Posts Tagged ‘fly fishing tackle’
Recent visits Tim and Todd have been with us here at the Airflo factory in Brecon. We’ve been filming the ‘Airflo Story’ which is a run-down of who we are and what the company is about, whilst Gareth delves into detail about the technologies and passion which goes into designing and making all of our fly lines.
I was fortunate enough to be invited along to Blagdon Water and also to the River Avon. These two idyllic locations are the said to be the birthplace of modern fly fishing in the UK. Blagdon was the first stocked rainbow trout fishery in the UK and the Avon was amongst one of the first chalkstreams to see a dry fly. We thought what better places are there to film our fly fishing tackle videos than the places which have had such an influence on what fishing tackle we make?
The river Avon flows seamlessly through 96km of land before it hits the English channel, rising from the county of Wiltshire and flowing through Salisbury, Hampshire. Our beat for the day had been organised through Bill and William at www.famousfishing.co.uk, a pristine three mile stretch of well groomed countryside.
As we turned up at the water the fish were already on the move. Trout and grayling lying harmlessly along side one another happily feeding on small crustations and insects from the bottom. The trout however were easily spooked, whilst the grayling were resilient to us being there, within a minute they were back on the feed. After setting up our fishing tackle and Todd his camera kit, we headed off to the pump house pool to get the first of the interviews under-way whilst the sun was low.
Once the Interviews were complete we headed to the river armed with only one rod and a box of dry flies. Todd was always a few steps behind with the camera as we worked the runs searching for rising fish. Some pools we came across a lot of fish taking from the surface, others, they were stagnant on the bottom. Being so late in the season we didn’t really see any significant fly hatch, but there were the odd few small olives and we’d captured one mayfly on its journey downstream.
Gareth and Tim filmed some great product videos, showing the technical side of our range of trout fly lines, when to use them and why each line is vital to any fly fisherman’s armoury.
As the day wore on we get some good fish for the camera, the latter part of the day produced trout ranging between 1 and 3lbs and also a few Grayling up to 2lb. As the olives started to die off and the light faded it was time to pack up the camera kit and head to Heathrow ready for the departure of the Americans.
Keep an eye out in the next few months for the ‘Airflo Story’
September is a big month for competitions including the Lexus European Championships which were held on Rutland Water.
To say the fishing was tough would be an understatement. Having fished the 2 day final I had just 6 takes and 2 follows in 16 hours fishing. A lot of anglers blame their flies, tactics or even fly fishing tackle, but it’s usually none of them, it’s all about finding the level and hoping the fish are there. Especially at this time of year.
In competitions you have to make some tough decisions, get it wrong and it can all be over but considering how tough it was I opted to target the bigger fish in the hope that if I got one they would be bigger than 2 of any stock fish that were caught. It paid big dividends as I landed a 30 year personal best on Rutland, a 8lb 2 1/4 oz Brown. On the first day I landed a magnificent 5lb 1oz Rainbow from the very same spot.
Although the fish had been feeding on fry it readily took a sz 10 Plain Cruncher fished on an Airflo mini tip in 3 foot of water! Fish this time of year are looking to pack on maximum weight for the lean timed ahead and become more of opportunists. As the water cools the fry move in and the trout follow. Corixa can be prolific this time of year so look for weed beds which will hold fry and corixa and the fish wont be far away.
Always ensure you keep on the move and look for signs like seaguls that indicate fry near the surface, possibly chased there by hungry trout beneath. Or simply look for the explosive thrash on the surface as the fry leap for safety. Many people confuse corixa feeders with fry feeders. The Corixa feeders tend to ‘push’ water for a few feet as it chases the darting corixa as opposed to an isolated explosion of attack for fry.
This time of year gives you the best chance of a grown on fish. Ensure you use strong fluorocarbon. I always use 10lb Sightfree G3 this time of year as it’s very strong and ultra clear in the clearing waters. There is no more powerful rod than the Enigma III so strap up with your 10lb G3, Enigma III and get fishing.
IB Reommended packs
A full list of results from the Anglian Water Airflo International which was held at Rutland water, 2nd and 3rd October.
In it’s 31st years of running this competition has been held at many of the top fishing waters around the UK and has been sponsored by some of the largest fishing companies in the UK. Sponsored by fly fishing tackle supplier, Fishtec, the prizes are always top quality and offer all anglers a great incentive to fish the qualifiers to hopefully compete at this prestigious final time and time again.
With a strong westerly wind Rutland water changed it’s face from the previous few days practice. With a wind forecast to get up to 15mph and gust almost double that things weren’t looking great.
Team practise sessions all seemed to throw up the same areas, methods and flies as most other teams, with the most prolific area being the Dam wall. As the boats headed out of the jetty the total tally of boats heading to the main basin was 40, a further 17 to the North arm and just 4 to the South Arm. It seemed obvious where the most recent stocked fish had ended up!
As the armada of boats dashed to the closest point of the Dam wall the odd few broke off and started their drifts a long way from the bank in open water, what we found in practice day was that with the big wind we’ve had over the last week or so the majority of the food had been washed close to the wall, just out of bounds for boat users. So the closer you can start to the wall the more chance, we thought, you’d have of catching.
The first drift was manic, rods bent all over the place from Fantasy to the far side of the wall at Sykes Lane. As the boats grew closer the wall the fishing hotted up with some anglers taking 3/4 fish in the first drift. This is usually short lived even with less boat pressure and it wasn’t any different now. The initial hit of 40 boats, 80 anglers and with most people using a three fly cast, that’s over 200 flies going through an area at any one point, the fish soon feel the angling pressure and push off or go down.
This was the same all over the lake, speaking to some of the anglers who came off the water early with their bags they mentioned the fishing died after the first drift. Then it was a scratch to finish off the bag limits.
Kieron Jenkins of the Nymphomaniacs took his 8 fish limit in an impressive 2 hours 15 minutes, him and his partner signing his card at just 12:15. It wasn’t long after that the next bag ups were recorded. Rob Edmunds of Team ACA finished just after 13:00 and Steve Winstone 13:08 with a fish of over 5lb in his bag winning the day with over 20lb of fish.
Day One Result:
1. Hanningfield 39 fish for 92lb 111/2oz
2. Team Airflo 32 fish for 81lb 61/8oz
3. Thallassa AC 31 fish for 76lb 9oz
4. OFTA (Kirkwall) 30 fish for 75lb 67/8oz
5. Rio Masters 32 fish for 73lb 101/2oz
6. Flextec Emerald Islanders 35 fish for 73lb 91/4oz
7. Nymph-A-Maniacs 32 fish for 73lb 15/8oz
8. Margam Fly Fishers 29 fish for 66lb 1/4oz
9. Elinor 28 fish for 65lb 111/2oz
10. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 29 fish for 62lb 15oz
11. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 28 fish for 62lb 57/8oz
12. Welsh Crunchers 23 fish for 61lb 91/4oz
13. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 28 fish for 60lb 115/8oz
14. Weardale FF 26 fish for 59lb 5oz
15. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 24 fish for 54lb 21/2oz
16. Peninsula Pirates 22 fish for 47lb 11/4oz
17. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 19 fish for 42lb 141/8oz
18. Iain Barr FF 15 fish for 39lb 77/8oz
19. G.Loomis Team Belgium 17 fish for 36lb 41/4oz
20. Shetland AA 17 fish for 36lb 13/4oz
21. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 16 fish for 35lb 143/4oz
22. Froggies FF 14 fish for 34lb 9oz
23. Neilston FF 13 fish for 30lb 85/8oz
24. Stocks Falcons 13 fish for 25lb 111/8oz
Best Rainbow: Richard Cooper, Iain Barr FF 5lb 71/2oz
Best Brown: Tony Donnelly, Bristol Reservoirs FFA 3lb 43/4oz
Best Bag: Steve Winstone, Team Airflo 25lb 63/4oz
Day two started much the same as day one. The boat split was almost identical but with a few more boats heading to the south arm. The anglers, testing their leaders and knot strength headed towards the Dam in anticipation for another fish frenzy in almost the same conditions as the day before. The fishing, not so. Out of 40 boats which headed back to the main basin I don’t think 10 fish were netted within the first two hours which was strange after the performance of the day before.
After the first two hours was up the boats slowly started to dwindle away and move to the top of the ever increasing wind, leaving just a few boats on the dam wall. Most anglers headed up the South arm and few across to Belgrano and Barns-dale steep bank.
The winning bag of the day come from Nymphomaniac, Allen Hughes who managed to bag his 8 fish in tough conditions by 13:00. Only a handful of anglers managed to bag up the second day with many fish being caught right at the death, increasing anglers catches and making the results of the competition tighter than ever.
As the weigh in commenced there was talk of who’s ‘up there’ in the results. The rumours were that ACA and Nymphomaniacs were fighting for first position with some of the top teams from day one dropping down the rankings with just a few fish to the team on day two.
Day Two Result:
1. Nymph-A-Maniacs 23 fish for 59lb 33/4oz
2. Iain Barr FF 25 fish for 58lb 33/4oz
3. Rio Masters 23 fish for 50lb 4oz
4. Elinor 20 fish for 46lb 73/8oz
5. G.Loomis Team Belgium 18 fish for 45lb 5oz
6. Team Airflo 17 fish for 39lb 31/2oz
7. Welsh Crunchers 17 fish for 35lb 101/8oz
8. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 15 fish for 35lb 33/8oz
9. Margam Fly Fishers 15 fish for 31lb 153/4oz
10. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 14 fish for 31lb 11oz
11. Shetland AA 13 fish for 30lb 83/8oz
12. Peninsula Pirates 12 fish for 30lb 7/8oz
13. Thallassa AC 13 fish for 28lb 153/4oz
14. Neilston FF 12 fish for 26lb 11/2oz
15. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 11 fish for 25lb 135/8oz
16. Froggies FF 12 fish for 25lb 75/8oz
17. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 11 fish for 23lb 21/8oz
18. Hanningfield 9 fish for 19lb 11oz
19. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 8 fish for 19lb 73/4oz
20. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 8 fish for 18lb 43/4oz
21. OFTA (Kirkwall) 7 fish for 16lb 67/8oz
22. Stocks Falcons 7 fish for 15lb 65/8oz
23. Weardale FF 6 fish for 13lb 14oz
24. Flextec Emerald Islanders 4 fish for 9lb 11/8oz
Best Rainbow: Tony Perin, G.Loomis Team Belgium 5lb 33/4oz
Best Brown: Brian McKenzie, Neilston FF 3lb 45/8oz
Best Bag: Allen Hughes, Nymph-A-Maniacs 22lb 143/4oz
As the results emerged after great food and hospitality by the Greetham Valley golf club it came to light that the Nymphomaniacs had beaten ACA by exactly 9lbs in weight. The bag up on day two by Allen Hughes brought the Nymph’s up the table also with some good luck better fish were landed on day two by the whole team, all of which make a huge difference when the final positions come close. Well done Nymphos!!
1. Nymph-A-Maniacs 55 fish for 132lb 53/8oz
2. Rio Masters 55 fish for 123lb 141/2oz
3. Team Airflo 49 fish for 120lb 95/8oz
4. Hanningfield 48 fish for 112lb 61/2oz
5. Elinor 48 fish for 112lb 27/8oz
6. Thallassa AC 44 fish for 105lb 83/4oz
7. Margam Fly Fishers 44 fish for 98lb 0oz
8. Iain Barr FF 40 fish for 97lb 115/8oz
9. Welsh Crunchers 40 fish for 97lb 33/8oz
10. Bristol Reservoirs FFA 43 fish for 93lb 15oz
11. OFTA (Kirkwall) 37 fish for 91lb 133/4oz
12. Change Fly Fishers ‘B’ 39 fish for 86lb 21/8oz
13. Change Fly Fishers ‘A’ 38 fish for 85lb 131/2oz
14. Flextec Emerald Islanders 39 fish for 82lb 103/8oz
15. G.Loomis Team Belgium 35 fish for 81lb 91/4oz
16. Blagdon FF Bristol Water 37 fish for 81lb 33/4oz
17. Peninsula Pirates 34 fish for 77lb 21/8oz
18. Weardale FF 32 fish for 73lb 3oz
19. Shetland AA 30 fish for 66lb 101/8oz
20. Greenwell Persuaders ‘A’ 27 fish for 62lb 57/8oz
21. Leslie & Glenrothes AC 27 fish for 61lb 23/8oz
22. Froggies FF 26 fish for 60lb 9oz
23. Neilston FF 25 fish for 56lb 101/8oz
24. Stocks Falcons 20 fish for 41lb 13/4oz
Top Bag: Allen Hughes, Nymph-A-Maniacs 14 fish for 36lb 151/4oz
Number of Anglers: 144
Number of Fish Caught: 912
Rod Average: 3.17
Total Weight of Fish: 2102lb 3/8oz
Average Weight of Fish: 2lb 5oz
Average Bag Weight: 7lb 5oz
The method over the two days seemed to be pulling blobs and boobies on heavy sinking lines. All of the top three teams took the majority of their fish using Airflo 40+ fly lines, in di5 and di7 sinking densities. The wind caused many problems with casting so a line such as the 40+, which easily loads the rod on the back cast, was the ideal tool for the job. Orange, Tequila and Black blobs and boobies seemed to pull most of the fish with very little seeming to come out on nymphs.
Sometimes fishing can take you to places you’d never thought imaginable and will allow you to catch species of fish which you only saw on TV. Cuba can offer a great fishing experience for a very reasonable price and offering an amazing fishing experience.
Fly fishing for such fish can prove challenging, but with the correct fly fishing tackle, these prehistoric looking creatures can be tamed but only with the utmost respect and persuasion.
Below are a few pictures from Airflo employee, Marketing Director, Tim Hughes’s most recent trip to Cayo Coco. (click images to enlarge)
A Shark is not on most anglers fly fishing wish list, most have Bonefish and Tarpon due to their extreme fights and out of this acrobatics. Steve Holland on the other hand thought it would be a great idea to take five minutes from his family holiday in Florida and try his hand at fly fishing for sharks.
His fly fishing tackle consisted of the Airflo Bluetooth 9ft 10/11 weight matched with an Airflo airlite fly reel and one of our di 7 fly lines to get his fly to the fish as quickly as possible. Check out the video below to see how Steve and the tackle coped!
Fly boxes change yearly in colour, size and practicability. Searching for the right box is a challenge nowerdays with so many on the market where do you go and what do you look for?
We are Fishtec are always on the design board thinking of ways we can improve our products to keep fly fishing tackle moving forward and giving anglers something that will increase their productivity. The all new Aqua-tec fly box is a great new box which features components of its more highly prised competitors such as C&F design.
The new aqua-tec fly box has been designed to transport and protect your flies in the most extreme weather conditions and will put up with many moons of use. It’s Lightweight High Density Polycarbonate Design makes a high impact box which will withstand high drops onto hard rock or concrete. A large clip lock at the front lets for easy access to flies.
The Aqua-tec fly box features two solid sides and a SOLID middle ‘flap’. One problem these types of fly boxes have is the middle compartment is extremely flexible and hard to out flies in or take flies out of the box. This solid, clear section lets anglers insert flies with ease, and is able to see what flies at below. All enhances your speed as a fly fisherman to match the hatch quickly. Nine rows with twenty four slots on each side allows for over 400 flies to be carried at any one time.
One of the greatest features of this box is the middle section, not only is it clear and solid, but its fully removable for carrying larger flies or cutting down on your selection. Three solid clips allow the partition to be removed with minimal pressure. to insert after its been removed, simply line up the clips and push back in. Pressure exerted by the clips means each pin is held in place solidly so there’s no chance of loosing your favourite fly selection.
The 100% Watertight vacuum seal protects flies from water if you manage to submerge the box. Ideal for river anglers or stillwater angles who wish to wade deep. The micro slit, long life foam holds flies in place and doesn’t collapse after multiple insertions.
Now available here : Airflo Aqua tec Box - for just £11.99
Subscribe to Trout Fisherman magazine to receive a free Airflo Outlander gear bag worth £39.99!
Trout Fisherman are offering readers this superb 12 month subscription gift. From just one payment of £40.50 you can receive 13 issues over 12 months of the leading fly fishing magazine along with this months free gift worth £39.99. Offer runs until May 2nd, 2012.
Trout Fisherman magazine will fulfil your fishing tackle, instruction and where to fish needs. If you’re into still-water fly fishing, it’s a must read, comprehensively covering techniques to catch even more fish, with detailed, informative and friendly advice.
Take advantage of this month’s Free Gift!
The Outlander gear bag is a compact bag that’s great for the roving angler and also doubles up as an ideal companion for the travelling angler. Its wide mouth opening design and internal dividers make it easy to organize your essential fly fishing tackle.
- Main compartment comes with removable dividers
- 2 x large outer pockets.
- 2 x smaller inside pockets with mesh pocket
- Padded carry strap and carry handles
- Dimensions: 30 x 40 x 26cms
Throughout my short fly fishing career I have had the pleasure of fishing many beautiful and wild locations across the globe. But without a doubt the most breathtaking place was Slovenia.
With the stunning scenery and never-ending fishing possibilities you can find yourself in awe of the locals.
We travelled with one of Slovenia’s most prolific guides Rok Lustrik www.lustrik.com who was not only a very experienced guide but also a true gent. The fishing package consisted of 7 nights and 6 days guiding. The Flights were easy and Rok arranged all the transit between airport and destination.
To experience everything that Slovenia had to offer we split our time fishing both of the main river systems and its tributaries, the Soca and Sava. The Soca is probably the most famous alpine river in Slovenia, and rightly so, with its very different tributaries. Set in breathtaking scenery overlooking the Julian Alps, it is home to the most fascinating and elusive fish species in the world – the marble trout – as well as Adriatic grayling and rainbow trout.
The river Sava is the longest alpine river in Slovenia. It starts divided into two forks, the Sava Bohinjka and Sava Dolinjka rivers. The upper part is world-famous for its grayling as well as for large rainbows and good-sized browns. In the wintertime, it is ideal for fly-fishing for our land-locked Danube salmon.
During our time in Slovenia we managed to catch every species they had to offer. Gorgeous Golden brown trout, the slender Lady of the river the Arctic Grayling, the elusive monster of the river the Marble trout and the playground bully the Rainbow Trout.
Armed with excitement and enthusiasm we headed to the river. As soon as I was on the bank I knew we were in for a treat. Rok set me up with a simple cast of around 6ft of 3.1lb Airflo Ultra Strong Co-Polymer, with a single copper john size 16 and an indicator. Within 5 casts I was in to my first fish of the trip. As soon as I hooked up I knew what I had on, with the head down wiry fight I knew I was in to a Grayling. My 10ft #3/4 Streamtec Nantec fly rod was bent double and with a single lift of her dorsal fin more line came poring off my Vosseler RC L. And with a little determination I managed to land her.
Well worth the trip in its own don’t you think??
Through the days fishing it just got better and better with incredible river systems and stunning scenery. The quality of fish that we had was just incredible and the style of fishing for them is a whole different experience. Mainly Nymphing with an indicator seemed to be the most favoured plan of attack.
And boy was it affective!
With this stunning PB River caught Rainbow of 5lb 3oz coming to a 16 Woven Nymph.
One of the days we experienced a heavy downfall of rain and with the rising river we started to admit defeat for the day……..But no, I could hear a splashing downstream and as I turned to look I could see Rok running back upstream and shouting “MARBLES” witch I must admit at that point I thought that is precisely what he had lost ! But no as he came nearer he explained that when the river is starting to flood there is a strong possibility of getting the shy Marble Trout.
Rok then began taking out these flies of which I can only describe as being leaded bunnies! This fly was tied on a size 6 hook with a huge jig head and covered in white zonker strips; it resembled nothing I had ever seen before. He then began to tie this fly onto my line, baring in mind I still have my river gear i.e 10ft #4. Rok then explained how you fish for these “Marbles” ‘just lob it out and strip as fast as you can!’ Now I did not hold high hopes for this method and must admit was slightly beaten before I started, thinking the pub is calling !. But I kid you not In the first three cast I had two fish hit the fly like a steam train. This is fishing like I have never seen. In that few hours of fishing I managed 6 Marble trout. It is the most savage and aggressive take I have ever experienced out of all the fish species I have caught. When you are stripping the “fly” back you just see the shadow of the Marble appear out of nowhere. Without a doubt one of the most heart stopping fishing I have ever done. Now there is very little difference between a marble and a brown trout as you will see from the below picture.
The world of fishing in Slovenia had taken me by surprise and there was still one left hidden. I had not experienced this personally during the trip but my father Greg Cann managed to pull out another surprise. In the river systems when a Marble Trout and a Brown Trout breed it creates a Hybrid. Now this fish inherits both of its parents attributes, the turbo charges hunger of the Marble and the gorgeous colouration of the Brown. And this truly was a lovely fish.
Throughout my fishing in Slovenia I have been truly inspired by not only the fishing but also the landscape. How the rivers define the country and weave through it like veins. And I can honestly vouch for the superb quality and service you get with Rok Lustrik he truly makes the experience that more special. I have now been on two trips to Slovenia, once in 2009 and again in 2010. And am now planning another trip there!.
If you are looking for a fishing experience of a lifetime I strongly recommend you visit Slovenia.
Tight Lines !!
The area around Esox Lodge is a complex of rivers, reedy bays and hidden lakes. They all contain Bream, Roach, Rudd, Perch & Pike. Dead baits, trolling, spinning and fly fishing for pike are methods used to catch these trophy fish. The 365 lakes in Cavan contain Pike, Trout and a selection of coarse fish all within easy reach of Esox lodge.
Pike at the moment are stacked up in the small bays off the main river flow. This is due to the high level of the river and the volume of water passing through. This gives the angler a great opportunity to have fun on light fishing tackle. Jerk baiting and fly-fishing is bringing good sport contacting with smaller pike , up to 2.5kg, with the chance of a double figure also with every cast. Currently micro chompers and buster jerk baits are working best, the brighter ones seem to attract more fish as the water is coloured. There are still pike in the shallows when the temp rises during the day but most fish are lying in deeper water 9-12 feet ambushing lures from the weed. Averaging 6-10 fish per session per day. The larger pike are taken on dead baits at this time of the year. The Esox Lodge record of 34lb 4oz was taken 1st week in December 3 years ago from a spot not too far from Esox Lodge.
Any further details contact 353878122666 or www.esoxlodge.com or find us on Facebook
Most fly fishers fall into two categories – there are those who lovingly wash and care for their lines after every trip, pampering and treating the fly line better than some members of their family. Then at the other end of the spectrum you have those who never treat their line from the day they buy it until the day it is discarded. What should I do with my fly lines?
Cleaning & Treatment
To clean your Airflo line, mix a small amount of household detergent with warm (not boiling) water in a bowl or sink. Strip the line from your reel into the water and allow to the line to soak for 2-3 minutes – this will loosen any dirt and clean any algae build-up from the surface. Then dry off the line by winding the line back onto the reel through a clean dry cloth. Do not put too much pressure on the line, as the heat generated in the cloth can distort a fly line, also, if you put the line onto the reel under too much tension then this will cause reel set or memory.
Regardless of brands, all lines will exhibit line memory to some degree and our advice is to give your line a light stretch (about 2-3lbs pressure) after you first take it from the reel. There are a lot of people who think that stretching the line at home will help – this is a popular misconception and this will actually make the line worse as it will contract whilst on the reel and create even worse memory!
Certain lines have less memory than others and this can be down to a number of factors, including core type, core diameter, coating hardness and coating thickness. In our experience, lines manufactured on our low stretch Power Core have lower memory levels than standard line, they have a less springy feel and require very little stretching to remove any reel set.
This is a totally different thing to line memory and will manifest itself in lines through a number of reasons – in particular roll casting, Belgian style casting and hand twist retrieves can all impart twist into a line. Lines will generally twist at their thinnest point – on a WF line, the running line will twist more than the head due to its thinner diameter and lower torsional strength.
This twist can drive a fly fisher mad as the running line tangles up on itself, however it can be easily removed – just cast our the line and retrieve the line until a loop of about 4′ of line hangs between the reel and the first ring – if the line is twisted, this loop will twist up on itself – at this stage just remove the reel from the reel seat and twist the whole reel in the opposite direction to the twists – this will untwist the line and allow the 4′ loop to hang down with out twist.
Now reel the untwisted line back onto your fishing reel and repeat this until you get to the belly section of the line – this usually doesn’t take up twist because of its larger diameter. Line twist is quite common on two hand lines and also on tropical lines – you know how much you roll the line around when you’re waiting for a shot!