No flies on them: 19 top fly fishing Twitter accounts

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Want to find the best anglers who are just as into fly fishing as you? Twitter is the place to go, with all the latest updates from the folk who love imitating fly hatches, fishing for wild fish in wild places, and spending hours at the vice.

We’ve put together a list of 18 of the best accounts to inspire and entertain you. Like what you see? Hit that follow button!

Pete Tyjas

Pete Tyjas loves fly fishing in and around Dartmoor in Devon. He has a long association with Devon School of fly fishing and says that he never tires of “seeing the beauty of a wild brown trout”. He’s keen to spread the word about the joys of fly fishing; as this photo of a lesson on casting before they hit the river shows:

Pete really knows how to inspire the people he’s teaching, and loves to “see spark ignite” with a fly fishing beginner! Pete also runs the awesome Eat Sleep Fish E-zine @ESFezine  – one of our favourite online fly fishing reads!

Nick Hart

Nick’s been lucky enough to turn his passion for angling into a career, as the owner of Nick Hart fly fishing. He posts about gear, fishing politics and camera-shy catches!

In the last few days he’s taken out a first time fly fisher, Rob, and has shown off the results of their day’s labour on the lake.

Dave Wiltshire

Fancy some tips from an AAPGAI fly fishing instructor based in the Chew Valley? Look no further than Dave Wiltshire. He gives regular updates from his fly fishing trips, keeping his followers up to date on the hatch times of LDO’s and March Browns on the rivers.

On a recent trip to the Avon, Dave tweeted to say he was surprised to get several decent flurries of olives in spite of the cold weather and rain. He also shows off the importance of pre-hatch coffee in such conditions too!

Charles Jardine

Charles is an avid supporter of Fishing 4 Schools and says: “If there is one single thing that has both re-energised this fifty-something and given life for me and my fishing a boost; it has been this initiative”.

Always keen to encourage youngsters in the art of fly fishing, he recently spent time teaching trout fishing to the England youth football team

On another kind of art, Charles loves to paint too (like his artist angler father, Alex, who once designed fishing stamps). He’s raising money for Fishing 4 Schools by selling copies of his intricately painted grayling portrait:

Alex Jardine

Continuing the Jardine family angling tradition, Angling Trust ambassador (and son of Charles), Alex Jardine regularly posts pics of his fishing days, whether or not he manages to avoid a blank.

 Alex also recently tweeted about showing off the new Guideline rods, and has been sharing his experiences of the first few days of the new Trout season, which, for him was ushered in with an unwelcome blanket of frost on 31st March.

David Johnson

Fly fishing film-maker David Johnson’s Twitter feed is a great source of info about updates on what’s hatching and when. He fishes in and around the Peak District and Yorkshire. This video of him landing a grayling last Autumn is just one of a series of videos David shares

He also proudly shows off the nice wild brownie he caught earlier this month on a trip to Yorkshire:

Neil Keep

Neil Keep’s aim with fly fishing is simple. He just wants to spread the word to the masses about how great it is. He’s an expert teacher who fly fishes in and around Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.

He takes a highly balanced view of the sport and is honest enough to tell his followers when it doesn’t quite go according to plan. On his recent trip to the river with compadres Jams and Dom, they only got a few fish on nymphs – a tough day on the river. Luckily it’s not all bad news though as this catch of 20 wild brownies recently demonstrates!

Hywel Morgan

World champion caster Hywel Morgan recently took a three day trip to Camp Villmarks where he spent time demoing fly fishing techniques to the crowds there. He couldn’t resist tweeting about one of the best fish tanks he’s ever seen.

As we all know, fly fishing runs strong in Hywel’s family, and is continuing down the generations- as demonstrated in this tweet showing the lovely brownie his daughter Tanya caught with a size 18 dry fly. He also shares a great video from fly fishing buddy Matt Pate on how to tie an egg fly (with some great out-takes at the end!)

Paul Procter

Paul Procter  is a Masters level AAPGAI instructor. He’s based in Cumbria, where he frequently has to battle the weather to snare specimen sized river trout on dry flies. Paul also gets some great shots of river insect life:

Check out the great snap of his first Large Brook Dun of 2016. Paul’s careful to let everyone know that they can be easily confused with March Browns, though they tend to be fewer in number during the course of the season.

Gareth Lewis

Gareth’s just shared the great news that he’s going to be demonstrating at Rheghed at the Fly Fest Lecture theatre in October this year: He’s an International Fly Tyer and has represented Wales in a number of national events including the prestigious British Fly Fair International.

He’s also posted images of his first fish of the season caught on dry flies. Good work for the end of March, in not-so-favourable conditions.

Lee Evans

Lee’s Twitter feed tells his followers about a recent, absorbing day on the Usk in which he got the fish to take with a selection of grannom and MB patterns:

Lee reckons he’s not much of a blogger, but take a look at his  site, Down By The River, which features a stunning pictorial account of his Summer trip to Dry fly fish on the Lower Middle Usk. You can judge for yourself!

Luke Thomas

Proud Welshman, Luke Thomas is passionate about fly fishing in and around Cardiff. For some great close-up shots of Garn Browns, Luke’s your man. On one of his most recent trips to Garnffrwd, he managed to catch 40 in one session:

Luke also passes on his ideas on the perfect use of rubber, like this mix of Pinkys, Olive Apps and Bloodworm.

John Tyzack

John Tyzack’s a professional fly fishing guide and AAPGAI instructor and England International Flyfisher, so he’s a go-to guy for sound advice and expert tips. Recently, he’s been telling his pike fly fishing followers to always take good-sized nets out with them, even if they’re not expecting to get anything, because you just never know what you’ll catch:

In another tweet, he shows off a little video from a recent trip to New Zealand, when he releases his awesome catch back into the water.

Glen Pointon

Ever thought about trying Urban fly fishing? Glen Pointon takes the idea of fishing where you live to the extreme, showing that you can fly fish pretty much anywhere the fancy takes you.

He’s recently had some of his town based fly fishing photography featured on Urban Trout and they’re really stunning images. Urban Trout reckon that Glen’s ability to catch ‘horses’ (big river trout!) from notoriously Dirty Places like the upper Trent is legendary.

He’s a bit of a tying room geek too, as this recent post shows:

Stuart Smitham

A passionate stillwater specialist, Stuart’s a proud Welshman who now lives and works in Shropshire. Recently, he’s been showing off the quality Brown Trout showing at his beloved Ellerdine lakes:

He’s also keen to share the interesting facts and photos other anglers on social media have written about – for example, his tweet highlighting an image Steffan Jones added to Facebook about great characteristics buzzers have

Lewis Rumble

Over at his blog Stokiebasher, Lewis Rumble shares great posts from his fly fishing trips, like last year’s spring trip to Chew Valley Lake which he says yielded “50 fish, including a stonking perch well in excess of 2lb – probably closer to 3 and a brownie on the nymphs was a nice surprise too.”

Young Lewis is firmly on track to become one of the UK’s best competitive anglers, having earned himself several international caps along the way. As his twitter catch images often show, he gets into his fair share of slabs on a regular basis:

 

Matt Eastham

Lancashire based fly fisher Matt Eastham’s got a great laid back style in terms of fishing and tweeting. His blog North Country Angler is great if you want useful gen on what he reckons were the top flies of 2015.

When he’s got time to spare, he shows off his neat fly tying work ahead of his fishing trips:

Matt also shares his humorous tactics for fishing a beat when Paul Procter’s been around!

Unemployable Fisher

The Unemployable Fisher is sure about one thing, he’s very excited for the start of the fly fishing season. Check out this beautiful view, snapped while chasing Silver on on a favourite beat:

He also shares what he gets up to when the early season weather lets him down – hitting the vice! His blog is a good read too. Check out his  recent post about how a challenge to fish three famous Scottish Salmon Rivers in three days yielded great results -and some interesting weather issues too!

Theo Pike

Theo Pike is passionate about looking after his local river, the Wandle. Part of the Wandle Trust HitSquad, he and other volunteers have won a prize for their re-wilding project. These before and after shots make it clear why they won:

Angling writer Theo’s also part of the vanguard about non-native invasive species, having written the ‘Pocket guide to Balsam Bashing’. Featuring 40 species, and full of practical advice and what to look out for in British waterways, Theo’s working to ensure these NNIS’s don’t take over and destroy our rivers and lakes.

Get involved!

If all these tweeters have inspired you to find other likeminded fly fishers on Twitter, it’s always worth looking out for some of the many hashtags that are used regularly like #flyfishing #flyfish and even #urbanflyfishing.

Now you’ve seen our top picks of the best fly fishing tweeters out there, you can follow them and join in the conversation. Take a look at our list of the best . Don’t forget to add us, too!


Fishing holiday destinations in Northern UK

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fishing lake district

Image source: ElenaChaykinaPhotography / Shutterstock.com
There are stunning places to fish in Northern Britain

Britain is full to the brim with picturesque places to cast your line. From freshwater fishing to coastal angling spots, the UK holds a wealth of places to fish – and you don’t have to leave the family out!

When we asked what your top fishing holiday destinations were in our Big Fishing Survey, New Zealand, Spain and Norway figured highly. But there are plenty of destinations closer to home that are well worth bringing your fishing tackle to.

The holiday experts at Cottages in Northumberland have found you some of the best fishing spots in the North of Britain – with tips on nearby activities and accommodation options, so that you’ll get some good fishing in, and find great things to do with your family.

Northumberland

River Tyne

Hexham Bridge River Tyne

Image source: shutterstock
Hexham Bridge over the River Tyne

This North Eastern river has been named Britain’s best salmon fishing spot, and you’ll find first-class trout fishing opportunities here too. The Tyne is also one of the most affordable fishing opportunities anywhere in the country, with day passes available and a number of locations where you can fish for free. With 30lb fish regularly caught in this freshwater hotspot, you’ll certainly get your money’s worth!

Regular dam releases from Kielder Water to the North Tyne are a welcome bonus when nearby rivers are low – meaning it’s always salmon fishing season!

When your day of angling in Northumberland is over, cosy accommodation isn’t far away. Bordering Kielder Forest, you’ll find a number of local towns and villages home to unique self-catering Northumberland cottages – a perfect way to spend a relaxing night in the region.

Looking for spectacular night views too? The county’s incredible Dark Skies give you the spectacle of the Milky Way and shooting stars. On darker nights, the sky lights up with astonishing meteor showers – best seen from May to July.

Amble Pier

Fishing off Amble Pier

Image source: Steve Fareham 
Fishing off Amble Pier

Amble is a quaint harbour village nestled in the heart of Northumberland, and a favourite spot for many local fishermen. Start your trip at the nearby Amble’s Angling Centre to stock up on bait and gather some local knowledge before you get started. You’ll find plaice and mackerel in abundance here – and if you fancy going a little further afield, you could always charter a fishing boat from Amble’s marina and try for some cod!

One mile south-east of Amble, you’ll find the famous Coquet Island nature reserve. It’s home to over 35,000 local nesting birds during the summer months, and a 600-strong colony of playful seals! Take a boat trip from Amble harbour to the island to see the wonderful local wildlife up close.

Cosy coastal cottages can be found throughout Amble and in the surrounding towns of Warkworth and Alnmouth. You have plenty of options when it comes to finding self catering seaside accommodation.

Scotland

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond – a good variety of coarse fishing here

Loch Lomond is Scotland’s largest freshwater loch. At 24.5 miles in length, it’s home to over 30 unique islands. You need a permit to fish in Loch Lomond’s beautiful freshwater, which is easy to arrange at one of the many outlets found through Trossachs National Park.

Loch Lomond offers the chance to catch salmon, sea trout, brown trout and a variety of coarse fish – but pay close attention to local angling law before embarking on your fishing trip.

With no less than 2628 cubic metres of water in the stunning Loch, this is an ideal spot for white-knuckle watersports. From wakeboarding to speed boat tours, thrill-seekers make their pilgrimage to this Scottish hotspot every year in search of a new adventure.

There are a number of nearby holiday parks and lodges make it easy to find a peaceful way to spend your nights at Loch Lomond – with incredible views of the rugged local scenery.

Trossachs National Park

Loch Katrine

Image source: shutterstock
Loch Katrine, in the heart of the Trossachs

The Trossachs National Park gives keen predator anglers a chance to take part in a range of guided pike fishing trips, surrounded by some of Scotland’s most breath-taking scenery.

Guided fishing is available all year round, even on Sundays, for access to some of the country’s most exciting fishing opportunities – with everything from one-day excursions to week-long fishing holidays on offer.

To get the most out of your visit, test your mettle on West Highland Way – a challenging walk which passes through the Trossachs National Park – and when it’s time to rest your head, there are plenty of lovely log cabins nearby to suit all budgets.

Cumbria

Lake District National Park

Lake District National Park

Image source: shutterstock
Stunning views of the Lake District National Park

Freshwater fishing in the Lake District National Park is an unmissable experience. Brown trout, salmon and sea trout are all abundant in many of its rivers, and there are superb pike and coarse fishing opportunities in many of the larger lakes.

Local Angling Associations are your go-to authority when it comes to fishing in this National Park, with daily and weekly permits up for grabs. If you don’t want to get another permit, you can fish for free on Ullswater, Windermere and Coniston Water.

The National Park is packed with fascinating history, and offers access to a number of famous historical sites – including Muncaster Castle, Lowther Castle and Rydal Mount (widely known as Wordsworth’s much-loved family home).

With a huge variety of local wildlife living in and around the park, you’ll find no shortage of extraordinary experiences here. And the wide selection of local inns, barns and B&Bs make finding a place to stay simple – guaranteeing that your Cumbrian fishing trip comes with first-grade accommodation.

St. Bees Head

St Bees Head

Image source: Wikipedia
St Bees Head – great fishing, but watch your step!

St. Bees Head on the Cumbrian Coastal Way is a headland home to mackerel, bass, pollock, and a wide range of other species. There’s some great fishing from St. Bees Head but in wet weather or on dark nights, much caution is advised, as the climb to the better spots becomes treacherous.

It’s helpful to bring someone familiar with the area when you visit this Cumbrian highlight. The fishing can bring dividends, but the cliffs take some careful navigation!

For a taste of days gone by, visit St. Bees Priory Church – founded around 1120 and beautifully preserved, with gorgeous Early English Gothic arches found inside the priory’s nave.

There’s plenty for kids too – in nearby Workington they can immerse themselves in laser tag and tenpin bowling at the Eclipse Leisure Centre, or just a little further on in Maryport, West Coast Karting lets any budding Lewis Hamiltons shine!

You’ll find a diverse range of accommodation options in and around the village of St. Bees Head, from hotels and guest houses to farm lodges and barns – meaning visitors of all tastes and requirements will find their perfect place to stay.

Take your pick!

fish in container

Catch of the day!

Whether you’re a fan of freshwater fishing or prefer a coastal experience, Britain is an angler’s paradise – packed with popular fishing hotspots and more obscure gems.

The key to having a satisfying trip is to do your research in advance – and to make sure you take care of any necessary permits and payments. After that, the UK is your oyster!

Glaslyn Angling Association

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Afon Glaslyn Snowdonia

Afon Glaslyn Snowdonia

The Glaslyn is a short but productive sea trout and salmon river situated in the heart of North Wales.

Website: www.glaslynangling.co.uk
Contact: N/A
Email: Use website contact form here.
Telephone number: N/A
Day ticket available: Yes
Season permit available: Yes
Region: North West Wales
Social Media: NA

The river flows through the heart of the Snowdonia national park in some of the most scenic surroundings you will find anywhere in the world. You will find small native brown trout in the river, as well as salmon later in the season but it is the sea trout that are the main quarry. 25 sea trout (Sewin) have been caught already this year – which is good doing for the start of April! The annual sewin catch is often well over 500.

6lb Glaslyn salmon

6lb Glaslyn salmon.

 

The Teifi Trout Association

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The River Teifi

The River Teifi – Queen of Welsh rivers

The Teifi Trout association control the lower reaches of the Teifi – from just above the tidal reaches for a full 30 miles inland. The fishing for migratory salmonids and brown trout is first class.

Website:
www.teifitrout.co.uk
Contact:
Vince Thomas
Email: info@teifitrout.co.uk or vince7thomas@gmail.com
Telephone number:
07875 494365
Day ticket available:
Yes from £30
Season permit available:
Yes from £185
Region:
South West Wales
Social Media:
N/A

This stretch of the river has some of the very best fishing, including the legendary Cenarth falls. There is fabulous sport here for fly, spin and worm fishers – in average year over 1000 sea trout and 500 salmon are typically caught.

River Teifi - the Cenarth falls

River Teifi – the Cenarth falls

 

 

Fly Fishing in Madeira

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On a recent family holiday, Fishtec’s Ceri Thomas experienced some unusual freshwater fly fishing on the sub-tropical island of Madeira.

Rainbow Trout in Madeira

Rainbow Trout in Madeira.

With the prospect of a two week cruise holiday to the Canary islands, Portugal and Madeira with absolutely no fishing, I started to research our stop-off destinations for fishing opportunities – just in case there was a slim chance of wetting a line! Madeira was our first landing place, and looked the most likely option.

When you think of Madeira you automatically think of big game fish – wahoo, tuna, sailfish that sort of stuff. Although a pure adrenaline rush if you actually hook a fish, for me this sort of fishing can be a bit tedious, time consuming and expensive in reality; so to my surprise when I googled ‘fishing in Madeira’  I discovered that the island also has rivers containing trout.

Digging deeper I found a guided fishing service located in Funchal, just outside the port where I would disembark. ‘Mad Trout Maderia’ was the name of the outfitter, and after a quick facebook message I found they offered very reasonable rates for guided trips to the best streams, including pick up and drop off back to the port – just perfect for a quick holiday fishing fix.

Port of Funchal - Madeira.

Port of Funchal – Madeira.

The day came and we docked at the port of Funchal. A quick bus ride into the town center, and I was met by Joao Mata, one of the Mad Trout guides. Joao was easily identifiable in a columbia shirt, cap and polarized glasses. After a quick meet and greet, Joao ushered me into an unlikely looking vehicle for a fishing guide – a smart car.

We began our journey through the steep and winding streets of Funchal, until we passed through the city and onto the roads the encircle the island. The views as we drove were spectacular; the islands interior soared green and steep thousands of meter’s above us. Some of the roads on our contorted route went through extremely long tunnels dug through the mountains, and others on ledges high above the crashing sea. Glimpses of rocky rivers came and went as we drove. Joao explained we were heading to the north side of the island, which was the steeper side and more exposed to the prevailing moist Atlantic winds.

As our journey progressed we talked about the history of trout fishing on the Island.
Joao explained they were introduced it the 1950’s, and rainbows and browns were initially stocked. The browns pretty much vanished and didn’t thrive thrive, but the rainbows went on to flourish.

Although it should be technically impossible, the rainbows manage to spawn in some streams and have reproduced naturally. This may be because the center of the island is high enough to get some snow in winter, and the water filters in and under volcanic rock so the many streams are cold enough to support salmonid fish above 200 meter’s altitude.

Rainbows manage to reproduce naturally in Madeira

Rainbows manage to reproduce naturally in Madeira.

Most of the streams in Maderia now hold rainbow trout; they are able to spread due to the extensive network of Levadas – man-made water channels designed to carry water from excess rainfall in the interior to the agricultural fields that extend all around the island.
Some streams are still kept stocked from a fish farm on the Island to provide some ‘trophy’ fishing, but the vast majority are seemingly wild.

There were plenty of nice looking rivers to be seen on our route, however Joao explained not all are easily fishable – apparently many are so steep and rocky that getting into the ravines can be very tricky, and you may find only a few yards of fishable water before a rock the size of a house completely blocks your path. So today we were heading to a prolific stream with decent access called the ”Ribeira do Seixal” at the north east corner of the Island.

Fishing the Ribeira do Seixal - A stream full of trout

Fishing the Ribeira do Seixal – A stream full of trout.

Our final ascent took us into a steep ravine, with a recent landslip an the flank of the mountain. Far above us green clad forest slopes rose into the clouds. The temperature this high was surprisingly cool, with a stiff wind coming off the sea, funneling up the gorge. Thankfully it was at my back!

We reached the stream – it was fairly small, very rocky with gin clear water which took on a pure blue colour from the rock, and absolutely beautiful. Deep plunge pools and pocket water were the order of the day.

Fishing a pocket with the Airflo streamtec 10' 3/4 rod

Fishing a pocket with the Airflo streamtec 10′ 3/4 rod

I had brought along two rods with me, a 10 foot 3/4 and 7’6 3/4 Airflo streamtec so I rigged up with the long rod and proceeded to tie on a jig nymph on a french leader with a 2.5mm bead. After a few fish-less pools I tied on a much heavier bug on a 5mm on a 12 jig hook, and the results were almost instant. In fact the first strike resulted in a palm size fish flying up and out of the water!

The first fish - wild rainbow perfection.

The first fish – wild rainbow perfection.

Joao negotiating his way upstream

Joao negotiating his way upstream.

We hopped and scrambled our way up the ravine. It was strenuous stuff, and certainly not the sort of fishing if you are unsure on your feet. There was no need for waders as wading would have been near impossible anyway on the boulders. At one point we scaled an old dam and skirted a Lavada. As we went trout after trout came to hand – most were only a few inches with the best being perhaps 8 -9 in length. All were truly stunning miniature gem-like fish, with an incredible variance in colour – some were almost black, others bright, with all shades in between.

A nearly black rainbow trout

A nearly black rainbow trout

Amazing markings on a miniature bow'

Amazing markings on a miniature bow’

I must have had a dozen or so on the french leader, with many more missed and spooked, when I hit a snag and lost the leader end and indicator. This was the perfect time to switch rod to the 7’6 3/4, with Airflo Super-dri Xceed 3 Weight line. Joao had suggested a big dry, as it was his favourite method and the most fun.

The klinkhammer getting greedily devoured!

The klinkhammer was greedily devoured!

So, despite the complete lack of fly or rises I tied on a big klinkhammer. The results were instantaneous – from the word go the fish wanted the dry, and launched themselves from all manner of deep turbulent holes to get it, often in kamakazie attacks at the last minute, or even in groups. Many were missed and lost, but it was great sport and the much softer rod was much more fun.

Hungry for the dry.

Hungry for the dry.

Ravenous for klinks'

Gulping down the klinks’

As we worked our way up most likely looking pools held fish. The scenery was stunning, and the location was as unique and remote as anything I have yet fished on my angling career.

The scenery was stunning, and the location unique

The scenery was stunning, and the location unique

After around 4 hours I began to tire – the rock hopping was taking its toll! We worked our way back downstream, fishing the choice spots where we had spooked fish earlier. In the end I was creeping behind rocks and dropping the fly on a downstream drift into pocket – and the ravenous fish obliged. I had long lost count of the fish numbers by then, so I asked Joao ”How many do you think?” His reply – ”Forty plus .. Just like the line!”

Last fish of the day

Last fish of the day – a lump!

We were done for the day, and began our descent from the mountains. Joao insisted we stop at a ‘poncha’ bar for a quick drink on the way back to warm us up – poncha being the true locals drink made with local sugar cane rum, honey, sugar, lemon rind and with orange juice. True to it’s name it did pack a punch!

Joao with a glass of poncha

Joao with a glass of poncha.

Madeira is certainly something different, and the streams are well worth fishing if you find yourself on the island. I can heartily recommend services of Mad Trout Madeira – thanks Joao and the Mad trout team for a great day.

For details of Madeira fly fishing visit www.madeiratroutfishing.com

 

Spring Buzzer Fishing Tip’s

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A great little post by former world champion Iain Barr on spring buzzer fishing – invaluable advice if you fly-fish stillwater’s!

April going into May is all about the buzzers for me and no doubt many of you fly fishers out there.

I’m having crazy sport on buzzers at the moment and it will only get better before it tails off through June when more aquatic nymph pattern become hot on the trouts agenda.

Outings to note recently have been to Elinor where I’ve landed 48 in two trips, part days with about 35 taking buzzers including a cracking 13lb 10oz rainbow and a fine over wintered fish of about 5lb too.

13lb 8oz Elinor Fishery - on a buzzer

13lb 8oz Elinor Fishery – on a buzzer.

Black and dark claret buzzers are my favourites this time of year and usually larger ones in size 10 and size 8 reservoir buzzers.

What’s key is to fish them dead dead slow but best static. Their decent can be controlled by using a blob or fab on the point and or top dropper.

The retrieve is key too, keeping them static as long as possible but every 12 second or so try a very long slow pull to raise them through the water column and pause again before repeating. This will lift and drop the buzzers through the layers just like the naturals.

The woofta - Iain's buzzer of choice at the moment!

The woofta – Iain’s buzzer of choice at the moment!

My Woofta buzzers, black crisp,  Red Butt, Claret Stealth and Claret Midlands are some of my favourites this time of year or you can pick up my black buzzers selections and reservoir buzzer selections through Fishtec.

Tight lines at this great time of year for the fly!

Iain.

Weird fishing baits

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bait and beer

Image source: Piscatorial Quagswagging
Baits and beer!

Glace cherries, curried peas, Peperami – we love anglers who think outside the tackle box to come up with perfectly strange bait ideas. 

We’ve got the lowdown on some of the weird and wonderful concoctions anglers use to tempt their prey. Why not give them a try?

Meat you by the riverbank

spicy sausage pepperoni

Image source: shutterstock
Pepperoni power!

The strong spicy flavour of Peperami makes it an excellent bait for winter and spring, when plainer flavoured pellets don’t pack enough punch to attract attention.

The crew at Gofishing fish their Peperami in “small chunks hair-rigged and fished alongside a PVA bag of pellets”. They say it’s the combination of flavoursome spices, garlic and fat that attracts fish like chub, barbel and even carp.

Meat loving sea anglers also rate bacon for bait. South West Sea Fishing say that although bacon isn’t the obvious choice, smoked or unsmoked rashers make great bait for catching Bass, Mullet, Pollock and Smoothhound. Here’s how they present it:

“Concertina it up the hook until it is tightly packed”

Bacon’s strong flavour draws the fish to it, then the softness of the meat works in your favour too. When the fish bites and you strike, the hook pulls straight through the bacon giving you a great chance of hooking your catch securely.

Consider “Carpohydrates”

macaroni cheese

Image source: Go Fishing
Pasta la vista, baby

Go Fishing reckon tinned macaroni cheese is a “devastatingly effective” bait for luring carp and tench. Bites are near unmissable because the hook pulls straight through the soft pasta.

According to the Go fishing guys, the best way to bait your hook with macaroni is to:

“ Pass a large, round bend pattern straight through the inner, following the curve of the bait”.

As macaroni is so soft it can’t be cast, only lending itself to close range work using a pole rig.

Vegged out

potatoes for bait

Image source: shutterstock
Carp your eyes peeled for a great catch

The humble potato was once a popular carp bait, but fell out of fashion as more commercial products became available. Now is the time to rediscover spuds.

The King’s Lynn Angling Association‘s, Martin Chandler adapts a technique used by angling champion Bob Nudd: raw potatoes punched into 6 mm discs and dyed with coffee or gravy.

For the summer months, Martin soaks raw potato discs in molasses and warm water. He says: “The molasses dyes the bait and gives it a sickly sweet flavour fish just love.”

Fishing in UK recommend that you make the potatoes softer by parboiling before cutting to pellet size and soaking in gravy or coffee.

curried bait

Image source: smartcarping
Curry favour with your catch

Carp are suckers for strong flavours and veg baits make perfect carriers for added spices. Ian Gemson from Smartcarping recommends fishing with “curried baked beans using Fox armour mesh to keep the bait on the hair”. He says curried peas will do the job too.

Love it or hate it

marmite

Image source: abimages / shutterstock
Marmite, the Fisherman’s Friend

You either love it or hate it, but fish love yeast extracts like Marmite. The naturally high vitamin content of the paste has a very strong smell, which is instantly attractive. Tim Richardson  from Fish South West says it sends a message to the fish that there’s “soluble nutrition” leaking from your bait.

For a dynamite bait combination that’ll really get the fish biting, Tim mixes Marmite into a paste with flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic granules, curry spices, sea salt, eggs and liquid amino acids.

Angler’s Mail writer Colin Davidson smears Marmite on small chunks of white bread or dips dog biscuits or pellets in it to make them sticky and yeasty.

With Marmite, less is more. Colin reckons if you use too much of it on your pellets, you’ll turn a floater into a sinker, so use it sparingly.

Turn to jelly

jelly cubes

Image source: shutterstock
Jelly is a winning bait!

Ever wondered whether fish have a sweet tooth or not? Fred Davis at Talk Angling reckons they do. On the lookout for a hookable soft pellet recipe that was inexpensive to prepare, he hit on powdered gelatine mixed with molasses.

Simply mix half a sachet of the gelatine into a 1/4 pint of water and add molasses or Activ-8. Allow the mixture to stand, then pour it over pellets, leaving them soak up the solution.

Angler’s Mail offer a similar idea to Fred’s, swapping the powdered gelatine for good old Rowntree’s Fruit Jelly.

Hook, line and sweetener!

strawberry laces for bait

Image source: smartcarping.com
Strawberry laces for bait!

From aniseed balls to pink shrimps, the sweet shop is your oyster. Mike Samways from catch-app recommends jelly babies, marshmallows or bubblegum balls for luring carp. But any sugary ingredient you have in your kitchen cupboard is worth a go – glace cherries are always a good bet.

Smartcarping’s Ian Gemson is also a fan of the sweet approach saying that that tic-tacs and even strawberry laces make great bait for chub and carp.

What usual bait ideas do you have to share? Head to our Facebook page and join the conversation!

Sunshine and Thin Water By Rene’ Harrop

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Like a rude house guest that doesn’t seem to know when to leave, the departure of winter has yet to occur.

A Cold Day

A Cold Day.

Stiff wind and precipitation often in the form of snow seem to characterize every overcast day. The result has been a weakness in the conditions needed for productive dry fly fishing on the Henry’s Fork.

With this lingering limitation, most of my days on the water have been spent casting subsurface offerings. However, this is not to say that finesse in all aspects of approach, presentation, and choice of tackle does not apply.

Flows in the Henry’s Fork thus far in 2016 have been far less than would be considered typical. Exceptionally clear and shallow water will always place a higher premium on precision, and this year the river is reminiscent of fishing found on a much smaller stream.

Thin water rainbow

Thin water rainbow.

Longer casting with a lighter rod and line is made necessary by unusually thin water that cause elevated awareness on the part of trout. This also means that spotting fish at greater distance and a very cautious approach are as vital as any ingredient of a successful day.

The problem becomes compounded on a bright, clear day when the fish become even less tolerant of foreign activity within their habitat. However, these are conditions that have generally prevailed on most days that I have been on the water. And despite the absence of prohibitive wind or heavy precipitation, air temperature has often been capable of causing ice to form in the rod guides, which adds even more to the level of difficulty.

Compensating for heightened trout awareness has also meant the application of a longer and finer leader than would normally be utilized at this time of year when spring runoff begins to increase depth while reducing water clarity.

A nice nymph run.

A nice nymph run.

Smaller nymphs and streamers of lighter weight have also been helpful in overcoming a degree of selectivity generally reserved for later in the year when angler attention becomes more intense.

Streamer Reward

Streamer Reward.

But despite the fact that an extension of winter and exceptionally low water have not made it easy, most of my time on the water has been enjoyable and reasonably productive.

The signs of an approaching spring are definitely here and the sense of anticipation for all that lies directly ahead cannot be suppressed. And life continues to be very good on the Henry’s Fork.

Tightlines Rene’

Fishing Tackle Review – The RidgeMonkey Bivvy Light

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The RidgeMonkey duo bivvy-lite

The RidgeMonkey duo bivvy-lite.

I have had my RidgeMonkey bivvy lite Duo for over 5 months and used it most nights when out fishing. I don’t use it to read by or keep it on for hours, just to bait up and do a spot of cooking.

This clever bit of kit has two light settings. I tend to use the brightest setting, not the red, as I am not sure about that one yet. I have been fishing at least one night a week, if not more and used this light most nights.

There are two light settings.

There are two light settings.

The battery power has proved to be wonderful – I have still yet to charge it up! This is just brilliant and the fact that it would be quite a simple process, as I carry a power pack for my phone. So when I finally have to charge up the light, I will be able to do it on the bank.

Attach anywhere you wish using a magnetic strip.

Attach anywhere you wish using a magnetic strip.

It has a  handy magnetic strip you can attach it to your bivvy or brolly

There are two cords either end which enable you to hang it from brolly spokes or a magnet hook.

I have attached a clip to mine which makes it a bit easier for me to attach.
This allows me to clip it on quick over the brolly spoke and I can just slide it up and down depending on where I need the light to be under the brolly.

I have also found a use for those old pva tubes! A perfect place to store the bivvy Light when not in use.

This is a great bit of kit and I believe I have finally found a bivvy light that is simply perfect for the job. Full credit to RidgeMonkey for doing a great job here – carp anglers have been waiting for something as good as this for a long time!

Regards Richard.

Waterside Etiquette: 9 Do’s and Dont’s

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etiquette

Image source: Shutterstock
Bankside etiquette: do’s and don’ts for anglers.

8% of carp and coarse anglers report being involved in fights over their favourite swims. The shocking finding from our Big Fishing Survey lifts the lid on a growing problem within the angling community. Acts of aggression, bad manners and littering are on the rise – problems that affect us all.

Because many angling rules are unspoken, we think it’s high time for a refresher course in fishing etiquette. Here are our top nine angling do’s and don’ts.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t be aggressive

angry pufferfish

Source: shutterstock
Don’t be like this fella – leave your fight faces at home.

When things get out of hand, people get hurt. Last summer, when he was working from his boat off Hope’s Nose in Torquay, commercial fisherman Nathan Ould ended up with a two inch hook embedded in his cheek after a shore angler cast at him.

The attack, reported by the Plymouth Herald is one of a spate of similar incidents at the popular sea fishing spot. Clive Baker, chairman of the Torquay Fishermen’s Association, who has also been attacked, says the aggression at Hope’s Nose is putting the next generation off fishing:

“You don’t get youngsters going down there like you used to after school for a couple of hours because they are too intimidated.”

Lose your temper and you give angling a bad name. If you have a problem with another angler, or fisherman, talk to them and if you’re still not happy, report them to the appropriate authority.

  1. Don’t reserve swims for hours.

TF Gear Micro Pod

Image source: fishtec
Don’t hog the river with markers and buckets on empty swims.

There’s nothing more dispiriting than when, after finally snatching some time to go fishing, you get to the bankside only to find the best spots reserved for non-existent anglers.

First come, first served is the only fair way to fish. As Fishtec blogger Richard Handel says:

“I have seen buckets put in swims for 2 to 3 hours. This, I think, is NOT acceptable in this day and age.”

Fishing may be a largely solitary sport, but we’re all part of the wider angling community. Excessively reserving spots for you or your friends isn’t fair on other anglers. Sharing is caring.

  1. Don’t crowd other anglers.

angling courtesy

Image source: Go Fly Fishing UK
Give your fellow anglers some space.

Treat other anglers as you would like them to treat you. Would you want another angler to muscle their way into the swim you’re fishing? Thought not. As the good folk of St Mary’s Angling Club say on their blog, Views from the Loch:

“Do not invade the personal space of another angler, only move into such an area if invited to do so.”

You shouldn’t fish downstream from a fellow angler who got there before you. Nor is it acceptable to fish opposite someone who’s already fishing. If you’re not fishing it’s best to keep away from the bank altogether so you don’t disturb the fish or the anglers.

  1. Don’t leave your swim in a mess.

fishing litter

Image source: linesonthewater.anglingtrust.net
Litter left by ‘yobs with rods’ beside the River Severn

Always remember to take away whatever you bring to the river. From sandwich wrappers to discarded lines, litter is unsightly and hazardous to local wildlife.

Littering is entirely avoidable – show proper respect for the environment and your fellow anglers by taking your rubbish home with you.

Do’s

  1. Be respectful.

friendly anglers

Image source: Shutterstock
Show your fellow anglers courtesy

Anglers aren’t strangers but like-minded people who share a love of fishing. We all know the joy of reeling in a catch and yet when it comes to extending fellow anglers courtesy and consideration, an increasing number of us fall short. Writing for Carpology, Ian Chillcott says:

“We were born with a mouth and very often speaking to others using your mouth is the best way to live in harmony.”

Take the time to talk to other anglers, whether it’s just to say ‘Hi’, chat about the weather, or to ask if a particular swim is available. It’s a sign of respect. And while you’re at it, remember to put your phone on silent.

  1. Wait until play is over.

tight line

Image source: Stick Without Brains
Angling is all about patience

Is an angler near you playing a fish? If your line is in the water, it’s common courtesy to reel in and wait until the battle is over. The same applies if you’re about to cast and someone gets into a fish. Just kick back and give them the time they need to land their catch.

If you’re looking to congratulate the angler in question – as much as we want to promote friendliness on the riverbanks – it might be best to give them a moment to enjoy their catch before barging in on their triumph! Remember, patience, like silence, is king.

  1. Obey the rules of the area.

private fishing sign

Image source: Shutterstock
Respect the area and obey the rules.

When you get in a car, you obey the rules of the road. When you head to the water, you obey the rules of the riverbank – it’s as simple as that.

Before you head out for your day’s sport, take some time to check the fishery’s rules online. And when you’re at the venue, keep an eye out for signs alerting you to what you can and can’t do.

Along some stretches of bank, wading may be discouraged, other areas could be dedicated to fly fishing only – stay alert and follow the rules.

  1. Keep a long term view in mind.

beautiful pristine chalkstream

Image source: salmon-trout.org
Look after the rivers and keep them pristine.

As anglers, we have a duty to protect British rivers, so that we and future generations of anglers can continue to enjoy them.

One of the best ways you can help look after our waterways is to make ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ your new mantra. Avoiding transferring pests from one river or lake to another by thoroughly cleaning and drying your kit is key to preventing the spread of alien invaders like killer shrimps which can decimate aquatic ecosystems.

  1. Carry your license with you.

fishing licence

Image source: Environment Agency
Got yours yet? Be smart, get licensed

As the guys at  Views from the Loch say, we’re all part of the angling brotherhood. Make sure you uphold the good name of your fellow anglers by ensuring your fishing license is valid.

You can buy a licence from the Post Office or direct from the Environment Agency via an annual direct debit. Fishery bailiffs often visit the river to check permits; there’s no excuse for not paying your way like the rest of us.

Have you seen any examples of exemplary bankside etiquette on your visits to the river? Or have you seen anglers behaving badly? Don’t be shy – share your experiences with us on our Facebook page.