Summer Angling: How to deal with insect pests

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mosquito biting flesh

Image source: shutterstock
Mosquitos are just one of the creatures that make anglers’ lives uncomfortable…

Summer angling is a joy, but spending time on or near the water puts you in the firing line as far as insect pests are concerned. But while you can’t avoid them, you can prepare to take them on. Here’s our guide to protecting yourself from the insect onslaught.

Insect repellents

insect repellents

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The choice is endless

The old saying goes that ‘prevention is better than the cure’, and anyone who’s ever been bitten by a horsefly will know just how true that is.

There are countless insect repellents on the market, but what you have to decide is whether to go down the chemical or natural route, or some combination of the two.


As far as the petrochemical industry’s offering goes, DEET is a highly effective bug repellent. Developed by the Americans following their experience of jungle warfare during WW2, it’s great for warding off mozzies. But DEET is also a neurotoxin, and some health professionals have raised safety concerns over its use.

Over 200 million people use DEET each year and if you’re fishing in Malaria infested regions it’s pretty much essential kit, but to be on the safe side, only apply it to exposed skin and never to cuts or scratches.

Nature’s way

For those of you who’d rather not lather yourselves in N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, mother nature provides some really excellent alternatives in the form of essential oils.

As a rule of thumb, take a sniff of an oil –  if it stinks it’ll probably help ward off insects. Examples include citronella, tea tree, eucalyptus and lavender oils. Simply chose one you can tolerate the smell of, or for even more of an insect impact, go for a combination.

Because essential oils are potent, they can burn the skin so never apply before first diluting with another liquid like distilled witch hazel or distilled water. Natural remedies store, G. Baldwin and Co. who’ve been trading since 1844, recommend a recipe containing no less than five different oils – surely enough to send mosquitos packing.

The commercial alternative

While we were researching the best bug deterrents, our antennae detected a buzz from Mark at North West Carp Blog, who writes:

“Having fished for such a long time now I’ve got to the stage where I’ve tried so many insect repellents I’ve actually lost count, the reason for me trying so many is that midges seem to like me….a lot!, and I suffer quite badly in the height of summer”

Mark swears by Avon Skin So Soft dry which he says is “so good as an insect repellent they actually dish it out to the armed forces”. Perhaps it’s the citronella it contains that does the trick. We love Avon Skin so Soft at the Fishtec HQ as well; it has proved it’s worth against Brecon Beacons hill midges many times over, which are a horrible pest in the summer evenings on local reservoirs.

Whatever repellent you use, do remember to wash your hands after applying it, or perhaps better still, apply it using latex gloves that you can remove before handling your fishing tackle. You don’t want to attach any unhelpful smells to your bait or fly.

Insects make a beeline for you?

swarms of mosquitos

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Swarms of mosquitos – are they heading for your swim?

It could be that to mosquitos, you simply taste great – according to research, your attractiveness to the flying pests is 85% down to your genes – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to put them off.

The best way to avoid mosquitos is to hold your breath. Crazy as it might seem, the bugs home in on the CO2 you exhale, sniffing you out from an impressive if slightly depressing 50 metres away.

But if asphyxiating on the river bank isn’t for you, try that old favourite, Marmite. High in Thiamin, you may love or loath the sticky, yeasty goo but Mosquitos detest the smell of it. And don’t worry, there’s no smearing involved – you just need to eat it.


midge swarm

Image source: Sam Bradshaw
Many midges make anglers angry

If you think a few mosquitos are a pain in the proverbial, spare a thought for our angling brethren north of the border. During the early summer, plagues of midges stalk the highlands, swarming around hapless fly fishermen and turning their pleasure into a torment. Our best advice is make use of the Scottish midge forecast and steer well clear.

If you’re one of those anglers who’s happy to put their best foot forward whatever insect plagues infest the swim, then it pays to invest in some protective clothing like a mosquito head net and perhaps even invest in some insect repellent impregnated fishing clothing.

In particular, ticks are best avoided because although mostly harmless, they can sometimes carry Lyme disease, a very unpleasant infection that can prove tricky to treat if not quickly diagnosed.

Your best bet is not to wade through long grass wearing shorts and to tuck your trousers into your socks or wear your waders. A good fishing chair will also help by keeping your nether regions clear of the ground.

I’ve already been bitten

insect bites on neck

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Buggers that bite

No bug spray or cream is 100% effective. But if you do get bitten, there’s no need to stand or sit there scratching.  Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion direct to the affected area and if you suffer a mild allergic reaction, antihistamines should do the trick but it’s always best to check with a doctor or pharmacist before taking anything.

Natural remedies like aloe vera, calendula organic cider apple vinegar and can also be effective at relieving the pain and itching of insect bites.

Insect pests are an unfortunate fact of summer fishing, but that won’t stop us grabbing our tackle boxes and heading to the nearest quiet spot next weekend. Have you had any close encounters with the UK’s biting insects? Know of any good remedies to keep the bugs at bay? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Fishing in France -The Beausoleil Carp & Catfish Experience

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Well it was that time of year again and a carp fishing holiday to France was just around the corner; with a just week to go it was time to double check the fishing tackle and get everything ready for the trip to France, including checking essentials like a GB magnet for the car, alcohol tester, headlight deflectors and hi-viz vest – all these are a legal requirement when traveling to France, so make sure you bring them!

The week had just flown by and the car was packed to the brim with all the fishing gear needed. Our route was via Portsmouth to Caen, with a 125-mile drive to our destination, a lake called Beausoleil, near a small town of Le Pertre which was in the Mayenne region of France.

Beausoleil Lake in the stunning French countryside.

Beausoleil Lake in the stunning French countryside.

After a long journey through lovely French countryside, myself and fishing pal Bo’ arrived at the lake. We were met by the owners Matt and Ren who welcomed us to the venue and showed us into the house.

The house at Beausoleil lake

The house at Beausoleil lake.

After Ren’s quick tour of the accommodation,  Matt took us on a visit round the lake. We started from points A, B and C and worked our way around the water. It was a really helpful tour, as Matt talked us through each swim and all their features. It’s always good to keep your eyes peeled on the walk around a new venue and make notes of what you see as this can lead to banked fish. On the tour I spotted a few feeding fish about forty yards in front of the dam end of the lake. When we walked over the bridge to the island we spooked a lot of big carp that were in the shallows, in front of the home swim and another mental note was made!

Beausoleil Lake Map

Beausoleil Lake Map.

We headed back to the house to be faced with the task of unloading the car and putting everything ready for the start on Sunday morning as we had decided to just chill out with some food and a few beers for the first night followed by a few games of pool as there was a cracking table on site.

Sunday morning was here and we got some breakfast and a coffee before going to the swims to set up for the week, Bo had decided to fish from the big double swim so I had decided to fish from point B and this also gave me the option of putting a rod in point A and C if I wanted too.

Bo's Large double swim

Bo’s Large double swim.

So we got on with the set up and made sure everything was ready for the week, I had put one rod out and moved it around a few times just to try and pick up an early fish from a random spot, until I had sorted the main areas I wanted to fish.

Bo’s rods were out and he was waiting for his first take – he didn’t have to wait long as his middle rod which was placed on a hard spot in the middle of the lake took off, and he was in. I think this rod had only been out about forty minutes and he was playing a lump, it was a catfish and it was giving him a good battle. He did have a dedicated catfish rod but as you have guessed, it never goes to plan and it was on his TF Gear 2.75 test curve carp rod!

He played the cat for about thirty minutes and couldn’t believe his eye’s as the fish just came up like a submarine and he managed to slip the net under her, he was over the moon as his PB cat before this one was about 13lb. I was on my way round to help him weigh the fish, which was 74lb – 6oz and it was now time for some pictures of the beast before slipping her back in to the lake. This was a good start and hopefully plenty more to come.

Bo's 74lb-6oz catfish

Bo’s 74lb-6oz catfish.

I finally got back to my swim and finished getting everything set up, before casting out I decided to have a quick chuck around with the FishSpy underwater camera and found some really good areas despite the murky water. The first area I found was a nice clear gravel spot tight to the island under an over hang which was for my middle rod, the second spot I found was for the catfish rod and this was a soft silty area on the far bank to the left of catfish corner for my left rod, the third spot was in the shallows to my right where I didn’t need to do any marker work. This rod was going to fish a chod rig, as I had already seen fish crashing in this area so I knew where the bait was going.

I started to bait up these spots, beginning with the island and decided to use a mix of the two boilies I had with me cranberry and trigga blue in sizes 16mm, 18mm and 20mm, I also used some particles which were mixed seeds and maize. Then I moved on to the catfish spot, which was baited up with mixed pellets from halibut to shrimp and krill in sizes 12mm to 22mm I also added in some of the boilies as well. The last one will be the shallow bay to my right and all I would do to start with was scatter about eighty of the two types of boilies over a large area just to keep the carp there and keep them confident and feeding; the areas were now ready and all they needed now were the rigs.

My first rod out was the chod rig with a very buoyant 20mm cranberry pop up which had been in the dip for around three weeks.

Next up was the island spot and I used a running rig system which I will explain about a bit later on, hook length was a ten inch Korda N-Trap semi stiff 30lb link in gravel with a Korda krank size 4 hook, I had taken back about two inches of the coating at the hook end to allow the bait to move freely. Bait used on this one was the Trigga Blue bottom bait in 18mm and this was taken out in the bait boat along with a mix of boilies, mixed seed and maize as I wanted this one tight to the island under the overhang of a tree.

Then finally the catfish rod, again with a running rig system and I used ten inches of Kryston Ton-up with a Cox & Rawle Chinu size 1/0 hook, attached to this were four boilies 2x 20mm cranberry and 2x 20mm trigga blue. I also put this out with the bait boat with a mix of pellets and boilies, I also used the TF Gear long handled baiting spoon to spread some more of the same baits over a larger area to try and attract the catfish in.

The running rig set up was a cog system but with a twist as I had the cog flat distance three ounce lead with the cog attachment number 4 which is for the three ounce flat pear lead. First of all, put the tubing on which is a metre of Nash cling on tungsten tubing and then the lead, followed by the Korda run rig rubber and then tied on a Korda cog system no.4 which I would then attach a hooklength to. The twist was that it was a running rig cog system which works like a dream, but for this lake you had to lightly push the swivel into the rubber on the lead other wise these fish would use the lead to dump the hook and get away without you even knowing about it. With the lead pushed in lightly it meant that the first shake from the fish dropped the lead and then straight to free running and the fish wouldn’t know what to do so bolted every time.

My swim - ready for action.

My swim – ready for action.

All the rods set and ready for a take, so it was time to sit back relax and take in all the surroundings. A few hours passed and at 9.20pm on the Sunday I had a screaming take on the right hand rod as the line just peeled of the spool, I lifted the rod and I was into a hard fighting fish, the fight went on for about fifteen or twenty minutes and the carp finally surfaced, I managed to slip the net under her and she was mine. I looked into the net and couldn’t believe my eye as I knew I had a new PB, after weighing the fish I was ecstatic as my first fish banked weighed in at 37lb-02oz and now it was time for some pictures before I slipped her back to the depths of the lake, then put the rod back out for another fish.

37lb 2oz

Simon with cracking 37lb 2oz mirror.

Time for a brew as all the excitement was over for now, I thought I would pass some time by tying a couple of new rigs and nodded off in the chair. I was woken by another screaming take again on the right hand rod at 12.40am early hours of Monday morning, I was into another hard fighting fish but unfortunately a few minutes into the fight and the hook pulled, I was gutted so checked everything on the rig and all seemed fine, so before putting the rod back out I sharpened the hook again and put a fresh bait on. I also spread another eighty baits back in the area before bedding down for the night.

Monday morning was here and I was woken at 7.15am by another one toner, again the line was just ripping off the spool and I scrambled out of the sleeping bag lifted the rod, once again was into yet another hard fighting fish, after about fifteen minutes I had the fish in front of me and it was just moving from left to right keeping deep but after another five minutes the carp surfaced took a gulp of air and was ready for netting. I looked at another lump but not quite as big as the first one but still a thirty as she went 32lb-14oz, all the fish so far had fallen to the chod rig with a 20mm cranberry pop up and I was over the moon because I had three takes in the first night so was looking forward to an awesome week.

32lb 14oz - nice wake up call at 7.15am!!

32lb 14oz – nice wake up call at 7.15am!!

It’s been a lovely sunny day and I’ve seen a few fish moving but nothing on the bank, evening was here and the rods are out so time to sit back and wait for a bite. It was about 10pm and I had a few beeps on the catfish rod so thought I would take a closer look and nothing happened again, so I went back to the bivvy. Another forty minutes passed by and the alarm started beeping again and line slowly started coming off the spool this time so I lifted into the fish and the rod doubled over, I was into a large catfish which started to move very quickly to my right but I only had the catfish on for about ten minutes and the hook pulled, I was gutted and couldn’t work out why the hook wasn’t set properly, so could only put the rod back out to try and get another take from a cat.

Essential fish care gear.

Essential fish care gear.

Nothing else happened that night, Tuesday morning arrived so it was time to wind the rods in and go for some breakfast then to the supermarket to get some supplies for the rest of the week. We got back for about mid day and put the rods out for a few hours before going to sort food for the evening, the rods had been out for a couple of hours or so and the right hand rod took off again – I was into yet another fish with a right battle on my hands. The fish was trying to get to the oxygen pump that was in the lake but I managed to stop the fish from getting to it, the fish was now in front of me just moving from left to right again just holding bottom and I couldn’t get the fish to the surface, the fish then started to move hard to the right so I put some side strain on and the hook pulled. This was the second hook pull on the chod rig so it was time to think of something else because I didn’t want this to happen again!

Before I put the rod back out it was time to sort a new rig out and I decided to use the cog running rig with a hinge stiff link for my hook length, the hinged stiff link was made up from a six-inch section of Korda N-trap semi stiff in 30lb and a three to four inch chod link with a size four chod hook, I used some putty on the ring below the swivel of the chod link to keep the boilie from lifting to far off the lakebed as I only wanted it three to four inches off. All ready to go back out but it was time for the evening meal and a few beers then back to it.

I was back at the swim after food and had put all the rods out for the night, with all traps ready to try and trip up another fish it was time to make some more hinged stiff rigs for back up and then chill out for a bit before bedding down for the night. Wednesday was here and everything was really quiet through the night, not even a single beep from the alarms so time to change the baits on each rod and get them back out for a few hours before breakfast. Whilst sitting and watching the lake the fish looked like they were starting to get ready for spawning as the water temperature was about right, also some movement about thirty to forty foot out in front of the island caught my attention, it was the tail of a catfish popping out of the water and the fish must have been feeding so I made a note of this one so I could put a bait there later in the day. Time had come for breakfast so I headed over to the house to meet Bo and we got started with it, we chilled out for a few hours at the house to rest the swims as it’s good to keep the rods out of the water from time to time, especially on a pressured venue.

Tranquility in the French countryside.

Tranquility in the French countryside – perfect place to chill.

Later that afternoon after resuming fishing I was just about to get up off my chair and wind the rods in for evening grub when my alarms started beeping and swinger slowly started moving up. This was the rod I put out for the catfish I had seen this morning-  the line started pulling off the reel so I lifted in to it, the rod doubled over I felt a head shake from the fish and it just turned and made off with about eighty yards of line across the lake.

There was no stopping this fish as it was not happy at all, it made about four to five unstoppable runs and at one point tried getting behind the island but with a lot of side strain and Bo getting out in the boat to slap the surface of the water with an oar, I managed to turn the fish.  This battle went on for about forty minutes and the fish still had lots to give, we tried netting the fish a couple of times but the fish was keeping her tail down which made it really awkward to do. In the end Bo gave up with the net, and simply grabbed the bottom of her mouth and held on tight! I got the mat sorted and we both pulled the fish up onto the mat. This was another big cat but I wasn’t sure if it was a new PB for me, after weighing the fish she went 73lb–12oz just slightly smaller than Bo’s cat and as I had guessed not a new PB for me this time but still a lump of a fish, I was really happy with the result! After some pictures of her and also getting wet for some water shots, she went back to the depths to fight another day.

73lb 12oz catfish water shot

73lb 12oz catfish – water shot.

That evening I changed two rods around and put the catfish rod in the middle of the lake and took the one off the island to put half way between my swim and catfish corner, about twelve foot off the bank as I had seen a carp top there when I got back to the swim. With all the rods set just as the light had gone it was time to just sit back and wait for another take.

There was no action until I was woken by a screaming run early hours of Thursday morning about 4am, I lifted the rod into a fish which fought hard from the off. The fight went on for about twenty-five minutes; the fish surfaced so I took my chance and netted the carp. I weighed the fish which went 28lb on the nose, not the biggest fish of the trip but a stunning looking specimen, one which Matt had named Dark Night.

Dark Knight at 28lb

Dark Knight at 28lb.

Nothing happened through Thursday at all, but I was woken early hours of Friday morning at about 3.15am to a screaming alarm, the right rod was off again. This fish didn’t seem to be fighting very hard to start with but five minutes into the battle the fish soon woke up eventually the carp was in the net; I had bagged myself another thirty going 33lb on the nose. This fish was taken on the new rig I had tied to replace the chod rig, the fish was nailed in the bottom lip so I was well happy with that. After a few pictures I put the carp back and had a quick cuppa with Bo before going back to bed for a few hours.

33lb cracker at 3.15am

33lb cracker at 3.15am.

Well Friday passed and Saturday morning came around too quickly with no more fish for Bo or myself. It was finally time to tackle the rods down and get the car packed ready for the journey home to the UK, Matt and Ren turned up about 9.30am, we sat down with them to go through all the pictures we had and chatted over a cuppa before we had to say our good byes.

All I can say is what an awesome venue with quality fish which is well looked after and what a lovely couple to be the hosts, you really couldn’t ask for anything more. This will definitely be one venue I will be visiting in the near future and one I would recommend to others.

For information on carp fishing Beausoleil visit their website here.

Bo, Ren, Matt and Myself - what a trip!

Bo, Ren, Matt and Myself – what a trip!

10 Spinner Fall Fishing Tips and Tactics

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Airflo and Fishtec online marketing manager Ceri Thomas looks at how to make the most of the blue winged olive spinner fall, an important summer time hatch on UK rivers.
Spinner feeding trout
Mid and late summer mark some of the best late evening fishing of the year, when after hatching blue winged olive’s return to the water and lay their eggs. Spent and dying after this reproductive process, the ‘spinner’ stage of this insect becomes trapped in the surface film making them easy prey for river trout.

Imitating this hatch when the fish are ‘locked in’ requires a very specific type of fly, with the correct wing profile and silhouette. Your flies must sit flat in the surface film, or they will be ignored or refused. Get it right though, and the dry fly sport can be spectacular.

The best spinner fly imitations are very simple in design, and tend to have splayed wings at right angles to the body, therefore allowing the flies to sit ‘just right’ in surface film, perfectly imitating the spent insect.

A typical spinner pattern for the BWO fall.

A typical spinner pattern for the BWO fall.

These flies are fairly small, so size 16 to 18 are the best hook sizes. I tend to make them using the excellent Fulling Mill down eye dry fly hooks. Poly yarn, deer hair and CDC can all be used to make buoyant spinner wings.  Patterns such as the rusty spinner, sherry spinner and KJ red spinner will all work very well as spinner imitations. You can see a video on how to make the KJ red spinner on the Fishtec blog here.

With the correct flies in your box, you will stand a far better chance of some great sport; however it’s not always a simple case of just turning up and fishing. For your late evening dry fly spinner fishing to be truly effective you need to think about tactics – so I have put together 10 top tips and tactics for fishing the BWO spinner fall productively.

Spinner fall fishing tips & tactics:

1. Pick a long flat pool – Not a turbulent boulder strewn stretch, or very fast riffle water. The ideal ‘spinner water’ is flat and fairly still, with a slow to moderate flow. Here spinners get trapped in the surface film, and it is much easier for trout to spot them and pick them off at their leisure. This sort of water can be rock hard in the day time, but will come to life in the evening. Wading will also tend to be easier in such locations.

2. Know your stretch
– Make sure you know your way in, and crucially out of the stretch of river you intend to fish. This is extremely important, as stumbling over a rocky river bed in the dark can be dangerous. You can also plan how much time you should spend working your way upriver to the exit point.

3. Choose a pool where you know there is a good head of fish – The evening rise is short and frantic, so if you hit the wrong section of river you may end up struggling. You won’t have time to move spot. So do your research in advance.

4. Hit the river late – Do not make the mistake of entering the river too early. You could end up spooking your target fish, and putting them down before the rise begins. I tend to begin fishing an hour before sunset. In July/August that is around 8.00 pm.

5. Do not leave the river too early – Fish on as late as you can. Biggest mistake is to pack up as it is getting dark. The height of the rise is almost always as the light finally dies. It is at this point where fish can have a ‘stupid half hour’ and will lose caution – make sure you don’t miss it! You can carry on fishing into the night by making a mental note of where rising fish were in relation to your position, and by simply blind casting at whatever you can hear rising.

A nice brown trout - caught well into darkeness on a spinner pattern.

A nicely marked brown trout – caught well into darkness on a rusty spinner pattern.

6. Pack a head torch – Essential for changing flies, and exiting the river in one piece. Make sure you don’t forget this piece of fishing gear, its vital! The head torch I am using at the moment is the TF Gear night spark from Fishtec, it’s a cracking bit of kit, very bright and fully waterproof.

Evening spinner fishing essentails.

Evening spinner fishing essentials.

7. Use a long leader – The flat nature of ‘spinner water’ means a long leader is essential. I like to use as long a leader as I can, usually this is two rod lengths (18-20 foot). I make these by adding an armspan length of tippet (normally 4 -5 foot) to a 15 foot long Airflo tapered mono leader. This means turnover is perfect, with very little chance of spooking the fish with the end of my fly line. The extra leader length also adds more range to your casts.

8. Make accurate casts – Might be an obvious thing to say, but it really matters! Unlike some other hatches, spinner feeding trout will very rarely move far to intercept a fly. They tend to hover just sub surface, with a very small window of often just a few inches across. This means your fly need to land within this window, right on the nose. Sometimes you may think a refusal is down to a fussy fish, but it could be it simply hasn’t seen your fly… So practice your accuracy.

9. Creep up on your fish – As it gets dark you can get much closer to a consistently rising fish. It is better to have that precious ‘one shot’ at close to medium range, rather than a long distance effort where you have a worse chance of a decent hookset, and risk spooking the fish with an imperfect cast. Make every effort to be quiet in the water – a gentle approach with frequent pauses in your movement can really pay off, and allow you to get close enough for a perfect cast.

10. Take care with your tippet diameter – Don’t go too fine! The wing design of spinner fly patterns means they can twist your leader up easily, especially if your tippet is overly thin. This can ruin presentation and cause tangles. Bear in mind that a thicker diameter won’t bother the trout in low light conditions, especially if you de-grease the leader every few casts. For spinner sizes 14 – 18 I tend to use 5X Airflo co-polymer (Typically about 4.0lb BS) this helps combat tippet twist, with added confidence for bullying big fish to the net.

A pretty spinner feeding brown - worth staying on the river late for!

A pretty spinner feeding brown – worth staying on the river late for!



Dave Lane on Cameras – Improve your self take photos!

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I probably get asked as many questions about cameras as I do about fishing nowadays. I suppose that I normally have a remote in my hand in most of my trophy shots and a lot of people would like to improve their self-photography as this is the main subject of the inquiries.

The reason I take so many self-take photos is a mixture of two things really. I do often fish alone and I much prefer it that way but, even when other anglers are on the lake, I tend to take my own pictures whenever possible.

Firstly I do not like to drag other people away from their fishing, particularly not at the main bite times, which is generally when you have a fish to photograph. If another angler has to reel in his rods to help me deal with a fish then I always think that I am depriving him the chance of a carp himself, which hardly seems fair.

Also, there are actually only a handful of people that I would trust to take shots that a fussy git like me will be happy with. This is not a slur on others photographic skills it is just that, once the fish has been returned, there is no chance for a second attempt.

Photos are very important to me, I spend a lot of time chasing carp and I like to able to look back and see that magical moment, a sixtieth of a second, frozen forever in time.

Obviously the safety of the fish on the bank is paramount and yes, it is a lot to deal with when you have the camera and the carp to contend with but this is easily solved by forward planning, the correct equipment and a bit of practise without a real live fish in the equation.

All of this goes out of the window if I get a really huge fish, a target I have been hunting, a personal best or anything that really blows me away because, just like everyone else, I still get a bit flustered at the sight of a really special fish and then I will enlist some help.

Basically, you need to get into a routine where your camera is acting almost like another angler in the swim (without all the wisecracks) it should be in the perfect position, ready to take a photo at any time and capable of showing you the result without you having to move an inch.

To this ends I would only recommend a camera with a flip screen, one that actually points at you and displays either the picture you have just taken or, even better, has a ‘live view’ function so that you can frame the shot before pressing the fire button.

In the old days we used to have miles of cable for an air shutter release running across the ground but most half decent cameras nowadays either come with a remote or you can purchase one to suit.

Personally I like to use an SLR camera and my model of choice is the Cannon 70D, not a cheap camera by any means but I think it’s worth the outlay.

The previous model, a 60D is also incredibly good and I had one for years up until recently. You can pick up a second hand 60D for around £400 on e-bay, with a lens, which may sound a lot but, in reality, it is about the price of a new bivvy, or a couple of new rods and it will give you excellent results for years to come.

If that is out of the budget then there are ‘bridge camera’s’ like the Canon G series to consider, I used to have a G-3 that gave amazing results and I saw a second hand one on E-Bay for £40 the other day, boxed and complete with leads and a spare battery!

Bridge cameras are a halfway house between a full on SLR and a compact.

Even compact cameras can be bought with ‘flip screens’ now and they are available in every price range.

A tripod is an absolute must have item but fear not, they are ridiculously cheap and I recently upgraded to a taller, telescopic, version for video or camera and it set me back a whopping £14 online.

So, with your kit sorted the next most important thing is composure, where are going to take the photos, and this should be sorted long before you actually catch a fish.

A nice daytime self take

A nice daytime self take.

You need to pick a spot that will either have full shade or full sun, work out where the sun will be at the most likely time you will need to use the camera, pick two spots just in case one has got dappled sunlight in it because this is the absolute ‘kiss of death’ for fish photography.

Full on shade will give a nice, realistic, defined shot of the fish whereas full on sun can sometimes be a bit glary off the carp’s flanks.

Pay special attention to the backdrop, make sure that the skyline is constant and you do not have a quarter of the shot showing bright sky and the rest in shade, as this will confuse the light meter in the camera and darker the foreground, losing you and the fish in shadow.

As with the sun, go for one or the other, either open sky or totally closed background, such as bushes or trees.

For night time photography you will need the latter, an area where the flash will bounce back from, a solid background that is as close as possible to your back or you will end up surrounded by inky blackness.

A good night self take, with a bit of practise.

A good night self take, with a bit of practise.

This will make or break your finished pictures so make sure you have it right, take a look through magazines at some of the more impressive shots, or your own album at your favourite ones and find a common denominator that please your eye. Look at the background of the best ones and see what is similar in each one.

Once you have everything ready, set it all up as if you have a fish and get some practise in, digital photo’s cost nothing and can be deleted at the press of a button.

If you set up the mat, the camera on its tripod, and even a bowl of the water you will need for the fish you can pre-create the exact scenario you are going to be in when the time comes and, this way, there will be no surprises.

Hold a full gallon water bottle and use this as the fish and keep trying until you are totally happy that you have everything framed as you like it, even soak the bottle in water if you are using a flash to see how bad the bounce back is going to be.

Once you are happy with the results then mark them all down.

Take a landing net pole and lay one end in the centre of the mat and mark the distance on the  pole with a piece of tape to show exactly where the centre of the tripod should go, this will always be the same so mark it permanently and you will have one less thing to consider.

If you are using a compact camera then the automatic feature will work out the settings for you but, with an SLR or Bridge camera, you have a lot more options.

Thankfully nearly all of the better cameras will have either one or two custom settings, usually marked as C1 C2 on the control wheel. I like to set one of these up for night shots and one for the daytime but, if there is only one then use it for night time shots as it is hard enough in the dark anyway, without having to change settings. If there are none then use a notebook or a notepad app on your phone.

Every variable should be sorted out in advance, not necessarily every trip but, once you have a winning formula, it can be applied everywhere.

Before you even think about lifting the fish from the water you should have your kit set up, your camera turned on (check the settings to make sure it stays on standby as long as possible) the remote function enabled and the remote sensor in position next to the mat.

Everything set up ready and a fish on the bank

Everything set up ready and a fish on the bank.

Take a trial shot first, just hold up your hand at the width you want include and check the picture for clarity, light, and composure. Make sure you do not have a branch behind you that makes you look like you have a set of antlers, or a gaudy sign stating ‘deep water beware’ make sure you are happy and confident and then retrieve the fish.

Your remote should always be held in the hand that has the head end of the fish as there is a wider area to balance on your hand, the tail end requires a more closed grip and it’s very awkward to work the remote.

Confidence is the key, you know the camera is going to work, you have practised enough times and you know the settings are correct, the only difference to having a photographer there with you is that one little button in your hand.

At night it is often the auto focus that really lets you down and, because of this, I NEVER use this function at night.

Firstly you need to use the landing net pole method to get the exact distance for your focal point, this is best done in the daytime and, once you have the exact focus and length you need to mark the camera lens with two little dots (tippex) one on the actual bit that spins to find focus and one on the fixed part of the lens. When these two dots are in alignment turn off the auto focus on the side of the lens and the camera will always be in focus for the correct distance, which is marked on your pole.

Alternatively, just place a water bottle where the fish will be, shine a bright light on it, and  focus the camera from the tripod and then turn off the auto focus (while the fish is still safely in the net).

Practise makes perfect and you have plenty of time for that whilst waiting for a bite and practise will build the confidence that you need to take perfect self takes every time.

If you’re taking your angling photography further, check out our fishing photography guide for loads more tips and information.

The Secret Diaries of Dave Lane

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It’s what we’ve all been waiting for! The fishing has been on fire at the St Ives shallow lake over the past month, but as a tactical move Laney had to keep things quiet –  and boy did it pay off!!

What you are about to see is a 4 part series of ‘secret’ carp fishing blogs, leading up to the capture of Colin, the 52lb 12oz St Ives lakes mega carp in July 2016.

Watch part one here:

Watch part two here:

Watch part three here:

Watch part four here:

Great British Fishing Breaks: 5 Top Holiday Destinations

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british sunset

UK fishing gives some of the best fishing – and the most beautiful views

Experience top class fishing in fantastic surroundings without the need for long-haul flight. Dom Garnett singles out five great angling destinations that are closer to home, and that have better fishing than you might think.

There is a nation with stunning waters and some of the most varied fishing anywhere in the world. We’re not talking about somewhere thousands of miles away; it’s right here at home! With top class fly, coarse and sea fishing all within less than a day’s drive, there are some amazing fishing holidays right on our doorstep.

Naturally, there are other benefits to a shorter haul fishing trip too. You won’t need to dig out the phrasebook, or risk dodgy post-Brexit currency exchange rates. Nor will you spend a fortune on flights or travel.

With the money you’ll save on plane tickets, travel insurance and the rest, there’s no need to rough it. In many cases you can stay right by the water, with plenty to keep a non-fishing family happy too.  Here are five top destination tips, complete with suggestions on what to catch, where to stay and what to bring:

1 – The land of a thousand Lochs

fly fishing loch boat

All aboard!

For anyone who enjoys lofty scenery and wild fishing, the Highlands of Scotland is an epic destination. There are countless lochs to explore of all sizes – many of them offering excellent free fishing for wild trout.

The larger water bodies can be challenging, so it’s always worth tracking down a local guide. Smaller hill lochs are plentiful too though, and offer trigger-happy fishing for wild trout. Sport can be fantastic on bushy, loch-style flies, although lure fishing is also a fun way to fish.

scottish trout

Scottish trout is just one species you can target here

Target species: Brown trout, sea trout, salmon

What to bring: 6 or 7 weight fly rod, plenty of loch style flies (Zulu, Kate McLaren, Black Pennell, Sedgehog). Waders can also be useful. Remember to also pack midge repellent, sensible outdoor wear, and walking boots.

Where to stay: You’re spoilt for choice, but the Ardnamurchan area of West Scotland is especially beautiful in summer, with angling for brown trout in both large and small lochs, several rivers and saltwater marks to go at (check out for further fishing information). Kilamb Lodge is right on the banks of Loch Sunart, with spectacular views and a fantastic restaurant for lovers of seafood and single malt whiskies.

Other activities & attractions: Wildlife cruises, whisky tours, Highland walks.

2 – Coasting it in Devon

devon lure fishing

Lure fishing in Devon

Explore beyond the bucket and spade crowds, and there are some beautifully wild coves and rocky beaches to explore in Devon. It almost seems a waste that so many holidaymakers are content with lobbing feathers out for mackerel, because there is brilliant fishing for wrasse, pollack, bass and other species.

Single out the smaller beaches, and try rocky areas and manmade structures. Light lure fishing is increasingly popular and probably the most exciting method of all, although you could also bring some bait fishing gear. Last but not least, kayak fishing in Devon is excellent, whether you bring your own kayak or simply hire from a local provider.

wrasse caught in devon

Devon caught wrasse

Target species: Wrasse, mackerel, pollack, bass

What to bring: A lure fishing outfit with a good selection of artificial baits. Plugs and small spoons for bass and mackerel. Weedless lure for wrasse and pollack. LRF tackle is also great fun for the species hunter. A kayak is optional! Bring some decent, profiled boots for rock fishing.

Where to stay: You’re spoilt for choice with campsites and accommodation, but for the ultimate beach retreat, The Cary Arms near Babbacombe offers cool, quirky sea-view lets with your own fishing spot just footsteps away, not to mention excellent local food and drink.

Other activities & attractions: Coastal walks, sea kayaking, National Marine Aquarium (Plymouth).

3 – Wild Welsh rivers

wild fishing river irfon

The Irfon is probably Britain’s greatest wild grayling river

Some of the prettiest stretches of water in Britain can be found in rural Wales. Clean water and limited fishing pressure equal great sport with pristine fish, whether your idea of happiness is a feeder rod or fly tackle.

For some of the best barbel and chub fishing in the land, the River Wye is capital, with plenty of accessible day ticket water on The Wye & Usk Foundation. But perhaps the most unsung treasure of all is the grayling fishing on the River Irfon. Some huge grayling are caught every season – and summer is just the time to get a big one by fishing the dry fly. Thrilling stuff in clear water.

huge grayling caught on river irfon

An epic fish from the Irfon; grayling of over three pounds are possible.

Target species: Grayling, barbel, chub.

What to bring: A four weight fly rod for grayling (reliable flies include the Kilnkhamer, F-Fly and Griffiths Gnat). Robust feeder tackle for the barbel. Waders are essential for fly fishing or trotting.

Where to stay: Lake Country House Hotel is perfect for the fly angler, with seven miles of pristine, lightly fished specimen grayling water on the River Irfon, as well as its own pretty trout lake for those unlucky days when the river is high.

Other activities & attractions: Country walks, riding, cycling.

4 – A cast in the Lake District

fishing on the lake district

Large or small, Cumbria’s lakes offer stunningly wild fishing (Image: Scott Winstanley- see his brilliant guide to tarn fishing).

For big scenery and classic waters, it really doesn’t get much more classic than The Lake District. As for waters, you can take your pick! Grasmere is a pretty coarse fishery with some exceptional roach and perch.

The larger waters such as Windermere have some huge pike, and Esthwaite water is excellent for brown and rainbow trout. Last but by no means least, there are stacks of tarns containing wild trout and coarse fish, with some lovely free wilderness fishing for those not afraid of a walk!

pike fishing in the lakes

The larger lakes, such as Coniston and Esthwaite, have fine pike fishing later in the year.

Target species: Trout, roach, perch, pike.

What to bring: Bring pole, waggler or feeder tackle for some brilliant mixed fishing, or a 6/7 weight for the trout. You could also try a lure rod for the pike – but do tackle up tough, and return your catch quickly if it’s warm.

Where to stay: Sitting right by the river, Rothay Garden Hotel is within walking distance of several pretty tarns, as well as Grasmere lake, with Windermere and Esthwaite both just to the south. An excellent spa and restaurant should keep the other half happy, while you plot some fishing!

Other activities & attractions: Arts, crafts and a huge range of adventure pursuits and watersports, not to mention some fantastic English heritage sites such as the William Wordsworth’s former home, Dove Cottage.

5. Broadside fishing breaks in Norfolk

norfolk broads fishing area

Image source: shutterstock
Countless beautiful waters await on the Broads

Norfolk’s wetlands are ideal for life in the slow lane. There’s some of the best coarse fishing in England for all kinds of species, and more waterways than you could explore in a whole summer ( has a good overview of fish and venues).

For the adventurous, bringing your own boat or hiring a vessel is a great way to stay mobile. For a supremely laid back holiday or family trip though, little beats a cottage or campsite right by the water, with excellent pleasure fishing for species such as roach, bream and tench.

bream caught in norfolk by dominic garnett

The author, with a Norfolk Broads bream

Target species: Roach, perch, bream, tench pike.

What to bring: Bring pole, waggler or feeder tackle and plenty of bait for some brilliant mixed fishing. You could also try a lure rod for the pike- but do tackle up tough and return your catch quickly in the summer months.

Where to stay: For a self-catering accommodation right by the waterside, try Riverside Rentals. Or for the ultimate week on the water, you could even live and fish from your own hired boat. Hoseasons is a good place to start looking for various lets.

Other activities & attractions: Kayaking, sailing, bird watching.

Further Information

Keep an eye on the Fishtec Blog for news, tips and more on all manner of fishing topics, whether it’s picking the right rod or targeting a new species. Meanwhile you’ll also find a huge range of fishing equipment, including handy travel rods, in our main store.

All images ©Dominic Garnett unless otherwise stated.

For more of Dom Garnett’s blogs, books and photography, see

The Llanilar Airflo Classic

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Llanilar Airflo Classic - Llyn Brenig

Welsh fishing tackle company Airflo are now sponsors of the Llanilar Ty Nant Competition!

Now called the ‘‘Llanilar Airflo Classic” this prestigious international fly fishing competition will be held at Llyn Brenig on Sunday 7th August 2016.

There are 92 competitors taking part at this years Llanilar Airflo Classic. 52 of the competitors are from Wales and the rest are traveling from Ireland, Scotland and England making it an international field of top quality anglers.

The competition will be fished to international fly fishing rules from 10am to 5pm.

The entry fee is £55, which includes prizes to the value of £3,500 a goodie bag worth £28 plus a meal at the end of the match.

Spaces are all taken at this time, with the possibility of additional boats or cancellation slots becoming available.

Llanilar AA and Airflo hope to develop this match by making it a 2 day competition next year – the only one of its kind. The Llanilar Airflo Classic will always be held on the first weekend of August.

Watch this space for updates – including results and a full match report!!

llyn brenig


Drawing a line: vintage angling pictures

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boy fishing

Image source: Public Domain Images
Vintage pictures like this make us want to head straight for our fishing tackle.

As anglers, we know that fishing is now an inspirational pastime, profession, and pursuit. But it’s been capturing the imaginations of artists and writers since time immemorial as well? We’ve got the pictures to prove it.

We scoured the British Library archives and dipped our toe in dusty corners of the internet to bring you photos, drawings and sketches of angling in times gone by.

The English riverbanks of old

british fishing idyll

Image source: British Library
A 19th century British idyll

Taken from a 1885 tome on English landscape, the scene in this vintage picture will be familiar to many anglers. The calm, serene country setting, the solitary angler in pursuit of his quarry. This could very well be an illustration of a picturesque English river today.

leave room for anglers to cast

Image source: British Library
Now that’s why you give an angler room on the riverbank.

Another recognisable scene – it seems that anglers back in the day were just as conscious of the need to give an angler space on the riverbank as we are now. It’s good angling etiquette, to be sure. But it also helps you avoid a swift hook to the face!

Looking at this picture, we can’t help being a little nostalgic for the old days. His exclamation of “Oh! I say, you know” perfectly conjures up the English gentleman of yore. A similar scenario has probably taken place on many 21st century riverbanks, although the language would have been more… colourful.

Some pretty big fish

salmon fishing in history

Image source: British Library
Today’s salmon anglers might be envious of this haul.

These Canadian fishermen from 1889 have caught some salmon that anglers today would be proud to call their own. Armed with hooks and rods, and a simple canoe, they prove that time out on the water is always well-spent, especially if you take big fish like those back to the shore with you.

man as bait fishing picture

Image source: British Library
Seems that man is the best bait in this picture.

But those salmon pale in comparison to this big fish. Tapping into some deep fear of what lies beneath, this 1891 picture shows a giant fish avoiding the hook and heading straight for the man-sized snack instead…

massive fish being caught

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Imagine dragging this behemoth to the shore…

Thankfully the giant fish in this picture chose to snack on other fish, rather than the fishermen. Titled “Big Fishes Eat Little Fishes”, this is a picture of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s engraving, which currently resides in the British Museum. It’s a manic explosion of fish that dates all the way back to the 16th century. Can you imagine dragging that beast to the shore? The catch of a lifetime!

Hemingway having caught marlin

Image source: Wikimedia Commons/John F. Kennedy Library
Those are some pretty enormous marlin

Author of The Old Man and The Sea, Ernest Hemingway, was obviously no stranger to big fish, as this picture of him with his family and four huge marlin attests. Although Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s fish (above) was something plucked from an artist’s imagination, this picture, taken in 1935, shows that there really are some big fish lurking beneath the waves.

Nightmarish and celestial anglers

the red fisherman

Image source: British Library
This would be a terrifying sight on the riverbank

We don’t know about you, but some depictions of fishing and fishermen are best left in dusty books. How terrifying would this “Red Fisherman” from the 1880s be, if encountered riverside? Although, if we look a bit closer, it does bear a remarkable resemblance to some of the grumpy, early morning faces we’ve seen on the river. Before the strong tea kicks in, of course.

cherubic anglers fishing

Image source: British Library
Casually reeling in the catch of the day

Moving swiftly on from the stuff of anglers’ nightmares to more celestial figures. We found that there are plenty of cherubic anglers in vintage pictures, like this one from 1891. These innocent figures are casually reeling in a pretty enormous fish with effortless ease. It’s alright for some, huh? Especially when they have heavenly powers on their side.

Looking on the lighter side

fighting with big fish

Image source: British Library
Now that’s a helluva fish

But, for the rest of us mortal anglers, it takes a bit more work to reel in a big catch! This comic sketch from the 19th century goes to show that vintage angling pictures aren’t all serious. Drawn in 1898, this sketch shows the fun side of angling. Not to mention depicting man’s eternal struggle to catch that elusive, big fish.

Hard work pays off

woman having caught fish

Image source: Wikimedia Commons
That’s a catch to be proud of

But sometimes a bit of hard work pays off, as this woman shows with her impressive catch. A picture from the more recent past, her fishing gear is a bit more snazzy than some of the earlier images, but you can see that the satisfaction of a good day’s work is the same.

There’s nothing like a blast from the past to make you appreciate how good angling is today. And how we’re all part of a long, proud tradition of people who love nothing more than to head out to the water with our fishing tackle.

Have you got any vintage photos of your family members out on the river? Or, like Richard Handel of UK Carp & Coarse Fishing, do you have some old school pictures from your own angling library? Share them with us on our Facebook page.

10 Top Fly Fishing Tips for River Trout

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Welsh river pro Steffan Jones shares his 10 top fly fishing tips for the river – read his expert advice and your catch rates will rocket!

Why do a handful of anglers seem to have all the luck? Why do they always have luck both in terms of numbers and also the size of fish? There is an element of luck, of course, but the simple answer is that it is not luck at all; it is rivercraft and experience that secures both.
Steffan Jones witha Welsh river troutIt is no surprise that 10% of anglers catch 90% of the fish. They understand that 90% of fish live in 10% of water. However, and moreover, they understand what needs to be done to effectively target and tempt these fish. They essentially think like a fish and achieving this watercraft is undoubtedly the underlying reason for success. You need to master a few other elements too, which all add to the jigsaw of success. Casting ability, a basic understanding of entomology etc. all play a role and help you become the finished puzzle.

Time on the water is what will enable you to master most of these elements, and there are very few shortcuts to make on this – not a bad thing, right? However, here are a few key points that will certainly get you casting in the right direction.

1.Time of day; simply put – don’t be hungry when the trout are hungry! You often see people heading off the river between 1-3pm early season when any hatch to speak of is likely to happen. You also then see people coming off the river at around 7pm in the summer, when the main action has probably not even begun yet – certainly in dry fly terms anyway. Be on the water when the fly life is most abundant; the trout may well be dormant before and after these times, awaiting and feeding hard when the banquet arrives.

Time of Day - Fish late and you will be rewarded!

Time of Day – Fish late and you will be rewarded!

2. Leader length; fish a long a leader as possible. They become a lot easier to handle with practice and will definitely give you both a better presentation and a stealthier approach. If it’s windy then you may need to reduce the length, but on a typical day with light or no wind look at presenting at least a 12ft leader, with 15ft plus being preferable. Use a tapered leader to aid turnover and then add tippet rings (1.5-2mm ones) thereafter to add additional lengths as needed. You can reduce this length when fishing the evening rise / spinner fall, when the fish become less wary.

3. Approach and stealth; start close! Fish the water in front of you before wading into it. Shallow water can hold very big fish but also the last thing you want to do is wade clumsily and send lots of smaller fish scurrying across the river to warn the bigger fish. Approach low and approach slowly. Try to avoid sending ripples across the pools – this is sometimes impossible to avoid and you may need to let the fish settle once they receive this alarm signalling your presence.

Fish close - cast before you wade!

Fish close – cast before you wade!

4. Read the current; easier said than done, but try and work out what will happen to your leader before you cast rather than after you cast. Work out where the fish should be if there’s nothing showing and work out feeding lanes. With some practice this becomes relatively obvious. Also, being able to dead drift nymphs is a fine art, but well worth mastering. After reading the current, definite feeding lines or seams can be identified; food items need to be presented and trundled through such water as a natural would present itself.

5. Casting ability; you do not need to be a world champion, but you do need to be able to control your line well under short distances and especially being able to cope and work with longer leaders. Learn useful little tricks like reach mending, which can be invaluable. Don’t be shy about practicing on dry land, even putting little markers out to improve accuracy. Consistently landing a golf ball on the green comes with practice not luck, the same applies with casting ability and presenting perfectly to a rising trout.

Work on your casting ability - practise!

Work on your casting ability – practice!

6. Learn some basic entomology; you don’t need to get too geeky, but a modicum of knowledge goes a long way. The trout can get really transfixed with one food source over another and being able to identify a. what food source this is and b. how to represent it with an artificial can often be the difference between success and failure. There are some great books around for this along with online resources: and the Fishtec blog match the hatch charts. I will often collect some of the insects from a given day to better represent them next time; precise imitations are not needed, but a good indication of overall size and appearance is vital. By doing this for a couple of seasons you come to understand feeding patterns at different stages of the season and rarely get caught out as a result.

What fly - Learn some entomology

What fly? Learn some entomology.

7. Watch the fish and rise form; watching the feeding habits of an individual fish will tell you a lot. The regularity of the rise, if they are on emergers/duns/spinners, if they are taking one food source yet totally ignoring another. A lot better to make the right presentation with the right fly, rather than just search all day with an Adams Irresistible. At times it is irresistible, but quite often is also very resistible! Watch too what direction the fish is feeding; it may favour food coming one side rather than the other, or may be darting into the current when a food item travels down, rather than holding station in such water.

8. Respect your quarry; you have worked hard to catch a specific and specimen fish. You may have been watching him for weeks. You finally get him to take and get your just reward. Do not let this be just your reward, share the fish to allow a fellow angler to experience a similar reward and elation. Do not take the fish up onto the bank and onto dry land. The fish is probably exhausted from the fight, so try and keep it in the net and in the water whenever possible. If you are going to release the fish then you want to give that fish the best chance of surviving. Lift it for a photo, not a problem. However, support the fish and never squeeze it – this can cause irreparable damage to the internal organs – whilst it may swim ok looking fine, that may be shortlived…

Try to keep the fish in the net and in the water.

Try to keep the fish in the net and in the water.

9. Weight; always carry nymphs in different densities. Even the same size but in different weights; more often than not when it comes to nymphs the depth is the key factor rather than the actual pattern. For example, carry the same nymph in a normal copper bead, but then in 2mm, 3mm, 4mm and even 5mm tungsten! Different water demands different weights, never be lazy with this fact as it can mean the difference between catching and blanking.

Always carry nymphs in different densities.

Always carry nymphs in different densities.

10. Paraphernalia; don’t laden yourself with accessories, but some bits are vital and should never be left at home. In my jacket I would always have; floatant, mucilin, sinkant/mud (more for taking the shine off the leader than actually sinking it), amadou for drying flies out, leader material in 0.10-0.18mm, forceps and snips, then some spare leaders and tippet rings. Leader holders can also be of great use, and I would always advocate the circular ones to avoid leader kinks: TF Gear sea rig winders are ideal.

Steffan Jones is a professional fly fishing fishing guide with over 20 years of experience. For information on guided trips with Steffan visit Angling Worldwide or email

Summer Catch Competition – Win £100!

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Fishtec Summer Catch Competition BlogSorry, the Summer Catch Competition is now closed for entries.

The best Summer Catch Competition photos will be available for you to view and vote on Thursday 18th August – Tuesday 30th August.


Fishtec Summer Catch Competition - Top prize blog

TOP PRIZE: £100 Fishtec voucher – awarded to the photo with the most overall votes.

RUNNERS UP: £30 Fishtec vouchers – awarded to 3 runners up.

What Next?

From your entries, we’ll post a shortlisted gallery of star quality photographs on our blog.

Readers, friends and family can then vote for their favourite summer catch photo.

The photo with the most votes wins the top prize of a £100 Fishtec voucher.

The ‘best in category’ coarse, fly and sea fishing photo with the most votes (excluding overall winner) will be awarded a £30 Fishtec voucher each.

Tight lines and happy snapping!

Terms and conditions

By entering into this competition, all entrants agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

In the event that any entrant does not, or is unable to, comply with and meet these Terms and Conditions and the competition information, Fishtec shall be entitled at its sole discretion to disqualify such entrant, without any further liability to such entrant.

To enter this competition you must be: (a) a UK resident; and (b) 18 years old or over at the time of entry.

This competition is free to enter and no purchase is necessary.

Fishtec reserves the right to cancel or amend the contest or the terms at any time without prior notice. Any changes will be posted on

Entry requirements
1. Submitted photos should be no larger than 5mb in file size.
2. Entrants must be 18 or over to enter.
3. You must be the copyright owner of any photo submitted.
4. You must have the necessary permission from people who appear in the photo submitted.
5. Do not submit any photographs that are obscene, vulgar, pornographic, hateful, threatening, racist, sexist, discriminatory, or which otherwise violate any local or international laws.

6. The photographer must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of photos entered in to the competition. Fishtec respects photographer rights and does not claim copyright for images you submit to this competition, you will retain full copyright in each entry. Whenever your image is published by Fishtec you will be credited. Failure to publish a credit due to error or oversight shall not be deemed a breach of this condition.

Image Usage
7. By entering this competition you agree that any winning image or shortlisted images you submit may be used by Fishtec for purposes related to the Catch Competition.
8. You hereby grant Fishtec a non-exclusive, irrevocable licence in each entry for the uses described in 7. above for 1 year following the date of announcement of the winner, thereafter the image may be used for archival purposes by Fishtec.
9. You acknowledge your responsibility for protecting your entry against image misuse by third parties, by for example, but not limited to, the insertion of a watermark, retaining exif data. Fishtec can assume no responsibility and are not liable for any image misuse.
10. Should any image uses beyond those needed for the competition arise we will endeavour to contact you.

11. Our panel of judges will assess all entries and then select images for a shortlist. The shortlisted images will be voted on by the public. The image with the most votes by the closing date, will be the overall winner. Three runners up will be selected by choosing the fly, sea and coarse fishing photo with the most votes (excluding overall winner).
12. Once voting has closed the winners will be notified within 30 days.
13. The judges decision is final and they do not enter into communication relating to entries.

14. Only one vote per person is permitted.
15. Any votes registered after the voting close time, which will be stated online, will not be included in final count.
16. Fishtec reserves the right to disqualify votes or entries, or suspend voting if it has reasonable grounds to suspect that fraudulent voting has occurred, or if it considers there has been any attempt to unfairly influence the voting. Fishtec has the right to substitute an alternative selection method at its absolute discretion.
17. If, for any reason, the online voting system fails, the vote may be suspended or a contingency plan may be actioned.
18. Fishtec reserves the right to change, cancel or suspend this event at any time.
19. Fishtec does accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any on-line system, server, provider or otherwise which may result in any vote being lost or not properly registered or recorded.

20. After the catch competition closes, the winner and runners up will be awarded the following prizes:
• £100 Fishtec voucher – Overall winner
• £30 Fishtec voucher – Fly fishing runner up
• £30 Fishtec voucher – Coarse fishing runner up
• £30 Fishtec voucher – Sea fishing runner up
21. No alternative products, credit or cash equivalents will be offered.
22. Prize details will be sent to the winner via email within 30 days of the winner being announced.

If you have any queries relating to our terms and conditions please contact: