly December evening this cannot be beaten.

Three Years with One Line By Rene’ Harrop

A Great Line

A great fly line

In a ten year association with Airflo I have tested dozens of lines. Through that period it has become obvious to me that functional durability stands out as the most consistently prominent feature of fly lines produced by this most progressive of fly fishing tackle companies.

For many decades I fished with no expectation of a floating line that would last more than one season before beginning to fail in some regard. This especially applied to a double taper 4 weight, which I fish as many as 100 days per year.

An example of Airflo superiority in floating lines is the Elite Trout Line. It is 3 years and counting since I first spooled up this most advanced taper, and it performs as well today as on the very first cast.

A Rainbow fooled on the super-dri elite.

A rainbow fooled on the super-dri elite.

While it has been described as an all-around trout line, I consider the Elite to be a highly specialized taper for precise dry fly presentation to highly critical trout like those inhabiting the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.

Talk is just noise until it can be backed up by results and in my experience this is where the Airflo Super-Dri Elite Trout Line has separated itself from the competition.

A Good Result.

A good result – with the help of a superior fly-line.


Clever Tips For Catching Cod



Image source: Vlada Z/Shutterstock
The beauty that is cod

Know your quarry. If cod’s your bag, this guide is for you. To help you in your quest for the ultimate catch, we’ve trawled the net for the best cod fishing tips from anglers and bloggers around the country.

  • Target species: Cod
  • British record (shore): 44lb 8oz (1966)
  • Average catch size: 5 – 15lbs
  • Spawns: Late winter to early spring
  • Habitat: Shoals in deep cold water
  • Preferred bait: Voracious feeder, scours the seabed. Also hunts dab, sandeels and pouting

Read on to find out how to make sure it’s fresh fish and chips for tea!

1. Be at the right place at the right time

Cod on the rocks

Image source: Fishing Tails
The Marsden area of South Shields

Local knowledge
Study your local area and speak to other fishermen before you decide where to set up. As Simon Parsons tells us on Facebook:

“You could have the best bait, the best rigs and the sharpest hooks in the world. If you’re not there at the right time for that particular place neither will the fish.”

Stormy seas

After a storm is the best time to catch a cod. Fishing Tails’ writer, Sean McSeveny, and a number of other anglers who posted on our Facebook page agree that churned up water means cod are likely to come inshore to feed on the abundant food churned up from the seabed by the waves. It’s a small time window though, so make sure you’re always ready to fish.

Cold catch

Ceri  Owen also mentions that cod like cold water, so storm-chasing after a frost or during a cold snap could improve your chances of a good catch. Study the weather forecast, and know when to make your move.


Most fish feel safer under cover of darkness, and many of you believe cod will come closer to shore at night. But they may also come into the shallows when there’s an offshore wind.
Christopher Middleton of British Sea Fishing tells us that whatever the time of day, you’ll always have a chance of catching cod in deeper water:

“Piers and deep water rock marks can be good choices for anglers looking to catch big cod due to the easy access to deep water they offer.”

2. Top tackle

Beach casting tackle

Beach casting tackle – strong and straightforward

Strong and simple

Keep your tackle strong and simple. Casting into rough water or around rocks means it’s important to minimise the chance of breakage. And remember you’re looking for big fish in deep water, so your tackle needs to be up to the challenge. Heavy lines, hooks and weights are a must.

Cod might not be strong fighters like pollack or bass, they can still be a struggle to reel in. Christopher’s advice for shore anglers:

“Use a 12ft beachcaster which is capable of casting at least 6oz, along with a powerful multiplier or large fixed spool reel.”

Rigs and hooks

Going after bigger fish means bigger hooks – at least size 3/0 to 4/0, or even up to 6/0. Large hooks also prevent bait stealing by smaller fish.

Try using a circle hook for the top hook of a pennell rig, says Fishtec’s Ceri Owen. Cod are known to swallow baits right down, and these can be difficult to unhook, causing unwanted fatalities. Ceri continues:

“The circle hooks tend to hook in the corner of the cod’s mouth. I realise that they can still swallow the one Pennell hook; however getting one hook deep down is better than 2 hooks, which results in more fish being returned.”

Want to know what a pennel rig is? Check out the images below. A clipped down pennell rig (left) is a good rig for fishing for cod from sandy beaches. For fishing for cod from mixed or rough ground, try the popular pennell pulley rig (right).

Cod rigs

Image source: British Sea Fishing
Clipped down pennell rig (left) and pennell pulley rig (right)

3. Best baits


Image source: Go Fishing – Sea Angler
Lugworms at their squirmy best!

Greedy cod

Cod are greedy fish that will eat almost anything including smaller fish. That’s great for anglers because it means you have a wide choice of baits with which to entice them. On the down side, cod can be unpredictable feeders; what works well one day may not work the next.

Live bait is best but it can be difficult to get hold of all year round. Sean bagged over 300 codling last season. His advice is to go prepared with a variety of baits:

“One day all they wanted was Crab, the next it had to be Black Lugworm and at the start of the season, when the Squid were about, it was Squid. If you have a selection of fresh and frozen baits with you, your chance of having what they want is increased.”

Sean often uses frozen bait, keeping in an insulated bag until he needs it. That way it stays frozen meaning he can take the leftovers home to use another day.

Decent portions

Don’t skimp on bait. As Ceri reminds us, two worms tipped with a squid or crab can easily be swallowed by a 1.5lb codling. Imagine what a 5lb+ cod can wolf down!
But while it’s important to use large baits, do keep them streamlined. Sean suggests using bait elastic to make your baits compact, and always clip them down.
Neil Wilson shared a handy bit of insight on our Facebook post. He says:

“Everyone rushes to get the squid & cuttle big baits out. I have found at the start of the cod season a live whiting or pout catch the big girls for some reason. Then when it’s REALLY cold the big smelly bait come into their own!”

4. Stay Safe

Shore fishing

Staying safe keeps fishing a relaxing sport

Do take safety seriously writes Fishtec’s resident sea angler, Ceri Owen. If the weather’s really bad wait until the end of the storm, before you go fishing. There were 381 accidental drownings in 2013, according to ROSPA. Don’t become a statistic

  • Wear appropriate clothing – dress for the weather!
  • Make sure you’re visible to other anglers, especially around rougher waters.
  • Carry a phone and make sure it is fully charged.
  • Take a torch.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Check the tide times – don’t get stranded!
  • Be aware of your environment and prevailing weather conditions – for example, don’t fish from a cliff or exposed area when there’s a big swell!

Tight lines!

So there you have it – some tips and tricks to help you catch one of the nation’s favourite fish. With a little work you’re sure to improve your chances of catching one of these beautiful fish, either for the thrill of the chase, or for your own table.

Purchase a FishSpy underwater camera on Interest free finance

Get a FishSpy​ underwater camera deal and pay monthly – Choose either 6 or 9 months interest free credit!
Here at Fishtec we offer interest free finance deals if you spend over £350. In the case of FishSpy cameras, this means you can purchase a bundle deal and take advantage of either 6 or 9 months interest free credit, from as little as £37.57 per month!

We have put together two FishSpy bundle packages to make it easier for you to buy the incredible carp fishing marker float everyone is talking about.

Option 1 – FishSpy full accessory bundle:

  • FishSpy Camera: £249.95
  • FishSpy Device stick: £29.95
  • FishSpy Fin (yellow) £4.95
  • FishSpy Fin (black) £4.95
  • FishSpy Fin (orange) £4.95
  • Foamy: £4.95
  • IPhone Range extender or Overboard waterproof case £29.99
  • FishSpy boom pack £5.95
  • TF Gear Hardcore utility pouch (for storing FishSpy & accessories) £9.99
  • FREE Delivery (worth £7.95)
  • FREE TF Gear power spod reel (worth £39.99)

10 % Deposit £37.37 (Paid up front)
6 Months at £56.35 per month.
or 9 Months £37.57 per month.
(total £375.63) NO INTEREST CHARGED

(There is a £30 administration charge included for using these services. All applications are subject to credit finance approval.)

Option 2 – FishSpy Camera with spod rod, reel & braid combo:

    • FishSpy Camera: £249.95
    • TF Gear N-Tec spod rod £59.99
    • TF Gear power spod reel £39.99
    • TF Gear Spod glove: £9.99
    • 50lb TF Gear spod and marker braid £29.99 (worth £34.99)
    • FREE FishSpy device stick (worth £29.99)
    • FREE shipping (worth £7.95)

10% Deposit £42 (Paid up front)
6 Months at £62.99 per month.
or 9 Months £41.99 per month.
(total £419.91) NO INTEREST CHARGED.

(There is a £30 administration charge included for using these services. All applications are subject to credit finance approval.)

How to apply?

Your step by step finance application guide:

Step 1: Choose your FishSpy bundle, Option 1 or 2.

Step 2: Call us on 0871 911 7001 and place your order. Or email us at customerservice@fishtec.co.uk and include your full address with postcode, full name and contact telephone details, and if you wish to apply  for 6 or 9 months credit

Step 3: We’ll ask you a few simple questions via the telephone, or send you an email link from the finance company for you to complete in your own time. Once the questions are completed, the approval decision is usually instant.

Step 4: Once you’re approved, we’ll send you a form to sign, along with the terms and conditions, or we can email you the documents to sign digitally.

Step 5: Upon receipt of your signed documents, or confirmation of your digitally signed agreement from the finance company your goods will be immediately despatched.

In order to apply for credit, you must:

Be 21 years of age or over at the date of the application (no maximum age limit);

Be a permanent UK resident (minimum of 3 years) and will continue your residency in the UK.

Be in regular employment (16 hours or more per week). If you’re self-employed, proof of self-employment must be provided (e.g. tax reference, VAT Reg Number, quoted from an original document). If retired, you must be in receipt of a private pension. If you’re receiving long-term invalidity/disability benefit, evidence must be provided. Customers in the Armed Forces must provide their service number;

Have no history of adverse credit (e.g. County Court Judgments).

Credit subject to status to UK residents aged 21 years or over. Goods must be signed for at your home address and must be signed for by you or a member of your family.

If you require any further information on our credit terms please  please click here, phone 0871 911 7002 Monday-Friday 9.00am-5.30pm or email us at customerservice@fishtec.co.uk.

Plan, Secure, Personalise And Protect: Prevent Tackle Theft

fishing tackle

Part of a treasured collection of tackle

Your fishing tackle is probably among your most prized and valued possessions. The last thing you want is for it to disappear into the hands of thieves. But, our recent big fishing survey told us that nearly a third of you have had tackle stolen.

So how do you prevent tackle theft? We’ve put together ten tips for you that’ll help you keep your gear safe and sound.


1. Do your research

Before you plan a fishing trip, research the area you are going to visit. It should be relatively easy to find out online if there has been a spate of fishing tackle thefts in the area. If this is the case, you can either decide to visit another location, or take additional precautions, like those mentioned below, to protect your equipment.


2. Don’t leave fishing tackle in your car

Although it might seem like a good idea to pack up your gear the night before your trip, leaving tackle in the car is an open invitation to would-be thieves. Don’t give them that temptation. Keep your kit safely stored away until you need it. Just a few months ago, thousands of pounds worth of tackle was stolen from cars in Cornwall.

3. Consider your storage options carefully


How securely locked down is your fishing tackle?

Don’t store your expensive fishing tackle in poorly secured sheds or garages. The Carp Forum talks about several incidents where which thieves broke into garden sheds to steal expensive angling equipment. If you must store your kit outside of the house, use sturdy locks and securely fasten windows. Where possible, keep your tackle in a spare bedroom or cupboard within the house itself. It’s much harder for thieves to access your home than garages or sheds.

4. Don’t advertise your angling abilities

Whimsical, fun or amusing car stickers proclaiming the joys of fishing might seem like a harmless idea. However, these are potential signposts for thieves. Don’t give them any indication of your hobby and what you might have in the car, and your kit is more likely to stay safe.


5. Personalise your kit

Many pieces of fishing equipment are mass produced items that thieves can easily sell on. The simplest solution is to engrave tackle with details like your name, telephone number or email address.

You can also purchase special marking solutions such as newSelectaDNA and Smart Water. Invisible to the naked eye, these solutions show up when held under a UV light. Amanda Caton of the British Security Industry Association says that newSelectaDNA is ‘easy to apply and virtually impossible to remove’. You can register marked tackle, so in the event of any theft, it’s identifiable if recovered. Adding a sticker or sign warning potential thieves of your precautions can also help to deter them.


6. Consider adding deterrents

beware of the dog

Beware of the dog – even if you don’t have a dog!

Deterrents don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Something as simple as a ‘beware of the dog’ sign can be enough to put off the would-be thief (you don’t actually have to own a dog!). Phillip Villareal of the Consumerist says that you can suggest ‘you’ve got a trespasser-munching canine if you strategically place a dish that others can see‘.

Other deterrents can include motion-activated security lights, and alarms – you could even get a barking dog alarm! Again, even if you don’t have these items, you can fool potential burglars with a well placed sign or sticker advertising how seriously you take security.

7. Don’t boast

Tempted to let all your mates know how swanky your tackle is? It’s better to keep quiet about your expensive gear, especially in public. Loudly going into detail about that fine collection is as good as placing an advertisement for potentially light-fingered types.

8. Fish with vigilance

Never assume that your fishing tackle is safe. Keep your kit close by, where you can see it at all times. You should ensure you are watchful of the surrounding area, and report any suspicious activity to the police or fishery managers.

9. Fish in pairs

fishing in pairs

Fishing in company is social and secure!

If you fish alone, you are more vulnerable to theft. By going to your favourite angling spot with a friend, or group, your valuables will be much safer. This is especially important if you take a short break. Take it in turns to keep an attentive eye on all the gear.

10. Don’t fuel the demand for fishing tackle theft

shopping for fishing tackle

Always shop in the right places

When purchasing fishing equipment, always buy from reputable sources. Free sales sites and social media are often used by fishing tackle thieves to cash in on their activities. After the theft of thousands of pounds of fishing equipment in Meldreth, the South Cambridgeshire Police commented of the use of these channels by thieves: ‘If you are buying anything from ebay or similar websites, make sure that it is a trusted source. If the price seems too good to be true, the item could well be stolen’. If we don’t buy from them, they won’t have the same incentive to steal. Anglers need to stand together on this!

And finally…

It’s also important to get your equipment insured. Don’t assume that your car or home insurance will cover fishing tackle. There are specific policies aimed at anglers, so that if the worst does happen, you won’t be out of pocket.

Being hyper aware of the problem is the best defence. Most theft is carried out on an opportunistic basis: don’t give thieves the chance to cash in on your valuable kit!

Fantastic Blogs For Fly Fishing Addicts

colourful flies

Beautifully tied, and ready for the water.

That’s it for trout in 2015. Can you hear your fly tying vice calling? Yes, winter is approaching, and with it the prospect of short crisp days in search of Grayling. But here’s something for those dark evenings when the rain is lashing down and, well, you can’t spend all your time tying flies, can you?

We’ve scoured the Internet for some of the best fly fishing blogs around. Winter reading to keep you motivated – enjoy.

Urban Flyfisher


Image source: urbanflyfisher.com
Kinda wished I had brought my tape measure…

Have you ever had an Internet row with someone determined to be outraged, despite not having a clue what they’re talking about? When Alistair, the man behind what is possibly UK’s longest lasting fly-fishing blog, was confronted with the ire of one such ‘Moaning Minnie’, he posted the exchange on his blog.

It makes for entertaining reading, but there’s a serious point too. Alistair and his friends fly fish the Kelvin, but they’re also volunteers who work to maintain and improve the river. The message here is clear – don’t complain unless you’re prepared to roll your sleeves up and chip in.

Urban flyfisher is a great blog, full of anecdotes from the urban river bank. Alistair is a father of three who manages to squeeze his fly fishing into some short, sweet sessions. And yes, there are some big trout to be had from the Kelvin – check out the blog to see the proof.

Yorkshire Fly fishing

yorkshire fly fishing

Image source: yorkshireflyfishing.org.uk
A room with a view during Bob’s latest solo trip to Gairloch

‘Fly fishing in God’s Own County – and a rambling blog.’ As you’d expect from a brace of Yorkshiremen, this blog delivers exactly what it says on the tin. During the site and blog’s ten plus years, creators, Bob and Stu, have created a top notch resource for anyone interested in fly fishing in Yorkshire.

You’ll find detailed info on some of the county’s best fisheries and some really excellent accounts of fly fishing adventures, complete with some stunning landscape photography.

Take Bob’s recent excursion north of the border. A dodgy erection (check out Bob’s tent), a nasty fall, dehydration and a plague of midges make for a compelling story of his ‘Return to Gairloch’. But did he catch any trout? We’ll leave you to find out for yourself!

North Country Angler

north country angler

Image source: northcountryangler.blogspot.com
Hope the grayling have an appetite for ‘fruit salad’!

The novelty of autumn’s ‘glorious stillness’ didn’t last long for Matt Eastham, AKA the North Country Angler. It took him all of about a week to feel “cooped up in the house as the rain beats against the conservatory roof.” If that’s you too, at least, as Matt says, there’s the prospect of Grayling to look forward to once winter arrives.

In the meantime, do take the time to have a read of Matt’s excellent blog. You’ll find in-depth analysis of two innovative new lines from Sunray: the World Championship Nymph which had him grinning from ear to ear, and the Jeremy Lucas Presentation Line, which Matt reports is “a great option when you expect to be facing a variety of different scenarios in one day”.

And if the dark evenings and the lousy weather do get to you, take a look at Matt’s report of some superb dry fly fishing on the Eden. Some great photographs of some fine catches will soon put you right.

Taff Diaries

taff diaries

Image source: taffdiaries.com
One of the many ‘little buggers’, aka graylings, caught by Terry this autumn.

Terry Bromwell has the Grayling bug, and no wonder after such a successful day on the Taff recently. He picked off his quarry in numbers by: “Working downriver very slowly pitching the nymphs upstream and letting the leader go past.” Check out his excellent post – there are some great snaps to whet your appetite!

If anyone knows the Taff, it’s Terry. His knowledge of the river dates right back to when he was five or six years old and “worming [his] way down the runs catching some superb trout.” That’s a lot of experience for you to tap into.

Take his post about a day’s fly fishing back in May. What do you do when presented with a hatch of Iron Blue Duns of “biblical proportions”? Go bigger, Terry says – in fact the standout fly of the day was the Large Brook Dun emerger – now there’s a thought…

Becks and Brown Trout

brown trout

Image source: brooksandbecks.blogspot.com
Local beck brown trout with beautiful markings

Here are just two of the many comments left by people who read Brooks and Becks: “Please keep blogging I really enjoy reading all about your fishing trips” and “You talk a lot of sense. Please do keep up the good work.”

We think you’ll agree. Take his post about the EA’s recent work to improve Foston Beck. There’s a really excellent level of detail and some great photos detailing the re-routing of the stream away from a silted up channel, into a new stream bed with a viable gradient. Fascinating stuff.

Though work sometimes gets in the way, there are still plenty of stories about the writer’s fly fishing adventures in North Yorkshire. His recent trip to the Leven was a cracker that saw him net a lovely Grayling. How big? You’ll get no spoilers from us!

The Unfamous Fly

unfamous fly

Image source: theunfamousfly.co.uk
Kenny out fishing with his son on Father’s Day (his son took the picture!)

Here’s a self-effacing blog that deserves to be a lot more famous than its name suggests. Blogger, Kenny Halley has created a gem you’re sure to enjoy. We really loved his blow by blow account of his recent adventure, bugging for Tigers. It was a cracking fish, and what a fight. It went under the bridge, back out, into the weeds, back under the bridge – it’s a miracle Kenny’s line wasn’t broken!

A plain speaking man, Kenny tells it like it is, which is always refreshing. So if you’re thinking of doing a spot of fly fishing in and around central Scotland, this is a great site to check out.

And the man’s a dab hand with a camera too. In fact, if you’re already suffering from a dose of the late autumn blues, we highly recommend his film of summer fun at Pendreich – Fishing Under A Blood Red Sky. Oh, for those summer evenings!

The River Beat

river beat

Image source: theriverbeat.blogspot.com
Fly fishing for trout in Twin Falls, Idaho

How would you fancy “three months of stalking large trout in gin clear water, fantasy landscapes and living in a tent.”? We’re guessing you wouldn’t mind, though for some an upgrade to a hotel would complete the fantasy.

But for this intrepid blogger, the dream is reality. We haven’t heard from him since he touched down in New Zealand’s South Island, but our guess is he’s already reeling in some monster trout. Watch this space for the reports…

The River Beat’s writer is nothing if not well travelled. Born in Swaziland, he’s fly fished all over the world. His favourite saying is one of John Gierach’s: “But at the moment I didn’t know where I’d go or when I’d get there: a feeling that makes me happier than almost anything else.” You’ll love this blog.

Urban Trout

urban trout

Image source: urbantrout.net
An urban legend or is there really wild brown trout in the Bristol Frome?

Feel too conspicuous in tweed and overdressed in high tech fishing clothing? Urban fly fishers will love the news, views and gear on offer at Urban Trout. How about a pair of wading boots that look like Converse Allstars? You’ll fit right into the city environment like a true guerilla fly fisher.

But Urban Trout is about a lot more than cool fly fishing clobber. A portion of sales goes to helping maintain and improve urban waterways and the news feed gives ample voice to all the work volunteers are putting in to make city fly fishing viable.

Just checkout the enormous heap of rubbish and junk pulled from waterways in the Manchester area. What a way to mark World Rivers Day 2015? The blog authors write. Anyone lost a bike?

Salmon fishing Ireland 2015

salmon fishing ireland

Image source: salmonfishingireland2012.blogspot.co.uk
A superb spot on the river Lee to finish off the salmon season

From hero to zero in under a minute – watch Paul Hanley’s video of the moment he caught – and lost a big salmon. It would have made a fine conclusion to the 2015 season but, alas, it was not to be. Everyone loves a blogger with a good sense of humour, which is why we’re sure you’ll enjoy this blog.

But there’s a lot more to Paul’s site than a missed fish. Thinking of investing in some new fly fishing clothing? There’s a whole section dedicated to giving you the low down on the gear Paul has used and abused – top tip – he loves the Airflo back support belt he purchased from Fishtec!

And how about this for a novel way to retrieve a stuck salmon spinner? All you need is a length of bramble, a pen knife or scissors and the ability to get level with, or upstream, of your snagged line. Intrigued? It’s a lesson Paul learned from his Grandfather – the old ways are the best!

The Unemployable Fly fisher

torridon brown trout

Image source: theunemployableflyfisher.com
Happiness is a wild Torridon brownie…

“Have fly rod, will travel”, says the Unemployable fly fisher. And he does – from the River Don in Aberdeenshire to Loch Assynt in far flung Sutherland and beyond. An adventurous soul, he’s an analytical and entertaining writer too.

As the winter draws in, the unemployable fly fisher takes a look at the tendency to spend time online, looking at endless videos of the perfect cast, or the perfect choice of fly. But while the plethora of information out there can help you hone your technique, it can also make you doubt yourself.

Too much advice can make you feel inadequate, our blogger writes. His advice? “Learn what you can from others, but don’t let their knowledge and opinions weigh on you or belittle your self confidence! There is no magic fly! No silver bullit!” Wise advice from a talented blogger!

In Pursuit of Spotties

pheasant tail nymph

Image source: inpursuitofspotties.blogspot.co.uk
A white bead pheasant tail nymph, favoured by the grayling (the trout prefer pink)

“This is not the end,” blogger, Ben Lupton writes. It turns out he didn’t realise the trout season wasn’t over until the 30th October. Having previously thought it finished a month earlier, the good news could mean only one thing: a late season fly fishing trip to deepest East Anglia with friend, Tom.

Both using 8’4’’ rods, they took turns to fish almost identical flies, an Adams klinkhamer and copper beadhead pheasant tail nymph. We won’t spoil the story by telling you how many trout they caught between them, except to say Tom tends to lose count after five…

Ben’s blog is an excellent winter read, and it’s packed with photos that add to the narrative. This really is fly fishing blogging at its best.

Hillend Dabbler

hillend dabbler

Image source: hillenddabbler.blogspot.co.uk
A postcard-worthy snap of Allan revisiting a remote loch in the Scottish Highlands

It was Prince Philip who introduced blogger Allan to the joys of fly fishing. Well sort of. The self styled, “Dabbler of Hillend” fell in love with the sport while preparing for his Duke of Edinburgh award when he was a boy. Since then, his enthusiasm for hill walking, fly fishing and fly tying has only grown.

Have you ever fancied getting your hands on a float tube? Allan’s recently got one. Find out how he got on when he tried it out at Loch Lilly, near Airdrie. His thoughts: “Perhaps I spent too much time moving around and maybe should have concentrated my efforts in some areas a little longer.” Tempting though, with all that manoeuvrability!

The next day though, Alan was back on his feet, leaving “armchair fishing” for another day while he and a friend hiked to a lochan west of Rannoch Moor. You’ll love his tale of his day’s fishing in the remote Scottish Highlands. Excellent blog.

Single Barbed

single barbed

Image source: singlebarbed.com
Phew, a nice addition to the tennis balls, Frisbee and shopping carts found in this lake!

“The only crime in fishing worse than being caught with live earthworms in your vest by your pals, is telling a fishing story poorly.” Wise words from blogger in search of an active verb to describe his recent fly fishing adventure. Did he hook, fight, play or dally with a 10lb bass? We’ll leave it to you to find out.

This is a US based fly fishing blog with a sense of humour whose writer, one K Barton, takes a quizzical look at his sport of choice. Not one to take himself too seriously, he reckons the only thing dumber than fish are anglers.

Fair enough, but there’s some great content here. For example, did you know in the USA “only four percent of the licensed anglers purchase a fishing license every year (10 out of 10 years)” check out K’s TOP GUN, THE BEST OF THE BEST to find out from where he gets his facts. Interesting stuff.

Small Stream Brown Trout Fishing

Death’s-head Hawk-moth

Image source: smallstreambrowntroutfishing.com
This fascinating Death’s-head Hawk-moth image is one of many stunning photos on Richard’s blog
image source:

Some incredible photos of large moths and larvae make this fly fishing blog a must. We’re talking elephants here! But don’t worry, there’s a great deal of excellent angling content too.

What’s the point of catch returns? blog author, Richard asks. Talking about his local club’s half mile beat that yielded a suspiciously bountiful 500 fish, he wonders how many are just the same trout being caught over and over again.

And how about this for a fishing adventure well worth checking out? A 5lb 8oz chub and a 4lb 12oz wild brown trout both in the same session. How did he do it? His top tip – take your time studying the water. Wise words indeed.

Ron’s Fishing

rons fishing

Image source: ronsfishing.com
Fine times on the Nant Moel reservoir

If you’re thinking of starting to tie your own flies, Kieron Jenkins’ fly tying videos are a great start. His fly tying videos are not only mesmerising, they’re a great guide to how to tie such beauties as the holographic cormorant and the yellow dancer.

Kieron’s built up a fine collection of flies, and his galleries of dries, jigs, lures and nymphs is a feast for the eyes. They’re also sure to entice the fish to the hook!
Ron’s Fishing isn’t all about the vice, though. He’s got some solid advice for winter trout anglers. Fish deep when the water’s cold, as often your quarry will be looking for warmer climes deeper in the swim. They want to be away from the chill as much as you do!

Autumn Salmon – Ups and Downs

The game fishing season is pretty much over for the vast majority of us, unless you are lucky enough happen to live in the south West of England. Game fishing expert, instructor and fishing tackle consultant Chris Ogborne explores the ups and downs of autumnal salmon fishing in his latest blog post.

Late season fishing in Cornwall

Late season fishing in Cornwall

As many friends and clients keep reminding me, I’m a very lucky man! Not just because I live in Cornwall, one of the loveliest counties in England, but also because I have top quality fishing available to me in pretty much every month of the year.

Sea fishing is almost year-round, brown trout on rivers and moorland lakes enjoys a long season, and our salmon fishing doesn’t end until a week before Christmas. My home River Camel closes on 15th December so in the next few weeks I’m going to be enjoying some late sport in glorious surroundings and amongst the stunning autumn colours.

Of course there are compromises to be made at this time of year. You need to accept that conditions are not the same as high summer so you need to adjust your thinking and make some sensible provisions. Here are the key tips in enjoying autumnal sport:

Clothing: as always, the key to staying comfortable is layers. I’ll be using my Airtex jacket but varying the under-layers to suit conditions. The trick is to stay warm and dry but also to avoid bulk, which impairs movement   Remember that a comfortable angler is always a more effective angler.

Clothing is the key - the Airtex jacket in action.

Clothing is the key – the Airtex jacket in action.

Be prepared:  I like to travel light when I can, but at this time of year you need to have a flask of something warm with you. My Airflo FlyDri ruck sack is a brilliant companion as it easily swallows lunch, flasks, and gear, as well as the vital extra clothing layers

Hooks:  I’m increasingly using single hooks on spinners and baits as this has many advantages. It makes it easier to release the occasional ( and inevitable) brown trout, but it’s also easier to avoid the leaves and debris that can dog autumn fishing. Single hooks are a lot kinder on the fish than trebles and it turns the catch and release process into a doddle.

A single hook meant this late season salmon went back quickly and easily

A single hook meant this late season salmon went back quickly and easily

Timing: much has been written over the years about Salmon taking times and the consensus is that there is simply no golden rule! Salmon are fickle fish in so many ways and can take a bait at any time of day but for me there’s a clear preference for mid morning in autumn   If there’s fresh water in the river I like to make sure I’m on the water between 10am and midday. It’s proved effective on too many occasions to ignore!

Fly or spin?

Fly or spin?

Fly or Spin? The eternal quandary and there’s no fixed advice. My river Camel is smaller than most and there are only a few places where fly is practical, or even possible For that reason I generally use spin as the default choice, with the bonus that it allows me to fish so much more water. On larger rivers you may have the luxury of more space so enjoy the fly when you can.

Watch the weather - a storm is brewing!

Watch the weather – a storm is brewing!

Watch the weather! For autumn fishing, weather holds the key. Fish languishing out in the estuary mouth will eagerly run in even a little fresh water, but the up- side of an autumn storm is that it will almost certainly bring some fish into the system. The river Camel is often like a cross between a spate and a free stone and the fish run long and fast. We’ve caught sea-liced fish 20 miles from the sea and given the restricted life of these parasites in fresh water this confirms that the salmon can and will run the whole river in very quick time.

Know when to stop! I love my fishing as much as anyone, but usually come mid afternoon I’ve had enough and I reckon the fish have too! Unlike summer fishing when I’ll happily fish into the gloom, at this time of year I’m generally heading home by 4pm for the early bath. Of course there could be an element of catch 22 in this advice, but I rarely hear tales from fellow anglers about success after this time.

Above all, enjoy the sport at this amazing time of year. This autumn is giving us some truly spectacular colours and surely there is no finer place to be when the sun is shining!

Tightlines, Chris Ogborne

How much fishing tackle do you really need?

dog with heavy fishing barrow

Image source: Fishtec Coarse facebook page
The dog’s not going to be pulling this one…

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself: “how much fishing tackle do I really need to take?”

Judging by the barrow-loads of tackle some anglers cart to the riverbank or lakeside, you’d think the answer was, “you can never have enough”. But fishing is supposed to be about relaxation, so why keep burden yourself with excess baggage?

Less gear means less stress. So to help you declutter, here are some great tips from minimalist anglers to help you lighten the load.

Rods and reels

Unless you’re planning to fish a three or four rod water, two fishing rods and two reels are plenty. Remember, the more rods you take, the more gear you’ll need. More gear equals more hassle.

Take blogger The London Angler — when it comes to cutting to the bare essentials, he’s a true believer. As far as he’s concerned, all you need is:

“landing net, weighing scales, unhooking mat, rod rests, chair (I am not sitting on the muddy bank!), ground baits, hookbaits and a tackle box full of rigs, hooks, weights and other items such as boilie drills, stoppers… the list goes on”

His message is clear: Why take more if you can do fine with less?


car full of fishing tackle

Image source: Bath Angling
To the riverside – are you really taking everything?

Excess kit is dead weight. Work out how many leads you can realistically expect to use in a single session. Take what you need in a small tackle box and leave the rest in the boot of the car.

Remember, less tackle doesn’t necessarily place a limit on the number of species you can catch. According to Josh Mann who writes the, Minimalist Approach, you can simply adapt a small range of tackle to a wide range of uses:

“When I know I’ll only be fishing with live bait. The only thing [my tackle box] has in it are size 1 hooks and 1/8 ounce split shot sinkers, which are really all I need in a wide variety of situations”

While he admits it wouldn’t be the ideal tackle box for every situation, his attitude is to take a little less stuff, and make it work.

Tackle box

small fishing tackle box

Image source:Fashionstock/ Shutterstock
Neat, tidy, and light

In fact, why not dispense with a tackle box altogether by making like a fly fisherman and wearing a fishing vest? With its many handy pockets it makes an ideal, wearable, tackle box.

And for those who really like to travel light, simply clip all your essential fishing tackle to a fishing lanyard, and slip it around your neck. It’s the ultimate hands-free fishing experience.


colourful fishing bait

Image source Bukhta Yuril/ Shutterstock
Bait is beautiful – but you don’t need your whole stock

Boilies, glugs, pellets, and pastes — how much bait do you really need? Not much if you’re Ian Gemson. Writing in The Fishing Magic blog, he certainly thinks less is more:

“…maybe a kilo bag of boilies, a few pop ups, and some plastic baits would work well, offering me another huge weight saving of nearly 20kg.”.

Save on kilos and on cost by baiting wisely. Try looking for tell tale signs pointing to an area a previous angler has already baited. And try not to over-bait – more is not necessarily better!


We’d never suggest you skimp on comfort, but do check the weight of your couch. Looking for a new chair? Go for a lightweight option like the Indulgence Nomad Ultra-Lite, which weighs just 4kg. Overnighting? JRC Stealth X-Lite Bedchair is the lightest around.

Food and drink

Remember, you’re going fishing, not crossing Death Valley, so only take the fluids you’ll actually need.

Fancy a brew but don’t fancy carrying the kitchen sink with you? Here’s another top tip from blogger, Ian Gemson:

You don’t always need the extra weight of a stove bag and its contents, you can take hot water in a thermos flask to make hot drinks.”

Lastly, there’s your little rucksack of creature comforts — things every angler takes along on fishing trips, like a few cans of loosening-up juice. But we wouldn’t want you to skimp on that one!

How do fish see colour underwater?

the right coloured lure

Image source: lure and light game
Learn to see like a fish and choose the right lure for the job

Every angler has his favourite lure. Entire fishing trips have been spent debating the merits of type, colour and material. So what are the qualities of a great lure? Can we settle the argument once and for all?

In order to find the perfect lure we first need to understand just what it looks like to a fish.
What looks good to us on land doesn’t necessarily look good underwater. It might explain why something that looks drab to us never fails to land a catch; a puzzle blogger Henry Gilbey has long been pondering:

‘It will never cease to amaze me how such a plain and perhaps even boring looking soft plastic lure can be so lethal, and especially when there are so many lovely looking shiny bits of hard and soft plastic out there that look far more appealing both on the shelf and in the water’.

We might think that brightly coloured or iridescent lures are the most attractive but, in truth, a fish may not even be able to see them.

This is because fish eyes have a different anatomy to our own, even though they contain the same basic types of cell: cones and rods. Cones are used during the day, and can perceive differences in colour, while rods only measure the intensity of light, and are responsible for night vision. Fish have almost spherical lenses (unlike our flattened ones), which let in more light, but limit the distance they can see. Many fish have extra cones, allowing them to see more of the total light spectrum than we can. Trout, for instance, can see bits of ultraviolet and infrared light.

This means they can see more ‘colours’ than we can. The extra cones in their eyes are able to detect frequencies of light we can’t. Light travels as a wave, and different wavelengths (the distances between two peaks in the wave) produce different colours. Visible light (the part of the spectrum we can see) is made of different wavelengths, and how objects absorb or reflect particular wavelengths determines their colour. For instance, a red fishing float appears that way because it absorbs all the visible light which hits it, apart from light in the red part of the spectrum. White reflects all light back, black reflects none.

It is easy to think of light as being immaterial, but that isn’t true. It can be affected by the environments it passes through, and this has a big impact upon whether or not your favourite lure is going to catch you any fish today.

While “be the fish” might be a piece of advice too far, it is true that you need to picture the world from the fish’s point of view. Location, weather, water depth, and even season play a role in deciding how effective your lure will be. Wavelengths of light get absorbed by water at different depths – red and orange are the first to go, with violet being the last. So red might work near the surface, but if you’re going deep you’ll want something violet on the end of your line. Uli-Beyer.com have done some extensive research into the effect of water depth on colour reflection and fluorescence (in fresh and sea water), and have found that fluorescent lures can have a marked effect on your results. There are those, of course, who have questioned whether these lures are just a groovy gimmick.

Season and location play a role because they dictate which colours are being reflected into the water. Fish in a pond surrounded by trees with yellowing autumn leaves will be used to seeing yellow and orange in the water. Is it better to choose a lure that mimics those colours in order to fit into the environment, or to go for something out of the ordinary? It depends who you talk to.

coloured lure collection

Image source:River Piker
Match lures to the season, the weather, and your catch

Fish will be able to perceive colours better on bright days, where there is more light getting underwater to reflect off things, than on overcast ones.

So is there a perfect lure? Technically yes, but it depends upon where you are, what the weather is, what time of year it is, and what you are trying to catch. Equip yourself with a varied set of lures to give yourself plenty of options, and you should be able to use the information in this post to better match the lure you use to your fish of choice.