Fly Fishing Floatants Explained

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Choosing the right fly fishing floatant can be confusing- each has a different property and best way to use them. In this blog post we take a look at the various fly fishing floatants available. Float your flies right and catch more fish!

Fly fishing Floatant's and dry flies

Fly fishing Floatant and dry flies.

What are floatants?

Fly fishing floatant’s are designed to keep your dry flies, leader and sometimes fly line high floating and buoyant. Chemically a lot of fly fishing floatants are essentially the same thing – silicone with petroleum jelly and a few other additives. However not all are equal, and some need to used in different ways; so you can easily end up buying the wrong one! To make things easier, we have reviewed the entire range of fly fishing floatants available from the Fishtec tackle shop.

GHERKS GINK £5.99

Starting with a world wide favourite, Gink has been an anglers choice since the 1960’s.

Gherkes Gink

Gherkes Gink.

Probably the most popular formula, and is our best selling floatant by a mile. It works well and keeps flies floating high. Gink is a gel that you have to warm up in cold weather between your fingers, or in hot weather can liquefy leading you to making a mess out of your flies, fingers and vest. Rarely do we have a ‘perfect’ temperature for Gink in the UK, and to be honest this makes it a bit of a pain to get out of the bottle especially when there isn’t much left in there. If you apply too much It can leave a little oil slick around the fly which could potentially spook fish. This slick usually goes after a cast or two.

AIRFLO FLOAT JELLY £3.99

Airflo’s float jelly is an alternative to Gink. The formula is pretty much the same, but with a few extra ‘secret’ additives.
Airflo float jellyThe ‘flip up’ application nozzle is much easier to use, allowing you to apply a smaller more controlled amount of the floatant to your finger tip. It feels smoother and a little thicker than Gink. The ‘oil slick’ residue it leaves around the fly was noticeably less than Gink in our tests. Float Jelly viscosity does suffer from temperature influences, but due to the nozzle design it is far harder to squeeze out too much by mistake.

MUCILIN GREEN £1.89

Mucilin has been around for decades. It’s a fairly thick silicone paste. It isn’t the greatest for tiny dry flies with delicate fibers, and leaves quite a greasy slick if you apply too much.

mucilin green floatant

Mucilin green floatant.

Mucilin Green works better on bigger attractor dries like daddies, hoppers and sedge’s. The positives are it’s dirt cheap, your flies will float very well, and because it is so thick it works great for keeping your fly line tip high floating as a line dressing should the need arise. The simple tub design means you can never squeeze out unwanted surplus by accident and make a mess.

WATERSHED £4.99

Watershed is actually a liquid designed to be used on flies at least 24 hours prior to fishing.

Watershed fly floatant

Watershed fly floatant.

Don’t make the mistake of buying watershed and then applying whilst on the water – you will leave a vast slick around the fly and it will not float well at all! Pre-treated flies (once dried out well) will float like corks. Worth keeping a bottle on your fly-tying desk and applying on new flies fresh from the vice.

AIRFLO REPEL £4.99

This is a silicon based liquid spray. Like watershed you use it to treat your flies before use. Spray on and allow the flies to dry out fully before hitting the water. This stuff is very effective, and the manual application spray pump is efficient and environmentally friendly.

Airflo repel spray

Airflo repel spray.

LEEDA DRY FLY SPRAY £4.99

This stuff has been around for years and it certainly works very well. It will dry out quickly once applied, even on the bank.

Leeda dry fly spray

Leeda dry fly spray.

Follow what it says on the tin – one spray and your fly will float. A downside is unlike gels you cannot easily apply to specific areas of the fly, for example emerger wings. It is also easy to over-do the spraying, and get it on your leader accidentally as well. The fact it’s in an aerosol tin means you have no way of telling how much you have left.

MUCILIN HOURGLASS FLOATANT £1.99

This stuff is pure liquid silicone oil. Drop you fly in the chamber and immerse. Can be a bit awkward on the bank, and your fly will be flooded with the stuff so false cast or blow most of it off afterwards or you get a huge slick. Positives are it’s cheap, and works well, even more so as a pre-fishing treatment – dunk and dry your flies in advance..

Mucilin silicone oil

Mucilin silicone oil.

MUCILIN RED £1.69

The Mucilin red formula is really best suited for fly lines and leaders, rather than flies. It’s extremely sticky, tacky formula is only really any good for very large patterns, like wake lures for sea trout, bombers or big deer hair sedge’s. Great if your floating fly line is sinking though!

Red mucilin

Red mucilin

AIRFLO RESTORE £2.99

Restore is a desiccant treatment, it is used to suck up the moisture from a waterlogged fly. Very useful if you have only one fly that works left that keeps on getting hammered! Simply dip and shake the fly in the powder, and all the moisture suck will be sucked out. It uses a mixture of silica crystals and with Teflon additives to repel water.

Airflo restore

Airflo restore.

Carp On The Fly

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Kieron Jenkins of Fulling Mill talks about his summertime passion for catching carp on the fly rod – an adrenaline filled diversion when trout fishing is at it’s worst!  Read on to discover the tackle, tips and tactics Kieron employs for carp fly fishing.

At this time of year it tends to be too hot for traditional fly fishing. Trout often go deep and sulk in the hot weather, but carp on the other hand provide immense sport on the fly! Fly fishing for carp is a sport that has only recently taken off here in the UK and is becoming many anglers favoured quarry.

Most anglers who fly fish for carp in the UK encourage them to eat from the surface, but carp can also be caught on lures and bloodworms when the conditions dictate. Personally, I enjoy the surface action.

Fly fishing for carp in the UK is really taking off!

Fly fishing for carp in the UK is really taking off!

Getting started – What to feed?

Keep it simple – carp absolutely love dog biscuits. Mixers are perfect, they’re fairly large and float well. Most carp lakes are inundated with silver fish that are attracted to smaller baits, so I tend to use mixers to discourage them from attacking the bait – which unfortunately, doesn’t always work! The lovely, meaty smell of the biscuits will drag carp from all over the lake, so it’s worth spending the time to bait up, feeding small but constant amounts of bait into your swim before starting to fish. Be careful not to overfeed, carp will gorge and lose interest quickly – feed little and often. A catapult will come in handy too.

What fishing tackle do I need?

Small carp can fight, but a big one is something else. The power of even a fish 5lb + is immense, be sure to use tackle to cope with fast surges and big runs. I prefer to use a 10ft 8# Airflo Airlite Competition Special, a fly rod that was designed for playing fish hard and to cast heavy sinking lines. The 8# gives you enough back bone to hold the fish hard to stop them running into the snags, as well as great casting performance over long distances.

The power of carp is immense - a great fight on a fly rod!

The power of carp is immense – a great fight on a fly rod!

This year I’ve been using the Airflo Switch Pro Fly Reel, it has an extremely hard drag system that has stopped almost everything I’ve hooked on my local carp water. Carp often take long, hard runs towards cover, so your backing is regularly out of the rod rings! Ensure to use a fly reel that is up to the job.

As far as fly lines go, I was always under the impression that I could use just about anything and get away with it, but since the introduction of the Super-Dri range from Airflo It’s certainly helped me catch more carp on the fly, let alone trout! The higher floating properties of the Super-Dri Lake Pro fly line ensures a quicker lift off, especially at distance, allowing you to set the hook quicker before the carp has time to spit the fly out. They’re notorious for ‘mouthing’ the fly and letting go, so if you can connect quicker, why not? The non-stretch core of these lines allow you to put more pressure on the fish too, hopefully getting them quickly away from snags.

At the business end I like to use a 5ft length of fluorocarbon, attached to a Salmon/Steelhead floating polyleader. The polyleader allows good turn over with chunky flies – a splashy landing can sometimes deter carp that are high in the water. The trout version is too light, I’ve lost many large carp because the polyleader as broken, but the 24lb breaking strain Salmon/Steelhead version is ideal. A simple loop to loop connection is all that is needed to join your tippet.

If the fishing is fast and furious I prefer 10lb Fulling Mill Fluorocarbon, the leader sinks quickly and is extremely strong, allowing you to really clamp up without breakages and pull carp back through some serious snags! Other times carp can be quite fussy, especially in flat calm conditions. Then I prefer to use a lighter breaking strain – the new Airflo Sightfree G4 Fluorocarbon in 8.8lb is superb. Personally I wouldn’t go any lighter than this, but you may find you have to if you don’t get any takes.

As for flies, a dog biscuit imitation is a must. The Close Copy Dog Biscuit, Bonio Carp Fly and the Bread Crust pattern from Fulling Mill are all you will ever need. A fly that closely represents the size and colour of the real thing will always be preferred, so choose your fly wisely.

A dog biscuit imitation fly pattern is a must!

A dog biscuit imitation fly pattern is a must!

Carp on the surface

Once the carp are up and feeding all that’s left to do is to hook one, and land it of course. What I tend to do is sit patiently and spot a fish that is cruising. Carp will sit/swim high in the water if there are numerous biscuits on offer, if you can track a fish and accurately present a fly a few feet in front of it, more than likely it will eat it.

The hardest part about fly fishing for carp is hooking the damn things! They’re cunning creatures and learn very quickly. Carp will often come to the fly a ‘test’ it out, sitting a few inches under the fly, sucking it from the surface. If your line is tight or your leader is floating, the biscuit won’t move and the carp will flee onto the next one. This is where fluorocarbon comes in handy as it’s relatively heavy and sinks. The sunk leader will let the fly get ‘sucked’ into the fish’s mouth.

Once you’ve hooked one, hold on tight and clamp up that drag. More often than not they will head for cover to free the hook. A correctly set drag will save the break offs and give enough stopping power to tire the fish before getting to those roots.

Carp on the fly success!

Carp on the fly success for Kieron!

Finding a carp water can be difficult, many venues don’t mention the fact that they allow fly fishing on their website or facebook pages, so it’s definitely worth a call to your local carp fishing water to ask before turning up…

A quick re-cap to carp on the fly:

  1. Use appropriate fly fishing tackle, there’s nothing worse than being under-gunned.
  2. Cast accurately to feeding carp and try to avoid spooking them.
  3. Play carp firmly and use your kit to its full advantage. Hold them tight and get them to the net quickly.
  4. A selection of carp flies is essential. Change the colours to suit.
  5. Always check with the fishery owner that they are happy for you to fly fish.
  6. You will need an unhooking mat and a decent sized landing net with soft mesh to comply with most carp fisheries rules. Be sure to check this before heading out.
A selection of carp flies is essential.

A selection of carp flies is essential.

Season of the Drakes by Rene Harrop

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Barring limitations of weather, I will fish in any season. I do not always seek easy fishing, big trout, or comfortable temperatures but late June and early July can provide all three. This is because it is summer and the time for the big mayflies known as Drakes.

Brown Drake Time.

Brown Drake Time.

At a minimum of size 12, Green, Brown, and Gray Drakes grace the first fifty miles of the Henry’s Fork, and nearly any angler who happens to be there during this period will generally find uncommon success.

With few exceptions, most aquatic insects that inhabit this legendary river are at least three sizes smaller, and this limits a trout’s enthusiasm for a single floating target.

There is no mistaking the assertive and sometimes violent rise of a heavy trout to any one of the drake species. And it is probably for this reason that I share the excitement exhibited by anyone else who is fortunate enough to be on the water when they are hatching.

Morning Drake Action.

Morning Drake Action.

With differing habitat requirements and preferred activity periods, drake action will take place in various types of water, from fast current to slow moving glides. While Green Drakes will generally emerge in late morning, Brown Drakes are mostly an evening hatch that can extend into darkness. Gray Drakes are not quite as predictable and can be found emerging at nearly any point in the day.

The spinners from all three drakes prefer the calm of the morning or evening for returning to the water to deposit eggs. Trout response to both duns and spinners is roughly equal.

Morning Drake Action.

Morning Drake Action.

It should come as no surprise that the Henry’s Fork is never busier than during Drake time. But the charitable treatment instantly disappears when these special hatches come to an end and the trout return to their more typical insolence. But it is wonderful while it lasts.

Thank You.

Thank You.

Two Titles One Champion – Iain Barr’s Winning Tactics

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Unstoppable fishing machine Iain Barr keeps on winning UK fly fishing competitions! He recently bagged the Bank National Champion title and then followed up this mean feat by winning the Bob Church Classic – for the third year running! In this blog post Iain shares the tactics that won him these two prestigious titles. Enter the mind of a champion fly fisher…

Competition pro Iain Barr in action

Competition pro Iain Barr in action

English National Small Water Championship – Farmoor

Farmoor reservoir hosted the English National Small Water Championships with a field of 48 strong anglers hoping to make the 7 man squad.

Hot sunny weather greeted us and this has a impact on the methods to use. This time of year sees plenty of warm weather and the fish behave differently. In these conditions you will often find two layers of fish and Farmoor was no exception. There was a layer in the top 3-4 feet and and another layer approx 12-15 foot down.

I deployed 3 rods, Airflo Di5 and new JELLY Blobs. Airflo Di3 with a mix of cats Blobs and damsels and a Super-dri floater with nymphs and buzzers.

I fished the Di3 first on each peg, switched to buzzers and nymphs before fishing the last 10 mins of the 45 minute pegs to search for bonus fish that were lying deeper.

The first peg yielded a cracking 6lb fish, the only 1 I landed. I had 2 off my next 2 and a blank off a tricky corner peg which didn’t produce all day although I did miss a take whilst applying more suncream!!

The afternoon saw more fish nearer the surface so I pulled the Di3 with a blob and a cat switching the cat to a damsel mid way through the 45 mins. The Airflo sixth sense Di3 is the perfect pulling line if the fish are high.  It cuts through quickly and can.be fished fast and high or slower and deeper if they drop.

I landed a 1, 2,2 off my first 3 afternoon session pegs with many coming on the ‘hang’ about 10 yards off on the infamous Farmoor ledge.

During the last peg a thunder storm circled in the distance and despite 2 quick fish high in the water they stopped taking. During this changes in air pressure many say the fish stop feeding when really all they tend to do is drop deeper to acclimatise to the change in pressure.

I let the Di3 and Tungsten beaded cat lure drop for 30 seconds before a slow retrieve and I landed my final 3 giving my maximum of 5 in a few casts.

Scores were calculated and the Bank National Champion title was mine.  The top 7 will not represent England at Garnffrwd Lake in Wales in November.

The national bank champion trophy being awarded - top angling!

The national bank champion trophy being awarded – top angling!

Bob Church Classic – Grafam water

June saw the 29th Bob Church Classic held at Grafham Water.  Having won it the previous 2 years the hatrick was on. I’d had a tough practice landing just 2 but that was above average! Grafham was sulking with high and low pressure dominating and mixing through the week. Late Saturday saw a steady change in pressure with some rain and wind which we hoped we would stir them and boy did it!!

I took an evening boat Friday just to motor round to see where fish were moving and this played a key part in my day. I tried a couple of areas briefly and went for a quick look to where I had seen a few moving late Friday before my plan to move to the open water.

I arrived at the dam with it to myself and the fish were there in droves almost smutting like on midge but I’m convinced they were gorging the clouds of daphnia.

I was using an original Airflo slow intermediate with a booby on the point,  2 nymphs and a cat on the top. With fish so high the booby pulled across the top will certainly draw the fish in and it did. Usually I’d catch more on the nymphs but they just kept engulfing the sparkler booby pulled across them on the top.

Soon I was spotted and the armada arrived which inevitably slowed the sport down. I stuck with the same method but just fished it almost static. The majority of my remaining fish took the nymphs. Many may have taken the booby off but it allows the flies to descend much slower and more naturally.

I soon had my 16 fish limit and it was now a waiting game to see if i had done enough to complete an incredible hatrick of wins. All anglers were still fishing around me but there was a splattering of boats dotted in other areas.

17:30 saw the competition end and I heard of 2 other limits and it proved incredibly close!!

With a slightly earlier finish then Gus Armor of Scotland I managed to complete an unbelievable hatrick in wins!  Next year sees a special 30th year of this prestigious event to be held at Rutland where I’ll be aiming to bring it home for a 6th time.

Iain Barr with Bob church classic cup

Iain Barr with Bob church classic cup.

This time of year you can be fishing the top with dry flies or deep with lures.  Try dries like Big Reds, Shipmans and CDC owls. For deep lures boobies on fast sinking Lines, or cats whiskers and blobs fished deep – these will always catch.

See Iain Barr Fly packs available from Fishtec, such as:

Essential Dries
Harry potters
Essential Boobies
Blobs
Damsels

Tight lines, Iain.

The Seethrough Bait Fish

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Welsh saltwater fly fishing ace Darren Jackson heads to the coast to fish for Pollock and unleashes a truly devastating fly pattern – the Seethrough baitfish!

As much as I would like to take credit for this pattern I can’t, and I don’t know who the credit should go to for this superb fly! Whoever did was a very creative, forward thinking fly tier and angler indeed.

The Seethrough baitfish

The Seethrough baitfish.

From the little I know I believe the pattern was originally designed for Seatrout in the salt by a Danish fly fisherman ( I could be wrong ?) I can’t find, or source, much info on it. I was instantly taken by the pattern and it’s use to me as a Bass/Pollock/Mackerel  lure. I could just imagine it being a extremely effective pattern for when they are smashing small bait fish and so it proved to be on a outing a couple of weeks back on the Pollock.

A chartreuse colour variant of the seethrough baitfish.

A chartreuse colour variant of the seethrough baitfish.

I turned up at the mark at midday with every intention of targeting Bass but, faced with a sea of glass, clear skies and a blazing sun beating down I was not confident of many Bass being around. I’ve caught many a Bass in such conditions but I much prefer it overcast with a little chop on the water to give them some form of cover. It’s also been a tough start to my Bass season and they have been thin on the ground, with a couple of blank sessions under my belt already I don’t think they are here in any sort of numbers yet, certainly not where I’m fishing anyway. I was out to get a bend in the rod so decided to tackle down and setup for the Pollock; off with the intermediate and on with the Airflo Di5 40+ extreme fly line with a couple of feet of T14 on the end. The T14 sinking tip is a great addition and advantage at this venue, not only does it get my flies down quick but it sinks my line at just the right angle.

I’m fishing off huge boulders which slope away in to the depths at around 45 degrees, through experience and countless sessions at the mark I can count my flies down and bring them back right up the face with out to many losses. I’ve tried many a line and method but, this would seem to be the best, level sinking lines just pull my flies straight into the snags.

Fishing off steep boulders with the T14 tip - and two at a time almost every cast!

Fishing off huge, steep boulders with the T14 tip – and two at a time!

I set up a two fly cast with the new 20.2lb Airflo G4 Fluorocarbon; the fish at this venue for whatever reason don’t run to big sizes and a 5lb fish would be a good one. I’ve heard tales of big doubles but never seen one to date or anything close to that size, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t or, couldn’t, throw out fish of such size,it’s a perfect location for them, deep water, cover and massive amounts of sandeel, baitfish, shrimp etc!. If I was expecting larger fish I certainly wouldn’t  be fishing two flies for these power house fish. There really is no need to go any lighter than 20lbs, the fish are not leader shy and it has enough beef to take the knocks and bumps of being pulled over barnacle covered boulders. The first dive of a Pollock takes some stopping and if you don’t want them to run you in you gotta hold on, the 20lbs fluro gives me the confidence to give them nothing.

An olive Seethrough baitfish fly

An olive Seethrough baitfish fly.

I put a small’ish olive bait fish pattern on the point and a seethrough bait fish pattern on the dropper. Almost from the word go it was a fish a cast and although I caught fish on both patterns it was quickly evident that the seethrough bait fish was out fishing my point fly by a massive margin, they just loved it. Just in case it was the position of the fly on my cast I swapped them around to see if it would make any difference , It didn’t. I eventually put two seethrough bait fish patterns on and for almost two hours it was just double shot after double shot of Pollock .I couldn’t even guess how many fish I caught ?, all I can say, it was lots, nothing of great size, the biggest would have maybe nudged 4lb with a average of around 2lbs but, it was incredibly good fun.

Pollock rewards.

Pollock rewards.

The Pollock love the seethrough baitfish!

The Pollock love the seethrough baitfish!

The seethrough bait fish is a fairly simple pattern to tie and I’m so pleased I stumbled upon it, I’ve really enjoyed playing around with different variations. I’ve used different materials to what the original uses and you can do the same if you chose to give them a go. As well as being a extremely effective saltwater pattern I think it could be killer for you trout boys on backend fry feeders.

A white variant - could be ideal for fry feeding trout!

A white variant – could be ideal for fry feeding trout!

There is a YouTube vid out there for tying instructions, check it out here: https://youtu.be/eGFx7w9xOtY

Tight lines

Daz.

12 Top Tips For Successful Barbel Fishing

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Barbel are one of the strongest, powerful freshwater fish you will ever encounter. Such is the thrill of hooking a barbel, once you catch one you will never look back!

Barbel are now thriving in many UK rivers, so it’s no wonder barbel fishing is becoming more and more popular. Here the Fishtec team have put together their top barbel fishing tips – follow these 12 great fish catching tips and you won’t go wrong when barbel angling!

Barbel fishing is becoming ever more popular.

Barbel fishing is becoming ever more popular.

Tip 1. Bait up 2 to 3 swims before starting fishing. This gives the barbel time to settle and gives you options to move if you need to rest your first choice swim.

Feeding halibut pellets into a nice looking swim.

Feeding halibut pellets into a nice looking swim before starting.

Tip 2. Be prepared to walk. The first and most accessible swims you come across may have been hammered, so be prepared to find unfished water. The legwork involved often pays off!

Tip 3. Never forget ‘old fashioned’ baits like sweetcorn and luncheon meat when barbel have been hammered on pellets. Another tactic for heavily fished barbel is to use just a single 8mm pellet.

Tip 4. Don’t forget the Polaroid sunglasses, these are essential for spotting barbel. Remember you won’t catch them if there not there. Spend more time looking for fish, and less time sitting waiting!

Tip 5. Barbel love weedbeds. These areas are always worth paying a bit more attention too. Here the barbel can take cover and forage for crustaceans and insects.

Look for weedbeds - the barbel will be nearby.

Look for weedbeds – the barbel will be nearby.

Tip 6. Make sure you use a feeder or lead that’s heavy enough to stay put in the flow and not move when its emptied or the PVA bag has dissolved. If it moves it will be fishing on a different line to the loose feed.

Tip 7. Use a long fluorocarbon hook link. Barbel can associate a feeder with danger, so In ultra low clear water use fluorocarbon hook lengths of up to 6ft in the day time, pinned down with tungsten putty in to prevent barbel from spooking.

Tip 8. Don’t leave your rod out too long! Recast every 15 – 20 minutes. Halibut pellets break down within 20 minutes and will leach all of their flavour. Re-baiting and then refilling your feeder frequently is a good tip for best results.

Tip 9. Use different size pellets in your feeder or PVA bag free offerings. Different sized pellets will break down at different times and keep the barbel grubbing around for longer in your swim.

Tip 10. Use a quick change link – so you can vary your lead weight depending on the strength of the flow; fish as light as you can without the flow moving your feeder or lead.

Tip 11. Barbel like to feed in low light. The more pressured the water, more likely they are to follow this pattern. Make an effort to fish early morning or late evening into the darkness if you are struggling to catch.

The best fishing for barbel is often at night.

The best fishing for barbel is often at night.

Tip 12. Rest your fish. Once you have caught a barbel always make sure you rest the fish in the landing net prior to release. Barbel give their all in the fight, so make sure your catch is fully revived before you release.

Always rest your barbel in the net before release.

Always rest your barbel in the net before release.

Mountain Ash Fly Fishers Association

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The Mountain Ash fly fishing club has excellent fishing on Penderyn and Ystradfellte reservoirs, both of which are not far from the southern Brecon Beacons national park.

Penderyn Reservoir - Image by Ceri Jones

Penderyn Reservoir – Image by Ceri Jones

The Concrete bowl Penderyn reservoir has a fleet of boats and is stocked regularly with quaility rainbow trout, giving the experience of a visit to Farmoor on a smaller scale, whilst Ystradfellte is a steep sided upland reservoir abounding with wild brown trout in a scenic valley.

Website: http://mountainashflyfishers.yolasite.com/
Contact:
Don Griffiths
Email:
donald.griffiths@homecall.co.uk
Telephone number:
01685 812399
Day ticket available:
Yes, £20 From Deb’s Newsagent Hirwaun
Season permit available:
Yes, £96
Region:
South East Wales
Social Media:
N/A

Ystradfellte Reservoir - wild brown trout fishery

Ystradfellte Reservoir – wild brown trout fishery.


Afan Valley Angling Club

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River Afan Salmon

River Afan Salmon.

The Afan is a former industrial South Wales river, now rejuvenated and full of game fish.

Website: http://afanvalleyangling.com/
Contact:
Deryl Jones
Email: membership.secretary@afanvalleyangling.com
Telephone number:
07940417888
Day ticket available:
Yes, from £16
Season permit available:
Yes
Region:
South Wales
Social Media:
N/A

After 100 years with no salmon or sea trout, the river now has healthy runs of migratory fish plus good brown trout fishing.

Line Angles – Carp Fishing tips from Dave Lane

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In his latest tips blog post, Dave Lane shares his years of carp fishing wisdom – How often do you consider line angles and concealment? It could make all the difference to your carp catches!

I think that line awareness is the single most alarming thing to carp, it has far more effect than rigs, leads, bait or any other aspect of our angling that we give carp credit for detecting.

I do not actually believe that a carp can even see a rig as it gets up close, its eyes are in the wrong place to start with and, from what I have seen in observation, most bait items are inspected by feel in the mouth. I think this is why a good rig, or one perfectly suited to the way carp are testing baits, will outscore other presentations. It’s just a case of being able to prick the fish, to get that initial hook hold, before they can eject the rig.

Line angles are something different, this is an early warning system that all is not as it should be. It doesn’t always mean that the carp will not feed, they just do so with the natural caution of an animal that knows it is being hunted, playing the percentages is how I like to think of it.

A free meal is on offer, they know something is dangerous and they feed carefully and methodically to avoid being hooked and, every now and again, they get it wrong.

Sometimes fish seem terrified of lines, particularly when they are in a spot where they seem to have not been expecting them to be.

One day I sat up a tree at Burghfield and watched as a group of fish came in contact with my lines, the result was instant and dramatic and, within seconds, there were no more carp to be seen anywhere.

I have been out in a boat at Wraysbury and actually watched two stockies feeding right up to, but not over, my line as it sat slightly proud of the bottom. They had decimated the bait on one side of the spot and completely left the bait on the other, unwilling to cross the line to achieve yet more free food.

It often amazes me how excited anglers get when they start receiving line bites, as if this is an indication of an imminent take.

To my mind a line bite is either yet another spooked carp or a fair sign that you are simply fishing too far out or badly presented between the rig and the rod tip.

I always try to keep all my line hard on the lake bed but, unfortunately, this is not always possible.

When you are fishing large lakes in adverse weather conditions for example, any slack line just gets dragged out into a big arc and, pretty soon, it rises up into the water anyway.

Fishing near to snags or in a situation whereby you cannot afford to give the carp an inch, this also calls for a tight line and, the worst of the lot, weed. It doesn’t matter how well you think you have sunk your line when fishing over weed, it will either already be on the top of it or, if it isn’t, it will be soon. Even the tiniest filaments of floating weed will accumulate and lift your line towards the surface and, quite often, the angle of line between the edge of the weed and the spot you are fishing is horrendous.

There are things that help, heavy lead core leaders, pinching blobs of putty a meter or so behind the rig, pole fishing leads on the line, flying back leads, they all go some way to alleviating the problem.

Myself I am a great fan of the captive back leads, I use them often to keep a tight line pinned down from the moment I set up the rod, once it’s down there and pinned it is harder, but not impossible, for the weed to lift it back up.

Pinning down the line with captive back leads.

Pinning down the line with captive back leads.

Lines pinned down and ready for action!

Lines pinned down and ready for action!

Attacking a swim from an unusual angle can be a brilliant way of disguising the fact that you are fishing that spot, particularly on pressured waters where the carp are actually checking it out before feeding, sometimes a different angle can also ensure a lower line lay, if you are casting over weed from the main swim but up against it from an alternative plot is a good example.

Gravel bars and plateaus work in the same way as weed, it is far better to actually drape your line over the bar on some occasions than have it exiting the bar halfway down and streaking through the water mid depth.

Fishing the close side of a bar will allow you to sink the line better so, if you want to fish the bottom of the bar at the back, why not cast from a swim on the far bank and have all your line in deep water leading up to the feature.

It’s not always possible on busy waters to actually fish from the wrong swim though, but the more thought you can out into concealing a line, the better your results are likely to be.

Returning a big mirror caught at range with the line totally concealed near the rig.

Returning a big mirror caught at range with the line totally concealed near the rig.

 

Ogmore Angling Association

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The Ogmore is a south Wales river the reaches the Sea at Bridgend. Well known for it’s Sea trout and Salmon fishing, this gem of a river holds it’s own against more famous rivers further west. The river also holds decent stocks of resident brown trout plus a few grayling in the lower reaches.

The River Ogmore at Pen y fai

The River Ogmore at Pen y fai

Website: http://www.ogmoreangling.com/
Contact: http://www.ogmoreangling.com/contact.html
Email: membershipsecretary@ogmoreangling.com
Telephone number:
N/A
Day ticket available:
Yes, £20
Season permit available:
Yes, may be a waiting list.
Region:
South East Wales
Social Media:
Yes, Facebook group for members.

Once polluted and lacking it’s historical numbers of salmon and sea trout, recent decades have seen this river bounce back to be on of Wales most productive rivers for migratory salmonid fish.